[Air-L] Self-determined publics

Jack Harris jackharris999 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 31 04:40:11 PDT 2013

The Occupy movement, especially OccupySandy meets your broad definition.

On Jul 31, 2013 7:24 AM, "Michael Allan" <mike at zelea.com> wrote:

Hi folks, a request for pointers,

Below I define what I call "self-determined publics".  Has anything
similar been attempted before?

   A self-determined public is an open community that stakes out the
   definitive bounds of its own communications.  The boundary stakes
   are formed as a timely sequence of references (e.g. web links) each
   pointing to a communication of the public, such that all references
   together define the total of that public's communications in time
   and space.  For example:

       Ago     Place      Title              (click to visit thread)
      -------  ---------  ------------------------------------------
      17 min   r/Foo      How do we attach the doohickey?
       5 hr    Foo-L      The problem with so and so's proposal.
       1 day   FuBarz     Who are these Foos, anyway?
       1 day   r/Foo      This, that, and the next thing.
       2 days  FooStack   What's the best thingamy for such and such?
              . . . and so on

   The staked boundary is similar in form to a conventional news feed.
   It concerns a specific topic, or style, or other quality of
   communication.  The differences are in a) the exclusion of mass
   communications, b) the claim to totality, and c) the self-determin-
   ation that redeems that claim.  (a) A principle criterion for the
   inclusion of a boundary reference is that one may immediately join
   the referenced communication and reply in kind, as a peer.
   Unidirectional, mass communications are excluded.

   (b) The staked boundary is asserted to cover the entire public
   discussion of the topic across all communication media and sites;
   or the entire public dialogue in the style of the community; and so
   forth.  It claims to be the most complete, accurate and up-to-date
   outline of the extended dialogue that is available anywhere.

   (c) This claim is redeemed by the public members themselves who
   continually submit the boundary references, self-organize the
   necessary labour, and self-constitute the necessary government.
   No aspect of this redeeming self-determination is limited by an
   external authority, not even by the authority of their own, past

I'm looking for brief pointers, please.  I don't know of any actual
implementations of this, or projects that are working on it.  I'll
share what's found with the list.  Pointers so far: Heather Marsh
(Concentric groups, knowledge bridges and epistemic communities);
Chris Kelty (Two bits, recursive publics); Anthony Cohen (Symbolic
construction of community); and Sebastian Benthall (Weird Twitter).

Apologies if you received this message twice,
Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
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