Ming the Mechanic:
Designing for Diversity

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Designing for Diversity2002-02-26 19:04
by Flemming Funch

I've noticed an omission in the design of this support structure for NCN. Or, rather, it is something that ought to be invented, or arranged a little differently, in order for things to work more smoothly and synergetically.

I'm often preaching about my vision of a world that needs to have room for all sorts, having freedom enough for people to make their different choices. And how NCN ought to have the same kind of basic principle. You know, we don't have to agree, and if you want to do something, go and do it, even if nobody else agrees. I will always defend that principle, but the problem here is that it is something I've been *preaching*, and something one would sort of have to buy into. And if somebody didn't agree with it, we'd have to have a big argument about it, etc.

The much better way would be if the virtual environment we meet in here automatically would facilitate a creative diversity amongst us, and help things flow so as to avoid unproductive clashes.

I'm thinking about an approach along the lines of what Buckminster Fuller called the Design Science Revolution. The principle is that if you want to change the world, you don't go and try to persuade everybody to act differently, and you don't go trying to force them to do so. You invent something - a device or a system or an idea - that is so obviously compelling that people will naturally adopt it on their own volition, and that by its very nature will have solved the problem we were trying to address. Like, if a non-polluting self-driving car was available, and it was cheaper and faster than any other type of car, people would of course buy that instead of the polluting alternatives, even if it was just because of its cool features.

So, a similar thing here. It doesn't work very well to just preach to people about how they're supposed to relate to each other. What works well is to put a system in place that is practical and fun to use, and which helps us relate well.

So, in this NCN environment, there are some things missing to make it work according to the ideal. Yeah, you can make your own workgroup and do whatever you want in it with the people who agree with it. And some other people who have a totally different approach can make a different workgroup and do things totally different over there.

But what makes it break down a bit is when we still invite everybody into our workgroups, and when we talk about all of it here in a public forum, and people still feel compelled to argue about the things they don't agree on.

So, I just wanted to state that I'm still committed to the ongoing project of coming up with a common communication structure that allows us to work in smaller groups and within a bigger whole with maximum synergy and minimum friction, in a way that will work for a group of any size.

I'm not saying I personally will come up with the answer. If nobody else does, I certainly intend to. But I'd be more than happy if somebody else already had figured out the answer, or suddenly came up with it.

So, I'd like it to be so that it doesn't matter if one believes that one's truth is better than everybody elses or not, and it doesn't matter whether one really believes that everybody else has a right to their opininion or not. The real point here is you getting busy with whatever you have to do that's constructive, together with the people who ought to work with you. It should be a non-issue whether 99% of everybody else agree with you, and whether you think they're all idiots. It shouldn't matter at all, as long as we all can do our thing. So, my vision is for a structure, a system, a mechanism, that can facilitate that. And I don't even care if anybody is going to agree in advance that such a system is a good idea or not. It will be a success if it works for most of the people most of the time, and if it evolves synergy on an ongoing basis.

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26 Feb 2002 @ 23:36 by shawa : THX
Thanks for getting me thinking one more time!...  

27 Feb 2002 @ 00:27 by jazzolog : Suggestion Box
It might be interesting for you, Ming, to go through your own extensive log sometime, and see where threads on this and similar topics have started and been left hanging and inconclusive. Perhaps out of loose threads a wholecloth might be woven. Richard  

27 Feb 2002 @ 01:03 by mmmark : Suggestion
It seems the only thing left to do is make the groups software complete with tools that record the creative process.  

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