Thu 10 May 2018 7:45AM

Representations of commons organisation

M mike_hales Public Seen by 148

Turnout was small in the poll on Representations of commons organisation - 3 persons. But here's a thread anyway. I invite discussion of: ways of conceptualising commons organisation, forms of presentation of concepts (including diagrams and schemas as well as bullet-lists, essays and books) , and technologies for sharing, evolving and mobilising representations (Loomio, wiki, etc). Yes, I include the notorious pattern language! - where the model is a cute and challenging hybrid presentation of words and schematics, underpinned with powerful and practically-rooted but complex (even poetic) concepts . . . presented through a clunky old technology (?), the 200-page hard-copy book.

This is a L A R G E canvas. So I'm thinking about scope just now and expect to revise this context statement in due course - or maybe, split the thread. Please comment if you have thoughts on making the scope of the discussion manageable (by subdividing it? by ditching parts of it?), or pointers to locations where some of this ground has inevitably been turned over before.

For example, please make links to explorations of 'how to organise/produce a commons of kind 'x'. I don't mean abstract principles (eg Marjorie Kelly's 5 x 2 'patterns' of generative/extractive business conduct, which are very broad), I mean concrete, contextualised practices. I propose that 'organisation' in the title of this thread should be seen as activity-verb, rather than structure-noun. Although . . . maybe you feel that structure-pictures are essential tools? Has anyone ever seen a diagram of Dmytri Kleiner's venture commune?

Perhaps this thread might lead towards a library (or map) of links - Whole Earth Catalogue-wise - as distinct from a deep in-thread discussion of representations/conceptualisations, a bible?


mike_hales Tue 5 Jun 2018 9:28AM

@michelbauwens1 Would you be able to meet up when you're in England for Open2018 in July? I'm convening a reading group 'Making the civil economy' and in that context too am coming up against questions of modelling/representing commoning - much broader than pattern language and pictures! And would be glad to discuss.

Reading group is picking up threads from economist/cooperator Robin Murray who died last year - you worked with him in the 2015 Democratic Money deep dive. Pat Conaty is in the group, Hilary Wainwright also.

As Loomio coordinator can you see a link in my profile to email me? DM me https://social.coop/@mike_hales in Mastodon? Best wishes

PS Remove double brackets in Mastodon address, Loomio put them there.


Michel Bauwens Tue 5 Jun 2018 12:53PM

we can meet the 25th, but as the details of my invitation are not fully solid, we'll have to wait before confirming,



mike_hales Tue 5 Jun 2018 1:02PM

excellent. I'll await further planning. thank you


Michel Bauwens Tue 5 Jun 2018 1:03PM


my email is michelsub2004 at gmail,



mike_hales Thu 5 Jul 2018 10:36AM

Beyond wiki

@michelbauwens1 A request for some contacts in the www/linked data/data analytics/pattern recognition field, if you can?

I'm still chewing on the issue of a pattern language for commoning - not commons organis*ation* (structure) but commons organis*ing* - a dynamic theory-of-practice. It'll be a little while yet before ready to start offering a framework but I'm beginning to understand what kind of architecture it needs to have. Not like Chris Alexander's (which is hierarchical - it needs to be dialectical) and not like Rob Hopkins' 'language' for Transition (which is a group organisers' to-do list, not a pattern language of reflective evolving everyday networked 'group mind' P2P practice and institutions).

I'm thinking about the representational form for this kind of conceptualising tool. It's something like a wiki (ie a hyperdocument). But even though a wiki evolves, the 'knowledge model' of a hyper*text* wiki is too didactic, universalist, uncontextualised. Something else is needed. My hunch is that the tool needs a #LinkedData back end, which will hold many diverse instances of historical/sectoral/regional practice, tagged with a dialectical lexicon (neural net?) of constructs. A specific enquiry would be conducted through a pattern-recognition front end of data-analytic algorithms that learn. The 'answer' is grounded in all the relavant instances. It's akin to the 'grounded theory' approach (Anselm Strauss) in anthropology. Sounds very Tim Berners-Lee to me :nerd: D'you have any connections in that area of science, who could get started on this problem? This kind of dynamic medium is where the future of wikis and platformed group mind must lie, I suspect. Global resources, local knowing. Resource globally, build locally.

Any ideas out there? @staccotroncoso @asimong @strypey @richarddbartlett @olisb


Michel Bauwens Thu 5 Jul 2018 12:19PM

perhaps Helene Finidori can help, I don't think I can

here some resources from our wiki section on the topic, https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Category:Patterns

I also have 30 refs in my tag in diigo, see https://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/?query=%23Pattern-Languages

Pattern Languages for Social Change

Examples[edit ( https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/index.php?title=Pattern_Languages_for_Social_Change&action=edit&section=1 )]

Provided by George Por:

URL = https://www.academia.edu/27465412/Patterns_that_Connect_Exploring_The_Potential_of_Patterns_and_Pattern_Languages_in_Systemic_Interventions_Towards_Realizing_Sustainable_Futures

Advanced Author Paper presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences - "Realizing Sustainable Futures" - University of Colorado – 23 - 30 July 2016

  • Book: Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals, by John Day, ISBN-10: 0132252422, ISBN-13: 9780132252423, Prentice Hall, 2007.

URL = http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0132252422


Darren Sun 8 Jul 2018 10:30PM

@mikeh8 I coukdnt totally understand you post about wikis and pattern language, but it made me think about federated wikis, which amusingly I also dont totally understand.
Perhaps you want to check them out?
Maybe this is a good place to start.


mike_hales Mon 9 Jul 2018 7:18AM

@darren4 thanks for this - it's a great place to start. Especially as the authors are Bollier & Helfrich. What I'm puzzling about in 'Beyond wiki' is something else, but I don't yet understand enough to pitch it properly. I think two things are involved, which may be contradictory. One is the semantic web. The other is the armoury of data-analytic pattern-recognition processing that is used in the back office in FaceBook, Google, etc. The former is about enabling 'us' to explicitly name, connect and share stuff, P2P. Great! Original free internet ideology. The latter is part of what the Tech Oligarchs (and psyops in the military) have innovated, to enclose the internet and 'farm' it. But the technology needs to be brought out into 'the front office' in apps that enable us (the public) to 'see' patterns in our own networking and relating which are tacit, complex and invisible to ourselves, adding to our collective capacity for knowing our collective Self.

I don't know how these join up. Or whether they're quite distinct. Anybody with leads (especially, who's doing what in the fediverse) . . . please chip in! @strypey @olisb


Michel Bauwens Mon 9 Jul 2018 7:23AM

I would love to connect the p2p wiki with a select few other wiki's similarly focused on the commons, like Remix the Commons and a few others,

actually Remix the Commons is the only time I have semantic applications that are actually useful ... and to not lead to an overabundance of links



mike_hales Mon 9 Jul 2018 7:25AM

Over-abundance of links is definitely something I can do without ;-) Brain-ache!

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