Some kind of commoning thing

Last Friday I was doing my “chronique” at CIBL and I spoke about the article Urban commons have radical potential – it’s not just about community gardens which goes along a conversation I’ve been having with Jon and Josée about a potential project to “surface” more of the ideas and discussions around the commons broadly but also as they apply to Montréal specifically.

This morning I was reading Sylvain’s Le logiciel libre au Québec. La révolution, qui n’en fût pas une [fr] which reviews the history of Open Source Software in Québec and ends on placing the work to be done in OSS within a digital networked society and how we should stop talking plans and spring into action. Which made me think of various talks around commons and open models and how we can’t replace the existing system but build a new one alongside it and be ready to fill the gaps when it crumbles. It also reminded me of years ago when I worked for a guy who was doing a lot of work around “sécurité civile” (civil defence) and ham radio, building infrastructure and teams to be ready to help when natural disasters occurred.

Right after that I read Alex’s Sense and Sensibility: the future of making things which talks about making things (the maker movement) and how “making” isn’t isolated from the pressures of capitalism and consumerism, where it leads (not good) and where it should focus instead, i.e. “where politicians won’t go,” “for conservation” and “where open means opening up a closed slow market.” She ends with the need to “Build new visions for the future.” and “Support making small, open things.”

I don’t have a specific or revolutionary thought out conclusion to these things together, I’m mostly blogging notes instead of letting them die in Evernote but it feels like these things fit together and are part of some kind of layer of citizen involvement / model;

  • Rejuvenating the idea(s) of The Commons.
  • Building open structures, teams and “things” with Open in parallel and in the gaps of the crumbling, corrupt or sclerotic existing structures.
  • Being purposeful and thoughtful in how/what we are doing when making things, working from an ethical and human-centered angle[1], instead of (or at least before) focusing on the bottom line.

[1] Phrasing cribbed from Peter and Thingscon which seems to be one of the places where the discussions we need to have are taking place.


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