Eventflow patterns in uncentralizing coopetition

The pointers below came to my mind when moderating some internal 15MMM processes earlier yesterday.
Unfortunately these thoughts will have to remain brief and raw for the moment, as other administrative and reporting activities around the Witzenhausen Hackathon and the subsequent 15MMM Launch are still on the shelve.

Project Management, and what else?

Repeatingly we struggle with media breaches and language barriers within our coopetitive settings. It is evident even us pioneers of cooperative economic practice and non-hierarchical decision making are still bound to the cultural reification of the imprints of the last decades. A common deschooling practice is yet to find.
Since we’re pursuing an active process of uncentralization, we cannot adhere to legacy models of project management. The friendly organizations who are supporting our peer to peer process of TransforMap know exactly this and only come into play via smaller proxy organizations. Starting from there, the self-organization practice we are embodying by our initiative has to stand out from most of the quarrel we know from regular civil society associations.

conversation for action in communities of practice

So we admit being outcast to horizontally integrated societies which converse around their topics of sustainable interest and improvation. The adjacent thought then is how these conversations emerge into action and how this form relates to a community’s shape itself.
The main aim, as in every buddhist practice, is to perceive and tackle anger long before it turns into rage. Tools achieving this are intermediary moderation and seperation of roles in the process. Yet the challenge remains to loosely define these inner and outer boundaries, while not constraining activists too much in their ability to make and implement decisions.

perceptions of time and velocity

But even then, having the freedom and responsibility to act upon your own behalf, expectations and habits of other parts of any group still remain. People have their inner time frames, their own speed and, most especially, their own focus. Which is unimportant for one, can be one of the most important question for another. The importance of a given subject is often part of the specializations we undergo within our divisions of labour. Thus we have to trust each other, even within dissent.
A high amount of cooperative communication work is to synchronize with other peers and their processes to generate a greater whole, which presumably appears congruent from the outside. The magic trick then is to turn this behaviour into a habit were we organologically refer to each other’s contributions and integrate them as seamlessly as possible into our own’s.

planning and uncertainty

Where we get to the point of anticipating possible future constellations in time, space and relatedness of our actions. Hierarchical organizations have made great efforts in the last centuries to successfully undermine the uncertainty of their operations within planning. Often, this went together with enforcing top-down power structures upon a workforce, where decision making is centralized.
But out in the distributed open, such central authorities are in demise and we’re thrown back to a state of having to make decisions, even if we don’t possess all the possible arguments in a certain setting. Therefore allowing oneself to fail becomes a tremendous matter once we want to act independently, only loosely coupled.

agile and civic patterns

A common threat to coopetitive practice is then a tendency to get lost within side discussion upon very precise questions, instead of refocusing on the greater whole and maintaining a general inertia. We have to keep in mind everybody is coming from different backgrounds, knowledge can only perpetually spread between ourselves and we didn’t even include concerns about empathy and nuisance into this argument.
If there was nothing to learn from each other, may it be in tools usage or specific workflows, we would sadly have to purge most of @alabaeye’s research. Isn’t it what civic patterns seen from an agile perspective try to teach us? That we have to be able to stand on our own feet and create specified opportunities to tune in with each other? I’m most curious to read what @gandhiano would have to say here.

A typology of process moderation layers in digital collaboration

To understand notions of resynchronization in online practice, I’m ultimately looking at the timely patterns of given activities. These include a spatialisation of time by visually laying it out in timelines and a consideration of uncertainty of any given data. The semiotic perspective then offers us to understand the production of knowledge as the result of turning information into (structured) data, thus facts, which in return are being applied, thus eventually become practical experience.
Rendering these experiences into a concise whole of a group asks for special practice to merge multiple, possibly contradictory peer intents. This can possibly be done by moderation, in our context understood as the act of slowing down, not as merely mediating conversations and actions. Think of a nuclear power plant instead of a Dragon Dreaming round. Because we all operate at different velocities. And bringing these together is a key capacity for collective creation. Especially as no single institution could impose its rules upon any peer.

offline & off-grid

pen and paper, printing press and postal service, physical memory media; possibly electricity, then also diskettes, hard drives, laptops et al.

