|25 Dec 2004|
Krystle of sustainableways.com replied to an idea of mine which in turn had been sparked off by her latest (monthly) newsletter ... which sort of compells me to develop it further.
In her analysis, if we want to change things in the environmentalist direction, we might take
the integrationist approach (changing the system from within, primarily through political means) [...], the separationist approach (do our own thing. [...] start taking care of ourselves and stop waiting for them to come around.), and the transformationist approach (What if instead of doing the above, environmentalists focused instead on [gasp] getting rich?)
She does a good job of explaining the three aproaches, what she likes about each, and what she sees as not working too well.
It's quite clear that each bad point of each approach can be used as a starting point to improve it - right? Yeah, doing that means work but it may be useful, so let's try it ...
The "transformationist" approach may be a bit slow, most of us will not make it, and the system may change us before we can get to do anything useful. So we might focus on existing rich people and try to help them change their minds a bit. We may even have to marry them!
So what Krystle suggests is we could make a movie with that plot: an environmental good-looking person who believes that's a way to change things and ... develop the plot here. Any takers? Credit her for the idea, please! And make the movie real FAST! :-)
So let's see if it could be done ... There's this Daniel Quinn story about the effect of changing ONE mind. I don't know about Ray Anderson's marital status, but apparently he didn't have to marry Daniel Quinn at all: it took only a couple of books (one of them by DQ) to shift into doing things quite differently.
Notice I write "shift into". It's not a complete change of mind, I guess. There has to be some level of predisposition. Then that person "shifts gear" and all of a sudden starts moving really fast in some hopefully better direction.
Now, how do we "measure" that predisposition? We should focus on someone we know, or someone who is only a few "degrees of separation" away from us. We would then learn what their motivation is, really listen to what they don't say, and suggest better ways.
Mind you, it's not necessary that we approach VERY rich people. It may be our local shoe-shop owner. If many of us do it, tell each other, and learn from the action ... who knows?
Michael Moore would probably say "adopt a Republican". Where I live labels are different and I don't really know about politics or it's more like I don't believe it would take us extremely far, but, hey, let's "adopt an enterpreuner". Any links of someone who is close to this idea? More >
|21 Dec 2004|
If we want to make "sustainability efforts" sustainable, then maybe we need to look at people in three situations:
- full-time sustainability warriors (who work on sustainability as a pay job, or who are rich and can work full time for free)
- part-time sustainability champions (who can give, say, an afternoon each week)
- marginal-time sustainability ants (who can give 1% of their time)
Cultural Creatives say there are some 80+50 million CCs in Europe and USA. Most would be "marginal-time sustainability ants", I'd guess.
So the trick is how to provide an infrastructure for us/them to self-organise effectively. That infrastructure has to work locally, and can of course be designed globally. It may need internet elements, but also non-internet elements, and "conceptual" elements (how-tos).
Most of the conversations will be local, so there could be a way to signal that one is an "ant". Maybe a badge with an ant on it? Something even simpler?
If that works, then the infrastructure could be used for ideas and conversation. "Cake of the week" issues could be suggested for "ants" to pursue on their marginal time.
With infrastructure, content and ants, quite a few things might become possible. Add up some champions to take care of the infrastructure, and a few warriors too, and there you have it.
Connected ant colonies? Yes, sure, but each colony actually lives on its territory. It's not all about the internet!
The trick is to go LOCAL. That's what the badges would be for.
So what do ants do? They could:
- collect information and opinions
- privide ideas
- make questions
- do small physical tasks
- give information to others
- many other ant-like tasks
This may have something to do with "parallelizable tasks" in grid computing - I don't know.
Ideas? More >
|17 Dec 2004|
The FireFox+SpreadFireFox initiatives are exciting because they provide a model for more:
- See a need
- Create a very good product, openly, cooperating, using what's available
- Join and disperse to facilitate change
- What other need(s) do you see?
- Do you want help to create a community that builds or spreads a solution?
- What would you need?
