Ev'rything is Satisfactual: Shunyata    
 Shunyata28 comments
picture23 Oct 2005 @ 23:06, by Uncle Remus



Dispatches from the Vanishing World, by Alex Shoumatoff (author and editor) is "a forum for documenting and raising consciousness about the world’s fast-disappearing biological and cultural diversity. It provides first-hand, in-depth reporting from the last relatively pristine places on earth, and identifies who and what is destroying them..."

The collection of slideshows, below, is from Dispatch #24: A slideshow from the Congo by Craig Lapp (2003-2004):

The slideshows are in Apple Quicktime. Click here to download Quicktime if you don't already have it.

Slideshow-1

Slideshow-2

Slideshow-3

Slideshow-4

Slideshow-5

In addition to the Dispatches, the sites features regularly updated bulletins from environmental and cultural hot spots, and links with other sites one can go to to find out more.

"By networking freely together and by coming together when we have shared purposes, by taking action when we are able and inspired, and by remaining aware of how our activities relate to other activities, thus we can achieve a synergy, a unity based on diversity."
--- New Civilization as a TeamNet


Alex Shoumatoff confesses to being basically a "technophobe and a cyber ignoramus" (his oldest son, Andre, has been designing the sites - "He just graduated from the University of Vermont where he created a site to raise consciousness in the ski world about global warming called Slush Sucks.") So, hey, maybe here is a web entity whose association with Flemming Funch (and/or technically savvy NCN staff) could be of mutual benefit to both networks.

"The New Civilization Network is a cooperative network of teams dedicated to building a viable civilization based on freedom of choice, trust, common sense and an increased quality of life for all."
---Flemming Funch, 13 Mar 95


How many more entities are there, out there, who share a same purpose, who if approached in the right way might be interested in not just joining NCN, but in joining WITH NCN---more like working in tandem with NCN?

Tandem is defined as a group of units arranged one behind the other and working together. The most obvious example being, of course, the tandem bicycle where two persons sit one behind the other and pedal together. This is why, maybe, tandem is not the best word, because my emphasis is on the "working together" part and not at all about riding the same bicycle. To that regard, a free-floating space station, to which new interconnected, yet autonomous modules are attached, probably is a better analogy.

More to the point, tandem is also talked of in conjunction with language acquisition methods: In this context, Tandem means working together, exchanging skills and experience to help each other go forward faster - and with more fun! You meet a local person learning your language. You and your partner speak alternately in the foreign language and your language and together you not only improve your knowledge of the language but you also get to know many other aspects of both cultures and ways of life. Which is very much part of some of the things NCN is all about.

And so it is maybe one of NCN greatest paradox that NCN itself, as a whole, has seemed unwilling thus far to follow for itself the design it has had in mind for its members: "Find other [networks] who want to do similar things. Get Busy."

"Complexity is grown from simple systems that already work."
---Simplicity


Tandem is also a word which appears as Tandem Computers in the computer industry: Tandem Computers was founded in 1974 by a group of engineers from Hewlett-Packard. Their business plan called for systems that were proof from "single point failures."

The notion of single point failure is an important one, especially when it comes to notions such as "Network" and "New Civilization," as one may wonder how much of NCN, for all its diversity, really is "a cooperative network of teams," and how much of it is essentially dependant on the good will, and good health (may he - they? - live a long and prosperous life) of the original founder(s) of the Network?

The answer to this question is a simple one. Can a single person at any given time turn NCN off on a simple switch of a button, or could a local natural disaster wipe out all or most of NCN in a single strike? If the answer to the question is yes, I suggest that NCN as a whole is not living up to its potential and to the standards it once set for itself and its members.


