A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues

October 3 to October 10, 1997

Published, Edited and Written by George Mokray for
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Saturday, October 4 10 am - 12 pm
Living More Simply: Transforming Your Lifestyle
contact 628-5558 or oggc@fcl-us.net
Central Sq Library, 45 Pearl St

Meeting on the Redesign of Northern Mass Ave
contact Rosalie Anders, 349-4604 or Stuart Dash, 349-4640
Fitzgerald School Cafeteria, 70 Rindge Ave

12 pm
Freedom from Sweatshops Trail
contact 524-1166 or 491-2525
meet at Arlington St Church, Boston

12 pm and 12:30 pm
111 Bicyclists Performance
throughout Harvard Square

7 pm
Benefit Showing of Michael Moore's new documentary "The Big One" for MA Jobs with Justice. Michael Moore will be present
contact 491-2525
Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$5 - $10 Donation

7:30 pm
Science and Environment: Issues Facing India in the 21st Century
Anil Agarwal, Center for Science and Development, New Delhi, India
Harvard, Andover Hall, Sperry Room

Monday, October 6 - Thursday, October 9

Computers & The Law IV Symposium - corporate decision-makers, computer professionals and legal experts discuss Internet and Web technology in the eyes of the law.
contact The Sun User Group,14 Harvard Ave, 2nd Floor, Allston, MA 02134 787-2301, conference@sug.org, and http://www.sug.org/CL4 Boston

Monday, October 6

12:10 pm
Spatiotemporal Variability in the Onset of the Spring Bloom in the NW Mediterranean Sea: A Modeling Study
Marina Levy, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
MIT Building 54, Room 915

3:30 pm
The Emerging Role of Materials Modeling in Science and Technology
Sidney Yip, MIT
MIT Building NW12, Room 222

4 pm
Nuclear Fusion: Unresolved Issues in Sicence, Energy, and Disarmament
Bruno Coppi, MIT
contact 253-4062
MIT Building E51, Room 095

Uptake and Release of Carbon Dioxide by the Forest of North America
Steve Wofsy, Harvard
Harvard, Geological Museum, Haller Hall, Room 102

4:10 pm
Cynicism and Involvement in the Presidential Election of 1996: Political Talk Radio and Mainstream Media
Joseph Cappella, Annenberg School, Univ of PA
Harvard, Taubman Building, Room 275

6:30 pm
Emergency Mobilization to Stop the Cassini Space Probe
Michio Kaku, CUNY; David Rush, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; Mary Zepernick, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF); Barbara Hildt, President of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND)
contact 354-0008 or bostonmobe@igc.apc.org
MIT Building 5, Room 234
Editorial Comment: NASA plans to launch the Cassini Space Probe to Saturn on Oct. 13, carrying 72.3 pounds of plutonium batteries for electrical power. For further information, see http://www.afn.org/~fcpj/space/cassini.htm

7 pm
Sen John McCain
Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, ARCO Forum

Tuesday, October 7

Mass Voters for Clean Elections (MVCE) - an orientation for organizations to help collect signatures of registered votes to put a referendum on campaign finance reform on the 1998 ballot
contact 451-0399

10 am - 11:15 am
Social Activism as a Way of Life: Promoting Bicycles and Public Fruit, Fighting U.S. Domination and Female Genital Mutilation
Susan McLucas, Somerville-based activist
contact salzman@umbsky.cc.umb.edu or http://hydra.cc.umb.edu/pages/salzman/ Science for Humane Survival
Room S-1-009, Univ of MA, Boston
Editorial Comment: Susan is an old friend and blames me for getting her interested in public planting of fruit trees and berry bushes. All the other interests are her own fault.

