Welcome to Johan Paulsson !

Discussion between  Johan Paulsson & Cesar Harada 24 May 2009:

>> Johan : The way I see this you essentially have two different projects here:
1. On one side, there is the artsy side of it. The core idea then is a single module ( or cell ) that is self sustainable, environmentally friendly and relatively safe. That is fine and because you have this outset your designs are loosely based on sea faring micro and macro organisms. In this regard I can't believe that you missed the Portugese Man o' War as an outset for the algae folia and over-water structure.
2. Then on the other hand you have a practical aspect for it. Considering each module / cell to require a certain amount of social interaction then it's likely to try and to construct some kind of node based floating anchorage point, aka. floating city. And it's within this part that I would say I'm the most interested.

>> Cesar : We can look at these 2 influences separately, but personally I look at one : the city growth, communications systems and evolution as an organic process. What I am trying to say is that in the case of Open_Sailing we are not trying to imitate biological process, but rather let it happen....? I am not a biologist, that's why I call the architecture I'm trying to do "instinctive architecture", I actually think it is more an "intuitive architecture". When I say "instinctive" or "intuitive" architecture, you might wonder what I qualify : is it the Open_Sailing user being intuitive or instinctive, or the architecture itself? So far the Open_Sailing has not been thought as an autonomous machine, it is working with the human as a necessary part of it, the human maintains and animates the structure in regards of the changing environment... Simple mechanical actions, some of which may be automated in a near future, creating a "responsive architecture" to start with.
Actually all Siphonophore are very inspiring to us.
What I love the most, is the way it "passively moves" and is still be able to swarm with others :
" The Portuguese Man O' War lives at the surface of the ocean, with its float above the water, serving as a sail, and the rest of the organism hanging below the surface. It has no means of propulsion, but is moved by a combination of winds, currents, and tides. It is rare that only a single Portuguese Man O' War is found; the discovery of one usually indicates the presence of many as they can "swarm" in groups of thousands. "

>> Johan : Before I continue, let me just state that I only glanced through your pdf and I'm basing this on likely assumptions and from what Hiromi said.
The precondition for the kind of scenario you are talking is numerous but they can all be boiled down to either an unwillingness or being unable to maintain society as it is.

>> Cesar : I do not agree. We have a thousand good reasons to go at sea : exploration, study, exploitation of the resources, leisure, travel, meditate ...

>> Johan : Given this, we can also throw the current land-based resource economy out the window.

>> Cesar : ... So many good things have been created on land, and it is what we have been growing up into, so I think it is very illusionary to think we can throw everything by the window. I like to use this example : in second life, I was always surprised people don't make more of the conceptually limitless world, and they keep re-creating the "first life" stupid social, political and economical constraints... I'm too much into compromise, evolution, iterations, to believe one can create a totally new isolated thing.

>> Johan : Presupposing that a number of people all over the world start building improvised floating devices for a nomadic sea faring life then we would now have an outset for the discussion that I would like.
Note that this does not depend necessarily on the personal ideology of the people and give you ample freedom to continue you open architecture without constraints.

>> Cesar : yes, with a great diversity of designs, operating systems, philosophies etc... Yes, I'm interested in that diversity and in making these very different things talk, the APIs.
There are always constraints, constraints are good! There are always ways of making things talk.

>> Johan : However, I'm going to argue that you are forced to have some constraints and the fact that you seem to be ignoring this at the design stage is going to be an issue for you in the long term. I mentioned a couple of scenari to Hiromi and to be perfectly honest, I would much rather have this conversation verbally as it's easier to maintain a good discourse. So let me just nock a couple of these points off and then proceed:
1. Economy
2. Modularity
3. Seperation
4. Infrastructure

These are just the ones at the top of my head and I'm going to give you my input on these. So let's start with the one I feel the weakest in and also the one that spawns the three following points, economy:
You presuppose that each module is going to be completely self sustained.

>> Cesar : certainly no ... and yes. A human alone is self-sustainable, but you need social interactions, sex, or you have no kid, the specie disappear. You need to voluntarily seek social interactions, hopefully without too much survival stress. To create social comfort it is good individuals are willingly interacting, because it is more enjoyable for them, going toward hedonism, possibly a pleasure - learning orientated homo Ludens.

>> Johan: I believe that to be an admirable quality but ultimately unsustainable in a society. The reason for this is simply because it goes against the way society has formed over the last, oh say 3000 years or so. If you look around you you will notice a certain pattern: It's not that people can't be self-sustained in this day and age, it's that there is no point due to the advent of specialisation. Admittedly, the resources of a sea based society is such that it is very likely that you can easily life of kelp and other energy means and not rely on farms and power plants. But, if you do end up going down that route then you are going to face the question why the people group together and there is no real answer.

>> Cesar : The answer is in the first part of the answer : it is not brought by necessity but by a combination of individual capacity and pleasure; in the context of an abundant society we hope to live in : people are doing the specialized task they have pleasure doing, not the many uninteresting tasks they have no pleasure doing.

