Simple stuff - vocab and familiarity

Alex Rollin alex.rollin at
Sat Aug 21 11:50:00 EDT 2010

I don't want to derail any furthering going on.

I would like to add in though that my recent experience tells me that  
I simply do not have enough of a command of the vocabulary of the  
"real democracy" process to be much help in educating others.  I may  
be usefully underselling myself but I also feel that "involving"  
others in a process means we, I, provide others with a guide to the  
tools and vocabulary I'm using and perhaps even make some, or a whole  
lot, of room for them to customize the language so they are comfortable.

I want to give a big heartfelt +1 to any scenario that aids small  
groups in grabbing hold of real democracy locally, in person, so that  
the online process makes sense.

Think about alcoholics anonymous.  The first meeting is weird and you  
take it slow, watch, maybe share a bit.  Before you know it a stranger  
is calling you because you are a sponsor listed on a website.

Lots of learning is needed for this "natural" mode to feel natural  
again.  Small group "real democracy games" could go a long way in that  

I think one of the tricks here is for us to make something ideal,  
democracy, possible, and real, for the first time.. Ever?  Well, I  
think you knpw what I mean.  Not just make it real, but share the  
opportunity for others to go throigh the process of inventing it for  
themselves, from scratch, whenever they need to.

I'm thinking of the quote "not one is free until all are free."  we  
could do to keep this in mind.  The meekest amongst us still have the  
tools and skills to participate.  In addition each has access to a  
democraric "artiste", those who can help them turn their work into art.

I was in a meeting today and could feel the wish welling up in me that  
the group could continue to do business online and i also know that  
while they might discuss online, this is not the same as democracy.   
The bridge for this group, though, will more than likely be made in  
person before being taken online.


On Aug 21, 2010, at 3:15 PM, David Bovill <david at>  

> On 21 August 2010 01:44, Michael Allan <mike at> wrote:
> I have a rough plan for the theatre staging:
> Think we need to have a Skype caht about this, as i've been out of  
> the loop with previous conversations.
> This seems to be an interface sketch fro an app which would allow  
> you to take part in LD events from home / on the internet? If so -  
> that's the sort of app that I've often worked on, and got various  
> btis and peices we can play with, experiment, brain storm over, but  
> I don't quite see yet the connection between the sketch and the  
> actual events / that is the content of the events yet.
> There are simple ways, and existing interfaces we may be able to use  
> for this purpose, I think what we need to do is clearly define the  
> content, then use this to see what we can use, or build, in order to  
> create an LD facilitated set of live debates (unconferences).
> Why "live real-space events"? Because taking part in the debate for  
> everyone concerned is effort, and we need the show to be good  
> enough, dramatic enough, for it to be something people want to come  
> again to. This is easiest to achieve by featuring / covering talks  
> at a real space event, which gives a focus to the participation.  
> From that point we can scale the adhoc participation from  
> individuals taking part through an single web based GUI.
> David Bovill wrote:
> > ... What we need to do is put a good team together that are
> > committed, have complementary skills that cover these different
> > bases.
> From my point of view, the steps to team building are:
>  1) Code an all-round functional alpha. (done)
>  2) Add an attractive entry window.
>  3) Get a few quality users and work closely with them.
>  4) Pull in a second skilled developer.
> I guess you see unconferences as an entry window (2).  The advantage
> is that it has elements of (4) in it.  You get both users *and*
> developers at once, at least for a day or two.  The advantage of my
> approach is that it scales more easily and rapidly in terms of user
> participation.
> Possibly. But only if a few assumptions are fulfilled:
> The user experience (UX) of the interface, and the participation is  
> sufficiently good for them to want to come back for more. If you  
> think of the software as a web game - then to develop the user  
> experience to this level can take a huge amount of work, and no one  
> will play it until the UX is good enough - only then will it scale.
> Solo participation via the web is compelling enough - to offset the  
> initial teething / bootstrapping problems.
> We will be able to attract the same quality and quantity of  
> speakers, artists and film makers to an online event, in alpha  
> software as we will in a live real space event.
> It is my view that the content, and idea is more attractive than the  
> software at this stage. That yes we need to put both together (we  
> need the LD game logic), but we are better using real-space and  
> video for the interface, than on relying simply on an online GUI in  
> the early stages.
> The APIs are pretty much ready for the first developer who needs them.
> Some improvements could be made up front.  Others would probably wait
> till I could dialogue with that first developer.
> >    2. Use the RoadShow. Theatre requires good visuals, it attracts  
> people
> >    who like to make good visuals. In the time scale between no and  
> the actual
> >    roadshow we will be able to work with a team to produce those  
> visuals
> >    together. Not DIY, not ourselves, but focus on the team  
> creation, associated
> >    with the event.
> By RoadShow, you mean unconference?
> Yes - if that is the format chosen.
> So should we wait for one of these events to be organized before we
> start developing a marquee user interface (like crossforum theatre)?
> Or should we start on that now, even if that means starting alone?
> Bit of both. We need the "marquee user interface" for the launch  
> event. And we need to invite people, fix the dates and venue, get  
> the content sorted, organise people (SpectActors) that are ready to  
> implement the various LD roles in the event (online and in real  
> space). Again, to maximise everyones sense of energy and promote  
> teamwork these things should be run in parallel, not wait for  
> software to be finished first.
> David Bovill wrote (in the other thread):
> > To try to suggest proposals that may go some way to answering this
> > question [what kinds of interaction?], I've sketched out a number of
> > forms / aspects that I think these real space events / performative
> > interfaces can take:
> >
> >    1. Subtlety - hell it's not really that different! We can move  
> smoothly
> >    from a traditional Unconference to more imaginative  
> performances as
> >    resources, the audience and the need arises.
> >    2. A Game Example
> >    3. An Intimate Example
> >    4. A Practical Example
> I realize now that we probably don't have to code support for specific
> types of interaction up front.  They're mostly a matter of production
> content (scripted or just thematic).
> I don't really know if you'd want (or need) to produce anything
> specifically for crossforum theatre, in support of unconferences etc.
> Yes - but I see this as derivative of the actual events, it's a spin- 
> off product rather than something that drives the events.
> In addition, you might produce an overview of all those unconferences,
> in various stages of happening, maybe as a running summary.  (Hear
> what people are saying, see where they are located in democracy-space,
> and so forth.)
> Yes
> I read through your other examples, but no other production ideas came
> to mind.
> What do you mean by a "production idea" - I think of production in  
> the theatre sense here - they are clearly different productions?
> The frame sequencer doesn't actually give me lots of
> creative ideas for other productions.  )Maybe we can find a better
> medium, later.)  But it at least suffices for the conversation-based
> productions, which I think are the most important.  (The most
> important of all might be one that allowed you to follow the doings of
> your friends, family and other peers in democracy space.)
> I'm not attracted / maybe don't fully get to the idea of a "Frame  
> Sequencer" - I want to be able to explore, navigate, debates and  
> arguments that support or contradict each other - I want to see  
> various ways in which the parts can be remixed, and be seen as part  
> of a whole cohesive, debate, performance, play, event.

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