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An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.

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Everything is evolving, so don't assume too much.

People to watch:
Adina Levin
Andrius Kulikauskas
Britt Blaser
Catherine Austin Fitts
Chris Corrigan
Clay Shirky
Dan Gillmor
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Inspector Lohman
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Joi Ito
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Judith Meskill
Julian Elvé
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Kevin Marks
Lawrence Lessig
Leif Smith
Letecia Layson
Lilia Efimova
Lisa Rein
Marc Canter
Mark Oeltjenbruns
Mark Pilgrim
Mark Woods
Martin Dugage
Martin Roell
Mary Forest
Matt Mower
Max Sandor
Michael Fagan
Mike Owens
Mikel Maron
Mitch Kapor
Mitch Ratcliffe
Nathalie dArbeloff
Noam Chomsky
Paul Hughes
Peter Kaminski
Phil Wolff
Philippe Beaudoin
Ray Ozzie
Raymond Powers
Rebecca Blood
Roger Eaton
Roland Tanglao
Ross Mayfield
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Sebastian Fiedler
Sebastien Paquet
Skip Lancaster
Spike Hall
Steven Johnson
Stuart Henshall
Thomas Burg
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Timothy Wilken
Todd Suomela
Tom Atlee
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Ton Zijlstra
Lionel Bruel
Loic Le Meur
Nancy White
Mark Frazier
Merlin Silk
Robert Paterson
Colby Stuart
Nova Spivack
Dan Brickley
Ariane Kiss
Vanessa Miemis
Bernd Nurnberger

Sites to watch:
Action without borders
Co-intelligence Institute
Disclosure Project
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Explorers Foundation
Forbidden Science
Free Expression Network
Friendly Favors
Global Ideas Bank
Greater Democracy
Independent Media
Manufacturing Dissent
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Do No Harm
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Ming Chau
Serge Levan
Jean Michel Billaut
C'est pas Mécanique

IRC: #FrenchChat

A Quote I like:

I live in Toulouse, France where the time now is:

Click for Toulouse, France Forecast

Other sites around 43.592N 1.4119W

Contacting Me
I get many hundreds of e-mail messages per day and my inbox is becoming increasingly useless to me. So, if you write to me, don't count on an answer unless we know each other really well, or your communication is short and clear. Oh, I'm very friendly and approachable, but I don't have hours enough in my day to read everything.
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 Different Worlds
There's a certain type of problem I occasionally have had in the past with certain individuals which usually ended up spending a lot of time for both me and them and ending in a depressing result for everybody concerned.

And, now, I've recently been wondering here what makes Mark tick, since he's a person who seems to have a lot of drive and willingness to do something in some areas I'm also very interested in, but we also seem chronically out-of-synch when we try to talk about it. And it seems like a case of different world views to me.

Now I think it was Mark's quote contest that made me understand something, and then step back and glimpse a bigger picture which might be worth looking at. And I will try to present that as objectively and constructively as I can manage. This is a bit sketchy, though.
[ | 2002-02-26 00:55 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Group Specifications
These are some sketchy ideas around the subject of specifying what a group is about, so that people know what they go into when they join it, and so that others know what to expect from the group.

I believe that a lot of inter-personal conflict comes about because people have different, unspoken assumptions about what group they're in together. If I think we're doing A and you think we're doing B, and we haven't really talked about that, then no wonder we'll get into an unsolvable argument about how to do things.
[ | 2002-02-22 21:08 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Making NCN work for you and me
pictureI feel like I'm saying the same things over and over, but sometimes it seems to be necessary. NCN is a somewhat strange and unusual entity, so it is a little hard to fit it into a known category. It is not an organization for one thing. It doesn't have one particular agenda or product, and it doesn't have a hierarchical leadership. It has a sort of meta-agenda, which is to provide a framework that supports all sort of constructive agendas. And it is meant to be self-organizing in a network layout, not controlled through a hierarchy.