The natural state of disconnection. @Silke’s location most of her time. Difficult and slow to update and to be updated from. Offline-aware workflows include opportunistic synchronization and semi-automatic conflict resolution. Examples are pen and paper, locally saved text files, letters, music and video exchange via tapes, vinyl or compact discs, hard drives, any print publications and the likes.
Ideally, offline tools don’t need electricity. This is called off-grid then.

peer-reviewed publication

centralized, converging publication workflows; like GitHub’s pull requests, Kanban for progress tracking or editorial processes in media

Peer-review pipelines incorporate dependency graphs of task relations. They favour distributed responsibility and agency over full control for everyone. Decisions mostly happen in consensus with other selected parties who act as process maintainers. If a certain commitment is rejected from these editors, it is being annotated with feedback and sent back to its source for another iteration. This process repeats until satisfyingly complete. An underlying communication medium is mandatory. The aim of such a pipeline is collectively supported publication for high-visibility channels which require the least minimum of errors.

eventual synchronization nexus

telecommunication via radio or wires, textual communication via the Internet

There is another perspective to be added to the edge cases from above. It is the notion of eventual synchronization between peers. If this synchronization happens only from time to time, we talk about asynchronous processes. If it happens on a regular basis or even in both directions, we call them synchronous. They differ tremendously:


electronic mail & distributed version control systems

The strongest argument for decentralized, global collaboration via the Internet is its ability to span multiple time zones. It actively encourages non-synchronized commitment.
A well-known example is the electronic mail service, which is the currently most adopted decentralized and interoperable communication pattern. Due to its age of more than thirty years, it lacks many of the advancements which have been made since its invention; yet its structure remains to be resilient up until now. The strength of email is the asynchronous communication pattern: I can send you a message and be mostly sure it will reach you, once you retrieve your inbox. The important act here is that you decide for yourself when this happens.
Another well-established asynchronous communication pattern is text collaboration via a thing called git. It is mostly known by software engineers for code collaboration, but generally applies to any kind of text production, because code is just text. It implements a practice which is called branching. When you branch-off from a desired source, you continue working in your local branch and can simply later merge your changes. The state of the source remains intact until change offers are being actively incorporated.


telephone, facsimile and chat systems

Once a synchronization actually happens and is ideally full-duplex, which means in both directions between sender and receiver, a transmission of encoded information can occur. A bidirectional communication channel then allows both parties in such a connection to directly react to each other. But this is not always the case.
Unfortunately communication paths are unreliable, and they tend to break down. Why the Internet has been constructed as a self-organizing infrastructure, which tries to omit such failures. It actively routes around them.
If the establishment of a stable bidirectional communication flow does not succeed, most Internet services fall back to an asynchronous mode of operation.

hyperlocal real-time cases

bilateral calls, teleconferences, instant messaging, pads

A special condition can be found when looking at instantaneously mediated telecommunication. Let’s consider these as special cases from the synchronous situation from above, as we want to introduce the spatial concept of hyperlocality here: In a sense it just means to bring multiple physical locations virtually together. But this bonding helps a lot to think of virtual platforms in terms of spatiality. Where the swarm moves are not only places in physical space, but also in the informational scapes of the cyber realm.
Us peers, we meet in virtual locations which extend our physical constraints. If this takes part in well organized, anticipated manners, we can consider these virtual places as hyperlocal entities which intertwine with the physical. It’s only within these highly synchronized situations where we can tangibly recognize the impressive transformative capacity of Information and Communication Technologies.

localized meetings in real life

temporally and spatially (pre-)defined events

Once we humans meet and share the same physical space, many discourses happen at the same time. Not do we only focus on conversations and dialogue, but we are also actively reproducing questions of gender and power, thrown into the wide field from public speech to architecture’s effect on our perception and relatedness to the world. Additionally, many psychological conditions come into play and are being used for whichever purpose.
This is why and where specialized process and event facilitators like @josefkreitmayer take over and try to mitigate the public discourses by using techniques of mutual understanding and empathy. This layer mostly lacks from all of the meanings above.

Please remember this is only a first sketch, despite there may already be lots of media theory to address these questions. I haven’t looked into any sources nor researched any. If you find good accompanying material to back my claims, please let me know.
My motivation to write was to highlight different collaboration practices around certain media we use for them. An implicit dimension was a differentiation between high-throughput, quick work patterns which focus on finishing many tasks next to high-concentration, slow work patterns which focus on finishing one task very well. If this intent did not succeed, please help me out with your suggestions.

Well, please take the answer below as an explanation of what I actually meant there:

TransforMap is a choreographic atlas to visualise hyperglocalised economies of collective intentionalities

As long as we consider TransforMap one of the many data commons, embedded into localized performativity, it remains crucial to stabilize and express intention and meaning of ‹ mapping all alternatives ›. A thick empiric mapping on the historic dimension of semi–internal discourses allows for outlining and framing the narratives perpetrated within. Therefore we can only perpetually try to follow and conclude the arguments and hypotheses introduced in the beginning of our 2014 self–constitution, while we must not forget to overlay them with newer incoming challenges.

How is it then possible to remain flexible enough to adapt to and yet isolate the orginial programmation from external reclamations?
A critically informed theory of Organized Networks, a form of Political Economy in information societies, organologically aligned to an exhaustive grammatology of collective performativity drawn next to the contiuous inference of typed data streams could in this regard indeed offer to us a prevailance of analytical tools and perspectives helpful in stabilizing diversal instituative practice.

