in the alternate socialist present, i am herding goats with a cane and melody while replacing batteries in the mesh routers the ‘ware guild has hung from trees. later i dine at the village commissary and watch a movie projected on the side of a barn.


a courier arrives from the next village on horseback with books, zines, letters, art prints, and a hard drive full of music and movies. we offload the drive while the courier joins us for lunch, sharing news — harvests, births, deaths, the goings-on of various governance councils — while we load a drive with our own new media. the courier leaves as full as they came, and well-fed besides.

do you understand? it was never technology that made humane relations possible. it was you and i, and our commitment to each other.

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@garbados ah yes the social contract. which one did you sign? there are a bunch of them

@garbados “humane relations” are a cultural protocol for cooperation, or simply culture. at least having a common identity and goals is isomorphic with cooperation and culture. i agree that technology didn’t make human civilization possible, it was culture. sadly, these days, culture is so subtle that it can be hard to know if you are really able to cooperate until things escalate to conflict.

@requiem i have read a few of their articles and i intend to read many more :D

@requiem hey do you know if they have anything like a printout or zine about how to do low-tech things, offhand?

@emsenn I believe they have a hard copy, or instructions on how to print one, but I’d have to dig around a bit.

@garbados how does manufacturing of mesh routers, projectors and hard drives work? these things require very expensive equipment and therefore large enough scale to make it worthwhile. so, a government initiative?


1) i am just a goatherd. you’ll have to ask the guild.

2) are you asking “how could people possibly collaborate on that scale without a market or state to coerce them?”

@garbados 2) yes. but earnestly, and not to troll. but if you think i am trolling feel free to pass on answering.

@garbados and if there’s historical (or contemporary) examples i can search on, all the better.

@zensaiyuki here’s my answer as a syndicalist:

all power is ultimately labor power. the machinery of society is already operated by the workers. what happens when you get the authoritarians away from the controls? what happens when you socialize amazon’s command economy, or walmart’s? there’s a case in which we continue to operate that machinery, but humanely, without destroying one another.

for historical examples of country-scale democratic socialist logistics, see chile’s cybersyn project:

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