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Ubiquitous Commons workshop at transmediale 2015, Capture All


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Here are the slides from the workshop, with a framing of the concept of Ubiquitous Commons, a series of examples and links, and an update about how the development of the toolkits (legal, technological, philosophical, aesthetic) are going, together with some source code and prototypes.

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Ubiquitous Commons workshop at transmediale 2015, Capture All

  1. 1. Ubiquitous Commons the commons in the age of ubiquitous information
  2. 2. Hi! we’re:
  3. 3. what will we do today?
  4. 4. where does all of this start from? PHASE 1 the Commons the Ubiquitous Commons concepts examples origins now the data commons what changes now? what do we want to do?
  5. 5. what has been done so far? PHASE 2 let’s make something together research technology let’s make concepts discussion prototypes
  6. 6. let’s start!
  7. 7. how did WE start?
  8. 8. creepy VS positive everything started for us when we realised that some of the research and artworks we were making were at the same time creepy and extremely positive. they could bring to wonderful opportunities for communities and individuals, but they could also lead to radical surveillance and broken rights and freedoms, depending on how they were used all by redefining our public/private/intimate spheres
  9. 9. some examples
  10. 10. VersuS we captured the real-time digital life of cities
  11. 11. 1/2 hour of digital life in Turin (green=<10 messages, red=>250 messages)
  12. 12. Digital Turin in Italian (places of max concentration of social networking using italian language)
  13. 13. Digital Turin in Arabic (places of max concentration of social networking using arabic language)
  14. 14. Digital Turin’s wishes (places in which people expressed transformation for that place in the city, using social networks)
  15. 15. Love VS Turin
  16. 16. Riots VS Rome
  17. 17. Enlarge your Consciousness we picked random users from social networks, and transformed them into human tamagotchis,on sale at 9.99$
  18. 18. each box contained a QR code that would connect you to the user’s emotions, as expressed on social networks just like a tamagotchi, you could know if the user was sad, happy, anxious, etc. all for 9.99$
  19. 19. an installation allowed you to view all the users’ emotions
  20. 20. Incautious Porn a company harvests people’s comments on pornographic websites, turns them into paintings, and sells them for 50$ commodify everything
  21. 21. Human Ecosystems capture the real-time digital life of the city, turn it into a source of Open Data, make a museum out of it, so that you can experience the Relational Ecosystem of the city, build an education process in which everyone learns how to use this data for research, art, design, civic action, participatory public administration, citizen self-organisation, and more
  22. 22. the density of a certain emotion in the city of Rome
  23. 23. a few seconds of relationships through social networks in Rome
  24. 24. Culture in the city of Rome, as seen from social networks
  25. 25. the TechCrunch event in Rome, as seen from social networks, over the MAXXI Museum
  26. 26. the relational ecosystem of innovators in Italy, as they express on social networks. Note: it is really not resilient. Everyone has relations with a few really large operators (at the center of the relational supernova), but there are not many peer-to- peer relations going on
  27. 27. how can we use this approach in rural areas, or where people don’t use social networks a lot? at XYLab we have created a Rural Human Ecosystem, and we invented P2P Ethnography!
  28. 28. the Atlas of Rome is a museum exhibit in which citizens can express their wishes and projects for their city, using social networks and mobile phones it is the Participatory Atlas of the Visions in the city
  29. 29. the Real-time museum of the city in Sao Paulo
  30. 30. the Real-time museum of the city in Sao Paulo people can see the relational ecosystem of the city, and learn how to use it (for example, it is currently being used to study the water crisis in Sao Paulo)
  31. 31. Real Time Cairo has captured the revolts happening in the city during the Arab Spring, as they manifested themselves on social networks. The data can be freely used for research, art, citizen’s self organisation, journalism, and more
  32. 32. some of the people in the Arab Spring, in Cairo, using social networks (there are currently about 300 times as many, in the database)
  33. 33. the Emotional Compass various versions of the interface
  34. 34. a compass shows in which direction emotions have been expressed around the user it is a novel way of navigating the city by using a simple interface, one can combine emotions, topics and languages to ask questions to the city: ex.: “where are people afraid of loosing their job, in italian, spanish and german?”
  35. 35. One Million Dreams
  36. 36. One Million Dreams is a database of human dreams, as they are expressed on social networks. How do people dreams change, over time, geographies and communities, with the crisis, wars, news, happenings, contexts and more? poetic and relevant for sciences and humanities
  37. 37. Stakhanov a BigData God, harvests information from social networks about millions of people, searches for patterns in the data, uses the patterns to make predictions about people’s interests, emotions, locations, times, and activities. it is the Oracle of the age of BigData
  38. 38. Stakhanov’s Cosmology explains how it works, and its philosophy
  39. 39. we live in our Socialis Continuus, in which we are ourselves, with our identities, relations, emotions. we are influenced by Stacks, large corporations which now largely control how we access the Internet, and which also define large parts of the ways in which we relate, are fulfilled, gain access to knowledge, etc. the Stacks use our actions to understand who we are, creating profiles which represent us, in the Stack Veritas. Algorithms process our profiles and their relations to create other information about us, a description of reality, in the Res Algoritmica Stakhanov grabs all of this and searches for patterns within it, to make predictions, which might influence us.
