Introduction and Collaboration Ideas

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Curtis Faith

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Apr 26, 2011, 12:27:48 AM4/26/11
to The Next Net
Hi,

This is my first post to the list, so I thought an introduction was in
order.

First, I am very pleasantly surprised at the amount of really good
thinking and work that is going on in the space surrounding the
projects and issues that brings everyone here. I have been very
impressed with those I have found in just a few weeks of following the
various Twitter meshes. I go by "inflector" on Twitter.

Flemming Funch graciously pointed me to various people who have been
working/thinking in and around the ideas of collective intelligence,
the Global Brain, open collaboration, and the idea of using technology
as a tool to help us work together.

Flemming had me follow Venessa Miemis, Seb Paquet and a few others. I
branched out and found the work of Robert Steele, John Robb and then
Venessa pointed me to this list. I have been reading non-stop for
about a week. People's blog posts, watching videos, following Twitter
links.

I believe I now have a pretty good sense of the picture at 15,000
meters.

I am interested in helping promote collaboration. Among this group.
And among all those working to make this world better, more inclusive
and more open.

To get some sense of my own personal philosophy, you can read the blog
post here:

http://www.worldhouse.org/2011/04/changing-the-game/

Like many here, I suspect, I have a very deep and varied technical
background. I get bored easily and don't like to work for assholes, so
I have also spent a lot of time as an entrepreneur, as a consultant to
marketing and development organizations, I started a non-profit
consortium to standardize XML vocabularies for the HR space that still
thrives (see:http://www.hr-xml.org, more on that story later), I
architected and led the development for a team that built enterprise
CRM solutions back in the days it was called sales automation. I've
been a very successful commodities trader, I have written a few books,
one sold really well. I've been traveling the world the last few years
trying to learn other cultures.

As far as work that might be directly relevant to collaboration. Here
are some things:

In 1999, I was part of a well-funded startup called Icarian that grew
from 50 to about 250 people in about 12 months. I consulted to product
marketing thinking of ways to help companies find the right people,
and I thought a lot about skills and capabilities and the issues in
the HR space around hiring the best people possible and making sure
that the interview process was effective and efficient.

In 2000, I was CEO and part of the small startup team for an Austin,
TX startup called OneCard which was building a loyalty card system for
retailers where the data and control would be in the hands of the
users. Thought a lot about the issues of privacy and data ownership
and how to keep companies form selling that data for marketing.

After that I was CEO and VP of Marketing for a small startup called
ScoutFire which was working on semantically categorizing the web and
using that to help people find other places they might like to go. So
I have done some thinking here as well.

I try to keep reasonably fresh with new technologies. I worked on some
major features for the Vienna Open Source RSS reader last year to
learn Cocoa and Objective C, made a compiler using LLVM in C++, and
did a bit of iPhone programming, but there are many better programmers
than me. That's not my greatest strength.

What I really like to do most of all is work with awesome people doing
something that most everyone else thinks is impossible. And help teams
work together to build something that we never could have done alone.

With the intro out of the way, I have a couple of questions:

1) I have a sense that many people are working on pieces. Is there any
chance this could all be rolled up into a meta-project? There are good
reasons for splitting up the pieces from a task/architectural
perspective, obviously, but there seems like a lot of synergy in
building together towards a larger whole that solves one really
important problem.

2) Would any of you be interested in forming and joining a non-profit
international coop-type organization to raise money for this meta-
project?

Here's the kind of collaboration I'd be happy to work in:

In order to foster maximum trust, everyone is completely equal.

Everyone works at the same pay (adjusted for local cost of living
probably?) Everyone shares equally in the rewards. 1/3 of excess cash
flow gets split evenly to members, 1/3 is used to bring more people
onboard the project, 1/3 is used to build for the future.

No one would be "in charge" but each of us would have certain
responsibilities that we take on subject to the agreement of the rest
of the group. I also have some specific ideas on how this might work
from a practical perspective, and I'm sure you all have some better
ones.

