New Book: Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution
Posted by on July 6, 2009
[posted from Comm-Org]
[ed: congrats to Doug on the culmination of this long project.]
From: Douglas Schuler <email@example.com>
“Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution” Is Now Available!
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 interested.
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
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