Trinity and extended trinity

Here we bring up a framework about tools, arising from a decade or so of experimentation. It has three components: trinity, stack and 'specials'.

We begin by starting well back from tools, with the practice - with the *organising*. The tools have to serve the practice. We can't afford to fetishise the tools. Tools for peer-to-peer collaboration and coproduction

However, we believe that we also must *infrastructure* our practice - make material provision for other times and other locations - to give it legs and to give it scope.

We propose a framework with three layers.

Toolstack - Three layers

First of all there's - 'The trinity' - from Rich Bartlett and Nati Lombardo. Trinity Then there's - Stack - a term that comes from Guerrilla Translations - the DisCO people (Distributed Cooperative Organisations). See Guerrilla Translations Handbook #5 webpage . Here's another source pdf

Basically, the trinity is part of the stack but it has a primary importance, which is why it's got a separate name and seems more obvious. There are three elements in the trinity - surprise surprise. There are five in the stack. And then it seems to me necessary also to identify things that I’ve called

- Specials, which are not part of the stack, they're not sufficiently generic.

DisCO puts (some of) the specials into a third category, ‘the deck’. This is where we find we're doing something quite particular, engaged with a particular kind of stuff in the world, and need a particular kind of tool, involving quite particular skills.

> The 'deck' is for things not dealt with in a general way, in all collaborations or communities. Comprises means of **concrete engagement and perception** in a particular field, rather than generic means of coordination.

But there may still be generic approaches to that kind of practical engagement and that kind of tool infrastructure - protocols, generic affordances. So 'specials' are generic classes of tools too.

The original frame of Trinity|Stack|Specials can usefully be evolved, with some elements of the Stack and Specials promoted to an Extended trinity.

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