Meet the Worldbuilders

Welcome to Witness, Frank! There’s a lot of sociology (and narratives around transition) that we’ll need your help with. In fact, we’re just sorting out a fork right now.

You’re referring to Hygge?

He is, Frank. Early days Hygge split in a social-democratic distrikt (market economy; aggressive redistribution, with economic inequalities a top problem; and a Modern Monetary Theory approach to running public expenditure and the currency) and a full planned-economy distrikt à la Red Plenty. Problem there is: can we imagine a social and economic asset whereby people would accept top-down economic allocation, even when that allocation is not the one they desire?

This is a static-vs-dynamic problem, by the way: it is easier to imagine a planned economy that works reasonably well, and most people accept it on those grounds, than to imagine it being introduced, and being accepted before it has a chance to work reasonably well for most people most of the times.

Merhaba esteemed knowledge tourists,

I’m Eireann, a risk by way of cyber crime researcher.

It’s hard to fit in these boxes, but I see all the rest of you trying to explain your past, and it gives me courage to try.

I was a early entrant poison ivy school dropout in Psychology and Philosophy in the 90s. I tried my best, but ran out of money for education in Bush’s America. So I drifted in the ‘You can’t win’ tradition across the USA as a dishwasher and landscaper, through the rust belt and my twenties.

I got a grip and a rucksack and tried my British (European at the time) passport on for size with a move to Scotland (maybe again?) at the turn of the millenium. There I retrained in Engineering and AI, with a focus on security for energy systems. I have a deep love of distributed and highly resilient infrastructure that tempts me to be an incanter, but I am probably on the border of augur and theorist.

I am an armchair economist because studying hacking and cyber crime have forced me to be. I have not yet turned my hand to writing fiction, but I do write essays and academic papers, and once a book on cyber risk.

I will be keen to think about alternative models of infrastructure provision and economics. How can citizens run and fix and innovate their own infrastructures? Electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunications, transport…all so centralised, and often non-participatory, fragile, opaque, invisible. How could it be different, and funded differently?

In my spare time I worry about the environment, forage, work an allotment, and practice natural navigation and hiking. I’m a parent of a SEN child, and a bilingual toddler, so let’s be honest: I don’t have spare time.

I am still learning.


Welcome, @eireann_leverett! I had no idea you were interested in economics. But yes, understanding alt-econ has become a more pressing need, lately. Are you free tomorrow, Feb 23? You might enjoy the brief-and-discussion on Mazzucato’s Mission Economy that @yudhanjaya, @petussing and I have set up.

Welcome, Eireann!

How can citizens run and fix and innovate their own infrastructures? Electricity, water, sanitation, telecommunications, transport…all so centralised, and often non-participatory, fragile, opaque, invisible. How could it be different, and funded differently?

This is a problem that both the Assembly and Avantgrid grapple with - both in different ways: one focuses on communities, and the other is more libertarian in nature. If you’re interested in highly resilient, decentralized infrastructure, that people can set up and maintain, your thoughts would be more than welcome there!

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A great place to start my flanuering then. Thanks for pointing out a good first walk.


One thread ripe for picking in Avantgrid are the leads left by @zaunders

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My dears, is there any chance to get a paper-copy of this? Even a generic, print-on-demand Amazon KDP would be far easier for me to read from start to finish than a pdf…?

Hi OmaMorkie,

I have sent you the first paper we published on this with the link to the webinar. We won’t be putting it on paper yet, though.
For the rest, it changes so quickly that it would be old before you received it. But at one point we may publish the summary.
If you have a proposal on how to make the material easier to read on the site or the platform, please share and we will see if we can improve it somehow.

In the meantime - here you can download the current Wintesspedia


Hello! I am new on this forum, i’ve written some of my thoughts about this project in my self introduction.


Hello. My name is Rohan Jayasekera and I am an incanter by trade and an augur by aspiration. I have little patience with theors, but have been known to enjoy their company. My main interest is in the function of what is conventionally regarded as media across Witness, its role in the formulation of contractural solutions to the media’s disputed contribution to wider society, its financing, and a study of emerging critical aethnography across the media sector.

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Nice to meet you both, @andersS and @rohanjay, welcome! So, where do we start?

I’m imagining a bid by Scanlonites to bypass the problems of Medium and the State Machine by creating a social media network as a direct Virtual alternative to the Actual Medium. If it was in direct competition, should a virtual version of Medium earn recognition as a minor districkt? Interested in how technological innovation’s ideas are sometimes expressed in the language of architecture, town planning and geography, and how a virtual state/nation might come into existence and then thrive (or not).

I’m writing a Wikipedia style account of it now, possibly for posting to Witnesspedia.

How free are we allowed to be with the ‘history’ of Witness. What’s ‘Canon’ and what not?

My portfolio site:

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This is a great question. What do you think, @yudhanjaya and @Joriam?

Did someone record the webinar that took place? I would like to watch it

Not sure… maybe @MariaEuler?

Yes, I recorded it and uploaded it to the shared drive. I think @ivan wants to edit it before sharing, correct?

Hi, Rohan. Good question. We haven’t done a lot of thinking around the media in Witness right now, and I’d welcome thinking around it across all distrikts!

Regarding canon: every Distrikt have, at a macro level, an economy that is generally pretty canon. The rest is usually a matter of argument. So within the bounds of each different economy, what could happen? What might social media look like? I’d say that’s all wide-open space. What have you got?