TED Conversations

William Holz

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Could a few of us get some help with an overwhelmingly big idea? We call it the Co-opernation. We could also use help naming things.

My beloved and I would often get frustrated watching TED talks, seeing all these lovely, brilliant ideas that we were afraid would never happen in the real world, even though they made more sense than what we saw around us.

When she passed away, a few of us started working on an idea she inspired.

The idea was to stop fighting AGAINST anything and to simply use every single tool at our disposal to make a better place for the people we loved. We looked in a lot of right places and even more wrong ones, focused on seeing tools as what they were rather than what they were used for, and a strange question presented itself.

Would it be possible to take the framework of a corporation, like a Valve or Mondragon, insert a whole bunch of other people's amazing ideas and basically, turn corporate campuses into charter cities? Could we free people to simply help other people and remove most of the worries society has created? If we do this right could we hire anybody who wants to be a good person and contribute to the greater good and instantly free them from the current messes we're in?

So, we found our 'yes' answer pretty early (mostly standing on the shoulders of giants who hate each other), but it was a scary revolutionary confrontational thing and somehow that just felt WRONG. So we dedicated ourselves to making it gentle, harmless, hilarious, and non-threatening, and we're pretty much there.

And now we need help! We're shy, but since TED really is the biggest source we have, we want to start here. Our hope is to get some help organizing us, getting this idea out there and into some better hands so it can grow and get even better, then we can hopefully crowdsource a mellow revolution.

If anybody could point us in the right direction it'd be great!

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    May 29 2013: Hi William, (Part 1)

    I've been thinking along these ways for quite some time now and I'm glad to see that I'm not alone with this idea.
    But instead of a "Co-opernation" it's always been "The self replicating village" in my head.

    I'm not sure how much of a help this is for you but I think you could use some of the tools and methods that I've found in my search to help realize this.

    So it probably goes without saying that money is (sadly) needed for this and crowdfunding is a possible and great way to go (I think it has to crowdfunded to succeed). However the usual sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are ill equipped for this kind of thing since they mostly focus on "creative projects". So here are 10 sites that might be better suited for that goal. http://plantostart.com/10-crowdfunding-websites-entrepreneurs/

    Now to the profits, it has to be; Green, good and profitable. I'm not sure if you've heard of Gunther Pauli, but he's had at least three TEDxTalks and his company "The Blue Economy" has open solutions for making money while being green and doing good to the world. I'll list one of his Talks and the website.
    Talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyTHmTDT2Qw
    Website: http://www.blueeconomy.eu/

    Then you'd need the architecture for whatever you're planning on building and I would strongly advice using OpenArchitectureNetwork. Here's the TED Talk from 2006 and a link to the website.
    Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_sinclair_on_open_source_architecture.html
    Website: http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/

    Since information is key you'll need a website to present all the aspects of the projects and it has to be well designed and appealing. For this TopCoder is the best option that I've found. There are nearly half a million registered users that know how to design and code just about anything that can be written with 1's and 0's and it's modeled much like OpenArchitectureNetwork. There's no Talk, only a website to this one I'm afraid.
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      May 30 2013: I've got to add, the geek in me is in love with TopCoder! :)

      Many thanks! And yes, we're heading the same place, just for slightly different reasons!

      We all want to head in generally the same place, I think. We just need to band together en-masse instead of having all these tiny little projects and dreams that never really get to play in the sea of ideas.

      We need an umbrella!
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    May 30 2013: Thanks Jimmy for your recent input, I think you have provided some good links (albeit I haven't checked them out yet), though anticipate you have put in the groundwork, time and research.
    William, thankyou for your frankness and utopian ideal. I appreciate the fact that you have a life outside your TED posts here and that you would need time to contemplate all that has been posted here and so then, develop your idea further.
    Fritzie, thankyou for your moderating inputs which are always, thoughtful, diplomatic, sincere and well thought thru.
    Jacqueline thankyou for posting your comment about what essentially was my collective summation and endorsement of it, namely my Q & A post. I must say, I agreed with everything you said and was honestly surprised that more was not done with it or talked further about on this forum about it.
    To me, life is not so much about the destination, but the journey to get there.
    Also, what to some people is just lemons, to others it's lemonade, they make something of it. Or one mans junk is another mans treasure. Which in turn means that, I have learnt and grown as a person from participating here.
    For example, I have gained knowledge about things I did not know before. I have been able to see things from others points of view. I have interacted with other people from all parts of the world in (for the most part) an intellectual and interesting way.
    I have got to know others by way of their posts and in a loose way now see them as people I sort of know.In this respect when we come across each other as is bound to happen in other posts on TED we will forge a familiarity and plenty of other positives.
    So Blade Runner, I don't agree with your postulation that I would concede this was just a waste of time, for all the reasons I have just given above. A big idea takes time to come to fruition, so patience is a virtue. BTW BR, " Loose" refers to loose clothing, loose tie etc while to lose something is as in loss or lost. Some grammar 4 u :D
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      May 30 2013: Time Traveller your aforementioned postulations are noted.

      Further Time Traveller.............4 U some GRAMMAR as opposed to GRAMMER.............Suggest I'm up to speed with the word 'loose' and its various meanings, including 'loose women' and I also know the difference between the words 'loose' and 'loser'!

      Cheers................. :)
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      May 31 2013: Thanks Time Traveller!

      You have been a great help (I'm still LOVING that franchise comparison for starters!), and you've demonstrated quite a bit of mental agility. I can promise next time around if you ignore 'Blade Runner' there are more stimulating conversations to be had with people who would be anything other than the LAST sort of person who we have any interest in or need to convince. :)

      Once I've gotten a few other posts in a better format I'll be sure to let you know. There are lots of good bits that are completely buried in this thread, and it's a lot easier if it's all easily referred back to!
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        Jun 3 2013: You are welcome William and I look forward to your updates. Take care, best regards, :D
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    May 23 2013: Ruminating over pieces of the puzzle here, I would like to offer my thoughts, which I will put together via a linear thought process in a question answer style. Some may hit & I expect others will miss their mark, as I don't know the whole big picture!

    Q:What is a Co-opernation?
    A:It fundamentally is a business system, it has to be to sustain itself and it's inhabitants.
    Q:What does it do, how does it create its money?
    A: It provides ecologically sustainable goods and services.
    Q:Other companies are doing that already, what's the difference?
    A: The Co-opernation is soley focused across the spectrum of its offerings to being ecologically sustainable and sharing profits after costs to its inhabitants (read shareholders).
    Q: So what is The Vision/Mission of the Co-Opernation?
    A: To create an ecologically sustainable planet that balances the needs of people, other life on Earth and the environment.
    Q:How do you plan on growing this concept?
    A:Initially direct to first world occupants, as the infrastructure for aquisition and distribution of required goods, services and people are well established.
    Q:Can you be more specific and say what you do to grow/start?
    A:If it is ecologically sustainable, then the Co-opernation can source and provide it. Eg: Hybrid cars, solar panels, green cleaning, led lighting, most efficient washing machines, televisions, refrigerators, lead free/organic paint, organic/chemical free fabrics/bed linen,towels,manchester, all not tested on animals products, lpg gas car conversions and supply, aquaculture products, permeculture products, educational services, plantation timber products, recycling centre and manufacturer of recycled materials, Fair trade sourced supplier for imports.........and soooo much more!
    Q:Some of those things aren't that ecologically friendly, explain that?
    A:This is a starting point that sets the bar higher, as things progress improvements can be made, ideally we would create them & sell to the world.
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      May 23 2013: Still curious................and you will be contributing what or not?

      Just asking!
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        May 23 2013: Blade Runner, I am not too sure about your motives. I have in fact taken the time to read your other posts after your response to one of my other posts. From my readings, I could easily see that your posts, (suprise, suprise) were rather confontational and antagonistic. Your response now is with respect to my input, rather infantile. To be honest, I wasn't even bothered to warrent your earlier response with a reply as you missed the whole point of my response. Oh yes I can just see you jumping up on your high horse now to combat me with this or that. The truth is, what you got amounts to diddly squat. You told me that I was a talker and doers do stuff while talkers are talking but when I directly asked you to tell exactly what you would do you had NOTHING. Now when I post something that is practical and realistic with well thought out and planned from my own knowledge and personal experience gleaned from 48 years on this planet with 12 words that are, well, words fail me. Essentially , though it comes down to 7 words, "You will be contributing what or not".
        I think I have in essence, covered the entire spectrum of the posts here and will in fact be the guiding way forward for this whole concept. Denigrators like you are miffed that it wasn't them & so try to bring themselves up by denigrating others. I think people like you highlight what we are trying to distance ourselves from. You are quick to denigrate but provide NO ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION. You try to bring yourself up by trying tp bring others down. You know what, the numbers will play out what is the way forward. My advice is to reign yourself in a little, because believe it or not your opinions and thoughts are valid. You are in the minority with respect to people who put up posts and as such are hugely reflective of minorities... yes I have met plenty of people like you, though if you are more diplomatic you will not PISS OFF so many people! I do get you but just give credit where credit is due! :D
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          May 24 2013: LOL
          Ah Time Traveller ..........I have traveled through time on this planet for some time longer than yourself and have done a bit of gleaning and experiencing myself.............but I digress so let me refocus............

          Motives you speak of..............I'm a creature of curiosity and endless questions and have found from experience that people dislike questions and believe their opinions, statements are beyond questioning. Alas for them I beg to differ.

          And I further suggest many an insecure and person of self importance has deemed my questions as being confrontational and antagonistic, some have even deemed them as arrogant and bleated ala 'how dare you question what I say.' or even fawn outrage ala 'well words fail me.'

          Suggest what you see as confrontational is me confronting the situation and taking the bull by the horns and cutting through the shmaltz and getting to the crux of the matter.

          Suggest actions speak louder than reams of words or talk fests.

          Oh and btw I don't recall you ' directly asking me to tell exactly what I would do' about anything in this conversation so kindly point me to where you uttered such so I can rectify my remiss.

          As for the rest of your post which in my opinion is a sad piece of self noting, self serving dribble full of cheap attempts at denigration and you have the cheek to accuse me of denigration for asking short direct to the point questions.

