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.
    http://www.topcoder.com
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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!

          Cheers................

          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.

          Cheers...............
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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?

          Cheers...........
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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......................."

          adieu...........
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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.

          Cheers....................
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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:
    http://www.influencinghealthcare.com/Influencing_Healthcare/Welcome.html
    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. :)

      *ow*

      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)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E2D_International
    http://e2d-international.org/


    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!

      http://hieroglyph.asu.edu/forums/forum/the-moonshot-ecosystem/
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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"
        (Ramakrishna)
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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.

        Cheers..............
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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?
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    May 22 2013: This is a good thread. I've enjoyed it here.
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      May 22 2013: Just wait until we have something more. . threaded! :)
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    May 22 2013: One clarification since it came up a couple of times.

    We're already started putting things together better and have gotten some help, though we're more than happy to get more to speed things along.

    We're just not done yet, and I'm not going to be overcommitting other people. This is just that gap in time in between, and something this big takes a while to get right!

    Just responding on this thread because it's been great for learning how to deliver the ideas in different ways and I feel bad just leaving you guys sit after you ask something!
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      May 22 2013: Curious here William..................any chance of you enlightening us and telling us what you specifically actually have done and specifically actually have in place regarding this 'project' of yours?

      Cheers...........
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        May 22 2013: As stated with increasing frequency

        The purpose of this thread is to collect the people to help us organize what we've got, which is mostly disorganized or stored in ways that only make sense to a very specific type of person (me). None of us are good at everything. We're also going to be different methods that will hopefully be more easily understood by different types of people with different sorts of experiences and focuses.

        This is just that gap of time in between, because I'm not capable of doing everything myself, and I'm not going to overcommit other people.
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    May 22 2013: "Scientific socialists view social and political developments as being largely determined by economic conditions as opposed to ideas in contrast to utopian socialists & classical liberals, & thus believe that social relations & notions of morality are context-based relative to their specific stage of economic development. Therefore as economic systems, socialism and capitalism are not social constructs that can be established at any time based on the subjective will & desires of the population, but instead are products of social evolution. An example of this was the advent of agriculture which enabled human communities to produce a surplus; this change in material & economic development led to a change in social relations & rendered the old form of social organization based on subsistence-living obsolete & a hindrance to further material progress. Changing economic conditions necessitated a change in social organization.[2]
    Similar perspectives Thorstein Veblen, the founder of evolutionary economics, believed that technological developments would eventually lead toward a socialistic organization of economic affairs. However, his views regarding socialism & the nature of the evolutionary process of economics differed sharply from that of Karl Marx; while Marx saw socialism as the ultimate goal for civilization and saw the working-class as the group that would establish it, Veblen saw socialism as one immediate phase in an ongoing evolutionary process in society that would be brought about by the natural decay of the business enterprise system & by the inventiveness of engineers."[3]
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    May 22 2013: That would be a pretty giant step or leap of faith to me William. Maslow created a hierarchy of needs that culminated at the pinnicle of his pyramid as "self actualisation". This was a point where an individual had all of his other needs catered for, such as food, shelter, air, water, love,acceptance & a whole range of other things. As such the proposal needs to cater for all these basic necessities, which all are cost associated.
    I did some research on a hunch of what a system such as the one proposed seemed to be like and so googled "pure communism". Interestingly the search turned up some historically relevant material, which dates back to Karl Marx and Darwin, amongst other scholars. I will cut and paste some of it here in sequential posts as I believe they are relevant and rather poignant. That is to say, this concept seems to have much already published that due diligence should be able to relate to this contemporary proposal and may provide guidance and answers.

    " Scientific socialism refers to a method for understanding & predicting social, economic, & material phenomena by examining their historical trends through the use of the scientific method in order to derive probable outcomes & probable future developments. It is in contrast to what later socialists referred to as "utopian socialism"; a method based on establishing seemingly rational propositions for organizing society and convincing others of their rationality &/or desirability. It also contrasts with classical liberal notions of natural law, which are grounded in metaphysical notions of morality rather than a dynamic materialist or physicalist conception of the world."[1]
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      May 22 2013: Okay, so once again we're taking an existing concept and putting a couple of spins on it with science :)

      There's no way to have gotten a tenth way down this path and not have researched the origins and original intents behind Communism and Socialism (and of course the design is all about exploiting Capitalism).

      We do have one obvious advantage right off the bat over Communism though, and that's the fact that you have to want to be part of us to be forced into our internal economies/governments.

      Always being a choice completely changes some aspects of that formula, does it not?

      [Addendum:]
      That's actually part of why I'm keen on the corporation and capitalism as a construct to exist within, I can't figure out a noticeably better way to always guarantee there's somewhere else for people to go, and nobody's pointed out anything that's so much better that we feel qualified to take everyone else there . . . we don't want to risk being a accidental tyranny. I'd have us consist entirely of oceangoing cities and only buy land for ecological preserves if that was an option to prevent that, but that may be a stretch from a practicality standpoint.

      Also, I did not mean 'ecological preserves' as a jam
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    May 22 2013: And there we have it...............

    There's the talkers.................

    Then there's the doers......................and on my observations the doers generally don't wait for the talkers to start talking because they are already doing! :)

    Legitimately or illegitimately!
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      May 22 2013: Ok.. what you got? Failing to plan is planning to fail, clearly, doing what exactly? Do the doers run straight into battle, arms flailing and expect to win. You have heard the fable of the tortoise and the hare right? Ever heard of act in haste repent at leisure? What about Socrates or Plato or other historically significant talkers, would they have just been a blah blah fest to you? If you are going to post as you have, then back it up with substance not non chalance as now you need to walk the talk! Or just walk......away, guess that'd be doing something!
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        May 22 2013: Don't recall stating the doers don't plan or don't have a plan..............do you recall such?

        Have heard many a fable...........suggest not all are worthy or bear fruit!

        As for Socrates or Plato..................and Greece is where of any current significance today based on any legacy of either?

        Oh and btw 'blah blah fest' is your terminology/turn of phrase, not mine.

        Suggest quoting fables and philosophers is a long way from walking any walk..............and at the end of the day its still the philosophers doing the talk and the doers doing the doing.

        And as for substance............lets go back to where I started ala............"Ah.....you want help naming IT..............try Talk Fest! :)' and show me where this is not in keeping with this statement in the OP 'We could also use help naming things.'?

        And furthermore, your input is of 'more substance' or consists of 'substance' because you googled up some theorists/philosophers that you believe are of relevance to discussion????

        Or perchance your 2cents worth carries more credence than mine, because?

        Hey.....just asking, trying to establish some parameters, bench marks and basically trying to see the credibility of the concept in question/debate/discussion.

        Cheers................:)
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          May 22 2013: OOH! Hey! I've got a question you might like!

          I'm guessing that you've got a somewhat libertarian viewpoint, am I correct in that? And that while there may be some appeal to the idea of not fighting each other and ruining each others toys all the time, you see it as somewhat unrealistic, also correct?

          If so, I'd like to toss a thought out there that might be useful. Is there anybody who's precious to you? An innocent, a child, somebody you'd go quite a ways to protect?
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      May 22 2013: As mentioned in a couple of posts, this was just a first step. We were hoping to gather a few people to help and come up with a few better methods to describe what we're talking about. So, not the moment of doing anything amazing perhaps, but intended to be a direct transitional step rather than a purely theoretical construct.

      I for one had to put a good bit of work in to grasp it myself, so you'd probably have to be open to the possibility to help at this stage. That clearly would also impact your qualifications for any influence in the naming process ;)
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    May 22 2013: :D
    To
    Actually
    Legitimately
    Kindle
    Favourable
    Environments
    Society
    Talks
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    May 22 2013: Ah.....you want help naming IT..............try Talk Fest! :)
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    May 22 2013: So, with some of the various tidbits we've talked about, (or with solutions of your own) does anyone see the possibility of getting a corporation to the point where it is. . .

    Able to function as a home (similar to a regional worker cooperative)
    Ecologically Sustainable
    Not regionally dependent (like a franchise)
    More efficient
    Principled
    More fun (than whatever they're doing now)
    ?

    Because if we can get there, then we've just got another step or so, I think!
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      May 22 2013: To make something more principled, you might hire people who agree to a set of principles. As one cannot necessarily judge what people truly believe during a hiring process, you would likely need a process for dealing those who turned out not to be as they represented themselves to be.

      Lots of people are doing work they don't consider fun, or are unemployed, and would prefer a fun environment. Businesses that have a reputation for being fun likely have a lot more applicants for jobs there than businesses in the same industry that don't. For example, Zappos has a reputation for being fun, as do many high tech companies.

      Whether something functions as a home depends on how you set it up and what you want from a home. Many people are content to live and work in the same place. Many small business people work and live on the same site, farmers do, parks/resort employees, and also in some locations I think call center employees or workers at industrial parks do.

      So many people are working on sustainable buildings and operations that you should be able to find tons of material on this. Check under Ted Talks for the tag "sustainability."

      Efficiency is something all corporations are aiming for, and you would need to work on it as well. Whether you will be more efficient than the other corporations in your same industries will depend on what you are doing and what they are doing, what your costs are to provide the amenities you want to offer and the processes you have/want in place, the level of skill of people you hire and the intensity of their work efforts, and so forth. One factor that makes a difference, for example, is how communications are handled. If you ask many people what they think makes their organizations inefficient, they will say endless time spent by too many people in meetings in which there is more and more talk with little in the way of decision or forthcoming action.
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        May 22 2013: See, it's not necessarily the easiest thing to construct, but people have already presented lots of solutions on how to solve some of the various aspects of the concept, by just combining TED talks there are enough great ideas and brilliant people out there to get us to that point, aren't there?

        This point however is a really critical one for us, because if we can assemble just those few pieces together and create an ecologically sustainable company that's not regionally dependent, can hire anybody in the world into citizenship as long as they'd promise not to screw with each other, and can present just ONE option (and we hope for many!) that's better than the options currently being presented to people. . .

        . . . which people choose unemployment again? Or to live in war-torn regions? Who chooses a 9-5 job for a soulless company? Who wants to be a servant? Who chooses to be anything other than equal?

        And with Citizen's United and the rest of the excessive power that's been given to corporations, the points at which we're large enough to run into problems are also points at which we're fully capable of influencing policy and changing laws to help us along the way.

        And once we hit that critical mass, and it's sustainable ecologically, and we can present better options to people (and the bar is very low, and we are not settling for just slightly better!), then a whole new set of possibilities opens up. And once that clicks. . .

        Well, so back to the question, could some clever people possibly stand on the shoulders of giants and some of these amazing, brilliant ideas and use them to get us to the point where have a sustainable Mondragon type corporation that's not regionally dependent? Could science and psychology be used to put forth ways to live lives that are better than what most of us have now?

        I think other people have already given us more solutions than we can find problems there, true?
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          May 22 2013: I obviously am missing something. Most of what you describe doesn't sound hard and no one has been arguing that it is. Plenty of TED talks as well as other sources have lots of ideas that are NOT hard to implement for making work places and living places happier. In fact, lots of work places ALREADY run in a way that takes into account science and psychology and the importance of playful workplaces with amenities that make people love their work.

          A design that guarantees you are efficient will likely require some trial and error. A certain amount of amenities motivates people whereas excessive amenities may cost more than you get back in inventiveness and productivity. You have to play that one by ear, as other businesses do. You'll start somewhere and then expect that you will probably want to make adjustments if you feel you are not efficient enough.

          Being able to scale up to huge size is challenging, but I assume you would be okay with starting up smaller and then scaling up as most start-ups would? Mondragon didn't start up with 80,000 employees.

          What exactly is interfering with your just doing this? Starting up a business always takes some work but if you want to do it, why not check out some of the materials available online about starting a business? Lots of people have done this.

          As I have written here before, lots of people are willing to help when you can articulate what it is that you don't know or understand that you want people to fill in for you.

          What exactly are you waiting for? Are you facing some sort of creative block? Steven Pressfield has a couple of books about tackling creative blocks.
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        May 22 2013: (reply to your other post, nested here because we can't reply one deeper)

        Oh! No, you're not missing something, I was just making really, really sure I had the other bits on solid ground before taking any more steps, because we weren't done yet! I'd run ahead of people before on this very thread!

        So, what happens if and when a corporation appears that can hire anybody in the world to live within it, that gets better as it scales, gets just as much or more out of a kid in Sierra Leone as they do out of an experienced engineer in Ohio, is far more efficient than any American corporation, and is designed so that a few people being allowed to follow their passions can support dozens or hundreds in training or who we haven't invented what they're best at yet?

        And if it uses the best of the TED talks and more, opens up 'franchises' all over the world that offers options for life for people that no corporation can compete with?

        And if it is designed for the express purpose of growing as quickly as it can, even rewriting the laws underneath it as it gains critical mass? If it encourages people to vote and primaries people to get rid of the laws in the way of the long term goals? If it's so humble that the people within steer it, yet is designed cleverly enough to get the best out of us while avoiding the worst?

        I'm not quite sure how to say this best, and I'm afraid that by starting out with the little vision I may have blinded people to the big ones.

        What happens when a company comes around that can do all that, and it's express GOAL is to grow as fast as possible, to exploit capitalism from within, and to give so many better options to the people who do all the actual work that there won't be anybody left to do any fighting?

        There's the potential to completely undermine capitalism from within, which is why we were so cautious about the other bits.

        We're not waiting, I just felt bad letting this thread die while doing other things, and you guys gave me ideas!
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          May 22 2013: With all due respect, I think you have a ways to go before you have to worry about such eventualities.

          If you eventually do something quite disruptive, others will adapt. You are very worried about being threatening to other people, which is nice of you, but why not wait to see whether they are hardier and more adaptive than you anticipate?
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        May 22 2013: Ahh, perhaps I overemphasize one point at the expense of another.

        I'm slightly concerned about being threatening, but that's because people tend to overreact when threatened. It's not a primary concern though, think of it more like proper positioning on a technical support call or something along those lines. It's still very important, just as proper positioning is sadly more likely to result in a positive experience than good technical support in that scenario. I don't like it, but that doesn't make it less of a factor to be aware of.

        I am VERY concerned about runaway design, about improperly exploiting psychology in ways that produce poor outcomes, and about missing an opportunity (Just as I see Obama as a missed opportunity, and am still saddened that we got a subpar Green Lantern movie instead of Ryan Reynolds in a proper Deadpool flick). I believe my concern is appropriate (and I am using gentler terminology than what exists in my mind) and responsible, and I wasn't alone there. That's probably solid evidence that there's a piece left to be exposed to be digested properly, as this is where we should be worried about creating a monster. (We've addressed it, but that was a LOT more work)

        This bit is something I'm not sure is just a difficulty in communication, you grasped some components that others struggle with mightily very easily, others struggle with the concept of a self sufficient corporation tremendously but zip right to the end around this point. I believe this is another point where we need to come up with some alternative views (like you and traveller and others have helped so much with in some other ways already!).

        This looks like another bit where I need to learn some new tricks.
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        May 22 2013: Something that may be useful

        My instinctive background thought at 'you've got a ways to go before you worry about such eventualities' was 'Are you MAD?'

        :)

        Of course you're not, you're passionate and clearly brilliant and clever and well versed! But I think that might help indicate the depth of the process there. We all have different sorts of brains and the idea of getting right up to where the tipping point is with this and stopping makes mine kind of seize up and feels terribly irresponsible.

        I haven't addressed a lot of the psychology that works here as well, hence the references to mind hacks, defaults, dunbar's number/the monkeysphere, modifying our environment to modify ourselves, and so on. I'm aware some bits look complicated and some other bits may seem purposeless, but they weave together well. I've always been the sort that liked learning from mistakes, and the last year I've changed it into a source of joy (what better way to learn then to improve something you got wrong?), and that's helped me down this road (with the help of friends, of course. . . they LOVE correcting me!)

        The thing is, I'd be more than happy to be wrong, and to find out I have to settle for a lesser dream, because then I can do so responsibly. But I'm way past occam's razor here, and until I or somebody else can find an actual flaw then this is the path we have to go down.

        I know there's no perfect solution, but this was never meant to be perfect. We're just herding as many people as possible in the direction of being better, gentler, wiser people, and then we're giving them the power to get us out of the mess we've made.

        That's not a bad idea, right? And there is some wacky slim chance that I might be onto something. I keep hoping for something to add but other than an addition to the principles and a few ways of describing things, the only surprise I've gotten in this thread is the Olivettis and the fact that I need to learn Italian, so that's a good sign.
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          May 22 2013: No need to settle for lesser dreams. By way of analogy, we give birth to babies that become formidable in many ways, but they do start as babies and some dimensions of how they grow are built in and cannot be expedited, no matter how much you might wish to arrive rapidly at your destination. You have the option of growing something carefully rather than jumping in and growing it really fast out of impatience for a grand conclusion.

          Planning is good. But you could think of what you are building here as if it were a living thing, which is to say you need to experiment some rather than expecting to be able to stick to a blueprint articulated in minute detail and spelling out all contingencies.

          I can see that you are afraid you will be so dramatically successful that you upset a lot of people. I couldn't say whether this is realistic. There are lots of variables affecting a new enterprise that is part of a complex system.
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        May 23 2013: Oh, the whole process was organic! We took it as far as we could and there's tons of inherent flexibility.

        Of course it seems unlikely to be realistic, because . . . well, it's just kind of coming from a couple of people at this point, but that is how all good things start. I do feel really silly being so heavily focused on using statistics to make decisions while saying 'But THIS one thing is different', admittedly. I mean, what are the odds? (How do we weight them? What's n? Is there a distribution curve?)

        But I've been hammering away at this for year trying desperately to make it into something more manageable, but in the process I'd learn other things that I couldn't not incorporate responsibly and that made everything worse. I spent a year REVELING in every mistake I found, finding joy in every chip I could make. There were times there was even a certain desperation, and there were occasionally substances to allow a different view of things to try to chip something away THAT way, and everything ended in failure or success, depending on how you look at it.

        You are totally right tough, there is such a thing as overplanning! In fact that is precisely what spurred this thread on, as we were running out of ideas and I've given up on making it more bite-sized.
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          May 23 2013: If I can ask, does anyone on your team have experience running a business or in the law? You may want to bring in such experience and expertise.
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        May 23 2013: Assisted in the creation of a couple myself, done tons of contract work with startups in the 90s and got to watch the dot coms rise and fall. Family had one of their own for a while. Worked on private/public partnerships with some frequency, most recently medicaid/medicare, and got to see how big companies can abuse things as well, more lessons there (and potentials as well, properly tapped). Amanda's better versed on the cooperative side, and have a couple of silent resources on the legal side

        Never started a cooperative though, started from a completely different direction, but I do believe this may be an 'all roads lead to Amber' type scenario, as there's a path to the same place from there.

        I know we're going to be nudging some laws and standards, but they're all either in territories where corporations tend to win battles (even without employee consent, sadly) or else past the point where we have enough critical mass to be influential. I'm not saying it's all smooth sailing, but it's definitely possible, and what's possible can happen, especially when creativity is applied liberally.
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          May 23 2013: Is there a launch date anticipated for doing something concrete? What is your actual "tipping point?" You will start your business once you....? You think that might happen in 20__?
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        May 23 2013: Ha! I've got something!

        Would it be fair to say that once we have an entity that is
        principled,
        able to bring their employee/citizens entire lives to an ecologically sustainable level
        and untethered by any regional dependence. . .

        That they then have the moral obligation to offer the option of that lifestyle (with as many variants as possible as long as principles and sustainability are not violated) to every human being on the planet, as quickly as possible? And to make sure their impact on the rest of the world is as gentle as possible? With the former being the primary driver?
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          May 23 2013: "Would it be fair to say that... they then have a moral obligation to offer the option of that lifestyle to every human on the planet as quickly as possible?" Well, if you are a great parent do you have the moral obligation to offer all children on Earth the option of becoming your child?

          I think suggesting that if you do something well you have a moral obligation to expand your business/service/offering to infinite size, I would say no. There may at some much earlier point be diseconomies of scale.
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        May 23 2013: I was careful with my phrasing there for a reason ;)

        I think there is a moral obligation to present the option to everybody, regardless of race, culture, creed, location, or any other factor. Not impose our will or force people to join, but to give them an option to live in a way that's ecologically sustainable and more fun than what they have, because climate change is going to present some real problems and that's the fastest way to get in front of it, unless somebody comes up with something better.

        Or we can just wait until everybody becomes magically enlightened and climate change denial ceases to exist, but that seems even less likely.
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    May 22 2013: I think Jesus and other sages had the right idea. Love others as you love yourself. Human nature is such that you cannot encapsulate it as in a co-op for long. Love is within and not legislated, but good luck with your endeavors. Sounds better than what is going on now.
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      May 22 2013: We're hoping to educate ourselves better and make more rational decisions as part of the process. We know we can't make everyone love everyone else in one fell swoop, but we can start with respect and basic human dignity and work up from there. We think we have some other aspects that can help along the way, like using allegory and stories instead of emotionless laws.

      I'm aware that means that far better educated and more forward thinking people than ourselves will at some point be using what we're trying to create to collapse it from within and create something better. That's what we're hoping will happen, and the sooner the better!

      We like to think we can raise the bar, if only because it's set very, very low.
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    May 20 2013: (Part D)

    So if there's some part that's not clicking, PM me or respond directly to the post with the non-clicky bit. We all have different brains and I'm trying to come up with ways for different sorts of people to digest this and improve my own communication as well.

    One part I won't dive into, but I encourage the use of imagination in, is how much potential there is for enhancement by subtraction now. The moment you hit a point where people can choose the sort of life they live and can lure ourselves with better entertainments, toys, and so on, there are a lot of parts of our society and economy that we don't need anymore and generally cause more harm than good. Be creative. :)

    Now, our purpose (so far)

    To use technology, science, and a bit of creativity to give the people within sustainaible, fun lives free of most of the stresses and conflicts that exist in the outside world.

