TagTemporary Autonomous Zones

Squatter cities as the cities of the future – TED talk by Robert Neuwirth

See also:

The Sudden Stardom of the 3rd World

Bolo Bolo board game

bolo bolo board game

At last a game with a future we can pursue: a new world with new qualities. A world without daily work routines, traffic jams, bureaucracy, deforestation, and hunger problems. A world with more exchanges, more experiences, and more human interaction. Better improvements can not be hoped for: more money and more consumption, yet more renunciation. Improvements today which are more friendly to life will produce more cultural riches, and more exchanges between all. This is all with a minimal burden on the environment and a maximum amount of self-determination. Put an end to the monopoly!

You choose a new homeland, a new Bolo. Every Bolo has a special way of life and is nearby. The organization of your chosen community needs you to bring it goods. You obtain distinct items during the course of the game. Any surplus produced in your own Bolo is trade able with other players. Every exchange offers a new experience. Also, every visit to another Bolo brings new knowledge.

Which Bolo should be judged to be first? Last can quickly become first, as when someone has attained a new innovation, it can quickly be shared with the rest of the collective through visits and the cultural exchanges that result!

bolo’ bolo is game designer / Anarchist P.M.’s second foray into political board games, with his first being the cult tile laying favourite Demono. bolo’ bolo is based upon the book of the same name which lays out P.M.’s ideal society based upon sub-communities, each autonomous, with an economy fueled by trade.

Game components are in both German and French, and are rather archaic with the ‘cards’ being coloured paper with black ink style drawings, absolutely nothing like Demono’s more lush visuals.

The basic idea of the title is that each player represents one of the “bolos” on the board, each of which specialises in the production of certain things, and which needs certain others, which is accomplished via trade.t

More info and pics: BoardGameGeek

(via OVO)

Artists rebuilding Detroit

Looks like #d09 is already under way:

Buying that first house had a snowball effect. Almost immediately, Mitch and Gina bought two adjacent lots for even less and, with the help of friends and local youngsters, dug in a garden. Then they bought the house next door for $500, reselling it to a pair of local artists for a $50 profit. When they heard about the $100 place down the street, they called their friends Jon and Sarah.

Admittedly, the $100 home needed some work, a hole patched, some windows replaced. But Mitch plans to connect their home to his mini-green grid and a neighborhood is slowly coming together.

Now, three homes and a garden may not sound like much, but others have been quick to see the potential. A group of architects and city planners in Amsterdam started a project called the “Detroit Unreal Estate Agency” and, with Mitch’s help, found a property around the corner. The director of a Dutch museum, Van Abbemuseum, has called it “a new way of shaping the urban environment.” He’s particularly intrigued by the luxury of artists having little to no housing costs. Like the unemployed Chinese factory workers flowing en masse back to their villages, artists in today’s economy need somewhere to flee. […]

But the city offers a much greater attraction for artists than $100 houses. Detroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished. From Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project (think of a neighborhood covered in shoes and stuffed animals and you’re close) to Matthew Barney’s “Ancient Evenings” project (think Egyptian gods reincarnated as Ford Mustangs and you’re kind of close), local and international artists are already leveraging Detroit’s complex textures and landscapes to their own surreal ends.

In a way, a strange, new American dream can be found here, amid the crumbling, semi-majestic ruins of a half-century’s industrial decline. The good news is that, almost magically, dreamers are already showing up. Mitch and Gina have already been approached by some Germans who want to build a giant two-story-tall beehive. Mitch thinks he knows just the spot for it.

Full Story: New York Times

Esozone 2009 official announcement, plus coverage in High Times


From Esozone.com


EsoZone 2009: Power

October 9-11, 2009
Portland, OR

Logistics Director: Vin Al Ken
Stage Director: Nolon Ashley
Operations Director: Johnny Brainwash

Watch this space for more infos.

Plus: Esozone coverage in High Times (Maybe Rolling Stone next year?)

Long update on Seasteading Institute

seasteading illustration

Friedman and his followers are not the first band of wide-eyed dreamers to want to build floating utopias. For decades, an assortment of romantics and whack jobs have fantasized about fleeing the oppressive strictures of modern government and creating a laissez-faire society on the high seas. Over the decades, they’ve tried everything from fortified sandbars to mammoth cruise ships. Nearly all have been disasters. But the would-be nation builders assembled here are not intimidated by that record of failure. After all, their plans are inspired by the ethos of the modern tech industry, where grand quixotic visions are as common as BlackBerrys, and they see their task not as a holy mission but as something like a startup. A couple of software engineers came up with an innovative concept, then outsourced it to a community and let the wisdom of the crowd improve on it. They scored financing from a top-tier venture capitalist and assembled a board of directors. They will be transparent, blogging their progress. If they fail—which, let’s face it, is the most likely outcome—they will do so quickly, in time-honored Valley fashion. But if they succeed, they have one hell of an exit strategy.

Full Story: Wired

Esozone 2009 update from Nolon Ashley

Esozone stage manager Nolon Ashley writes:

for the time being, i’m only going to say that’s going to have to remain a mystery until we flesh it out more. but at this point, we have a team of 3 individuals committed and clear about the context of the means of operating, ready to go forward.

yes, we are insisting it will be as large as the previous years (the definition for ‘large’ remains flexible). in other words, we’re not going to slap together a half-assed scaled back version of the previous attempts and call it the same thing.

that is all i’m going to say for now, except that if you have an interesting idea for a presentation, activity, or performance, we’d sure like to hear about it.

