The Assembly of People

Witnesspedia
child:
  title: The Assembly of People
  slug: assembly
  parent: 15338
  summary: The Assembly of People
  keywords: worldbuilding, participatory
  image: https://edgeryders.eu/uploads/default/original/2X/3/30147c0cd1e50d33342854f8388366d4deb8d893.jpeg

The Assembly of People {style=“color: #fff; text-shadow: 2px 2px #000; padding-bottom: .4rem; font-weight: bold;” class=“leading-tight text-4xl”}

The story of the Assembly begins with CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION. {style="color: #fff; width: 80%; padding-top: 1rem; border-top: 1px solid white; background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.4); " class=“text-2xl mt-4 mx-auto leading-normal”}


The Assembly of People (abbrev. Assembly, formerly Distrikt 5) is a key region within the city of Witness. Originally a microDistrikt, it has grown significantly since its inception, and has become a notable hub for the performing arts - including music, and, for some reason, magic. It is often described by citizens as an anarchist state, and sometimes derided as “the hippie central of Witness”.

Scholars, however, described it an offshoot of Witness that rejected centralized control but has come to terms with very limited governance over a colorful history, ending up at a form of combined anarchist thinking and eco-communism. There are frequent oscillations between more authoritarian factions and more libertarian ideals handled by a ritualized version of the Trotskyite concept of a permanent revolution. It is both famous (and infamous) for its peacefully ritualized but politically significant ‘revolutions’, and its unusual origins, having been founded primarily by a counterculture metal band and its fans.

POLITICAL HISTORY

Only those who dream will someday see their dreams converted to reality.
- apocryphal tagline attributed to “the Guevara”, a viral meme that appears often in Assembly graffiti and activist group insignia: a bearded man with a beret, often drawn in red. Aethnographers believe this to be a holdover from pre-Sundering protest insignia.

The reasonable human adapts themself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to themselves. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable human. And I pride myself, Mr. Angier, on being extremely unreasonable.”
- Flo Royal, co-founder, vocalist of CTRL+ALT + REVOLUTION, interview with The Partisan, 22 0D

The story of the Assembly begins with CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION, an electrometal band composed of Flo Royal (vocals), Rakim (producer, melody), DJeremiah (producer, beats) and Sabat ‘Anagram’ Vho (guitars). ‘The Assembly’ is what their most prominent fan group called itself.

CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION drew from pre-Sundering symphonic metal, rave music and the work of the hip-hop recreationist community to produce extremely popular music lyrically themed around motifs of revolution, anarchist (and often libertarian) ideals. Their debut album WHO GUARDS THE GUARDIANS drew significant attention from political activists and musics critics across the spectrum. Their tours became infamous for inviting critics of the government of Witness a platform and a soapbox in-between musical numbers.

THE STREET FINDS ITS OWN USES FOR THINGS debuted their signature tactic of extravagant name-calling (and sometimes direct threats) to the policymakers pushing for increased state control or cultural unification. In a time of general disenfranchisement, where the people making significant change (such as the events of Distrikt 3) were part of obscure and highly vertical social hierarchies, CTLR + ALT + REVOLUTION exploded in popularity. Among their most prominent supporters were the Microgrid Collective, which was engaged in campaigns for decentralized, open-source and community-maintained energy generation structures.

Their magnum opus is considered to be A SONG FOR A NEW DAY, a 13-track effort that spells out in extraordinary detail the policy positions of a new type of Distrikt featuring common ownership of the means of production,direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations, workers’ councils and worker cooperatives. The last track, DISRUPT/ THIS DOES NOT END HERE, discussed the Assembly’s unique feature: a voluntary group of democratically elected individuals, publicly funded and charged with maintaining a ‘Permanent Revolution’: a constant threat to any form of implicit social hegemony that may arise.

Shortly after A SONG FOR A NEW DAY, CTRL+ALT+REVOLUTION announced a “mass walkout” which would have led a mob of some three thousand into Distrikt 1 territory and to the grounds of Newton’s Folly. The walkout was instead turned into a founding expedition when the State Machine sanctioned a new microDistrikt next to the Avantgrid infrastructure and the newly-formed Libria.