I believe it would be possible to raise as much money as we need
pretty quickly. Some of you may have more experience as entrepreneurs,
I have raised $20 million in the public markets and a few odd million
in various ventures from VCs and angels in the past, so I know a bit
about that process, the timing is right for this idea.

But I don't want to get venture funding, or even investments. That
will kill the spirit and soul of the ideas.

The money needs to come in as voluntary donations, either as a
Kickstarter or IndieGoGo project, from a social venture fund, our own
web site, or some combination of the above.

People want this. Not just hackers. Everyone wants to work together
and have better tools for solving the worlds great problems and for
knowing exactly what is going on at any given moment so we don't get
lied to by governments.

Everything would be open source, of course. We could charge for-profit
corporations fees, but make the system free to non-profits. Or rely
solely on donations and make everything free like Wikipedia does. Both
ways could work fine. We'd have to decide as a group before sharing
the plan to get donations.

The way to get this funded is to aim very high. Share the common
vision. And have a team of people that can credibly deliver. It is
critical that the team shares the vision and common values.

People will donate to something great if they think it will actually
happen. We've already seen the signs of this. The zeitgeist is
bubbling and ready for this.

People will help us if we show them why we want to build this. Why it
is important. And what it will mean for the world. Trust them.

I live in Savannah, GA. I moved here a year ago after traveling for
several years, I picked this spot because it has tremendous potential
as a future hub for doing something wonderful. It has great parks and
beauty. Lots of coffee shops and restaurants and cheap housing in
walking distance to downtown, etc. It reminds me of what San Francisco
must have been like before costs went up so high, or what Portland was
10 to 20 years ago, although on a much smaller scale.

It is inexpensive to live here. So it would be great if some other
people wanted to work here, but I imagine there being four or five
different locations worldwide that might be involved initially and a
few people scattered around in addition who work by themselves.

So what do you think?

Can enough of us pull together to make this happen?

What would it take for us to learn to trust each other?

I see five main pieces:

1) Network transport level that replaces telco dependence and makes it
easy/cheap to connect the unconnected world while preventing
government shutdown.

2) Security and anonymity layer which works over current or future
networks and allows people to communicate without government snooping.

3) Federated secure personal data store that respects the freedom and
will of each individual.

4) An online collaboration system that allows people to work together
more effectively by matching ideas and projects with available talent
and resources so that everyone knows where they can best help, and so
good projects get done.

5) An open collective intelligence system that wires the global brain
so we can all make better decisions as we set out to make the world a
better place.

Plus we'd probably have a common set of tools/libraries/frameworks for
implementing features across 4) and 5)

Each of these projects is big. But we can start small and improve
iteratively. Since they are big, I necessarily left a lot out in the
brief descriptions. Further early versions of 3), 4), and 5) can be
used independently of 1) and 2) until those are ready.

Let me know if I am missing anything or if this idea seems wacky or if
you think I'm crazy.

This is obviously, drawings on a napkin type stuff, but I'm dead
serious. We could pull this off. I'd much rather work on this than
what currently pays the bills.

Wouldn't you?

Peace,

Curtis

Mark Roest

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Apr 26, 2011, 2:56:19 AM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Hello Curtis,

I just joined the list recently too, and I love what you are saying. Here is what I sent out to Gameful, a website by Jane McGonnigal, who gave the TED talk on the power of game psychology to motivate people to work hard, for good.

Here is what I would like to develop with Gameful people (and many who have not yet discovered it). Nothing less than a strategy for saving the world for real. In my writing at this point, I jump in rather abruptly. In a game, proper transitions can be provided by those who know better than I do how to do it.

I see something under the surface in typical games with monsters to defeat -- the walking dead and imaginative monsters are really a substitute for those threats in real life which we have difficulty identifying and neutralizing. And, the sources of many of those threats in real life are people who want to dominate, and who either create environments that they control more or less absolutely, or camouflage their aggression, and the theft and damage that they inflict. They are coming from an inner space of alienation from and aggression toward others; we used to call those feelings sociopathic. Gameful members are coming from a place where we feel kinship with humans beyond our immediate family. That is one of the roots of all good, as the other is the taproot of all evil.