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Shunyata [Sanskrit]: The trait of being transitory and interconnected with other things. No thing is absolute or complete in itself. Where, for example, is a chair's chairness? Not in any of its parts: a chair leg is not a chair; a backrest is not a chair. But even a complete assemblage of chair parts is not enough for chairness. Chairs can be chairs only in appropriate environments - they need gravity, a species whose anatomy can fit into the chair, and various other external conditions. Chairness is therefore not a property of a particular objects, but a set of relationships between the object and external factors. This quality is shunyata... often translated as "emptiness." In isolation, a chair may exist as an object but it's "empty." Chairness arises only when the object relates in a specific way to the rest of the world.
---James Alan Gardner, Radiant



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28 comments

24 Oct 2005 @ 10:00 by jazzolog : One Of Our Favorite Unresolved Topics
Usually when someone posts something like those 2 paragraphs above about NCN, we get a fabulous long thread that sometimes resembles the Laughing Place, Remus. However, you've got a slightly different angle. I hope some comments emanate this time!  


24 Oct 2005 @ 12:56 by swan : Working in tandem
is a wonderful concept. To work in tandem people have to have a sense of safety and trust in one another that comes out of knowing who they are. If we knew that we each had something to bring to the table (or chair) that no one else could bring and without it things would not be complete we would move in that direction. I feel that trust or lack there of is the thing that gets in the way of a network like NCN working in the way it was intended. Conversely the nature of the internet creates an environment the fosters separation. Like you said someone could just push a button and make this all disappear. Someone can also pretend to be someone else. I also believe that many people get personally entangled in the web that gets created and can not be objective. For example someone posts something that someone else disagrees with. Often what happens in this case is there is no place for a healthy disagreement to unfold because there has not been a place for trust to develop. What happens instead is an argument breaks out and the beauty of the pursuit of understanding is lost. Long time members have yet to find a way to do this differently. I think the world works in similiar fashion. The only thing I have found is "to know thy self" so you can come from a place of love and compassion with yourself and other people. If everyone did that then working in tandem would come naturally.  


24 Oct 2005 @ 16:12 by uncleremus : Thank you, Richard
Yes, I've carefully reviewed NCN's records and history on that topic, so I know what you mean. I also noticed that Flemming has created a special category on his blog dedicated to that topic alone [link] And you have too done your part (quite a few remarkable threads on your blog, I must say.) I am not trying to start a polemic here, so, yes, I tried to present things under a slightly different angle. Will that generate a "fabulous long thread"? Nah, I don't think so. And I don't think that you think so either. Like everyone here I think things over, or sometimes thoughts just pop into my mind, and when they do, I like to share them with others, when I think they might be of interest. If some people read them and find them of interest too, that's good. If they want to contribute some input, hey, that's even better. If they don't, that's fine too, I don't expect everyone to relate to my posts all the time.  


24 Oct 2005 @ 16:37 by uncleremus : Hi Swan
Yes, well, my post was mostly about the mechanics of NCN as a networks and of networking in general - hence the space station analogy. Your comment seems to be mostly about the problems encountered by the current community that has taken residence in the present NCN module and some of the dynamics at work within that space.

If improving yourself "so that you can help others improve themselves" is your shtick, hey, that's just great, and it seems to me that there is certainly room for that on NCN. Some people here go even further than that and say we should all endeavor to develop a Christ-like consciousness or all become bodhisattvas. The problem is that they also seem to feel that everybody else on NCN should "get on with the program," and that when we all agree that this is how things have to be, then NCN will work like a charm. Pretty much the kind of things that Flemming was talking about in his X/Y worldview analysis:

"Know thyself" is well and all, but it is not, and cannot be, what NCN is exclusively all about, now, is it? There's got to be more than that. Yet, as you rightly pointed out "argument breaks out" because "someone posts something that someone else disagrees with." And I've seen many would-be bodhisattvas, get upset at those who are not "with the program," or who have joined NCN to do other things. I found an excellent post about that on i2i's blog: Candles in the Sun. Good thread, too!

Anyway, I believe we are slightly off topic, here, but you made many good points and I felt they deserved to be addressed. Thank you so very much for the input.  



24 Oct 2005 @ 17:38 by swan : I really wasn't implying that
NCN should be about "knowing thyself", I don't think it is something you do in a network of people like this. I was saying that if we knew who we were life would be smoother and therefor out interactions with others would be less about external imput. Sorry if you feel we have gone off topic but you brought up NCN as not living up to its potential and I feel I was giving my opinion as to why I feel that is from my experience here. As I assume you are a fairly new member you might not know the history as well as long term members do.  