“We have learned that it is not enough to define utopia, nor is it enough to fight against the reactionary forces. One must build it here and now, brick by brick, patiently but steadily, until we can make the old dreams a reality: that there will be bread for all, freedom among citizens, and culture; and to be able to read with respect the word 'peace '. We sincerely believe that there is no future that is not built in the present.”
- Donavan ‘Soilfather’ Gordillo.

Despite the glamorous founding story, the early years of the Assembly were tales of hardship that, in turn, are responsible for what the Distrikt is today.

One of the first major challenges to the Assembly was the ire of J.C. Denton. Faced with the prospect of ceding even more territory and control, Denton signed Executive Order 8.3, forbidding the Harvest Division to supply energy to the new microDistrikt. This order was subsequently overturned, but in the meantime the fledgling Distrikt turned to the Microgrid Collective and their designs. Much of this was made possible with CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION’s earnings and significant investment from Distrikt 2 into component production factories and 3D printing. Thus, while today the Assembly is connected to the Harvest Division’s grid, it remains the most energy-independent of all Distrikts. The effort of making it so exhausted many initial volunteers, including DJremiah, who relocated to Libria.

After the energy crisis, the Assembly had to face a pressing issue of food supply. Fearing mass starvation, Flo Royal took to the stage again to advise people people to leave if they felt uncertain about the future. Hundreds deserted. The remainder were asked to partition themselves into collectives to solve issues of food growth, irrigation and water supply. The solution came organically, as she had hoped: Donavan Gordillo, a former agriculture specialist, leading a farming collective, established the Assembly’s first successful Mass Farm. The Mass Farm Collective adopted tactics from a pre-Sundering village known as Marinaleda: crops selected were, counterintuitively, the ones that would need the most amount of labor - olives, peppers, beans, tomatoes, coffee, wheat have been staples of all Mass Farms. Co-op workers were paid in food. People who joined the Collective began to donate electricity from local microgrids. General Townhall Meetings were held to make large-scale decisions that involved most of the co-op.

Conversations around currency were met with swift reprisal. “What is the value of money?” Gordillo is famously said to have cried at a subsequent townhall meeting. “Food on the table, meaningful work; that is what we need, not economic theory. You can write all the books you want once people are fed.”

Starting from Gordillo and stretching outward began a culture of collectives and an informal barter economy - first dedicated to meeting farming needs and maintaining microgrids, and then, as more complex problems evolved locally, to meeting those. Although eventually currency did arise, most people in the Assembly thus favor barter for local exchanges, and the Gordillo’s focus on direct (rather than market-based) provision of basic needs remained a constant feature of Assembly politics and economy.

ECONOMY

The economy of the Assembly consists of three main elements: decentralized, but federated, infrastructure; bounded market exchange; and control systems to prevent the concentration of economic power. It is often described in shorthand as “markets without capitalism”, an expression used by Royal in the cover notes for A song for New Day . Today, the same expression stands as the motto of the David Graeber Institute, the Assembly’s semi-official economic think tank and alt-business school.

Origins

The current architecture of the Assembly’s economy evolved as a byproduct of the supply crises brought about by Order 8.3, combined with the communitarian/libertarian orientation prevailing among the first settlers.

The supply crises provided a powerful incentive to disregard ideological posturing, and reward the provision of any solution, as long as it worked. What proved to work fastest was loosely federated systems to generate and distribute energy and food. The same pragmatism prevented this original infrastructure from splintering: the core group around CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION exerted enormous pressure on individual solar fields and farm collectives to stay connected to their peers, immediately sharing anything they produced in excess to their needs. Arbitrage and what the core group considered “predatory pricing” were strongly discouraged, in a last-ditch effort to keep the settlers ahead of severe scarcity. These efforts were deemed too repressive of economic freedoms by some of the settlers, with some choosing to relocate to Libria. However, most chose to stay, in recognition of the fact that renewable energy and food production are subject to inherent fluctuation. This means that the existence of local surpluses is unavoidable, and simple, non-predatory systems to share the excesses de-risks the whole local economy.

