TED Conversations

William Holz

This conversation is closed.

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!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 14 2013: Radical change, requires radical thought. Which is to say that, if we (as in the people of the world) keep doing the same thing, then we will keep getting the same result. Not only that, it is not enough for only a small percentage of the total population to be only fully engaged while the rest of the world keeps on doing the same old same old, oblivious to any other way and or steered/kept on course by the old guard.

    As such, I have an idea of how to effect change and create a new world paradigm. Ultimately it is a numbers game. The start would be small people numbers and slow but steady growth. The starting group would be, 'The Innovators". These are those who have an idea of a desired future and who lead the way. Thus it is that masses rule by minority. These early adopters set off in a direction that ultimately the masses follow. During this process, there comes a tipping point whereby demand is so strong, it can no longer be ignored and the paradigm shift of humanity would have occured.

    We need to think, not in terms of Nations but in terms of being Global Citizens. If everbody is involved, then everybody can be affected, including, Governments, Multinationals, Big and Small Business. Presently approximately 2 billion people are on the internet & with the growth of India & China's economies, that figure is well on track to reaching 3 billion very soon. That number represents approximately half of the planets population.

    By utilising "Crowdsourcing" & professional amateurs, a "Earth Citizen" web portal can be set up. In this space, a wish list of new world order objectives could be initiated with input from everyone. A Charter could be written by members (clearly legal minds would get involved) and a Mission Plan developed.

    Ideally universities would become involved, so that, course curriculum and academic tests would incorporate aspects of Earth Citizen's objectives. PHD's would then have real world application too! :D
    • thumb
      May 14 2013: Let's hope we build more momentum then, we've made some progress but there's a long way to go.

      There's room for a horde of ideas inside, of course. I envision experiments, people networking together and trying different ways of doing things. The focus is on actual outcomes, so a certain level of humility is required, but these are things that can be taught. We can even trick ourselves and exploit our own weaknesses as well as our strengths. We have such wonderful minds, and if we'd stop breaking ourselves we can do some awesome things.

      I'll disagree on one fun point, I don't believe we need to think like global citizens at all, in fact I think that's one of the PROBLEMS we have. Our brains are designed to see only a small number of people (rarely more than a couple of hundred) as people like us, more than that and our brain sees them differently, so there's a danger in trying to influence somebody who is NOT inside that circle. It's a trap that we must be aware of and avoid. That doesn't mean that many people can't think more generally and help the world, but we want the good and not the bad (i.e. the media that serves us the choicest bite-sized bits of horror and teaches us to fear the rest of the world), and we can get a good ways there.

      Very agreed on universities though, but let me offer up the building blocks. There are ranges in quality in universities, and it's not the only way to learn. Let's look at university as an organized repository of learning (physical or otherwise) and open ourselves to learning in all forms, and more importantly remove the transition (we don't STOP learning, and there's no reason we can't do useful things while learning, right?). I'd rather people worked ten (or more, depending on how fun it is) :) hours a week, learned ten hours a week, performed one random act of senseless kindness, and find one new reason to smile. That would be more than enough to make this work.
    • thumb
      May 16 2013: Interesting. Even Fascinating.

      I read on the internet that the adherents of Islam tend to consider themselves Muslims first. They are citizens of Islam. That is, their citizenship and their patriotism and their identity as individuals. All is often all bound up in their faith. And it is all bound up in their faith alone. Here in the West, we separate that. In the U.S. the Constitution enshrines that divide into law. We each carry our faith. And we each carry our citizenship. Two separate things. In Islam: One thing.

      If Islam could cure itself of Al Qada. If Islam could cure itself in the same way that Christianity finally rejected bigotry and the Ku Klux Klan. If Islam could recreate itself in a way that denies a terrorist even the opportunity to exist. If Islam would both reject and ridicule the idea that a terrorist can suicide-bomb himself into Heaven. But rather guarantee derision and Hell to anyone who would choose to make the murder of innocents the political statement that accompanies their suicide. I could be a Muslim. We could all be Muslim. But to fix this problem the ideas that feed the problem must be rejected. And there, it would seem, is the rub.
      • thumb
        May 18 2013: In the part of the world we're creating, basic humanity is placed before culture and faith.

        That sounds like a scary statement, but the trait we're fighting is fundamentalism, and that's another sort of mental laziness. We've got places for all faiths and creeds, as long as they're humble about it and lead by example, as it always should have been.