We will return later to outlining these preceding argumentative vectors. Just beforehand allow me to explain the components of the second diagrammatic sketch above and depart from there.


Let’s try to redraw the performative aspect of sketching the diagram. I will explain the parts of the image in sequence of appearance on the sheet. This may well help to unfold and extract the original, visually resonating thought. Please feel asked to reify this temporality during your act of reading.

In the upper corners you see two semi–permeable entities which stand in for the communities and produce of OpenStreetMap and Wikidata, not disclosed any further. The centre is occupied by three radiating fragments of a TransforMap describing sentence’s syntax. By instance it roughly follows the triple-pattern syntax of the Resource Description Framework (RDF); the most simple form of a sentence we can imagine: Subject, Predicate and Object.

On the canvas they were specified as of:

  1. « techno-social open data atlas » (Subject)
  1. « visualising » (Predicate)
  2. « the loose coupling of hyperlocal collectivity » (Object)

The applied form is already proposing an hermeneutics to further define what TransforMap is. How so?
First, now that the terms of the phrase are identified, we can seperately discuss and evolve them.
Second, presented diagrammatically on a haptic fabric like paper, we add an embodied spatial layer to the word’s relations to grasp proximity, thus distance and inbetweeness of subjects.
Third, injecting additional topics of interest into the white space inbetween helps in providing further detail and extending the associative nexus whithout disorting the overall view.

  • A preconception of a TransforMap « techno-social open data atlas » is just appreciating that social activity itself relies heavily on cybernetic aid. The underrepresented dimension of time could also be emphasized, why another proposal was to use tempo-social instead. Yet all these terms including open data are rather technical, why an outsider’s reading might be more intuitive if those dimensions are formulated intrinsically within a broader term like « choreographic atlas »:

We’re drawing the frenetic dance of humanity onto the globe.

  • While the notion of visual communication in the public sphere especially delivers methodologies to convey complex materia in intuitive ways, the field of « visualising » TransforMap is still almost undiscovered. It touches our basic understanding of cartography, in our digitally interactive case extended by Human Interface Design. And as long as the ‘mapping all alternatives’ endeavour is primarily a communication offensive for creating awareness to alternative modes of production, we cannot deny the importance of the first sight and any further aesthetical reception of our visualised arguments.

In the end we’re transposing our ideas to the semi–permeable outside almost exclusively in diagrammatic languages.

  • When talking about « the loose coupling of hyperlocal collectivity » our focus disperses quickly. Am I not simply implying a broad set of concepts here? The term invites manifold perspectives on very diverse and abstract phenomena. How can it be drawn onto the #14mmm narrative?

‹ MMM ›‹ Mapping all alternatives! › or also known as ‹ Mapping the Mapping of Mappings › set out to raise the visibility of alternating economies to the continuing global hegemony of neoliberalism. Since then we have been fostering the discourse about a definition of these alternative identities, mainly on top of our OpenStreetMap taxonomy proposal. In a sense we also question the understanding of ‹ economy › itself, it not neccessarily being subject to monetary transactions soley. The care about our shared ‹ oikos ›, the public house we’re living in and sustaining is even more apparent. Isn’t this meaning quite close to what we understand as ‹ Commons ›? And when we claim ‹ TAPAS ›‹ There Are Plenty of AlternativeS! We make them visible›, TransforMap being the Map of Transformation, aren’t we talking about something sometimes reffered to as ‹ Transition ›? Can’t we conclude we’re « visualizing the commons transition »? Unfortunately an answer will not be that easy.
At least we already understand the diversality of the field we’re trying to describe. What we find are terms like degrowth, transition initatives, ecovillages, solidary economy, collaborative economy, commons, welfare economy, gift economy and the likes, while an overall concept still hides out.
Until now, we pretty much keep ourselves occupied with an inward discoursive space and only slowly approach adjacent activities encountered out in the open. Not surprisingly we discover more and more overlaps with many of the existing externalities, take OpenStreetMap and Wikidata for example. Also the work of Open Knowledge or everything else around the ‘circular white space’ in the colourful sketch about ‹ Folksonomies and discoursive spaces for communual narratives of alternating economies › above can be considered. They describe our ‹ Constitutive Outside ›, all the things TransforMap does not need to tackle and solve (again—not invented here syndrome; positively formulated as the proudly invented elsewhere pattern—ever and ever again). Further down the road, finding and expressing these externalities will stay one of our main objectives.
As far as TransforMap was occupied with itself, the constitutive outside remained a blind spot. And in a way will always be. Imagine the ‘circular white space’ in the centre filled with ‘transformapness’, and everything else around is hidden behind a foggy curtain of self–reflection, with slight clear sight in direction of OpenStreetMap.
Inverting this relation, we turn into a constitutive outside for the others as well. So how do we integrate with them; what’s ours to offer? And, if sufficiently specified, how do we design our collective processes as ‹ loosely–coupled › systems of independent, protected knowledge commons which don’t unneccessarily interfere within the other’s local domains; while still enabling a broader public awareness of ‹ hyperlocal collectivity › implemented via our very own understanding of economic activity? Apparently these terms need a more thorough investigation.

