Ming the Mechanic - Category:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, February 22, 2008day link 

 Blogging or Logging
Blogging is a bit too much like publishing. I mean, writing articles to be published.

Of course different people use the medium differently. Some people still just write about what their dog had for breakfast. But, with few exceptions, the blogs that are interesting to read consist more or less of articles that people write.

But that makes it less fun and useful to write. Writing an article is for me connected with deadlines and trying to match the expectations of the audience. Where I'd rather write a weblog for me, and then maybe share it with others as a second thought.

So, what happened to the idea of "log" or "logging"?

See, a log is really something more directed. One might keep a log if one is working on something. A record of one's progress, one's discoveries.

Like, a learning log, or a research log. One is working on finding something out, solving certain problems, arriving at certain goals. And one keeps a record, which charts the path, maybe for others to learn from too.

That's not how I use a weblog. I'd like it to be. But that would require a re-framing.

In that case one would set a theme or a goal. It is quite possible that the process would have an end, as one either reaches the goal, or one no longer is interested in the subject. So, one would open up new logs, keep them going as one is continuing exploring the subject matter, and one closes them when one is done.

That doesn't work so well with the way we currently use blogs. I'd expect a person to have preferrably one blog, which I can subscribe to in my blog aggregator. If they have several, it is a little annoying, and if they close them down and start new ones, it would be more annoying.

Regular blogs have categories or tags. Which of course can be used for particular threads. But typically one tries to subscribe to everything one person is blogging, and you might get a mix of postings on very different postings. Which is why most blog owners feel obliged to keep a certain uniform atmosphere in all the postings, as if it were a magazine, with a certain style and theme.

But, say I wanted to log several different of my interests and activities. Like me right now, I'm interested in photography, rollerskating, genealogy, Ruby on Rails programming, plus a whole bunch of other things I'd be more likely to write about on my blog. But, say I wanted to have a log of my experiences as a novice photographer. There are lots of blogs like that, where people share their photos, talk about their equipment, etc. Just like there are lots of blogs about genealogy, where people talk about their research, resources they find, etc. But if I mixed all of that together, it might not be fun for readers who aren't interested in those things, who just want to see me write about alternate dimensions or new civilizations or something. So, would I have a different blog for each? That would be quite feasible, if they were ongoing interests. Less so if they were more short lived. I don't think it is very comfortable to maintain several separate blogs, though.

From the user perspective, the author, the logger, me, I'd really want just one interface for an assortment of logging subjects. I wouldn't want to log into a different account for each one. Rather, one interface where I freely can add new subjects, and add log entries for any of them. Some of those subjects would be just for me, others I would choose to share, and maybe make public.

Of course, those logs that one chose to make public could be channeled into what appeared as different blogs for the rest of the world. But I wouldn't experience it like that. I'd just log stuff in my logging application.

And it would open the door to a different way of presenting or interacting with such logs. I mean, if each one logs the evolution certain subject, which maybe now is done, I'd like better ways of dealing with that sequence of events as a whole. It wouldn't just be an abandoned blog, but simply the log of a finished project.

People do put stuff like that on their blogs, but it might be hidden between lots of other things. A log of remodeling my garage is a perfectly valid and complete project. Doesn't have to either hide between posts about totally different things, or be a very short lived and abandoned blog.

If one keeps a log of actually going somewhere, trying to accomplish something, it also invites additional functionality to give the full picture. A project or a quest isn't just a series of equally important log entries. Some things will be more important than others. There will be key discoveries, reevaluation of priorities, ups and downs, a growing body of knowledge.

As one example, one might have a wiki-like area, functioning in parallel with the log, in which one puts the more permanent record of what one has learned or accomplished, the subject matter of the log. And maybe its versions would be synchronized with the log, so that one could see the evolution of the more permanent part. At the point of that particular log entry, how did the list of links look? How did it look the week after that?

It ties in with a project I'd like to do, but which I haven't carved out enough time for yet, which is to structure environments for particular purposes. Dynamic webpages that are structured so as to support what one is trying to do. A brainstorm takes a different structure and different tools than does a research project or the process of starting a new company. Each one involves some combination of logs, notes, permanent records, links, lists, outlines, ordering, sequencing, randomity, and more. If you don't use an environment that supports what you want to do, it doesn't work so well. A blog or a wiki or a forum do different things and inspire different kinds of behavior. The right constellation of interdependent tools can accomplish something more precise in a more appropriate manner.