From these difficult beginning, the Assembly inherited some capacity to regulate decentralized infrastructure, institutions strongly legitimized to do so, and a pragmatic attitude to economic affairs.

Production

Production and manufacturing in the Assembly are organized mainly along cooperativist lines. Baseline production units (for example, in agriculture, farms) form cooperatives to collectively produce those production inputs or services that require a scale larger than that of the units (for example, in food production, most transformation, like mills for grains).

As noted above, agriculture is both a significant part of life in the Assembly and a core of its political history. One of its most famous inventors is Nikita Bourlag, whose lab constantly produces new types of cultivars. Her early experiments crossed a strand of wheat called Lerma Rojo 64 - a variety originally bred to create shorter, stronger stalks that could support more heads of grain per plant - with DS12, a highly disease-resistant wheat from the original Project Viking seedlabs.

The result is Viking 64, a semi-dwarf high-yield wheat that could grow on poorer soil, artificial composites, and withstand the kind of environmental challenges that Witness was subject to. Lerma Rojo and later variants from Bourlag’s lab were critical in making Witness largely self-sufficient in food and guaranteed goodwill from outlying Distrikts towards the assembly. Bourlag’s seedlab has since produced Lorelei , Bruno3.3, LanceV2 , and Agatha4, the mosses, seaweed-analogues and photobionts that give the Assembly its signature vegetated look.

Distribution and trade

Most people in the Assembly subscribe to an ideology of local autonomy. Producing for one’s own consumption is considered virtuous. Energy and, to a lesser extent, food are, to a considerable amount consumed by the same households and firms that produce them. In practice, however, economic agents in the Assembly depend on each other for securing most goods and services they need. Anything that is not consumed by the producer is exchanged on markets.

Market prices in the Assembly are free to float, but only within limits, set by citizen assemblies and revised periodically. These limits are enforced by a system inspired by pre-Sundering stock exchanges: when the price of something grows (or fall) too much or too quickly, the e-commerce platforms temporarily suspend exchanges. These institution are known in the Assembly as bounded free markets, or simply bounded markets.

Trade with other Distrikts

The stability, cohesion and relative prosperity of the Assembly comes at the price of a relatively tight control of inter-Distrikt trade. This is achieved with a dual system: natural persons from anywhere in Witness are free to operate in the Assembly, but legal persons are almost always not. Among other restrictions, companies are obliged to be owned by their workers, and cannot have other companies as shareholders. Foreign direct investment is near-zero, restricted to specific, and tightly monitored, cases. Inter-Distrikt trade is limited to the export of small-batch manufacturing industrial products and services – notably creative industry ones, and the import of raw materials and the occasional advanced tech artifact.

Commerce with Libria is often fraught, as the small-scale DIY ethos of the Assembly has to contend against economies of scale and capital that can sometimes undercut markets to gain strangleholds. Several instances of looming gentrification have been prevented by Revolutionists - in a few instance with the liberal application of Molotov cocktails.

Currency

The Assembly does use a currency: the ironically named CTRLcoin, a blockchain-based system that relies on a concept called regenerative proof-of-stake. Instead of ‘mining’, as with most implementations, anyone who comes within the borders of the Assembly is automatically assigned a Wallet and a starting pot of coins.

This Wallet, over time, generates or decays accumulated coins towards a mean so that a) no-one can remain poor for too long and b) no-one can hoard wealth. The mean, or the starting pot, is a decided by a automated, distributed consensus mechanism what pegs the total number of coins to a set maximum. Wallets are adjusted whenever they connect for a transaction (thus, it is theoretically possible to hoard coins, as long as you understand that you cannot carry out a transaction without your Wallet adjusting itself).

This process is handled by the State Machine on behalf of the Assembly, although as with the microgrids, the Assembly has the infrastructure to not rely on this system. CTRLcoin has proven itself critical for the careers of more abstract and scaleable work such as those of scholars, artists and programmers.

