pros and cons of p2p maps

1. Humans are spatial beings. Even with the world spanning Internet there is still a need for real world data about real world issues. The net has provided a focus on how to enter the computer, but in fact we don’t want to enter ‘cyberspace’ – we want the computer to come out into our world and be forced to deal with us as we are. Peer based knowledge systems allow better knowledge about the real space.
2. Simply a new kind of GIS layer – the ‘community dialogue’ layer. To add to existing GIS technology.
3. Focus is on colliqual knowledge; recognizing inability to compete in traditional GIS areas. See for example.
4. Apathy is equivilant to disenfranchisement. Suddenly we have a public, unbiased, non-partisan, straight-forward way of participating in civic affairs – one which actively educates its members and which is community based and focused. This will be an inclusive democracy versus an exclusive one such as current Western Democracies and should lessen the frustration of its members.
5. Today we live in a system of such complexity that our unaugumented faculties cannot resolve it. A system like this can act as a better community vision for modern times. Hopefully it will permit larger structures such as cities and provincial government to act like small towns in that the vast inferential and non-computational power of many human minds can be brought fruitfully to bear on problems rather than acting as an obscuring cloud of too many voices.
6. Access to ‘life-information’ is a human right in that the quality of human life is dramatically affected by knowledge of the world around us. Knowing about our world may make us more healthy and able to thrive in that world. It is a right, regardless of being good or bad.
7. A sublime educational toy, the capacity for predictive analysis will allow the exploration of ideas that otherwise would never be engaged upon, and by people who traditionally are unable to clearly express their opinions, such as the poor and the new immigrants.
8. Finally creates a common standard language for the dialogue of conflict resolution.
9. Reintroduces a physical locality and dialogue to our increasingly virtualized world. Many of us living in the larger western cities do not know any of our physical neighbours. It is arguable that there is some benefit in choosing to associate with neighbours as well as distant souls.
10. The standard of living we enjoy is not equivalant to the quality of life we expect. We may find ourselves forming intentional communities where cars, television, and five day a week labour are minimized and other factors are consciously selected for.
11. Ammenable to local systems, and the idea of binding work energy to a community by barter and other less liquid work exchange systems.
12. Puts individuals on par with organizations in some respects. An organization has a mandate to benefit its own net worth, and will aggressively seek to find geospatial predictions that benefit itself. However if other clear options exist, they should be able to show a better bottom line than the Corporate one. Gross miscarriages of Corporate and Government action should become less possible.
13. Geographical displays are of a much higher bandwidth as compared to text, and being a direct metaphor for our geospatial world, are much more salient. Information phrased geographically can be communicated more easily and with more persuasion.
14. A system like this could grow up in parallel with old style politics, and in a sense, recolonize Western Democracy, effecting a structural change for the betterment of all humankind. Traditional Government may continue to move into a purely moral posture, much in the way the Catholic Church has, vilified by many, cherished by many, but ultimately not allowed to be a part of important decision making.

1. When humans are aware of a thing they often seek to exploit it. A Government may seek to micro-manage a forest, attempting to preserve what they perceive as its basic essence, yet still perform some selective logging on it. The human condition is not to leave any territory purely alone, despite the fact that any understanding is always incomplete.
2. People who promote any system of politics or government often have some kind of personal benefit as well. What is the benefit to this author? And what is the benefit to other people who would support the scheme?
3. Being a technological device, this system may not be accessible to the poor, disenfranchised and imprisoned who do make up our society. By failing to represent these people, the system has a warped view of the community.
4. Should it become readily accessible to those traditionally without power, it may be used as a weapon. For example the prison population may be able to demonstrate and ratify the need to eliminate anti-drug laws, and to punish those people who promoted them.
5. The highly open nature of the system may create conflict, again this is a human problem in our lack of tolerance for systems and people alien to ourselves. Usenet already has a problem like this, and that is in a purely virtual space. Suddenly differences of ethic and behaviour may become much more incindiary when they are seen to be geospatially next door to each other.
6. A system like this is in some ways just another weapon, designed to create compliance. It’s merely a new type of club to hit the dissenters over the head with. As humans we also need to learn to stop being so focused on domination, to allow a place for the other. Domination is a symptom of fear, perhaps we can move from an authoritarian and domination oriented culture to one that faces fear resolutely, without encysting ourselve within law and structure.
7. Our society tends towards the machinelike. We are asked to perform harder each year. This system can be perceived as a restructuring of the inefficient society of the past, into one which is more able to produce, and to maximize work time and effort.
8. We live in the jaws of a machine which seems to be digesting the fabric of society for energy. First it breaks down the extended family and then the nuclear family. Is a system like this merely another step in that progression? Certainly the individual human living alone is the most energy expending entity, having to purchase in duplicate those things that are normally shared.
9. The system is a representation of reality, not reality.
10. Destabilizes the noise-dampening measures our society has built into it. Instead of only reasonable placating voices may be a barrage of angry, uninformed masses, twisting every argument towards their own benefit, regardless of the general course of society.
11. The spirit and theme of this system will undoubtably be mutated before it is realized. Perhaps some of the mutations may be quite dangerous.
12. Lack of an outside. A system like this should allow for experiment, always leave room for a culture outside of its influence, and if none exists, then create free-zones where its rules do not apply. Even within itself, geography is not everything, and many other kinds of decisions must still be resolved by other means.

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