I liked the exhibits in general, but I found myself gravitating towards the “All Our Ideas” booth, which offered “a suggestion box for a digital age.” A suggestion box doesn’t quite do the idea justice, however, because it implies a management that stands in authority and decides whether or not to grant requests. All Our Ideas is much more than that. It’s a way for a group to be infinitely inclusive and to prioritize its ideas when the group’s numbers would make democracy otherwise unwieldy. It works by allowing users to choose online between two options, the option they find more important, cycling through all the possible combinations. It’s also possible to add your own ideas to the mix. This method was used during the park phase of Occupy in response to the criticism that the movement had no distinct, distinguishable ideas, or too many.
The reason I find this idea so compelling is that I believe all of these revolutionary movements represent a return of the body that manifests itself in occupying public spaces. (This return of the body also aligns beautifully with the trend in IT to lead us back to the street from the virtual, thus my current optimism…) In fact, in order to have their voices heard, they must take back space from which to speak. Corporate personhood is one in a long line of acts of aggression on the body politic – a colonization/invasion of the body. I believe that for the first time in years if not decades, “All Our Ideas” restores that pillar of democracy, the marketplace of ideas. Everyone should use this thing.