  40. 40. in our daily lives we are Hacceitas, our selves, with our relations, identities, emotions, actions, thoughts, etc. In the transition to our digital lives, some of this information is transformed: we become an Imago, a representation of ourselves Stacks create this Imago, the representation of ourselves in the digital domain. Thus, they are the Artifex (the artists, creating the representation of life) Stakhanov captures the Imago of people, and searches for patterns in them, across time, locations, emotions and activities. When it finds patterns, it organizes them into a Forma. The Forma are used to create predictions, the Prophetia, which we come to know, and influence us.
  41. 41. Our Imago is represented in the Cloud, which is only truly accessible by the Stacks and a limited number of other, interrelated, subjects and entities, in the Caelum Internum. Through the APIs other entities, among which is Stahanov, are able to access the Imago of people, with many limitations and incompletenesses. This is the Caelum Externum, in which the Imago is partially available, as the Stacks keep most part of them for themselves.
  42. 42. In all of this Omnia Sunt Adventores, “everyone is a customer”. Every person and entity is a customer for the Stacks, with different levels of engagement. The Hospes, are the people who dedicate attention (Adtentio). Anyone who, for any reason, dedicates time and attention, is already a customer. The Benevolens are the ones who share information (Informatio), such as their email, behaviour, actions. The Cliens actually spend money ($). The Stacks are obsessed with Clients (Clientibus Obsesses)
  43. 43. where does this all come from?
  44. 44. What I propose in the following is a reconsideration of the human condition from the vantage point of our newest experiences and most recent fears. This, obviously, is a matter of thought, and thoughtlessness—the heedless recklessness or hopeless confusion or complacent repetition of ‘truths’ which have become trivial and empty—seems to me among the outstanding characteristics of our time. What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing. Hannah Arendt , Prologue of “The Human Condition”, 1958.
  45. 45. let’s look at an example coming from the EU
  46. 46.
  47. 47. The digital transition shakes established reference frameworks in, at least, four ways: • blurring the distinction between reality and virtuality; • by blurring the distinctions between human, machine and nature; • by reversing from scarcity to abundance, when it comes to information; • by shifting from the primacy of entities over interactions to the primacy of interactions over entities.
  48. 48. transformation of private/public/intimate space
  49. 49. for example: some companies
  50. 50.
  51. 51. the Acxiom Hymn by Vienna Teng
  52. 52. conscious / unconscious (& algorithms which do weird things) the transformation is
  53. 53. example! the IoT is coming! redefining property: who physically owns, who legally owns… but who is the SuperUser?!?
  54. 54. Jacob Appelbaum Cell phones are tracking devices which make phone calls.
  55. 55.
  56. 56.
  57. 57. “the smarter one’s things, the greater the possibility that they’ll be conscripted into schemes you never would have imagined and might not like.”
  58. 58. … but there’s APIs! not really… limits, and stuck in a software ecosystem…
  59. 59. The Internet of Someone else’s Things Stacks! So, are we doomed to a future of fifth column Smart Things that we don’t really own, talking behind our backs to an array of soloed Stacks?
  60. 60. They don’t want much, those Stacks. Just your identity, your allegiance, and all of your data. Just to be your sole provider of messaging, media, merchandise, and metadata. Just to take part in as much of your online existence as they possibly can, and maybe to one day mediate your every interaction with the world around you, online or off.
  61. 61. ALGORITHMS and then, there’s
  62. 62.
  63. 63. Ferguson on Twitter Ferguson on Facebook
  64. 64.
  65. 65.
  66. 66. Facebook says that it conducts not one but “over a thousand experiments each day,” and a former Facebook data scientist recently revealed that “experiments are run on every user at some point.” A 2012 study in Nature showed that a single tweak modifying an “I voted” button on Facebook increased turnout in the 2010 congressional elections by about 340,000 votes. That is enormous power.