Starting from a look at the role of what I’d temporarily like to call ‹ hyperglocalised economies of collective intentionalities › and ‹ federation-supported infrastructures ›, please let me try to formulate a recursive argument reflecting the grammatic functioning of the syntagmas explained above.

In semantic networks, special forms of these ominuous graphs, meaning emerges from named topologic relations between nomen. Inference of multiple graphs then iteratively scans those for known patterns to retrieve. Weighing algorithms use top-down and bottom-up approaches to crawl the data, i.e. used by layout algorithms to evaluate and quantify distance and proximity of knots in the web.
May there be another topologic metric to consider for querying multidimensional data cubes?


Inbetween—Interwined—Entangled—Hypermedia; in our thesaurus mere synonymes for degrees of rhizomatic connectivity. Because mapping will always remain the simple act of relating, notably in many different ways. In regards of a diagrammatic projection – or layout – the situativeness of typed network compartiments refers to grades of centrality and periphery. Interpreting the scale between these poles allows you to look at the way how well you are connected to the rest of a network, at your betweeness: Where are you at?

For receiving an improvised and temporary analytical toolkit to answer sufficiently, let’s dive into some nomenclature and approach the ambiguous fields glocalised change—loosely–coupled infrastructure—an empathic federation—collective intentionality for a rough approximation of terms. They may later help to frame the constantly flowing narration streams of communal activity around us to the argumentative vectors introduced initially. We’ll …

  • pass by different scale niveaus of mappable data
    ~ remember your statistics lessons and quantitative and qualitative research methods 101?,
  • embrace a social design for highly–distributed operativeness
    ~ where the layout of infrastructures informs practices of instituation,
  • test each other’s coopetitive contributions to sustain replicateability
    ~ because self–contained, well documented is not always already interoperable, and
  • sketch privacy–aware, secure modes of democratically protecting a Commons
    ~ involving both physical and virtual interaction patterns.

The challenge will then be to organize an experimental community process around a reference implementation of this dispersion aggregate. How can we sufficiently re- and sustain superfluous, non–physical artefacts about historic and anticipated time–space configurations in liquidity similar to oral storytelling?, in other words: Which are the limitations of our imagination, perception and memory?

Algorithmic automata contain purely logical inscriptions of applied knowledge, while a tendancy to personify these machines remains. Emotional readings of those don’t happen by accident. They are possibly just an effect of the « human’s behind the screen » which we are indirectly in touch with. Because at large these « Information and Communication Technologies » (ICT) transmit digital artefacts of human activity on earth. Where it finally turns really interesting.

glocalised change

When these then hyperlocal narrates distribute throughout the network text, their cognitive correlates are condensed into sign languages, in case of successful transmission being (not exclusively) reconstructed into human experience. Unquestionably, each of these reconstructions has its very own properties. Since our globalized collective perception is increasingly focused on, still talking with Rio '92, localized effects, an enormous effort is needed to encompass the multiplicity of these multivariate › bundles of properties ‹ into concise narrative frames.

We computer scientists share the fate of trying to fit any given information to the datum types already available. Ambiguous facts are rather considered combinations of multiple known stabilized representations than mere unstructured accumulations of properties. The practice of repeatingly normalising data into commonly agreed scale niveaus builds up a library of transformations used to grasp the semantics between multiple data sets. It is a long–term aim to define the neccessary vocabulary in an ontology specification.

As our main focus with TransforMap is to visualise an ever ongoing change of economity, some clever seperations of concerns will help us to identify those dynamics. Mainly looking at spaces thereof, a comprehensive image will later be drawn by taking some more basic patterns into account. These could be, next to aforementionned

  • Spaces and Places (Note: I am exaggerating here.):
    • Events,
    • Actors,
    • Exchanges,
    • Nomenclatures,
    • Concepts and
    • Historicisms and Projections of all seven intermingled.

Subsequently specifying these data and their interrelation can happen within a series of seaminglessly link- and remixable micropublications, for example in some federated wikis. For now they have to stand for themselves. Also they require further introduction of terms like ontology engineering, tempospatial semantics and theories of interaction before being sufficiently approachable in our context. We cannot achieve this in our rough overview here. At least they open up an imaginative space, an ambiance of › the space between the lines ‹ for the sections below. They are a generalised glue (/extract/essence/) for what we will be talking about in detail within the next years.

