Thursday, December 17, 2009

Using Clique Space(TM) to Support Regional, Rural and Remote Sustainability

Two days ago, I had a conversation with someone from the university where I live, and they identified Clique Space as having qualities that make the concept suitable for enabling rural and remote economic sustainability. This is something I have believed for some time; in providing a system that allows the integration of any device into an organised collaborative activity, Clique Space is a vital tool of the telework enabling puzzle.

Until now, society has relied on collocation to achieve cooperative activity necessary for many organised tasks. Such activity has historically been achieved by providing a central business hub, and locating necessary resources as close as possible within this centre both to maximise the speed of response to changing conditions, and to minimise the handling time to products as they move through a process.

Today, factory floor automation is reducing the necessity for humans to be directly involved in the production of physical goods, yet society still relies on these established mechanisms of collocation to engage in activity that is largely divested from the necessity of physical collocation. Common occupations have largely shirked physical activity. The blacksmiths, farm hands, wood turners, mill and factory workers of 100 years ago have either been made completely redundant, or are well on their way to being replaced by mechanised, robotic devices. Today, occupations such as information workers, secretaries, office hands, and other vocations that involve more of one's intellectual discipline than physical stamina are common place. Basically, people would rather be thinking and planning than making and doing.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I like it - thinking and planning is more engaging and more self-determining than is making. Thinking and planning is what comes before making and doing, and it is a normal extension of human nature to desire the former two things over the latter two. Thinking and planning also make for better living due to the reduced strain placed on the body, and therefore the prospect of a longer existence in which one doesn't have to battle an existence where chronic pain, fatigue, injury, or any combination of these are factors that result from physical labour.

Now, should these goals be reserved only for the city dwellers? Has such a question been asked of those who live elsewhere? While it isn't always productive to generalise, I would think the desires of everyone, whether from an urban centre or not, are in this case, generally directed away from repetitive activity; the desire to move away from repetitive physical activity is generally the stronger aversion.

In addition to what we try to move away from, are also those desires we are attracted to. We desire company of the familiar and the familial. Many (I would say most) people desire constancy over dynamism. In saying this, I have no wish to interfere with those who desire the converse; in fact, there is no reason for anyone to fear the diminution of a lifestyle in which change is a continuing factor by recognising that this lifestyle is neither for everyone, nor even for specific people all of the time.

So there might have been a time when humanity might have done well to physically collocate. Personal experience indicates that people are being drawn together by forces that are an anachronistic vestige of an era now past. Although I might not banish coming together on occasion for the esprit de corps of one's colleagues, no "special sauce" that executive or operational managers think might be wrung out of their plebs will yield any ultimate social or economic good from the continuing practice of physically collocating people in the bygone age of factory floor management. None at all.

People who do not live in metropolitan centres are being wrenched out of their communities by anachronism. Clique Space is my answer to this in that as long as one can coordinate, control, and audit activity over devices involved in modern human mediated processes, one might yet be able to choose where (and maybe the when) one gets involved in such collaborative endeavours. I believe such opportunity will enable people to stay in their community, and receive consideration in occupations as would befit someone who did something similar in a metropolitan office block who was subject to an anachronistic management structure.

Bugger Big Brother. The age old maxim to work (whether in an office block or from one's home) remains: getting the work done is usually prerequisite for guaranteeing one's continued employment. The totalitarian practice of huddling people together in an office block for a minimum 40 hours per week is not effective in guaranteeing productivity. This is actually far less effective than letting the individual determine an individual level of contribution in accordance with the individual's circumstances.


  1. I would be interested to see how rural sustainability in an economic sense could be sought after by using Cliquespace(TM), please flesh this out somemore. And if only we could work remotely from a quaint country town like Berry (near Nowra/Kiama, in the Shoalhaven, New South Wales. Then the only reason we would have to leave our quaint, green and cream painted cottages would be to goto the Berry bakery for a homestyle steak and mushroom pie, or to get toilet paper or to excercise...ahhh bliss...PS Berry pub rocks..go there at festival time or for a Sunday day trip..we should do that one time hey? yeah! Bye for now.

  2. Yea, I didn't cover the economic angle enough in the post. I'll probably do that soon enough.

  3. A noice cottage with bullnose veranda, jacaranda and cherry blossom. Maybe even a grandma on said veranda knitting a beautiful shawl to greet us and offer scones. What eternal bliss...

  4. Can we hook the scone making Granny up to Cliquespace(TM)? That way we can make her make hot scones for us, they will be coming out of the oven just as we arrive home from the Berry pub...we can order her to do this from our mobile phone. lol.

  5. A virtually enabled scone making shawl knitting granny. Clique Space will need a suitable Media Profile and a suitable collection of enabling constraints to expose her functionality... any suggestions?

    What else does a granny do than knit shawls and make scones?

  6. [to everyone else] Chris and I are old friends, and we like to make fun of each other's stuff.

  7. Actually, in a guise a little more seriously, this hypothetical grandma would not be a device. Indeed, like anyone who might want to assert an individual identity, she would be a user who possesses an Account. She might log various devices into Clique Space, and all those devices would inform others who she wishes to inform of what she is doing, and how others might get in contact with her.

    For instance, she would possess a telephone; she would obviously log this into Clique Space. She might just also be able to log her oven into Clique Space so to display at what stage her scones might be in the process of their manufacture. Indeed, she might also possess knitting needles that can sense which particular stitch they are performing.

    There are so many uses for Clique Space...