Thoughts on Street Science

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Revision as of 14:56, 16 November 2011 by Stenic13 (Talk | contribs)

Based on the insights of these two chapters ([1] and [2]), briefly discuss how they are applicable to the topic of your individual paper, the CIRAL project, or any other example of civic intelligence we've discussed in class or that you've heard about elsewhere.

Response to Chapter 6: The Mapping of Local Knowledge

As a “crucial tool for community members,” I think that a community mapping project could influence the public awareness of any community, particularly here in Olympia where participants of the Occupation could use a more effective model for communicating their views on the various issues (both local and national) -that they wish to address. I think a good approach would be to start small with a “street survey” of the area asking for community inquiries, concerns, experiences and any additional input willingly given and based on one's personal or shared perceptions. By accumulating this pool of informal data, members of the occupation and of the overall community could start piecing together their common struggles and by emphasizing the redundancies, could begin to render a “cumulative burden” map. I think with the completion and distribution of such a map an “identity formulation” would slowly take place as a supplement for how demonstrators and occupiers already identify themselves as part of this social movement. However, the boundary between politician's and the supporters of this map and the occupation would surely be reinforced, and I'm not sure whether this would have a positive or negative effect on their efforts. Regardless, I think the resulting “aggregation” of “street science” would have a positive effect on the community, especially if a large body of the public were willing to contribute to this map's design components, use of symbols, context, content, “strategic frame” and revisions of text. Overall, I think this use/interpretation of map-making could serve to visually inform the community members of Olympia, and to organize their attention toward the economic and social issues at hand which the Occupation is striving to address. Cogdev07 16:35, 15 November 2011 (PST)

A core piece that stood out to me is bridging between professionalism and communities. I think the method of harnessing local knowledge that Street Science outlines is a strong tool for bringing out civic intelligence. The tricky piece seems to be framing (there's that darn word again) the information collected through this method in a way that achieves acceptance of findings outside the local community.

I see one of the challenges of civic intelligence as breaking down the idea that professionals are somehow more credible than ordinary citizens. This is a cultural meme with deep roots. Citizen science seems like a great way to eat away at this disempowering idea. When local knowledge is gathered in a way that is relevant to issues professionals overlook due to business interest, oversight, or lack of understanding of local issues, it builds the credibility of civic intelligence. The trick is in the integrity of the process and framing of results (okay I was wrong about framing).

Onemic18 01:44, 16 November 2011 (PST)

I agree completely with the importance of breaking down the superiority of "professionals". I think this can be seen in the "The Garden" where very few of the people in power even attempted to understand the cultural needs of the South Central Farmers, even the few who shared a cultural background with the farmers. For them, farming not only provided food, but a sense of pride in themselves and their work. If the people in power had been more willing to understand this concept and work with them around it, I think the outcome could have been more favorable for everyone involved.

As far as the section on mapping, I think it can be an extremely useful tool, but may not have as broad a range of usefulness. I think for situations like pollution in poor neighborhoods, it can be an extremely powerful way of raising awareness for a cause. However, I'm having a hard time finding useful applications of the mapping techniques for many of the other causes we've looked at, and in my individual project. In a broader sense, I think marketing is important for these causes, and that mapping can be a good way of marketing when applicable. In that sense, I think it's important to spread the word about the causes we've looked at, and that if mapping makes sense for them, that that may be a good way of getting the word out.

--Stenic13 13:56, 16 November 2011 (PST)