As their scales are qualitative in nature, an inferred image retrieved from a combination of dimensions will tell us about the complexity of processes we can witness by correlatingly looking into them. Any single datum is ‹ dumb ›. A connected graph of information reveals unforeseen contexts, if approached well. And if data tells so much about our lives, how do we make sure each datum is surveyed, stored, processed and transmitted in a privacy compliant manner, to prevent misuse and fraud?
Uncentralisation of concerns, among many others, can be one of the methods to apply here.

loosely–coupled infrastructure

During the current advent of small data, a feirce amount of our (/western/eurocentric/colonial/white) human interaction is being encoded in data streams. A great amount of these are stored and distributed by centralised commercial services, usually lousy coupled. They call it big data because it’s really a lot. And because they keep it all together, growing in their isolated green houses; feedback loop effects included.
Where’s then the ventile to release the pressure from the global commercial steam machine?

Our approach breaks up with the siloing and identifies independent Commons which focus on certain domains and which mutually enrich the others. Just that.
TransforMap itself aims at becoming one of those; to great extent Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap, for example, are already there. Loose coupling of infrastructures for the Commons provides increasingly stabilizing ecosystems of basic services to global society, while adaptation to changes in respective local environments even further strengthens their applicability. In vicinity of possibly concurrent and possibly compatible systems, not even the degree of interdependence can withstand Ockham’s razor, in so that only tangible components survive the metastabilizing evolution of heuristically determined independent activity patterns. After discovery and revelation, they will be forked and merged into their appropriate Commons.

At a given moment, their functional immutability and amorphism in terms of domain and interface specification aids as an appropriate mean to allow for highly–distributed operativeness of the greater whole. Roughly consensual, well modeled, tested and eagerly documented community practices eventually maintain interoperability, and in direct causation the possibility for free brokerage of free speech. A community’s story then turns into a very valuable resource, because it offers a way to explain the tools and services mobilised in achieving the else uncertain distribution of its epistems into the jungle.

Once the records of our virtual lives don’t live in » central stations « anymore, it becomes harder to target them. Primarily users gain sovereign reflexivity of their online identities while rhizomatic groups of networks can rely on the more solid, more trustful and more diversal foundations of acquainted Commons. It is this momentum when federation-like structures can emerge: these complex forms of self–evaluation of multiple communities which are morally substantiated and explicitly allow critical conversations in accordance to self–defined, sociable environments.
Thus we can state these federation-supported infrastructures carry a chance to constitute healthy meshs of shared interest and low-entry cooperation.

an empathic federation

Still we are aware of the difficulties in running massively-scaled conversations in and about coopetitive settings. Because anticipating an egalitarian heterotopia does not neccessarily imply the effectiveness of its measures in contemporary livelihoods. The way how communication media allow an appropriation practice that invites meaningful contributions from possible complices within reach of the « weak ties » (of networks) is crucial to establish interfaces which encourage the creation of shared sets of values and logics.

In all parts of the world we have to go this way together. Surely localized cultures of different language and habit will refrain to adapt to immediate différances. Why it remains even more prevailent to drive forth the forces seeking to connect, instead of marketing for any other. TransforMap set out to visualise this diversity. Its federation of communities self–constitutes by asking a very simple question: Which small and enduring patterns persist which we haven’t yet actively considered for scaling down the ecological mess of the last millennia?

The cultural heritage of hundreds of generations of species is at stakes. I do not need to remind anybody who kept on reading until here. Full Stop.
Wiping up the dust (of fragments) clears sight for an empathic way to approach the often slowly, almost silently whispered experiences from marginal communalities. The collectively woven web of trusty relations openly enscribes reproductive dispositives into its texture. It is ideally more responsively negotiating the responsabilities between all participants of the global language game . If we are to trust strangers in our craftswomanship of knotting and knitting social bonds, a neutral net for distributing the value is mandatory. Else, in an opinionated setting, we would possibly not even get in touch and remain unheard.

collective intentionality

Originating in a discipline roughly named » Philosophy of Mind «, the speech about collective intentionality is frequntly misunderstood due to superstitial esoteric/spiritualistic appropriations. The fear of the new is misused for reactionary seductions. In contrast, our approach of massively-scaled small data questions the emancipatoric capability of what Pierre Lévy calls the algorithmic medium. Here, automation is not about teaching morality to machines. It is more about safeguarding the ability of autonomous users to make well-informed decisions in using them. Not in a consumerist, but an actively committing perspective which includes the ability to democratically change the underlying algorithmic preassumptions. You know, we are not talking about the colour of your local bus stop here. It is about the means and hows sustaining the openness in which we can perform coordinated action within a global communication infrastructure of insanely massive scale.