Some people run a bit afoul of the whole thing and end up disappointed that it doesn't do the "right" thing, so I figure I've better outline that a bit more. If you feel you already "get it", you might not have to read on.
[ | 2002-02-22 13:57 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

picturePart of the reason why I started NCN originally was because I felt it was time to take action. Enough talk, enough philosophizing, now we need to actually build something together based on what we believe in, and now we need to actually go out and make the world right, as if it depended on us.

It is no different today. I wouldn't pour most of my time into building this virtual environment here if it was only going to be a social club. The only reason I keep doing so is because I still believe we'll find out how to arrange things so that we actually make a difference in the world. So far we haven't found the formula.
[ | 2002-02-21 14:37 | 44 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Diversity of Perspectives
pictureA recurring phenomenon in NCN is the friction that appears when people find out that they don't agree. It seems very ingrained in our habits to expect that the people we connect with all have to have the same world view. And if they don't, we'll somehow persuade them to have the same world view. And if, after a lot of trying, we still can't agree, then they become our enemies, and either we get them kicked out, or we ourselves leave.

I have often preached that the only viable way forward is to embrace the fact that we'll always have a diversity of perspectives and preferences, and that it doesn't stop us from sharing the same bigger space, and from finding synergies amongst our various activities. And that we would be more likely to succeed as a diverse group than as a homogenous group, all believing and saying the same things.

Exactly how that is going to work, I don't yet know. But I know it is of vital importance to solve that whole issue.

Below is a message on the subject I wrote a few years ago.
[ | 2002-02-19 19:34 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Billions and Billions
pictureThere's a story that is part of NCN's earlier history that many of the currently active members probably haven't heard of, so I just want to bring it up again, for possible inspiration.

In short, for a while it looked very, very likely that an extraordinarily huge amount of money would be flowing into what we would call the New Civilization Foundation, which would be used for funding many of the projects we collectively could envision, and that would tangibly build a new civilization.

It is a strange and, for many, completely unbelievable story, so I'm not even going to share all of it, but I'll bring up a few hints.
[ | 2002-02-18 14:50 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Ocean of Possibilities
pictureYou are floating in an infinite ocean of possibilities. Anything and everything that you can think of is happening somewhere in the ocean. It will happen whether you are there or not.

The ocean has waves and currents. Wherever the currents take you there will be events to experience. The events will be provided for you by immense forces beyond your immediate comprehension and control.

If you don't know where to go you will still go somewhere. If you don't care where you go then just hang on and your path will develop a meaning in itself that you can study.

If there are places you want to go, then the ocean is at your complete service. It will take you wherever you need to go, and it will provide suitable experiences for you. However, it is a requirement that you must let the streams take you, you cannot control the ocean.
[ | 2002-02-17 15:52 | 6 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Going beyond Normalcy
pictureHere's another old article of mine. A significant obstacle to getting to anything really NEW is that most people navigate in a greater or lesser degree by what appears NORMAL. We've mostly given up on understanding everything around us fully, so, very often we'll just sort of look around us and notice what others are doing and saying, and we'll base our actions on that. We'll do that even if the actions around us really make little sense. So, if people drive cars fueled by former leaves and dinosaurs (oil), we might think we're being really radical by demanding that they should use it a little more slowly and drive longer on it. Where we might have gotten much further by changing the underlying assumptions altogether.
[ | 2002-02-15 14:49 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Inspiring thoughts on valentines day
My wife forwarded the message below to me. As did several others. I guess it is quotes from different sources, so the authors are not clear. But it adds up beautifully
[ | 2002-02-14 22:17 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Minciu Sodas laboratory
pictureOne of the groups I occasionally participate with is the Minicu Sodas Laboratory in Lithuania, which coordinates various activities about how to collect, represent and share thoughts on the Internet. For example, they're working on standards for how to transfer structures of thoughts/ideas/concepts between different programs that help you to organize your mind. That might be mind-mapping software or personal organizers or creativity tools, etc. See this page for an overview. This is dense and rather mental stuff, but important in terms of working out how to effectively network diverse collections of information and people.
[ | 2002-02-14 21:00 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The start of NCN
pictureIt might be useful to look again at some of the elements that came together to make NCN happen in the first place, almost 6 years ago. Maybe because a note was struck then that we've somehow stopped hearing, or maybe because we need to learn from past mistakes, I'm not sure. Below I include my own brief rendition of what happened, written way back then as well. In retrospect, those were very hopeful, excited times. It seemed like something big and very promising was put into motion. Note that at the time I wrote this, NCN wasn't much of a website. Just a couple of pages with people's projects on. No member area like this. The discussions were all taking place over e-mail.
[ | 2002-02-13 03:59 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Choose the best thought
picture There's a very simple technique that I have found to be very helpful in changing one's outlook for the better, particularly in times where things seem gloomy. The principle is simply:

