[Asis-l] [Fwd: The Liberating Voices book is now available!]

M.J. Menou michel.menou at orange.fr
Sun Nov 9 11:46:40 EST 2008

-------- Message original --------
Sujet : 	The Liberating Voices book is now available!
Date : 	Sat, 8 Nov 2008 01:12:53 -0800
De : 	Doug Schuler <douglas at publicsphereproject.org>
Pour : 	Doug Schuler <douglas at cpsr.org>


"Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution" Is 

After eight years of work, the book on our information and
communication pattern language project, "Liberating Voices: A Pattern
Language for Communication Revolution," is finally available.
Liberating Voices brings together a multitude of ideas and suggestions
from a variety of perspectives including activism and social change,
education, community informatics, governance, media, development,
information science, economics, journalism, arts and culture.

We believe that this book can be used by researchers, by practitioners
in a variety of fields including teachers in the classroom, by
activists, and by citizens and community members throughout the world.

I'm writing to you as a colleague or, in some cases, as a person whom
I've never met but whose work I admire. In either case I'm hopeful
that you'd find this work compelling. If you do, please read this note
and send it along to friends and colleagues who might also be

I believe that this book is particularly relevant at this time in
history. It is a holistic call to arms for social change based on a
revolution in grassroots information and communication. It takes the
form of a pattern language that contains 136 patterns. Each pattern is
a template for research as well as social critique and action. And
each patterns is linked to other patterns into a single coherent
whole. We (myself and 85 co-authors) have tried to show that the
struggle for liberatory information and communication systems is
absolutely critical.

In recent decades we have witnessed the creation of communication
systems that promise unparalleled connectedness. Now is the time to
unleash our collective creativity—social as well as technological—
and develop the communication systems that promote community and civic
innovation and engagement to address serious challenges like climate
change and environmental degradation.

Inspired by the vision and framework outlined in Christopher
Alexander's classic 1977 book, A Pattern Language, the book presents a
pattern language containing 136 patterns designed to meet these
challenges. We are proposing a new model of social change that
integrates theory and practice by showing how diverse information and
communication based approaches can be used to address local as well as
global problems.

The pattern language was developed collaboratively with nearly 100 co-
authors using an online pattern language management system. The
patterns from the book are all online as are approximately 300 other
patterns in work. We are treating the publishing of the book as an
important milestone rather than the culmination of the project. While
we are very enthusiastic about what we've produced so far we realize
that people and organizations who use the patterns will often need to
adapt the pattern language to their specific needs which may even
include developing new patterns. For this reason and others we are
revamping our web site to encourage collaborative pattern language
construction and allow people to readily share ideas and experiences
with others.

Our goal was to create an intriguing and informative catalog of
intellectual, social, and technological innovations, a practical
manual for citizen activism, and a compelling manifesto for creating a
more intelligent, sustainable, and equitable world.

Finally, I'd like to share these endorsements with you. I think they
capture some of the important ideas through independent eyes.

"If we keep following the well-trodden paths that have brought us to
where we are, we'll never get to where we want to go. Schuler and his
colleagues believe that we can get out of these ruts, and better yet,
they tell us how. This work goes beyond elections and demonstrations,
beyond cynicism and business as usual. It asks the much deeper
questions: what kind of a world do we want and what must we do to get
there? Schuler and his colleagues show us that another world is
possible and invite everybody to the project. I say, 'Let's get going.'"

—Jerry Greenfield, co-founder, Ben & Jerry's

"In this wide-ranging analysis of the role of information in society,
Doug Schuler proposes a grand theory that weaves together disparate
information and communication activities into an organized,
synergistic fabric. He taps into the collective wisdom of citizens—
both theorists and advocates—to develop a pattern language that can
be used as a framework for rethinking how we build community and
create a more humane, equitable future."

—Nancy Kranich, Former President, American Library Association,
author of Libraries & Democracy

"It's a wonder no one has attempted this monumental project before!
Doug Schuler and his collaborators have produced a visionary manual
rich in insights and directly useful in any attempt to connect people
and information technologies in the quest for real democracy. This is
a crucial book for our time."

—Langdon Winner, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

If this sounds interesting I encourage to take a look at the book.
Also, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me for any reason.
And thanks in advance for sending this note to friends and colleagues!

-- Doug Schuler

Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution can
be ordered online at:

The Public Sphere Project

The Liberating Voices pattern language project

Online portal to the patterns in the book

Dr. Michel J. Menou
Visiting Professor, SLAIS, University College London, U.K.
Consultant in ICT policies and Knowledge & Information Management
Adviser of Somos at Telecentros board http://www.tele-centros.org
Member of the founding steering committee of
Telecenters of the Americas Partnership http://www.tele-centers.net/
B.P. 15
F-49350 Les Rosiers sur Loire, France
Email: micheljmenou[at]gmail[dot]com
Phone: +33 (0)2 41511043

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