The Golden Age
Kyberia - my problem Kind: refleKtions on 18 years of oldest SlovaK digital Kommunity
Back in 2001 I started programming a website for a domain kyberia.sk. The site transformed itself into a community, the community transformed itself into a digital village. Some principles got formalized into institutions, a model of self-governance of politcal bodies called "Parallel Democracy Model" had been deployed, an ostraKization procedure was implemented, the content-based economy transformed into a blockchain-supported ledger. Lot of love wasspread, but lot of hate as well. What next ?
This talk is going to summarize first 18 years of existence of the oldest slovak digital community kyberia.sk. Conceived at the outset of the era "when anything seemed possible" (Rushkoff, 1994) Kyberia had its Golden Age between 2001-2004 wherein architectural foundations of a fractal-like system based on top a concept of a "data node" had been laid. First a simple blog platform about unusual or futurist topics (e.g. post-humanism, nanotechnology, entheogens) Kyberia slowly attracted interest of slovak-czech artist and hacker communities in order to become an invisible helping force behind many activist groups (e.g. hacker-space movement, bikers, cannabis decrimalization, environmental protection) emergent in a critical moment of Slovak history. An economy based on distribution and attribution of social-capital tokens - known as "K" on kyberia and later known as "like" on other social network platforms - had been activated. Major prizes and mentions (e.g. Honorary Mention in "digital communities" category of Ars Electronica 2013) were awarded; descriptions of Kyberia's unique model of self-governance - so-called "Parallel Democracy Model" (Hromada, 2013) - have been published and, as the Time flows, values stored in K-economy get more and more irreversible by being a part of a growing blockchain-backed public ledger...
But somewhere in the process we went astray. Some turned into conspirators with personality disorders. Others became stone-casters and moralizing grandstanders. Some part of us all is now a hater craving for everfresh stimulation of dopaminergic pathways induced by reception of Ks. A Garden of Eden narrative turned into a story analogous to P.K.Dick's (1977) Scanner Darkly. What happened and when, at what exaKt point of its development had our community lost her original innocence ? And does it have sense to continue, or is it wiser to pull the Machine's plug ?