Community and Techie Fallacy

by Katarzyna Gajewska

Have you met him already? It is usually a man, an engineer or other type of techie, who has understood it all. He has seen through and does not want to submit to the systemic absurdity anymore. He has started to think about how to get out of it. He has read. He has figured out that the current production system does not make sense. Now he is thinking what he can do about it. He may have joined groups interested in these topics or created his own group. The next natural step would be to create a community.

If you want to create an alternative to the current dysfunctional system, you need to understand the fallacy that brought us here, which affects our mindset. The major problem is that economy has been designed by a handful of detached individuals rather than co-created by all affected. Those who have worked as programmers or engineers may bring this policy into their alternative project. Design will not build a community, neither a well written plan or a website with fancy videos. Only people can build a community and this is where the difficulty begins and most stories end.

Developing technology requires highly advanced skills. It takes time and specialization. All these hours spent on honing this expertise may appear as a hard work in comparison to hanging out with people and being in relationships. This long quest may lead to a conclusion that what one needs is the right architecture.

It is worth observing the seduction of technology. It flatters with measurable results and the feeling of achievement. There is something exciting about sketching a model and implementing it. Simplicity feels comfortable.

Have you ever wondered why it hardly ever works? In reality, there is a difference between building a software and building a community. There are some aspects that you need to define in advance like a code. However, your code’s most important element is the space and time for collective processing. Design without a process is garbage hardly usable by anyone except for the one who prepares it and has good time fantasizing and keeping his mind occupied. A collective process may result in a design that exceeds the limits of an isolated mind. Just to give you a an idea, Kommune Niederkaufungen spent years on preparation. The entire project took off because a group of friends met regularly and started dreaming together. If you do not want to waste your time on waiting for a community to develop organically, then consider the comfort of computer work.

No matter how great technological solutions will not sustain any community. Without good vibes, any infrastructure will stay hollow. What is the point of optimization and improvement if you are surrounded by people you do not like to be with in the first place?

There is no such thing as a community without communicating. Learning hard science may create an expectation that a feedback or argument should be logical. For someone who thinks he knows it all because he studied a lot, something that falls outside of his expertise may appear as illogical. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. You can acquire knowledge by reading and learning. Wisdom requires going out there into the discomforts and risking being hurt.

A community needs a marriage of knowledge and wisdom. However, our society skewed towards recognizing knowledge rather than wisdom may have thwarted your ability to see them as equal partners. There are some things about community that cannot be formulated as scientific proof. If you have been socialized in scientific way of thinking, you need to be particularly careful to be able to hear the wisdom. It is so easy to dismiss something which is outside of our comfort zone.

In my book “Imagine a Sane Society,” I point to the fact that feminine values and logic are marginalized by our society. When I say feminine, I do not mean gender. It goes beyond biology. Usually techies are more in their masculine essence. Therefore, they need to be careful to be able to hear and even ask the feminine to talk.

The moment when polarities are coming together feels exciting. This is why we keep falling in love, agonizing over breakups, and daydreaming about a stranger. Why not fully embrace the fact that we need each other. And even if we don’t, things are simply more interesting when spiced up by the differences.

It may sound debilitating at first to see that all these hours spent on developing your skills will not suffice to create a community or an alternative production system. However, this is not a wasted time. The fact that something prompted you in the past to invest in this knowledge is the gift that you were meant to give to the world. But it can be given in the best way if it is embedded in a community and human relations., which is an opportunity to step into a life much richer than you designed at the outset. Your design will not spell magic on people but there is a magic in seeing your limits and seeing others. This enables your knowledge to become a gift. A community can rescue it from your lopsidedness.

Help to push Katarzyna’s work to the masses. The entire book will be available for free (digital text + audio) once we collect enough money for production. Donate here!

Listen to an excerpt from this book HERE!

For updates on her publications: Katarzyna Gajewska – Independent Scholar

Her recent publications:

On crowdfunding with Cambia community to complete a feminine utopia and boycotting Amazon

Robot as a Teacher: The Perils of Digitalized Progress in Education

Of Viruses and the Limits of Masculine (Dys)topias

The Cultural Preparation for Crisis

Naming the Alternatives

So you want to leave it all and create a community?

Community and Techie Fallacy

3 thoughts on “Community and Techie Fallacy

  1. This is a great post. It hits at the myth of the commune with software development as the cottage industry. I have fallen for this shiny object myself and spent time trying to build such a thing back before the dot com bubble burst.

    I definitely want to echo the idea that community is not something on clever person designs and then people can join in, which is the illusion tech savvy folks often has because you can build software this way. It is a messy interactive process. And just like it is often a mistake for one clever or affluent person to buy land first and then try to install a community there, designing a charter or mission for a community is a poor choice of solo acts.

    I wish I had money to support your book and encourage others who have income to do so.

    Like

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