24 Oct 2005 @ 19:20 by uncleremus : Of course you weren't, Swan.
And, your opinion is always welcome here.  


24 Oct 2005 @ 19:56 by jstarrs : So...
...where's the NCNness?
I'm happy - I just managed to have a phrase translated by a friend of Ashanti from zulu to english for a friend who has some friends who're helping an afro-peruvian singer (Susanna Bacca)translate a song for her to sing on her next album.
Done in 24 hours.
Thanks to NCN.

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa:
"Even if the mind of the giant (person of great strength, or boss) goes mad"
Abantwana bayagxuma, becahselana bexoxa:
"the children are jumping, playing hide and seek, and (chatting) talking to each other."  



24 Oct 2005 @ 20:25 by uncleremus : Aha, yes, exchange and conviviality

Isn't the internet grand? This is where the "WorldWideWeb-ness" is. And as such, it is, of course, pervasive to NCN, as it is of countless chat rooms on the web and online forums and of other networks and Cyber Communities (and also of applications like Babelfish, Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo news group, etc.)

I don't particularly think of it as NCN-ness per se, though.

NCN is a child of the World Wide Web and not the other way around.

But, yes, I can see how, just like many other boards on the internet, NCN serves that one function which you describe (very poetically so,) and, well, I am sure it does that well - here is another recent example (it just popped up on Richard's blog) of the kind of interaction you were talking about, [link] , yes?

The Internet is ALSO a place to learn about issues, connect with those affected by issues, start conversations about remedies, raise funds for solutions, coordinate solution teams, post the whole process and invite real-time feedback from participants around the world. That kind of things.

So, yes, the internet is everything you described, but it is also a lot more. It has witin itself the seeds, the potential to be a lot more than that.

And so does NCN.  



25 Oct 2005 @ 06:06 by jstarrs : Maybe you thought it was just a fun...
..song, nothing more?
Susanna Bacca is a committed activist who uses her voice to pass her message.
Her friends are two aging anarchist activists who've been fighting for over 60 years to keep the memory of various south american cultures in tact...
You can read about my 'convivial exchange' with Octavio & Arianne, here:
[link]
so, you see, it depends very much on what you do with the tools whether or something stays a potential or not.
Anyway, the best is to just do it, isn't?
Oh, here's the song, but in French.

Paroles : Maxime Le Forestier // Né quelque part

M

© 1987 by Éditions Coïncidences

1

On choisit pas ses parents

On choisit pas sa famille

On choisit pas non plus

Les trottoirs de Manille

De Paris ou d'Alger

Pour apprendr

e à marcher

Être né quelque part

Être né quelque part

Pour celui qui est né

C'est toujours un hasard

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa

2

Y'a des oiseaux de basse-cour

Et des oiseaux de passage

Ils savent où sont leurs nids

Qu'ils rentrent de voyage

Ou qu'ils restent chez eux

Ils savent où sont leurs oeufs

Être né quelque part

Être né quelque part

C'est partir quand on veut

Revenir quand on part

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa (bis)

Est-ce que les gens naissent é

gaux en droits

À l'endroit où ils naissent ?

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa

Est-ce que les gens naissent égaux en droits

À l'endroit où ils naissent

Que les gens naissent pareils ou pas ?

Abantwana bayagxuma, becahselana bexoxa

3

On choisit pas ses

parents

On choisit pas sa famille

On choisit pas non plus

Les trottoirs de Manille

De Paris ou d'Alger

Pour apprendre à marcher

Je suis né quelque part

Je suis né quelque part

Laissez-moi ce repère

Ou je perds la mémoire

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqw

ahasa (ter)

Est-ce que les gens naissent égaux en droits

À l'endroit où ils naissent

Que les gens naissent pareils ou pas ?

Buka naba baxoshana

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa (bis)

Est-ce que les gens naissent égaux en droits

À l'endroit où ils na

issent

Que les gens naissent pareils ou pas ?

