The Null Device
Surrealist civic management
Antanas Mockus, the Colombian academic who became mayor of the lawless city of Bogotá, has used his post to stage a city-wide social experiment
in changing the mindset and behaviour of Bogotá's inhabitants. Mockus' policies, referencing Douglass North's theory of formal and informal rules and postmodernist Jürgen Habermas, have included voluntary women-only nights in the streets, giving people thumbs-up and thumbs-down cards to comment on others' behaviour, and employing over 400 municipal mimes to mock those flouting traffic rules, as well as other inspired policies.
Another Mockus inspiration was to ask people to call his office if they found a kind and honest taxi driver; 150 people called and the mayor organized a meeting with all those good taxi drivers, who advised him about how to improve the behavior of mean taxi drivers. The good taxi drivers were named "Knights of the Zebra," a club supported by the mayor's office.
(via bOING bOING)
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