7.27.2010

Heartworks Community Forum Article

The Courier published an article about our recent "community forum" event on Thursday. A very positive write up; I especially like how they did not quote me (a facilitator) but used quotes from the actual attendees. They raised some interesting observations about the city. The attendee exit surveys from the event also contained a lot of interesting opinions and observations; I am going through them now and putting together an at-a-glance display sheet about the crowd that attended the forum. Check the Flickr reel to the right for more pictures from the event. Also, add "Heart of Biddeford" on facebook for more info

"They agreed downtown has an urban feel, but feel Biddeford still has the community feeling of a small town. Brian Schrader said he is impressed with the 'amazing talents' of people in the city. While Buczacz said he appreciates the reusable architecture downtown."

7.14.2010

Update: changed blog title

I just changed the title of the blog from the exceedingly PoMo ______Cities, to Positive Space, a title that incorporates the so-called spatial turn in urban sociology put forward principally by Lefebvre and nowadays Ed Soja. I subscribe to the view that sees space as just as important as other political economic dimensions if not more so. That the latest economic crisis was intimately tied to real estate is testament to this.
so.. Positive Space.. in the spirit of creating/fostering/fighting for more socially just, environmentally friendly, and democratically controlled spaces, and criticizing 'negative spaces'; those which are unjust, toxic, discriminatory, impersonal, authoritarian. The dialectic should turn into some bigger picture, combining positive and negative space the way a successful design, painting, or sculpture does.
-NK

Democratizing Information Access+Literacy: What happens when everyone's an architect?

This is a recent post on BigThink about trying to make programming languages part of people's everyday vocabulary: http://ht.ly/29p2f


Something to consider when it comes to the democratization of information access and information manipulation is: If everyone knew how to program would it be easier or harder to maintain the standards (html, CSS, OS software and computer hardware itself), or would all standards just melt away? I think the question of whether you want a democratization of programming/techno knowledge is what will separate the technocrats who believe only an esoteric barrier between the masses and the technocratic elite can protect the stability we need to have communciation and cross-compatibility; from those who hope for a more egalitarian system that does not obscure knowledge on purpose.

One thing that might happen with routinized computer knowledge is that our collective ability to create and maintain standards would become tied to our politico-socio-psycho-economic ability to cooperate with each other. 



Whereas now I think the esoteric nature information architecture/design/planning is allowing us to exceed our actual social potential for cooperation, with the democratization of knowledge we might see a temporary setback and some struggles until we somehow learn to let everyone hold their own reigns and still come together to create something greater such as the internet and collective info archives that require standard setting practices.


I would choose to take this harder path because the potential fruits are much greater; it all comes down to do you believe a truly free and open, decentralized society can function? would you bet on it? would you risk WWIII for the sake of it? We have yet to see major warfare based solely on information.. a sign that we haven't really grappled with what information means to us yet.

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