Minciu Sodas Laboratory - Open People
"You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete." (Buckminster Fuller) More >
|12 Dec 2004|
Virtual Flash Mob about Erradicating Poverty and helping One Village Foundation into getting "work, not funds". More >
|12 Dec 2004|
A few-many people (depending on how you count) are trying make "changing the world" into a full-time job. Most of us can't. So I want to explore "changing the world as a part-time job" (CtW-PTJ), not fully, only a little:
CtW-PTJ is good because that way we can bring many people in: we can count on many million cultural creatives.
Also, there's the benefit of independence: you don't depend on being profitable if you want to do good.
Are there other benefits?
CtW-PTJ is not perfect, as world-changers can't be fully inmersed in the action: they are always distracted by the urgent job of finding food etc.
They are not free to move around and work where there's need to work, and are instead tied to their pay-jobs. There's a similar limitation in timing: if your pay-job is from nine to five, then that's exactly the time you can't devote to world-changing.
It may be morally and physically exhausting to work for pay in something you don't find exactly up-lifting and then, when nobody looks, work "for loss" on something you like.
Are there other difficulties?
CtW-PTJ reminds me of priests and priesthood - which is a "full time" thing. A church takes employees on a full-time basis, so they can focus on their job all the time, and even, if there are no accidents, for all their lives.
There's need to use people's "minimal donations" and make them worthwhile. I mean, a sort of "paypal" for world-changing work. People dropping one hour of tv-watching each day, and doing good deeds instead. Maybe something like 50 million hours in the USA, and 80 million hours in Europe - each day! That would be doable if people's action is within their own lives radius: what if people learn to do certain things on their own?
So we need to connect the "cultural creatives", don't we?
What have I left out? More >
|10 Dec 2004|
No, I'm not using David Allen's methods. At least, not yet, as there's just too much chaos in my room.
But finally I've managed to get a Pentium II machine, only 64 Megas RAM, but fully usable for my purposes. I think I'll be able to use Firefox, Thunderbird, X-chat, Gaim, Vimoutliner, Python, and little else.
I hope it will be a nice change after a Pentium I.
I guess I'll get into "GTD" (Getting Things Done, David Allen's way) as soon as I'm into doing what I want. Then, or so my current guess goes, I'll have a clear motivation to get rid of this nasty cloud of petty little things that simply interfere.
It's just a metaphore, of course, but it feels as if the stars are aligning, somehow. Or maybe it's my neurons or whatever. More >
|1 Dec 2004|
I received a letter from Krystle, saying "Somewhere along the line we decided that more of anything is better".
Here's what I believe ...
Each of us is born and learns from our local environment, but behind the learning there's an older "brain" (whole body, really) that -it's my current guess-, looks for older things.
My brain looks ONLY for "more of" well-being. Call it "endorphines", "personal satisfaction", "knowing this life is good", "this is the life I want to live", whatever.
Then, the money system fools us into thinking that cars and tobacco are equivalent or conducive to well-being. They appeal to our old hunger with new gadgets - and they succeed in fooling us.
How does that work? I believe there's an explanation here:
At http://www.cyfranogi.com/ they are creating a Currency Design Tool, which covers quite simply all the details involved in a "designed" currency: each "design decision" actually FORCES different behaviour in us "users" (victims!) of that currency!!!
You may be interested in looking at the "design decisions" here:
I did find them interesting!
So, looking at things more generally, I believe quite a few groups are working along what I'd call "the firefox way":
- people see disadvantages in the dominant web-browser (Internet Explorer)
- some (qualified, persistent, creative) people create alternatives, some of which are really good
- then they facilitate an "escape path" (easy install + community of evangelists + evangelists that are not part of any community)
Do you think this makes sense? Could it be that we need to "spread things that work for people"? Could it be that we can make it happen really fast?
Now, what do YOU think? Please? More >
|1 Dec 2004|
From: Howard Rheingold howard at rheingold dot com
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 11:19:30 -0800
Subject: Stanford Course open to public, January-March 2005: Toward a Literacy of Cooperation
Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Jan 5-Mar 16
Darwin had a blind spot. It wasn't that he didn't see the role of cooperation in evolution. He just didn't see how important it is. So for two centuries -- a time during which the world passed from an agrarian landscape into a global post-industrial culture of unprecedented scale and complexity --science, society, public policy and commerce have attended almost exclusively to the role of competition. The stories people tell themselves about what is possible, the mythical narratives that organizations and societies depend upon, have been variations of "survival of the fittest." The role of cooperation has been largely unmapped.