This post here could be said to be a log entry in the project of building such things. But putting it right here doesn't help me much in keeping a record of my progress.
[ | 2008-02-22 16:36 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, March 20, 2006day link 

 Key Concept
picture Andrius reminded me of a conversation we had on Key Concepts. The idea being that if one is clear on what one's key concept in life is, it is easier to align one's activities and stay focused. What we had arrived at at that time was that my key concept, what I'm seeking, is:
Creative Intelligence Through Synergetic Diversity
Along with that went an investigatory question, i.e. a major project, a major question one is seeking to answer. Mine became:
What are the generative patterns that would allow the global brain to wire itself?
That's a great reminder. So, first, about that key concept there... Most things I'm interested in have something to do with getting something useful out of diversity. Finding a mix of things that is synergetic, i.e. where the sum becomes more than the parts. An eco-system kind of thing, where different diverse parts somehow work together to make a bigger system work. Something generative happens. Smaller holons make a bigger holon. And this is in contrast to the kind of diversity where one mixes different things together and they just become a mix, or a confused mess. There are ways of mixing things together where something great happens that wouldn't be possible by the ingredients alone. And what is interesting to seek to create or discover is an intelligence. A smart system. If we're talking a group of people, it is collective intelligence. A group of people that together is smarter than the individuals in it. But it doesn't have to be a group, which is why I just termed it creative intelligence. Putting things together so that something new, better, creative and intelligent happens. Negative entropy. Creating life, rather than submitting to decay. Looking for signs of life.

And the investigatory question there... Looking for patterns, ways of arranging things, which foster self-organization. Preferably, ideally, hopefully patterns that make wonderfully positive things happen "by themselves", i.e. naturally, with little friction. Memes, contagion of ideas. Bucky Fuller's "Design Science Revolution". Design stuff that is compelling to use, without need for persuasion, which just happens to inspire more sustainable and harmonious patterns of behavior.

The global brain, well, we seem to really need it. As it is right now, humankind is a schizophrenic moron. Or manic-depressive, maybe. Sometimes brilliant and productive, mostly lethargic, largely criminally destructive. Despite that many members of the human race are well-meaning, knowledgeable and resourceful. We desperately need to be connected in a manner that is constructively complex, so as to awaken our collective intelligence. Maybe that is something we can do on the internet, maybe it is a different way of doing a few key things. It appears that none of us are smart enough to solve the puzzle. But we might be smart enough to discover patterns that allow something bigger to emerge. We might not be clever enough to know exactly how to do it, but we might know how to start something that triggers the emergence of a bigger level of intelligence. Patterns that promote self-organization and collective intelligence, even small scale, are a very likely leverage point. One ingredient is to know when to get out of the way, and let useful things happen.

Does any of that give me a title to put on my business card? Maybe not directly, but it is possible. Of course, any kind of organization could use some of that. The knowledge to arrange things a little differently so that good things happen more by themselves. And of course it would be ideal if I could say I have the answers to exactly how that is done. But we're talking about a quest, rather than an accomplished feat. A bit of knowledge might go a long way, though.
[ | 2006-03-20 00:28 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, March 13, 2006day link 

 Gold mining New Civ community
Baron Berez has a proposal. Creating a community in Nevada, funded by a gold mining operation, but creating a new kind of community, a new civilization outpost.

Now, in the New Civilization Network there has a been a few proposals on the table over the years, aiming at creating some kind of community. NCN is about creating a different kind of world, and if it shouldn't be just talk, it makes sense for somebody to do it for real somewhere. But how? It seems like an attractive idea at first. Buy a desert island in the South Pacific, or some large piece of land far away from everything, and start over, and do things the way they should be done. But how exactly is that? Who decides how that is, and how do they decide? How does it get funded?

How to organize it still remains to be seen. But maybe Baron has an approach for the funding. 20,000 acres in Nevada that he acquired mining rights to at some point. Surveys have shown that there's around 1 million ounces of gold to be extracted from there. An ounce of gold goes for around $560 at the moment. It isn't a sure thing, of course. And it will cost significant money to set up the mining operation.

Baron is a shrewd businessman and investor who has done well. I don't know the details, but obviously he's somebody who doesn't have to work for a living. He's also about retirement age. And I guess he's more keen on doing something that leaves a bit more of a legacy.

The project needs some start capital to get going. $350,000 to set up an initial mining operation, to verify that it is viable, and to set up the legal stuff. 35 parts of $10,000 Baron is thinking.

