Commons communication convergence


(Jon Richter) #1

The chance of converging within the discoursive field of Mapping the Transformations is highly dependent on our use of the communication tools that mediate such conversations, hence their name communication media.

The following considerations will try to combine few perspectives on the multiple conversations witnessed in all of those channels.


In addition to the few communication channels above, another part of the overall conversation is the editing of a Global Commoons Charter, an intricate inter-, hypertextual effort.

Self-organized open assembly to discuss and launch a world-wide and open process for the wiki writing of a polycentric, multi-layered and peer to peer “Charter of the Forest” for the global commons. The invite is open to all commoners who like to join and collaborate in person and / or via online tools and spaces we use.

Ideally we imagine one discussion round for exchanging ideas on the challenges, and possibilities for such a global collaborative writing project, its design, content and function, and one more round on the tools that can be used to effectively realize and move forward the wiki / peer production of a polycentric, multi-lingual, and multi-dimensional text.

Below is the link to the collaborative public pad where the initial discussion and production process was started: https://globalcommonscharter.titanpad.com/1

For this I have argued already we

won’t have any chance to converge, as long as the communication media in use are not federated and provide individual freedom of choice about the data. There are federated wiki farms available at fed.wiki or federated.wiki or wiki.allmende.io or wiki.transformap.co. Start your own wiki by prepending a subdomain, like in patterns.wiki.transformap.co.

An example pod has been built up at 2016.wsf.federated.wiki which links to my personal view on the subjects published at jon.2016.wsf.federated.wiki. You would then create your personal wikis by accessing *.2016.wsf.federated.wiki, with substituting the asterisk * by your first name, for example.


Then there is the enclosure of peer communication in proprietary or closed channels, like Hackpad, Slack, Skype or private email communication which happens in parallel to the mailing list.

For most of you who either way primarily use Google’s mail service and freemium offers of grand corporations, these distinctions may appear artificial and theoretical. If this is the case, please allow me to provide few arguments to explain what is going on here from my perspective:

  1. All social movements are using communication media for their work.
    1a. This happens either consciously or unconsciously.
  1. Commercial platforms are built to enclose its users.
    2a. The users data is the value that is being generated and repurposed by the platform operators.
    2b. We are used to pragmatic compromises which allow us to move forward quickly.
  2. One of the main arguments of protecting the Commons is to keep its users away from enclosure.
  3. Most social movements have technology-savvy users that maintain their internal and external communication media.
    4a. These are often diminuitively referred to as techies, nerds or more neutral geeks.
    4b. The externalisation of the technological implications from the main values of socio-technical initiatives hands over governance and agency to platform providers.

@gandhiano may even be able to extend those from here. Also read his essay about Technology and Degrowth for that matter.

In my perspective only the conscious utilisation of internet- and especially web-based collaboration workflows will allow us to stay transparent and accountable to our communities. This can only happen if activists and hackers trust each other within their knowledge domains.


Else please at least try to post to the mailing list instead of these untrackable private mail distribution lists.
Please also get back to me if you have suggestions how to move forward with aligning our communication frameworks.

Also please remember the Internet and especially the Web are under threat by the operators and practices outlined above:


(Jon Richter) #2

@alabaeye You may also want to read up on Digital Colonialism and have a look at the comics.