Extremistan (concept note)

Confirmed historical character: Cottica - pesudoanonymous poet-economist occupying a similar role to Kautilya in Chandragupta Mauraya’s Empire.

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If you haven’t already looked up the music videos from Alberto’s musical past I recommend it.

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…WOW. Wow, wow. This is priceless xD

Oh I’m liking this very much indeed! Excited for the writing proper to start =)

Oh me likes poeteconomists. Reminds of of Asimov’s psychohistory, but it adds a layer of rhetoric to the mix!

As in: economists are not only the ones who can imagine and plan new systems, but also the ones who can inspire and convince others to adopt them. Being a poeteconomist without the poetry bit is like being that person who flips the sheet pages for the playing pianist — yes, you understand a crucial part of the craft, but you’re not doing the actual work.

Maybe we should create a shorter version… poetecos?

I think it does! However, we received word today that we won’t get the funding for the project. We might still develop Avantgrid though. We can apply for funding once more for the same project in 2021, integrating feedback from the review. I invited my collaborators on that project to the session on the 7th.

This also sets up an interesting tension; that the radicals of Avantgrid can blame the corporate Libra-Terminus distrikt for their fate. Scene set for some intense skirmish - perhaps even violent conflict and sabotage of Libra-Terminus technology? How does a conflict between distrikts play out? What does the State Machine in such a case?

I think it could be fun to immagine the Assembly as the economy that does not use money and merchandise system, with the productivity on a sufficient level to satisfy all the needs and a system of distribution based accordingly.
Social property for general needs, distribution centers (in form of small local shops, big distribution centers, online ordering, etc) without “cash registers” for distribution of personal property.

Agreed. The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z Hossein imagined a city where the basics were all free and social capital was used in lieu of currency for extravagant tastes.
And of course, Star Trek is the OG post-currency economy - where the focus has shifted away from material to reputation (you can get all the food you want, but there is a limited number of captain’s chairs).

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We can definitely work in tensions brewing along the border. The State Machine would have a first principle monopoly on violence to contain serious breaches, but there’s plenty of stuff that can be done with mobs, dissents, misinformation, group fighting.

Working on the history. @alberto, I’ve nuked the name of Extremistan and settled on ‘Witness’ for now; I was thinking along the lines of Ken Levine writing Rapture - the city of Bioshock - which was a critique of Ayn Rand objectivism, and after mucking around with syllables Witness needed to be one of the few names not taken that still felt like it resonated with the project itself: come see what we’ve got here. Hooked the history right into your Covenant and its first Mayor and left a few things vague (exact starting date, for example - hard dates). Let me know if I’ve given you enough to go on! @nadia, does the State Machine and Council give rise to the kind of substructure you were thinking of for ethnography? Congrats on your book, The Voiceless, by the way, I hear it’s taught very widely in schools now. @Joriam, feel free to start thinking about arts and cultural expression in the modern-day Witness! @hugi, Avantgrid’s arrival should, I feel, be a historic point here.

PS: J.C. Denton is a Deus Ex (2000) reference. As a Deus Ex stan I want it in :stuck_out_tongue: It’s one of the greatest games of all time, and -cough- takes place in “an unspecified near future, where there is a massive division between the rich and the poor, not only socially, but in some cities physically. A lethal pandemic known as the “Gray Death”, ravages the world’s population, especially within the United States; a synthetic vaccine, “Ambrosia”, manufactured by the company VersaLife, nullifies the effects of the virus but is in critically short supply…


@alberto @nadia @IvanC @hugi @joriam @MariaEuler @michi1 @marcolok I give you the Assembly. I’ve modelled parts of its political history on Marinaleda in Spain, Christiana in Denmark, and taken a few hints from the co-op economy of Vietnam. The Microgrid Collective established in the History of Witness also makes an appearance, as well as the origin story of the Migrant Train. Please feel free to jump in and add.


Hey @hugi, would it be possible to bring Avantgrid in? Where can I go to learn as much about it as possible, to weave it into our history?

@alberto Libria is coming together xD Libria: Liberty City

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Way to go, @yudhanjaya!

Another one added to the ranks! Hygge, the first Distrikt
I followed @yudhanjaya notes in the History of Witness article, then added all the details to fill in the gaps and give the place some personality. Hope you like it!
@alberto @nadia @IvanC @hugi @joriam @MariaEuler @michi1 @marcolok

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Hey, everyone! The Covenant is up >> @alberto @nadia @IvanC @hugi @joriam @MariaEuler @michi1 @marcolok >> The Covenant


@alberto @nadia @IvanC @hugi @joriam @MariaEuler @michi1 @marcolok: an update. I will say ‘done’ to indicate fitness for presentation, not to indicate that it is set in stone :slight_smile:

Of the original plan:

  • The Covenant (religious, Benedictine worker economy): done

  • The Assembly (communitarian-anarchist economy with an auto-decaying cryptocurrency): done

  • Libria (Hayek-inspired libertarian cyberpunk): done

  • Hygge (Central distrikt): almost done, some minor historical changes (comments added) and economic review left

  • History of Witness: done. Other Distrikts integrated into the political history, as well as key systems like the Migrant Train and Ramos Energy Harvester. Migrant Train added.

Proposed additions:

  • Avantgrid: awaiting. @hugi, if you need more fuel for the fire, allow me to leave these two articles here for your reading:
  1. The Wrath of Nature — LIRNEasia
  2. Food Security in the APAC: Malfunctioning Cornucopias — LIRNEasia
    This is from a project my team did for the UNDP. It covers problems and countering innovations and policies from countries in the APAC region. May be useful.
  • An entry on aethnography. @alberto is leading the charge
  • An entry on interDistrikt sport tournament, an event of massive social importantance. Cricket + an esport.
  • Entry on the Microgrid Collective, a bunch of hackers who inspired key systems across a couple of Distrikts.
  • Entry on the Migrant Train? ← or should we just have art?
  • Risk Bushido. @alberto, I think you’ll like or hate me for this: a while ago we were tossing around the idea of a type of honor system that focused on evaluating risk. Can we spin this up as a religion / philosophy in its own right?
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Is this fit to present?

Good idea. I need to look again at that discussion. Also, I had an idea for a martial art traditional to aethnographers. :wink:

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Is this fit to present?

Some thought as to the fictional history of how this came to be, and how it is maintained, and by whom?

Good idea. I need to look again at that discussion. Also, I had an idea for a martial art traditional to aethnographers.

First attempt here! Risk Bushido Written by a man whose wife leaves him in the middle of writing the book.
Re: martial arts for aethnographers: uh oh. I just had the mental image of you doing some Naruto moves.

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Update: added footnotes to the pages of the Covenant, the Assembly, Libria and Risk Bushido to show what sources we drew from for inspiration. @Joriam, I’d like you to take a look at the comments on Hygge and, once resolved, do a similar footnotes space. @hugi, another ref for you. Would be cool to see the inspiration behind Avantgrid. This is to better show first-time visitors the link between an exercise of imagination and what could be reality.

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