But then the idea is that a significant portion of what would come in, 25%, will be directed towards creating a community, focused on building an infrastructure of sustainable and emerging technologies. Solar, wind, waste recycling, etc.

Can this work? Well, why not. It could be a very exciting project. If enough people get around it that find it exciting, at least. And if the plan is put together well.

There's a lot of unknowns there, of course. Lot of issues of who decides what, and according to which principles. A few major disagreements can throw off a thing like that. How would the community work? Would the investors have the final call on what goes? Would Baron? Is it a democracy? An anarchy? A corporate structure?

Does anybody think it is worth the trouble?

What I proposed to Baron was to just put it forward in a blog, and see who salutes it. Which is what I'm doing here too. A project like that needs to be able to withstand a bit of public scrutiny. Plus, it goes nowhere unless a group of people will find it exciting.
[ | 2006-03-13 20:03 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, January 31, 2006day link 

 The Wearable Home
Dave Pollard has a proposal
I have written several times about the idea of a 'wearable home' -- a self-contained environment that would allow the 'wearer/resident' to live comfortably 'outdoors' anywhere on Earth. The standard human solution to the problem of inhospitable climate is an extravagant invention called the 'single family home', which contains as many as a dozen different single-purpose unconfigurable 'rooms', must be abandoned in favour of another model when the occupant's lifestyle changes, and consumes huge amounts of fossil fuels to keep the entire structure at a comfortable temperature, even when the occupant is away from it.

There are several more economical solutions in widespread use. The most enduring of these is the deer-and-harehide suit of the aboriginal peoples of the Arctic, which allows the hunter-gatherer tribes to travel long distances comfortably, and requires the construction of only a simple, inexpensive and temporary dwelling for the few activities that cannot be carried out comfortably out-of-doors. These natural suits are, for the Ihalmiut, the perfect house.

In areas more hospitable to us naked humans (the tropics), the few gatherer-hunter peoples that have not been exterminated by Agricultural Man build only temporary structures and abandon them as their communities migrate across their hunting and gathering range. They lead the most leisurely lives of any humans on the planet, spending most of their lives 'outside' and hoarding nothing.
Actually, the proposal comes here:
So I'd like to propose a collaboration: Let's create, together, the Wearable Home. The three steps in doing so are:
  1. 1. Develop a complete specification for the Wearable Home -- what it would have to be able to do.
  2. Research current and evolving technologies that meet these specifications.
  3. Design it.

Here's a very incomplete start to the specification:
  • It would have to be comfortable and allow full freedom of movement in any weather conditions
  • It would have to be, if not fashionable, at least not ridiculous-looking
  • It would have to incorporate the portable communication, information and entertainment technologies that we now take for granted, built-in, without having to carry around bulky or heavy 'peripherals'
  • It would have to allow us to see and function in the dark, using either built-in lighting or some other optical technology
  • It would have to be either easy to clean or keep clean, or self-cleaning
  • It would have to be comfortable enough to sleep in, ideally without the need for bedding
  • It would have to be customizable both stylistically (we don't all want to look the same) and functionally (e.g. temperature could be regulated to personal preferences)
  • It would not replace the need for a place to store and cook food, but would obviate the need for every other room in the modern 'single family home' except the kitchen and (probably) the bathroom
I like it. Of course that should exist. It should be an option at least. A typical single-family home weighs around 150 tons. Seems a little excessive that that's the default way of living. Not to mention that it isn't mobile, so I'll be out of my shell when I'm everywhere else.

Imagine that - a suit that would allow me to live comfortably outside anywhere on Earth, from the arctic to the tropics. Of course I'd expect some fancy technology to be involved. It would need to keep me warm, or cool me down. It would need to be wired for communication. It would need to store power for these things.

It would be nice if one could feel free to explore the world without having to have scheduled a $100 hotel room every night, and without always having to get "back" to somewhere.

I have a hard time imagining having no other home, but I'd like to have it as an option at least.
[ | 2006-01-31 13:08 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Friday, May 2, 2003day link 

 Fill the Chalice
picture One of the reasons I initially connected with Britt's talk of Xpertweb is that a few years ago I was also working on figuring out how to make a new kind of infrastructure that might help ordinary folks interact economically in a generative way. Julie Solheim and I were working on what we called the Chalice Network. Some of the positioning we used makes me cringe a bit today, and some of the explanations are a bit naive, but, hey, it was directed at an L.A. new agey crowd. Not to try to insult anybody. Anyway, one of the reasons it didn't happen is probably that I didn't quite succeed in getting the formulas worked out right. Another reason is that it wasn't peer-to-peer. It was a centralized thing one had to sign up for. As opposed to something that could spread pretty much by itself. Regardless, there were some key points made in the Chalice Network, which would be useful to bring up here.

