[governance] What does lazyness in Remote Participation is a symptom of?
pimienta at funredes.org
Tue Apr 21 08:20:22 EDT 2015
Foreseing remote particiption always as a synchronous process
allowing outsiders to see in real time what happen in a face to face
encounter and barely "participate" *in the sense of contributing to
it is a confortable and lazy approach for the lucky ones who can
attend, for different reasons which can be analyzed (the power hidden
in attributing traveling budgets). I would call it a distance
participation alibi... Doing absolutely no effort for remote
participation is the extreme lazyness and you even loose the alibi.
This appearant lazyness is not neutral indeed: it is a subbtle mean
to maintain control of a large group of persons by a minoirity (and
here we are obviously talking about democratic processes),
Not even doing that sort of efforts reveals lack of interest for
truely democratic processes.
By the way the same lazyness wiuth the same symptoms occurs when
talking about linguistic diversity ...but this is another subject n'est-ce pas?
What would be the alternative?
Introducing some level of asyncrhonism to the remote participation
process so to, with proper methodology, allow a real implication of
the "outsiders" in the face to face process.
Another way of considering face to face encounters for members of a
virtual community is possible and more prone to obtain truly
It has to be based in a deep consciousness that when less than 10% of
a community is meeting face to face, then the center of (democratic)
gravity of the community remain within the 90% of remote participants
and then there is a need to provide all the attention to have the
outsiders not only duly informed of what happen in the non virtual
place but also to participate in some manner in the debate and even
more important in the decision making if it has to occur This
requires obviously a different concept of face to face meeting...
One way is to structure each session with a component close to the
end to allow this remote participation with a slight asynchronism.
The same discussion list could channel those contributions or
sub-lists open for the sake of the device
We have experimented in 2000 with those principles in the MISTICA
virtual community (http://funredes.org/mistica ) and we can claim
some success (Spanish description of the methodology can be read in
and the very process can be checked across the mailing during the
meetings and in the events reporting).
If there is one single fact which is essentialy meaningful in our
experience is to obtain that face to face participants deeply
understand they did not represent the whole community (only a
minority of luckiest member) and that their collective decision could
not be considered democratic unless some minimum effort was made to
have the remaining majority of the community involved not only in
watching the process but also in participating to decisions through
Note: one of the funniest side effect of the device was the
possibility left to the face to face attendees to also participate at
distance which makes sense when there are parallel sessions (but also
to the session they were attending showing the emergence of some
interesting fractal effects in the democratic process).
I do not see any progress here made here on those approaches... only
regression and we are again and again in the subttle dictature of
those who get fundings.
We shall not forget though that what is at stake here is the nature
of our democratic process.
Note: I have been in an ICANN meeting attempting to do the same in a
synchronous manner: the moderator (Vint Cerf) gave sequentially the
floor to people in the meeting or to people at distance. It was
indeed interesting and somehow spectacular...but the choice of who
speaks at distance was not systematized and as often the spectacular
is less important that the impacting which could emerge of a well
designed method of asynchrous participation of the majority of
members in a meeting of a minority of them...
By the way who really believe that participative democracy will
function in a synchronous manner. Just imaginate the chaos of a one
millon people deliberative assembly!
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