Despite strong efforts to prevent it, instances of rent have risen, especially for those parts of the Assembly that cater to tourism from the other Distrikts. Sumer Street is an area where visitors pay rent that is put into a communal treasury; income from bars, coffeehouses and stores also do the same. Similarly, the fruits of CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION franchising income (and those of several popular artists) go directly into common funds and collectives set up by Flo Royal. Currency from the other districts is either spent directly on imports or to purchase space from nearby Libria.

Digital networks

Main article: Digital communication technology in Witness

Digital networks in The Assembly are organized mostly along cooperative lines, like the rest of its economy. A high degree of interoperability is ensured by tight cooperation on technical standards. The Distrikt’s government is highly active in standard-setting bodies, leveraging its core competence in coordinating the interoperability of locally autonomous systems to make sure that the lowest-level layers of The Assembly’s digital infrastructure are fully interoperable, within the Distrikt and with other Distrikts.

Coordination in the data and application layers of digital technology is not strongly encouraged as such by the government, with some exceptions. A certain amount of it happens anyway, by virtue of bottom-up coordination between businesses (mostly cooperatives).

TOPOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENT

The Assembly has often been described as a ‘flat, green’ region. A more apt description would be a suburbia interspersed with infrastructure built broadly along the lines of the microgrids, forming units of housing and work that are able to sustain themselves without much outside interaction. Greenery and vertical farming are an important part of this design.

Recent advances in 3D printing and design have led to the construction of experimental stacked high-rises on the Harvestside area, while much of the seaside parts of the Assembly have been converted to public beachfronts, seaweed farms and expansion space.

Notable monuments and buildings include the statues of CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION in the city center, the Windward Platform for the Arts and the weekly open mics that happen there, the Gordillo Market (originally called the Mass Farm One Market), the Flea Markets down Sidesquabble Avenue, and the Microgrid Temple, where collectives host research fairs to invite inventors and researchers to demo technologies and present research that sustains or could enhance the Assembly’s way of life, in exchange for funding - usually in the form of housing and materials.

CULTURE, EDUCATION AND CONTEMPORARY LIFE

The Assembly is generally considered to be one of the best places to begin as a musician, due to its community structures, public support, and the legacy of CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION. Artists looking for wider fame and fortune, however, are unlikely to find it here, as The Assembly lacks to kind of widespread marketing or the heavy capital investment found in Libria. There is, therefore, a rich history of artists moving back and forth between the two territories.

The Assembly overwhelmingly favors apprenticing systems as a way of learning skills. Most citizens typically join the nearest collective, pick up useful skills as an apprentice, and then spend time as a journeyman migrating from collective to collective before settling down and working towards mastery. Highly skilled individuals take on apprentices of their own; an unintended consequence is often ferocious competition to draw a Master’s attention and earn an apprenticeships.

TRANSPORT

The Assembly has a series of public rail networks connecting it from one end to the other, as well as an informal network of blimps run on an as-you-need basis. Public transport is free, with citizens and collectives donating material to the Trainspotting Guild. Citizens may even add their own ‘carts’ to the tracks: the caveat is that all tracks are one-way, and any cart has to operate at a specific speed. Several collectives thus run their own rail carts, especially those that need to move perishable goods (ie: fruits and vegetables) to distribution centers or factories (ie: canning).

The Assembly has made one notable transport contribution to Witness, one that changed all cities as thoroughly as the Harvest Division: the Migrant Train. Of all Distrikts in Witness, Assembly’s Trainspotting Guild probably has the best rail-based public transit systems. Invited to a design meeting to create a unified set of rail standards across the Distrikts, Tyson Wijeratne, the Trainspotting Guild’s then-Second Chief, proposed a modular system, complete with State Machine integration, that would also let people migrate across Distrikts in search of a life they preferred; he stated that he was inspired in part by the journeyman phase of his career, where he worked across several different collectives before joining the Trainspotters. This idea was initially resisted by the Covenant, but votes from Libria and the State Machine Council saw it through.

NOTABLE PEOPLE

Arguably the most famous citizen is Flo Royal herself, who, after the band imploded, spent significant amounts of time aiding fledgling collectives and today is the closest that The Assembly will admit to having a single spokesperson. Under her leadership, a new CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION put out CHRONICLES OF STRUGGLE and CHOP WOOD, CARRY WATER, two albums that serve as documentaries on the process of building the Assembly. It should be noted that her work has lost most of its symphonic metal elements for gentler trance work. She and her CTRL + ALT + Townhalls remain an institution unto themselves.