People operate economically in many different modes and have different motivations. Some people are focusing on making money. Some people have certain goods, and want different goods, and are looking to trade. Some people focus mainly on choosing where they can best provide their services freely, to achive the best possible result. Which mode people are in might have something to do with how abundant they feel, but not necessarily with how wealthy they are. Rich people might well be very focused on making more money, and poor people might very well be focused on giving things away.

To serve several kinds of economic needs, the Chalice Network was envisioned to have three levels, or three entirely different ways of interacting economically. Anybody could exist in all three, but it is quite likely that a given person would find one of them to be the best fit. We gave each of these realms a romantic name, as follows:

Realm 1 - The "Avalon" Level - Free giving and receiving. You can choose what services and resources you would be willing to give freely to others, to what extent, and under what circumstances.

Realm 2 - The "Round Table" Level - Local Exchange System. You can exchange services and resources with others without any need for involving money. An accounting system allows you to use services that you need and to provide services where they are required, as long as the inflow and outflow remains fairly balanced.

Realm 3 - The "Castle" Level - Network Representation System. You can list services or resources you will provide for monetary exchange. You can also choose to act as an agent representing the services of others in the network, in exchange for monetary compensation. In other words, you can promote the services of others in the network to anyone you choose, and you will receive percentages of sales. In addition you will receive Local Exchange credit for using this system, whether it be as a provider or as a representative.

It would all be a directory of people offering certain services. They could take three drastically different kinds of payment. In Realm 3, the "lowest" level, we're talking about regular dollars, yen, euros, etc. People sell stuff to each other. And there's a system of pre-negotiated percentages that can be given as commission to others who help make exchanges happen. There was a bit of a multi-level thing there, to motivate people who are money-motivated.

Realm 2 would be a LETS system, i.e. exchanges would happen in an invented local currency, acting as a medium in barter exchanges. If you need something, you would be able to buy it, even if you don't have any dollars, as long as your account stays fairly balanced.

Realm 1 would be a gift economy. There would be a directory of services or goods available for free, and under what terms and conditions.

The hidden agenda was that people would be gradually magnetized towards Level 1. They might start by just wanting to sell stuff, but if they do well and the economic velocity increases, the dollars will matter less, but they still want some accounting, and some assurances that participants have balanced accounts. And if everybody gets used to easily and rapidly providing or consuming a greater and greater variety of services, eventually we might not even bother to count, but might just focus on most efficiently making useful services available as widely as possible.

Where I got stuck in the design was in how to build in an incentive for people in the money level to move on to the more ethereal accounting methods. I had some kind of bonus points in mind, but then it is a tricky problem how to make the accounting in each of the levels balance in and of themselves.

Anyway, back to what this has to do with Xpertweb. Xpertweb is at first glance like the third level described above. People offer stuff for sale, and there are various opportunities for building a business on brokering the information in the network. E.g. bring together some people who couldn't find each other before, or arrange cheap health insurance for everybody.

But, potentially, if the infrastructure building blocks are done well enough, the data structures and protocols are flexible enough, and the whole thing is distributed enough so that nobody controls it - these various economic approaches might simply be ways that people use the same basic pieces. Nothing would have to be inherently different if you want to pay your bill in Ithaca Hours or in Coconuts. You'd still want to be sure you're getting what you were looking for. Nothing would be inherently different if you were giving your service or your goods away. If your goods were scarce you would probably want to carefully compare the prospective recipients, and give your goods either to those who, according to their history, would make the most of it, or at least to those whom it would do the most good.