Buka naba baxoshana

Nom'inqwando yes qwag iqwahasa (bis)  



25 Oct 2005 @ 08:05 by jazzolog : Does Doo-Dah = Zip?
"There are currently 9991 members in the database."

I'd love a report on networking activities of some of those members who'd like to share. This Log stuff seems to attract only a handful of busy bees. Who could assemble such a report? Is the shunyata of NCN, "As long as I am happy in my purity, new civilization thrives"? Ah, emptiness.

Should we do something to welcome that 10,000th member?  



25 Oct 2005 @ 08:06 by ashanti : Deja vu
Dear Uncle Remus, your style is oh so very familiar, and just as captivating, even though it has taken on a necessarily different flavour SINCE That Happened.

The potential of NCN, as Jeff points out is in the seemingly small things - a friend of mine translates for a friend of his, crossing countries and continents, weaving a thread of energy that lightly dusts the golden threads of life. The micro-thread is holographically reflecting the macro-web of NCN. Perchance we cannot see all the strands in our own web?

There is an inter-connectedness that traverses the human, the flesh, the mind, the cyberspace, into the spirit.

Andy is part of many of us forever.  



25 Oct 2005 @ 17:19 by jstarrs : Yo! Only a woman can speak like that...
..guys.
Guys?
You know how to bake a cake, Jazz?  



25 Oct 2005 @ 18:31 by uncleremus : Hi jstarrs, Hi ashanti
A few clarifications:

Jeff:

1. Aha - was meant as in Aha, a Eureka moment - Not as in Ha Ha, funny
(I believe that you are an intelligent person and that you understood what I meant, but I am clarifying here anyway, just to make sure)

2. Conviviality is not a disparaging term (quite the contrary) - I'll have to come back to that, here, in another comment, maybe this evening when I have a minute or two.

3. I mean no disrespect to you, Jeff, or to ashanti, or to the NCN community at large. As stated earlier on, on this thread, my post was about the mechanics of NCN - as a vessel - not about its occupants.



Jeff and Ashanti:

Yes, Ashanti, I think I understood the first time around, "the seemingly small things," "weaving a thread of energy," "the inter-connectedness," etc., of which you speak , Jeff calls it NCN-ness, you call it the macro-web of NCN, and I called it WorlWideWeb-ness, because all these things of which you and Jeff are talking about are more a property of the World Wide Web and of its evolving features than they are a unique property of NCN per see.

- Statement: NCN is a fabulous concept - it has a great and inspiring mission statement.

- Statement: The World Wide Web is a fabulous place - I think we all agree.

- I don't think NCN is taking full advantage of what the World Wide Web has to offer, in term of pro-actively connecting with other networks that share similar or related interests (read my post again.)

I am not an enemy of NCN, and I am not making any of this up, Flemming himself conceded that "[NCN] is both great, and also only a shadow of what it could be, and something else than what it was intended to be." I am sure that the "something else" part is a good thing, Jeff----and I am not trying to diminish how you or ashanti or other members of NCN are already using the existing network and facilities NCN has to offer---- that was the "Aha" moment in my comment above----but it doesn’t take anything away from the argument that NCN is also only a shadow of what it could be.

Furthermore, I believe, that the point I made in the post above about "single point failure" is a valid one. And my question still stands. And as such, that's what it was, just a question----an invitation to reflect about things, and invitation to think further (a very NCN thing, one would imagine)----not an attack on the NCN community, and certainly not a demand for self-justification on the part of anyone here at NCN.

I am not threatening anyone and you can both take off your shining armors of the defending knights of the wounded honor of NCN. Because there is no call for it, really, and knights are so antiquated anyway, or, as ashanti put it, it is all, oh so "deja vu."

So, please guys, no need to gang up on poor Uncle Remus, here, ok?  



25 Oct 2005 @ 20:21 by jstarrs : Well, Uncle Remus...
...no need to credit yourself with more than you are, you know - no-one's 'ganging up on you' and I don't think anybody feels threatened by you either!
I can't speak for Ashanti but for myself, I've learned to 'use' NCNs tools in a way that suits me.
Maybe NCNs not up to some peoples standards or expectations but I try to 'act' with what I have because I find just talking about what could be too frustrating for my monkey mind - I leave that up to people like Richard (and perhaps yourself?) who have perhaps a greater vision of things than myself.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone is appreciative of your input & intentions, thanks....  



