Academic components of peduncle

This project aims to create an interactive real-world based game or platform, visualising complex data onto a stylised, simplified digital twin earth, in order to facilitate insight into how to take action in an uncertain world, at the end of expertise, through an ethic of care and curiosity. It is aimed at grassroots, everyday people and their engagement with data and knowledge, in a visual, 3D, gamified way.

Perpetually in draft and evolving, of course.

An interactive real-world based game or platform, visualising complex data onto a stylised, simplified digital twin earth,

Basically, a virtual world, as part of the metaverse … (I’ve just moved a bunch of things around. I will expand on this, but for now see the old definition right at the bottom of this post)

in order to

this is the big why, and the sociologist component, and it is critical that the project is lead by this perspective. This project needs to have the humanities as it’s home.

facilitate insight

Instead of delivering knowledge to people, and expecting them to be passive recipients, this project intends to guide insight through visualising raw, interconnected data, that forms insight through interaction. It cannot assume ideology, background or agendas. In this way,it gently teaches how to use the scientific method and trains critical thinking.

into how to take action

Governance is about reaching common ground and then moving on from there. Using this bottom-up journey into insight has better likelihood of agreeing on common ground, from which decisions can be taken.

Something about agency. This website is not about passive absorption of information.

I’m currently reading Naomi Klein’s book, Doppelganger, and will post relevant bits that might help explain in a separate post soon.

in an uncertain world,

There is so much to consider in a complex and rapidly changing world. Visualising it all in an integrated immersive environment can be a facilitation tool in its own right, and give insight into what is urgent and important in a local context.

at the end of expertise,

This project is not about educating people, or presenting knowledge to them. This project is aimed at non-professionals, wanting to create knowledge themselves, for their own means and ends, and cannot assume any level of common ground. It does try to build accountability in a gamified way.

I’m still trying to articulate this in a punchy way, but this post gives a longer explanation:

through an ethic of care

My understanding of an ethic of care is vague, but mainly influenced by my readings of Carol Gilligan in her 2014 article “Moral Injury and the Ethic of Care: Reframing the Conversation about Differences” (Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol 45(1), 89-106).

Her characteristics of resistance to otherness include:

  • Association, Connection, Assemblages
  • Encouraging an ethic of resistance to moral injury
  • Listening in a way that creates trust
  • Replacing judgement with curiosity
  • Gently embracing the intimate

This project is about figuring out how to design a project with an ethic of care, and what does it mean every step of the way; operationalising the principles.

and curiosity.

The book by Anand Giridharadas, called “The Persuaders: Winning Hearts and Minds in a Divided Age” talks about the importance of curiosity. The book talks about creating nonjudgmental context in interactions with people. Rather than trying to convince with facts, complicating the narrative by sharing your personal narrative: why do you feel what you feel? The book suggests analogic perspective taking. Can you put yourself in the position of where the other person is? Can you invite them to see the issue from your point of view?

Then, the book suggests to sow “highly generative cognitive dissonance”, and help your participants wrestle with it out loud, with an ethic of care, not judgement. For example “It sounds like, on the one hand, you think that […], and, on the other hand, you think it is more important to […] What is on your mind now that we have been talking?”. I want this project to contribute to this aspect. I made some notes on the book in my post ‘The waking among the woke’.

“Scientifically literate people, remember, were more likely to be polarised in their answers to politically charged scientific questions. But scientifically curious people were not.

*** Curiosity brought people together in a way that mere facts did not. *** “

Tim Harford, 2017.

old definition… A virtual space where knowledge is visual, created with Solid data and Free Software. An everyday-people driven, fun, FLOSS, digital twin earth to facilitate insight into how to take action in an uncertain world, at the end of expertise, through an ethic of care and curiosity.

A virtual space

The metaverse is the next iteration of the internet, with many more interconnections, and greater computing power, allowing more video, more simulation and more immersive experiences. The world is too complex to understand and manage in two dimensions. To better understand our world, we need to be able to immerse ourselves in it, for communication, scenario planning and research.

where knowledge is visual,

To really understand something, we need to visualise it, at multiple levels and scales.

created with Solid data

In order to visualise information, and knowledge coherently at different levels of complexity and different resolutions we need the raw data to be appropriately structured, validated and referenced. This the basis of 5 star data, RDF, and the SOLID data specification.

and Free Software.

The only way to create a project that can work for many different people, in many different ways, is to allow the freedom to build, and share freely. This does not prevent commercialisation of projects that is built on the project, or the development of a fork that becomes proprietary. It just means that the basis, the parent project needs to be open.

A grass-roots driven,

The world is too unpredictable, and changing too fast, to rely solely on knowledge from above. We need to take back our stories, and our internet, and build from the bottom up.


For a project to work people need to enjoy building it. “Serious” projects that aim to effect social (or environmental or any other) change seems to be prone to neglect this aspect. Also important to note here is that this project does not aim to compete with professional projects, it does not intend to go into the same amount of depth. it is intended as a complementary, quick overview of a wider range of factors than in-depth sites and databases are able to offer.

FLOSS, digital twin earth

Building on OpenStreetMap, this project intends to be a 3D version, including topography, urban resources, water flows, earth observation data, integrated and visualised in a way to be accessible to non-technical audiences. It is also not a realistic depiction, to invite participants to imagine and dream a possible world.

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