is a concept first developed by Michel Foucault. He often defines governmentality as the “art of government” in a wide sense, i.e. with an idea of “government” that is not limited to state politics alone, which includes a wide range of control techniques, from one’s control of the self to the “biopolitical” control of populations. The notion is linked to other concepts such as biopolitics and power-knowledge.
The concept of “governmentality” develops a new understanding of power. Foucault encourages us to think of power not only in terms of hierarchical, top-down power of the state. He widens our understanding of power to also include the forms of social control in disciplinary institutions (schools, hospitals, psychiatric institutions, etc.), as well as the forms of knowledge.
In OSG, we follow Foucault’s view of empowering the public with knowledge to enable them to govern themselves. We believe that the passivity of the local communities in their participation for their own socio-political issues has a lot to do with the lack of power-knowledge.
The wisdom of the crowd
The most important part of the implementation of the project relies on the collective and crowd relations. The crowd possesses a wisdom that will only be revealed in a collective and interactive situation. The wisdom of the crowd lies within the notion of the average (see the Parable of the Ox as an example). The same way as the birds form a murmuration, or the same way a school of fish suddenly changes direction in the ocean to avoid predator attacks, the Homo sapiens use their wisdom of the crowd to form organization among themselves.
One way to simply explain this regarding the decision making is that in a crowd the extreme always cancels the other extreme. Therefore, the average is always more reliable and accurate than the individual. This is of course very simply put. But it is important to mention that the crowd’s intelligence, is one of the most essential expertise within this project.
(also known as pure democracy) is a form of democracy in which people decide (e.g. vote on, form consensus on) policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of modern Western-style democracies, which are representative democracies.
Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community. – Wikipedia
(₿) is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. – Wikipedia
— originally block chain — is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. By design blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data once recorded, the data in a block cannot be altered retroactively. Blockchains are “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger transactions automatically.” – Wikipedia
In governance, sortition (also known as allotment or demarchy) is the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates.The logic behind the sortition process originates from the idea that “power corrupts.” For that reason, when the time came to choose individuals to be assigned to empowering positions, the ancient Athenians resorted to choosing by lot. In ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was therefore the traditional and primary method for appointing political officials, and its use was regarded as a principal characteristic of true democracy.
The debates and workshops
Debate sessions and workshops are intended for talking about different aspects of collective decision-making. This includes discussing the basic idea, its possibilities, ethical questions, and practical possibilities/obstacles. This is also where we carry out a diagnosis session in solving a problem for a small community.
With subjects arisen from our debates, we will perform several urban intervention projects. These projects could vary from interviews and campaigns, to urban sculptures, designing places to gather, graffiti, soapbox street speeches, etc.
Regarding the research process, these interventions are seen as experiments with the realm of urban space where the theory and the concept can be put into practical test.
Through a collaboration with Sarmad Magazine in Rotterdam, the project will release publications which will include the talks from the guest speakers and collaborating experts, and writers who do interact with our sessions. Plus, the reports and results from the debates and our urban intervention projects will be presented in the publication. These publications will be released during publication launch events.
Project OSG and Sarmad Magazine have joined forces and have rented a working space to station their projects and to start closer collaboration in the old Odeon building in Gouvernestraat. This will also act as an event space for both project’s activities.
In the event of collecting enough funding, we are planning to design and create an app which will be used to link all of the aforementioned together. The material from the publication will be available on this app, as well as an encrypted software to create the possibility of communicating between peers in a community when they are not debating in person. After enough development of the idea, there will also be a simple voting/evaluation tool which will be used for our workshops and for the communities to use for their debates. After the second phase of the project, the app will then later develop into a fully functional version which will be used for local collective decision-making reasons.
This is basically the practical core of the idea and very important questions in designing the blueprint and the mobile application. How to create a fair and all-inclusive algorithm that can handle the wisdom of the crowd in an open-sourced legislation system? The algorithm is used for what can now be only known as a voting logic. According to the timeline, this algorithm should be ready by November 2021.
We have created a YouTube playlist for a quick and easy informative introduction to most of the terms and relations used during our debates: