Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The IAS view on danger seems to be that the discourse around danger is more interesting, except when this discourse causes danger, which is then regarded as real. That is a bit sweeping but is based on cases from the workshop on documentation etc. The danger of terrorists crossing the Mexico / USA border was seen as low. The danger of death from dehydration was seen as significant. So on the Casa Segura website there is a warning before some guidance on survival in a desert -

We strongly discourage anyone from making the dangerous journey through the Sonoran desert. There is not sufficient water or resources and temperatures are extreme. It will take days of walking in a harsh landscape and it is not worth risking your life!

So this is not an example of a procedure or works instruction following on from a policy. The policy is formally opposed to the procedure. However there is a link to an Australian government site about dehydration. Perhaps this could be considered as objective information, useful for people in an Australian desert.

At the workshop the most enthusiasm for detailed instructions came in the proposals for the "extreme green guerilla" (E.G.G.) community, "a network of amateur self-sustaining people who have shortened their lifespan to sustain the ultimate green lifestyle." The manifesto includes a statement - "We will not engage in consumerism. We must not consume. We must be consumed."

One project is the Animal Messaging Service. "Extreme green guerrillas are against using the Internet or mobile phones for communication, as this method will tie them to big corporation. E.G.G. are also against conventional posting service, as it leaves a great CO2 footprint. E.G.G. send messages internationally by hacking into the animal migration system. In natural sanctuaries environmental protection agencies tag migrating animals with active RFID tags. E.G.G.s hack into these tagged animals to send digital messages internationally.

The E.G.G. project is supported by detailed manuals so is a suitable case study for how detailed instructions can support a manifesto.

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