25 Oct 2005 @ 21:49 by uncleremus : I am sorry to hear that, jeff

But fortunately I don't believe you! - I find it hard to believe that you mean it when you say that "[you] find just talking about what could be" "too frustrating for [your] monkey mind."

"Acting with what one has" is a good thing, and it is very much one of the pillars upon which NCN was founded, so, hey, you'll have no argument from me on this one, but NCN is also very much about VISION, jeff, and talking about things that can be done (and even, at times, about things which cannot be done, or that people think cannot be done)---including NCN----and you know it.

After all, didn't NCN itself come to be, as a result of people talking about "what could be?"

We are here.
We are waking up now, out of the past, to dream a bigger dream.
We are friends and equals, we are diverse and unique, and we're united for something bigger than our differences.
We believe in freedom and cooperation, abundance and harmony.
We are a culture emerging, a renaissance of the essence of humanity.
We find our own guidance, and we discern our own truth.
We go in many directions, and yet we refuse to disperse.
We have many names, we speak many languages.
We are local, we are global.
We are in all regions of the world, we're everywhere in the air.
We are universe being aware of itself, we are the wave of evolution.
We are in every child's eyes, we face the unknown with wonder and excitement.
We are messengers from the future, living in the present.
We come from silence, and we speak our truth.
We cannot be quieted, because our voice is within everyone.
We have no enemies, no boundaries can hold us.
We respect the cycles and expressions of nature, because we are nature.
We don't play to win, we play to live and learn.
We act out of inspiration, love and integrity.
We explore, we discover, we feel, and we laugh.
We are building a world that works for everyone.
We endeavor to live our lives to their fullest potential.
We are independent, self-sufficient and responsible.
We relate to each other in peace, with compassion and respect, we unite in community.
We celebrate the wholeness within and around us all.
We dance to the rhythm of creation.
We weave the threads of the new times.
We are the new civilization.

It's not a matter of anyone's "standards" or "expectations," it's about evolution: NCN is an experiment, and evolving process. Or do you mean for NCN to never change, to never grow?

Ideally, NCN was meant to change from the inside as a result of the snowballing complexity that the activity of the growing NCN membership was expected to bring. How many years has it been, now? What is it that isn't happening?

Has NCN met its expectations? Some of them it has. But what about this:

"NCN...is there to connect up the people who are working on the solutions, or who are designing systems that just don't have the same problems. In NCN you will find many people who are visionary leaders in their fields, who head organizations, who are very well connected, who inspire many thousands of people."

"System designers," jeff, "Visionary leaders!" I am not saying that the present NCN community doesn't have its designers and visionaries, big and small, every one's contribution counts, but clearly NCN hasn't attracted as many builders, as it had been expected it would, and, more importantly, our "cumulative effectiveness" (the COLLECTIVE EFFECTIVENESS of so called "ordinary people" --- I say so-called because I do not believe there is such a thing as "ordinary people") has not snowballed to the critical mass level it had been hoped it would reach.

Maybe something else needs to happen. There are people out there doing things on their own, who have never heard of NCN, or to whom it never occurred to join NCN. I don't know, do you feel that the NCN current membership and level of activity is representative of the global population, or at least of that segment of the population who is interested in building "a world that works for everyone?" If not, isn't that something that ought to be corrected? What are we doing wrong?

Yes, jeff, people will talk about NCN. What could be more natural? If you ask me, I take that as a sign of good health----it reflects well on NCN.

"Freedom is the opportunity to improvise life infinitely within the boundary of love."---Mark Smollin     



26 Oct 2005 @ 02:57 by uncleremus : CONVIVIALITY

This is the bit about conviviality that I had promissed I would post:

Conviviality is well and alive.
It has no structure, and no hierarchy.
It does not have, even, any given ideology, in the ancient meaning of the term.
This is the reason why it remains free and elusive.
From time immemorial, it sprung from remarkable and unexpected figures such as the Indian, Gandhi, or the Nazarene, Jesus.
An invader can poison a convivial community, it cannot conquer it.