Now is the time to finally build this map, not because we're feeling altruistic, but because scientists are beginning to see how cooperation actually works in biology, sociology, mathematics, psychology, economics, computer science and political science. And in the last two decades, we've seen a variety of new challenges to business models that stress competition over customers, resources, and ideas. Companies in emerging high-tech industries learned that working with competitors could build markets and help avoid costly standards wars. The open source movement showed that world-class software could be built without corporate oversight or market incentives. Google and Amazon built fortunes by drawing on, even improving, the Internet by facilitating and building on the collective actions of millions of web publishers and reviewers. Thousands of volunteers have created over one million pages of the free encyclopedia Wikipedia in over 100 languages.
Collective knowledge-gathering, sharing economies, social software, prediction markets numerous experiments in technology-assisted cooperation are taking place.
In this lecture series we want to begin to put these pieces of the puzzle together to build a practical map of cooperative strategy, starting with the basic social dilemma that has forever defined the tension between self-interest and social institutions. Social dilemmas arise when you or I act rationally... in our own self-interest...but our individual rational acts add up to a situation in which everyone is worse off. That is, our choices add up to less, not more.
Readings will include Peter Kollock, Elinor Ostrom, Steven Weber, Garrett Hardin, David Reed, Bernardo Huberman, Howard Rheingold, and many others. The class will begin with a first hand game experience. A wiki and a blog will continue discussion and group learning online between classes, and enable participation by others off-campus or on the other side of the world. Guest lecturers include Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Peter Kollock, Bernardo Huberman, Ross Mayfield (social software entrepreneur and one of the authors of "Emergent Democracy,") Howard Rheingold, Zack Rosen (creator of Deanspace and civicspace.org), and others.
Classes will be held WEDNESDAYS 4:15 pm to 5:45 pm Wallenberg Hall (Bldg 160), Room 127. Lecture video will be streamed in real time and available on archives. The first class will be Monday, January 5. The syllabus and information about online participation will be available at http://shl.stanford.edu/hum202.html by the last week in December.
We're hoping that this course will be the start of an interdisciplinary learning network, focused on issues of cooperation and collective action in science, public policy, business, and everyday life.
Please circulate this email, blog, post in appropriate forums.
Howard Rheingold howard @ rheingold.com
What it is --->is--->up to us
Maybe it's not so much that Darwin had a blind spot himself, but his "priests" did. My guess is it has happened before. Or, even more likely, just as Mr Rheingold puts it, it must have been a matter of emphasis.
Never mind about such things of the past: we have work to do, NOW! :)
Pass it on! More >
|27 Nov 2004|
Here it is! Now, I wonder if there's a translation of the lyrics ... It looks like the words go with the whole idea.
... "to be able to leave behind a whole dictionary of 'compasses' for you" ...
... "more than six million virtual samba schools" ...
The "countercover" is a JPG file with things like "how do we manage abundance"? More >
|27 Nov 2004|
Reading what Jack Ricchiuto tells the OSLIST about "givens", I really like what he has to say about the steps before opening space.
I'm not yet a practitioner of "open space technology", but if I understand it correctly, there's some work before the actual event with 20+ people. The would-be facilitator needs to have a chat with the would-be sponsors. And that's where I get stuck - it all happens in my mind, as I haven't really tried it yet.
What Jack writes I summarise like this:
- first, agree with the would-be sponsor that self-organisation happens anyway, and that it's where things happen effectively anyway. "Things get started at coffe-breaks", so to speak.
- second, ask them "what would you do if you could tap into a power that you couldn't control but that would make you more effective and happy about yourself in your role as leader/manager?"
Then, if they want that power, it's all a matter of deciding on a theme and then opening space.
It sure looks easy :-? More >
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