Where is the discussion? How does one contribute?

I’m glad you asked. There is a Google Group

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/a-tracers-manifesto

As things get discussed, concensus is reached or decisions are made, things will find there way here to this web site.

Note that you can interact with the Google Group via the web interface, or you can set it up to email you (eg, daily digests of activity) and you can also simply email the group to add posts.

A tweak to the name

A Tracer’s Manifesto

After some discussion about translations – this entire project is intended to be made available in as many languages as possible – I decided to use the English word “tracer” in the title. When we translate to French, for example, we’ll use “traceur”, etc.

A first attempt at a name

A Traceur’s Manifesto

MY PROPOSAL…

I’ve veered to using the word “traceur” in the hopes that people who self-identify with Parkour/freerunning/ADD will “recognize” it and will identify with it at least partially, while not being an instant lightening rod of diviciveness. (Using the masculine form in English, because that’s how English works. In other languages, we’ll use the appropriate default gender, which is also masculine as far as I know. eg, French.)

My choice of “manIfesto” is intended to be stirring; This entire project is meant to make people *think*, not actually to achieve changing their minds/opinions. So I feel “manifesto” comes from the moral high road by shouting out a declaration and a call to action. (Obviously, it has to be written so as to actually achieve those goals.)

The use of “A …” implies this manifesto is not presuming to be “The …” one true version of things. Also, “A Traceur’s …” can be interpretted to mean “the traceur who wrote the manifesto”, as well as to mean “this manifesto is for those persons who are traceurs”.

I remain open to being talked out of my opinions. But, after months of thinking about this. I’m convinced this is the best name *I* can come up with. So I’m leaving it here to provide an opportunity for you to talk me out of it.

Presuming it stands, I will build “infrastructure” to actually being the project; a domain name, web site, google group for discussion, etc.

Labels, identifiers… where am I?!

LABEL

We’ve discussed a bit about the “identifier” component. Let’s talk about the other part. Is it a “code”, “code of conduct”, “ethics of”, “ethics for…”? And here I’m going to propose something specific, and grand: Let’s name it a…

Manifesto

In support of which I offer this definition and description which I’ve lifted from a web site. (When this all goes up on some web site/blog, I’ll attribute it. ;^)

The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them.

A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.

edit: Here’s the attibution, How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto

Farther down the rabbit-hole

COMPONENTS

It seems clear to me that the name has two components: Let’s start with the part that identifies/associates with the communities. (The second part would be the “code of conduct”, “social contract”, “ethics”, verbage.) The order of the parts isn’t what I’m talking about; it could be “parkour code of conduct” or “movement ethics for traceurs” — both of those phrases have two parts, different specific examples for each part, and in reversed order.

Let’s discuss the “identifier” part…

INDENTIFIER

We can choose to omit this component from the name (and just call it “code of conduct” etc), we can pick an existing community’s word/name, or we can find a larger umbrella term.

[omit] ?
parkour ?
freerunning ?
mover ?
traceur ?
…some other word?

Continued pursuit of a name

“A Mover’s Social Contract”

I’ve been going down the “social contract” rabbit hole recently. (eg http://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract ). Notably, the UTM.edu article highlights some Femenism-based criticisms of the classic formulations of “social contract.” Clearly “social contract” brings philosophical context, but I think that would ultimately be a good thing.

Stepping back a bit, my whole goal has always been to make people (those who stumble on this thing after it’s finished) think more and more deeply. The goal is not to simply “collect signatories”.

So I’m really liking this name…

“A Mover’s Social Contract”

“A” a political way of suggesting this contract is just an idea for consideration. Not some bunch of people who got together and think they’ve nailed down the One True Thing and named the thing with a “The …”

“Mover’s” singular and possessive so the reader immediately can associate with it (since the reader is self/singular). And “hey, I’m a mover…” is about as platform-agnostic as we could ever hope to be. There will be some challenge in finding the correct word in each language into which we translate, but I think this word/concept is so common that it would be doable.

…and “social contract” as I’ve already discussed above.

Thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Solid ‘meh’??

First hurdle?

I think choosing a name for “it” is the first hurdle we should clear. It’s obvious the name creates a huge first impression, so it should be chosen wisely. But we need the name asap so we can do things like create a more-public facebook group/page, register a domain name, and build a web site.

I’ve been actively thinking about this for weeks and the only useful idea [imo] that I’ve had is that it should NOT have any of the common terms Parkour/Freerunning/ADD in it’s name. Including those common names would instantly bring divisive baggage into the first impression.

So I’ve mentally wandered way into the weeds thinking of ideas like “Code of Conduct”, but so far they all sound too vague and pompous to my ear. I’ve been searching for some way to hint at the obvious tie to PK/FR/ADD, but there’s no reason the code has to be explicitly about/for that community. Other ideas I’ve had, include playing off of the “tracers” or “traceurs” words, or phrases like “Movers Code of Ethics”.

So, is this hurdle where we should start?
…and if so, any ideas for discussion?

The seed thought

[The following is a direct quote of what I initially wrote. Some of it is already supplanted as I write this.]

I don’t recall who (if anyone) I discussed the following idea with, but it has again bubbled to the surface of my brain: Let’s create a Code of Conduct for parkour/ADD. I’m envisioning a very simple web site; Just a sort of billboard that says this is the Code of Conduct. Then we start grass-roots spreading the word and expecting that every group/team step up to support this CoC by mentioning/linking to the CoC.

At first I thought of making it more complicated by having individuals register (with a closed loop email signup), or having people contact us (uh, me I suppose) to add back-links when they link… but then I thought. Nah. All it needs is to be a bit of a community discussion to settle on the Code (many such codes already exist, shouldn’t be too different for parkour/ADD). Then we enlist a few people to translate it into a few languages, and we put it up.

Thoughts? I know it’s doable… but I’m wondering if it’s *useful*…

META

In late 2016 I began a small discussion with a few friends about this thought. The discussion went — roughly — in three directions, and I wanted to lay this out here to begin a history of the project:

Goal – Discussion of what are we trying to create with this project; What is the concrete, objective thing we are creating? How do we define success; Is it creation of some artifact (a “code” of ethics/conduct?), or is it to reach some level of “adoption” of it?

Code – The most difficult part of the project. Statements of ethics are inherently complex and there is an enormously wide range of scope available. Part of this project will involve sorting out the “height of the bar”; The more complex a social/moral concept embodied in a statement, the more discussion and dissent will be evoked. We will have to balance the desire for achieving wide-spread, grass-roots adoption of the “code” against how far onto the moral high-ground the code sits.

Technology – What technologies, formats and forums are we to use for this project. We’re beginning in a “secret” Facebook group, but I expect to quickly outgrow this forum. I expect we’ll ultimately have to produce a web site to house the finished product, and I hope that can also include a narrative (aka “blog”) capturing the discussions and process. The later point being another reason I want to move “out” of a Facebook group asap, so we can capture as much of the discussion, permanently outside of FB.