Undoubtedly the performance of collective action, and with it the condition for possible forms of collectivity, is constrained by the extensibility of our language leading to such. And when it comes to language, an arbitrary medium is mandatory for any exchange of it. Thought together, the sheer amount of › Tower of Babel ‹ conversations on the Internet itself is an outcry of this adolescent medium trying to understand itself.
If we assume (1) democratically protecting a Commons helps saving it from an ever–impending tragedy, and if we assume (2) the resulting collective ownership is rather an indirectly derived Abbild of a hypermorphous, already locally operating ethics inscribed in, recursively also informed by, interaction patterns of self–actualising crowd-regulations than a timely depiction of the state of an administered given thing, and if we further assume (3) the ultimate riddle of trust negotiation in an open world is temporarily solved by cryptographically secured cyber artefacts, then the implications of considering something upscale like planet Earth as a shared Commons in this - arguably highly contestable - triple sense lead to questions

  1. about retaining the mere possibility for the persistence of life at all
    ~ also read about Hans Jonas’ work and the adjacent discoursive responsability ethics for the intertwinement of (cybernetic) technology and responsability (for the ecosystem)
  2. in direction of what I wouldn’t call systemic change nor stigmergy, trying to avoid any esotualistic/spiriteric pitfalls, instead towards what is roughly sketched as an uncertain, almost fractal approximation of sufficiently sustainable pico patterns in organologic self–expression
    ~ also read about Stephen Wolfram’s latest New Kind of Science and the adjacent field of cellular automata for an algorithmic explanation for the emergence of (relative stability within) complexity
  3. which would underline the temporary nature of any collective claim and ask for conformance criteria to test them in a repeatable, normalized way, so it can be proven a pattern does not enforce non-allowed invalidation of previously accepted ones, in so far contradictions and tautologies are wanted to be avoided.
    ~ also read about Ward Cunningham’s experiments with the Smallest Federated Wiki plus adjacent social web technology stacks like SoLiD (Social Linked Data) and cOoPs (cO-oPerating systems).

To subsume, the secure publication of small data about applied and hypothetical glocalised change into loosely-coupled federations of communication infrastructures (media) goes together with new forms of social and knowledge organisation around the collective intentionalities of the Commons.

Where are the women here which I sould cite? And more importantly: Why am I missing out on them and their cases?

Anyhow; it has been my personal urge of the last weeks and months to make up and linearize this storyboard. It had to get out in raw shape and invites for discussion. There is a minor hope it can at least intermediarily function in translating some concepts. Can it also help reapproaching some postponed discussions of the TransforMap acres?
Now enough of these wild accusations and bold speculations. Weren’t we trying to strengthen the foundations of rational discourse here? Enough of glocally–coupled loose intentionalities or empathic change of collective federation! Here be dragons; currently I use almost no literature and citations to substantiate any of these claims. It is even dangerous to construct an argument as complex as this on so many matchstick hypotheses. Apologies for leaving you with a haystack of needles.

« Denn ist der Ruf erst einmal ruiniert, dann lebt es sich ganz ungeniert. »

Closing the loopholes

So you are apparently left alone with

a recursive argument reflecting the grammatic functioning of the syntagmas

eh, what again?—Happily enough, the narrative of this text more than once explicitly pointed out and offered background contexts to keep in mind during reception. Let’s wrap them up à l’envers to free the argument from incompleteness and to finally revisit those earlier hints.

The Subject–Predicate–Object syntax allowed us to seperately discuss concerns around the inherently diversal fields of (S) conceptually framing the TransforMap atlas, § how it is visually operating and (O) what exactly is meant to be described by it. By opening a discussion space about constitutive outsides, the inbetween of terms inductively specified areas of concern.

While you should keep in mind for yourselves that my writing is subjectively just a measurement of the state of the world around me right now, while I rest entangled in a local web of relations, between the fields of diverse life forms that exist in the narrow spatiotemporal surrounding which I can witness. This perspective renders my perception as temporary and uncertain, decontextualized and invalid as any other.

inner loop

It is my fault then, if I use terms and grammatic constructs which don’t comply to contemporary application of (here: language) rules. I will just not be understood. Yet you may safely assume the existance of an inherent perspective which may well unfold over time. Take the following as an example:

The challenge will then be to organize an experimental community process around a reference implementation of this dispersion aggregate. How can we sufficiently re- and sustain superfluous, non–physical artefacts about historic and anticipated time–space configurations in liquidity similar to oral storytelling?, in other words: Which are the limitations of our imagination, perception and memory?

The trick is of rhetoric nature here, stating that the second question would equal the first. Maybe it doesn’t? At least it stretches the unifold question about the condition of the possibility of a reactive public narration based on a transgressive data scape into a twofold space by connecting non-physical dimensions of consciousness with our way to interpret plus, sic, re-act to and with data.