        Religion itself is not dangerous, nor is faith or even woo (I myself believe some things that may not be strictly true and which others may not), as long as we're wise enough to understand the difference between what's inside ourselves and what's outside, and we don't try to impose our wills on others, then we are safe from the bulk of those concerns.

        Many our poorly trained in that respect, but kids aren't born fundamentalists. It takes a lot of training AND society has to accept that fundamentalism as valid. We do not. We are ruled by science and faith can never trump reality, but that doesn't mean people can tell others what to believe along the fringes that do not impact science itself.

        Most of these are unnecessary conflicts (as the massive number of scientists and other wise souls that have faith prove), they're symptoms of several things that are very wrong with the world as it exists right now. We can do a whole lot better.
        • thumb
          May 18 2013: Thank you. This is why I like TED. I get lots of opportunity for good people to give me good things to think about. Thank you.
        • thumb
          May 18 2013: Oh, How many of you are there? How many comprise the "We" that you talk about. And by "We," I mean people you know personally who have expresses either an interest or an outright willingness to be committed to your project.

          Surely there are millions who would be willing to help. But most of the time these things work out as "idea projects" that may need a generation or more (or even a couple of centuries) to demonstrate their full impact.

          By way of example, consider Judaism, Christianity, and even Islam. Each religion started out with a single leader. The First leader for each was Abraham. Later, Moses, Jesus, and Mohamed created 3 different faith movements. But the followers first recorded the basic ideas of the leader (wrote books). Later they developed and reinterpreted the ideas into a movement that changed the world.

          Now, as mankind and society have evolved, many of these old institutions of faith and belief are being rejected out of hand. I pass no judgment here as to whether that is right or wrong. What I do say, is that these three movements represent examples. And the examples prove that any worthwhile activity such as you aspire to, -- could take a very long time to achieve. fruition.
      • thumb
        May 18 2013: Hey Juan, replying to your other post, this forum only allows threads to be nested so deep.

        But man, fun question!

        As mentioned, we'll be doing some better communication on a different venue, which will hopefully make some things more clear. This was just a first step to get some new blood and energy, and so far so good there.

        We don't just have a movement, we also have a way for people to be completely supported economically within it (and live better than most of us do now). That presented a whole NEW set of problems because our fear was not how do we grow, it's how do we keep from growing too fast.

        I know that sounds like the last thing we should worry about, but as mentioned we're trying to be responsible here. We're going to be kind of hard to tax, and we could potentially be terribly disruptive if we're not careful, so we want to make sure we're cleaning up any messes we make and avoid creating any power vacuums that could cause people to suffer in any way.

        Our current economy is our ally, of course. There are hordes of people who are capable of amazing things that are constantly frustrated by our economic system. . . . heck, all people are capable of amazing things, especially once they can sidestep out of some of our current world's madnesses. We're turning employment into citizenship, I'm betting you can see some potential there.

        As for how many we have, why, far too few of course! And quite a few have been exasperatingly quiet (sometimes I believe firmly that people have far too much faith in me).

        Getting more won't be a challenge once we're rolling, this is designed to give people within AMAZING lives while wasting little, living better than millionaires without making a blip on the radar. To be blunt, in this economy we could probably offer something crappy and explode just by employing and insuring people. No reason to go half-way with a solution though, right? :)
        • thumb
          May 19 2013: I am so very delighted. It is an amazing thing to discern the fundamental elements of an enterprise employing the existential qualities of superlative satisfaction. It all has such a subtle semblance of subterfuge. Why, it is almost indivisible and unintentionally encapsulated into a senseless singularity of soliloquy. A veritable solipsism of metaphysical forbearance, and social sobriety. Might I respectfully inquire as to a payday loan via paypal? Not me to you; rather you to me -- as it were. A gift perhaps? "AMAZING lives while wasting little, living better than millionaires without making a blip on the radar." I would like to return to my exceptional profession of choice. I want to open a brothel on main street. I expect assistance w/that of course. As an experiment in social utility. And thank you.
      • thumb
        May 19 2013: *snickers*

        Oh, we will have our laws and regulations, ours will just make sense (and they will be required to include explanations of why the law was created, what was tried before, what the fundamental purpose is, and so on. No 2nd amendment issues here).

        We don't have lawyers, VPs, CEOs, Papparazi, accountants, and a multitude of other worthless roles within (only a few necessities on the fringes touching the 'mad' world), so we can afford to let you stumble around a bit while you try to come up with something people really want. There's no debt, so you'd have to stockpile forward to create anything risky or else use an internal kickstarter type mechanism to start/create something that utilizes any resources of significance. We'll have our scribes flitting from group to group sharing ideas and toys to help you get started. And much, much more.

