Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Welcome to The Village: part of what I believe.

The following was a response to a question ciphergoth asked in his journal yesterday. I'm putting it here, because it goes someway to explaining a lot of what I believe, and why I behave the way I do.

As ciphergoth said:

I'm disturbed by the lack of internationalism on my friends page. I'd assumed that the sorts of people I might tend to meet would in general reject patriotism and nationalism as a close cousin of racism and other irrational forms of supporting one person you don't know over another, and support instead the idea that we were on the side of the whole of humanity, regardless of colour or nationality. It seems I was mistaken.

I responded:

I have to admit that I rarely think about things in terms of nationalism or internationalism.

I firmly believe that the natural order of organisation for human beings is of the order of 250 or so (I have a feeling that electronically-mediated virtual communities have the ability to be larger, thanks to the technological support they offer) - anything else breaks down due to failures in communication. As such I tend to regard the state (or the State, if you prefer) as an aberation that will eventually wither away and die...

May be it's because I grew up on a small island, and was able to see its three or four distinct societies functioning quite happily in the framework of a limited government. Or maybe, I'm an anarcho-syndicalist utopian who wants to live in the Culture. Or even, with my consulting hat on, because I've seen so many dysfunctional large organisations. Evil comes when we try to build structures that force people into large groupings, as they're pushed into behaving in an unnatural manner...

The key to human survival is open, free communications, and the ability to allow self organisation at a village level - whether it's a virtual village like a LJ community, or a group of co-workers collaborating on a project.

It takes a village because we are villagers, no matter where we are or what we're doing. My personal village is geographically very diverse - which I guess means that I am an internationalist today - but I have also seen its shape and structure change so many times over my life, that I have no idea where it will take me tomorrow.

I'm not sure if that answers your question. However, it does try to encapsulate my personal beliefs.

Addendum for this entry:

The village/tribe size is an important issue for human relationships and organisational structures, as it's hardwired in at a very low level. I often refer to it as "the rule of 25" - we generally have around 25 friends, and an extended circle of up to 250 aquaintances and co-workers (It is possible to belong to more than one circle, but they are things we actually switch in and out as required). Any more than that, and we have difficulty remembering names and personal details - and we lose all ability to build a conceptual model of an individual's actions and responses, a key tool in effective communication.
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