12 pm
Mike McCurry, White House Press Secretary
Harvard, Taubman Building, Taubman Dining Room

4 pm
Low Power DSP for Wireless Communications
Wai Lee, Texas Instruments
contact 253-4799
MIT Building 34, Room 101

5:30 pm
How the Mind Works
Steven Pinker, MIT
contact authors@mit.edu
MIT Building 26, Room 100

6:30 pm
Force and Form
Santiago Calatraba, Zurich
contact 253-7791
MIT Building 10, Room 250

Wednesday, October 8

Environmental Risk Management Issues and Strategies for the CFO, Risk Manager, EH&S, Counsels and Real Estate Officers
contact RTM Communication at 703-549-0977

11:30 am
The Advent of Product Modularity and the Disappearance of Core Competence
Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
MIT Building E52, Room 175

12 pm
The Future of Military Space
John Pike, Federation of American Scientists
contact 253-0133 or llevine@mit.edu
MIT Building E38, Room 615

4 pm
Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries
Eli Berman and Linda Bui, BU
Harvard, Kennedy School, 79 JFK St, Room 332

4:30 pm
The Age of Spiritual Machines
Ray Kurzweil, Kurzweil Educational Sytems
MIT Building 34, Room101

Electromagnetically Induced Transparency
Steve Harris, Stanford Univ
Harvard, Jefferson Laboratory, Room 356

6 pm
Companies Making Money on the Internet
Bradley Feld, Intensity Ventures
contact 253-8240
MIT Building , Room10 250
Registration: $15, members $10

Olmsted and Contemporary Practice: Legacy or Lethargy?
Julie Bargmann, Carol Franklin, Laurie Olin, Marc Treib, George Hargreaves
Harvard, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium

7:30 pm
What Will Replace Medicare?
David Cutler, Harvard
contact 495-2727
3 Church St, Harvard Sq

Thursday, October 9

Environmental Risk Management Issues and Strategies for the CFO, Risk Manager, EH&S, Counsels and Real Estate Officers
contact RTM Communication at 703-549-0977

11 am
House and Home: Feminist Variations on a Theme
Iris Marion Young, Univ of Pittsburgh
contact 495-0738
Harvard, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St

2 pm
Global Climate Change II: Evidence for Global Climate Change - Ellen Mosley-Thompson; Climate Change and Vector-borne Disease - Paul Epstein
contact 432-0493 or http://www.med.harvard.edu/chge
Cannon Room, Building C, Harvard Medical School, Boston

The Art of Improvisation
Gary Burton, vibraphonist
contact 495-9068
Harvard, Longfellow Hall, Askwith Lecture Hall

4 pm
Viscoelasticity of Cytoskeletal Network and Their Influence on Cell Structure
Paul Janmey, Harvard Medical School
contact l_m@mit.edu
MIT Building 5, Room 234
Infrared Sprectroscopy of Galactic Nuclei
Reinhard Genzel, Max Planck Institute
Harvard, Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Phillips Auditorium

5 pm
The Archaeology and Prehistory of Native Americans in MA
Elizabeth Chilton, Harvard
Harvard, Peabody Museum, Room 14A

Public Address as a Sign of Political Inclusion
Iris Marion Young, Univ of PA
Harvard, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave, Sperry Room

6 pm
Democratic Experiments in Africa: Design and Method in a Cross National Research Project
Michael Bratton, MI State Univ
contact sarajane@mit.edu
MIT Building E36, 7th floor

6 pm dinner/6:45 pm meeting
Environmental Roundtable - networking the local environmental community
RSVP to Laura Scott at 292-4800 for dinner, $5 per person
MassPIRG, 29 Temple Pl, Boston
Editorial Comment: The Environmental Roundtable is circulating a joint letter to postpone the Cassini Space Probe. Contact Julie Wormser at 350-8866 for further information.

7:30 pm
Boston Area Solar Energy Association Lecture: Green Power in a Restructured Electricity Industry
Bruce Biewald, Synapse Energy Economics
1st Parish Unitarian Church, #3 Church St, Harvard Sq
Donations help provide BASEA Forums Series

Nukes in Space - video and speakers
contact 495-2727
3 Church St, Harvard Sq

Robert Creeley, poet
contact poetry@mit.edu
MIT, Bartos Theater

7th Annual Ig Noble Awards
contact info@improb.org or http://www.improb.org
Harvard, Sanders Theatre
tickets $8-10, contact 496-2222

Friday, October 10

3 pm
Catalytic Extraction Processing (CEP): A Case Study and the Issues, Requirements and Lessons Learned Surround Novel Technology Deployment
Christopher Nagel, Molten Metal Technology
MIT Building 66, Room 110

