jock mctavish Posted over 4 years ago Reinventing government - what would it look like? http://www.gov.nu.ca/wpc/nunavut.html no, haven't heard of tom atlee before. will look up. but you're describing the practice of the "talking stick" or "talking stone" practiced by many aboriginal groups. very interesting to use the technique in a mixed group where typically the extraverts dominate the conversation to the annoyance of the rest. whoever has the stick has the floor. and noone speaks except the person with the stick. including if he/she is just gathering their thoughts or waiting a bit. when done that person passes the stick around the circle. persons who don't want to speak don't. it is incredibly powerful as a tool because suddenly everyone is actually listening to the speaker, and not thinking about their own retort. you remind me of robert persig's work on "quality" and his two books "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" and "lila". he's built up a webpresence on the same themes. in lila he made the astonishing claim that it was the 5 nations that invented democracy. and that the founding fathers of the us were well acquainted with the "iroquois constitution." http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/IroCons.html they had a means of stopping war that is most beautifully put in the image of an eagle atop a tree beneath which the weapons of war were buried. they had a beautiful balance between men and women in their system. there were many clan longhouses presided over by matriarchs. they each sent a man to the tribal councils. if such a man broke certain rules he was shunned and that longhouse would lose a turn sending a rep to the council. some have suggested that the only progress we've made is the size of the tribe is bigger. to a lady living in seclusion, that might be some small comfort.