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Binding Chaos: Mass collaboration on a global scale Paperback – June 8, 2013
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Often when proposed solutions come out of hackerdom, those solutions are all about hoarding cryptocurrency or building the celebrity of "hacker heroes" -- but Binding Chaos applies the power of the hacker mindset (experimentation, systems analysis) to critique basic assumptions (do we even need a financial system? Is democracy good?) and to offer solutions that protect human rights and respect autonomy, diversity, and pro-social cooperation. In this text, the author takes seriously the well-being of people devalued by the corporate world, such as those caring for ecosystems or those performing other types of unpaid labor.
Below, the titles of the book's chapters, followed by what you'll find in those chapters:
* Defining boundaries - An introduction that, among other things, sets up the conflict as between people and corporations, and clarifies how the text focuses on mass collaboration (e.g., the civil rights movement in the United States).
* The problems with democracy - A look at the fatal flaws of democracy in its direct, representative, and liquid forms.
* Group affiliation - A look at the fatal flaws of group affiliation. Groups can't speak for individuals, for example, and affiliating with groups leads people to see themselves as an unchanging noun (e.g., "I'm a Democrat!") rather than as a dynamic verb, i.e. someone who takes actions ("I took surplus food to the homeless today"), and more.
* Natural and negotiated rights - Why individual rights must be safeguarded in all societies, the basic needs of undomesticated mammals, how societies should fashion laws with principles that everyone, even children, can understand--rather than having complex laws that only legal professionals can decipher.
* Society vs dissociation - People are interdependent and want a society, but leeches block access to social resources - for example, universities control who learns and how, NGOs regulate and professionalize generosity, etc.
* Radical privacy and radical transparency - How public information needs to be transparent so people can govern themselves, and private information needs to be private so individuals don't loser power/control over their own lives.
* Idea driven systems - A look at the benefits of centering systems around ideas and actions, instead of around personalities and hierarchies.
* Expertise without oligarchy - How transparent, permeable concentric circles, with auditing assisted by knowledge bridges, can keep peer-promoted experts accountable.
* Stigmergy - an indirect method of mass collaboration that follows ideas and doesn't suffer from the problems of hierarchy, competition, and consensus (only good for small numbers of people).
* A world without a financial system - A look at how the financial system controls work and time, creates poverty and division, and forces people to do things that are harmful.
* An economy for all - How societal approval (inclusion, belonging) and shunning (ostracism) is already used as a kind of currency, why this is better than money, and how caregiving and other types of unpaid labor are wrongly ignored or devalued in favor of "the economy" (paid service to the corporate world).
* Beyond nation states - A look at moving past nation-states. Personal integrity, personal property, community commons, global commons, intangible property are all considered.
* Out of Robert Filmer's frying pan, into John Locke's fire - Binding Chaos as a challenge to Robert Filmer's Patriarcha and Locke's Two Treatises of Government.
* Releasing chaos - How the ideas discussed in Binding Chaos are not fantastical, but common things that already exist, things we already do, so the challenge is to build support for them.
Binding Chaos is available for free under Creative Commons via the author's WordPress blog, but print copies are nice too. My only criticisms of this book are that there aren't page numbers and that the text could be longer to explain the ideas more thoroughly. Thankfully the author is currently writing another book in her series: Autonomy, Diversity, Society.
Read this book!!
Thank you, Heather Marsh!
NB: Forget the negative reviews for they come from those who are afraid of the truth. The truth that we, as individuals, DO have the power to create a world that benefits all and enslaves no one. This book only scares those who fear losing their mostly underserved positions of power (and their materialistic toys)