          Give us a break!


          ps. Ever considered that some times there may not be an alternative solution to every problem..................can you perchance raise the dead?
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        May 23 2013: Yeah, maybe you're looking for something that we've specifically said we're not trying to do over the next month or so, Mr. Runner. Time Traveller was part of the discussion and we've been walking through pieces, his evaluation process has already helped us come up with a few better angles. I'm not sure of the purpose of this specific content, but it doesn't look like you're trying to be helpful

        I did ask you a couple of specific questions in another part of the thread, if you'd like to contribute that'd be a good place to answer!
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          May 26 2013: Well William I'm the Guy that continually keeps reminding folk that the camel was designed by a committee and the Porsche was designed by one person.

          Sure Time Traveler was part of the discussion and so could anyone else be, as you put your question out to the world.

          As for 'helpful'.........suggest that when (correct me if I have misread your plan/hopes) you come on here looking for suggestions/help to launch a business concept/idea and somebody starts waffling/rambling on about the history/concepts of Socialism/Communism akin to a academia lecture its time for Elvis to leave the building.

          Suggest you should be getting feed back/advice from folk that have started or are running businesses.

          Suggest well wishers and ego massagers are worth dime a dozen and sometimes cloud the hard reality of what is required ................. but hey many an idea has been launched on a wing and a prayer. :)

          Hope you Guys can sort the straw from the chaff!

          Oh and btw yes you Guys did ask the world a couple of specific questions but I still await Time Traveler to show me, my remiss with him.

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        May 27 2013: I'm not sure which you think is the better product when comparing the Camel to the Porsche. The camel has vastly superior design and spectacular self-repair and self-maintenance abilities, and a built in factory as a bonus. They are however poorly designed for city and freeway use, where the Porsche has a significant edge, a Porsche is much easier to store for long periods and can instantly hibernate, and while it has no self-repair capabilities it has a tiny fraction the number of moving parts... and so on.

        We're focused on actual design, not ideology. If you use the scientific method to drive decisions in a corporation of the scale we're discussing then socialism and communism both have both historical comparisons of success and failure (and are different enough you shouldn't merge them like that). Science is supposed to be focused on enhancing our understanding, what parts work well, what parts do not? What lateral examples are often missed?

        The focus on starting/running a business reflects a mis-communication on my part, because that's not a line of reasoning we should be getting hung up on, we have plenty of examples of existing businesses that overlap in plenty of ways. This wasn't a start-up attempt, this was an attempt to figure out how to communicate should become obvious if I do so properly.

        Time Traveller, meanwhile, has gone further with the core concept, despite me starting from the wrong direction in this thread.
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          May 27 2013: Hope you end up with a 'Porsche' and not a 'camel'! :)

          btw:Have you ever pondered perchance whether Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, (just to mention a few) ever thought 2 hoots as to whether their ideas/plans might be socialistic,communistic,capitalistic or squat ever?

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        May 27 2013: In my reply 5 days ago, in the 6 lines I wrote, I asked four times,starting with: "Ok...what you got?....doing what exactly?....back it up with substance.....walk the talk" !!!!!!!!!! Questions relate to the relevance of their context and as such are moot when misaligned ( re Ford, Gates comparison). As I didn't start this post and I didn't know exactly what the parameters where, I was feeling/teasing out the knowledge I needed to post the suggested Q & A post as a way forward. Thankyou BTW Jacqeline for your post commenting on it, I very much appreciated what you had to say. Mr Runner's initial response to it, asking if I was contributing or not, was not what I'd expected and even though he has said he isn't confrontational etc, to me was not a very constructive response and detracted from it's message and sidetracked us. In the history of man, there have always been the naysayers, most people once thought the world flat and vehemently would denounce anyone who thought otherwise! Oh and just to be clear in case I hadn't, Mr Runner.... What are you going to do? Exactly? BTW miming it in this context clearly won't work, you will have to TALK about it!
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          May 28 2013: Well Time Traveller................in summary and as I'm shortly leaving the building (as opposed to taking my bat and going off for a sulk :] )...................

          Suggest you imagine me as the Guy sitting at the board table listening to all the hype put forward by the enthusiastic grasshoppers vying their ideas for accolades.........

          I'm the 'pain in the butt' Guy who then asks for the specifics thereto that then brings the concept back to the realms of reality/capability/functionality.

          Some would deem that as naysaying or pissing on peoples parades!

          I call it a reality check!

          And if hey if you interpret confronting things as being confrontational, it I suggest begs the question of what if anything is wrong with confronting a situation/issue/problem.

          Suggest you look around you and see the results of the masses not confronting the reality of the situations facing them.

          Q.What am I going to do?

          A. Keep asking questions/questioning any points other folk raise in this discussion forum that I believe need to be questioned.

          Suggest not being able to put a 'magical bullet/solution' on the table does not disallow anyone questioning what others have put on the table and trying to stigmatize/denigrate people/peoples opinions with labels like 'naysayer or Silly Blade Runner man' is counterproductive to any discussion/debate.

          Further, suggest asking short direct questions to long rambling dialogue is TALKING about the topic/concept!

          "You can argue interpretations......................
          But you cant argue the facts......................."

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        May 27 2013: Silly Blade Runner man!

        Why would we want a Porsche, when a camel is a vastly superior feat of engineering? I mean, we haven't defined a problem but the Camel's statistically a more likely solution.

        We're not following in Steve Jobs' footsteps here, though that's one of many giants who's shoulders we plan on standing on. This is a response to a problem that's pretty obvious in retrospect, you just have to think a little laterally and remove any petty ideology or blinding context you have to get there, but those are far from impossible to do with a minor application of intellect.

        While I admitted that I realized partway through that I was hitting this from the wrong direction (and stated in the post you replied to!) we have had some luck here, I would not have come up with the franchise parallel (which makes many parts easy to understand as a starting point) without Mr. Traveller's help for example, and he helped give me another useful angle in another way., Meanwhile It took Fritzie and Jacqueline to get it to click with me that pretty much everybody is going to need a couple of angles on this (self more than anyone!) and I neglected the most important one.

        And the very process of conversation made me aware that I not only was missing a personality type that we very much needed for this but that I forgot an important element of psychology and tuned my message away from that sort of person to boot!

        So yes, very useful, and who knows, if it clicks that in your Porsche and camel analogy, we're going several steps further, taking proven useful elements in each and a number of other things that are actually pretty obvious in retrospect (the advantage of lateral hops and breaking context, lots of 'duh' moments), realizing we might not have it JUST right and so we're putting the proven scientific method on top of THAT just in case. . . then we've both learned another good thing!
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          May 27 2013: Well William now that you have taken the discussion to this concept of rationale

          'Silly Blade Runner man!'

          its time for me to leave the building.

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        May 27 2013: THAT'S where you stop?

        You weren't even trying, were you?

        That's okay, I got a good idea out of you too ;)
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      May 23 2013: Okay, so yeah, that's definitely a tighter view of that part of the seed there. Thanks!

      So, does the problem that we've just created kind of make itself really apparent? There's a serious tipping point there, isn't there? Once you can offer sustainability, and can remove any barrier to grow and spread you've kind of got a moral obligation to at least try to give everybody in the world the option right?

      And with the world being what it is, even though we're talking about America's legal framework, we can pull a good bit of it off without actually impacting the rest of America at all, we just need enough for a real voting block, Citizen's United, and a purpose. When we can offer up a better-than-most-Americans lifestyle to the entire second and third world populations what happens?

      I think a LOT of people know this, which is why there's so many utopian type projects that are focused on ecological and economic sustainability. I also think from a technology/capability standpoint Mondragon and some of the other big worker cooperatives may already be there, and many existing large corporations have the capacity to do the same and just aren't.

      We're really just using some massive inefficiencies in the existing framework to support the same sort of thing. It's kind of like using cheat codes. Everybody else has already figured out how to get there the HARD way, we're trying to show everyone that the easy way is already there waiting to be exploited.
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      May 26 2013: Well done, Time Traveller. This is superb. You have done a wonderful job of distilling key points from a sea of information.

      Will & Amanda: with Time Traveller's permission, I think that this paragraph (or something very similar that follows its format) should be used to introduce and recruit others to your cause. It is the most concise, comprehensible, and effective post that I've seen on this thread that describes the essence of Co-operNation. This is a perfect example of a clear and brief introduction that we've been discussing. It is easy to understand, to the point, self-contained in its description, and provides the appropriate information without overwhelming the reader or losing the audience's attention due to being too lengthy or chaotic.

      P.S. I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to you (still drafting an email). I think Time Traveller has given you a GREAT starting point to organize and communicate your ideas around, so if you choose to do so, I'm sure you will be able to follow this example and start building outward from there. :)
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        May 27 2013: Oh, this has been very, very useful! I ended up having to bring a lot of the psychology back to the forefront and in doing so realized that I'd come at this whole thing from completely the wrong direction.

        I started with the tool without a good explanation of what it's long term purpose was, which not only was less helpful when it came to getting the right parts of the brain firing but also is overspecific to the point of nearing the sort of top-down management design decisions that we know works poorly in the long run.

        So yeah, it was totally the wrong place to even start this conversation, though we still got a lot of other good things out of it (including the franchise parallel! That one's a lock!). I had to stumble a bit to figure out the best starting point.
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          May 27 2013: That is good to hear. TED Conversations has different uses to different people, but the one I personally find most interesting is cases like yours in which someone comes for help thinking about an idea and others ask questions and give feedback that help the person develop his project further.

          Even if people do not understand your project or idea well, for whatever reason, if you got some help, that is what you came for, so it has served your purpose.

          Originally it seemed you were looking for actual collaborators in your idea, which is, I think, why people may have been pushing you to show your hand a little more than you have wanted to or been able to.
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        May 27 2013: (to Fritzie)

        Oh no, don't let me imply that I was more clever than I was. We really weren't sure where to go next because there was some uncharted territory there. I was really focused on a solid framework but there may have been some pride in there and that's always to be avoided. What we asked for and what we needed were different things, and learning is awesome.