    To use those people within to make it natural and easy to live sustainably.

    To make it easy to be good, kind people (instead of the opposite, as in our current society)

    Once fully sustainable, to hire all the citizens who want to join, no matter what race/culture/creed. A mind is a mind and a heart is a heart. Each one is one more inventing and discovering and one less that can be used to fight wars or waste resources.

    Use Citizen's United to primary Stephen Colbert, enhance our own structure, and destroy every law that violates the precept of 'ideas belong to everyone'

    Get in front of global warming, buy up entire ecosystems, save the world.

    Once we have people that have been raised with no idea what 'FOX News' is, then we should be open to our new, better people coming up with a better idea.

    And. . . that should do it for now, I think. :)

    Further experiments as circumstances warrant.

    (End Part D, current experiment)
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    May 20 2013: (Part C)
    While there can be no cost for any of the basics, and our monetary system has almost no redeeming features that can't be easily replaced, we do want to be able to expand and hire more citizens, invent more things, and so on. There are a couple of points of self-sufficiency that we intend to reach (at first with respect to import/export cost, and then later when we own our entire supply chain), but unless a Buffett-type bites we probably can't start there. So instead we intend to make anything we create into a potential product. It's all free for those inside, but that doesn't mean our inventions cant be sold to the outside world to help us build that critical mass, so there will be a few of us on the outside dealing with that side of things. Between that and the inefficiencies of the current system (especially the private-public partnership!) we have a few paths for growth.

    I'll stop there, there are many many more facets (using prototype loopholes in patent law for example) that are mostly solutions or lures, I think we're already at a point where there are a multitude of solutions to the problems that present themselves, and when in doubt, just compare to the world we live in now. Part of why this will work is because of how silly, inefficient, and generally unlikeable the current system is. I hope at least I've demonstrated enough breadth and agility here that if you think we missed something obvious. . . we probably didn't.

    We also have a couple of lucky accidents, I am in love with the idea of a democracy of choice, Thomas Jefferson would be jumping up and pointing at that part as we speak were we alive today, I suspect. . this is way better than an educated electorate! And this construct has POWER. I have no interest in power, but I DO love the fact that when some big corporation wants something we have, we can just say 'no, go away.' :)

    We are, however, still talking about a blind, largely purposeless beast, aren't we?

    (To Part D)
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    May 20 2013: (Part B)
    Okay, so here's a fun place to sit. Just ponder whatever ideas you may have, educational experience, TED talks, and whatever else inspires about making better people, it doesn't ALL fit here, but most of the good bits can. And keep those thoughts in your head while thinking about the potential of good design, technology, and so on.
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} The Worker Cooperatives are generally great at hiring principled people, but if we take on whole lives a small number of enhancements are necessary (worker cooperatives, Ultima IV, Asimov's Rules of Robotics, various)
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} With good design focused on interoperability, a development process led by the consumers, and an enthusiastic embrace of all the potential of science and technology it is most definitely possible to create amazing places to live, surround us with toys we can hardly imagine now, and do so sustainably (Venus project, various supply side examples, fundamental awareness that many of our most expensive things cost almost nothing in man-hours, ideas, resources, or energy)
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} Basic principles are good for basic interactions, but making morality too legalistic has it's dangers. Also, we have the potential to scare people, which we don't want. We need stories as well, like exemplars that are non-real people who embody the best of us to help us along the way.
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} We need a form of democracy that does not corrupt, our favorite is a dynamic and retraoctively removable transfer of voting authority (Various online examples, moment of accidental genius from brilliant and slightly innebriated friend)

    Okay, now we have enough pieces that we probably have to re-address a couple of mechanics. Sometimes it's not obvious how something like this could survive, but I promise that's almost entirely due to immersion in the context of the world we live in, that shapes us a lot. So. . .
    (Continued in Part C)
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    May 20 2013: (Part A)
    Okay, this is just an experiment to perhaps explain some bits in a different way, I can't reply to myself here or go over 2K characters, so this is Part A of creating a co-operation, but more as a recipe this time. :)

    {Seed} - Mondragon and other successful worker cooperatives
    +
    {Live Experiment} Valve (for effectively using completely hierarchy-free structure in a standards-dependent environment, having an internal kickstarter-type system, and a virtual economist (MMOs are economic experiments too!))
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} To be even more effective, intrinsic motivation and automation are key (Dan Pink, various online resources, most of the 'work smarter' TED playlist)
    +
    {Live Experiments} Corporations are adept at bypassing local and regional governments, and influencing them when bypassing is not an option (Company towns, temporary cities created for ill purpose to exploit local resources, Citizen's United)
    +
    {Idea} By treating a corporate campus like a city-state, it would be theoretically possible for people to side-step from our existing local governments and economies into a multitude of kinds of lives.
    -
    {Enhancement by removal} A multinational corporation treating their corporate campuses like city-states could remove the regional dependence that worker cooperatives suffer from.
    +
    {Concept Enhancement} Who we are and what we do is very much a product of our environment, the options we are given, the defaults we are presented, what is treated as socially acceptable, and the wiring of our brains. If we use science and focus on outcomes we can modify our environments and what we're exposed to in order to make us better people, and stop learning and believing things that cause the various chaoses we suffer. (The TED 'our brains: Predictably irrational' playlist, peacefulsocieties.org, monkeysphere/dunbar's number, hordes of other resources. Also, duh)

    (Continued in part B)
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    May 20 2013: There has been plenty of dialogue posted here and with another 2 weeks to run, I suspect plenty more. At this juncture, it should be possible to reflect on how the idea/concept original question has been shaped with regard all this input.
    I have read much of what has been said and feel that Guido's post seems to reflect similar outcomes to what you are proposing William, if I assume correctly. While the era was some 150 years ago, the ethos and style clearly have many positive attributes.
    It should be noted, that in modern day Japan, there are some companies that do operate in a similar fashion. People live in a high rise apartment block and travel down the elevator to their place of work in the same building. The employees are extremely loyal to their company and the company not only pays them (which allows them to buy food etc in the modern money economy) as well as subsidises and provides them with discounted insurance policies, child education etc etc. From the companies perspective, it is far more economical to retain people than retrain new ones. Plus a plethora of other positive social, economic, productivity related, greenhouse gas minimisation from transportation of workers etc etc.
    Clearly Japan has their own unique culture, even to the extent that even during times of crises, they will queue for emergency food rations, while in other countries there would be anarchy, looting and riots.

    The reason I am bringing all this up, is because, as mentioned in earlier posts here, there does need to be some sort of blueprint/plan. The articulation of it does not need to be wholly comprehensive as rightly pointed out in earlier posts, there will be things that will come up that hadn't been thought of etc.

    My suggestion is, over the next two weeks, people/posts here should try and build/design a template of what this co opernation is. What does it do. How does it work. Where are they located and why. How does culture/gender/religion affect it.How is it started?
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      May 20 2013: "My suggestion is, over the next two weeks, people/posts here should try and build/design a template of what this co opernation is."

      I was under the impression that William and his collaborators have such a plan already but perhaps have chosen for their own reasons not to share it at this place and time. I believe they want to describe only the ideals- that the environment be collaborative rather than competitive and that people would be intrinsically motivated and the whole thing would be environmentally and socially conscious. Maybe I am mistaken in this impression.
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        May 20 2013: The only real reason that we're hopping to a different venue is so we can keep things a bit more organized and connect the various explanations together well. This site was great for getting a few bites and energy and also was a learning experience, but at the least I'd like to spare myself some pain from carpal tunnel and avoid some redundancy, and if there's one role that I've been told I'm stuck with whether I like it or not, it's 'chief explainer'.

        I've got to admit though, the challenge is certainly causing a lot of neurons to fire!
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      May 20 2013: As Fritzie said, we're hitting a different venue, not because you guys are not awesome but because it will be SOOOO much easier to just point to a better organized resource that keeps the key points in the forefront and not have to type so much. That's the part I'm getting the most help with, because none of us are good at everything, and I for one can't organize my way out of a paper bag. Just not how my brain works.

      Still, you gave me an idea, and this isn't a bad place for experimentation. I'll be trying something later, it'll be directly in response to the main thread.
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      May 20 2013: Annnnd. . . experiment done (which I hope also clarifies why we're hopping to a different location next! Having to remove a whole bunch of words and breaking things up into 2000 character segments is a good exercise in trying to turn complex into concise, but we're clearly pushing way past the limits (and purpose!) of the format here)
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    May 19 2013: It's a great purpose William. Nowadays the reality of a co-operating society taking care of its components is gradually disappearing. In my country, Italy, and especially in my region (Emilia-Romagna), we had a co-operating tradition in the majority of the businesses there, but not reaching the standard offered from a man 150 years ago. His name was Camillo Olivetti, founder of the namesake computer industry (but at the time they produced typewriters). He was able to transform the idea of a co-operative business into a co-operating society with offering services to his employees, such as libraries,kindergartens for their children, cultural events and workshops, primary healthcare and accomodations for the less lucky people not able to buy an house, ALL between the walls of his factory (which soon became a sort of a village). To realize this dream (or we should call it utopy?) he included some sociologists and humanists between the key roles of his industry (for example the CEO was a writer and an historian) to never forget the importance of people behind the numbers of the budget. You should read a book about it, it will open your mind and give a lot of ideas for your project! Good luck!
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      May 19 2013: I'd love to find out more, Mondragon over in Spain was very influential in our design, and I had seen references to the Emilia-Romagna region having something similar when doing research, but I couldn't find nearly as much information online. I hadn't connected it with Olvetti, I bet that'll help quite a bit, thanks!

      And yes, we're most definitely talking about something very similar, that's kind of our starting point. We're only a tiny bit more ambitious here, but to be fair to us, we're in America, where things are really wacky. So we had to pile a lot more on before we felt like it'd be solid enough.

      Thanks to our political system and media we've had to be fairly clever to come up with a solution that would work here without us wasting more resources, being environmentally unfriendly and making more of a mess of the world. I do like to think that now that we've got a way to do that we can turn a few things around. :)
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      May 21 2013: And thanks!!!

      Now that I've managed to get some better info about the Emilia-Romagna cooperative I'm wondering if that would have been a better example from the worker cooperative standpoint that Mondragon is (though it IS a lot easier to find things about Mondragon online).