In other words, you can always make better choices if you have a good picture of the reputation and past history of everybody involved. No matter if it is dollars or good will that is flowing through the system, it will flow much better when it is no longer directed blindly.
[ | 2003-05-02 23:59 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Xpertweb connections
Britt, Mitch and I have weekly phone meetings to plot the progress of Xpertweb. Today we were also meeting with Allen Searls who created Global Alive, which happens to be an online network of experts, who have conversations with each other, in turn rating the experience. There's some obvious potential for synergy there. Xpertweb aims at becoming useful as plumbing for all sorts of exchanges of value. And as a shared memory of the perceived value of past exchanges. All sorts of value-added activities and businesses can be built on top of such a structure. Mitch has a lot of excellent ideas about that. There can be a significant role for 'infomediaries', who use the information gathered in the network to connect up business.
[ | 2003-05-02 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, January 8, 2003day link 

 Psychedelic Futurism
picture Paul Hughes says some great things about creating wild and exciting future visions:
"The future as told through the present has been awfully grim these days, especially with the almost surreal goverment oppression we're facing. But this article brought a smile to my face, and it was very synchronistic, as I was already on the same wavelengths the last month or so. The last few years, and especially since 9-11, I've had my belly full of futures filled with science and technology gone awry and video games whose sole purpose is to kill and destroy in what is almost always DARK, DANK, and DYSTOPIAN worlds.

Yet when I dream at night, those wonderfully lucid flying dreams that I have often, I recall all of those wild-eyed, trippy, fantastically fun and pleasure filled dreams of far-out futuristic possibilities, when I was a kid. And it got me to wondering about bringing those types of visions to reality somehow. A vision to share with others. With everything going on now, I feel an inexorable drive to CREATE more than ever before. It feels almost like a moral imperative. Perhaps if I can network with other sufficiently tuned-in minds on the planet I can least find some kindred spirits who share a vision of a much better future. A future where fun, pleasure, love and peace are pervasive - Space Colonies, Interstellar pleasure cruise ships, orgasmatrons, sexy computers voices and intimate zero-gravity environments. And for those of you who haven't heard of Ian Banks, I highly suggest you read his books about The Culture, a website I host on this server. Its my hope that I can, as time progresses, continue to tweak and improve the content and quality of this site to better reflect this emerging positive worldview. A future that we, our children, and our mind children can look forward to."
Yes!! Create! Creativity. Imagination. No limits to that. Let's start a Creative Rebellion and out-create the bad news.
[ | 2003-01-08 23:59 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, January 2, 2003day link 

 Help Wire Remote Laos Villages
picture The Jhai Foundation is working on providing Internet access for remote villages in Laos. They've put together a system where sturdy low-wattage computers can be powered by a foot-crank, and a system in each village can be linked with the others, and with the net, through high-bandwidth wireless networking.
"Farmers in Ban Phon Kam and nearby villages are now able to grow surpluses of rice and other crops-thanks in part to organic farming techniques that Jhai helped introduce. To profit on their surplus, however, they need accurate and timely information about pricing in the market town of Phon Hong and the capital, Vientiane.

The expert women weavers in the villages have begun the use of natural dyes-again with assistance from Jhai-and would like to weave textiles for export. They hope to find partners among expatriate Lao who will help them market their weavings and receive reasonable returns."
Lee Felsenstein, veteran computer hero, is helping them. Right now they need some funds ($25,000) to get the basic system in place before the monsoon season.
[ | 2003-01-02 16:45 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, November 6, 2002day link 

 NewsLog Changes
I'm changing various things in the NewsLog program here, so I apologize if things look strange for a few days. Or if I temporarily break somebody else's log. But there should be some more features and flexibility when the dust clears.
[ | 2002-11-06 21:40 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Explorers Foundation
pictureThe Explorers Foundation is the brainchild of my good friend Leif Smith. Leif is a Weaver, someone who sees patterns and who is good at creating connections where none existed previously. We always have very fruitful and long conversations. He is often able to precisely express something I had been struggling with. Below is a fresh piece from him on what The Explorers Foundation is about...

"The purpose of the Explorers Foundation is to build a world fit for explorers and to inspire a people fit to live in such a world.

Exploration consists of passionate interest in problems, and truthful, determined, persistent search for solutions. Some think this is the best of life, the foundation of all possible happiness. We are in business to learn from such people and to serve them, and we believe that enterprise devoted to finding, inventing, presenting, and distributing tools for explorers will change the world.
[ | 2002-10-10 13:19 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

picture I have a persistent vision of a multi-dimensional information storage system. It flashes before my eyes frequently. I dream about it at night. I'm missing it many times each day. The world needs it.

In my dream vision it seems rather simple. A virtual space with an arbitrary number of dimensions. There is always an obvious place to put something, or you just make the place on the fly, and you can find it again along any of the available dimensions. You can add a new dimension whenever you need one. A dimension can be regarded as a storage bin, a category, a trait, a degree of freedom, whatever suits you at the moment. It all seems simple and obvious. You just make connections between the things that ought to be connected.