        Definitely led to a good rethink when it comes to targeting a message!
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        May 27 2013: Thankyou Jacqueline for supporting and commenting on my well thought thru post. I was so glad to hear that someone got what I was saying and trying to do. :D
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      May 27 2013: Aren't they already building a zero-carbon-footprint, ecologically sustainable, 100% green, non-polluting, renewable energy City in either Dubai or Qatar? One of those Persian Gulf states is already doing this.

      They have more money than God & the Devil & the Catholic Church combined! So I salute whichever Arab Persian Gulf state is doing this!! Is this conversation part of that same project?
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        May 27 2013: If you have more knowledge on how it works,suggest posting the good bits here. :D
  • May 6 2013: Fabulous contribution. I want to introduce you to Art of Hosting. One of the ideas behind it is that the solutions for today's world will come out of meaningful conversations in a participative leadership sort of way; not from experts sitting in an office. I know there is a core group of individuals in Madison who have been trained in these methods. You may be familiar with World Cafe' or Circle practice. These are two of the more well know methods we use. Feel free to contact me and I can connect you with folks in Madison or I may need to visit my alma mater! Here is the website for you to explore: http://www.artofhosting.org/home/ and mine:
    Rock on!
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      May 6 2013: A very similar framework is common in inquiry-based classrooms. Specifically, the teacher hosts the class as a discourse community rather than "talking at" students. Teachers trained in inquiry-based teaching are also trained in how to use discourse among students as a key component in sense-making. It is a very student-powered way of working.
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        May 9 2013: Thanks guys, and you're totally right, most of the amazing things came together when we were pacing around talking and plotting and not just trying to TELL things.
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    May 4 2013: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your beloved.

    I am intrigued by your proposal and would be glad to advise if I'm able. I'm interested in learning more of the specifics (your posts below have helped a bit - thank you), and also perhaps seeing a "business model" of sorts that very explicitly outlines specific goals, structure, and other logistical/organizational things like that.

    Some potential obstacles I've identified are the matter of how to initially fund this project before the autonomous infrastructure is fully operational, how to identify and recruit the optimal demographic to your cause, and how to avoid making the same mistakes that many other utopian communities have faced.

    If you intend to seek outside funding, nailing down a cohesive business model and organizing your ideas more explicitly is a must.

    Finding the right untapped demographic and recruiting them with success and efficiency will likely pose some challenges, but if you are able to establish a profile of the sort of person you're looking to recruit, that may help. One thing to consider is how to sufficiently incentivize your cause such that people are willing to join it and contribute enough to sustain the campuses. Take your example of Joss Wheden. I can't speak for everyone, but I believe that many individuals who were already independently wealthy would feel like they were giving up certain controls and freedoms that they were already able to afford themselves on their own if they joined in the manner you proposed.

    Many utopian communities are constructed under ideal conditions which don't take fundamental constraints like human nature into account. They sound amazing on paper, but are not sustainable in practice.

    If you need clarification on anything, or wish to discuss this further with me, please let me know. I'd also like to recommend an excellent book that outlines and discusses similar social/professional organization - "The Diamond Age" by Neil Stephenson.
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      May 4 2013: Downloading 'Diamond Age' as we speak! I love Mr. Stephenson and we were preparing to hit up Heiroglyph after TED. :)

      A couple of quick bits while I wait to read and find some ibuprofen.

      You've hit on three obstacles that (logically) come up a lot (with a couple of others and in combination). I think I can say with confidence that the crew's done a REALLY good job twisting the second obstacle over and handling the demographic issue, as the whole idea is to use the actual science of human motivation (and other things) to get a lot out of people who may be considered average or even misfits, and to make itself obvious to those it'd appeal to. I like to think it'd lure in a lot of the best of the best as well, but average folks would do JUST fine.

      The third concern is kind of fed by the second, in fact the Utopians were one of the groups of 'giants who hate each other', since I ran into a lot of pathological dislike of corporations, when I'm pretty sure the true source of their scorn was selfish motive for profit (which we avoid using the same strategies Valve/Mondragon and others use). I really do agree with the others in the group that this is a weirdly different design and that gives it a lot of potential, it's designed not to retreat but to expand and (once we've gotten to that second level of self sufficiency) to basically 'hire' anybody who has the same basic principles or even wants to support the cause. It may be that this really wasn't feasible legally until the dreaded Citizens United, though I think there were a few historical chances and this is just a 'spike'.

      The first issue is the one that is the most challenging, we have a couple of ideas (mostly taking advantage of high cost private-public partnerships) but would prefer to inspire somebody with a lot of money who'd like to dive in feet first (as I would if I had lots of money), because then we can skip a few steps (cheat codes). :)

      Umm.. . character limit reached again, addendum pending.
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      May 4 2013: A couple more quick bits, more detail later when I've had a bit of rest. :)

      Totally right on Joss Wheden specifically, I used him as a known example.

      To be honest, you see how much energy and joy comes out of smaller group projects like SuddenDeathTheMovie (the musical) and groups like Roosterteeth and you see a lot of potential for us to pull a lot of our entertainment closer to home (within our monkeyspheres even! http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html ). I used Wheden as a known example, but there are plenty of amazingly talented unknown people, and many of the possible economic experiments are designed to allow people to entertain local people in more specific ways (say . . . making comic strips of the adventures of gaming groups, setting up touchscreen projector walls, serving amazing pizza at the local buffet for lunch, etc.) rather than work typical one-job-40-hour-week lives.

      So, consider Utopians noble advisors for us, but we're looking to exploit the inefficiency of the current corporate/social/government infrastructure and create something fast, agile, and pervasive. We can't make a difference hiding away in exclusive communities the way we can being awesome and happy to the world while living in tiny little economic footprints and being gentle and kind by nature and training. . . and if we can do that and offer to 'hire' people into a world where they're constantly challenged and treated like adults? Well, a brain's a brain, right? Everybody in the world should have a chance to join something like us or something better. :)


      Okay, break for real this time.
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      May 9 2013: Finally read Diamond Age, thanks for the recommendation, not sure how I missed that one!

      And in answer to the implied question . . .Yes, this could be seen as a quick and dirty path into Phyles that could be implemented in a matter of months and years. They 'fit' in here.

      However, we can do a lot better than that! We have a lot of context in society and many of our inventions and ideas are ways to deal with the mad world we live in. There's no sensible or ethical reason for people to be hurting other people, but it's happening in this world now and that limits our ability to see a better future.

      We start freeing people FROM that context however, and they can start giving us some better visions and lead us somewhere better than our current excessively pessimistic science fiction.
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        May 10 2013: I hope you enjoyed The Diamond Age and were able to glean some useful ideas from it.

        I can appreciate the idea of wanting to eliminate the negative outlook that many individuals share about the future, but it's important to remember that sometimes, dire situations or adversity spawn innovation. Removing the context in its entirety might facilitate an atmosphere of complacency, which would undermine the cause.

        Just something to consider. I agree with your sentiments overall.
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          May 10 2013: Oh yes, there's such a thing as too much optimism. :)

          The focus is always on actual outcomes, what really happens rather than what we want to happen, so there's little danger of complacency, but well observed.

          I do very passionately believe that simply growing up in the societies we live in tweaks us tremendously, we make excuses for things and treat them as acceptable when they simply should not be, and that's a key to any peaceful society. If you want to eliminate rape than it has to be as shocking as it's supposed to be, because there's no excuse or justification for it.

          And because we have to WORRY about all these excuses from our distant past we have to prepare for things that a more peaceful society wouldn't have to worry about.

          Oh, and yes, there are plenty of peaceful societies, and there have been many more. (http://peacefulsocieties.org), and we can use actual science to make BETTER ones, think of them as the low bar.
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    May 29 2013: (Part 2)

    I said earlier that in my head it's always been the "self replicating village" and I think that self-replication is key to making this come true. It doesn't have to make everything it needs to replicate but the more stuff that can be made by the company/village to fund another company/village the better it is, and there's sure to be some kind of threshold where you get a snowball effect.
    OpenSourceEcology is getting on their way to creating a blueprint for a global village construction set the ideas and methods they use can be replicated to fit a Co-opernation.
    Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/marcin_jakubowski.html
    Website: http://opensourceecology.org/

    And...Yeah... that will do the trick... Honestly I'm quite sure that I forgot to say something that i find important but I can't remember what it is...

    *remembered 15 minutes later*
    DEMOCRACY!!! This is perhaps the biggest issue to solve. "who's going to run it?" You'll need a better model of democracy then the ones being used in countries today, to prevent corruption and most things bad.
    Now I suggest using some kind of E2d model (Electronic Direct Democracy)

    Oh, and I would crowdfund this in stages, example:
    1. Get $1-5000 to start a project on Topcoder, to build a website with nice illustrations and a concept idea.
    2. Get another $1-5000 to use on OpenArchitectureNetwork, getting loads of designs for different buildings for all kinds of purposes (and a price-tag on the building you want)
    3. Get the money
    4. Do the project ;-)
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      May 29 2013: Great reply, thanks!!

      I'd realized as part of this process that I'd missed one really important key point, I'd started from completely the wrong direction! It's kind of funny because initially we were going to start a small business too, but we humbly realized that trying to demonstrate a nothing-to-everything path wasn't just daunting, but it was painfully restricting the future options!

      Our next stop is Hieroglyph (there was some debate whether this was a 'Big Idea' or a 'Moonshot Ecosystem' approach), since the forum structure's a bit friendlier and it gives a fresh start that's ore focused no the problem than the solution!

      And yes, you could look at this as bootstrapping a self-replicating economically friendly village as a franchise. . . but with the scientific method on top of all of them and with each village as a potentially slightly different evolutionary experiment. . . and with the abusive power of the multinational corporation twisted into a power for the force of good. :)

      I'll mention it in response to the top-post, but here's the Hieroglyph starting point!

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    May 21 2013: I have a feeling, perhaps incorrect, that what you envision is not hard to understand at all or even unfamiliar as a model but that you are not realizing which parts are hard to understand and which not. So you may be over-explaining the easy parts, at the expense of your carpal tunnel.