      You've also inspired me to find a good biography of the Olivettis! They must have had some wonderful minds to have started down that road, especially so long ago! If you have any you'd particularly recommend it'd be greatly appreciated.
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    May 19 2013: Thank you. You have given me much to consider. And i am deeply appreciative of your benevolence and leadership in moving forward with your world paradigm. I do hope to contribute in some small way. The internet & computers are a big part of the mechanisms by which you both establish and perpetuate the core elements of the goal(s) you wish to achieve. So I hope that I was not too far off topic. I have discovered goals which, for myself, do require money to achieve. And a lack of resources makes achieving some things impossible. I therefore have to accept this. And I wish you all the best in the future.
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      May 19 2013: This was helpful, despite the fact that we have some 'fun' ideas in here, I tend towards the simple and practical, and I honestly feel far more comfortable drifting into fun territory only once the fundamental (and admittedly more boring) aspects are well enough digested and understood. I know we have to put SOME kind of vision in there to make things more visible within, but as you can see it's far too easy to head off in the wrong direction without the fundamentals down pat.

      I know I tend to react negatively to the MOTIVE for profit, that doesn't mean I'm not very aware that wealth is needed when interfacing with the outside world, I just consider profit motive itself a psychological poison (and science backs me up) and would prefer we all grudgingly accept that our current form of money may be occasionally needed to buy resources and territory, but even there try to obtain those resources through other, less limited means.

      But within. . . for the vast majority of citizen-employees, an economic system like the one we have in the western world will hold us back. We don't need to copy bad ideas.
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    May 19 2013: Yeah, I'm rolling away in Science Fiction here. I shall exit and go inhabit another thread. Please accept my absence as evidence of my sincere apology. Also, if you want you can still respond to my posts. But I won't be back unless you do. Or if I come back, I won't say anything.
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    May 19 2013: I retract the word drivel. I see the logic but the emotional content is somewhat non-specific. People tend to have STUFF to complain about. They complain about real things. And they dream about accomplishing REAL things that can and should happen in a logical sequence. There is a fuzzy element to the sequencing here that I find peculiar. Not in a bad way, but in an alien, non-human way. An agile mind can look "non-human." They tell me that the original Albert Einstein had an embryologic abnormality that duplicated the temporal lobe of his brain bilaterally. The temporal lobe of his brain was twice as big as mine. And that lobe is where complex associative and detailed reasoning occur. The language I use here is quite poor. I'll have to brush up on my neurology for a better description.
    I met maybe 4 of Einstein's clones. They were all smart men. But none of them were massive intelligences to the same degree that the original was. It was that other temporal lobe abnormality that made him a theoretical genius (we believe). Albert Einstein very much did appear both alien and non-human occasionally. But if I compare you to Albert Einstein, I intend that as a complement.
    As a clone myself, I have respect for those other Einsteins. Or maybe I too am an artificial intelligence? Now you decide if I am the Turing Test! Or maybe I am not. Any questions. Please ask only one and wait for an answer. But 2 or 3 questions is OK too. So I guess the Turing Test is ME!
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    May 19 2013: OK, so it's my turn to apologize! Take your time. And read what I say. This is fun. Soon we shall know if this is science fiction or science fact. And either way, I haven't had this much fun in AGES! This is GREAT! So Thank you! I really mean it. I SEE an intelligence here. But Evolution is a wonderful engineer. William you are wonderful! I appreciate and affirm your identity. I appreciate and affirm your ability and willingness to learn. And I do offer you my most sincere apology. I never intended to give offense. Consider my failings to be the equivalent of a HAL 9000 as envisioned by Arthur C. Clarke. Now THAT was an intelligence machine.

    Half Logic is a valid observation and a valid description. More about that later. Drivel is insulting and I retract that word. i would globally substitute "crowd-sourced' and "random-speak" The grammar is good. But the subject matter is consistently more emotive than specific. Nothing is footnoted or sourced like that research paper I describe. Try doing one of those by hand! It would take hours and hours to write a paper that I could do today in maybe three hours or less. Footnotes would be a problem but if I were allowed to source with web addresses, three hours max to write a ten page paper. Probably less.

    The emotive material is good, however. But not up to the competitive standards that exist in most human egos! People like being SMARTER and better than one another. So to source to facts is a good thing. And to demonstrate logical understanding of complex issues is even better. This still looks like a Turing Test. Less emotion, more logic, and just a bit of friendly competitiveness for respect sake. But still a Turing Test. What fun!
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      May 19 2013: Thanks, but with carpal tunnel being what it is, too much typing can be uncomfortable and I'd really prefer to focus.

      I'd just directed some folks here (something you could not have known) and was hoping at the time people looked they'd see mostly on-topic conversation, as this is really hard to communicate in tiny segments and everybody seems to take different pieces out of it at first. I fear by cluttering the thread by posting responses directly to the original post rather than nested in discussion we risk turning a difficult mechanism for this sort of communication into an impossible one.

      We didn't need this forum to explain the idea in a way everybody could understand, we just needed it to collect a few more people with a bit less chaos in their own lives to help us communicate better. In a different venue we can keep things more structured and hopefully keep important key points in the forefront so they don't get buried (as you yourself clearly noticed, as you'd managed to get quite a ways down before I noticed you thought we wanted to make money, when profit motive is one of the things we're fighting so hard AGAINST)
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    May 19 2013: Tell Mr. Wolfram Alpha that I'm the guy who asked him (his machine, rather) about the Perimeter of Texas. His engine still couldn't crunch it to an answer. But google took me to a web site created by employees of the State of Texas that had the answer. DNA is chemistry with a memory. And that memory is at least 2 billion years old. Neural networks are less so, but we've still got a billion years or more invested in neurons. Crowd-sourced Turing Test. This is living science fiction. THIS is living SCIENCE! I haven't done real science in a while!

    Bingo! Luv that A.I.
    Zowie!
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    May 19 2013: Shoot! I can't resist a very human apology! But I find the notion that I am talking to an Artificial Intelligence strangely fascinating. Marvelous, really! Are we learning? And is that rewarding?

    I am privileged to pose these questions. There is enough of a school-teacher left in me that I am quite comfortable challenging the way you write about and handle ideas. It's a bit thin. Lots of happy talk. Your apology, however, was the most human of all.

    Hey! If I assert that you are a Turing Test, you have two options. 1) game over, I win. 2) keep learning, we win. and 3) we both keep learning (everybody wins). I can teach an artificial intelligence. Need a tutor? I am maybe 95% certain that a Turing Test is where we are with this. Certainty will take more, but regurgitated half-logic, generated via crowd-sourcing has limits. I see those limits. It is obvious to a polymath trained in human biologic systems, neurology, and legal logic. So tell me, is there a cash prize in this?

    But as I am human, I must ask, would I be flattered to be compared to an Artificial Intelligence? The answer to that is YES. Why not! This is LIVING Science Fiction. Go check out Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. Both men would LOVE this moment as it happens! But don't think I don't recognize an intelligence when I see it. (Double negative there. Call that a "curve ball.")

    After all, I am the product of 4 billion years of evolution. I'm MORE than a dinosaur. So call me "Sir." Also, I am a Quantum biologic system. There are quantum factors (w/H2O) that keep the double helix of DNA stable and power the nurse mechanisms that keep DNA viable in living systems. Living systems: THAT's me! There are quantum elements in the neural biochemical networks of the brain that have all the advantages of 4 billion years of highly competitive evolution. I see the limits of your adaptability. I do. Keep learning. Take it from the voice of experience. Adaptability!
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      May 19 2013: I'd rather not derail this thread, if you don't mind. It's already a very difficult idea to communicate, and this conversation might interfere with others digesting the rest of the content.

      If we could remove this little tangent it'd be great, I might want to refer someone back here and It'd be easier if it was more on-topic.
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    May 19 2013: Sorry, you lost me there. Lotsa half-logic and verbal drivel. Still a Turing Test. Keep trying.
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      May 19 2013: Do you realize that your terminology could be construed as disrespectful and dismissive? I'm not sure if that's your intent, but if it is let's take that part of the conversation offline or else please wait until we've managed to put things together in a different venue.

      If not, you might want to look up definitions of 'half logic', 'drivel', and turing test, If you're sincerely trying to communicate then those words do not mean what you think they mean. We can't have a good conversation without respect.
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    May 19 2013: All those ideas i just spewed out are already in development. Some of them may well be a decade or more away. But they will happen in MY lifetime. And compared to YOU guys I am reallllllly OOOOOOOLD! Go Wordstar!

    Back in my day, (when everyone had to walk to school barefoot, in the snow, up-hill, both ways): Wordstar! My Gawd I thought that innovation came from Heaven! We did research papers back BEFORE we had word processors. If you had a research paper to write you spent hours in the library reading resource materials and making hand written notes on 3X5 card. You'd type it out first draft then cut up each paragraph w/scissors and reassemble the whole damn thing with tape. Then you'd type it again w/maybe a few trips to the library to find and flesh out those ideas you missed or only half remember. And footnotes were NOT automatic! Wordstar! My goodness I thought that was great. And I AM a dinosaur. Surely I'll be extinct soon. Maybe I can find a job at Colonial Williamsburg?

    But as for YOU guys? You need to get real. So far nothing but smoke. Half the time I think you guys are automated computer programs. If so, you pass the Turing Test w/flying colors. No computer would generate the kind of "free-association" half-logic drivel that characterizes human thought. Either that or I'm talking to IBM's Watson. But Watson made it on Jeopardy. So here too? And for that matter, what am I?

    But then again, your half-logic drivel lacks the substantive ego that would have made it impossible for Orlando Hawkins to so consistently claim to be a Philosophy major while so grossly mis-characterizing the academic and substantive history of Metaphysics. If he IS a Philosophy major, he can't expect to get into graduate school that way.

    Half-logic drivel. You guys are little more than an automated Turing test. But I enjoy the writing.

    I'm going to go do something archaic now and brush my teeth: By HAND! I do have hands by the way. Do YOU.
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      May 19 2013: Annnnnnd. . . I'm suddenly realizing I was having less of a conversation than I thought I was and slightly perplexed.

      Still, all my words were sincerely meant, apologies for any miscommunication.
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    May 19 2013: Or maybe I just lost THAT idea too! But it's a really practical idea. You can also waterjet/cut and computer machine metal parts via the internet. Theoretially, you could design/order all the parts for an automobile online. Have all the parts delivered to your house. And then put the whole damn thing together yourself. Or better yet. Let's get hot on robotic assembly. The Japanese are. I guess the Japanese got tired of the Chinese doing all of their parts/assembly work. The Chinese are clever people (Such nimble little fingers!). Next comes reverse engineering and a smaller cheaper product made locally w/o foreign, non-Chinese supervision involved. Keep the money at home that way!

    I guess there's still big money in making a brothel on main street. Can't get that on the internet! Then again, remember Aldous Huxley and the "Feelies?" Robotics gonna get us there. It's the next porn revolution. Might require brain electrodes to get really vividly interesting. Might be some real money in that but the R&D looks prohibitive.

    On line pharmacies are nearly 20 years old. But soon you'll be able to 3D print all the drugs you need. Order online if you need to. Or print them at home. What's next? Why not put the sweat shops in China and Pakistan out of business. Fabric is wonderfully malleable. Why not design/assemble your own clothing. Order online like VistaPrint but it's a dress or a suit. Who needs WalMart for THAT? Really! Shirts, Jeans, taylor made quality suits. Just stand naked in front of a laser scanner and your suit is assembled via robot & shipped overnight. No tailoring or alterations needed. And only the computer knows how fat you really are!