  67. 67. The Basics from profile information: * Age, country, region, city; *Family background, family names; *Education; * Religion; * Occupation; * Hobbies; * Books, papers, magazines read; * Music preferences; * TV program preferences; * Political opinions; * Online spending; * Brand and product interests; * Languages you understand; * Sexual preferences; * Travel and holidays; Aggregated social data: * Your status; * Knowledge and skills. * Home and car class; * Estimated income and wealth; * Social position and that of friends; * Living and family situation; * Use of PC, gadgets, software etc.; * When you are at home; * Places where you are out; * What times you are online and with what intentions; * Good and bad days; * When you’re horny. Also to consider: * Pace of life; * Diseases and disorders; * Concentration cycle throughout the day; * Whether you are persistent or give up quickly; * Work behavior and effort; * Private browsing during work hours; * Preferences between text, photo and video; * Proceedings of contact; * Intensity of contact; * Attention to different relationships / friends; * Frequency and likelihood of new relationships; * Approach to individuals and businesses; * Choice of words and attitude; * Secret desires and fantasies; * Creativity; * Logical thinking; * Non-conscious and irrational behaviors; * Rational choices and weight given to these; * Emotions in experiences and exposures; * Behavior in different emotions; * Degree of happiness.
  68. 68.
  69. 69. “By liking everything, I turned Facebook into a place where there was nothing I liked. To be honest, I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like what I had done.” As for many of us, because of work, fun or loneliness, social media platforms are mirroring and sometimes replacing our offline human interactions, we should stop for a second and reflect why we do what we do and with who.
  70. 70. … or the opposite
  71. 71. better service, AND also more spookiness
  72. 72. Geoffrey Hinton explains Google’s strategies
  73. 73. Google search will be your next brain?
  74. 74. At a keynote presentation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp was closely related to the vision.
  75. 75. "for a group of people (about 0.04% of users, or 1 in 2500) for a short period (one week, in early 2012). “ "And at the end of the day, the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it “ "The goal of all of our research at Facebook is to learn how to provide a better service."
  76. 76. the well-connected bathroom :)
  77. 77. as the toothbrush’s website proudly announces, it also “records brushing activity as data that you can chart on your own and share with dental professionals.” What happens to that data — whether it goes to these dental professionals, or your insurance company, stays with you or is appended to your data already owned by Facebook and Google — is a controversial question.
  78. 78. The digitisation of everyday life and the rapaciousness of financialisation risk turning everything — genome to bedroom — into a productive asset. Evgeny Morozov
  79. 79. “like the ATM that gives you access to the wealth locked within your genes” Esther Dyson
  80. 80. one, possible, weird, future: what happens when the refusal to “share” becomes tinged with as much guilt as the refusal to save or work or pay debts, with a veneer of morality covering up — once again — exploitation
  81. 81. 70,000 data points — including how you type and how you use your phone — already help banks decide whether online applicants are worthy of a loan. “all data is credit data”
  82. 82. Well, if all data is credit data, then all life — captured by digital sensors in the world around us — beats to the rhythms of debt. Evgeny Morozov
  83. 83. … examples could go on and on…
  84. 84. one possible hypothesis, is to think in terms of “Commons”
  85. 85. seeing all of this data and information as a Common Resource Pool, and the need for a High Quality Relational Environment to be able to organize ourselves into managing it, together implications? yes, plenty! reconsidering property, privacy, work, trust… and many more
  86. 86. the Commons
  87. 87. origins some of the following examples come from here:
  88. 88. Common Pool resources and Institutions of Collective Action Elinor Oström historically originate from
  89. 89. land that ‘was used by several people or households during a certain period, in distinction to land that was used by only one person or household throughout the whole year’ Tine De Moor historically originate from
  90. 90. FRENCH REVOLUTION NEW REGIME ABOLISH COMMONS t e.g.: Belgium, 1847 turns all common land into land of the government example:
 ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC PUBLIC PROPERTY PRIVATE PROPERTY and VS (commons disappear… as well as the rights of the commoners and the perception to self-regulate the commons)
  92. 92. Hobbes RATIONAL CHOICE self interest personal advantage collaboration impossible Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” disproved by economist Carlisle Ford Runge, the historian Susan Jane Buck Cox and by the interdisciplinary study of Elinor Oström
  93. 93. example: AIR
  95. 95. AIR POLLUTION AIR BECOMES “ENCLOSABLE” for example with tradable emission rights
  96. 96. So “the commons” is not about common goods or products but about the people governing, controlling, enjoying and employing a resource system commonly. It’s about having guarantees for survival and a sustainable living and protection against free- riding and exploitation.
  97. 97. now
  98. 98. “Read the first lines of the definition in the Wikipedia, pick some elements out of this complex phenomenon, transplant them into a random new practice and proclaim that the new commons have arrived.”
  99. 99. “community defined rules”? no, software defined rules!
  100. 100. in historical commons: access was clearly defined: it was open people met and lived in the same village high quality communication knowledge of the intentions and context of peers monitoring of activities easy and direct ….