 - - Always choose the best thought that is available at the moment - -

No matter what situation you're in, there are always multiple choices available as to how you might think about it right now. And amongst those choices, even if they're all relatively gloomy, there will be a best (most positive, most constructive) thought. Choose that one.
[ | 2002-02-12 17:36 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Surf Reports
pictureBelow is a message from Soleira Green of SOULutions. Which sort of strangely resonates with me. Not as a general new age philosophical thing. But as a reading on where we're at right now. And it reminds me of the wonderful surf reports from Solara, who's a different person, despite the similar name. Its good with people around who have their fingers on the energetic puluse.
[ | 2002-02-12 03:35 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Radiant Thinking
pictureI'm going to try bringing up some of my older writings once in a while, at least when I don't have time to write something new. Let me apologize if it sometimes sounds like I'm all-knowing and I'm telling everybody else what to think. That might indeed be because it often is articles that come from a context where I was supposed to be teaching something. Anyway, the little piece below seems to be fitting at this point, thinking about the global brain and how to extend more neurons amongst us in the noosphere.
[ | 2002-02-11 23:16 | 6 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

pictureMost of the weekend I was working on syndication features for the news logs. It is not fully ready to go for anything other than the news that show on the ncn public home page, but since it is probably a new idea to many, I'll better start explaining some of the ideas. The thing is that there are simple standards that are very useful for creating news feeds that can be picked up elsewhere on the net. Specifically, there's a standard that Nescape originally developed to create "channels", which is called RSS (Rich Site Summary). What it particularly is useful for is allowing sites with newslogs, weblogs, blogs, or anything like it, or regular news sites, to provide a list of the 10 most recent items they have. That forms a channel. That channel can be picked up by special aggregator sites, which gather news from many different sources, or it can picked up by programs that one can run on one's desktop, or another site can pick up the most recent items from a news site, and use that as a dynamic component of their own site.
[ | 2002-02-11 14:15 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 L.A. Futurists / Singularity
pictureFriday I went to a monthly meeting of an L.A. Futurists group, lead by John Smart of Singularity Watch. Very enjoyable and interesting people. It didn't quite dawn on me before afterwards what the talk about Singularity is about. It is sort of a concept of technological ascension, where a bunch of rapidly moving trends come together into a quantum evolutionary leap for humanity. It makes sense to extropians, of which I'm sure there are a bunch in NCN as well. Extropians are a bit hard to describe, but it is a sub-culture of technologically oriented people who stereotypically believe in a peculiar mix of things such as cryogenic life extension, artificial intelligence, genetic augmentation of the human body, optimistic materialism, etc. I used to hang out in extropian discussion groups for a while, but I can't entirely connect with the mindset.
[ | 2002-02-11 04:06 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Action without Borders
pictureThis evening I went with Jane Jeffries to one of the many meetings that Action without Borders called into happening today. 136 different meetings in lots of different countries, including many in Africa. In a weird way, part of what attracted me was that the premise seemed even more vague than what NCN came together around. But also that their site at idealist.org is great for networking people and resources, and it all seems very like-minded to NCN in many ways. Like, this is their mission statement:

"Action Without Borders is a global network of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.
[ | 2002-02-06 02:27 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Please read this sentence:





Count the F's.