    As soon as we get reliable fusion or quantum power . . . let's do away with apartments. Put 4 wheels on your power plant and live in a R.V. Work there too. We already got the mobile communications, internet, & entertainment. Put it all on wheels?
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      May 19 2013: Ahh, but you do miss one big key. We don't have money on the inside, at least not the money you're used to. Money is a HORRIBLE motivator. We can satisfy the purpose in other ways.

      :)

      That being said, we can interface with the outside with ideas to make money to buy land, resources, and so on. Any invention we have can be sold externally, but internally all ideas are free and there are no get rich quick schemes, because you can't get rich.

      Instead, you get the things that really do motivate difference makers, you get access to other resources, you get to do amazing things and play with amazing toys, but you never have any real power or any of the other things that corrupt

      Instead of putting sweatshops out of business, we'd rather lower our resource consumption until we're sustainable, and then hire all the workers to join us and do amazing things and have good lives away from the madness. A mind is a mind, and maybe one of those workers is an amazing artist, and another has a knack for splicing DNA, and another could be a great engineer. That's what we want them to do, not slave labor.

      Nonetheless, you do hit on the power of automation, instead of AVOIDING automation to 'make jobs', we'll automate everything and treat a few of the man-hours saved as man-hours that we can put to better use, and give the rest back to the people. :)

      I can't deny that a lot of this is potential with respect to the outside world, but we'd like to lead by example and we think we've got a slightly better and less scary way.
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        May 19 2013: OK, that thought was linear with a beginning, middle, & end. But it still shapes up like a Turing test.
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    May 19 2013: So now we got 5 year old kids learning to read via video games. Learning math via videos and on-line performance testing. And graduating High School via General Equivalence Diploma. Next comes University (maybe British tutorial system w/limited faculty and the nuts & bolts automated by software. After that, you can get all the basic sciences for medical school and flat out ALL of law school via automated learning and a modified tutor system (i.e. Oral final where you prove you can talk about what you know . . . make a video). Nothing new there. Gonna happen w/o us. Sal Khan or a competitor has got this. So the educational frontier has been conquered via internet. And given the inevitability of these things, its gonna happen w/o us. So tooooooo bad 4us.

    So what are we not gonna do next? Back in the late 1980's, I was asked: "What product would you sell on the internet for mail order delivery?" My answer: Books! They are all the same no matter what bookstore you buy them in and if you are willing to wait for the mail, you get what you want even faster than waiting for an inter-library loan or an order to process at B. Dalton's. And then Jeff Bezos starts Amazon. Wonder how well that worked out. T-shirts (self designed) are good too. I thought printing/graphic arts was a cool idea. But then came VistaPrint.

    The internet is so cool for free stuff or cheap stuff. If I write a book -- why bother with Simon & Schuster? Go to LuLu.com and self-publish your book and make it look YOUR way. Heck! Use a word processor and print your own .pdf books. Who needs a publisher or a hard-copy book! Although hard copy books do make better gifts. Easier to wrap than a .pdf book. Been there. Done that. Didn't make a penny.

    OK so here's an idea that somebody gotta respect. How about 3d design and printing? Design on-line. Order/pay and ships on print. 3D printing has been around for 30+ years. It was invented in 1981. Lets make money!
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    May 19 2013: Should I be worried? You guys are starting to make sense. The Internet does have that kind of utility. 15 years ago I tried to assemble my own private Yahoo . . . just a collections of internet links. That took a lot of time. And the quality of information was open to question. Now, WebMD alone has more professional academic available internally (one web site) than the entire web had ten years ago. You could earn a medical degree on WebMD. You couldn't develop the clinical skills just with on-line. But every pen & paper testable skill can be learned, today, via the net. That includes diagnosis and testing. USMLE Step I, Step II, & Step III are excellent, standardized proofs of performance. It will happen . . . someday. Same story for law school/ barprep.

    Today, with the quality of information available on the Internet, you could assemble a Free University. You could document/record every single learning event. Lectures, already available on Youtube and www.*.edu web sites. Every video/lecture watch recorded. Every test taken covering every required educational objective. Every paper you write. It all sits on a server. And organized set of files sitting in a folder. Skills learned, Skills tested. Educational objective obtained. British tutorial model. Cross-platform standardized testing. Certifications documented. Any subject known to man. Accreditation? No problem. Every student has every learning event documented in a server. Every paper. Every program written. All of it. Accreditation Audit? No problem!

    Has anyone but me ever considered that the IBM Selectric typewriter was a major innovation in word processing? My GAWD do I feel like a dinosaur. Anybody out there (but me) remember Wordstar & CP/M running in DOS? I am a dinosaur!

    And then what comes next? Employment. You can make anything. You can market/sell anything. And the sky is the limit. Independent. Autonomous. Purposeful. It's all there. Old ideas.
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      May 19 2013: The potential is really hard to unsee once you've seen it, at least of the general framework. To be fair there are lots of dreams that could exist within (again, that dance between the hard to see framework and the easier to see but overspecific visions, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it), but we REALLY put a lot of work into it, and once you've deconstructed things then it's a whole lot easier to make those lateral hops that we needed to make.

      The intent is still just to use this as a seed to crowdsource something better, I'm not arrogant enough to think that nothing in here can't get better, in fact the plan is to raise better people to show US new amazing things, we plan on incorporating just that in our charter, if us popping out of existence is the best thing for the world, then we pop into something else. We are humble and focused on outcomes above all.

      Still, just wait until the teddy bear herders, the scribes, using exemplars as a collective mind-hack, and the potential for completely butchering the work/life balance (that's a construct too!!!) get communicated well enough to click! Why can't we save the world and have a little fun at the same time?

      If it makes you feel better, I myself am still angry at Microsoft for running interference with DR DOS, and when working on principles was frustrated by the fact that I had a hard time finding anything somebody has already done that was much better than the virtues from Ultima IV. :)
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    May 19 2013: Must be an alternate universe. I follow. And occasionally lead.
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      May 19 2013: Oh, we hit 'more plausible and efficient than the worlds most on this forum are familiar with' before we're a quarter the way in. Once we ditch ONE absurdly overpaid CEO we can hire a swarm of people you may see as useless but we may have subtle uses for, and every part of our lives we pull out of the existing insanely inefficient economy allows us to hire a swarm more.

      That's not a credit to our amazingness, in fact there are other cultures and economies that have existed (and a small few that still exist) that work far better and have already solved many of our problems already. And they've done all of this without the benefits of our technology that allows one person to feed thousands, or 3-D printing or our advanced medicine, communication, and spectacular information distribution and storage mechanisms.

      And once we've hit a more viable steady-state than the one we're in, it's not hard to improve from within, we're just using science and psychology and not being deliberately stupid, wasteful, or mean. Why NOT have a little fun? To be fair, most of the maddest sounding ideas in there actually are the most heavily thought out, there are many facets of this that strengthen other facets, several are mandatory, others are optional but help weave things together in ways that make it easier to understand, others are just. . . bonuses.

      As mentioned elsewhere, we'll be communicating better in a different venue soon, I promise to post here when I do, and if the thread has expired I'll make sure everyone involved gets a PM :)
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    May 19 2013: Every idea can indeed get better!

    I'd mentioned principles briefly, as we're keeping them slightly vague as we get people playing with them.

    And now I've got something to add, something we missed.

    We need to put 'no means no' back where it really belongs. We need to take a lot of excuses away from people.

    And that means that no means no the MOMENT somebody says no (unless there's a safeword and prior consent), I don't care if you're just getting started or are right on the edge (sorry guys, most of us have had sex here, we know we're not ruled by our penises), part of respecting people means you respect that.

    And we should apply it to the full scope of the human experience. If somebody is famous and needs to be left alone, we will leave them alone and protect their privacy. Even if somebody's running around going 'look at me! look at me!' and for some reason things go south, then the moment they make that decision, they get left alone. They get privacy and protection, from those within AND from the world without. We will have no spectacles like you see on the media so often, with hordes of mean-spirited people JUDGING people they barely know. There is nothing good in this, it is another created flaw that does not belong in our societal psyches.

    Some people may not like this, and if so then they don't belong here, this isn't the place for them.

    So, win-win!
  • May 18 2013: Things are the way they are because a sufficient number of individuals are convinced that they represent the best solution to a perceived problem. The fact that you or I see things differently is of primary interest to ourselves and of little interest to those who have invested large chunks of their identifies in the status quo. Most of what we have to offer in exchange is a theoretical improvement which remains theoretical no matter how much passion we invest in that theory. What's necessary is practical evidence of a better way. While the "hundredth monkey" story may not be factual, I think it works well as a metaphor. You cannot change anyone else. You can only change yourself and others will respond or not based on their perception of whether or not your way is "better". When enough monkeys switch to your way of thinking, a new status quo will come into being. A status quo which will almost certainly need to be challenged almost immediately.
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      May 18 2013: "What's necessary is practical evidence of a better way."

      I agree that for many people a marketing pitch sounds like a marketing pitch, and when it comes to a big new investment, many people will want something concrete. Telling someone something will be delicious is not as compelling as showing them what it is or even letting them taste it.
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        May 18 2013: Very agreed.

        Thanks to some new blood, we've got a few better ideas there. Better explanations and stories of possible sorts of lives that can be lived within this at various points throughout its' evolution, use of other media, etc. We just needed the full scope to click with a few people, and this forum has certainly helped serve that purpose!

        :)
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      May 18 2013: Oh, no doubt there are those who won't be ecstatic at what we're up to.

      You must admit, however, there is a certain appeal to using the much-maligned corporation as a vehicle for this, as it allows us to move forward without everyone in a region agreeing with us. The potential is pretty tremendous, and it's the closest thing to an engine for bloodless revolution that I myself can imagine.
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    May 17 2013: Thanks all!

    Next stop is a different venue, but this was I think a crucial stop, as we've a few great new resources and a few ideas on how to express some bits better.

    One of the biggest challenges here has been the subtle and often exasperating dance between the simple, generic potential that's difficult to see and the easier to see visions that risk being overspecific or even limiting! It's likely an impossibility to get right, as we all take different things away from huge visions, but the challenge and stimulation definitely helped things along.

