Anyone that knows me knows that I’m passionate about improving the collaborative capacity of large groups of people. More specifically, I’ve spent over 15 years searching for better structures to help our global society better regulate itself.
This search has driven me to look away from traditional political structures and to focus more on information technology and related processes.
However, though my work “gets geeky” in the computer sense, the underlying philosophical concepts that drive it mirror those of traditional liberal political theory.
In his essay on The Use of Knowledge in Society, Friedrich Hayek stated:
“If we can agree that the economic problem of society is mainly one of rapid adaptation to changes in the particular circumstances of time and place, it would seem to follow that the ultimate decisions must be left to the people who are familiar with those circumstances…”
My focus has been on how to build human processes and digital tools that enable individuals, groups and societies to adapt more rapidly to changing circumstances. In that hunt, I’ve encountered a decent number of “fellow” explorers that are aiming to create similar structures.
Some of the most promising work that I’ve seen is being done by the members of the Metacurrency project, including Eric Harris-Braun and Arthur Brock. Yesterday, they presented their project, CEPTR, in a video conference as part of MIT’s Kerberos Internet Trust Monthly Series. If you are at all interested in the technical side of these issues, I’d recommending viewing their work.
Philosophically, CEPTR is rooted in a focus on the capacity to receive information (reCEPToR), even information that you do not currently know how to handle. It includes a protocol for protocols and attempts to shift protocols from being simply human readable documents into pluggable pieces of software. It also includes semantic trees as the basic building block of the system, which allows for richer detail to be available, yet abstracted away when not needed.
I’d start by browsing the Prezi and then would watch the video.