How many did you find?

The correct answer is below.
[ | 2002-02-01 01:06 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Many paths, but only one is yours
pictureAs has happened a number of times before, an NCN member just cancelled her membership, giving as a reason her disagreement with the idea that anybody's truth is equally valid, and that all paths lead to the same place. Now, that is a common misunderstanding. I don't think that is something I've said, or something that is any common NCN belief. But it is occasionally interpreted that way. See, I think that NCN should be an example of a space where any constructive approach is welcome, and where people with all sorts of beliefs can co-exist. A place of creative and constructive diversity. That does NOT, however, mean that any one of you is supposed to agree with everybody, or that you're supposed to believe some kind of mish-mash of everybody else's ideas at the same time, or that you're supposed to believe that everybody else's approaches are equally good and true.
[ | 2002-01-25 13:33 | 18 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

pictureIn trying to figure out what democracy really is and how it might work, I notice in the dictionary that the ending -cracy signifies "rule" or "government" by the agent specified by the initial element. Thus democracy, theocracy, technocracy. But, really, I'm not at all interested in being ruled by any agency other than the whole and my own sense of what is right within it. So, maybe we need a system that isn't a -cracy. Or, if anything, it should be a "Holocracy", a system that is governed by the whole, by itself. Holocracy would be the government of whole systems. And, searching on the web for that term, it incidentally leads me to some interesting folks who are using that word. For example REM and my friend Neutopia;
[ | 2002-01-25 02:31 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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This is a collage of things that catch my eye, things that need to be said, and stuff I really care about


Barthas castle. Halloween party for Americans in Toulouse.

Previous stories
  • Jumps

  • 2011-11-24
  • Blind and Automatic Punishment

  • 2011-11-20
  • Order and violence

  • 2011-11-19
  • Corruption

  • 2011-11-17
  • Your inner piece

  • 2011-11-15
  • Being prepared

  • 2011-11-14
  • Noi siamo la Nuova Civilizzazione

  • 2011-11-10
  • World Transformation

  • 2011-11-08
  • Do what you do

  • 2011-11-07
  • Notice the incidental

  • 2011-11-06
  • Counting what counts

  • 2011-11-03
  • Seeing the world through the Internet

  • 2011-02-23
  • The Collective Intelligence Singularity

  • 2011-02-01
  • Slow Mo Flow

  • 2011-01-23
  • Authenticity

  • 2011-01-22
  • Recognition

  • 2010-08-23
  • Semantic Pauses
  • Where's Ming?

  • 2010-07-20
  • Getting other people to do stuff

  • 2010-07-14
  • Consciousness of Pattern

  • 2010-07-10
  • Strong Elastic Links

  • 2010-07-08
  • Truth: superconductivity for scalable networks

  • 2010-06-28
  • Pump up the synchronicity

  • 2010-06-27
  • Doubt
  • Be afraid, be very afraid

  • 2010-06-22
  • Inventory

  • 2010-06-19
  • Conversations

  • 2009-11-01
  • Seven questions that keep physicists up at night

  • 2009-10-29
  • Convergent or Divergent

  • 2009-10-28
  • Then a miracle occurs

  • 2009-10-27
  • Compassion Exercise

  • 2009-10-26
  • The power of appreciation

  • 2009-10-25
  • Opinions, perceptions and intuition

  • 2009-10-16
  • Magic reality

  • 2009-10-15
  • Abstraction

  • 2009-10-14
  • Feeling the world

  • 2009-07-27
  • Reboot 11 / The Art of Not-Doing

  • 2009-06-16
  • Baseline technology

  • 2009-06-15
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  • 2009-06-11
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