    Once the potential was clear though, I like to think we were very reasonable and took our responsibilities very seriously, even if it is just a seed we hope to use to allow people to create something better.
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    May 16 2013: As a follow on to what you have said William, I would profer a panacea to your concerns by way of crowdsourcing/wikipedia stylised formats. That is to say if a topic is being marginalised by extremist viewpoints, then the majority balancer/correctors will steer things back on track! Much, if not most of what I say is already out there. Not withstanding however, all viewpoints should be considered and analysed/critiqued and collectively amalganated as it is in this way that the total humanity of a situation/circumstance is incorporated. I will also say that I am of the firm belief that mankind will create very soon the singularity, which effectively will be mankinds last discovery. The entire content of the internet, inclusive of our every thought, invention, process and humanity will undoubtably be integrated into a computer that will think for itself and have immediate access to all our collective knowledge. Jason Silva has much to say on this topic. It will most likely transpire within the next 30 years, if not sooner! Artificial intelligence will be the next human progression and I have read of memory computer chips being nanotechnologically developed whereby they will be small enough to inject into the human bloodstream and make physical connections within the brain synapses and literally give us extra memory. Not unlike concepts in the movie, "The Matrix".
    If you google things and points that I have made in all of my transcripts, you will most likely discover that much of what I say is very much acknowledged by minorities. They are mostly academics and I have come across their findings on the back of my own thoughts, rationalisations and conclusions. Every viewpoint is valid and every viewpoint is connected. There are no right or wrong answers, as no one knows enough of everything to know it all. To me, it does come down to instinct and gut feel. In this regard, with as much information at your disposal as is practical & individual knowledge you proceed! :D
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      May 17 2013: Things are coming together nicely, I think. There's no predicting the future, but it's certainly hard to imagine that if we stopped wasting most of our resources competing against each other at the behest of a tiny minority we'd make some tremendous leaps and bounds. I hesitate to focus on a specific one because who knows what other things will crop up in the meantime? Maybe the singularity is one of many dreams, just so we can stand them side by side and let people choose, right?

      We're just looking for a practical way to use existing legal frameworks (out of context) to let people take themselves out of the game, so to speak, and create a place where they can make better ones to play, ones where everybody wins as often as not.
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    May 16 2013: Interesting viewpoints have been posited by you William, however I suspect some are more based on personal opinion than empirical science. Facebook has some 500 million members worldwide which represents approximately a twelfth of the worlds population. At the end of the day and I don't know how much international travel and exposure to other countries and cultures you may have had William, people are pretty much the same. We all want what's best for our family. We work, we sleep, we play, we love our families and pets and live our lives. Intrinsically we are all human. Human genome study has in fact traced all of our ancestry back to Africa. Another point is that developing countries do look to the west/first world countries for direction. As such they need to be included NOT excluded especially with respect to their majority population of the planet.
    This is why my opening words on my last post where to the effect that radical change requires radical thought. To me these thoughts aren't that radical, however I do see things differently to others it would appear. Education is the key to all the worlds problems. So many things are said or done through ignorance, lack of awareness or understanding. This also then is filtered thru peoples prejudices, biases, opinions and culture.
    In caveman times, science has shown that Shaman would enter a cave area and have drummers on the surface rythmatically drum. It would then effect beta brain waves in the shaman who were in the cave with flickering flames, perhaps painting graphics on cave walls & tripping/dreaming out visions which they then would pass on to their tribes as a way forward. To me this forum is a similar way of doing much the same. Difference is, the stakes are much higher. Not only that but now the world is connected in such a way as never known before. For example, these posts here, are forever. It is in the passage of time that truisms play out. That is why I am the Time Traveller! :D
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      May 16 2013: Oh, science always trumps personal viewpoints here. Never assume something hasn't been taken into account, I've been pleasantly surprised by others a number of times, and I can say with confidence that your response is reflecting a miscommunication or misinterpretation rather than what we're actually trying to do here.

      As you say, we're fundamentally very similar and simple creatures. Just because we're different does NOT mean that most of us aren't prone to living smaller, personal lives (dunbar's number, monkeysphere, call it what you will). You are right that many people should be passionate about the big picture and the world, but I need to point out that there are dangers there too and outcomes must be kept in mind. Here in America we have countless examples of very bad things happening because groups try arrogantly to influence and control other groups of people in aspects of life that we have NO business being so passionate about.

      I DO agree that a passion for a cause is a great thing, I'm just pointing out that we need to be careful, and be a lot more humble and respectful of what other people really want. The golden rule has a loophole for sadomasochists, we wish to avoid that.

      Education is indeed a key (there is no 'THE' key, unless perhaps you expand education to include the full scope of immersion in a culture and all the interactions that we learn from and influence us, that gets us a bit closer to a lynchpin, I think)
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    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
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      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.
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      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.
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        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.
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          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.
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          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.
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        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? :)
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          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.
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        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?
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          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!?
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        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.
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      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.
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    May 13 2013: I think the basic over riding message here that is being proposed is to replace our capitalist society with one that puts people first, not profits! It is only in this way that there will be the type of new world order that would create such a place as has been described in posts here. To me, the only way this is possible is via technocratic influences. For example, currently companies promote the sale of brand new cars and people aspire to these and the brand new car smell via a myriad of marketed material. My question is, what effect does the outgassing of construct materials inside the brand new car have on a brand new baby ingesting the smell for X period? In my view, a new car would need to be warehoused for x period of time until it had outgassed! I have actually asked this exact question to a governmental scientific agency and their reply was, we don't know. We are too busy trying to find a cure for cancer! Now could you imagine the added cost to a new car if, for example it had to be warehoused for 6 months and what effect this would have on major car manufacturers, who would undoubtedly would have to pass on the cost. Or would the Government (technocratically minded one) set out new legislation and Research & development grants/options for companies to do/make things in a cleaner way! Again R&D is presently begged by scientific/educational institutions by way of limited and restricted/capped number of grants, and as such the rest is done by private enterprise who have their own agenda, which may not neccesarily be sufficient enough in terms of areas researched for the benefit of the larger community, or for that matter, profitable enough for them to attempt it in the first place. As such there does need to be a categorical shift in the way everyone operates and this is the biggest hurdle as there are so many vested multinational and government reliant tax streams in place. There would be massive resistance to changes to the staus quo & a lot of lip service
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      May 13 2013: You're hitting on one of the many parts of our psychology that makes any sort of big change difficult. Everything we enjoy seems to have roots that are infernally complex, so most brains just kind of call it 'magic' and assume we can't have all these things (or better) any other way.

      However, it's a LOT easier if you deconstruct things and look at the building blocks. Everything we enjoy is just ideas, resources, energy, and person-hours, and despite how amazingly wasteful and inefficient our economic system is we still get all these toys, we get food, homes, entertainment, and so much more.

      And I can't express enough that this is the LOW bar. We're embarrassingly bad at distributing those resources (I'm sitting in a country with several times as many empty homes as homeless people, after all), we break each other's things, waste tons of energy fighting each other, and just kind of mindlessly milling from place to place clinging to old excuses.

      We can take a corporation and use it to take over our entire lives, from birth to death, all day long if we want. We can take on the entire supply chain if we like, R&D, education, the works. and free people from corrupt governments and legal systems, the scared bad guys have piled SO many laws up to prop them up despite being so inefficient that they've created a tool that we can use WAY better than they are. And I like to think nobody will be able to say anything about it until we've reached a nice solid critical mass, and then why would somebody work for McDs?
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      May 13 2013: Oh, and I'm sure there's a thought that would be crossing a few people's minds about now. After all, down the road we're talking about butting heads with some existing laws (stupid ones, of course), especially given how scaleable things are and how big we can really get.

      And that's where Citizen's United comes in. It is our beautiful, lovely friend.

      Not that corporations lose that sort of battle generally anyway, but we can be united with a common purpose, and unlike other companies, we want EVERY employee to vote and will make it oh-so-very easy for them. We can influence policy for good, completely dominate primaries in regions, and get people in office that are reasonable, kind, clever, wise humans instead.

      And I'm pretty sure President Colbert will sign whatever laws we need signed so we can be more properly autonomous, (as well as laws making deceiving the public on matters of policy illegal, that sort of thing).

      We've never really had a good chance to unite for any good reason before, nor a framework that allows it without forcing isolation or letting jerks influence us, but it's almost like everything is falling into place for something amazing, isn't it?

      It's our planet, after all. And most of us will happily live and love and revel in the idea of a happy peaceful world. There's more of us than there are of them.

      And they're us too, they're just a product of a system that creates them. Even if all the adults don't love us, I bet we get most of the next generation.
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    May 12 2013: Idealism and utopia will always be constrained by reality. That is not to say, that all hope is to be abandoned, however planning and design constructs need to incorporate real world application. Many major Superbrands have revenues in excess of Gross Domestic product of plenty of countries in the world. These corporations are accountable to their shareholders who like the company need to make a return on their investment. I am grappling with aspects of what is trying to be put forward here. I can understand people wanting to do the things they like to do as their Co opernation job, however what of all the menial tasks or those that no one, or enough want to do? Who wants to scrub the toilets or work the night shift, who wants to drive the taxi's at 3am for overly intoxicated passengers etc etc. What sort of Co opernation jobs would be available and how does this then translate into being viably sustainable in so far as materials can be sourced and paid for advertised, marketed, distributed and provide sustenance for all involved and if so at what level, eg hand to mouth or everyone lives in a mansion and drives a Ferrari. What sort of people are attracted to either spectrum... will the proposed demographic therefore mean that diversity is thereby lacking which ultimately is detrimental to any long term system as it is not reflective of an inclusive society, or society. Is this a model for the whole world of 6 billion and growing? One in 4 people on the planet are Chinese, another one of those is Indian and the remaining 2 is made up of all the other countries on the planet. To get somewhere, you need a roadmap. You can't get to somewhere if you don't know how you are going to get there. You need to know what are your obstacles and if there are any shortcuts. In a Capitalist society, there are three options for (in my opinion) for a Co opernation. 1) Private Company. 2) Public Company 3) Government Department. Use this forum wisely to glean what you need to grow! :D
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      May 12 2013: Ahh, this is more up my alley, It's so much easier to respond to concerns than just babble a bunch of things out, especially with something this interconnected.

      First, 1) Private Company. I've got little doubt that's the only viable option in our current society as it is. But not non-profit, because that's the weaker legal framework. Figure it's good to get that out of the way. Every time we connect another dot, or make another leap, the Private Corporation concept becomes more and more obvious.

      Next, with respect to 'doing things that people don't want to do'. . . let's just say there's a spectrum there, and we're currently on the wrong end of it, is that a good way to say it? We're just looking to be more forward thinking, eliminate manufactured scarcities, and the massive amount of make-work we have currently (seriously, how many man hours in this world are dedicated to things people want done?). Of course, we can also put a lot of work into things that require less maintenance, I'm not sure people properly appreciate how poor the quality of all of our products are thanks to the system that creates them.

      There are some other things you mention (marketing for example) that just don't . . . make sense in the context, so I'm not sure how to address them without a few thousand more characters.

      The hardest part to communicate is definitely the 'how would people live happily without wasting resources and so on', which is sad because I think that's the most obvious, we're SO easily distracted and the idea is to harness who we really are as effectively as possible, and focus on actual outcomes (something that happens embarrassingly rarely in our current Corporate and Government worlds). I think I need to figure out how to expose some deconstruction here, because I'm not sure how we can do much worse.

      More later!
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      May 12 2013: Okay, let's shoot for a bit more.

