Sunday, 10 June 2012

Some Resilient Community links

  I had a great discussion about resilience on Thursday night at the GSA Degree Show preview. Rather than send links by email, I'm posting them here with a brief commentary. The links are not intended to be comprehensive or even representative. My major concern is that good intentions about Resilient Communities (RC) will do what good intentions always do. With severe consequences. The 1970's movements of alternative technology and appropriate technology had good intentions but (so far as I can see) little impact in practice; forty years on, people are still designing fuel-efficient stoves for Africa.

Scottish activity of interest

As regards 'mainstream' resilience activity, there is Transition Scotland. Permaculture Scotland is of course relevant, but not the whole answer. The aquaponics team at Stirling has the potential to be useful.

The Unreasonable Leaners Network is of considerable personal interest, and I'm hoping to give it the time it deserves.

IFF  seems to be up to the right sort of things. Their book has some clear thinking and practical approaches (plus some politically correct nonsense about climate).

UK activity

There is work on the difficult question of setting up appropriate organizational structures. This is vital for any sort of scaleability, and is a very long lead item. This post  at Res Publica  addresses the vital topic of  legislation for co-ops, mutuals etc. The B4RN lot seem to have done the tedious homework of setting up an organization for community broadband. John Popham seems tied in to this area somehow.

Wider activity of interest

Rob Paterson has a lot to offer. In the first place, he has a compelling personal narrative that is driving him to change. He is contributing to local RC development, and is curating a great health resource. In the background is a great deal of hard systems thinking.

The Resilience Thinking book provides a level of hard analytical thought that we need much more of. The resilience alliance is here. Useful video intro here at Mark Robinson's site. Mark Robinson has a publication (pdf) combining the arts and resilience.

John Robb seems to have moved from plotting the coming war to helping create the peace. Nonetheless, his book is axiomatic to thinking about the future (along with Globalistan), and Global Guerillas has lost none of its relevance, alas. He is building two great resources; the RC site, and Miiu. He seems to have links with Open Source Ecology. His two backgrounds come together for resources such as darknet.

The info activists of tactical tech have resources that could be put to widespread use.

Club Orlov is based on a clear model of societal collapse but tries to be absolutely positive. In terms of legal infrastructure, it is linked with Seasteading. It recognizes the need for some sort of spiritual dimension.
Michel Bauwens and the P2P foundation has the potential to be a very powerful resource.
Falkvinge and the pirates are relevant in a number of ways, including their thoughts on swarming.
Paradigms for Progress seems to be on the right lines as well.

Wendy Brown is apocalyptic in title, but less so in tone. The survivalist movement seems active in the USA but either non-existent or completely stealth in the UK.

John Thackara is fundamental, of course. Wider economic material of relevance  includes Gregor MacDonaldUmair Haque, Eric Beinhocker(pdf), Steve Keen etc..

My own posting on the topic includes posts on the  long lead item of encouraging, supporting, spreading competence development. The IFF book has a nice slogan; "Ready for Anything without planning for everything" (whilst also discussing synchronous failure). My take on various approaches to readiness is here. I am unconvinced of the difference between localism = good and protectionism = bad. I did risk making a forecast, as much to test my own reasoning, as to broadcast it.


The Simplicity Institute is worth a good look.