Difference between revisions of "Grids:Remote support infrastructures"

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==The Grid/group theory==  
==The Grid/group theory==  
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The Grid/Group theory was developed by anthropologists Mary Douglas, Michael Thompson and Steve Rayner.[4] One reason it was designed was to show how rituals and traditions were relevant to modern society. Douglas, Thompson and Rayner describe the group as “the extent to which an individual’s interactions are confined within a specific group of people who form a sub-group within the larger community.” According to them there are four different social models defined by their group/grid balance. These models are: hierarchism, egalitarianism, individualism and fatalism. The hierarchists, who have a high grid and high group balance, show respect for authority and are conformative to the dominant norms in a society. Egalitarians who have a low grid, high group balance, tend to identify with the group holding outsiders responsible for risk. Individualists with low grid, low group balance act independent and are entrepreneurial, avoiding and anticipating to risks by themselves. They are willing to take risks and recognise personal benefit in these actions. The last group, a group with a high grid and low group structure are called fatalists. This group’s approach to risk isn’t seen as a collective problem that has to be solved but a personal trust in fate or luck. [5]


==Grids for Hackers&Designers==
To conclude, we can assume that the grids we want to talk about are remote support infrastructures with an anticipated goal initiated by the developer or based on the need of the participator. The grid’s effectiveness and impact is strongly connected to the position and relation it has with the participating individuals, and cannot be politically neutral.
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==Grids and their impact==
==On the grid==
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What does it mean to be on a grid as an individual, part of different groups and subgroups?
What are the different ways to be on a grid, or to be using the facilities of an infrastructure?


==Going on and off the grid==
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outro
As an individual put on a certain coordinates when born into this world, placed in a predefined context and time, we are certainly forced by external structures to participate in the grids they designed for us. This can for example be the laws of a country you live in, the laws of nature, or even the structure of your own body. They have clear limits, do’s and don’ts, and if you don’t participate in them they can sometimes have an extensive impact on yourself as an individual. As we grow up in our environments we get a slow but steady introduction into already established grids. It goes from how to eat, walk, talk, draw, to what study to chose, how to work, and so on. In these grids posed upon us by external factors there is a difference to be found in the strength of their force and the impact on an individual or group when they opt out. Choosing to not obey governmental law will probably have a big impact on your individual freedom, as to not participating in certain technological progress will also cut into your the freedom of your social interactions, but will rather have a smaller impact due to smaller influence of that grid on personal lives.
 
==Off the grid==
Although grids can imply a lot of benefits for a participant like providing health care, ensuring safety and enabling efficient transportation, the same grids can imply more negative results than benefits for an individual. Deciding to go off the grid will enable an individual to function without the use of that particular remote support system. Going off-the-grid by choice is al lot of times the result of a conscious and extensive process of comparing the pro’s and con’s of this action. It can be in favor of this person’s or group’s privacy, independence, economic situation, environmental impact or ideology. Although there is the possibility to go off-grid by choice it can also be forced upon a person. It can be due to an inability to participate by, for example, remoteness, no available facilities, or an absence of resources.
Choosing collective or individual to go off-grid can not only have big impact on your personal environment but also on the external world. It can evoke change or undermine established grid and structures, since a grid needs its participants to enable its existence.
 
==Advantages to (prepare to) go on or off grid for H&D==
With H&D we would like to challenge new and established grids that make up our environment. To do that we would like to examine questions as: What are the conflicts we encounter while participating in different grids? What kind of conflicts rise when we choose to go off the grid? How can we initiate processes that enable change in existing grids? How can we experiment and imagine a sustainable work method and environment that allows us to develop new technologies? How can we think about consequences of projects, research, and interventions we undertake? How can we embrace our interests in technology and experiment without turning our surroundings into Grey Goo? Can we use existing grids to find new working methods with different impacts?
 
 
As hackers, designers, artists or net-workers, there are a several grids that are almost inseparably connected to our professional and social environments. These grids seem to occur in four main categories: our way of communicating with each other, the valuation of our work, the facilities we use, and our own practice. As we observe a rise of conflicts in our environments in the fields of privacy, efficiency, monetary value system, time investment, resources, accommodation, transport, ecology, morals and methods, we are proposing to re-evaluate the grids we became accustomed to and take action to prepare ourselves and be ready to take position. Shall we participate or leave familiar grids and start a quest to look for alternative options and create new grids and solutions within our environment?

Revision as of 16:49, 13 February 2017

In 2017 Hackers&Designers will focus on the thematic thread and the process of going ‘off-the grid’, – a crucial societal topic and ongoing discussion at stake in both design/art and developer practices. To be able to reflect on the roles, meanings and impacts of the different grids we are navigating on as hackers and designers, this first article will give an overview of the nature of different grids, what they are, what they can be, where they come from, and what their impact is on our work- and personal environments. This introductory article will be a very broad examination of what ‘a grid’ can mean to our social interactions. After this submersion into the world of grids, the following articles will have a case based way to approach the ‘wild’ grid with experimental curiosity and will be based on the outlines of this introduction.

When looking up ‘grids’ in the Cambridge Dictionary [1] we find that a grid is ‘a pattern or structure made from horizontal and vertical lines crossing each other to form squares.’ Since going off-grid for sure doesn’t mean stepping out of a graphical structure, a more clear explanation for the grids we can go on or off can be found in anthropologic studies and literature about cultural motives and infrastructures.

