Archive for the ‘General’ Category

AI can expedite democratization in construction industry

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

Sam Dolgoff in a very important article The Relevance of Anarchism to Modern Society wrote that “[t]he progress of the new society will depend greatly upon the extent to which its self-governing units will be able to speed up direct communication — to understand each other’s problems and better coordinate activities.” That this is the case is illustrated by the application of Enterprise resource planning software at workers’ owned manufacturing plants:

“[T]his proved to be an effective communication strategy for the 100% employee-owned company, which relied heavily on teamwork and collaboration as part of its company culture.
Abbate is excited to see how streamlined, digital communication is being embraced by employees. For example, he tells the story of how an employee who did not want a computer on the shop floor is now providing constructive feedback on jobs using the digital information he now has at hand.
“The ERP system is a point of engagement on the shop floor — people are now talking the same language that we’ve been talking in the production meetings and scheduling. Our new communication system gives more opportunity to provide feedback.”
[T]he ultimate goal in streamlining communication was to provide transparent information to everybody.”

In the construction industry, Building Information Modeling (BIM) softwares have the potential for achieving the same goals. BIM software can design the works project, estimate the material required, store scheduling data, maintain inventory based on this data, and can be changed in real-time over the lifecycle of the project. Providing workers on-site with all the information needed for the day-to-day tasks and updating the project based on site activities.

On the other hand, new AI-based Optioneering programs allow the generation of multiple options for a project based on the needs. If a community requires ground connectivity from A to B within a city these programs can generate several options based on the geological and geographic data and the social and environmental decision-making criteria we input. Some projects might have smaller embodied carbon, while others might displace the least amount of informal settlements, while the third might just be the easiest and most profitable for the contractors. If the communities are allowed to become part of the options process and based on informed judgment in deciding the criteria for project selection then this technology has the potential for a genuine democratization of the construction industry. As mentioned in a previous post the pre-tender planning process is very crucial for the future of sustainable infrastructures. cities and life on the planet.

[Music] Throughput – @home

Friday, May 28th, 2021

All the tracks were written and recorded during the April and May lockdown imposed because of the cataclysmic second wave of covid-19 in India. The process was a selfish and necessary break from almost all social engagement. The cover images for all the songs, except the first, are photographs taken by Lokesh.


[Translation] The Imperative Mandate – I

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

The Imperative Mandate: from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune

By Pierre-Henri Zaidman

[Part 1]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau asserts that “the idea of representatives is modern. It comes from the feudal government. In the ancient reliquaries and in the monarchies the people never had representatives; the word “representative” was not known”. However, historians have found that in some ancient peoples, in the Frankish monarchy or among various religious orders, there were occasional and rudimentary provisions for representatives. Representation only gained political significance with feudalism. This meaning of the terms “Representation” and “Representative” is obviously very different in form and meaning from that of the revolutionaries of 1789.

In the Greek and Roman cities, the citizens’ assembly governs itself, because of their small size, they do not need to elect governments. And if the idea of representation is used in Roman law, it only designates a technique of private law.

In public law, it does not apply in principle.

In the French society of the Ancient Regime, there is a representation of social groups with the lords and the king. In accordance with the technique of private law, the representatives have a mandate to defend the interests of the local communities of which they are the spokesmen but without being able to act according to their own will; they are bound by the promise, express or tacit, to act in place of those who mandated them by a delegation of power, if necessary for a particular task in which case one is dealing with an “Imperative Mandate “ (a mandate that is obligatory or from specific instruction).


Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the precursor

We find the idea of mandate in Rousseau who, rejecting the national representation advocated by Montesquieu, prefers sovereignty: “Sovereignty cannot be represented, for the same reason that it cannot be alienated; it consists essentially in the general will, and the will is not represented […] The deputies< of the people are not and cannot be its representatives, they are only its commissioners; they cannot conclude anything definitively. Any law which the people have not ratified is null and void. […] The English people think they are free; they are very much mistaken; they are free only during the election of the members of parliament; if they are elected, they are slaves, they are nothing.” It is clear, in the eyes of Rousseau, that when the legislative power “can only act by deputation, the inconveniences outweigh the advantages; “At the moment that a people gives itself representatives, it is no longer free. There is no need for representatives because they can only divide what is united, thus destroying sovereignty. The territorial and socio-demographic reality of modern states imposes that the legislative power “can only act there by deputation.” And, to prevent the corruption that always threatens representatives, Rousseau advocates the institution of imperatives such as “the delegate”*, always “under the eyes of his constituents”, “cannot do anything contrary to their express will”.

The question of direct democracy arose during the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin thought about the means of mandating deputies and controlling their activity, without any result. James Madison’s The Federalist contains some hints of parliamentary tyranny, but the American Independentists are mainly concerned with the relationship between the states and the rulers who must be able to resist the “disorderly passions” and the “ephemeral illusions” that can seize the people, pure privilege “of the deliberate and deliberate judgment of collectivism”.

* The French word used is “nonce” for “nuncio”, a papal delegate.