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Re: why Berlin?

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 14:32:54 +0200
Cc: Daniel Harris <daniel@kendra.org.uk>, public-xg-federatedsocialweb <public-xg-federatedsocialweb@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9BF9227B-4518-4969-B437-0FFD82C7DFB4@bblfish.net>
To: Markus Sabadello <markus.sabadello@gmail.com>

On 13 May 2011, at 13:22, Markus Sabadello wrote:

> Evgeny Morozov says that if back then there had been Facebook and Twitter, the Berlin Wall would still be standing [1]

Thanks, very interesting to see that one year later. 

   Evgeny is quite right: one has to be prepared to look at the other side of utopia into dystopias, if one wants to avoid them. As they say "The road to hell is paved with good intentions", a fate most likely to occur to those wearing rosy colored eye glasses.

 It would be worth looking at some old Soviet Propaganda films to see how beautiful the world seemed with those glasses on.  There is also the cartoon "Red Son", the story of what happened to Superman after he landed in Stalinist Soviet Russia ( http://bit.ly/ZZahL ) . In psychoanalytic terms superman represents our collective super ego. This is always here to save us from disaster and distinguish right from wrong. But our right is often the others wrong, and then things get complicated.

  ( aside: A year ago Evgeny pointed out how these large social networking companies are finding it quite dangerous to be associated too directly to US foreign policy. And indeed, in the most recent edition of Superman, he is led to abandon US citizenship for this very reason http://bit.ly/kec5hY . )


> But yes, +1 to bringing people together. That's the idea of the Global Civil Society.
> The Federated Social Web will converge the technical network structure with the social network structure.

Just saw your video finally http://vimeo.com/23564585 ( I have been fighting some bugs in clerezza  this week and did not have time to follow up on it immediately )   . I like the emphasis on balance there. The current social networks have really created an asymmetry of knowledge which is unhealthy, as it could be used very badly. It is important to reduce these differences by growing something much larger. The idea of a global civil society is a very interesting one there.


> 
> Markus
> 
> [1] See http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/videos/leikbqEI12hh/ at time 6:50
> 
> On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM, Daniel Harris <daniel@kendra.org.uk> wrote:
> Cool stuff. I don't misunderstand the Berlin wall, by the way. ;-) It was a great event. I'm just asking that we focus on the positive aspect of when it came down. When the people came together. As you say "people rushed over and started kissing each other". Beautiful! It's all a question of the point of view. What I wish us to focus on is what happened to the people when the wall came down. They came together. As you say, we (in this group) come with "tools that can link everything together". Yes, yes, yes! Can we emphasise that aspect of linking/bringing stuff/people together?
> 
> A tweet, ay? Hmm...
> 
> Berlin is where [a] people came together. Join us there to start bringing together all the others.

yes, but that is not as provocative, and won't start the thinking process which is needed to tackle this complex problem. I mean people come together everywhere. So what's special about Berlin?

Well a few things: they too have a wall people painted their feelings on, for example.

> 
> I know it's not right but you get my drift?

yes. but I should not be the target of the message :-)

> 
> I, personally, in my day to day life right now, identify with linking/bringing stuff/people together much more than breaking anything down.
> 
> Let's talk about the benefits to us all, the people.
> 
> Cheers Daniel
> 
> On 13 May 2011, at 09:47, Henry Story wrote:
> > On 13 May 2011, at 10:28, Daniel Harris wrote:
> >
> >> There is an unfortunate philosophy pervading through society at the moment that we've got to destroy what exists before we can then build our new, beautiful, better world. And I see all the children are picking up: that in order to solve a problem you have to "take it out". It's unfortunate because what we see if an incredible amount of destruction in the name of building a better world. Also by the time we have destroyed the old world we are so exhausted that we haven't got the energy to build anything better. ;-/
> >>
> >> But, that is not what's going on here! We are build better tools for a better world! So, let's just "accentuate the positive" in the language we use. Let's just describe what we are actually doing. We're building a better world.
> >
> > Ah that is to misunderstand the Berlin wall. Its fall was not an act of destruction. It was about the end of a futile confrontation between titans that were set to destroy the world. As you can imagine it was not the Berlin wall that kept them physically apart. If you go to Berlin you will see the wall is not that thick and it was painted with interesting graffiti http://www.berlinwallart.com/ . No the Wall was a state of mind, that made each side think they had the answer to all the worlds problem, that all had to be done one way. It was a symbol of non-communication. Tearing the wall down was an act of pacifism, not of violence. In fact right after the fall of the wall, people rushed over and started kissing each other.
> >
> >
> >> The old world will wither, die and rot from disuse and neglect. No need to break it. Let's not focus our attention on the old world at all. Every look back is and moment lost in looking forward. Let's keep our focus on the new world we are building.
> >>
> >> I don't see any of us with a hammer is our hands. I see us all using tools for creation. I am not breaking anything. I building.
> >
> > A hammer is a good tool. But we come with all kinds of other tools of course. Power connectivity tools that can link everything together.
> >
> >>
> >> So, please, let's buck the trend of solving problems by "taking the bad stuff out". We're not doing that anyway. We're breaking nothing. We're building everything!
> >>
> >> Get it? ;-)
> >
> > yes, but now put all that in one tweet! :-)
> >
> >>
> >> I told you I'm a bit of a stickler for language and the psychological effects there of. ;-)
> >>
> >> Cheers Daniel
> >>
> >> On 12 May 2011, at 18:41, Markus Sabadello wrote:
> >>> Hi Henry, yes, nice analogy :)
> >>>
> >>> Personally I consider the "breaking down the walls" part the straightforward first step.
> >>> The second step is then to build new communication patterns and services that we can't really imagine yet in today's centralized and homogeneous social networks.
> >>>
> >>> Markus
> >>> --
> >>> blog: http://danubechannel.com
> >>> phone: +43 664 3154848
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 2:48 PM, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net> wrote:
> >>>> This could be the tagline on the top of the http://d-cent.org/fsw2011/ page
> >>>>
> >>>> Berlin is where the first wall fell. Join us there to start breaking down all the others.
> >>>>
> >>>> Henry
> >>>>
> >>>> PS. see the picture in http://dig.csail.mit.edu/2008/Papers/MSNWS/
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 

Social Web Architect
http://bblfish.net/


Received on Friday, 13 May 2011 12:33:28 UTC

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