Sunday, January 17, 2010

[Yasmin_discussions] Open Observatory Manifesto

Our discussion list has gone quiet !!
Pier Luigi Capucci is about to start a YASMIN discussion*
*on Art and Simulation on Jan 20*
*Our art and complex systems discussion didnt generate much*
*heat !! let me remind me you of the deadline for the Leonardo*
*Art, Humanities and Complex Networks NETSCI 2010 satellite conference*
*in Boston, DEADLINE IS JAN 22, details at:*
*Finally I am looking for people interested in helping organise*
*a discussion on what I call Open Observatories:*
*I started a twine:*
*where you can add your own examples*
*see the new LEA blog on Open Observatory:*

*An Open Observatory Manifesto*





*by Roger F Malina*

*We live in a world of tele-surveillance; more and more our own environment
and our own selves are being observed and monitored. There is a
proliferation of new devices and technologies that are used by ourselves,
for instance for medical examination of our bodies, or by others to observe
and control our behaviours. These devices are also used to observe the
universe and the earth, and allow us to understand and even predict the
dynamics and processes at work.*

*Our ideas about privacy are evolving, as well as the systems of
intellectual property. Massive data bases are being accumulated in all
fields of human activity as well as observations of the world. Some of this
data is openly accessible, most of it is in closed archives. There are large
inequities both in data collection and data access depending on how
individuals and groups find themselves in different situations across the
digital divides.*

*Even within developed countries there are large impediments to accessing
the data that has been collected about ourselves and our own environment.
Most science is carried out in 'ghettos' of experts. There are science
producing communities and science consuming communities. Governments and
commercial organizations create intentional barriers to the diffusion of
data. We live in a cargo cult, enjoying the products of research but without
contributing to the knowledge construction or understanding. In a real sense
most scientific knowledge is locked up as securely as the medieval Bibles
that were chained to the pulpit and only accessible to the initiates.*

*We live in a dangerous age. The impact of the human population on the
earth's eco-system is driving a variety of anthropogenic changes, from
climate change to eco-system transformation. We live in an age of species
extinction. Our response can either be one of catatrophism, or of a cultural
transformation to learn to manage the planet and maintain an equilibrium
that allows sustainable development.*

*I would like to advance a new human right and a human obligation:*

*1. Each of us has the right to the data that has been collected about
ourselves and our own environment.
2. Each of must contribute to the knowledge construction by collecting and
interpreting data about our own world.*

*Most scientific data collection is funded by public tax payer funding. The
public has a fundamental right to all data collected and funded by the

*If we are to change our culture quickly enough to transition to a
sustainable one, we must adapt rapidly and we must have the local knowledge
to enable this.*

*I am not calling for a new amateur science, but rather an intimate science
that involves billions of people in understanding the world around them and
their impact on it.*

*There are encouraging developments worldwide in People's Science and
Citizen's Science movements. The hacker and "make" communities are
appropriating numerous technologies for social uses, locative media and
mobile phones are becoming interfaces to the world, from personal health
applications to local knowledge resources. Open innovation initiatives,
distance learning networks and other shared resource movements lead to new
ways of learning and researching in the digital age. Many artists in the
art-science and art-technology movement function as "New Leonardos" helping
to create the transformational renaissance that will be needed for us to
lean to manage "Spaceship Earth".*

*The right to data and the duty to collect data are part of this necessary
cultural transformation. We own the knowledge we create.*

*In this LEA blog, we call for examples of work by artists and scientists,
citizens and scholars that are part the burgeoning open observatory

*Contact me if you are interested in helping organise a YASMIN discussion by
posting on the LEA blog *

Roger Malina*
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