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Back on the road, almost - Why Would You Say That? [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
jonathanstray

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Back on the road, almost [Mar. 10th, 2008|02:43 pm]
jonathanstray
[mood |busy]

I went to Sri Lanka. I learned to surf. (That may be an exxageration, but I did make it up on the board fairly reliably.) I went back to Auroville, attended their 40th Anniversary celebration/rituals/events, and delivered a big ol' talk about how they can use online software in their community.

They're really into consensus as a governing method, but of course you can't actually do that with 2000 people and no software. So I'm trying to convince them to put their political process online. Wikigovernment? I'll definitely be writing more on this topic, and about Auroville which is, in many ways, a toy society. Just perfect for a mad social scientist like me.

Now I'm in Villipuram, a medium-sized town which is not, I note, listed in the Lonely Planet. That means there is absolutely nothing here to do or see, except, well, India. Whenever I look outside my window, my jaw drops. I overlook one end of a street market. There are often cows out there. The people sure wear colorful clothing. Not everyone has shoes. Computer equipment is sold next to banana leaves, which are used as plates here, of course. Guess I'm gonna have to write more about that too.

I am here waiting for a train to Calcutta. My bike and I are boarding this train to cover the 2000 kilometers in a reasonable amount of time, money, and energy. I can do about 300km per day on my bike here, so it would be a long drive, and most of the things I want to see are up in the North anyway. Darjeeling. Varanasi. Rishikesh. Oh, and Nepal. "Kathmandu" is still a magical childhood name to me.

I hope the roads are less busy up there. I'm really starting to despise Indian traffic, mostly because it's a direct threat to my life.

So in this interval I've been writing and researching. My current topics include the role that community currencies actually play in a local economy, and the possibility of very large-scale decision making methods using online tools. What I want is to understand the outlines of a post-democratic political model. Might some sort of wiki-government be possible? Along that line, I've just completed a little article on why Wikipedia works so well: http://www.equivocality.net/why-does-wikipedia-work/

At least, those are the things I'm willing to talk about publicly ;)

I miss you all terribly much. My time here is running out, I can feel it. In practice, I think this means a couple more months. I can't yet describe all the ways I have changed, and anyway I won't know fully until I return.

- Jonathan
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2008-03-10 08:02 pm (UTC)

wikigovernment

David and Kate did some work on WikiGovernment. You should ask them about it. - Lorien
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bigsockgrrl
2008-03-11 12:32 am (UTC)
since I miss you, I hope you return to the sf bay area with enough time for at least one long conversation before I move across country.
(Reply) (Thread)