how can we orient people back to earth?
how can we create a culture where the digital supports us to appreciate the beauty of the physical world, to seek for nuances in the relationships that exists in and governs all that is around us?
how can we support a future where labor isn't the center of our lives?
how can we nurture a respect for intertwined relationship of the feminine and the masculine?
Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of the Slow Web. It’s not so much a checklist as a feeling, one of being at greater ease with the web-enabled products and services in our lives.
Like Slow Food, Slow Web is concerned as much with production as it is with consumption. We as individuals can always set our own guidelines and curb the effect of the Fast Web, but as I hope I’ve illustrated, there are a number of considerations the creators of web-connected products can make to help us along. And maybe the Slow Web isn’t quite a movement yet. Maybe it’s still simmering. But I do think there is something distinctly different about the feeling that some of these products impart on their users, and that feeling manifests from the intent of their makers.
Fast Web companies want to be our lovers, they want to be by our sides at all times, want us to spend every moment of our waking lives with them, when sometimes that’s not what we really need. Sometimes what we really need are friends we can meet once every few months for a bowl of ramen noodles at a restaurant in the East Village. Friends with whom we can sit and talk and eat and drink and maybe learn a little about ourselves in the process. And at the end of the night get up and go our separate ways, until next time.
However, this does not mean we should not dream of open digital spaces of collective autonomy and shared ownership. In fact, we mustWe call to mind Arundhati Roy: ‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing’ (quoted in Macy 2007, 17).. It only means that these promises are fated to remain unrealized if the structures and incentives underlying our digital ecosystem do not evolve alongside its technological foundations.
The Pluriverse is a cyber-physical commons, arrayed over the web of our social relationships; a space that does not transcend materiality, but is entangled with it. Ours is not a world of accumulation and enclosure, but of mutual prosperity and shared value, where the power to create is not synonymous with the power to exclude. We are weaving a world of abundance through the positive sum of our contributions.