Loomio

Book Review Series / Culture

AK
Avi (Dr KBH) Public Seen by 24

Proposal for series of articles

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Mon 7 Jun

Hi fellow members. I would like to publish a series of 5 book reviews based on a reading circle I am running over the summer and autumn. In addition an introductory piece based on an edited version of the attachment that addresses 'cooperativeness' more directly.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) started a proposal Mon 7 Jun

Book Review Series Closed Thu 10 Jun

Outcome
by Avi (Dr KBH) Thu 10 Jun

Thanks Jonathan and Jonny, and everyone else's comments :)

Agreed, I am not against Leo or Iwan (I have published an article here via their editorial process), just think it would be good to state that there is an editorial process and what it is and for some bios of editors on website. This helps readers, and even me, understand what MI is partly shaped by. Which goes the same for MI focus. Again perhaps clear for some, but not clear for others. Thanks for those links, very helpful.

Also I hope this little experiment has proved helpful. It has to me at least in testing what the collective editorialism would yield. Next Reading Group/Book Review series more directly on MI focus!

Look forward to where this convo goes :)

Avi

This is a proposal to see whether you agree to the publication of this 6 article series over the summer and autumn. The first one should go out in a week or so and then it's every 6 weeks or so. See attachment for more detail :)

Agree - 3
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 6
Block - 0
11 people have voted (35%)
AK

Avi (Dr KBH)
Agree
Mon 7 Jun

JE

John Evans
Agree
Mon 7 Jun

CS

Christian Shaw
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

ID

Iwan Doherty
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

SO

Stephen Owen
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

Whilst I agree with the idea in principle Avi (and have written a book review myself prior) , you need to go through the editorial process.

LS

Leo Sammallahti
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

See comment below for reasoning.

GH

George Hayes
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

RS

Rabbil Sikdar
Agree
Mon 7 Jun

JF

James Fielding
Abstain
Mon 7 Jun

JD

Jonny Denfhy
Abstain
Mon 7 Jun

I think some of the themes discussed in these books are interesting and relevant to MI but I'm not sure as a series it fits entirely with what I understood to be the intended output of MI. Maybe some books that more closely link these concepts together could be good. For example, "the village against the world" a book about the 'communist' village of marinaleda in andalucia, Spain, which built a farming cooperative off the back of agrarian land reform as well as a municipalist approach.

KB

Kenneth Baumann
Disagree
Mon 7 Jun

the proposal is too vague. i don't want to open .doc files as they are vectors for malware. the full nature of the proposal should be submitted in plain text in the post.

LS

Leo Sammallahti Tue 8 Jun

While the books seem interesting they don't seem to fit (my personal and individual perception) of the distinct focus Mutual Interest has had, apart from the Ocalan book. While initially I envisioned quite a strict set of topics (co-ops, unions, land value tax, anti-trust and intellectual property rights), we have since taken a broader direction. Am convinced broadening the focus has been the right thing to do, even through I personally had previously been opposed it.

So it might very well be that I'm wrong this time too, but do think we should have a distinct focus, even if it means not covering some important and interesting topics that don't fit that focus. That focus does not have to be strictly defined, but generally would describe it as revitalising the classic labour movement organising methods - co-ops and unions, alongside more broadly presenting economic analysis from a mutualist/distributist/market socialist perspective.

Am open to broaden, and even if I wasn't, if other members wish to do so they have every right to do so, and I will remain as committed to the project whatever path we collectively choose to pursue. However, do think that focus should be somewhat defined and distinct from other publications and wish we wouldn't end up as a more general left leaning publication with a different ownership and governance structure. In other words, what is the area of focus we could have that no other publication has? I want readers who visit our site and see our articles go "I get it, this is what sets the publication apart from everyone else".

Also totally open to changing the editorial process, but then I would personally think we need to have a discussion on what that process would look like beforehand and have members agree on it. For example, if the vote is public and not anonymous, the people opposed to the proposal might feel more social pressure not to voice their opinion compared to those who support it. This is why we have decided to do the participatory budgeting process anonymously.

Also, it might be worth considering guidelines on whether each article pitches are voted separately instead of in bulk (this vote gives no option for those who might want to see a book review of one of the books but not of some others, like me), whether inviting all the members in every decision about whether to publish an article leads to notification spam, etc.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Tue 8 Jun

Thank you for responses so far.

"what is the area of focus we could have that no other publication has?"

Precisely. What is this?

"editorial process?"

Okay. What is this?

LS

Leo Sammallahti Tue 8 Jun

I don't think there is another publication where a similar portion of the content is focused on both unions and co-ops (especially consumer cooperatives have historically played as important part as trade unions in the history of the left, but currently they are almost entirely neglected in other publications) and that has a similar mutualist/distributist/market socialist take on the economy. Grassroots Economic Organizing comes close, and would see it as a publication most similar to ours.

The editorial process is that people send their articles to the editors who then decide whether to go ahead with them or not.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Wed 9 Jun

Okay!

But this is not what is publicly written on the website.

Please make this correction a priority, otherwise its very misleading.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Wed 9 Jun

Let me offer some help here on accountability and telling an authentic story:

(1) As I can only vaguely make out (editors named and bios please) Leo and Iwan hold access to all but one MI decision, and thats a big responsibility. If Leo and Iwan cannot act within a reasonably agreed period of time (1 week? 2weeks? Whatever.) that's an area of accountability design that needs addressing pronto or it means the power structure is purposefully mystified.

