History has been marked by opaque and totalitarian power systems. Aided by prisons and walls that keep out the light. The concentration of power in the hands of a few individuals has marked human evolution. From feudalism to fascism, the annulment of the rights of individuals has been based on obscurantism and ignorance. Information has always been guarded by a few, in a few places, and under lock and key. Darkness was always understood as the opposite of knowledge, of science. Plato referred to the cavern, the place where shadows are barely glimpsed, distorted, manipulable from the outside. Subjected to the opacity of the camera obscura, we live in the hope of a shutter that will open a first light bulb.
Fighting the One-Dimensional
Faced with the danger of control and censorship, of single direction, of what Marcuse would end up calling “one-dimensional man”, the new tools born at the end of the 20th century cracked the traditional foundations on which power was based. The expansion of the internet offered an opening of windows to the world, the multiplication of paths. The entry of light into every home in the form of a seemingly infinite torrent of information, impossible to censor, unfathomable.
The arrival of Society 2.0 marked the definitive turning point in government systems toward a necessary democratization. Under its premises, nothing can or should be hidden; everything is potentially visible. Moreover, there are no longer spectators who attend the show, but users appear ready to add their grain of sand in a collective bet, to open their shutter to let in some more light.
The involvement and activation of users is the strength of a collective intelligence. The multiplication of images uploaded by users makes manipulation more difficult, broadens the options for contrasting perspectives and opinions. They add lines of writing to an amplified story.
The user thus becomes a spotlight that avoids blind spots. One more flashlight at the service of the common good. For the image of a transparency, a slide, for example, to be projected on the wall, we need a light source directed toward the acetate, thus allowing us to see the intricacies of an image that remained in the dark until that moment.
Transparency has probably become the fundamental concept of the democratization processes undertaken by governments, institutions and companies in recent years. Ultimately, in its ideal state, democracy is nothing more than a method that allows the members of a community to analyze reality from different points of view to finally make decisions.
From all this arises open source policy, a system that makes information free and at the same time allows users to see its management and decision-making processes and in which everyone is invited to collaborate. The community thus becomes an essential engine of work and communication.
AsyncAPI arises from this foundation. As an open government project, it defends transparency and democratization in its system of governance and organization. This organizational system aims to empower the people who make up the project, based on a horizontal structure for decision making.
All relevant project data are public. The tasks under development are within the reach of and open to participation by the community. This is intended to cultivate an environment of trust and respect for the user that stimulates their participation in the pursuit of a common goal. This allows projects to be increasingly collaborative and participatory. Data and metadata. Code and image. As digital photography does, it is no longer possible to attend only to the final state, to the superficiality of the image that is shown, edited, composed, manipulated. The image becomes an open, transparent process, where we can compare its properties, its internal structure.
Finally, the light.