  101. 101. necessity to move from “virtual communities” (Rheingold) to “real communitities”
  102. 102. Prerequisites for ICAs as dynamic social system Identifiability and face to face communication Clear Definition of and agreement on the goals of collaboration Feasibility plan and ecological constraints for goals of collaboration A perceived and controllable fair deal through self governance Building and sustaining trust in coping with social dilemmas Unobstructed Access to the Means of Subsistence and/or realisation of the common goals Scalability Qualities of ICAs as dynamic social systems Self governance Experiential Learning Community building and community sustaining Ecological fitness and sustainability Daniël Verhoeven
  103. 103. the Ubiquitous Commons
  104. 104. changes (bodies, emotions, locations, opinions, relations, health…) data & information are different in quantitative, qualitative, philosophical,political, biopolitical, social terms, and in terms of rights, freedoms, environment…
  105. 105. WHAT: legal/technological/philosophical/ aesthetic toolkit
  106. 106. Commons as a Protocol is it a good idea? (for example inspired to Creative Commons)
  107. 107. “I used to work in mainstream media and with large corporations. And honestly I felt very stifled, I couldn’t do what I wanted to do without asking for a lot of permission. What I saw with the internet was that it was a great way for people to innovate, to think and create without asking permission, without having to wait until they are older. It was an amazingly open thing. And for me, innovation, whether it’s political innovation or technical innovation or any kind of positive change, is supported by this idea of the open internet. We have various layers: very early we had the ethernet, and then we had the Internet protocol TCP/IP, and then we had the web and now we have Creative Commons, which is very similar because it’s trying to create an open protocol that allows things to connect without asking permission. Because in the past, you had asked permission to connect a modem to the Internet. Then you had to ask permission before you set up a site. And now you have to ask permission before you use somebody’s content. And the idea of Creative Commons is to make a protocol that makes it easy to connect without asking permission. This makes it impossible for large companies and governments to control the interconnect. The non-profit things that I do and the for-profit things that I do are very similar because the for-profit companies that I invest in are trying to innovate in technology and social software by using the Internet. They are typically very small teams of people who create some product. And I think these small start-ups are creating the technology and the infrastructure that builds these open networks. And they have the DNA of the open networks. And the non-profits that I work in like Global Voices, Witness or Mozilla, Creative Commons, they are all non-profits that help try to coordinate all the people who are involved in trying to create this open Internet. For me I think that the open internet is not only an important business thing, I think it’s the pillar for an open society in the 21st century.” – Joi Ito on We Magazine
  108. 108. Risk: addressing only the Common Research Pools and not also the High Quality Relational Environment which is needed for ensuring that the Commons can be managed meaningfully by and through the community
  109. 109. avoid: commodification of everything
  110. 110. promote: reconsideration of property responsibility ethics relationality trust …
  111. 111. privacy is also an issue what privacy means can be changed (has changed already, actually) but in meaningful ways
  112. 112. what has been done: research Art is Open Source (IT); Human Ecosystems (UK); the Foundation for P2P Alternatives (NL); "La Sapienza" University of Rome (IT); ISIA Design Florence (IT); "La Statale" University of Milan (IT); Bruno Kessler Foundation (IT); il Sole24Ore (IT); LUISS University (IT); Transmediale Festival (DE) ; Medialab Prado (ES) ; Google Cultural Institute Paris (FR); University of Edinburgh (UK); the Conference (SE); McGill University (CA); York University (CA) ; Yale University (USA); Polytechnic University of Miami (USA); Stanford School of Business (USA); Creative Commons (USA); Eisenhower Fellowships (USA); TED Conferences (USA) ; Open Knowledge Foundation (UK) ; Universidade Sao Paulo (BR) ; Universidade Metodista (BR); Furtherfeld (UK); University of Seoul (KR); SESC (BR); the city administrations of Rome, Trento, Turin, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Toronto; Anonymous.
  113. 113. what has been done: technology some prototypes, dealing with social networks and Internet of Things objective: make solutions which allow people to decide, individually and as a community, group or society, through high quality relations, how data/information should be used.
  114. 114. more info here:
  115. 115. EXAMPLE
  116. 116. starting from code here:
  117. 117. implementing this: a browser plugin using which users easily post encrypted data on social networks, which can only be accessed through a decryption mechanism which is external to the social network, on the BlockChain, where the user also specifies who can access the content, and in which ways (the user decides the license)
  118. 118. we “squat”, to all effect, the social network, which becomes a repository of encrypted data, on the cloud, and the access mechanisms are defined by users and communities, according to their desires, to trust relationships, to allow for meaningful usages, etc.
  119. 119. ask us for a beta version! and/or participate! in any way you can currently, we are also building the legal toolkit which is part of this first instance you can help out on that, too
  120. 120. see you soon! Twitter: @xdxd_vs_xdxd