>> Johan : So instead, let's consider these improvised floating devices not so much improvised but built for need and personalised, ie. a module. If I were to build myself a boat it would most likely not look like yours since I would take my expertise into account and would therefore likely have a completely different net output of water, energy and food. Given that it's very likely that I will run out of food but when docked in this node-city I can trade energy ( or energy converted to water which is easier to trade ) for food. So it seems like there is still a resources based economy at work here but perhaps a bit different in the sense that we are back to trading. So how can we get around trading since it's painfully inefficient.

>> Cesar : For me, the most painful consequence of specialization is these succession of events :
1. Everybody knows how to do everything, no great work gets done, progress is slow, people have a systemic understanding of the world as a whole they actively participate.
2. Certain people start to specialize and trade ie. services for goods, these specialized people still have understanding of what other people are doing and of the whole but participate on an ever smaller part of the whole.
3. Everybody is specialized, great works gets done, progress is fast, none have a systemic understanding of the world and people participate only their small part of the whole, they act disregarding what other people are doing, they try to push their speciality even if it is damaging for other parts of the system.

>> Johan : If you look at the current society the one thing that marked the change is monies.

>> Cesar : Money is good, is empowers exchange, as money is not personal, it is a powerful mean of action, transaction !

>> Johan : This is fair and I do think something like that is needed, but will be sorted out naturally.

>> Cesar : This is where we can work on changing money, it's texture, shape, consistency, to approach a more "natural" money ... ?

>> Johan : However what you need to consider at this stage is how trade would be made. It's alright to say that it would be on a personal level, but rather than doing that, why not an automatic system? I suggested to Hiromi that there would be a docking device, and I saw a brief glance in the video where you do mention something like this. However, it looked to me like you were actually thinking of some kind of cable for devices. So let's refer to the docking station as rather a kind of câblage structuré.

>> Cesar : the cable is the hardware. Money is a legal obligation, a contract, it is a moral artefact, money is software, perhaps data, can be wireless, infrastructure-less.
I have a whole theory on this, it is called "liquid economy", I want to do it in the coming years, it proceeds of a few simple mathematical principles that potentially totally change economy and social relations as we know them. To make it simple : money is a flow. Each coin is a currency on its own, a server, that calculates its value relatively to all other nodes it is linked with. Propoerty is a moment of the flow... I could explain you this system in detail for hours, I must publish a paper and a software..., the perspective is real-time network finance for individuals... Short-cicuiting "solid economy", "white and black market" divide... Let's talk about it !!! It is all about hacking, and Hiromi mentionned Darknet ... Well, that's exactly what I am talking about ... Crypto-anarchism ... Check out this. Are you in this?

>> Johan : This is something I have been thinking of before when I was thinking of nomadic life on the rivers: How does one deal with infrastructure needs when in a mobile home? What I came up with was a unified thing, not completely unlike the way an airplane or space ship has connectors until launch. So instead of caps for tanks a continuous flow of basic needs through an in port, and in the same way a continuous flow out as well. This will give the option to meter and exert a basic economy. This could be when a small cluster is formed as they would then dock in a ring, or in the case of a city where it would then form the basic infrastructure in some kind of tree node. This latter system then gives the grounds for over specialisation as well, where you can have a cell that _only_ creates one type of resource. Obviously, this is then dependant on the city and could not break away as a smaller self contained cell could so let's refer to these two kinds of floating modules as a node ( requires the city ) and cell ( at lest a limited self sustainable mode ).

>> Cesar : One must accept a cell braking apart does not happen without friction and pain. Sometimes I wonder how painful/pleasurable it is for a single cell organism to divide...? HAHAHA! And why we dont call these many individuals as one, especially in the case of the species that can both divide and merge back together... ? I don't know, I think it happens, with force, if there is not enough force, it is not happening, too bad, semi-assimilation, sickness...

>> Johan : So considering the case where a cell wishes to move from city A to city B then you have presupposed that it would just cast away and sail over there. This, however, is not really likely. In the case of a city forming it is likely that at least a certain number of the cells will be completely locked in. Since they are fragile and relatively sturdy then it's not going to move as a biological cluster would, nor would it have some internal brownian like internal motion. Rather, it would be rigid within that reference frame. So if you are locked in then you would have to have a means of leaving the city.

>> Cesar : So you will have to push your neighbours to let you out. Or if are being very mean to your neighbours, they might exclude you like a transplant rejection...
But you are right, this is a very relevant problem. In my opinion, I always thought it is great to have the city splitting, it is fine, it is good, like software dev. fork. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_(software_development)

>> Johan : Here I would like to make a case for Venice and roads. In a land based society you would have roads since that is the natural status quo ante. In a sea based society this would translate to waterways. These would then be used as transportation routes etc, but could then also be used to simply take your cell and move away.

>> Cesar : Exellent idea! Maybe a simple way to do that is too determine a norm of triple width of empty "canals" to facilitate both ways renegades mouvements and coup d'état. I persist saying that it is good accelerating any political process at this stage of the development, and make our history, document it...

>> Johan : Let me hear what you think, I hope I'm not crushing dreams here so let's talk soon again,

> > Cesar : No, that's really cool! These are not dreams : back to the workshop to work on them !!! YEAH !!!! No sunday counts !!!! Thanks for great discussion !!

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