Information InFiltration. Superimposing art/tactical/media/culture/and/beyond.

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About Discordia's structure and sections...
About Discordia's structure and sections...
  • How is Discordia structured?
  • What are the different sections for?
  • Why specifically these sections?
  • If the aim of Discordia is to interweave ideas, isn't it a contradiction to divide postings into different sections?
  • What is Discordia?
    How can I participate in Discordia?

    How is Discordia structured?

    Discordia is based on Scoop software that has been modified by the Discordia working group in keeping with extensive discussions about how communication and exchanging ideas could work and how software development can be a creative and integral part of that process.

    What are the different sections for?

    The Discordia sections basically reflect possible different modes or styles of communication and discussion. The sections "Editors' Picks" and "Special Guest Host's Corner" under the heading "Nepotism" are for invited content: the editors and specially invited guest hosts choose and post stories here without going through the moderation process, but which all users are naturally invited to comment on. Stories and announcements to all the other sections under the heading "Democracy" are first listed as "pending", and other users then vote for them to appear on the front page or under the relevant section (or not at all, as the case may be). This division is intended to make "curatorial" decisions more transparent.

    Each of the different sections is intended to promote a certain kind of discussion, a specific style of communication and exchange:

    Question Corner
    E.A. Dobbs
    Secret Room Upstairs
    Discordia Home Improvements

    -Question Corner

    Since answers, usually in the form of a definitive statement to appear authoritative, are so often privileged, what happens when a greater value is attributed to questions? If meaningful and interesting questions are able to open up new avenues of exploration, inviting a greater diversity of responses than statements that provoke only specific reactions, could the development of an "art of questioning" lead to a more open discourse culture? In order to explore the possibilities of different styles of communication, the Question Corner only permits postings in the form of a question.

    -E.A. Dobbs

    One of the greatest strengths of a mailing list is that it draws like-minded people with similar interests together. For this reason, a relevant mailing list can be important for reaching potential audiences, participants, readers, etc. with announcements of events, publications, projects. Unfortunately, the drawback is that too many announcements may start to choke communication on the list, hampering exchange so that the effect is counterproductive. E.A. Dobbs, Discordia's own Discordarchivist, is an Essay and Announcement Databased intended to provide a forum for announcements, publication releases and self-promotion, in order take the need to make announcements seriously, but without drowning out all other exchanges at the same time.


    As the name suggests, this section focuses on "reviews" - opinions, discussions, descriptions of books, films, events, exhibitions, web sites ... Any kind of presented work that incites opinions, discussions, further developments.

    -Secret Room Upstairs

    Creative, open-ended, experimental exchange necessarily involves input that can be playful, subversive, irritating, puzzling. This is another need, however, that has sometimes proved counterproductive in the linear structure of mailing lists by blocking all other communication. The Secret Room Upstairs is Discordia's playground, where the conventional rules of netiquette do not apply. If you want to play, all you have to do is find it.


    Even the most straightforward statement of information can take on a different meaning, if it is filtered through a different perspective. Economic topics, for example, can reveal hidden pitfalls if filtered through a gender-sensitive perspective, philosophical ideas may be given a surprising twist when filtered through translations into different languages, political agendas often change color when filtered through a different ideology. In this section, users are invited to take stories and comments from other areas of Discordia or to link to articles found elsewhere, and run these through the filter of their choice (e.g. feminist critique, Marxism, anti-globalism, translations ...) to reveal unstated or unconscious presuppositions and potential stumbling blocks that are not immediately obvious within the original framework.


    As it is in the nature of creative and critical thinking to cross categories and conjoin disparate ideas, this section is open to discussion that does not fit comfortably in one of the other sections.

    -Discordia Home Improvements

    The meta-section for discussing Discordia: the idea, the concept, the implementation, the possibilities ...

    Comments and suggestions on how well Discordia works now and what could be improved are welcome here, as well as shared reflections on how structures influence communication and vice versa. What do you find confusing about Discordia, and which are the features you have always dreamed of, but never found anywhere else? Which role could this kind of platform play in which contexts?

    Like community moderation and collaborative filtering, shared reflection at this meta-level is an important part of the ongoing Discordia process.

    Why specifically these sections?

    Many different sections have been proposed in the course of extensive discussions about how to most effectively structure communication without being too rigid. These seemed to be the best ones to start with, but they could be changed, if it appears through the use of Discordia that more, less or different sections might be more helpful.

    If the aim of Discordia is to interweave ideas, isn't it a contradiction to divide postings into different sections?

    The sections are intended to organize rather than divide postings. They are not meant to be rigid divisions for separating ideas, but rather suggestions for different ways of dealing with them. The Discordia development group has been experimenting with possibilities for creating links among disparate postings, so users are invited to join in this experiment by watching for potential connections and trying out new features as they may appear on the site. Users are also encouraged to submit new stories that tie ideas from posted stories together.

    What is Discordia?
    How can I participate in Discordia?


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