The singular form of data is datum, a Latin word that literally means “something given”, which is a form of dare, meaning “give”. Data is that which is given or established as factual - which means we agree on its value in time - and, once opened, it is a gift by which we can illuminate more valuable ways to pass our time together.
The thread of gift-giving runs throughout Kernel, for education itself is one of the most potent gifts. This is because education requires awareness and effort in order to be received as a true gift. Furthermore, learned transformations on scarce zero-sum resources result in positive-sum use: wood burning in a stove versus in an open pit can generate and store far more heat, just as reflecting on these words, turning them through your embodied experience, and applying them carefully in your own context can generate further knowledge and insights not present here.
This guild will not be about how we can improve patterns of ownership by removing intermediaries. It will be about this “something given”, this agalma - a Greek word meaning “a pleasing gift” - from which we derive the word agalmics: the study and practice of the production and allocation of non-scarce goods.Friendly Framing¶
“A prosocial attribute of knowledge is that supply is determined by the number of clever people you have creating it. The more clever people we have playing, the more knowledge we’ll likely gain [...] Appropriately designed knowledge-good economies mean more smart players are an advantage, not a threat.”
The supply of knowledge goods often creates more demand, rather than simply fulfilling it, because knowledge goods operate more like agalmia than economies. Therefore, what is most interesting is not the demand-supply curves, but rather the transfer mechanisms we design and the sorts of collective wisdom they can help us cultivate.
“In general, when setting up transfer mechanisms, try to create a natural interdependency between players. Economic mechanisms that encourage players to seek out and interact with other players helps facilitate the friendship equation.”
Here, then, is the framing question for this guild: can open data facilitate friendship?
In order to begin exploring the space of better questions this frame creates, we’ll study agalmics, dynamic knowledge repositories, networked knowledge artifacts, and interdependent, reciprocal transfer mechanisms. We’ll consider first the history of these terms and then dive into their modern and practical application as a part of the decentralized web, epitomized by IPFS, The Graph, Arweave, Ocean Protocol and many others.
Openness in this guild is not only a technical question, but an ethical one. Kernel is a community of care. As such, we invite you to read this important extension of the FAIR principles often spoken of in relation to the idea of open data:
"The only sustainable way to store data long-term is within relationships–deep connections between generations of people in custodial relation to a sentient landscape, all grounded in a vibrant oral tradition. This doesn't need to replace print, but it can supplement it magnificently–those two systems might back each other up rather than merely coexist. Relationships between systems are just as important as the relationships within them." – Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk.