Social Technology
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thinking about the digital communication environment we live in
Curated by Noah Thorp
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Peter Suber, Nomic

A game of self-amendment in which changing the rules is a move. Invented by Peter Suber in 1982.
Noah Thorp's insight:

More details about the self-modifying game of nomic with more variants.

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nomic.net: home of nomic stuff

Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed. (Peter Suber, The Paradox of Self-Amendment, Appendix 3, p. 362)

Noah Thorp's insight:

Interesting basis for simulating self-organizing groups.

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Holacracy: why we went “all in” and what we’ve learned in the first few months — Medium

Holacracy: why we went “all in” and what we’ve learned in the first few months — Medium | Social Technology | Scoop.it
This article doesn’t explain what holacracy is — rather, it’s a story about our search for structure, why we went “all-in” and what we have…
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Zappos just abolished bosses. Inside tech's latest management craze.

Zappos just abolished bosses. Inside tech's latest management craze. | Social Technology | Scoop.it
The shoe retailing giant Zappos is in the process of adopting holacracy, a management philosophy that replaces conventional hierarchy with governance by committees.
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The Responsive Organization

The Responsive Organization | Social Technology | Scoop.it
Join The Responsive Organization movement and discover a community of people and organizations who are leading the shift in how companies adapt, learn, and respond to a constantly evolving world.
Noah Thorp's insight:

Hierarchical systems of command and control allowed senior leadership to drive efficiency and predictability but at the expense of adaptability, free information flow, and rapid response. Leading companies are now restructuring for greater adaptability and iteration speed.

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Downtown Project - Revitalizing Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Project - Revitalizing Downtown Las Vegas | Social Technology | Scoop.it
Led by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, we are passionate people transforming Downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world.
Noah Thorp's insight:

I would like to visit this project in Vegas...

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60 seconds on internet : ehack

60 seconds on internet : ehack | Social Technology | Scoop.it
60 seconds on internet : ehack
Noah Thorp's insight:

Nice way to conceptualize the velocity of technology. What will accelerate or decelerate next year? What's missing from this info-graphic?

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The Library of Babel

The Library of Babel

" The Library of Babel" ( Spanish: La biblioteca de Babel) is a short story by Argentine author and librarian Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), conceiving of a universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible 410-page books of a certain format.

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Robbins v. Lower Merion School District - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robbins v. Lower Merion School District - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia | Social Technology | Scoop.it

Yes, that's right. School districts spying on their students in their own homes using the webcams of school issued laptops...

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Famous for Fifteen People - Stanford Law Review

Famous for Fifteen People - Stanford Law Review | Social Technology | Scoop.it

Famousness trumps privacy:

 

'In the end, the court held that Facebook users are famous to their friends and that even their most banal actions—indicating that they “Like” a product—may be “newsworthy.” Momus’s parodic pronouncement appears to have become the law.'

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Learn. Build. Innovate. — Medium

Learn. Build. Innovate. — Medium | Social Technology | Scoop.it
A prototyping workshop at Officine Arduino focused on creating an Internet of Things connected object.
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The Future of Organization – a video presentation on the major themes and some new provocations | Philip Sheldrake

The Future of Organization – a video presentation on the major themes and some new provocations | Philip Sheldrake | Social Technology | Scoop.it
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LambdaMOO Takes a New Direction

An example that Clay Shirkey referenced about the natural emergence of a core group in online social networks. In this case LambdaMOO changes from a small utopian collective, to a group of platform technicians avoiding social issues, then to a large benevolent dictatorship with some voting rights for general citizens. 

 

Quote:

"Over the course of the past three and a half years, it has become obvious that this was an impossible ideal: The line between 'technical' and 'social' is not a clear one, and never can be. The harassment that ensues each time we fail to achieve the impossible is more than we are now willing to bear."

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EmergentDemocracyPaper - Joi Ito Wiki

Amazing synthesis of ideas, here are some highlights to get you interested in reading the document.

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In the study of complex systems, the idea of emergence is used to indicate the arising of patterns, structures, or properties that do not seem adequately explained by referring only to the system's pre-existing components and their interaction.

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In a widely distributed and linked paper, Clay Shirky argues that weblogs are exhibiting a sort of order now because the community is still small, and that as the community increases in size, the order that is being exhibited will fragment, as it did for such online communities in the past as Usenet news groups, mailing lists and bulletin boards. In his paper, "Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality,"[29] he shows that an analysis of inbound links for weblogs shows a standard power law distribution. The power law distribution is a distribution where the value of any unit is 1/n of its ranking. The second place weblog has 1/2 of the inbound links of the top ranking weblog, the third place weblog having 1/3 of the inbound links and so on.

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Peter Kaminski makes the following observation:

For a couple years now, I've been working on the hypothesis that the process that governs the way our brains think, described by William Calvin as the "emergent properties of recurrent excitatory networks in the superficial layers of cerebral cortex," scales up in self-similar fashion to the way people work together in groups, and groups of groups -- an ultimately, up to direct democracy.[35]

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Toshio Yamagishi[36] distinguishes between assurance and trust.[37] Yamagishi argues that in a closed society, people do not trust each other's trustworthiness, but rather are assured that people will behave because of the inability of the individual to escape from the community and the fear of punishment. In open communities where people are free to come and go, trust and trustworthiness are essential in creating collaborative organizations. Yamagishi provides data showing that closed societies such as Japan have a lower percentage of people who trust others than open societies such as the United States where trust between individuals is necessary.

As networks become more open and complex, the closed networks which rely on the ability to punish members and the ability to exclude unknown participants becomes extremely limiting. The dynamic open networks, which rely on the ability of members to trust each other and identify trustworthiness through positive reputation management, are scalable and flexible.

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The monolithic media and its increasingly simplistic representation of the world cannot provide the competition of ideas necessary to reach consensus... The community of toolmakers should be encouraged to consider their possible positive effect on the democratic process as well as the risk of enabling emergent terrorism, mob rule and a surveillance society.

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