    Is this the idea? You envision a business in which the people treat each other well and in which the products/services on offer will be determined collaboratively, arising from the inventiveness of the participants. Rules for collective living and working will also be either collaboratively or democratically determined. Whatever you develop will be available to members of the collective for free but sold to outsiders in such a way that the surplus returns over costs from outside sales will finance the resources used to provide services/goods at no charge inside. This latter condition would not be in place from the get-go, but the business would rely on kickstarter-type funding to get off the ground.

    Your expectation is that the participants, who would not earn income but all of whose needs would be met through internal production would be so inventive and productive that the surplus from sales would ultimately be adequate not just to finance the resources needed to provide fully for the members but also to start buying up ecosystems and so forth.

    Is that basically the proposal?
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      May 21 2013: That's the seed of the seed, yes!

      The only slight difference is I'm aware 'no money' sounds scary to some, so I prefer to just leave things open to economic experiments within, just so all the basics and most of the perks are free. In the end we'll end up in the same place or somewhere better.

      You hit on one of the better revelations that came from this thread, that we need to spend a bit more time on the already solid hybridized Worker Cooperative/Valve concept before moving forward.

      A lot of the other aspects exist because we had a different intent by design. We wanted an engine that could be used to bring things like the Venus Project and Neal Stephenson's Tall Tower into fruition. We wanted to create something anybody in the world could be invited to join, as long as they're not going to ruin anybody else's fun.

      Almost everything we've got is really just a few small steps from your summary though, in fact some of the pieces kind of assembled themselves. It just happens a few small steps can unlock a LOT of potential that's clearly being untapped. After all, we still do have wars and unemployment and are clearly NOT sustainable, and I'm seeing CEOs getting paid as much as dozens of nurses, when most CEOs aren't providing as much value as ONE.

      So, the world being what it is, clearly there's a void to be filled, true? :)

      And there's certainly energy to fill it! I was in Madison during the whole Occupy/FitzWalkerstan adventure, I'm darn creative, but I can't begin to imagine what we're really capable of if we just tapped a fraction of that potential.
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        May 21 2013: I actually think being simple and clear about what you propose does not seem at all threatening to anyone or anything. It is portraying the project kind of vaguely but as a radical departure that might make it seem threatening. Though I still don't see why anyone would consider it scary. The business will either be self-sustaining or not.

        The reason I think not charging for things within the organization is not scary is that it is actually the norm. Even in economic theory, the very reason for organizations/firms is that it is inefficient for everyone to be working solo always contracting with everyone else at every moment when a project requires a team. Organizations are exactly groups of people among whom there are what are sometimes called "implicit contracts" as to obligations/expectations as part of the productive ensemble.

        So the idea of people doing things for each other within an organization with no money changing hands among them is absolutely familiar and status quo.

        Even a big company like a Microsoft will often provide transportation services to employees, have refrigerators of free food and beverages, have on-site recreation, and so on.

        What is different is that employees are compensated and can, as a result, pay for the things they need or want that are not provided in house, which includes most of what they consume. Obviously there are models in which housing and education for kids is also part of the business arrangement. Housing and recreation are part of some big economic complexes in Asia, I know. In-house education was commonplace on the Isreali kibbutz.
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          May 21 2013: Oh, if we were stopping there, then we could probably pull this off without being disruptive.

          But we're most definitely not. As I mentioned, a couple of steps created a whole bunch of problems, and when you combine breaking regional dependence, internal sustainability, and a desire to hire anybody who wants to play. . . we see a few things to watch out for.

          What happens if we end up hiring a substantial chunk of people in a local economy? Our people aren't contributing and we're going to be difficult to tax, how do we keep from creating ghost towns? What happens if pharmaceutical companies try to prevent us from making our own medicines? How much can we abuse the prototype loophole, and how much will we have to influence local laws so that patent laws don't apply to our non-market? How will people react when we start giving away ideas (open patented) that are better than what some companies use to profit? What about when we offer to hire every Saudi woman who wants equal rights? Or every Israeli or Palestinian that would rather join us that be trapped in a cycle where blood in the soil is just covered by the bodies of innocents?

          We have some huge efficiency advantages, which gives us solutions (defensive rings of patents can be used offensively too for example!), but some problems are tied to capitalism, and while there's not much redeeming there, we don't want to make a mess of things.

          Capitalism depends on things that we will undermine by existing, for example we want to hire all the unemployed that want to join, since we're about getting the most out of everyone. . . but even that can be absolutely devastating to the system as it is. It requires quite a bit of unemployment

          This is also part of why I'm keen on healthcare and education especially. It's a missionary trick, but hoooo-boy does it work well!

          I suppose that does make us ambitious, but I see it more as 'scaleable'. :)
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          May 21 2013: Oh, and I ran out of letters, but have to add I DO like the path from 'regular business adding more good things internally' and just treating it as if it were driven by employees rather than management. I'll make sure that's not forgotten, because so many of us may have familiarity with different sorts of corporate office but not have any knowledge of worker cooperatives or much of a natural way to see growing from a university.

          We all have different brains and experiences! Thanks for that bit!
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    May 8 2013: Strangely enough, Communism started out with a similar set of ideas. I don't mean Communism as practiced in Russia under Joseph Stalin. He was a totalitarian dictator. Historians tell us that Stalin killed even more people than Adolph Hitler. And Hitler is the epitome of ultimate evil in my book. I don't mean Mao Tse Dong either. He was a Communist. But he also had a set of totalitarian and dictatorial issues. And ultimately the broad history of the human species might place him alongside Stalin (and Hitler? I'll leave that one to the historians.)

    No, I'm talking about the brand of Communism that existed in the 1920's and 1930's in places like the U.S.A. Ronald Reagan was a Communist during this period. Yes, he was. Read his biography. Before he became Governor of California, before he became President of the U.S.A., Ronald Wilson Reagan was a card carrying member of the Communist Party. Back then it was all about collective socialism more than what we now call Communism. And when you look at how China is evolving today (w/a Communist Committee form of government still in place) it should give pause for thought and reflection. Reminds me a whole lot of what you propose here. You need to research the social experimentation that went on back in the 19th and early 20 centuries. Many of those experiments did NOT work. Some did. Some still exist in one form or another. Don't reinvent the wheel, go back to your history. History tends to always be instructive. JV
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      May 9 2013: No reinvented wheels here. :)

      Communism is a good response, and it's full of amazing ideas. We do have the lucky advantage of accidentally addressing what I feel is the greatest disadvantage of Communism though.

      With co-opernations, the governments are inside the corporations, it doesn't have to appeal to EVERYONE. We don't have to hire jerks and they don't get to influence how we operate, so we're not forced to jump through nearly as many hoops as a government is to solve problems. Turns out that changes a LOT.
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        May 9 2013: I don't know where you'd go to find the documentation of this. But the key human behavior element in voting is choice. That is, having a choice in something is a valued form of autonomy. Social Psychologist have done a lot of recent research on this issue and others like sharing and giving and fairness. In doing so, they've found scientific validation for many of the teaching of Jesus and Gandhi. This research can/will also do a lot to preserve motivation and commitment within the social structure you hope to create. Also, there are some Maoist ideas in there.

        For my generation, Communism meant murderous dictators, potential nuclear annihilation, and the cold war with proxy-conflicts like Vietnam. But academic professors of Sociology now see Karl Marx as one of the foundation thinkers in that discipline. Marx is to Sociology as Freud is to Psychoanalysis or B.F. Skinner is to Experimental Psychology. Economics Professors respect Marx as well.

        My suggestion for you is to proceed carefully. Usually communities such as you propose tend to be founded by charismatic leaders. And it is the charisma that sustains the unity of the community. But that places you at risk for David Koresh. Also, in any new social structure, you risk attracting an entire raft of the marginalized who live at the fringes of modern society. I don't think that is what you want either. You might accidentally recruit criminals or the severely mentally ill.

        Better, write a book. Research the book. Site and footnote the book. If you need to. go get help with the book. And then publish it. Enroll in graduate school. This idea could be your dissertation in say Political Science. Then you can publish it to the New York Times best sellers list. JV
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          May 9 2013: Oh yes, we saw some of the more dangerous aspects of it right away.

          But that was. . . almost a year ago now. It's not the ONLY idea that can use the same fundamentals, but it's powerful and gentle, capable of saving entire ecosystems and incapable of war or deceit. We've got dozens of TED talks in there. Most of them fit, really.

          Citizen's United gave us a few ideas, to be fair. What if we pretend the bad guys are right, that corporations ARE people? Can we make one that's not a mean spirited dillweed?

          And the answer is. . . of course! Every one of these tools and constructs are our own, and we shouldn't settle for this one specific one that evolved into this mindless mess.

          So I guess in your context, we made the co-opernation into our charismatic leader, and our examples within Exemplars, people like Kaylee from Firefly and all those others who we'd love to be and who nobody would think ill of. And with them we have the same sort of collective mind hack that people keep doing stupid, horrible things with (let's emulate jerks!), except the opposite.
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    May 8 2013: More bits & pieces from the past year --

    It is not okay that we live in a world where people think it's okay to hurt other people.

    I bet you just read that sentence and nothing clicked, just like it was with me for years. Yet that thought, that simple realization invariably brought tears to Rebecca's eyes, ended her ability to carry on a conversation, and depressed her immensely.

    So I'm going to try again.

    We can harness the power of the atom, we've unraveled our own DNA, we can make cats glow in the dark and practically can see the origins of the universe, and we still can't figure out how to stop murdering each other.

    Because. . .what? Those great big brains that ENABLE us to connect so easily and to harm each other so easy are too dumb to figure out how to stop constantly motivating ourselves to be awful people? Who's buying this? That's not even a plausible science fiction scenario! We know it happened, and we know it's because of centuries of gradually adding more and more of these societal constructs and then spend most of our lives unlearning those great lessons we learned in Kindergarden in order to survive in them. And that's kind of silly, isn't it?