Sociologist Lisa Wade describes these grids in her book “Gender” [2] as “persistent patterns of social interaction aimed at meeting the needs of a society that can’t easily be met by individuals alone”. Grid systems are there to provide a structure or connection between several people to be able to do things more efficiently, than we would be able when we would handle them alone. Sociologists also tend to call these grids institutions and distinguish five main grids in our society: education, family, religion, polity, and economy. The problem with these big institutions is that once they are established, it’s almost impossible for an individual to step out from them and they are not always set up with the goal of meeting the needs of a society.

A more accurate description of what grids can be was formulated by Shaun Hargreaves Heap and Angus Ross in “Understanding the enterprise culture” [3]: [A grid is]‘The set of rules which govern individuals in their personal interactions. Strong or “high” grid means strongly defined roles which provide a script for individual interaction.’ While Lisa Wade assumes that grids always have a serving position for society, the previous definition is neutral in its judgement on whether the intention or impact of those grids are designed or put into place to serve society, or at least a certain social group.

While studying the nature of grids there is a strong impossibility to disconnect them from their relation with the participants. Without participants, there is no grid. A grid cannot exist without its initiators, actors, and participants. This relation between participants and grids is described as the grid/group theory by several anthropologists.

The Grid/group theory

The Grid/Group theory was developed by anthropologists Mary Douglas, Michael Thompson and Steve Rayner.[4] One reason it was designed was to show how rituals and traditions were relevant to modern society. Douglas, Thompson and Rayner describe the group as “the extent to which an individual’s interactions are confined within a specific group of people who form a sub-group within the larger community.” According to them there are four different social models defined by their group/grid balance. These models are: hierarchism, egalitarianism, individualism and fatalism. The hierarchists, who have a high grid and high group balance, show respect for authority and are conformative to the dominant norms in a society. Egalitarians who have a low grid, high group balance, tend to identify with the group holding outsiders responsible for risk. Individualists with low grid, low group balance act independent and are entrepreneurial, avoiding and anticipating to risks by themselves. They are willing to take risks and recognise personal benefit in these actions. The last group, a group with a high grid and low group structure are called fatalists. This group’s approach to risk isn’t seen as a collective problem that has to be solved but a personal trust in fate or luck. [5]

To conclude, we can assume that the grids we want to talk about are remote support infrastructures with an anticipated goal initiated by the developer or based on the need of the participator. The grid’s effectiveness and impact is strongly connected to the position and relation it has with the participating individuals, and cannot be politically neutral.

On the grid

What does it mean to be on a grid as an individual, part of different groups and subgroups? What are the different ways to be on a grid, or to be using the facilities of an infrastructure?


As an individual put on a certain coordinates when born into this world, placed in a predefined context and time, we are certainly forced by external structures to participate in the grids they designed for us. This can for example be the laws of a country you live in, the laws of nature, or even the structure of your own body. They have clear limits, do’s and don’ts, and if you don’t participate in them they can sometimes have an extensive impact on yourself as an individual. As we grow up in our environments we get a slow but steady introduction into already established grids. It goes from how to eat, walk, talk, draw, to what study to chose, how to work, and so on. In these grids posed upon us by external factors there is a difference to be found in the strength of their force and the impact on an individual or group when they opt out. Choosing to not obey governmental law will probably have a big impact on your individual freedom, as to not participating in certain technological progress will also cut into your the freedom of your social interactions, but will rather have a smaller impact due to smaller influence of that grid on personal lives.

Off the grid

Although grids can imply a lot of benefits for a participant like providing health care, ensuring safety and enabling efficient transportation, the same grids can imply more negative results than benefits for an individual. Deciding to go off the grid will enable an individual to function without the use of that particular remote support system. Going off-the-grid by choice is al lot of times the result of a conscious and extensive process of comparing the pro’s and con’s of this action. It can be in favor of this person’s or group’s privacy, independence, economic situation, environmental impact or ideology. Although there is the possibility to go off-grid by choice it can also be forced upon a person. It can be due to an inability to participate by, for example, remoteness, no available facilities, or an absence of resources. Choosing collective or individual to go off-grid can not only have big impact on your personal environment but also on the external world. It can evoke change or undermine established grid and structures, since a grid needs its participants to enable its existence.

Advantages to (prepare to) go on or off grid for H&D

With H&D we would like to challenge new and established grids that make up our environment. To do that we would like to examine questions as: What are the conflicts we encounter while participating in different grids? What kind of conflicts rise when we choose to go off the grid? How can we initiate processes that enable change in existing grids? How can we experiment and imagine a sustainable work method and environment that allows us to develop new technologies? How can we think about consequences of projects, research, and interventions we undertake? How can we embrace our interests in technology and experiment without turning our surroundings into Grey Goo? Can we use existing grids to find new working methods with different impacts?


As hackers, designers, artists or net-workers, there are a several grids that are almost inseparably connected to our professional and social environments. These grids seem to occur in four main categories: our way of communicating with each other, the valuation of our work, the facilities we use, and our own practice. As we observe a rise of conflicts in our environments in the fields of privacy, efficiency, monetary value system, time investment, resources, accommodation, transport, ecology, morals and methods, we are proposing to re-evaluate the grids we became accustomed to and take action to prepare ourselves and be ready to take position. Shall we participate or leave familiar grids and start a quest to look for alternative options and create new grids and solutions within our environment?