Cosmo-Localism, Value Condensation, and Indigenous Futurity

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Discussion

Ron Eglash:

""cosmo-local" nicely gets at the paradox of space. Strictly localized and we become trapped; carelessly global and we are no different from what corporations already do. But there is also a similar paradox of time. Trapping Indigenous people in their past is unacceptable; but homogenizing them as just another contemporary citizen destroys their cultural heritage. So I think of the hybrid systems we have been working with -- African Fractals for example -- as not only cosmolocal spatially, but also temporally, working in domains like "AfroFuturism" (a black cultural term) and "Indigenous Futurity" (a native american term).

Another concept I have been playing around with is value condensation. In the generative justice framework the goal is to prevent value extraction and alienation. But if you don't convert value into money, it's hard to achieve the levels of prosperity that make this attractive. There are strategies to circumvent this barrier, and some of them have to do with value condensation. Why are artisanal projects in chocolate, wine, cheese and the like so successful? One way to look at it is that those are cases in which value began in a non-dense form -- thousands of cocoa trees for example -- and then was distilled down to a more compact form, without being completely evaporated into the abstraction we call money. A minor observation but it raises some interesting questions. What non-condensation strategies exist to prevent alienation? If these food items are obvious cases of condensation, what are some non-obvious instances (code? art? biochar? skill?)." (email, August 2019)