    So I and a few friends took it seriously, and cobbled together a way for us to kick over the chessboard and stop ruining each other's lives all the time. It was actually pretty easy, you just had to look in the wrong places (if there's one of Rebecca's lessons that I alawys took seriously, it was 'Just because that's why they made it doesn't mean that's what it's for')

    And that idea (VERY ROUGHLY) is to use the legal shell of a multinational mega-corporation to create parts of the world where we are constantly challenging ourselves to be better people and everybody within them is there because they adhere to a more reasonable standard of morality at a very minimum (be nice to other people, embrace the idea that EVERY human is fundamentally capable of being wonderful, etc.).
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    May 8 2013: Here are some bits & pieces from various attempts to summarize --

    The Co-opernation

    I'm sure you've heard of Valve, and they do make a great starting point, so we'll start there, since they have a few bits already incorporated and make a good proof of concept (and Cory Doctorow wants to work somewhere like there, so that's pretty cool, right?). There are other examples, like Mondragon and others that use some similar approaches. And they're generally pretty successful. Let's hit on a couple of key factors that they use, and we need.

    1) Very flat salaries
    2) Self-organizing management structures (you pick your teams/squads, pick people to lead you if you need leaders, and fun people aren't taken away all the time against everyone's will)
    3) The employees as a whole democratically influence how resources are used in the company
    4) Projects are chosen based on what interests you and what you feel should be done

    How do you win at a game if you can avoid wasting resources on war and rarely have to worry about money?

    By getting so far ahead in the technology curve that you look like you came from the future and they look like monkeys with sticks.

    Everything else revolves around that. You expand your manufacturing base to build more universities and research ships. You expand your population to get more researchers or engineers. But all of that is secondary to getting more researchers.

    And science says that happier people are far more productive, and having fun makes people happy.

    So most people are spending their time discovering cool new things to share with everyone or implementing plans to make people happy and have fun.

    The only effective competition would require out-researching and producing us, which would require increasing the happiness of their own citizens.
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    May 7 2013: Yes, I'm interested in what you're working to achieve and have some of the requisite skills who have enquired about.
    In particular, Presentation Design, Copywriting, Nomenclature, etc. Where can I get more info?
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    May 6 2013: Hi all -- I'm one of the folks who's been working with Will on these ideas. See all his comments below for more details than were possible in the original post! Thanks, and we appreciate all your comments, questions, and suggestions!
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    May 3 2013: I think you will find numerous people happy to give you feedback if you explain what you are proposing. I am confused about how corporate campuses fit in and what you propose to hire people to do.

    Are you proposing something like Scott mentioned- the communes of the sixties in which groups of people bought a piece of land and lived on it, each taking on roles that allowed the community to be sustainable? Or residential colonies and utopian communities that have been founded throughout history?
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      May 3 2013: Yes, the character limit was a bit daunting! We'll be adding more details tonight, it just had to appear for us to add anything! :)
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      May 4 2013: There you go, that better? *pant pant*

      :) More to come, and if I didn't end up answering yours/Scott's questions feel free to ask away!
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        May 4 2013: I believe I understand the parts that are here. I share with Jacqueline the interest in how you will attract the sort of population your model envisions. I think you would find an abundance of people quite willing to put themselves into the picture as people to be hired. I would expect you might draw upwards of ten times the number of willing participants who actually do not meet your profile (but think they do, or would like to believe they do) as those who do meet your profile.

        But I don't think attracting people would be a problem, as there is little risk to many people who would be interested in the proposition.
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    May 3 2013: What would a single, completely successful implementation of your idea look like?
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      May 3 2013: Wow, okay, let's see. . .

      It's an idea with stages, but the final stage we've gotten to would be involve having one large multinational corporation that's open to anyone with a basic set of principles (don't hurt other people, respect other people, don't break anybody else's toys, mellow principles). They do have a bunch of external 'products' that they occasionally use to acquire resources (lots of healthcare, computer/software, and entertainment solutions at the very least). These products were designed/created/tested by the citizen/employees working in a multitude of more efficient (and happier/less stressed) ways. Science is used heavily and marketing is largely nonexistent (there's no freedom to deceive to get someone to buy/use a product within.

      There are a number of corporate campuses that are better described as charter cities, and are fully functional vibrant places to live, be entertained, and work. They've long ago hit the point where they were largely self-sufficient (owning enough resources and means of production). Within there are a variety of sorts of housing and workspaces, all designed by the citizen/employees. People generally live smaller lives (within their 'monkeysphere', thank you Cracked) but are encouraged to have so much fun within theirs that they don't care that some funny looking person in some other country believes something weird.

      The real key though are the people within who are living in a world that's actually designed for creative humans who would rather cooperate than compete, for whom Fox News (and to be fair most cable news) appears with a disclaimer that content is not actually news, and who happily help out without concern for 'residual value' or other sillinesses we deal with in our lives, because we're guessing they'll end up with a much better idea, and maybe a whole bunch of us will flock to theirs, but either way at this point the world is a whole lot kinder.
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        May 4 2013: Wow! You are talking about nothing less than unraveling and then re-weaving the entire socio/economic fabric of Planet Earth! And, you plan to do it without fighting against anything (not even FOX News)? Reach sometimes exceeds grasp and this idea may be an example of that. I am far too small-minded to even begin to grasp the faintest glimmer of optimism about this plan succeeding. Sorry, the best I can offer is three candidates for the corporate name. 1) After surviving a capsized ship at sea folks scramble to find refuge and a chance for new life in a LIFEBOAT. 2) When the hot, dry desert has all but depleted every parched traveller new hope springs to life at first sight of the OASIS. 3) An Old Testament tradition allowed for a regular period of forgiveness of wrongdoing and a place of refuge for the weary, suffering fugitive. The time was called a JUBILEE. Sorry about the loss of your beloved. I hope you find purpose in pursuing her dream. All the best!
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          May 4 2013: To be fair, it was NOT our intent to make something quite this. . . big. It's just when you've drawn 5/6 of a circle you might as well finish it and see how it looks too, right?

          In this case our efforts to refine a logical expansion of a specific type of corporate model ended up solving a few more problems than we had expected to. It's mostly a framework and a methodology, with a lot of potential within. Most of the credit goes to those who gave so much power to multinational corporations. :)

          It's really not that hard, we are fully capable of having few produce plenty for a swarm of people and have more manufactured crisis than I can count. People just don't say 'Oh, I have so little stress in my life and life is generally awesome, I must kill a hobo!'.

          If people have better options than they tend to lean towards them and it's not difficult to be happy. People are capable of being altruistic, we're just in an economic system that punishes altruism. The trick is to put a system that REWARDS nice/altruistic behavior inside the one that already exists. :) It's more efficient (per science again) so other corporations won't be able to compete, and it won't have to play the same games.

          Once we decided to explore the 'corporation as benevolent post-democratic nation' concept we really dove in elbows first, to quote Archer, it's like Babytown Frolics in here ;) It's a tool far, far more powerful than any of us would have invented, but if we tweak it to our own needs instead of going 'eeeewwww' then we can do some amazing things, we believe.
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        May 4 2013: As you elaborate your proposal, do give some thought to those who join up who think of themselves as having the values and priorities you describe but who actually don't at all. Many people think they are all about love, respect, collaboration, empathy, lack of ego- they consistently describe themselves that way... but actually are not those things. It is only how they idealize themselves and not how they behave. What happens then?
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          May 4 2013: Wise point, Fritzie. One thing that we tried to keep in mind is that people are who they are, we respond to our environments and we respond pretty stupidly in certain situations (okay, lots of them). A lot of the work we did was put into enabling the situations where people can behave in a more humane way (we have a lot of unfair and unnatural punishments to many altruistic behaviors in society, they take a bit to unlearn!).

          We also are firm believers of exploiting our flaws as much of our advantages.

          For example, have you seen that Mythbusters Episode where Kari Byron chops down a dead tree with a minigun? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KmAOtkKf00 )

          It catches fire! And those lovely kind people laugh maniacally.

          Now, there's no LOGICAL reason to want to shoot a dead tree, and we can point that out all we want, but come on, those people obviously had a blast there, right? So why not exploit that? What if we said that anybody who planted a certain amount of trees could shoot down a dead one with a minigun like that? And every and now and then had contests where whoever did the most amazing environmental things could get to play with a linux rifle and an automatic shotgun for a bit and take on some of the most vile dead trees?

          I bet the least hippie person you expect plants a forest! ;)

          On top of that, now we're turning dead tree hunting into a viable thing, which is way better than living creature hunting. . . it's hard not to like that, right?

          I also must confess to having a personal stake in this particular idea. I love trees, but I LOVE me a good solid book too, with real paper pages that I can bend and fold and there's just something more satisfying about paper books, they KNOW they've been read, right? But I always feel strangely guilty now, because trees die for them. But reading books made from free range humanely hunted zombie trees? I can get behind that! :)
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        May 4 2013: You are thinking the principles and policies would be decided in advance, then, rather than by the people who assembled? So they would hear about the policy of shooting of dead trees (as well as other policies) in advance and opt in or out of the community based on the rules of the place? Or would people be assembled on the basis of more general qualifications and then vote democratically about whether the community wants to reward people with the right to fire rifles at dead trees?
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          May 4 2013: Well, I'm not sure there's a specific principle that would cover the hunting of dead trees :) That'd be more of an . . . ongoing project? An example of using people's real-world illogical desires to get a net-win (trees!) out of a situation that is generally a net-lose. Said dead-tree ranges wouldn't be anywhere near a community but in a controlled range of course.

          Lots of otherwise awesome, productive, fun people like and want some crazy things, and as long as they're cleaning up afterwards and nobody's getting manipulated or hurt without consent we want to embrace that, but we also want to use our own natures to 'lure' us into gentler, more productive behaviors while still allowing everyone their occasional wacky extravagance. Meanwhile we're redirecting one segment of the 'need' crowd for firearms in a productive direction while providing something more fun than a Glock to play with.

          The principles are/will be designed to discourage turning noses up at things people may find personally distasteful by training but are demonstrably harmless (or not harmful compared to it's replacement, etc.). In that particular case there are green and net-energy positive ways to allow someone to harmlessly wander off and slay a zombie tree on their free time without there being any reason to worry about social ostracism. They should be treated reasonably and allowed to explain themselves while on the work/campus environment.

          That being said, another part of the design is to allow people to move about more freely and form squads and groups of people they work with well and stick with them rather than have them torn away (Valve does this already too) and we're just expanding it to those who choose to live on the city-campuses to other aspects of life. So if people just don't get along they can move on with whoever wants to join them, it's less socially damaging than the alternative.
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    May 29 2013: One quick update for all participants!