4 pm
Seismic Evidence for Thermomechanical Erosion of the Cratonic Lithosphere
Michael Bostock, Univ of BC
MIT Building 54, Room 915

Plasma-Based Accelerators for High-energy Physics
Grannady Shvets, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
MIT Building NW17, Room 218

Continuity and Receptivity in Indus Valley Architecture: The Tomb of Sadan Shahid
Finbarr Barry Flood
Harvard, Sackler Museum, Room 318

Sunday, October 12

10:30 am
Two Great Disciples of Mahatma Gandhi: Gora and JC Kumarappa
contact 495-5529
Longy School of Music, 1 Follen St

Monday, October 13 - Tuesday, October 14

First International Wearable Computers Symposium
contact http://mime1.marc.gatech.edu/wearcon
Editorial Comment: I think this is going to be an important conference. So important that I'm going to pay to go since they wouldn't give me a press pass.

Wednesday, October 15 - Saturday, October 18

IX International Conference on Human Ecology - the social and psychological impact of environmental change upon individuals; the dynamics of human adaptation to environmental and societal change; community conservation efforts; ecosystem management
contact Society for Human Ecology, 105 Eden St, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 or massa@ecology.coa.edu
College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine

Saturday, October 18

10 am - 4:30 pm
17th Annual EF Schumacher Lectures: John Mohawk, Seneca Elder; Greg Watson, Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative; Arthur Zajonc, Amherst College
contact (413)528-1737, efssociety@aol.com or http://www.schumachersociety.org
Clark Art Institute, South St., Williamstown, MA
$20 per person, $15 for members, and $7 for students

Sources for Listings:
MIT _Tech Talk_ :
Harvard _Gazette_ :
Harvard Environmental Resources On-Line:
MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs calendar:
Earth Day Network international/national listings:
Earth Day Greater Boston calendar:

act-ma the Massachusetts activists mailing list:
subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org, leaving the subject line blank and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message

Peace and Justice Events Hotline at (617)787-6809

Computer Organizations of NE (CONE):
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/sig - Special Interest Group list
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/cal/index.html - calendar
Boston Webmasters Guild

Community Technology Center Network

Table of Contents

Martian Trilogy

I was talking to an old friend of mine a few weeks ago about rampant corporativism and he told me about Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, _Red Mars_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0553560735/alistA/), _Green Mars_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0553572393/alistA/), and _Blue Mars_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0553573357/alistA/). He said that there was a lot in there about what is going on now. So I picked up _Red Mars_ and quickly went through all of the trilogy.

Robinson tells the story of the first permanent settlement on Mars, an international group of 100 people of exceptional talents who leave Earth to establish human life on a new planet. They work under the auspices of the UN but behind the scenes are multinational and transnational and, eventually when corporations become big enough to buy whole "countries of convenience," metanational corporations. Eventually, there is war on Earth and revolution on Mars. It is a plausible development, especially since I remember a friend commenting as we watched the Sojourner relay pictures of a red landscape back to Earth, "I see all the mining companies coming up right behind that little robot."

What is remarkable about this trilogy is the exposition of an ecological politics and economics. It is probably the best example of what it might mean to live under an alternative social structure since Ursula LeGuin's _The Dispossessed_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0061054887/alistA/). Robinson bases his ideas on the concept of viriditas, the green lifeforce, and what he calls areophany, as in the epiphany of Ares or Mars. His social structure arises directly from the land and the atmosphere and enlarges them both as well as the people who make up that society.

The economic system he envisions includes many ideas that should be familiar to many eco-activists - gift and barter economies, calories as a measure of exchange, inflation free money. At one point, he posits an economic system "in which basic necessities are distributed in a regulated hydrogen peroxide economy, where things are priced by calculations of their caloric value. Then when you get past necessities, the gift economy comes into play, using a nitrogen standard. So there are two planes, the need and the gift, or what the Sufis in the workshop call the animal and the human, expressed by the different standards." At one point the characters discuss the future of money:
"'But money will still exist, right?'
'Yes, but we are considering reverse interest on savings accounts, for instance, so that if you don't put what you've earned back into use, it will be released to the atmosphere as nitrogen. You'd be surprised how hard it is to keep a positive personal balance in this system.'
'But if you did it?'
'Well, then I agree with you - on death it should pass back to Mars, be used for some public purpose.'
Sax haltingly objected that this contradicted the bioethical theory that human beings, like all animals, were powerfully motivated to provide for their human offspring. This urge could be obvservec thoroughout nature and in all human cultures, explaining much behavior both self-interested and altruistic. 'Try to change the baby logical - the _biological_ - basis of culture - by decree... Asking for trouble.'
'Maybe there should be a minimal inheritance allowed,' Coyote said.
'Enough to satisfy that animal instinct, but not enough to perpetuate a wealthy elite.'"

