So, what is this website all about? Research on non-hierarchical ways of organizing, and dissemination of the ideas found in this research.
In short, a gathering place for everything I do. But who is this “I”?
Well, I am Evo. I’ve done a Master in Mathematics, after which I did an Interdisciplinary Phd at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). In short, in my thesis I investigate anarchist ideas in a mathematical and abstract way. Hence the title of my thesis: “Self-organization versus hierarchical organization – a mathematical investigation of the anarchist philosophy of social organization”. The thesis answers three main questions. What are, on the one hand, authority and hierarchy, and, on the other hand, what are freedom and autonomy? How does hierarchy evolve in social systems? And how can we shift from hierarchical control to a more free social organization? If you want to know more, check out the whole thesis and abstract – a summary and highlight of specific topics will be found on this site in the future.
As such, I am affiliated with the Center Leo Apostel, the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition group and the Global Brain Institute.
But I also like to do practical stuff. To put anarchism in practice. Search how my theoretical ideas can be applied in organizations. I already have quite some experience in organizing in several groups – right now as the coordinator of T-jong (trans youth movement in Belgium). In the past among others in sea scouting, where I got the totem Standvastige Sneeuwuil (Steadfast Snowy owl, unfortunately I can’t find the description in English). In general, I love to make games and see how a group functions and how to organize.
Besides, I have several specific interests: transgender stuff, parkour, and paleo. I try to integrate these topics with the rest of what I do and think and can also disseminate some knowledge and philosophy with regard to these subjects.
There are two main reasons I built this site:
- To have one place where everything I do is collected, to distribute my ideas to the world
- To also get something back
In general, I like to do things my way. I want to be able to do what I think is the most important and interesting or fun to do. Unfortunately, in this capitalistic world, that is not as easy as it sounds. We need money to survive, for which we need to do a job in which we usually make a lot of comprises. As for me, there are several conventional options. I could get a nine-to-five job in the corporate world, like a bank. Yes, I might find a job in which I can solve some challenging mathematical riddles, but the impact would often go directly against my ideals, and at its best be completely useless with regard to my goals. I could continue in academics. That often means spending a lot of your time writing proposals that never get funding, doing research that is not completely what you want to do, getting articles in high-impact journals that nobody reads, and in general being in an intellectual cocoon where there is a ping-pong of words, without these ever escaping the academic world. I could also teach mathematics, neglecting most of the things I learned and developed, for some kids who are forced to learn this.
So these are not attractable options to me, and hence I want to try a different path. I know it won’t be easy or immediately clear how it would look, but that never stopped me, and in the past it made me go farther than I could ever imagine.
The basic idea is pretty simple: I do what I want, and if people like what I do, they can support me however they want. You can see it as a gift economy, like the credo “Give what you can, take what you need”. Or as a first node in an offer network.
In general, I see it as a local step towards an alternative economy. Because I believe in “doing what you say”: to align your acts with your ideas, methods with goals. And because I want to create change by working locally, bottom-up. Hence in an ideal scenario this project does not only enables me to do what I want and get what I need. It will also help my friends who are also struggling with this economic reality, who have a lot of potential, interesting stuff they could do, but who need to do mundane things. And in a dream world, this and other projects will eventually abolish capitalism and all coercive systems.
You can hence support me can be in various forms, it should not restrict itself to money. More in the How to support-tab.