December 21, 2003

Designs on Democracy

Designs on Democracy is conference this coming March. The always excellent Social Design Notes reports that its being organized by Design Action Collective, the Ruckus Society, and Change the Game. Design plus activism, expect to see me there.

Posted by Abe at December 21, 2003 11:55 AM


There's no way one arth you could get me to go to that!

Why? I'm allergic to phrases like "liberation" and "Justice" in this context. They're worse than useless. Liberation from what, exactly? Whose justice?

These codewords imply to me that there will be no room for truly variant positions at this conference, and little if any democracy. (The language reminds me of the Anarchist Fairs I used to attend in SF, where the thousand streams of anarchist thought were winnowed to one or two class-war-based positions, and any deviation from these was impermissible.)

For my money, the world and the issues we face are so much more complicated than off-the-shelf midcentury Left rhetoric can be usefully used to address, and that's why I'd stay far, far away from any gathering that was couched in same.

Yep, yep, as Adam well knows I'm pretty much in agreement with him on the points above. Still interested in the conference for a few reasons though.

1 - There is still knowledge to be extracted from these movements at least on a tactical if not strategic level.

2 - I have a bit more faith in their ability to evolve, Ruckus in particular is doing interesting stuff. The fact that they are doing a design conference alone is indicative of a degree of change.

3 - Even if these groups are doomed to continue repeating a century and a half of failures that doesn't mean they don't have strategic value. And personally I live maintaining dialogues and discussions with all sorts of political viewpoints, regardless of whether I agree with their positions.

are you at the conference?

are you at the conference? [ email provided this time... ]