---------------------------------------------------------

La convivialité existe, bel et bien.
Elle n'a pas de structure, pas de hiérarchie.
Elle n'a pas même une idéologie propre au sens ancien du terme.
C'est pour cela qu'elle est insaisissable et elusive.
De tout temps, elle fut l'oeuvre de personnages aussi remarquables et inattendus que le furent Gandhi l'Indien ou Jésus le Nazaréen.
Un envahisseur peut empoisonner une société conviviale, il ne peut la conquérir.  



26 Oct 2005 @ 05:55 by ashanti : _
)  


26 Oct 2005 @ 14:42 by jstarrs : Uncle Remus...
..ok, fine.
Talking's fine also for some people, that's ok, talk, I'm sure it's good for NCN also, really.
You don't believe me? Never mind, many different methods & ways.
Do what you feel best & happy trails, too ;0)  



26 Oct 2005 @ 16:26 by uncleremus : ashanti
.................................................................................................................................
Context: The following is in response to Ashanti's comment
as cached by Google on 26 October 2005 05:55
before the comment's
original content (above) was removed/modified by its author.
.................................................................................................................................

1. Again: wrong thread, ashanti, the topic of this post is not about the quality, or the uniqueness, or whatshallhaveyou, of NCN as a cyber group. If that’s your shtick, I can point you to many other threads were people went through that before, again, and again, and again, and again, and again... I am sure you might even manage to quote yourself, there. You say you are not "getting sucked into the he-says-she-meant-I-did-not-mean quasar," yet all I have seen you do on this thread, so far, is positioning yourself as if you or the NCN community had been under attack---which it hasn't---and tell me what a great place NCN is---a statement with which I have no argument---and, don't get me wrong, ashanti, I appreciate your input, and I am not trying to belittle anything of what you are trying to say, and I am glad that you are able to see some of the qualities of NCN, which are many, but, really, ashanti, you are preaching to the choir, here, and this is going nowhere.

In so far as your tirade about the “Wouble-You-Wouble-U-Wouble-U” is concerned, well, I think I disagree with you there, the World Wide Web is BIG, Ashanti. It’s where the magic is. It made NCN possible. (Disclaimer: This is not to be interpreted as meaning that NCN is not a magic place too.)

"Trustedness," I am glad you found it here (though, just for the record, it must be noted that not everyone at NCN agrees with you on that one.)
"Trustedness" is not a monopoly of NCN, and neither are "making connections with legitimate people," "sharing ideas, information, and different points of view," or "making connections for others."


2. "More builders," "more practical enterprises," etc., all the things you point out, are not so much about what "I" personally would like to see----It’s not about me. It’s not about you. (Whatever happened to "I'm not getting sucked into the he-said-she-meant quasar?")----It is the VOCATION OF NCN, ashanti! It is about all of us. I think it's nice once in a while to be reminded of what the vocation of NCN is. What its mission statement says. And ask some of the hard questions. The "deja-vu" knee-jerk reaction of "Oh, yeah, well what would YOU do any differently, Mr. Know it all," "let's put YOU on the hot seat and see what you do" is, well, what it is, a very reactive, and very defensive reaction, and not a very mature one, at that. I never claimed I had all the answers, and I am certainly not here to tell people, some of whom have been at it for over ten years, system thinkers, programmers, and founder(s) of NCN, how I think things ought to be done here at NCN. My post presents just some questions----an invitation to reflect about things, and invitation to think further. I didn't seek the questions, they came to me. I could have kept them to myself, but, as it is, I have decided to share them with others. If the questions bother you or upset you, well, then, that post is not for you. And that is fine, too. As jeff said "many different methods & ways" at NCN, jeff is a wise man and he is right, of course, that is also very much part of what NCN is about.  



26 Oct 2005 @ 17:05 by jstarrs : "jeff is a wise man and he is right"
Well, I'm not "right" or "wrong", I just have my own way of doing things.
Like you.
Like Ashanti.
See?  



26 Oct 2005 @ 17:21 by uncleremus : Well, yes...

I just said that, haven't I?  