But if I sit down and try to make a computer program to implement it, or even if I just try to diagram it really well, I quickly get lost, and it suddenly seems to be an impossible problem to wrap one's mind around. A universal database structure that will represent any kind of structure at any scale, in an efficient manner.
[ | 2002-10-07 20:51 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 A Virtual Community Experience
pictureBy now I have had many experiences of how people come together in useful ways online, and I probably have more experiences of how people didn't succeed in coming together in a useful way. Anyway, it is probably a good thing to learn from some of that, so let me start with one of the stories. This is a story of both failure and success. I'll change the names for now, but if anybody wants to look more closely at it, you can quickly figure them out.

A few years ago an NCN member (let's call him Uriah Rex) had a vision of a company that would be a creative hub. It would facilitate the creative expression of many people. Film, books, art, and whatever new outlets the participants could think up. He wanted to bring together some people to manifest the vision. And the vision was strong and big and compelling.
[ | 2002-10-02 19:19 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Creative Resourcing
I was looking at a page about "Creative Resourcing" at the changemakers.net site. To answer the question "What is Creative Resourcing?" it says: "Creative Resourcing describes an ability to find new ways of engaging the resources in the local environment (i.e. funds, people, goods and services) to support an organization and make it self-sustaining". Which is a great thing, of course. And my first thought was: "Great, that's exactly what I'd like to have happen". But my second thought, after looking at the examples, was that what I'm really interested in is something more pervasive.
[ | 2002-05-07 22:07 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Syndication and Web Standards
pictureI'm excited about the possibilities in syndication of web content through open web standards. In part because I have a vision of creating better wiring for the global brain, and this stuff fits right in there.

In short, there are simple wide-spread protocols that make it possible for different websites to pick up content from each other, and to contribute to news feeds of various kinds.

In part what is cool is that the most workable schemes have been developed by small groups of creative people and have been adopted on a grassroots basis.
[ | 2002-03-17 17:06 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Video Conferencing
pictureAnother Internet technology that mysteriously didn't quite happen when it was expected to is video conferencing. 5 years ago I was frequently hanging out in video chat rooms with groups of other people, all of whom I could see live video of. And that was when I had a dial-up connection and a computer that had about 20 times less capacity than what I use today. And yet, today, I don't really know anybody who's using their cameras for anything. At the time I was using CU-SeeMe for the software. And when I now research it a little bit, it turns out that nothing much better has replaced it, and it still appears to be the most easily available video conferencing program that will work on different platforms. Even though no new versions have been developed for quite some time.
[ | 2002-03-11 15:13 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 AlphaWorld - virtual real estate
pictureAnother type of place to meet in is virtual reality. My favorite place so far is a place called AlphaWorld. About 3-4 years ago I had a lot of fun there and built an NCN Information Center and various other buildings there. And a few other NCN people, like Roan Carratu were hanging out there too, and building buildings next to it. And my kids and all the kids on my street were busy building there. Anyway, all of that still exists, and it could very well be an environment for exploring new civilizations. So, come by and visit if you have a chance. The software unfortunately only works on Windows, but you get it at Active Worlds. It doesn't cost anything if you're only a "tourist" there, but you can't build. The coordinates of our little village is in AlphaWorld at 895N 814W. Let me know if you succeed in going there and I'll meet you.
[ | 2002-03-05 20:02 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Seeking the blueprints of a global brain
What I am looking for is a better global brain - a better way for us to be connected together, where our collective intelligence will tend to emerge.

I'm looking for a structure of inter-connectedness where more connections add up to more intelligence, rather than more confusion. It would become better when more people participate. Increased diversity would increase the rate of evolution, and make the whole system more intelligent and more stable.
[ | 2001-12-06 22:30 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Free Democracy
I'm having a conversation with Mark Smollin about principles and systems for a better democracy. Experimentally, there are postings in the bulletin board under the "Social System Design" subject in the Subjects pages. We met in the Conscious Evolution Gateway educational program that Barbara Marx-Hubbard is running. Anyway, creating a better and more direct democracy has always been something I'd like to do. With the Internet connecting most of us, it ought to be possible to come up with systems for connecting us together in such a way that our collective will can be better facilitated. Seems like the old Industrial Age methods for "governing" society need to go.
[ | 2001-12-01 06:00 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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