Comparing the pictures
This post will compare the different visual languages presented in the previous posts:
- Fairly easy: most people we've seen can read them and also create them for their own processes.
- Fractal: a diagram at one level can be decomposed into its details or aggregated into a higher level diagram, and all of the levels can be precisely related by input and output resource flows.
- Mathematical (if you need): Category Theorists have rules and code to create, compose (from components), decompose (into components), connect, and analyze them.
- Some of the other visual languages provide more guidance about good and bad economic network practices. Resource flow diagrams can be used for capitalist as well as non-capitalist practices and do not clearly distinguish the bad from the good.
- The Social Economy Canvas provides a lot of guidance explicitly about economic networks, while resource flow diagrams are more general-purpose (but in the next blog post, guest blogger Lynn Foster will explain how to approach creating resource flow diagrams for economic networks).
Commons vs Alienated Production diagrams
- The simplest to read, once you understand the ideas, which are pretty clear.
- Clearest distinction between good and bad practices.
- Comes with some clear economic theory about Generative Justice.
- Does not depict any of the details of your economic network.
- Would need to be accompanied by a lot of explanatory text (or other diagrams).
The Social Economy Canvas
- Provides the most guidance about how to create your own economic network canvas. (Especially if you have Alessandro Rancati to help you.)
- While not exactly fractal, does provide methods of diving into the details of different parts of a canvas, as well as creating other diagrams to explore other aspects of a network.
- Provides features for differentiating bad practices as well as showing how features of a proposed network will eliminate some existing bad practices.
- The color codes are helpful in navigating the diagrams.
- In practice, creates huge diagrams which would be easier to read as wall posters, compared to resource flow or commons vs alienated diagrams, which can be smaller and simpler.
Would be good to incorporate the contrasts between good and bad practices into resource flow diagrams, which appear to be the most flexible technique.
And some color codes would be nice.