Remember, this is a society in the midst of terraforming a planet - controlling and building a breathable atmosphere, increasing the surface temperature degree by degree, and manufacturing fertile soil from rocks and windblown sand so small it is described as "fines." They have to measure their input, output, and throughput not as if their lives depended on it but because, in truth, their lives do depend upon it. Imagine what are our Earthly activities would be like if we had to be as careful.

The models for business activity in such a system include the "guild socialism of Great Britain, Yugoslavia workers management, Mondragon ownership, Kerala land tenure and so on." I would include Grameen-style banking, Louis Kelso's Two Factor Theory, and Second Law Economics, where Second Law refers to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. One book which Robinson might have used as a reference is Roy Morrison's _Ecological Democracy_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0896085139/alistA/). There are real, working examples of such systems happening today.

About halfway through the trilogy, Robinson lays down the principles of the society of areophany in the Dorsa Brevia Points of Agreement:
"One. Martian society will be composed of many different cultures. It is better to think of it as a world rather than a nation. Freedom of religion and cultural practice must be guaranteed. No one culture or group of cultures should be able to dominate the rest.

Two. Within this framework of diversity, it still must be guaranteed that all individuals on Mars have certain inalienable rights, including the material basics of existence, health care, education, and legal equality.

Three. The land, air, and water of Mars are in the common stewardship of the human family, and cannot be owned by any individual or group.

Four. The fruits of an individual's labor belong to the individual, and cannot be appropriated by another individual or group. At the same time, human labor on Mars is part of a communal enterprise, given to the common good. The Martian economic system must reflect both these facts, balancing the self-interest with the interests of society at large.

Five. The metanational order ruling Earth is currently incapable of incorporating the previous two principles, and cannot be applied here. In its place we must enact an economics based on ecologic science. The goal of Martian economics is not 'sustainable development' but a sustainable prosperity for its entire biosphere.

Six. The Martian landscape itself has certain 'rights of place' which must be honored. The goal of our environmental alterations should therefore be minimalist and ecopoetic, reflecting the values of the areophany. It is suggested that the goal of environmental alterations be to make only that portion of Mars lower than the four-kilometer contour human-viable. Higher elevations, constituting some thirty percent of the planet, would then remain in something resembling their primeval conditions, existing as natural wilderness zones.

Seven. The habitation of Mars is a unique historical process, as it is the first inhabitation of another planet by humanity. As such it should be undertaken in a spirit of reverence for this planet and for the scarcity of life in the universe. What we do here will set precedents for further human habitation of the solar system, and will suggest models for the human relationship to Earth's environment as well. Thus Mars occupies a special place in history, and this should be remembered when we make the necessary decisions concerning life here."