Just as revered is Donovan Gordillo, often good-naturedly called Soilfather, for his work in bringing the Assembly to agricultural independence and for his fierce campaigning against the spread of foreign currency in the Assembly. Gordillo is widely considered to be the top authority on antifragile collective-building and often borders on being a Revolutionist, despite never taking the position. Nevertheless, it’s a common saying that when the revolution comes, Gordillo will be there at the back, feeding the rebels.

Tyson Jayawardana and Nikita Bourlag are seen as savants who continue such work for the greater good, and generally have little to say other than on transport and food respectively - but while Jayawardana often works alongside his Guild, Bourlag is seen more as an outsider with a gift that it would be foolish to ignore.

Another popular citizen is the poet and archivist Chen Da Jiang, whose interDistrikt photography, Diaries of Water (a nuanced pseudo-epic on the founding of the Assembly, told from the perspective of the ocean, and sometimes running counter to what was popularized by CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION) and Humans of Witness (a long-running interview project) have made them a darling of both people and aethnographers.

The longest-serving Revolutionist, and the most faithful adherent of the system, is Anagram Vho, who after CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION’s dissolution took on the task of ‘balancing’ religious influences from the Covenant. Sometimes accused of religious persecution, Rose views religion as a unwelcome hegemony and a shadow power structure that goes against the ideals of the Assembly.

Footnotes

The Assembly is not as impossible as it might seem. Much of its struggle, especially towards agricultural independence, is inspired by the story of Marinaleda, a village in Spain that came upon a different and sustainable way of doing things. The tale of Denmark’s Freetown Christiana also makes an appearance in shaping how events develop once such communities encounter greater economic systems, especially tourism.

The economy is a greatly accelerated version, and more communitarian-anarchist version of the successful co-op economies that Vietnam is trialing; they have seen significant advances since the first implementations.

As for CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION, someone new to anarcho-punk bands only needs to glance at the relevant Wikipedia entry: “Many anarcho-punks are pacifists (e.g. Crass and Discharge) and therefore believe in using non-violent means of achieving their aims. These include nonviolent resistance, refusal of work, squatting, economic sabotage, dumpster diving, graffiti, culture jamming, ecotage, freeganism, boycotting, civil disobedience, hacktivism and subvertising. Some anarcho-punks believe that violence or property damage is an acceptable way of achieving social change (e.g. Conflict). This manifests itself as rioting, vandalism, wire cutting, hunt sabotage . . .and in extreme cases, bombings.”
. . . and then compare the ethos of these bands, and those of movements like Fluxus and Happenings in the 1970s, to that of modern-day hacktivists. There are almost too many to list; reality ranges from those designing anti-surveillance facewear to those operating in the tiers of Wikileaks, DkD[||, and the Cult of the Dead Cow; in fiction, Tim Morgan’s 2019 novel Infinite Detail provides a fascinatingly plausible look at one such movement in the not-too-distant future.

Punks never die: they only go briefly in and out of style.

2 Likes

I consider myself summoned. I am going to try and tighten some of the screws of incentive-compatibility.

Great work! :man_superhero:

2 Likes

Economy of the Assembly

The economy of the Assembly consists of three main elements: decentralized, but federated, infrastructure; bounded market exchange; and control systems to prevent the concentration of economic power. It is often described in shorthand as “markets without capitalism”, an expression used by Royal in the cover notes for A song for New Day. Today, the same expression stands as the motto of the David Graeber Institute, the Assembly’s semi-official economic think tank and alt-business school.

Origins

The current architecture of the Assembly’s economy evolved as a byproduct of the supply crises brought about by Order 8.3, combined with the communitarian/libertarian orientation prevailing among the first settlers.

