UP! To Provence

I am off next weekend to a hilariously titled conference: the UPFING! Actually, it’s subtitled the EntreNet, and is a one of these “UN-conferences” where everyone is thoretically a participant. But the thematic looks interesting — what happens in between the dynamics of “bottom up” and “top-down” and how do associative technologies play an ambivalent role in mediating these dynamics. Also, it’s in Provence, which will get me out of the city.

In the rest of my life, I see a daily opposition between the rigidly bureaucratic structures imposed by the last vestiges of a French aristocracy, and the inclusive, chaotic “mani”res de faire” of people forced to live with a public service that is not interested in providing service but in providing stable jobs. With an unemployment rate of 12% there is enormous pressure to get in to the bureaucracy, and enormous stress for the rest of the people on the margins. So the tension between “top-down” and “bottom-up” is really lived, everywhere from the swimming pool the the post office. More on this later.