We are talking about the usual hen-and-egg problem here: Populations are not going to use decentralised technologies (media, interfaces), if they cannot solve their daily quests with them. Due to missing public feedback, the most interesting interface prototypes will never sufficiently evolve, if not a critical mass of users is adopting them. Why there are hundreds of incompatible decentralised communication networks, while commercial networks win by rigerously constraining their environments. These are not going to change by themselves. We have to invest an effort into this.

And this effort can be an Organized Network of users and creators of interoperable civic tools. An active collaboration across the communities to identifiy minimal standards for encymatic cooperation within a scaling federation. Hen’, why not at least trying? The communities of TransforMap could play a vital role in this quest. They already joined the umbrella; now it is time to foster closer feedback loops.

outer loop

Keeping the pace means keeping the ability to fine adjustments to the exterior world. As long as we are about to turn our plurifold ideosyncrasies into an engine for global reason, we want this engine to guard and spread every single mutually agreed datum which we can deduct from given knowledge repositories. The ability to implement change very much involves the capability to exchange experience with everybody, so it can be replicated. I hope I don’t have to emphasize again, why I consider the digital domain crucial in this social process.

Mediating the change and moderating its expression then become the ethics of a politonomical imperitive: Publicly admit failure and make sure to keep a record available. Then others can take your example and learn from it.
TransforMap’s community process is just in the early beginnings of such a self–emancipating documentation by narration. At this point, we can but hope for voluntary self–adoption of the previously mentionned pattern. Unfortunately this won’t happen, if not actively persued: If we don’t tell our stories, they can’t be heard.

Therefore we can only perpetually try to follow and conclude the arguments and hypotheses introduced in the beginning of our 2014 self–constitution, while we must not forget to overlay them with newer incoming challenges.

How is it then possible to remain flexible enough to adapt to and yet isolate the orginial programmation from external reclamations?

There was a rough idea in the beginning. (diagrammatic side note: I am even sure it had a great visual component for every person involved.) An idea continuously seeking for expression. We can almost glance it at the horizon. Even worse, our view is additionally distorted by unexpressed preassumptions, human error and weak cooperation.———Isn’t this a perfect setting to fail?

Early on we have not been too shy to anticipate where we may be going with the argumentation. The original wording was:

A critically informed theory of Organized Networks, a form of Political Economy in information societies, organologically aligned to an exhaustive grammatology of collective performativity drawn next to the contiuous inference of typed data streams could in this regard indeed offer to us a prevailance of analytical tools and perspectives helpful in stabilizing diversal instituative practice.

Which is important to look at here is the combination of entering the political language game with actively integrating small data empirics into collective action. It is, so to say, a form of cybernetic utopia. There is now a real chance to succeed with its implementation, if we continuously keep on reclaiming the hybrid space between consciousness and materiality offered by cybernetic networks.

Because there is something else what Jonas tells us, The B problem of responsability: Once we are in custody of an ethics which is of important normative value and doesn’t have a chance of implementation in real-world living communities, we are oblidged to make use of moral strategies, securing the long-term survival of our impetus. Another reason why it appears carefully chosen to develop ‘the moose’ TransforMap slowly, making sure important constrains are identified and maintained from the beginning.


But these days in which we, TransforMap, are being laughed at for being inconcrete and vague, following a moral strategy can also mean to be successful in communication with the public. It is probably not capacity we’re lacking. Maybe we just lack a clever alignment of our wishes and ‘needs’ for TransforMap. The different use cases and wishes of participating communities are often not expressed, yet. They inherently reside within the reasons for commitment to the process. Until they are not evaluated against the others’, uncertainty and a blurry sense of involvement remain. Further expressing TransforMap’s own ‘needs’ and offering direct areas of involvement to our partners should be essential to counter this threat.

The whole process is still very artificial and unclear; many different contributors with diverse interest more or less slowly start to explore the areas of work. To collectively determine a shared vision remains an everyday task. Why we try to openly document our actions (for accountability), why we offer different circles for participation (for trust distribution) and why we support the development of a Secure Social Web (for sustaining autonomy).

Leading us to the Friend–of–a–Friend (abbr. foaf) networks which we are building. If we learnt anything from peer to peer methodologies, then their great potential to match wishes and offers along weak network ties. A peer matching process which incorporates published data about real challenges improves collaboration on a nucleic level, in a way reconnecting the overall concept with concrete possibilities to fulfil its very ‘needs’. Because the materio-semiotic artefacts of the varyingly conscious actants in the field are the only traces which we can follow in an empiric, bottom-up way. The opposite way of superimposing hierarchical operative models onto TransforMap will simply lead to grow bureucracy and eventually demise.

We want to provide real value to our users and partners. Ideally this happens in alignment with their work. Strategies like shared vocabularies of (economic) interaction (i.e. Open Value Networks—OVNs), transparent finances (i.e. Open Spending or CoBudget) and distributed vouching mechanisms (i.e. Open Badges for cross–certification of contributions) may help here in private publication of the micro aspects in loosely–coupled cooperation.