The supply crises provided a powerful incentive to disregard ideological posturing, and reward the provision of any solution, as long as it worked. What proved to work fastest was loosely federated systems to generate and distribute energy and food. The same pragmatism prevented this original infrastructure from splintering: the core group around CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION exerted enormous pressure on individual solar fields and farm collectives to stay connected to their peers, immediately sharing anything they produced in excess to their needs. Arbitrage and what the core group considered “predatory pricing” were strongly discouraged, in a last-ditch effort to keep the settlers ahead of severe scarcity. These efforts were deemed too repressive of economic freedoms by some of the settlers, with some choosing to relocate to Libria. However, most chose to stay, in recognition of the fact that renewable energy and food production are subject to inherent fluctuation. This means that the existence of local surpluses is unavoidable, and simple, non-predatory systems to share the excesses de-risks the whole local economy.

From these difficult beginning, the Assembly inherited some capacity to regulate decentralized infrastructure, institutions strong legitimized to do so, and a pragmatic attitude to economic affairs.

Production

Production and manufacturing in the Assembly are organized mainly along cooperativist lines. Baseline production units (for example, in agriculture, farms) form cooperatives to collectively produce those production inputs or services that require a scale larger than that of the units (for example, in food production, most transformation, like mills for grains.

Distribution and trade

Most people in the Assembly subscribe to an ideology of local autonomy. Producing for one’s own consumption is considered virtuous. Energy and, to a lesser extent, food are, to a considerable amount consumed by the same households and firms that produce them. For most commodities this is less true. Anything that is not consumed by the producer is exchanged on markets.

Market prices in the Assembly are free to float, but only within limits, set by citizen assemblies and revised periodically. These limits are enforced by a system inspired by pre-Sundering stock exchanges: when the price of something grows (or fall) too much or too quickly, the e-commerce platforms temporarily suspend exchanges. These institution are known in the Assembly as bounded free markets, or simply bounded markets.

Competition policy

[TODO: dream up a system preventing concentration]

Trade with other Distrikts

The stability, cohesion and relative prosperity of the Assembly comes at the price of a relatively tight control of inter-Distrikt trade. This is achieved with a dual system: natural persons from anywhere in Witness are free to operate in the Assembly, but legal persons are almost always not. Among other restrictions, companies cannot have other companies as shareholders. Foreign direct investment is near-zero, restricted to specific, and tightly monitored, cases. Inter-distrikt trade is limited to the export of small-batch manufacturing industrial products and services – notably creative industry ones, and the import of raw materials and the occasional advanced tech artefact.

Currency

The Assembly does use a currency: the ironically named CTRLcoin, a blockchain-based system that relies on a concept called regenerative proof-of-stake. Instead of ‘mining’, as with most implementations, anyone who comes within the borders of the Assembly is automatically assigned a Wallet and a starting pot of coins.

This Wallet, over time, generates or decays accumulated coins towards a mean so that a) no-one can remain poor for too long and b) no-one can hoard wealth. The mean, or the starting pot, is a decided by a automated, distributed consensus mechanism what pegs the total number of coins to a set maximum. Wallets are adjusted whenever they connect for a transaction (thus, it is theoretically possible to hoard coins, as long as you understand that you cannot carry out a transaction without your Wallet adjusting itself).

This process is handled by the State Machine on behalf of the Assembly, although as with the microgrids, the Assembly has the infrastructure to not rely on this system. CTRLcoin has proven itself critical for the careers of more abstract and scaleable work such as those of scholars, artists and programmers.

Despite strong efforts to prevent it, instances of rent have risen, especially for those parts of the Assembly that cater to tourism from the other Distrikts. Sumer Street is an area where visitors pay rent that is put into a communal treasury; income from bars, coffeehouses and stores also do the same. Similarly, the fruits of CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION franchising income (and those of several popular artists) go directly into common funds and collectives set up by Flo Royal. Currency from the other districts is either spent directly on imports or to purchase space from nearby Libria.

Commerce with Libria is often fraught, as the small-scale DIY ethos of the Assembly has to contend against economies of scale and capital that can sometimes undercut markets to gain strangeholds. Several instances of looming gentrification have been prevented by Revolutionists - in a few instance with the liberal application of Molotov cocktails.

@yudhanjaya @Joriam here is a first stab.

