2007-03-03

Weblog post+interview; nothing mindblowing but I thought it was interesting: 10 zen monkeys: Counterculture and the tech revolution

They talk about different ideological camps, so in case you can’t guess which of these camps I personally fall into; neither one; I can’t say I’m part of a ‘counterculture’; I support many of the ideas that used to be called the “counterculture” but I think that these ideas are pretty mainstream now. I’m libertarian (not one of the two main groups they are talking about but rather another group that they mention). To the extent that I do support the counterculture of yesterday or today, I’m more in tune with the “collaborationist” than the “oppositional” strategy. And I agree that the invention and distribution of tools is a productive thing to do. I agree with the following statement from the article:

Turner implies that valuable social change is more likely to happen through political activism than through the invention and distribution of tools and through the whole systems approach that is implicit in that activity. But I think that the internet has — palpably — been much more successful in changing lives than 40 years of left oppositional activism has been. For one example out of thousands, the only reason the means of communication that shapes our cultural and political zeitgeist isn’t COMPLETELY locked down by powerful media corporations is the work that these politically ambiguous freaks have accomplished over the past 40 years.

However, based on the amount of interest I’ve seen in communes and related ideas both in college and in wikilandia, combined with the hypothesis that SocialSoftware is going to lower the barriers of entry for group organization and perhaps even permit new forms of social organization (see also OrganizedCulture, HyperSocial, HiveMind, CyberneticEconomy, DemocracyOfGroups, SocialSoftware), I think the “New Collectivism” movement might be due for a resurgence pretty soon. How soon is hard to say; I’d say there’s a 50% chance of this happening no sooner than 5 years but no later than 20.

The reason I put the chance so low (50%) is because there is a large chance that I am overgeneralizing and that just because the people I know are into this stuff doesn’t mean anyone else ever will be.

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