josselin, this is an excellent direction to be thinking in! YES. How else can we create an interface for individuals to explore such multi-dimensional space but through generative visualization? Thinking visually is exactly how I began to imagine all of this . . how a system could work to organize streams of inter-subjective expression, these ‘texts’ and the beliefs that people hold in relation to them.
It is a multi-dimensional space. On a higher level, people gravitate together into liquid thought-communities based on the relation of their revisable beliefs. These communities collaborate intellectually to challenge their beliefs by analyzing texts: drawing semantic links between existing texts and generating texts anew by writing analysis on and in-between texts. It is a liquid community process of deliberating on material in order to generate open-source intellectual work. The system requires high levels of coherence and organization. This coherent organization is essential for the sake of human readability and collaborative productivity. How else can someone read a massive collective of expression but for it to be highly processed into synthetic forms? This is exactly our issue with HTTP (as a means for collective intelligence) --it lacks a process of organization, coherence, and synthesis.
Within a mass conversation, people often share very similar thoughts (we see this in social media), and these thoughts should be organized together. These shared sentiments generate something like a micro-thought-community that carries a kind of power and identity of its own. Thought-communities are holarchical because of this kind of differentiating branching, and this differentiation allows for a different kind of deliberation: that of opposition. This opposition, of course, is key, because it is the basis of debate and rhetorical process that generates pedagogy and synthesis.
In order for thought-communities to self-organize, we cannot rely on artificial intelligence --that would be a mistake. This is where democratic moderation comes into play and the idea of reputation which we are already seeing in similar collaborative projects like Colony. By building one’s personal body of work having written consistently and coherently (in a way that clearly resonates a certain perspective within a specific deliberative context) a contributor builds reputation, and also they build reputation by moderating effectively not merely banning this or that post but by contributing to the generative organization of the thought-community. I would imagine that no contribution is ever really banned or deleted; rather it’s just reorganized or dis-integrated, and its contributor may lose reputation/credibility/voice-power by fouling their integrity and/or coherence. By working in a way as to disrupt the deliberative resonances of the conversation (e.g. trolling), one loses reputation, and so their contribution is demoted and plays a lesser role in the development of the conversation --their voice loses power. The space is infinitely revisable, so each individual always has an opportunity to recast or refine their contribution hopefully to adapt to a developing perspective. Because thought-communities are liquid and generative, the revision of a contribution or belief may diminish or enhance the power of that community, but its removal should not break the form that the community has generated.
Notice, that the content of a communities beliefs is not at issue. The system will be as happy to provide space for communities that might consist of members who identify for example as neo-nazis or antifa or socialists or conservatives or progressives or anything in-between or otherwise. It’s not what the community believes or the texts that they employ to situate their beliefs that is important. The system itself is completely open and neutral. It merely provides place for differentiation. It does not attempt to anticipate the form of that differentiation before hand. This is why if I were given the opportunity to contribute a name to this system, I would call it Khôra after Plato’s Timaeus, because it is a platform that provides place for intertextuality. [^Derrida]
What is crucial to the generative process of the thought-community is the coherence of its deliberation. And anyway as I said, thought-communities are not identified by some formal association that gives title but by the content of their beliefs. In this way everyone is provided complete freedom to express their beliefs, however they are not allowed to destroy or disrupt others freedom of speech. They are not provided the opportunity to hide or rally simply behind names or slogans, because they self-organize according to the content. Most importantly, the form propels individuals into a critical pedagogical process of self-critique. When a text, lets say a video documenting a certain brutality, is evoked, it may come as a direct affront to someone’s belief. This is a problem-posing critical pedagogy like Fraire speaks of in Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
[ I will have to pick this up again tomorrow and write what I can about the underlying dimension of texts that the thought-communities have as their material and their product. This is really exciting, because this is where IPFS can really shine! Also this is how we can store all of our intellectual inheritance! All of the philosophy and science throughout time can be stored here, readily available to be evoked and employed in analysis of current events. Also this is where all of our journalism will be provided a permanent home!
Forgive me for leaving a mess. I will clean this up soon. ]
. . . For me, I wanted to know: How can people of like minds gravitate together into thought communities, where everyone is contributing little thoughts, little texts . . In my mind, it appears to me as something like inter-woven streams of beliefs, and each little expression of opinion is like another drop in that stream. This is a nebulous metaphor, but I think it may be essential for creating a way of interfacing with this collective intelligence. Through visualization.
[^Derrida]: _ Khôra is unpacked beautifully by Susanne Ludemann in Politics of Deconstruction