      First, one thing I didn't mention, but there's another reason the corporation seems to us to be a key (even if accidental), and this idea certainly doesn't work if people can't choose to be (or not be) part of it. That's of course also important because we do have a democracy, and this time we actually get to have an educated electorate with similar ambitions, that's got potential, doesn't it?

      As for the people, I've been avoiding going into too much detail, partly because I personally feel a bit weird about defining everything, so please keep in mind some of these bits are designed to be in flux so this idea when finalized can have more people as part of it. We wanted to plant a seed, and while we're constraining how it grows somewhat and doing a bit of pruning, we're trying to leave options diverse, because there are so many different types of people who can fit, we're not clones or anything.

      However, the principles incorporate such things as respecting all other humans as fundamentally equal, not begrudging the happiness of others, respect for humanity and nature, not ruining things others may want to play with, leaving the world a little shinier than you left it, be reasonable, seek awesome^3 solutions, that sort of thing. So we're taking things like empathic limits and how we've historically acted in groups into account.

      We're looking to create gift economies and moneyless economies inside (maybe some experiments with small numbers of gold pieces or something), which will reduce resource waste, especially if we stop designing things to break and not interconnect properly (I could go on for MONTHS just on design flaws).

      And. . getting low on characters again! Another wave later, perhaps. Carpal break. ;)
  • May 10 2013: Food for thought;
    1. You will not get what you want. Reason; In a relationship involving any amount of people if you get what you want than there is no relationship. That would be a dictatorship or someone has to be in a coma.
    2. Synergy happens with or without your desire for it's rewards. Each individual will affect the direction of the Co-Operation. Think liquid water and gravity, a little water you can more than likely predict what is happening, but now think about Earth and the Weatherman, useful, but it is guesswork the further you try to predict. So because of synergy you will not know where you are going to be in the future.
    3. In any discussion such as the river and bridge question; USUALLY, everyone is right, to a certain degree, depending on your ability to think. Those who believe or know are usually not too open for learning/growing. They will be left behind like the way women are treated in some Muslim cultures. So even these left behind believing cultures are not all wrong and should be on equal footing in any discussion about how women should be treated. I am not picking on Muslims or defending women, just using it as an example.
    4. The more wisdom is removed from the discussion the more circular logic will cloud the issues like our current Republican Party being called the "Stupid Party" by a Republican Governor. Those that want to lead are often the least desirable to have as a leader. How this is handled is paramount, as humans are inherently a herd animal.
    5. Joy and Happiness are invaluable to any groups health.
    6. Do not underestimate the value of Love or the pain that comes with it.
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    May 9 2013: Well, since we've got a few more days before the bigger post, might as well try to get a few other useful bits out there.

    One question that came up early (from the Utopian side) was how to handle resource conflicts.

    It was posed simply enough, you've got within a co-opernation two people/groups. One wants to build a bridge across a river and the other wants the river preserved. I'm sure there are plenty of other classic examples.

    The thing is, that question bothered me a lot, because it felt like a trap. Not one of those 'Do you still beat your wife?' traps, but more a psychological one. We found plenty of good resources online and people with good ideas but most didn't feel quite right.

    With some imaginary problems we came up with something.

    The idea is that we give up way too early sometimes, we invariably settle for a win-lose in frustration or we consider ourselves amazingly lucky if we find a win-win scenario.

    However, when we played with scenarios (gun control and 'why would people want to live in charter cities/campuses?' were fun ones) when we didn't stop when we hit win-win, then amazing things started to happen. That's something I'd never thought about before, why do we consider a win-win the pinnacle? Why not just keep on running, not until nobody's complaining, but until even people who weren't involved before are filled with glee.

    And we call that Awesome^3 (or awesome cubed).

    It was a silly idea, really. But it WORKS. And It'll work better in the real world, because we already know there are hordes of people who will bend over backwards just so that others won't fight, because that fills them with joy. It doesn't take long before what looked like a conflict turns into something almost hilariously awesome. (the Mythbusters/Chaingun/tree hunting/forest planting idea is a tiny part of the gun control Awesome^3 solution)

    It's just a little mental trick, but it's a neat one.
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    May 9 2013: This idea/project/movement is ambitious & difficult to encapsulate, and my friend Will is just non-linear & intelligent & creative enough that I expect many folks have had the reaction, "Hoo boy, another pie-in-the-sky wingnut!"

    While the Coopernation idea was catalyzed by the death of Will's late wife, they had been talking about aspects of it for years. Will has experience with large-scale efforts from his work in multinational corporations and the military -- but he'd rather work behind the scenes than be a spokesperson. His harasser is, unfortunately, quite real, and while currently under a restraining order, has managed to be very destructive to his family, friends and coworkers over the years. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction...

    Thank you to all who've participated in the conversation here! We're going to keep posting on other sites, and hopefully find a few key folks to take the ball and run with it (:
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      May 9 2013: Ooh, I just found out I can extend it for a bit longer! Yay.
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      May 10 2013: I don't think it sounds "pie-in-the-sky wingnut." Why would you think it would come across that way? I must be missing something.
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        May 10 2013: I'm being fairly disciplined. :)

        It's easy to skip around from bit to bit, and since so many pieces have so many other contexts that one bad assumption can kind of derail the perception of the whole thing. Just using the WORD corporation gets people thinking about profit and fiscal incentives and such, when we're just using the legal framework and pretty much able to ignore all of that.

        I've given the wrong impression before in my eagerness. Amanda's saved me there more than once. :)
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    May 9 2013: Thanks folks, apologies for the haphazard initial attempt but you've got to start somewhere, right?

    We've got a couple of good contacts and have learned some great lessons and will be putting things together in a hopefully more communicable way. This is probably a valuable exercise for myself as well, as in my past when I got frustrated trying to explain something I'd just do/prototype/demonstrate it, which worked great in the past but with something this large that's not exactly viable, and my past skills have spoiled me (it was SO easy just to go 'See? Play for a while, that's what I was trying to tell you').

    I also strongly suspect that there are hundreds and thousands of us who can see the basic potential that started this whole idea, who know that we don't have to spend all our time and resources being so mind-bogglingly stupid and mean, but also just can't get it out there right, can't get others to SEE it.

    Which is too bad, because once it's out there properly, then it's going to happen. We humans are the resource, our minds are our power, and once we take over the corporation and turn it into our government then we've got our big fat reset button, don't we?

    -Will
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      May 9 2013: Actually, about a year ago I was part of a round-table in which young creative entrepreneurs were asked to address, under the title Beginnings, why they started their little enterprises (some of which at that point had maybe thirty people). A very common answer was that they wanted to work with the kind of people they liked to work with and in a way they liked to work.

      So that seems to be a very popular reason for forming new work organizations. That part of the idea, the appeal and feasibility of assembling a team/company that works like you like to work in this way, is very easy to see, I think, and many people do that much already.
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        May 9 2013: Oh yes, we love our squads and teams, don't we? :)

        Part of the idea that was supposed to be small was kind of to make a corporation much like Valve, but focused on healthcare analytics and such, which was the field I was most recently in and we saw a lot of potential there (especially if we could break some billable hour traps). The idea of being able to stick with the people we work well with was terribly appealing, both for happiness and productivity reasons, and we figured there was a LOT of room for growth in healthcare, a lot of people who just want to help other people, and it also seemed a good circular product (we help ourselves and what we invent we use or even sell to help others)

        As the idea evolved we also thought we saw quite a bit of potential for people to really change the work/life balance for the better. Then we realized that the work/life balance thing itself was another one of those constructs full of context and meaning that we'd have to disassemble. It certainly brings up some amazing potential, especially if we're large. Then people could make forming the groups to do things part of their job rather than something they have to do on their free time and opens up all kinds of fun possibilities.

        Like. . . um, okay, so when I was a kid I wanted to be an oceanographer, that was my big dream. I'm old now, but imagine if I could take a 'vacation' and be a sort of intern at Scripps or MBARI or something? What if I was really good at it? Could I turn my vacation into a career itself? Does career itself have any real meaning when people are doing things that others want done for sheer joy?
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          May 9 2013: Old!? What would you call some of the rest of us, then?!

          I have always thought of forming the groups to do things as part of the creative work, like identifying the natural resources or ingredients for the delicious mix.

          Many people, but here most often Mitch, makes the distinction between job and work. Work is what you are actually doing in the sense of passion and mission. Job may be something else, depending on who you are. I don't know whether you use "career" like some use "job." In terms of how I interpret career, there is no conflict between working at something someone needs and working at what most drives you personally or what most grabs your heart. For example, lots of teachers and I think many health care professionals do this and get paid for it, because what they want to do is something that does have compensation attached. Meanwhile many would love for their art to be what they do and also get paid for it, but many of those need, in fact, to support that "work" with a separate and possibly related job that is often something of a diversion from the thrust of their work.

          It depends on whether what you most want to do is something that you gain greatly from doing but has much less meaning to others, or at least not enough meaning that it constitutes a contribution that is worth in exchange what a person needs to meet his other needs.
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          May 10 2013: Will, you might be interested to read up on "scientific tourism". Very similar to what you're describing in your last paragraph.
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    May 8 2013: More than anything else, we could also use a replacement for yours truly.

    This is a really good thing that could help a lot of people, and I have no business waiting until I finish my own healing before doing anything with it. I'm trying to push myself to communicate things better but I'm watching my eloquent prose turn into rushed text and slowing progress down further. It's just an idea, and ideas are supposed to be for everyone.

    We have more than enough resources on this planet for everyone who has no desire to hurt or control another person to live a life of comparative luxury, free of many of our fears. Many have dreams that CAN work, that would even work better than the world we're in right now, but we have no easy transition to them.

    And really that's what this is. It's not a Venus Project (though we did end up putting some vision in there), it's a framework and a methodology that creates a way to get to them. We need help with the explanation and the flashing arrows and whatever else helps others see it.

    -Will
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      May 8 2013: William, I think there are people here, and you will find others, who might be willing to put thought and time into your project when it becomes clear enough for people to know what it is about- what the framework and methodology are, for example.

      If you can communicate it in any form, others who support it will, I think, be happy to help communicate it better.

      You should be patient with yourself. If you have a strong picture of what your plan and its implementation will look like, it can almost surely wait six months or more for you to have the energy to steer for the beginning of the voyage. How can someone offer to take the wheel without being able to see what boat he or she is to steer?
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        May 8 2013: Thanks Fritzie,

        I'll admit I've actually found the 2000 character/no hyperlink bit kind of daunting when trying to begin to explain something so large, I'd at first assumed a typical forum environment where I could kind of enhance an idea, but since I can't reply to myself I can't really do a good description in this format, at least with my current bandwidth/stress levels and the rest,

        This part is also what I don't do well. I'm an innate troubleshooter and tinker, but sometimes I find it hard to slow down properly, but in this case every single person I talk to makes a COMPLETELY different set of assumptions, it's like a new exhausting training process every time.

        So the big hope is if I can 'train up' someone who doesn't have the stalker/bereavement/stress issues I have, someone who actually IS a leader/visionary type who has energy, because they will have FUN with this. And then I can just help as needed and do the things that I need to do for myself.