You may ask now: Were are the (cartographic) maps in all this?
Somehow they have never been gone.

In times where we assume 95% of all data to have a geospatial reference, it is worth taking a second look at the sujects to map. Of course currently we’re focussing on permanent, physical entities like places with explicit geodata first, but are in the same time also slowly approaching the dynamic streams of user generated conted that appears to be created by accident in approaching collective goals. Or can you imagine any kind of hyperlocally distributed, organisational work which is currently not ICT– and Web–supported?

Unfortunately before mapping the data comes webbing its sources. In creating relationships between seperate, local domains lies the strenght of massively scaled small data. Increasing the availability of privacy-compliant data repositories and finding suitable narratives for integrating them requires an explicit dedication of user communities towards this shared goal. Then we can continue producing our cartographic representations of these dynamics of change.

The public talk about Pattern Languages picks up where we’re stranded here. Local (cellular) stories of observable patterns are folded into each other to produce layers of meaning. Accompanying these layers arrive the strings of connections which form the substantial fabric of our ‘organologic tissues’. The expressiveness of how we visualise the human imprint in shaping the face of the earth, even as small and uncertain it sometimes may be, decides on the adaptability of society’s needs to threatening devolutions.

Lessons learnt

Given all the above, we understand sovereign communities as being backed by federation-supported infrastructures eventually leading to secured environments for self–instituation. Applying moral strategies to implement alternative narratives for unlearning the habits of attention-driven economies of cognitive capitalism leads to accumulated stories, more precisely narrates of self–sustaining ecosystems of value.

TransforMap is the challenge to visualise economic narratives in their spatialities, connectedness and histories.

If we want to uncolonize computing and rethink the role of the corporate and military legacy, we may as well be able to further democratize the seperation of powers in state-scaled social organisation and provide a path to globally mandatable modes of social flow adjustments.

~ 3,1415926535897932384626433832795…

If you are keen to read on and want more, you would certainly follow all the hyperlinks first and then go back to pre-Gartenkarte times in 2012 and enjoy a read of

Public Space Invaders
a collaborative action research on collective urbanism

if you had not done so yet.

Then have a second look at Holodex, Portable Linked Profiles and PAIR à PAIR.

About this text

Written during a summer conclave inbetween forest and river in south-east Berlin, this text concludes perceptions made during a sketch after a Wikimedia TransforMap session with Wikidata and Mapping Public Intensities. They sum up to an amount of impressions which may be suitable to the TransforMap project as a whole. I am not very confident with the unfolding of the narrative, nor do I suspect having been expressive enough. Though this pretty much sums up the last five years of informal action research on » Applying computational grammar on social semiotics « within the broad field of civic self–organisation in networked societies.

Now to the critics:

@alabaeye Can you help me extract valuable ideas from this mess?
@gandhiano Anything I understood wrong about community-supported cultures?
@bhaugen This is kind of the grand unifying theory which I like to dream of.
@opn This was the blocker of last weeks, if you understand.
@pmackay Can I ask you for a quick, rough and critical reading of this?
@amy Does this help us to approach an OWL experiment with TransforMap?
@Giuliana Can you help me eradicate erraneous preassumptions from this text?
@fraukehehl Welche langfristigen Möglichkeiten haben wir im Allgemeinen zur Verfügung, um die technokratische Sprache der Entwicklerinnen mit der praxisorientierten Sprache der Aktivistinnen zu versöhnen?
@DagmarE Du fragtest Ende März einmal, was TransforLab sei. Dies ist eine Darlegung von Möglichkeiten zur Abgrenzung von TransforMap.
@iramollay Was würde dir zu diesen Themenkomplexen noch einfallen?

@elfpavlik Can you explain to us the work of the Social Web Working Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in one paragraph?
@dreusser I’m sorry to see you go from TESS and PiK. It has always been enriching to exchange ideas. You once asked me how I would design an architecture to parse diverse data. This is part of an answer to that.

@almereyda: can I relocate your thoughts under an own topic under category ‘Research’?
There we could start extracting the parts that are valuable (i.e. have short-term operative value) to TransforMap now. As you are aware, this text is far far too ‘meta’ to be of any use to most Transformappers. However, there are many interesting reflections (and much I don’t understand - I’m sitting a few conceptual floors below - and fine with it). Therefore that would be better to give it a proper context to direct people who have the tools to engage with such input. And for me this belongs to ‘Research’. Basically, this is a first iteration of a paper (or many…).
So can I relocate that to start extracting pieces?

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you sure have a point. In my view, working on vizualization starts when data is there. So it seems logical to start working on the hidden engine. I assume that once we have the basic infrastructure allowing to pump loads of POIs and associated data, some students at Potsdam FH / http://uclab.fh-potsdam.de/ may have a whale of a time playing with it…