1 Like

This is fantastic. Can I merge it into main post? Some small cleanup to do, I reckon - ‘Order 8.3’ doesn’t exactly sound like it’ll fly with a bunch of anarchists following a metal band - but that’s just very minor cosmetics: the meat is here.

It’s a free distrikt, man. It’s all open content! Plus, you guys are the authors here, I am just dotting some ts and crossing some is. :grin:

Ps: @nadia, does @michi1 not have access to this post? I get a message saying “they won’t be notified because they do not have access to this category. You will need to add them to a group that has access to this category.”

1 Like

@alberto, with your economic additions, the Assembly is looking real beautiful. Such a rich space for stories. Nicely done!

I can confirm that @michi1 does indeed have access.

Thanks, but the TODO on competition policy is a glaring omission.

By the way, I had an idea for a nice comparison between Libria and the Assembly. Their economies have the same problem for different reasons: a tendency to ever-increasing inequality. In the Assembly it is free rider problems, in Libria it is simply an unchecked Gibrat’s Law, or just the Ole Peters ergodicity story, if you prefer.

I would say that the Assembly has a critical advantage: their ideology is that increasing Gini coefficients are unambiguously bad. In Libria, the meritocrats would probably argue that hyper-rich are deserving, and they would focus on increasing the size of the pie to alleviate the condition of the poor and the relative social unrest. And that is a really nice simulation exercise to do, with plenty of empirical data to reflect on. Jesus, I could easily spend a couple of years on this thing. Must… resist… :persevere:

2 Likes

Huehue. You know you want to.

Just to add: I think you may appreciate the madness that is Cities: Skylines. Especially this vid :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Here I’m.

2 Likes

Welcome to the Assembly!

2 Likes

but where are the cats?

1 Like

Libertarians (cats) are asked politely to leave.
I dunno. There may be plenty of then around.

Here’s some possible additions :slight_smile:

[ below the umbrella of CULTURE, EDUCATION AND CONTEMPORARY LIFE ]

Art

Music has been part of the Assembly’s ethos from the start, so it’s not surprising that the Distrikt is fabled for its musicians and music culture in general, being also a Mecca for enthusiasts from all over Witness, particularly during the hottest months of the year.

Absolute Music

The generation that grew up as the events that would create The Assembly unfolded was inspired by more than just CTRL + ALT + REVOLUTION’s musical excellence, but also by the reality of the impact of music in politics and the economy. So a new way to perceive art was created, something that was more than a genre, but a locus of music. This movement is called Absolute Music.

Absolute Music is produced for and performed exclusively in big festivals. The idea behind it is that every single element is connected and combined to create a particular experience. A song that is created for an Absolute festival is written in such a way that it can only be performed at that time, at that place, with that particular reverberation, lighting system and weather conditions in mind. The audience is also encouraged to think particular thoughts while listening to each of the songs, generally simple thoughts like DJ Basto’s ‘remember the other is as universal as you’ or Noxx’s ‘share your favorite mug’ which in turn stir the community’s behavior one way or another depending on the quality of the music set.

Many Absolute Music producers are also community leaders and they use the festivals as an opportunities to share ideas and rally other people who vibe with their political views.

Mechanatrons

A legacy from The Assembly’s first years of hardship are the mechanatrons: big and complex music-making mechanical machines that operate without the need for electricity.

When the Distrikt was forming, the little amount of electricity it could produce via the Microgrids was destined to basic infrastructure. The huge crowd of music enthusiast was starved for new content, but there was no justification to dedicate much energy for DJs.

In response to that a group of DJs, engineers and carpenters started to dedicate their free time to the creation of the first mechanatrons — human-powered machines that would produce sounds and timbres as close to electronic music as they could get with physical objects, all in regular, predictable and adjustable rhythm. The first few of them were 4m² and needed at least three people to work.

Even when the electricity became of easier access, the culture around mechanatrons remained. Nowadays they’re not as popular as their electronic counterparts, but they’re still heavily influential to the creators of electrometal themselves.

2 Likes

Assembly was played in the game on 29 November but it’s been long since anyone commented. This company has been in the news and it reminded me of Assembly’s story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Payments