    One discovery is that by focusing on the solution rather than the problem we've created an unnecessarily narrow focus. The co-opernation was only intended to be a means to an end, and is designed to write itself out of existence as soon as possible to address a deeper concern.

    The co-opernation is only a proof of the possible, and once we have a visionary that can see the problem we've exposed and understand the implications, and can communicate that well, then that proof either solves the problem (if we're unlucky) or it generates the kind of analysis that creates something that works even better and becomes immediately unrecognizable. :)

    We've started a thread over on Hieroglyph in the moonshot ecosystem forum (http://hieroglyph.asu.edu/forums/forum/the-moonshot-ecosystem/) for anybody who'd like to help.
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      May 29 2013: Once you move this along to a concrete proposition and are ready to share, would you please post it here again?

      Many TEDsters might not have time to follow your Hieroglyph thread to see how your proposal takes shape there, but many would, I think, be very interested in seeing the meat of the proposal once you have it.
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        May 29 2013: Oh my, probably not!

        I mean, we'll definitely be posting a link to a consolidated resource once we have one, but we didn't get all the resources we needed to create that because I started from completely the wrong direction!

        But there's no plausible way to begin to even communicate the problem the coopernation was designed to solve or why it's absolutely urgent we do so in 2000 characters, much less a tiny fraction of the subtleties in the design that only address issues when applied en masse. And that's before we have to deal with all these assumptions!

        So first we get proper passionate visionary who grasps the core problem and can place the coopernation where it belongs, as one of many possible solutions to a very serious problem that was exposed in the creation process. This is a fundamentally bigger problem than most are addressing, and the existence of at least one solution is exciting enough that somebody else can generate the energy.

        And who knows, maybe by then somebody will have figured out how to summarize it better. This is sadly not as easy as perhaps I made it seem at first.
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          May 29 2013: Then bring us back a link to the website where it is ultimately elaborated!
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        May 29 2013: That's the plan! :) We'll make sure we mention co-opernation in the title if it's gone past thread-closing, even if that name has ceased to exist otherwise.
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    May 23 2013: Dear William,
    I am very sorry about your loss, and what a wonderful idea to remember and move forward with something she inspired!

    In my perception, fighting against something uses energy that we could use more productively. Fighting against something simply gives it energy to exist, and it appears that you have discovered that already....kudos to you!

    In my perception and experience, it is more beneficial to move forward with new thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs and practices which might serve to change a paradigm. I believe people will be more likely to let go of old habits and practices when/if they can see something that might work better.

    That being said, I think/feel you have a GREAT idea, and TED is certainly a good forum in which to spread your idea...carry on my friend:>)
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      May 23 2013: Thanks Colleen, it wasn't just inspired though. Rebecca was a better person than I was in a lot of ways and she taught me a lot, some of the best bits are probably a lot more indicative of her influence than mine, despite her not being physically here for the process. She's the reason why I may have offended a few asking people to use the Oklahoma tragedy to help people closer to home or donate to a charity that can better make those decisions, because the Oklahoma people are already well in hand and heaven forbid any of them wants some time alone. That sort of soul can change someone into something else entirely. because she's right and I was an idiot for not thinking it through back in 9/11 when I did the same stuff.

      I fear by focusing more on the means to create that paradigm shift (one of the first times in my life I feel I've used that term right) rather than some of the more exciting if disruptive consequences I limited people's view, but that's kind of why this was a first effort too!

      We're convinced ecological sustainability + ability to break regional barriers and hire anybody to citizenship creates a bit of a runaway effect, if only in part because life really sucks for a lot of people (sad, but true). We have tried to be really, really responsible with that and also design something that's designed to get better rather than be limited by any personal vision.

      Because what we're trying to point out is that it seems like other people have already implemented many of the key aspects, often without even trying!

      We think government, with the help of capitalism, has given us a way to use the corporation to figure out if there IS something better than our government and capitalism, to implement and test it, and to either completely take it over from within or live inside it, depending on the democratic decisions of wiser people than ourselves.

      We're not without ambition, it just seemed like that's not something you just come out and say right off.
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        May 23 2013: William,
        I never suspected that you were "without ambition"....I "felt" your ambition when I read your introduction:>)

        So....say it....be it.....do it....shout it from the highest mountain top. YOU cannot limit other people's views my friend. If someone's view is limited, it is their own responsibility. You can provide information, time and energy, and other people will contribute as they/we can....in my humble perception:>)

        "The winds of grace are blowing all the time, it is up to us to raise our sails"
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          May 23 2013: It's the responsibility that's been the draining part.

          At first I was afraid nobody could see it! That runaway effect is great for us, but could totally devastate the entire economic system for everybody else. I was afraid the world was convinced that most of India would choose poverty and inequality when given other options, and that's just insane! And with every psychology article, advancement in 3-D printing or other technology, or TED talk it just gets easier to create the tipping point and that much more dangerous.

          Then through various sources we realized that lots of people got it, because it was obvious. That's WHY groups like the Venus Project folks are so focused on getting to exactly the same point. It just seems like the vast majority of the people already have a pathological dislike of the multinational corporation.

          And we're just hitting things from the easy direction, and instead of fighting against the framework that makes monsters like Exxon possible, we're diving in and exploiting it. Instead of isolating ourselves from the world we're trying to let all the good people take their entire lives away from our current leadership, who are generally unqualified by virtue of wanting their jobs.

          Mondragon and Valve and various other groups have already done most of the hard work, just without any intent to become anything greater. We're trying to show people that if they take all the hard work they've already done, toss in a bit of creativity, stop lying to ourselves, have a purpose, and use the biggest most powerful legal tool at their disposal, then it's like having cheat codes.

          So hopefully that explains also why the point is more to make better people, herd them in the general direction of cooperation and away from FOX news and ideology in general, and let THEM figure out where to go next, because by definition they're way better qualified than anybody making decisions now, and they'll just take our seed and make it better
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    May 22 2013: Co-operNation could play out in a few different ways, depending on what order the right people come together...

    You might be the graphic novelist or infographic designer, who can share the stories of our speculative future.

    You might be the person with influential friends, who puts us in contact with movers and shakers.

    You might be the angel investor, who can give Will the financial breathing room to run with this vision.

    You might be the TECHNICAL WRITER / EDITOR, who can pull all these little 2000-character posts together!!!
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    May 21 2013: This is the sort of focus I was hoping for. In consideration that the whole ideal does need to be explained in order for people to understand and "get it" thereby making it no longer scary as 'knowledge dispels fear", politician style needs to be utilised. By this I simply mean that, the message needs to be understood by all, so explanations (eventually) need to be in laymans terms, so everyone understands. After all 50% of people have below average intelligence!
    I think Fritzie is doing a nice job of doing this.
    There is a saying of Keep It Simple Stupid....KISS.... in this way something can be extremely complicated but easily understood (in principle/basics).
    While thinking of pratical application, it strikes me that, this whole concept is probably franchisable! For example, if you develop a system that is replicatable/blueprintable, then in order for it to be localised, it needs to be duplicated in x distance kilometres apart regions worldwide. This then enables sourcing of local produce, product, minerals etc. People would gravitate to the concept because the "Lifestyle" would appeal to them! :D
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      May 22 2013: It's a bit of a lateral hop (one of my favorite things!) but I've got to admit the franchise concept kind of fits!

      Of course, franchise kind of implies 'clones', and we're fully aware that we don't know what's going to work best, and with people as varied as they are we should embrace that rather than limit it. So perhaps think of it as a 'base' franchise with a varied collection of basic options and some empty space left for other types of experiments that may work well enough to be added to the collection of basic options if enough other people like them?

      The franchise view does an EXCELLENT job of capturing the vision of a large number of at least somewhat similar city-state-campuses, I had the old church-missionary-school-doctor view in my head as a placeholder for similar reasons, they overlap a lot but each also has a few unique elements.

      And, of course, this is where a lot of the potential for fun comes in!

      I've got to say though, I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of things, and there are a few bits that were initially scary as we encountered them, I mentioned a few to Fritzie in reply, and of course there are more. I think however we're already talking about a point in our evolution where we started seeing a LOT more solutions than problems. That was kind of a relief, there was a stretch where it felt more every solution created five more problems :)
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    May 16 2013: The big idea is to find ourselves first. Victory over one's own self.... to make a begining.
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      May 16 2013: Oh, I myself am still ferreting out little pockets of cognitive dissonance in my own mind, you're very right that finding ourselves and figuring out who we really are is crucial. :)

      One side conversation brought on something I'd like to add as well. We are all capable of becoming thousands of different people, and we are greatly influenced by the world we live in and the people we share it with.

      So by being forward thinking, we can create environments that help bring out the best in us while not encouraging the worst, using good intentions and science. There's no reason for people to grow up seeing cruelty as acceptable, begrudging the happiness of others, or treating forgiveness and kindness as a weakness. Those are poisons that we should have left behind centuries ago, true?
    • May 17 2013: Right adesh. I have long tried to blaze some trails in education reform but everyone seems to want to start changing "things" without stopping to acknowledge that the systems we passed through were wrong about US--what we are, how the brain grows the capacity it needs, how the rate might differ between one person and the next, how much growth is possible if education were built on motivation and facilitation of autonomy rather than the "command and control" of factories and militaries. Most people--even educators--don't know that "sleep" is a biological determinant of how much we can grow capacity. Kids are branded slow, or sub-average or given meds for attention deficit when there is a cultural misunderstanding of how growth hormone and delta wave sleep patterns effect our capacity to meet challenges. And that's only a biological first step in getting ourselves right before we set out to alter the systems which are supposed to help us make something of ourselves.
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        May 18 2013: I love seeing things taken this far.

        There are layers of issues with our education, and we definitely need to focus on how we learn and how our bodies and brains work together. Our minds are our greatest tools, and they are the parts of us we should take most seriously.

        A marathon runner wouldn't even consider exercising only one leg, or ignoring cardiovascular health, true?