Change "Mars" to "Earth" and you have a good set of principles for ecological development here, too. The following exchange gives you some flavor as to how the way we do business would have to change under such a system:
"'What you said about government and business is absurd,' he stated coldly. It was a tone of voice that had not been heard much at the congress so far, contemptuous and dismissive. 'Governments always regulate the kinds of business they allow. Economics is a legal matter, a system of laws. So far, we have been saying in the Martian underground that as a matter of law, democracy and self-government are the innate rights of every person, and that these rights are not to be suspended when a person goes to work. You' - he waved a hand to indicate he did not know Antar's name - 'do you believe in democracy and self-rule?'
'Yes!' Antar said defensively.
'Do you believe in democracy and self-rule as the fundamental values that government ought to encourage?'
'Yes!' Antar repeated, looking more and more annoyed.
'Very well. If democracy and self-rule are the fundamentals, then why should people give up these rights when they enter their workplace? In politics we fight like tigers for freedom, for the right to elect our leaders, for freedom of movement, choice of residence, choice of what work to pursue - control of our lives, in short. And then we wake up in the morning and go to work, and all those rights disappear. We no longer insist on them. And so for most of the day we return to feudalism. That is what capitalism is - a version of feudalism in which capital replaces land, and business leaders replace kings. But the hierarchy remains. And so we still hand over our lives' labor, under duress, to feed rulers who do no real work.'
'Business leaders work,' Antar said sharply, 'And they take the financial risks - '
'The so-called risk of the capitalist is merely one of the _privileges_ of capital.'
'Management - '
' Yes yes. Don't interrupt me. Management is a real thing, a technical matter, but it can be controlled by labor just as well as by capital. Capital itself is simply the useful residue of the work of past laborers, and it could belong to everyone as well as to a few. There is no reason why a tiny nobility should own the capital, and everyone else therefore be in service to them. There is no reason they should give us a living wage and take all the rest that we produce. No! the system called capitalist democracy was not really democratic at all. That is why it was able to turn so quickly into the metanational system, in which democracy grew ever weaker and capitalism ever stronger. In which one percent of the population owned half of the wealth, and five percent of the population owned ninety-five percent of the wealth. History has shown which values were real in that system. And the sad thing is that the injustice and suffering caused by it were not at all necessary, in that the technical means have existed since the eighteenth century to provide the basics of life to all.
'So. We must change. It is time. If self-rule is a fundamental value, if simple justice is a value, then they are values everywhere, including in the workplace where we spend so much of our lives. That was what was said in point four of the Dorsa Brevia agreement. It says everyone's work is their own, and the worth of it cannot be taken away. It says that the various modes of production belong to those who created them, and to the common good of the future generations. It says that the world is something we all steward together. That is what it says. And in our years on Mars, we have developed an economic system that can keep all those promises. That has been our work these last fifty years. In the system we have developed, all economic enterprises are to be small cooperatives, owned by their workers and by no one else. They hire their management, or manage themselves. Industry guilds and co-op associations will form the larger structures necessary to regulate trade and the market, share capital, and create credit."

Eventually, over more than a century, the new Martians develop their own government, "a confederation, led by an executive council of seven members, elected by a two-housed legislature. One legislative branch, the duma, was composed of a large group of representatives drafted from the populace; the other, the senate, a smaller group elected one from each town or village group larger than five hundred people. The legislature was all in all fiarly weak; it elected the executive council and helped select justices of the courts, and left to the towns most legislative duties. The judicial branch was more powerful; it included not only criminal courts, but also a kind of double supreme court, one half a constitutional court, and the other half an environmental court, with members to both appointed, elected, and drawn by lottery. The environmental court would rule on disputes concerning terraforming and other environmental changes, while the constitutional court would rule on the constitutionality of all other issues, including challenged town laws. One arm of the environmental court would be a land commissison, charged with overseeing the stewardship of the land, which was to belong to all Martians together, in keeping with point three of the Dorsa Brevia agreement; there would not be private property as such, but there would be various tenure rights established in leasing contracts, and the land commission was to work these matters out. A corresponding economic commision would function under the constitutional court, and would be partly composed of respresentatives from guild cooperatives which would be established for the various professions and industries. This commission was to oversee the establishment of a version of the underground's eco-economics, including both not-for-profit enterprises concentrating on the public sphere, and taxed for-profit enterprises which had legal size limits, and were by law employee-owned.

"This expansion of the judiciary satisfied what desire they had for a strong global government, without giving an executive body much power; it was also a response to the heroic role played by Earth's World Court in the previous century, when almost every other Terran institution had been bought or otherwise collapsed under metanational pressures; only the World Court had held firm, issuing ruling after ruling on behalf of the disenfranchised and the land, in a mostly ignored rearguard and indeed symbolic action against the metanats' depradations; a moral force, which if it had had more teeth, might have done more good. But from the Martian underground they had seen the battle fought, and now they remembered.