        Don't worry though, you may hear 'no' occasionally, but we're far more focused on leading with honey, and using the reality of how our own brains work to lure you with defaults and convenience into similarly turning yourself into a responsible, wise, enthusiastic tool for the greater good.

        Valve actually's already solved a good bit of this on their own (not that it's never occurred to somebody to try to greenlight a 'Yay boobies!' game), but to be fair, you didn't think we'd have put this much work into exploiting holes in the existing frameworks without being VERY aware of all the holes we're creating in our own. ;)

        I bet I myself could find some great things for you to do, as one of us clever crunchy types who are so familiar with the broken world, perhaps you could help us set up some delightfully entertaining honeypots for when somebody tries to hack us? Or make pizza-bots, or join our police force as a teddy bear herder, or help create homes with prism/trapezoidal mirror arrangements for awesome home theater? Perhaps figure out how to wire portia spider brains together in parallel? Be a trip guide?
        • thumb
          May 19 2013: It would be nice to have some excess cash lying around. Many years ago I tried my hand at smuggling. Need any of those? You sweethearts are so wonderfully intense. And my English vocabulary is so very constrained. My favorite is Neologisms. The pusillanimous prevarication of an educated vocabulary. You've found me!

          And today's neologism: bezeltentorial - the dialable collet by which supratentorial senses are attuned; the rotating dial by which the naturally occurring electrodes in the tentorium cerebelli are both focused and attuned to quantum functional reality.

          It's important! Really!
          VALVe? Really? REALLY!?
      • thumb
        May 19 2013: Oh, we're all about having a blast, don't worry. Cash may be another issue entirely, some economic experiments may use small numbers of gold pieces or somesuch, but there is almost no real value in money as a motivator. We address the purpose of money (allowing for weighted selection from limited pools of resources, allowing for stockpiling, and allowing the latter to be used as a psychological support mechanism.)

        That being said, there is certainly room for cunning linguists! Once people have stability, entertainment is something we dedicate a ton of resources to, and part of taking over our own lives does include hiring people to create better advertisement free entertainment for all of us (though as with all of our products created for internal use, we always have the option to give away or sell externally).

        Also, keep in mind that we're looking UNDERNEATH all of our constructs, so once we've broken that context there's quite a lot of potential for blurring the work-life balance. Perhaps somebody who loves making little comic characters could flit from role-playing group to role-playing group enhancing their gaming experiences. Musicians will be spending their creative time making music, not trying to sell T-shirts (thank you M.C. Frontalot! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7ihtm8zCss). Even entertainment can be smaller, letting monkeysphere sized groups have their own custom entertainments.

        To be fair, once we've stopped wasting almost all of our time and resources (i.e. Status Quo) there will be lots of buffer room and we can employ plenty of extra citizens, but for the first few waves we'll want to be focused on setting the stage for everyone else going forward.

        I'm not 100% sure, but I've got a strong feeling that we're already capable of living in a post-scarcity economy, we just have to stop being so mind-bogglingly stupid and wasteful and mean all the time.
    • thumb
      May 19 2013: Who says anyone needs our leadership in this. It's gonna happen spontaneously w/o any further intervention from/by anybody. I'm not hearing anything here that isn't an old idea. What's more, everything looks like a nasal sneeze. Everything is spewed out in micro-droplets and then inhaled by whatever homeless vagrant might be available. But there's no contagion there. There is no substance there that will act like a disease and infect the brain with substantive practical ideas. The Free University/British Tutorial system is already being assembled on Khan Academy. Sal Khan's got that. All that's left is selling a supervised/implemented curriculum to the Secretary of Education and to one of the National Accreditation Agencies http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html. And that notion is inevitable. Khan gonna do it. If not him then somebody.

      Some progressive, damnably liberal, backwater liberal arts college (with accreditation already in place) is gonna figure out how to abandon the standard semester curriculum and bill per hour tuition system . . . and still maintain standards & performance at the University level. Once they cut the cost of education to about 1/10th of what it is now (w/computer automation it will happen); maybe just a registration/curriculum free -- you can buy a University diploma for maybe $800 bucks? Performance proven. Skills proven. Learning proven. Real degree. No fraternities. No dorms. No Animal House. And no "full Professors" with inflated brains egos and office hours. Just real learning. It will happen. And nobody needs us to do that! Sal Khan got that! Or he will, soon! If not him, then somebody.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.