(2) I suggest the About page should be edited whereby it can start with an edited form of what Leo articulated well above as the thematic FOCUS of MI.

Its a clear and necessary move to make (it can change over time, that's another question) I might personally agree its a strong focus, but that's not the point. Right now writers and readers need to know where MI is coming from or aiming for. We need that to build writers and readers. And to be trustworthy. Otherwise we are pretending to publish everything, which is evidentialy not the case. That's good but it needs to be said.

(3) The editorial process: The About page has to be edited to reflect that MI is a work in progress. This means the talk on there about democracy and so forth must be clearly defined i.e. Payment of authors has been pioneered as part of a coop process.

Right now it suggests other things.

If anything else, like editorialism or whatever aspires to that. Good. But that must be told as an aspiration. Right now it's told as a given.

SO

This intervention is a moment of possibility for growth.

As Nike says, let's do it.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) started a proposal Wed 9 Jun

Make Mutual Interest members commit to describing MI as what it is and be clear about the difference between aspirations and reality Closed Thu 17 Jun

Agree - 3
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 2
5 people have voted (16%)
JB

Jonathan Bean Wed 9 Jun

I see the need for having a unique focus and that it would help potential readers and supporters to be transparent about that focus.

I like the idea and aspiration of user owned media because I don't like the idea of opaque funding where we don't know who has true control over what is being published.

I want journalism where the truth is what matters most.

I like as a model of what might work how hackernoon is evolving towards user ownership, although they still have a focus on technology.

I encourage everyone to listen to their story towards user ownership on the exit to community webinar. https://www.colorado.edu/lab/medlab/2021/04/30/exit-community-two-startup-journeys-user-ownership
Maybe we can learn from them it seems they might be open to sharing their code someday too.

I like the idea of having a platform like theirs and like medium where there is a way to have multiple publications with multiple unique themes but have it owned and governed democratically by those who contribute and benefit from the platform and protocols. But this is a much bigger goal that would require a community of writers and readers who want it and I am not sure where to find that community or how to build it.

I think it is important to be clear and transparent about what we are doing now and what we want to do in the future. There is a process for doing this outlined in Grassroots Economic Organizing publication about how to form solidarity coops. https://geo.coop/articles/how-create-solidarity-enterprise

Still this requires facilitators and organizers and a solidarity community who want it enough.


JD

Jonny Denfhy Thu 10 Jun

I agree with you Avi that the editorial process needs to be 'demystified' on the webpage.

However, if you speak to Iwan and Leo I think they are quite clear on what the main focus of MI is (unions, coops, community organising, market socialism etc..). Which personally is why I am involved in MI, I see it as distinct from the standard leftist/anarchist fair on the Internet. Furthermore, the scope of MI has broaden significantly from when I first gone on board and I think that has been a positive move, although I agree with Leo that these broader articles should still stick to the main focus of MI (see above). It's easy as a broadly left platform to drift into the typical and repetitive discourse.

I also, like you, think there should be some aspiration for a more collective editorial process but MI is still in its infancy and personally I am happy with Iwan and Leo's editorial process so far, although it could be a touch quicker.

A compromise here could be to, yes, edit the website to make it reflect the current editorial process. But maybe it's time for us to start having that discussion about where we want to go as a outlet with regards to collective input in editorial decisions. The first step could simply be voting for an extra editor and going forward from there.

Perhaps this is a discussion we could all have some time soon?

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Thu 10 Jun

Thanks Jonathan and Jonny, and everyone else's comments :)

Agreed, I am not against Leo or Iwan (I have published an article here via their editorial process), just think it would be good to state that there is an editorial process and what it is and for some bios of editors on website. This helps readers, and even me, understand what MI is partly shaped by. Which goes the same for MI focus. Again perhaps clear for some, but not clear for others. Thanks for those links, very helpful.

Also I hope this little experiment has proved helpful. It has to me at least in testing what the collective editorialism would yield. Next Reading Group/Book Review series more directly on MI focus!

Look forward to where this convo goes :)

Avi

LS

Leo Sammallahti Sat 12 Jun

Thanks @Avi (Dr KBH) and totally agree with your point that we have not done our job as fast as we should have (hopefully the fact that I don't get any compensation and Iwans 5% compensation is very modest makes this more understandable bc we both have a job, although it doesn't excuse it). Agree also on making the editorial process clearer to people in the website (which we want to improve a lot in many ways). Will be making a longer reply.

@Jonathan Bean all finances are transparent, but we allow people to donate anonymously (OC gives this option by default and we have not deactivated it). Hopefully this provides enough transparency for our finances, but any proposals to increase it are welcome, hopefully however so that if there is an increased effort required there is also someone willing to put in that effort. I don't know how I would feel about banning anonymous donations (and understand this is not something you have claimed to support), but of course we can make that decision through a democratic process if we want. I would personally maybe vote against it though, I think its good people who dont want their name out there should be able to do so.

Next week we should be able to take a lot of new steps forward from Wednesday onwards.

AK

Avi (Dr KBH) Sat 12 Jun

Getting the 'About' page right :) (1) Editors (2) General focus of MI (3) highlighting and championing the innovative finances 😁