"Thus the Martian global government. The constitution then also included a long list of human rights, including social rights; guidelines for the land commission and the economics commission; an Australian ballot election system for the elective offices; a system for amendments; and so on. Lastly, to the main text of the constitution they apended the huge colleciton of materials that had accumulated in the process, calling it Working Notes and Commentary. This was to be used to help the courts interpret the main document, and included everything the delegation had said at the table of tables, or written on the warehouse screens, or received in the mail."

The final outline of Robinson's economic system under such a constitution is realistically Utopian:
"The legislature was passing the laws of eco-economics, fleshing out the bones drawn up in the constitution. They directed co-ops that had existed before the revolution to help the newly independent metanat local subsidiaries to transform themselves into similar cooperative organizations. This process, called horizontalization, had very wide support, especially from the young natives, and so it was proceeding fairly smoothly. Every Martian business now had to be owned by its employees only. No co-op could exceed one thousand people; larger enterprises had to me made of co-op associations, working together. For their internal structures most of the firms chose variants of the Bogdanovist models, which themselves were based on the cooperative Basque community of Mondragon, Spain. In these firms all employees were co-owners, and they bought into their positions by paying the equivalent of about a year's wages to the firm' equity fund... This buy-in fee became the starter of their share in the firm, which grew every year they stayed, until it was given back to them as pension or departure payment. Councils elected from the workforce hired management, usually from outside, and this management then had the power to make executive decisions but was subject to a yearly review by the councils. Credit and capital were obtained from central cooperative banks, or the global government's start-up fund, or helper organizations such as Praxis and the Swiss. On the next level up, co-ops in the same industries or services were associating for larger projects, and also sending representatives to industry guilds, which established professional practice boards, arbitration and mediation centers, and trade associations."

Such a vision is not so far off from what Dee Hock, the former head or Visa, is talking about when he lectures on his concept of "chaordics."

Kim Stanley Robinson has gone very far in imagining an ecological future which has its seeds in present day reality. He has given a lot of thought to what is possible to change and, most critically, "about how to change without engendering a bitter backlash." He dares to dream of "a silk revolution. An aerogel revolution. An integral part of the areophany. That is what I want."

What a daring way to dream. What a natural dream to have.

Table of Contents

A Pattern Language of Work

One of the results of the recent upheaval in Central Square is a public forum scheduled for Tuesday, October 14 from 7 to 9 pm at the Central Square Public Library, 45 Pearl St on sustainable economic development. This event grows out of the remarks Barbara Brandt, author of _Whole Life Economics_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0865712662/alistA/), made in praise of the already existing local business infrastructure in Central Square and the framework it provides for a system of sustainable business development at one of the public meetings on the Holmes Realty Trust project. Barbara will moderate the event with presentations by Sarah James, a community planning and development consultant; Jason Upshaw, director of 2nd Gear Bicycles, a local business; Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Greater Boston Director of Working Capital, a microcredit and business training non-profit; and me, George Mokray.

I have been going through Christopher Alexander's _A Pattern Language_ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0195019199/alistA/) trying to identify the patterns that make for human and humane work. I have found over thirty of these vernacular patterns in the book:

9 Scattered Work 19 Web of Shopping 32 Shopping Streets 41 Work Community 42 Industrial Ribbon 43 University as a Marketplace 46 Market of Many Shops 47 Health Center 61 Small Public Squares 80 Self-Governing Workshops and Offices 81 Small Services Without Red Tape 82 Office Connections 83 Master and Apprentices 85 Shopfront Schools 86 Children's Home 87 Individually Owned Shops 88 Street Cafe 89 Corner Groceries 90 Beer Hall 91 Traveler's Inn 92 Bus Stop 93 Food Stands 101 Building Thoroughfare 146 Flexible Office Space 148 Small Work Groups 149 Reception Welcomes You 150 A Place to Wait 151 Small Meeting Rooms 152 Half-Private Office 156 Settled Work 157 Home Workshop

After I identified these patterns, I started to assemble them into groups - work, shopping, learning, and structure:

9 Scattered Work 41 Work Community 42 Industrial Ribbon 80 Self-Governing Workshops and Offices 81 Small Services Without Red Tape 148 Small Work Groups 156 Settled Work 157 Home Workshop