        So why are thinking people ignoring their mental health. I've yet to meet a person who does not have some pocket of cognitive dissonance or some sort of negative seed of misinformation that has been allowed to germinate. Even if one is more than happy to be a bit lazy with their mind, we've at least got to all admit that we're not tapping much of our potential. :)
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    May 14 2013: I've got to confess, I've got a very personal ulterior motive with all of this.

    I've always loved nature and the world we live in, and when things turned south I discovered the joy of anxiety and panic attacks, and for those who haven't had those lovely experiences, let me just say that it's really hard to get in front of irrational panics with only the power of the same brain that's busy freaking out.

    Lorazepam, cannabis, and all the rest rarely had any effect, but Sir David Attenborough, with that voice like butter and boundless enthusiasm. . . that man saved my life, even while teaching me about things that gave me the heebie jeebies before.

    And he's right, we're making a mess of the place, climate change is an issue now and will continue to get worse, and it is largely our fault.

    But if we could live sustainably (and we CAN), and create a structure that would encourage and allow anybody who is happy NOT to ruin things, then we can spread from the first world to the third and invite anyone in who wants to play, and each one is one less person adding to the mess, right? We can even make room for others when the inevitable happens.

    And that's less nature destroyed, and I'm going to put my own little spin on there too. We have SO much to learn still. Can we make a robot that weighs less than a gram, can strategize, move, right itself, obtain it's own energy, repair itself, manage a score of sensory inputs, has power requirements so low as to be hilarious, and has a little robot factory on board?

    Because that's a spider. Nature's already made them, and we need to LEARN from them, to study the spectacular engineering that nature's already pulled off. And every ecosystem we destroy is a HORDE of amazing things and ideas that we'll never get to learn, and that's sad too, isn't it?
  • May 11 2013: I can offer direction and some terminology. I have been down your road. All we need is the serendipity of finding those who can be persuaded that there are actually grounds for business which can deliver profits on the order that VC's want to see; i.e. 10 to one ROI. Nothing will come of pure idealism. But technologies abound today which miss one ingredient to create a new modernity with a sustainable economy of its own. And that ingredient is idealism--not just idealism for its own sake but the literal idealism of identification of achievable ideals that replace long-existing lesser compromises that people will abandon given the choice of absolute best alternatives versus leaky dysfunctional old way of approaching the same thing. If you were given the knowledge that education as it still exists with elements of the Industrial Age "factory model" still deeply entrenched constitutes institutionalized dysfunction that attaches the fate of your child to the lowest common denominator of bad luck of the draw be it poor teacher or poor fellow students and were offered an affordable ideal that circumvented this dysfunction while also addressing the gross neglect of "social development" typical of western education to date, would you chose the dysfunctional system just because of its longevity? Or would you want your child to bolt ahead into a new modernity in which their motivations are addressed and served where they actually choose and care about all they learn? Where they "grow their own professions and social conduits to fulfillment of their potentials?

    If this new human development system took off, first as a private school, would there not come natural pressure for the existing system to reform since its systematic dysfunctions are now made palpable that now one want their kids to be limited by it? "Coopernation" is right up my ally because education in the is predicated on competition only. And that tends to result in a 1% versus 99% outcome. Alternative critical.
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      May 12 2013: That sounds fascinating, we're definitely in agreement that education's part of the cycle, and it sounds like you've gone really far down that path.

      If I might be allowed to stir things up even more, we think of the purpose of education as 'to become a better human', so it seems obvious that we should be incorporating far more principles in our education, rather than learning to be good in Kindergarden and then being trained that the 'real world doesn't work that way'. Here in America, our educational system creates dysfunctional, competitive, petty people as often as not.

      Part of the reason we're very, very big on the concept of expanding a corporate campus to a coopernation/city-state is so that we can raise better PEOPLE, who get along better. People argue that kids need to be raised to survive in this hard, selfish world, and we're tired of that. Instead we want people to be able to spend their entire lives NOT worrying about politicians and pundits and begrudging other people's happinesses while being unable to embrace their own. And since we DO have this economic system in place, it seems the only viable way to make it work is to place everything INSIDE the most powerful construct we have.
      • May 12 2013: Please click the link above to the Dan Pink TED talk on "the Puzzle of Motivation". I f you haven't already seen it, he gives scientific evidence that the "reward model" in business is actually wrong. Well, that also happens to mean that the reward system in education is flawed as well. See my comment in response to his video. And by all means feel free to contact me directly if you wish to dialogue by e-mail or IM further than what is provided for in the confines of TED's facilities. Jim .
        Cooperation is a beginning, synergy is the pay off.
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          May 12 2013: Oh, Mr. Pink gets credit as one of the catalysts that started us down the path actually.

          A friend had a great takeaway from his talk, it was "So basically if we have to be rewarded to do something we're better off automating it then? Cool, we're getting good at that stuff now."

          I'll be following up :)
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    May 9 2013: We will: "crowd source a mellow revolution"
    I like that. It's a catchy idea. Reminds me of Woodstock w/o the drugs.
    Pls spend more time on this thread. Some of us want to hear more.
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      May 9 2013: I'm working on a bit of an alternate method of walking through things. There's a lot of evolution in this idea and I'm doing it a disservice by skipping those steps, because all of our minds work differently and we all make different assumptions.

      It's probably especially important because every step you take to enhance things, especially as we started playing with the campus/city/city-state idea, would result in a whole new refinement. Principles like they have at a corporation like Valve are great, but since we're also talking about people interacting during non-work time we have to enhance those slightly, and so on. it's a big tangled web of connected things, and the more you connect the better and stronger it gets.

      I still struggle with a couple of parts that are so mind-bleedingly obvious to my particular quirky brain that I don't actually know of any words that can express them properly. It's like when I was driving Mr. Moberg crazy when he was trying to get me to show my work in Algebra and all I could say was 'I didn't do any work! It's 6!'

      My inability to communicate doesn't take away from the awesomeness of the idea, just as the answer was indeed six. :)
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        May 9 2013: Hey guy . . . William, I can right away tell two things about you. First you have a very agile and perhaps brilliant mind. With a brain like you got, you need to take care of it. We'll talk more about how to do that later (ask if I forget). Second, you have a really good idea here. But GOOD ideas arrive on this earth and die the death of oblivion every day. That is to say, the BEST ideas arrive in the minds of MILLIONS of people every day. Most are ignored. Some are valued. And occasionally, someone like you manages to both capture and then begin to nurture one of those most precious ideas. So don't let go!

        On the other hand, the BEST ideas occasionally arrive in the minds of those who are suffering, disabled, or otherwise UNDERFUNDED (for lack of a better term). Maybe its because I need to write a book myself; or maybe I'm just selfish -- but YOU need to write a book.

        You see, WRITING, is one way that your wonderful idea can be 1) preserved forever, and 2) sold or disseminated widely over the face of the earth. It may be that you alone both see and understand the impenetrable value of the idea you feel living within you. This idea may well be yours and your alone. If so, WRITE. Make your idea complete. Make your idea well documented. Cite the research that proves the truth of your idea. Quote the other great thinkers who may actually have spoken about YOUR idea; but didn't even know it themselves! The written word can last thousands of years. And when written/published, your idea truly will never die. Do it. Write. And dedicate your writing to the memory of someone you've lost recently. JV
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          May 9 2013: The alternate explanation is indeed turning into a bit of a novella, I just have to do it in bursts.

          My mind's always gotten a lot of credit, and I like to think I use it well, but I'm not sure I consider myself terribly special. I did a lot of experimenting (nootropics and such) just to shift my mindset slightly and let me see the whole thing with new eyes, because this turned out to be important and Rebecca hated half-fixes.

          I know you're probably right in that some of the bad things leading up to this idea probably made it better and enhanced it. I figure this is something where we all have our roles, and luck is just as much of a factor as any sort of innate . . . anything.

          Unfortunately, I might not have time to do it well. I've distanced myself from the world and it's helped a lot, but I'm about out of insurance and I have child support to pay and need to get a job again, but the distance is what makes it easy to make the quick leaps and laterally jump around the ideas and knit them together properly based on what they ARE rather than what they're used for. When I see FOX news I instinctively see mean spirited LARPing and don't get caught up in the silly things they say, which is good because it's so easy to miss obvious things with this many layers.

          But as I start reconnecting I'm noticing those leaps are a bit harder because I'm immersing myself in the context of our society again, and dissonance is a survival trait. So I am a bit rushed because I've already caught myself missing a few obvious bits, and want to do as much as I can here before more of my brain's been . . re-allocated.
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          May 12 2013: Really like the WRITING a book idea Juan.
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        May 10 2013: Take care of yourself, guy. I can't imagine what you must struggle with each day. The depth of your loss is more than I can imagine. I guess the best thing I can say to you via TED is this: anything we can say to help you. Anything we can write here to support you . . . there are a lot of us here who want very much to see you succeed and grow. Hang in there. Time helps. So do long naps at odd hours of the day. Rest. Go slow. Get stronger. Believe. And keep posting here on TED. JV
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          May 10 2013: That's very kind, Juan.

          It's difficult, but lots of other people are suffering a whole lot more, and I've had the luck to experience some tremendous joy in my life. If we can get this out there than a lot of those people could suffer less or not at all, and that's a win-win at the very, very least, right?

          It's really hard to sit on it though, because it's hard not to think that there's a point in time where things get better that drifts further into the future the more we wait, and that's unfair to everyone else.
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    May 9 2013: Hello all, firstly sincere condolences on your loss William. Jacqueline, I admire that this was also your opening acknowledgement & your thoughts & words were very accurate.

    William, I can empathise with your predicament as I have found myself in some parallel circumstance, however, more along the lines of having ideas that are bigger than oneself.

    You have addressed many issues, ideals & concepts William. Personally, bereavement & stalking are not so personal for me but I do have some strong viewpoints on one in particular.

    In terms of stalking, that is best left to the Police, though you also should ensure that you are not too easily personally locatable as in provision of private details to anonymous publics.

    To me death is symptomatic to our time & place only! I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE STATUS QUO. Personally for me(thus my name) I emphatically believe that death WILL BE CURED & have my own plan/concept on how to do this (Hint- research).

    I think William, that you are on the right track. I also think that you have elicited some very positive contributions to your posits.