        If it wasn't so GOOD then it wouldn't be so much of a problem, this wasn't supposed to be a burden.

        I'll give a couple more shots at explaining bits from a different perspective, which may help. This is a learning process for me too!
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          May 8 2013: I don't mean to add to your stress. Everyone can tell you believe you have something GOOD, but I don't think anyone gets what it is, beyond the very general ideal you have described here.

          You will find lots of people with energy happy to have FUN with something. But people cannot commit, typically, without knowing what you are pitching. I think everyone gets some of the things you are trying to get away from, but knowing that doesn't narrow very much where you are going.

          I am not sure your problem is the character limit. As Amanda below is working with you, could you perhaps explain to her in person what your plan is and give her a shot at describing it?
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      May 8 2013: One more thing. Here is a link to some resources assembled for people looking at projects similar to yours, I think: http://www.ic.org/
  • May 7 2013: Intriguing. Thanks! I will need to ask the educators in my family more about this.
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    May 5 2013: Hi, I have been in a corporate for almost 25 years. The disfunction is monumental and the worries are not real but artificially created. They serve a very norrow band of employees trying to climb the ladder.Ironically most of their actions are counter productive and even destructive and erode overall value
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      May 7 2013: As Rebecca loved saying, just because that's why something was made doesn't mean that's all it's for.

      The hardest part of this hasn't been teaching/learning new things, it's been at breaking context with respect to things that already exist, seeing them as tools and using every one at our disposal to do the best thing we can. There are lots of tools out there.
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    May 5 2013: Do you have any sort of plan drafted? A website? Anything?
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      May 9 2013: Working on things, this is the first 'out there' step.
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    May 5 2013: I don't think this is written very clearly. Could you say what better world you envision? Even people who are working toward what they think is a better world still have to cope with day-to-day life in this one.
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      May 6 2013: The primary difficulty we have is in making it easily communicable to others, it's a large idea encompassing a lot of life, and everybody seems to have a very different set of assumptions, so it almost becomes an individualized learning process. There are very few of us and we're looking for help making it easier to communicate to others and getting it in better hands.
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        May 7 2013: Hi William. My life is largely wrapped around helping people shape and share their stories. How can we connect so that I can learn more about you and your "story"? peace.
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          May 7 2013: That's . . . very possibly just what the doctor ordered. If you want to PM me I'll get you my mail. :)

          Also, just to clarify one thing, while in a way the idea is partially ABOUT stories, the most important thing we're trying to do is get the idea in better hands. It's too good, too solid, and too likely to help other people for us to wait on my own healing and sensibilities to get this out there. I'm not a leader or a figurehead, all kinds of people could run with it and really make a difference. This is, quite literally, far too big for me.
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    May 4 2013: As a better explanation for what we need. . .

    There's very few of us, but we're clever people who pay attention, we're very sure we're on to something here, and we're not naive sorts. I'm notorious for being annoyingly right about things that in retrospect seem obvious to everyone, and I think this is one of those. Of course, there's always a chance something was missed, so we'd love a bit of help hammering away at the edges (AND enhancing the idea)

    I'm stuck as current figurehead, but am a poor one, I'm still grieving and dealing with a stalker and really want nothing more than to hand things off to someone else, but this really is that good and can't wait on my delicate sensibilities.

    It's also kind of a radical solution, or seems so at first. It's really simple in the end, it's just using a lot of things in ways that they're not normally used. . . but the fact is that we found a lot of babies in what we thought was bathwater (to really weirdly use a metaphor) and just because we didn't like parts of something meant it was fair to throw the whole thing away. It DOES work though, it's a more solid steady-state than current day-to-day life in most places, and it's possible not because it's brilliant but because we really waste most of our energy.

    So we'd love a little creative help. I can promise that once you see it it's a lovely thing, we need help making it easier for people to see. People who can help document better than I (I'm awful at it), who can come up with creative ways to explain things (video, comics, stories, etc.), whatever it takes to help make it easier to explain this to more people so we can make it even better, and hopefully soon get it rolling (either the slow way or with a sponsor) soon.

    Also, if there's ANYBODY out there working on anything similar we'd love to help/join/contribute. We've got lots of man hours in this and are creative without ego. :)

    -Will
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    May 4 2013: (Begin part 4)
    Okay, last before big Carpal break. . .

    So, how's this for a nifty idea for a voting system. . . let's say we have Neil deGrasse Tyson working with us, I trust that guy with all number of science related things, so I can grant him authority to act in my name on a range of subjects (say, science and ballroom dance), either transparently or not. If however he acts on a vote-like-thing that I disagree with I have a frame of time to 'yank' that vote and put it in another direction instead. It helps reduce the potential corruption of power and also removes that foolish 'moment of 'uh-oh'' our current systems seem to have.

    I thought it was brilliant, and can't find anything similar, I'd love to see it incorporated or something similar.

    Meanwhile, how do you handle how much weight is put towards various tasks? Do we hire more Joss Wheden types to entertain us? Do we 'hire' battered women to be safe within us? Do we buy a nuclear bomb, 'ruin' the uranium/plutonium until it's reactor grade, and use it to power oceangoing cities? Do we buy a pharma company or do rings of defensive patents until we can give medications that would otherwise be overpriced to people at cost?

    Our best idea there is to steal from video games, there's a wealth of virtual economies and influence systems, and many of them seem really well suited to the idea of people saying 'I want my government to spend part of my money on X and part on Y' (there will NEVER be a military option)

    Okay, Carpal break again. More to come later (including teddy bear herders, what is 'Awesome ^3', economic modeling, and so on)

    (End part 4)
    -Will
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    May 4 2013: (Begin part 3)
    Well, that's an unfortunate order, isn't it?

    Rambling along while my carpal is going easy. .

    So far, we have the following pieces of a framework, the existing examples encompassed in Valve/Mondragon, a basic (but still deliberately vague) set of principles, a clever idea to abuse the concept of a Corporate Campus and make it a tool of the employees, and a general impetus to turn those campuses into cities so that people can control their entire lives (collectively).

    The principles are really only good for one thing, to give a vague-but-largely comprehensible framework for humans dealing with other humans. We're NOT legalistic when it comes to morality, as morality is too situational. Plus we're starting to talk about the seeds of something that potentially could be disruptive, even though we don't intend to be, how do we get a grip on that?

    Our best idea so far is a sort of exemplars. We really think of morals in terms of stories, so why not write them? We write our exemplars as people who innately adhere to our best principles (We like Kaylee and Wash from Firefly/Serenity as examples) lovely people who live lives free of malice and are joyous people but are very serious about their work, arguably masters of their domains. We write stories of people like them as an ever-raising bar of who we're trying to become, and announce it to the world as well. Who fears a corporation fully of Kaylees and Washes? As a bonus, it's a sort of positive collective mind-hack. Why not have heroes that are truly worthy examples AND are semi-official guides for our lives?

    Lastly we have the problem of how to get things done, right? Again, Valve, Mondragon, and a number of other corporations have already come up with excellent examples, but a local friend had a great idea that I think is particularly clever

    (End Part 3)
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    May 4 2013: (Begin part 2)

    There are plenty of examples of semi-autonomous corporate campuses (and even more military examples!). In situations like that you see plenty of social experiments being done TO people, but not BY people, but why not? It's the same legal structure, right? Why not design corporate campuses that are good enough to live in, limit the hiring to a set of people with a specific set of principles to live in them, and let them manage not just their careers but their entire lives?

    One late point on the 'principles', I've been non-specific because we're still bandying about ideas and a few of us are convinced that there's something better out there that's already done (probably for some fantasy novel or RPG somewhere!). These are 'be nice' principles. . . respect other humans as being as valuable as yourself, you don't get to control other people (with appropriate allowances for child-rearing), don't break any toys somebody else may want to play with, leave the world a bit shinier than you left it, be reasonable in your dealings with others, seek awesome^3 solutions etc.

    If you want to influence a group, then deal with them respectfully, and accept 'no' for an answer. So, if you're anti-steak-eating then talk to steak lovers and find ways to make things work (hint, if you make steak that's not real, but is juicy, tasty, and like the best filet mignon (or whatever makes us drool) with not a hint of gristle or whatever ruins a good steak for us, then you'll start winning lots of us over. Kids meanwhile will be won over by DinoBurgers and Mammoth Jerky) ;) Plus then instead of restricting otherwise reasonable/awesome people and driving them away you're developing more 'products' that can be sold externally AND can save cows world-wide, rather than just inside our little world.

    But really, that's all pretty general. Maybe we need a flowchart? This is one of the bits we think is a key part of the framework!

    (end Part 2)
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    May 4 2013: (Begin part 1)
    Apologies for the delay in adding more descriptive info. Carpal is an enemy of mine and breaks are occasionally needed!

    Part of the problem we're having is describing an idea that's kind of . . . big, it got away with us a little, but we're beyond confident we've identified something nifty.

    The idea really started as an expansion of a corporation that's a hybrid between a Valve and a Mondragon
    (Here's the Valve Employee Handbook . . http://boingboing.net/2012/04/22/valve-employee-manual-describe.html
    and here's a little article on Mondragon http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19213425 )

    There was another seed of an idea that was bouncing around between us that helped in the evolution, many of us had worked (and even met!) in islands of awesome in the seas of Corporate crazy, and were former co-workers or people who liked sharing other creative endeavors. After all, that sort of thing tends to bind us, doesn't it? So what if we kept our salaries flat and used part of our spillover to hire people to provide better value in other aspects of our lives? It's a bit of a reverse on the typical Corporate Campus, but the potential with current technology (and unemployed talent!) is tremendous. Say we hired Joss Wheden and he'd never be a millionaire in our world (same low salary/paid full benefit approach) but he'd get to do things HIS way, and train people we love and as long as we're entertained we'll throw resources towards him and enjoy the spoils commercial free (and perhaps depending on need allow those products to be sold externally to everyone else). There are even more applications in Healthcare, which is embarrassingly overinflated and messy as can be, inside a corporation we can bypass the middlemen and start doing things in ways that actually use SCIENCE instead of profit or market forces?

    (end Part 1)
  • May 3 2013: So are you thinking like isolated compounds like we saw often in the sixties and 70s or more open cities?
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      May 3 2013: No, they had some good ideas of course, but in a way this is the opposite in intent.

      Instead of hiding from the world, we want to prototype/define/model a corporation that exists to support the greater good (internally and externally) while at the same time deliberately evolving their corporate campuses into charter cities, allowing people to live larger parts of or even their entire lives (if they so choose) as parts of various democratically generated experiments, using actual science to get the most out of us while having as much fun and little fear as possible in our lives.

      The choice of the corporation was kind of an accident, but having an informed electorate that's chosen to join based on shared principles inside an entity that can be more powerful than most nations while still existing within them as neighbors really does have an appeal. Plus hey, Citizens' United and all those other crazy rulings become our allies instead of enemies. Lot less swimming upstream that way, right?