19 Web of Shopping 32 Shopping Streets 46 Market of Many Shops 47 Health Center 87 Individually Owned Shops 88 Street Cafe 89 Corner Groceries 90 Beer Hall 91 Traveler's Inn 92 Bus Stop 93 Food Stands

43 University as a Marketplace 83 Master and Apprentices 85 Shopfront Schools 86 Children's Home

61 Small Public Squares 82 Office Connections 101 Building Thoroughfare 146 Flexible Office Space 149 Reception Welcomes You 150 A Place to Wait 151 Small Meeting Rooms 152 Half-Private Office

Finally, I began to build sentences and paragraphs from these patterns and their underlying rules to tell something like a story:

A community should be built on walking distance so that all the basic needs can be met within a comfortable walk. Scatter work throughout the community so that there is less of a separation between living and working. No bedroom communities, no 5 pm deserted office blocks (one definition of an Edge City like Kendall Square), no commutes. Build work communities, groups of a dozen or so businesses with common areas, throughout the whole community. Those activities that are noisy, dangerous, dirty should be concentrated in industrial ribbons at the edge of communities and serve as their boundaries. Work should be organized in small work groups, self-governing workshops and offices, providing small services without red tape and opportunities for home workshops and settled work.

Build a web of shopping which decentralizes services throughout the community into short, pedestrian shopping streets that are perpendicular to vehicular traffic. The shops should be individually owned rather than franchises or chains and concentrated in a market of many shops, like farmers' markets and flea markets, with push carts and kiosks, peddlers and street performers. There are opportunities for many businesses: cafes, restaurants, food stands, and bars with entertainment, health centers, corner groceries, inns and bed and breakfasts...

Education should also be decentralized with the university organized as a marketplace where anybody can give or take a course (the January Independent Activities Period [IAP] at MIT, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, any "open university" are models already in existence). Another model is that of master and apprentice, practical mentoring, where the community becomes part of the curriculum with shopfront schools and intergenerational learning from birth to death so that teaching and learning is perpetual and integral with the life of the community. The Fayerweather Street School's _Voices of Central Square_ is an example of what this kind of curriculum could be.

So far, I plan to tape enlarged pages of _A Pattern Language_ to the walls of the lecture room and point out each pattern as I tell my little story. I hope that this will prove useful.

If you have any comments, criticism, or questions, please send them to me. I am still working on my presentation and would appreciate any help I can get.

Table of Contents

Education Online

The October 2 _Harvard Gazette_ has an article about the new Science Coalition Website (http://www.sciencecoalition.org), an alliance of more than 400 universities, scieintific societies, and other organizations trying to sustain Federal support of university-based science research. As part of that effort, the Website will host online chats with researchers and information about the latest discoveries from university-based research. Whether you support Federal funding for university-based scientific research, this site may have some very good resource and research information.

The September 29 _Mass High Tech_ announced the establishment of the Family Education Network (http://familyeducation.com), a public-private program to connect kids, their parents, and their schools.

Table of Contents

The Begging Bowl

Another book I have been reading is _A History of Writing_ by Albertine Gaur (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=1558593586/alistA/). I thought that it might be able to give me some ideas as to what the future might be in this much vaunted information economy. The first thing I learned is that a society and culture has to reach a certain point before it is ready to develop a technology. As Ms Gaur says, "But nowhere do we find a case where a society first developed a systematic form of writing and then increased its level of social and economic efficiency." Another thing I learned is that writing probably came out of economic considerations, tallies and land markers and contracts. The clearest analog to what may be one form of information economy is probably the Iroquois notion of wampum which is both narrative and medium of exchange and includes color, pattern, story, and ceremony. I'm going to have to think about that a little more.

What surprised me most was a photograph of a cuneiform brick from ancient Mesopotamia. It was all texture and a complexly beautiful work relating the pay and loans to workmen from various temples reckoned in measures of barley. It was dated in the 47th year of Shulgi, king of Ur or 2048 BC.

Years ago, I spent some time looking at petroglyphs from around the world and wondered about Mayan glyphs.

What an eye to speech
the Maya must have had
to carve words
               as faces
in stone relief.

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Information Ecologies
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