    I know that you have said that you are not the leader type and want someone to set this up. I'll tell you now, not going to happen, tho it is but not in the way you thought.

    Ultimately all change is incremental and the fact that I have come across your post and am now contributing as have all the others up till now is part of that incremental change.

    I was going to start my own TED Conversation but decided to research what was already out there and found youir link.

    Look I will contribute more but as mentioned there is a word cap & this post will not have enough to fully put some concepts out there.

    I will however endeavour to crystallise some key points & beliefs of mine. You may like to research 2 words which I feel strongly about,
    "Technocracy" & "The Singularity". Technocracy is governance by science & The Singularity is the point in time where machines think for themselves..AI
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      May 9 2013: I didn't mean to fish for sympathy with the bereavement and harassment, it was just mentioned just as an explanation/apology, since it is interfering with my ability to do things well. This is an . . . obligation to everybody else, and I've realized that it hasn't really grown in the past month or two, and since I can't do anything with it I do have the feeling that I'm inadvertently withholding something very useful from other people, and I just can't do that.

      I'm sure most of us here have read plenty on Technocracy and the Singularity. And you are correct that there's a lot of overlap on the technocracy side. I love the Singularity as a concept but I have a feeling that's one of those things that could play out in a swarm of ways and I think we might be assuming something more monolithic due to our stories rather than any likely reality)

      Really this is just about enabling things, if people have less to worry about (and aren't dealing with all these manufactured scarcities and crises) then they can dream bigger dreams and do more things for the right reasons, and if we're intrinsically motivated we can do great things. I'm not sure any of us really can appreciate our full potential until we stop holding ourselves back.
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        May 10 2013: I second Time Traveller's advice that the matter of stalking is best left to the police. I have unfortunately been criminally harassed as well, and I found the police's involvement to be very helpful. Best wishes in resolving the matter.
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    May 7 2013: Do you like to do any of this stuff? To further explain and share these ideas, we need help with small and large acts of:

    * Comic illustration or graphic design

    * Short-form video or machinima

    * Technical writing or editing

    * Spokespersoning

    * Make connections between movers and shakers

    We want to be able to condense everything down to easily-comprehended chunks, but also be able to demonstrate the research that's gone into pulling these ideas together (:
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    May 30 2013: """" I had not realized TED was exclusively for business proposals.

    This is about solving a problem and exploiting an opportunity."""

    Firstly William.........Don't recall anybody claiming TED was exclusively for business proposals.

    Secondly...... I must have major comprehension problems with your postings because my understanding of your posts was that you were looking at establishing a business concept based on an untapped market and were looking for ideas to help the show get on the road.
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      May 30 2013: I do believe that I had the word 'exclusively' in that very sentence.

      I also have stated (directly to you, and in the main thread) that the mistaken perception that small business is a good starting point for this is something that I want to communicate better

      My post that you quote was in response to a post in which you disparage our efforts, which you clearly are not trying to understand, as a bad business model. (It's actually quote good, that's just a bad starting point)

      I'm honesty not sure how you are capable of forgetting what you are replying to so quickly, it is a feat of mental agility that I find impressive, if a bit sad.

      I really want to think you have a reason for being here, save for arguing people and then ignoring any counterpoints. That's just not a good use of anyone's time, true?
  • May 29 2013: you ship I build
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    May 28 2013: ROFL.......................This thread is a have us on joke!...........right?
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      May 29 2013: This thread was an attempt to learn to and get help communicating a challenging concept.

      While it requires some effort to digest, and can be agonizing to communicate, it's been worth it to try and as stated in response to you and others there has been some value there. As also mentioned, we've also gained a bit more resources and energy in order to get an easier-to-understand version out there, which was stated early enough (i.e. the first post)

      Luckily, even failures in communication can be educational. People who have no interest in trying or in responding with well thought out reasoning to counter-points probably won't be terribly useful at any point as that trait is a drag on personal progress, but you've managed to give me an idea or two.
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      May 29 2013: Blade Runner, I have no doubt from having read through most of this thread that William is entirely sincere in his project. He simply has trouble articulating what he wants to do, and he admits this. As he noted early on, he is in the early stages of bereavement after the death of his partner.

      I expect that when he is ready to propose his project to potential participants or to sources of start-up funding, he will bring someone into the team who is good at cutting through to the essence of things and who has strength in presenting proposals in a clear and jargon-free way.

      I know I will be interested in seeing the proposal at that time, because I suspect it is not actually very complicated. We will have to see and I hope William shares a draft here once it has been developed.
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        May 29 2013: Well Fritzie........suggest the road to nowhere (or is that hell) is littered with sincerity and good intent.

        Further suggest even Time Traveller would have to now concede its been nothing but a long winded rambling,waffling talk fest, with bugger all semblance of any structure or business plan having come into existence that any bank or venture capitalist would lend 2 cents on/to.

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          May 29 2013: There is no doubt that many projects undertaken with sincerity go nowhere for a variety of reasons, including failures of concept or of implementation.

          I took your question seriously when you asked whether it is a "have on us joke." It isn't. It is just in a much earlier stage of development, perhaps, than I think many readers assumed at the outset of the thread.
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          May 30 2013: I had not realized TED was exclusively for business proposals.

          This is about solving a problem and exploiting an opportunity.
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        May 30 2013: I'm sorry, Fritzie, this may be my fault.

        To add to the story, the mother of my eldest child (who is an adult now!) has some. . . issues. I ended up with full custody at 21, and she got stuck with a grudge that, to be fair, was unfair to neither of us. She handled it horribly, but to be fair she suffered more before then I can imagine even now, she's another symptom of society's ills and a helpful, if excessively traumatic lesson. And It's not like I was always awesome or anything. I never disparaged her to her daughter, but there were plenty of times I just wanted her to go away.

        I don't know why she kicked things into high gear like she did after Rebecca passed away, but let's just say there's been a newfound tenacity, and laws only cover some of the ways a motivated, creative person can mess with somebody else.

        And of course people do move on in life, and how was she supposed to explain why her daughter lived with somebody else and wanted little to do with her? She's not the only one to follow the 'this evil person did it' approach, so I get to deal with her and a small peanut gallery of people who very well may be well intentioned but nonetheless have chosen a side.

        A couple of common trends. . . making accounts (sometimes multiples with fake identities) just as I start getting social, aggressively hounding people who try to help me and avoiding responding to certain types of questions, and strange identities that don't entirely make sense have been par for the course in random bursts.

        And that writing style is. . . oh so very familiar.

        It might not be true! But if so I'm sincerely sorry, it's never my intent to bring that chaos into other peoples' worlds and I always feel awful when that sort of thing happens.
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        May 30 2013: I firmly believe it doesn't have to be nearly as complicated as it is. Heck, there are cultures that have far better fundamentals than we do, and they got there without the benefits of our vaunted technology. http://www.peacefulsocieties.org

        And those guys should be our low bar, not the high one.

        There are hordes of single mothers who've undergone suffering that I can barely think about them without experience a degree of nausea, and similarly, most of it is caused by very, very poor upbringing and a society that creates confrontations where they don't belong and is far more focused on finding a party to blame than on actually solving problems.

        And yes, all of this is factored in, HAS to be factored in once you start talking scale like this. We are really, really societally broken, with layers upon layers of contextual flaws and misinformation that people are acting on, creating more problems, and so on.

        It'd be irresponsible to go this far down the design process without focusing on not just personal suffering, but the things that made her the person she was, the things that made the people who . . . did the things they did to her. . . who they were, and so on.

        It's complicated because it's MADE complicated, not because it should be.
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    May 28 2013: Okay William, I wanted to discover, at this point, with some 6 days left to run with the conversation posts here, where to next. Can you outline some sort of a strategy and way to take this concept a little closer to fruition.

    With my Q & A post, I was hoping to, in essence, to say what the Co-opernation was. By knowing what something is, you also know what it isn't. In this way, you have a better understanding of what you need to do as you also then understand what you need to create.

    Once you have had a talk fest to work your way thru the plethora of information and alternatives and options available, it is then that, you can make an informed decision of what something is by ruling out the parts it isn't but you couldn't have done this if you not even considered them. This is the essence of creativity, as it is when you look at something from every angle, turn it upside down, inside out and back to front, that you can discover, learn, grow and innovate.

    Of course once you know what you want and what you need to do, then it is time to FOCUS. Focus on each important part of the whole and map and plan things out with timelines.

    NASA uses professional amateurs to help them plot and chart craters on the moon. Utilize a similar approach in fulfilling Co-opernation tasks. Clearly though there needs to be some sort of a plan otherwise people can just go on talking in circles and effectively be taken off the primary focus and task! :D
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      May 28 2013: Ooh, yeah. I think I was waiting on a reply! It may be that there was a bit of derailing or we were at that bottom-level nesting point.

      One of the things I'd learned in this thread is that I came at this from COMPLETELY the wrong direction. I started describing the tool, without what it's designed for, or even pointing out why that purpose is so important. Those are both very huge factors in the design process, and leaving those out just made some things harder.

      This is particularly true when what you essentially have is Douglas Adams' Deep Thought, but using people as it's program and designed to morph into . . . well, Earth.

      It becomes doubly so when it becomes really clear that the magical tipping point a lot of us are SO looking forward to might not go in a hugs and puppies direction. The process of design and discovery here exposed a couple of exploits that aren't just also exploitable by a corporation without noble intent, but those exploits make it seem a lot more likely that a less ethical corporation might jump in front of more noble dreams and lock us into a pretty dreary future.

      So major order change for starters,
      1- Reason behind design, initial purpose (Using tipping point properly, not leaving nukes and such lying around, avoiding Obama/Green Lantern moments)
      2- Explanation of concept (the Deep Thought analogy is brand new, but it is kind of fun)
      3- Top level design process (choice of corporation as tool, addition of powerless democracy, method of self obsolescence, using scientific method on top of experiments within, etc.)
      4- Explanation of new exposed problem (a less ethical corporation could pull off the same things using half of these tricks, and there are some bad endings there)
      5- Proper positioning of Co-opernation (as well designed tool that will hopefully be obsolete before it has a chance to be utilized, it's just the proof of the possible)
      6- Details as needed.

      Not sure if I can get it here within six days, but who knows?