Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sketch for an SF plot occasioned by Ondoy/Ketsana Relief

Would be good if the organizational structures remained even after the Ondoy disaster passes/normalizes, even for things not directly related to typhoons. Government is essentially a structure for routing the goods/resources of a group for the benefit of said group, a task our elected government manifestly sucks at (25 rubber boats between all the armed forces AND the National Disaster Coordinating Council, this 4 years after the object lesson of Hurricane Katrina, in a country crossed by an average of 20 typhoons a year.) The relief operations are a web-enhanced example of group cooperation that is the engine that drives all government. There must be a way to systematize this effort. Lessons, cues to be sifted from a study of Obama's election machinery, it's use of/reliance on/leveraging of pre-existent networks, personal initiative, ad hoc coalitions. Probably also from Gawad Kalinga. The philosopher Manfred Halpern once defined politics as "everything we can and need to do together." Imagine a scenario where social networking becomes advanced enough to leverage the kind of tao-to-tao cooperation that the anarchists dreamed of. Where a central government becomes supplanted by a distributed, decentralized government. A politics of community and initiative. A politics even of bickering and exasperated love. I imagine an SF novel, something like a cross between Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and LeGuin's The Dispossessed that chronicles the rise of social networking, said networks becoming the ordinary citizen's preferred channel of goods/money/action, with more and more projects being launched and maintained online until the central government withered away and died, either after convulsive and murderous attempts to stay in power, or from a gradual disappearance of its capital, its constituency.


Joel said...

I also found this site from Gawad Kalinga and the organization is trying to get help from everybody for Ketsana's victims. Help Ondoy Victims

angermitano said...

Seems the idea has occurred to other people:

randy david here:

and a guy called Ivo Gormley here:

Need to look for real, concrete treatments of this idea.