May 20, 2003


Mitch Radcliffe is turning Emergent Democracy into a book. He outlines his key ideas on his blog. Good and interesting stuff although and he's got a degree of the over-optimism I see in a lot of Emergent Democracy discussion. No one is really dealing with the fact that the same tools that could lead to democracy can also lead to its corruption of downfall.

Now I'm all for optimism and positivism, but I like mine cut with a nice dose of pragmatism and an occasional dash of the paranoid critical method. What I find most telling is that no one has yet to really define what they mean by "emergent". There are a handful of attempts to bound the concept, but the term is kept vague enough to let everyone imagine their own particular version of it. Straight from the failed buzzword cookbook. Pitch a concept that sounds cool and new and structure it in a way that it triggers future fantasies. Let people run with concept while everyone pushes their own poorly defined vision. Enjoy it while the bubble expands.

Now like many buzzwords there is some really meat hidden in the concept. But until the idea is broken down to its seed, its not going to grow, its going to pop. Radcliffe does a good job bounding the concept of Emergentism, which is a nice start. But there still is no definition, and that's a problem.

Posted by Abe at May 20, 2003 11:39 PM


Oh, I'm not overly optimistic. I just haven't gotten to the bad part yet. The flipside of democracy is totalitarianism. But, I need to lay out the basic assumptions of a system in order to tear it apart and test the different pieces.

Very nice, I like how that sounds, can't wait to read more.

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i gotta say i disagree