Simple stuff - vocab and familiarity

Anne Moreland judithdaviestripp at
Sat Aug 21 18:29:57 EDT 2010

I am in agreement:" In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part
to invent is the end."
 Alexis de Tocqueville<>

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM, Alex Rollin <alex.rollin at> wrote:

> 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 effort.
> 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.
> Alex
> On Aug 21, 2010, at 3:15 PM, David Bovill <david at>
> wrote:
> On 21 August 2010 01:44, Michael Allan < <mike at>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:
>    1. 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.
>    2. Solo participation via the web is compelling enough - to offset the
>    initial teething / bootstrapping problems.
>    3. 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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