[wsfii-coord] Proposal for WSFII sponsored Resource Centers
saul at theps.net
Thu Apr 20 06:53:01 BST 2006
Can I add that I really like the idea of RSFIIs, and think that within my
limited experience - mostly confined to Europe and North America, that
they can probably be bootstrapped using existing initiatives / resources.
Thinking of London, the hacklabs are a good example -
http://www.hacklab.org.uk/. These have grown up as part of social
movements and activist networks in many cities, and are already
performing many of the functions of a RCFII. Then there are government or
housing-association-run technology resources all over London - often
underused, full of proprietary software.. although there are some
exceptions. Many artists studios double as messy cultural/technological
laboratories.. and occasionally universities and institutions will open
their doors to RSFII-relevant workshops - and then they become temporary
havens and sources of equipment and micro-investment. The problems are
often human resources, keeping places open, staffed, and accessible.
Also, there is no way to consolidate knowledge resources and skills, no
thread that runs through these places or links them in any meaningful
I think Nagarjuna is absolutely right - the human resource and the
knowledge that comes with it is vital.
Ian Morrison ran FreeBSD lessons and helped start the University of
Openess in Limehouse Town Hall in 2002. The workshops ran every week for
four years. Many people learned how to administrate unix systems, as well
as a lot of other things :) That was one of the best learning experiences
I ever had - and was an immense contribution to a swell of activity at
the Town Hall.
Can we think of RCFIIs as a knowledge and skills resource and a set of
people, activities and processes that can enrich and enliven existing
infrastructures - such as the hacklabs, or other brilliant projects and
spaces? I think back to the Pico Peering agreement: http://picopeer.net -
what it struggles to define is the *minimum necessary agreement* for a
free network to exist. What would the equivalent set of properties of a
RCFII? What kinds of knowledge resources can be consolidated to help
these spaces? What kinds of resource sharing networks could we - through
the WSFII network, mobilise to distribute through these spaces?
I think this is a very relevant idea, and I would love to see it work.
Best wishes to all of you,
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