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total descendants::3
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The idea for this publication was born a day after the Prix ARS jury meetings in May 2014 when we were sitting with jury member Washio Kazuhiko on a fine spring evening at Café Palmenhaus in Vienna. We’re not sure if it was the intensity of the jury deliberations of the previous days or the serenity of the surrounding imperial urban garden that inspired us, in any case, it was on that evening that we felt a strong obligation to do something with the wealth of knowledge Prix ARS had collected about digital communities in the last years...

editors: Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber & Ian Banerjee

Stranky o kyberia.sk: 103 (popis) a 104 (interview)

 overdrive      04.11.2015 - 11:49:47 , level: 1, UP   NEW
so after shorter or rather longer pawse, here I think, therefore I'm...
dik, 23

 Prospero      14.10.2015 - 22:06:56 (modif: 14.10.2015 - 22:09:19) [1K] , level: 1, UP   NEW !!CONTENT CHANGED!!
What is the secret of this
project’s longevity?

DDH: The main se-
cret is rather simple: Kybe-
ria is one amongst the most
ancients, it emerged before
cyberspace was partitioned
by the big corporate players.
It attracted particular us-
ers (Slovak and Czech hackers,
artists, scientists) before
Facebook, Twitter or G+ even
existed: for many among these
users, Kyberia was first digital
community/social network into
which they were ever integrat-
ed. I suppose that such a loss
of “virtual virginity" could,
in minds of such users, cre-
ate a non-negligeable trace,
a sort of habitus which makes
this “community kernel" to ap-
pear and reappear, either on a
regular basis, or after short-
er or longer pause.
In current era, when cyber-
space is already partitioned
and habits of its participants
fixed, it is almost impossible
to create such an intimate
relation between the user and
a new “start up" project: for
today, any project is just one
among thousands of other pro-
jects, any domain is only a
point-without-interest in the
space which is practically in-

But there are other reasons as
well: Kyberia does not harass
its users with advertisements,
implicit business models, le-
gal licences and other corpo-
rate mess. It is not a megap-
olis like Facebook, but rather
a kind of a cybernetic vil-
lage. This does not mean that
it would be less memevirally
insane than Facebook, it just
means that in its “virtual
insanity", it is nonetheless
still more intimate, more per-
sonal and more human. The fact
that a new user has to pass
through the registration pro-
cedure makes it more difficult
for toxic egos and propaganda
bots to get in, whole communi-
ty thus seems to be somewhat
more resilient to no matter
what perturbation can come
from the external world. Thus,
Kyberia for almost 10 years
already, Kyberia is in a state
of slowly unfolding a homeo-
stasis which is neither pure
progress nor pure decay but
something in the middle: Life,

At last but not least, the
community seems to be able to
reproduce: in a sort of vir-
tual-endogamy, non-negligeable
amounts of Kyberia members who
have kids with other Kyberia
members and it can be expected
that the old IDs shall, soon-
er or later, transfer their
IDs to their progenies. Given
that Kyberia exists already
almost 15 years, we need 10
more years to go to attain
the 25years considered to be
“one human generation". Only
if we succeed to surpass this
threshold could we, I believe,
start speaking about “secret
of longevity".

You say it is a “social body
with a collective identity” –
what are the implications of
such an approach for the com-
munity / members?

DDH: It is about
bi-directional flow of infor-
mation between the whole (i.e.
community) and its parts (i.e.
members). The more feedback
loops You have in the System,
more complexity will emerge
out of it
: I have somehow in-
tuitively implemented this
principle into the very archi-
tecture of the system long be-
fore I knew anything about the
theory of graphs, complexity
or A.I. Later, there has been
a tendency to make this intu-
ition operational in scripts
implementing the Parallel De-
mocracy Model (PDM): ideal-
ly, PDM could make it possible
for the users of the communi-
ty to directly influence many
parameters of Kyberia's global
functioning (related to imi-
gration rate, amount of new
Ks generated and distributed,
ostracization thresholds etc.)
with simple act of vote-giv-
ing aggregated in a quite in-
novative way. The goal is to
make system able to adapt more
swiftly to any possible chal-
lenge which may emerge in the
future, but to do so princip-
ially in a bottom-top fashion:
netizens should decide, not
the caste of administrators.
Unfortunately not many mem-
bers are in fact willing and
ready to constructively par-
ticipate on the construction
of a common cathedral: it is
much easier to criticize those
“up there" than to accept that
those “up there" are in fact
“we here" and subsequent-
ly execute responsible deci-
sions and perform courageous

Which are your visions for the

DDH: 0) To protect
its existence and to protect
the raison d'etre of its ex-
istence which is “protect the
diversity in the cyberspace".

1) To endow it with our own,
state-of-the-art natural lan-
guage processing semantic
search engine.

2) To get more distributed and
more decentralized and to rep-
licate into czech, german and
potentially other regions of
European cyberspace.

3) To use Kyberia's database,
or its specific subset, to
train the collective artificial
intelligence representing the
mind of Slovak intelligentsia
during the first decades of the
third millenium.

 Prospero      14.10.2015 - 22:03:37 , level: 1, UP   NEW
Kyberia is an independent and innovative archipelago of digital commu-
nities that emerged in 2001 on the Slovak domain kyberia.sk. Initially
a website informing the Slovak public about topics that were ignored
on the Slovak web at the time (e.g. trans- and post-humanist philos-
ophies, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, entheogens). Kyberia
swiftly evolved first into a threaded forum and subsequently into a
fully-fledged digital community where hackers, artists and scientists
were able to interact in a densely hyperlinked graph.

The current version released in 2006 focused more on internal K-econ-
omy and the politics of the community. More concretely, a Senate was
created and first trials to allow the system to auto-configure by using
the parallel democracy model were run. In 2007 Kyberia won the prize of
distinction as a “best Slovak virtual community” in the biggest public
competition ever organized on the Slovak web. In 2010 code of Kybe­
ria’s engine was released on GitHub under AGPL and the community
was expanded into Czech cyberspace, where a parallel community was
launched on the kyberia.cz domain.

In over ten years of existence, Kyberia has transformed itself from a
science and hackers’ community into a more mainstream communi-
ty of thousands of active users discussing myriads diverse topics in
more than seven million parallel forums, blogs and/or data nodes. One
of the most characteristic features that, we believe, transformed Ky­
beria into a social body with a collective identity is that Kyberia has a
semipermeable membrane (which means that any registration appli-
cation of a new user has to be approved by at least five members of
the kyberia.sk Senate), a upvoting system implemented years before
Facebook’s “Like” button. Other features worth mentioning include a
flexible (node-specific) system of access right attribution, an internal
bookmarking and mailing system and API templates. These were inno-
vative in the period when they were released, although today they are
common in other social networks as well.