The Open Governance Body (#OGB) describes a permissionless process/structure that is open and allows the group that forms using the tools to decide who is a part of the group or not. This process can divide into a web of connecting instances of governance as a natural human process of group formation. The #OGB emphasizes that there is no exclusion and always diversity, making it a natural fit for the #fediverse.
The #OGB also shows that if people are stupid and focused on individualism, each governance instance will have one member and no power. To gain power, people have to work together, which is built into the code. The #OGB emphasizes that hoarding power is limited, and it flows through the community, energizing and solidifying the community and building horizontal power to challenge/change vertical power.
The #OGB focus is on the importance of keeping things simple (#KISS) and that some people will try to push for existing power structures before democracy. However, as the process is permissionless, it is not possible to stop them from doing this. The #OGB emphasizes the need to do better, and that being native to the #fediverse is a big help in this regard.
The #OGB emphasizes the importance of recognizing where power comes from in the context of the #fediverse. The fediverse operates differently from corporations, governments, courts, and police, and it is important to think and build with this difference rather than trying to drag the fediverse back to the #mainstreaming path.
The #OGB builds from the #fediverse works because it is different, and it is easy to forget this important thing when #mainstreaming agendas grab and hold. The #OGB suggests that the missing question in almost all conversations is “who are we empowering,” and emphasizes the need to do better in alt-tech.
The #OGB notes that there are problems in alt-tech and suggests that starting with the #4opens would remove 90% of the mess, revealing the real potential for good outcomes. The #OGB highlights that doing better in alt-tech would involve using shovels to make compost and planting seeds of the world we want to see.
The #OGB describes the process scaffolding for the governance body as a default effect, where the decisions on how things work will be up to the members of the body. The power of the governance body is only the power of default, and the #OGB is about removing all hard default choices and building in a small number of KISS tools, then letting the body members work out themselves how to use them.
The #OGB uses the example of #Couchsurfing, where the website redesign removed the #DIY tools active Couchsurfers had used to self-organize, leading to disappointment among members. The #OGB argues that letting members make their own process, open vs. closed, is necessary to overcome the #geekproblem and have hope for alt-tech.
The #OGB builds governance with the way, rules, norms, and actions are structured, sustained, regulated, and held accountable. this is to mediate that the #Fediverse currently has a “herding cats” governance, denoting a futile attempt to control or organize a class of entities that are inherently uncontrollable.
The #OGB provides an example of how the codebase can be used to run a local street market, with each stallholder as a stakeholder, people who shop at the market as users, and the local council, events company, and shop owner’s association as affiliate groups. The #OGB approach and codebase will scale sideways, with street markets governed city-wide, and each of the markets becoming a stakeholder, users as users, and city-wide orgs and groups as affiliate groups.
The #OGB pushes that the bulk of the voice comes from those who run the #Fediverse, the people who run/support the instances. The people who build the tools also get a say, as do support orgs and events, and the users who will be spread widely get a say, but their power is diluted by the much larger numbers involved.
This working practice comes from 30 years of building from The Tyranny of Structureless tick box list https://unite.openworlds.info/Open-Media-Network/openwebgovernancebody/wiki/03.-The-Tyranny-of-Stucturelessness That code being quite “anti-human” is an interesting challenge, and it’s important to figure out how to get the humane “mess” in a coding process that is based on being “exact” and in control #OGB
The #OGB project is grounded in lived experience, and it’s a way out of this mess. We cannot keep using traditional institutions. We have to stop the #techcurn if we are going to use #openweb tech for social/ecological change/challenge, and we need to think about this now.
The #OGB project is about developing better ways of having “trust” based conversations and “trust” based “governance” in the #openweb. The project is built from hundreds of years of on the ground organizing that has shaped every “freedom” we enjoy and is done in a #KISS approach. The #OGB is a #fedivers native way of working, NOT a #mainstreaming way, and it comes from directly working, setting up, and solving recurring problems at hundreds of direct action protest camps.
The #OGB focus on what we know works, as at the moment, almost nothing works for social good. The #OGB project is what is needed, a voluntary cooperative and collaborative alliance that is native to the #fediverse.
It’s not the goal of the #OGB project to create an organization that tells everyone what protocols and standards to use in the #fediverse. The #OGB project is about developing better ways of having good “trust” based conversations and “trust” based “governance” in the #openweb
To sum up, the current working models of “governance” in open-source projects are monarchy, aristocracy and oligarchy. This is the rock star developer, the coders and the funders. It should be obverse to anyone that 99.99% of people are missing from this feudalistic ideal of “governance”.
Democracy is the basic foundation of our shared modernity.
WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS MESS IN TECH?
Let’s take a different path, please #OGB
Q. that is an optimistic projection
A. I have no illusion that the normal shitty behaver of fucking people over and being a prat will happen, but the codebase is designed to mediate this crap behaver for better outcomes 🙂
#OGB “permissionless” is an important word that needs some thought. The body is made up of three different, balanced groups: stakeholders, users, and affiliate stakeholders. Anybody can become a stakeholder by setting up and running an active instance, and users are self-explanatory. That affiliate stakeholders are a little more complex and are treated differently, and it’s up to the body itself to decide if they play an active and useful role.
That nothing in this is top-down, elitist, discriminatory, or undemocratic, and it’s #KISS and looks safe to the “normal world” while being native to the #fediverse and its roots. All the coding is #4opens, based on #activertypub.
With #OGB, it’s important not to get lost in the #processgeeks and their dogmatic love of #formalconsensus, as that’s a dead end and has been for the 30 years of activism and coding tech. It’s important to keep the #OGB both #KISS and human, understandable. The #OGB is native “governance” and federates in the same way as the projects it “governs”. That this approach is counterintuitive to mainstream ideas and “common sense,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This approach has worked to some extent, as seen in the “#Fediverse” as a living example, working to scale small to bigger. There will be lots of “smoke,” and help is needed to keep the project clear of this mess. We have to overcome our #stupidindividualism to have a hope of a better world.
#OGB To remind you that the need for “governance” came out of a practical problem where the #activitypub community is made up of “cats” who were doing seminars outreach to powerful #EU Eurocrats on why they should be interested in #activertypub. #OGB is designed to be messy and not tidy, and it’s a “governance” of a disorganization, not a traditional power structure. “governance” can cooperate with more formal models of governance like traditional cooperatives.