“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s voice await another voice”
T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Welcome to Issue 2 of the DisCO Beat Newsletter! Whatever holidays you’re celebrating, let’s please all gather ‘round the virtual fire and watch 2020 burn itself out, not with a bang but a whimper. Speaking of fireside activities, we want to acknowledge that many of us are in some stage of lockdown or otherwise separated from friends and family over this end-of-the-year season. In the spirit of dreaming of more convivial times to come, we offer the following texts to read, reflect on and get inspired for what’s next.
Groove is in the Heart: the DisCO Elements
This week we’re excited and proud to announce the release of the second installment of our DisCO Trilogy.
As we come to the end of a challenging and destabilizing year, many of us have certainly been shaken out of our regular practices and patterns of behavior. Things look very different than they did a year ago. Social life is largely virtual, parameters of personal space have been reconfigured and the concept of the “workplace” has been radically altered. Looking back on this year, it feels as if we ought to be looking back over our entire lives to identify what has been missing.
Can we use this moment as a turning point to build what should have been there the whole time?
The short answer is YES, and the long answer is laid out in Groove is in the Heart: The DisCO Elements. Part one of the trilogy – the DisCO Manifesto – answers the question why, and the DisCO Elements take it a step further to address the how. This labor of love will take about an hour to read, though it is adorned with enough links, videos and graphics that you could easily spend days immersing yourself in the DisCOVERSE.
But take note: this is no walk in the park. It is a call to reexamine the world around you, take action and explore templates for building an economy based on equality, inclusive technology, mutual support and care. Written and designed by the DisCONAUTS themselves, consider the DisCO Elements an invitation extended with love.
To download a free copy of the DisCO Elements, visit DisCO.coop
Here’s your DisCO reading and discovery!
The Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies
The Oracle for Transfeminist Technologies is a new take on the old technology of tarot.This card deck is designed to help people envision a future in which technology is created by those who are generally excluded from it. In short, it is a beautiful manifestation and exploration of care. Read more.
Deliberate Dancing: A Critical Investigation of DisCO’s Potential to Re-politicize the Economy
We are honored to present Deliberate Dancing: A Critical Investigation of DisCOs’ Potential to Re-Politicize the Economy, as Social Entrepreneurship & Management Masters Thesis authored by Danny Nielsen and Olivia Grazzini for Roskilde University. The thesis analyses DisCOs from a political economy perspective and a Polanyian framing. Read more here.
Introducing DisCO LABS
Laneras is a DisCO LAB working with merino wool in the region of Extremadura in western Spain. Recuperating ancient wool-gathering and weaving practices, Laneras is open-sourcing endangered knowledge and educating commoners on the machinery, tools and special aspects of truly sustainable fiber and clothing.
The western Spanish region of Extremadura is the paradigmatic “civic desert”. With one of the lowest population densities in the country, Extremadura averages 26 inhabitants per km², with half of the territory holding around 10 inhabitants/km². The region is mostly rural, with only 29% residing in towns of over 50,000 inhabitants, and 52.3% of its territory composed of towns with fewer than 2000 inhabitants. A victim of fascist purges during the Spanish Civil War , it has some of the largest land ownership inequalities, the second highest unemployment rate, and the second lowest GDP per capita (1.7%) in the country. Extremadura has a strong and long-standing cooperative sector, but one that is mainly centered on agrarian activity, quite disconnected from the digital economy and related advances in cooperative practices.
Laneras gives free traditional wool-harvesting workshops and open sources low-tech machinery for weaving and looming. They aim to revive sustainable practices, use local raw materials to prevent their loss, revitalize the community and territory, protect local land and social bonds, and support biological biodiversity and rural development.
Carework is closely tied to Laneras’ own origins, worldview and development. Their project is ecofeminist in nature, prioritizing care towards oneself, others and the environment. Community support networks are essential to their mission, and the relationships that members form are strongly grounded in trust, mutual support and interdependence.
Next time, on the DisCO.beat:
Waiting for the answers to the first issue’s trivia questions about the DisCOnauts? Hang on!
You can either try to guess yourself by exploring further into our crew’s bio pages or wait until next issue, because this week the DisCO CAT is taking over!
“CAT” stands for “Community Algorithmic Trust”. You know a Community Land Trust, where humans help maintain shared values through legal structures? Well, this is not so different after all. The DisCO C.A.T is a digital trust that upholds and maintains the agreed-on values of DisCOs. It enables trust by addressing complicated questions about value, fairness and power on their own.
Soon we’ll have Mx. whiskers itself explaining it to you all, but we are not responsible for his grammar and the resulting damage to your curtains.
Have you missed previous issues of the DisCO.beat? Don’t worry! We got you covered!
Distributed Cooperative Organizations are: cooperative, feminist, value-sovereign, carework oriented, and much more.
Except where otherwise specified, content on this newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.