26 Oct 2005 @ 17:23 by jstarrs : I'm not sure...
..but I'm sure it's time to move on....  


26 Oct 2005 @ 17:47 by uncleremus : With all due respect, jstarrs,
you are my guest on this thread, and not the other way around, so this is entirely up to you, isn't it?

I you want to move on, move on, if you want to stay, stay.

Thank you so much for the time you took sharing some of the things you do. I feel very priviledged that you did so. And your comments here are always welcome.  



27 Oct 2005 @ 01:36 by uncleremus : Tongue-in-Cheek
This bit from the world of Academia, Networking on the Network, by Phil Agre. For some reason, I felt this irresistible urge to post that here. So, there must be something which is either immensely relevant or immeasurably humorous about it. I can't quite put my finger onto it, it all sounds like good advice, and some of it rings true, yet somehow there is also at the same time something odd or charmingly quaint about it. Something, perhaps, about theory versus reality, or maybe just a reminder that Academia remains a world entirely its own:

"Having listened in on a discussion group for a while and observed its customs and conventions, you might consider contributing something yourself. Don't just react or chat. Instead, write an intelligent, self-respecting, unshowy, low-key, less-than-one-page message that makes a single, clearly stated point about a topic that's relevant to both their interests and your own, preferably but not necessarily as a contribution to an ongoing discussion. Since your message might be read by people all over the world, avoid any slang or jokes which might not travel well. Sit on this message overnight to make sure you're not just reacting to something or repeating a familiar point that happens to make people in your community feel good. If you're feeling uneasy or compulsive about it then just throw it out and wait for another day, or get comments from someone whose judgement you trust.

Having thus refined your message, contribute it to the discussion group and see what happens. If nothing happens, don't be too concerned. Part of having a public voice is that your audience isn't always directly visible; you won't always get the same kind of immediate feedback that you get in a one-to-one, face-to-face interaction. So resist the urge to agitate until you get a visible response. If your message happens to start a discussion then listen respectfully, constructively acknowledge all halfway worthwhile responses, and be sure you're not just reacting to things. This process might flush out some people worth adding to your network. Or it might not... One thing that does not work, in my experience, is broadcasting a message to half the world saying, "I'm looking for people who are working on such-and-such", or "I've written papers about X and anyone would be welcome to read them". I don't know why exactly, but such broadcasts either don't reach the most worthwhile people, or the most worthwhile people are too busy to answer them."  



27 Oct 2005 @ 06:00 by ashanti : _
Nothing happening here......  


27 Oct 2005 @ 18:45 by uncleremus : On nasty comments
........................................................................................................................................
Context: The following is (in part) in response to Ashanti's comment
as cached by Google on 27 October 2005 06:00
before the comment's
original content (above) was removed/modified by its author.
........................................................................................................................................

Some good advice here from the Indian Blogosphere:

Stick doggedly to the topic. Even if the comment’s tone is combative and contains a paragraph of abuse and a sentence with a debatable point, respond to the debatable point and ignore the abuse..
Do not offer your abuser free psychiatric diagnosis.
Do not tell him/her how nasty a person he/she is.
Do not question his/her motives.
Make no reference whatsoever to the tone and tenor of your commenter.
Whatever you do, do not get into an escalating war of abuse with him/her.  



27 Oct 2005 @ 23:07 by uncleremus : Back to the topic

Food for thought: Seeking the blueprints of a global brain:

"What I am looking for is a better global brain - a better way for us to be connected together, where our collective intelligence will tend to emerge."

"I'm looking for a structure of inter-connectedness where more connections add up to more intelligence, rather than more confusion. It would become better when more people participate. Increased diversity would increase the rate of evolution, and make the whole system more intelligent and more stable."

"What I'm looking for is some kind of holy grail of inter-connectedness - some kind of system that will help us being connected in more radically useful ways. "

"What I have is more a question than an answer."

"What can a small group of us consciously and deliberately design that will facilitate the evolution of all of humanity into a mature and sustainable species, in harmony with itself and its environment? "

[Flemming Funch - 2001-12-06]

Well, there you have it.

That is the question, isn't it?  



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