/me contemplates the need to build a second computer so that his girlfriend can still get her work done. probably a phone and a car needed, too. damn.

lots of work to do, delicious!

stay tuned!

Photos from Derinkuyu, the underground city of Turkey


Full Story: The Corner of Mystery

(Thanks Mac!)

Rebuilding Detroit

Justin Boland’s latest mad scheme:

The City of Detroit has such an absurdly bad depression on home prices that you can currently buy an apartment building for less than $1000. To begin with, hop on Realtor.com and take a look around Detroit.

Rather than abandoning Detroit, should we be embracing this opportunity to start over? Is there a proven track record of using sustainable development and ecosystem design to raise property values? Are there factories that could be transformed into carbon sinks, community supported farms, bioremediation projects and public parks? Are there blocks that could benefit from permaculture installations?

Full Story: Pizza SEO.

I disagree with comment about first collecting standards and practices then starting franchises. The way to make these things work isn’t to get everyone to sign-on to one single experiment in one location. It’s to get a lot of concurrent experiments going and sharing information. Not everyone can move to Detroit or is willing to. Other alternatives suggested include Baffalo, NY and St. Louis, MO. I’d have to add Yakima, WA to the list as well.

Also, there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel. Here are people to learn from or team up with:

Bolozone and CAMP in St. Louis. (More on Bolozone)

Free State Wyoming

Free State New Hampshire

Ithica Hours, a starting point for looking at Ithica in general.

Willing Workers Network.

And of course Justin’s other project Vermontistan, which has some overlap with Second Vermont Republic.

Lord Whimsey on the United Shires of America TAZ

Lord Whimsy discusses the temporary autonomous zone, the United Shires of America:

Like our Founding Fathers before us, We The People must summon the will to shed our bovine deference to The Powers That Be, boldly proclaim our sovereignty over ourselves, and then continue to reinvent American-ness to suit our own ends – and not just meekly accept what we are told it is. After all, what could possibly be more American? According to Thomas Jefferson, “Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, as that was of all which had gone before. It has then, like them, a right to choose for itself the form of government it believes most promotive of its own happiness…” I intend to take Mr. Jefferson at his word, for this is a muster – a Call to Charms!

I’m disturbed by our current mechanistic harshness, aesthetic brutalism, and the tendency towards monolithic, absolutist belief systems and methodologies. I propose a more humane way of life, and believe in the constant generation of modest, provisional notions that work within a limited sphere for a limited time – and then dissipate, much like living things. Through Affected Provincialism and a concept I call the “Lark-State,” I propose a means to implement this vaguely Jeffersonian/Franklinian sensibility. I believe that it is time for America to become new and weird again.

Imagine an archipelago of Arcadian enclaves sprouting through the dead, grey slab of the status quo. “Stars and Stripes,” meet the “Luna and Lightning Bugs!” “Old Glory,” may we present “Old Glamor!” The United Shires of America are a network of “pataphyical provinces” – mischievous aesthetic refuges. The United Shires exist in both the physical and non-physical realms, and can shift between the two very well. Finally, a country you can imagine, download, pack up, or wear on your back! It keeps down costs, and avoids legal and/or military entanglements.

[…] My grievances against our current day should not be seen as a plea to return to the past, but rather as a call to adopt what has worked well in the past, and create for ourselves a richer vision of the future than is currently offered us.

Full Story: OVO

Liberating Wednesday – 52 times more radical than buy nothing day

Trevor Blake points out that pm’s “Liberating Wednesday” is 52 times more radical than “Buy Nothing Day”

On Wednesdays friends get together, every house is an open house, conflicts are talked about, neighborhood problems are discussed. The Machine can only be dismantled if new, noneconomic social forms emerge. People with the same ideas about life must get together, develop common visions and practical plans. It is not necessarily so, that your actual neighbors are the people you would try to live a new life with. The accidents of the real estate market are not the best basis for new communities. So you eventually gather from across the city or a whole region.

On Wednesdays you can also do practical work. Communal gardens, neighborhood lounges, workshops, soft energy systems, house repairs, communal baths, restaurants, swimming-pools, require work. You can also call it “learning”, social activity, creating independent communities, being together or just fun. Ultimately only relatively large (500 people) communities, that are semi-autarcic on food, energy and health-care can safely get us off the hooks of the Machine. To create such communities (bolos) we need some time now, we need some training, a strong cultural identity.

Wednesday will be our think-day, social day, cultural day, ecological day, community-day, bolo-day, land-day (each bolo needs about 250 acres some place outside the city), planet-day, exchange-day (barter-markets), health-day (work some, but not too much), squatting-day, anti-car-day, anti-work-day etc. On Wednesdays everything that is now repressed, forgotten, divided, being neglected will find time and space.

Full Story: OVO

PDX Occulture has its meetups on Thursdays, so we kinda miss the mark, but I find it in the same spirit.

Justin Boland has an interesting Wednesday habit – World Design Wednesday.

More from pm: bolo’bolo

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