There is probably a common place from which the two paths diverge, and some of us may be able to work with that space to invent ways to effectively guide people toward choosing kinship, rather than despeciation (feeling that someone who is 'other' is not truly human, and is therefore 'fair game' for any form of aggression or predation). (The next level of that is choosing to recognize and feel the liberation and joy of kinship with all life, by the way.)

That would be a magnificent contribution to the creation of a system of games that are direct, explicit role-playing, with the object being to confront and change the ills prevalent in human society today. You might present an ogre, for instance, but not as a character in and of itself -- rather as an icon, explicitly representing a particular behavior which has the same emotional connotation, when fully witnessed and confronted within. In fact, you might embed vignettes in which such icons represent the different paths, and the kinship ones look more like cherubs, but act as a combination of healers and superheroes. The trick would be to subtly design the vignettes so that they ring true at an intuitive level. I see that as a set of introductory lessons, not as the game itself. The game takes you through learning about how human psychology works for good and for evil, and then invites / challenges you to a series of escalating resemblances to the  real world, and its problems, in which you develop and assemble (and learn to use) a series of tools and then tool-kits, and then to understand how to orchestrate the tool-kits, within fantasy-world environments which look and feel progressively more like the world around us.

Finally, the wizard comes out from behind the curtain, and invites you to the real deal: taking on, with your peers, a significant challenge in the real world, and modeling it within an extremely powerful environment which empowers you to make a literal simulation of the challenge, and of the context -- the systems -- of which it is a part. This environment is a game engine, riding on a knowledgebase of the natural world, of human nature, of economies and the many ways in which they can work, and of the myriad industrial and agricultural infrastructures we have built, to which millions of people will ultimately contribute. In this phase of the game, you actually create the game environment in detail, using the resources of the game engine and the knowledgebases.

The secret is to model the world as it is, both good and bad, in your chosen arena, and to build in the 'secret powers' that can direct it toward good in any form. These 'secret powers' might be inventions that enable communities to challenge multinational corporations that take production to desperately poor countries, and to China, and produce what they need within the community, sustainably. They might include the working strategies of therapists who help people tame their demons -- and the Stanford Medical Center's CCARES program, based on Tibetan Buddhist meditation technologies, which teaches groups to manage their emotions in ways that allow members to feel and express empathy and compassion more often in their lives. (It has now been adopted by over 2000 schools across the United States!) They might even be high-quality, open-source, supply chain and project management software, but I tend to be inclined to put that right out front, and teach its use soon after people come in the door. Why? Because these tools are two of the real secrets of corporate power, and used by the people, for the people, they can unleash amazing potentials for organizing and collaborating for good, in the real world.

Two other 'secret powers' are deep story-telling, and charrettes (group or community design exercises that draw out what every participant cares about, and usually find ways to embody each priority in a shared result).

The line of game play moves from simulating the situation, and developing powers to change it, to modeling the dynamics of mobilizing swarms sufficient to the cause, and leading them in applying the 'powers' to the challenge, and meeting it for good (as in 'for a good cause', and as in 'for once and for all'). This is done as a massively multi-player simulation, with people taking various roles and acting out their characters -- and responding to the more or less loose 'script' as if they truly are those characters, the way actors do on stage or in movies.

The players simulate the intervention, and then do 'after-action assessments' to find out what worked, what didn't work, and what ideas people came up with for doing it better next time. Then, as in Agile software development, they incorporate the ideas and corrections, and do it over again!

Once it begins to feel right, like most of the low-hanging fruit is in the simulations, and people are learning to carry off their roles with style, the next level is to find out how other people are doing in other simulations responding to other challenges, and to use the knowledgebase to identify what the larger system interactions and potential relationships are. Then, research those opportunities, both in the knowledgebase and by doing brainstorming sessions and charrettes with the people in the other simulations, and discover how to collaborate so that there are more resources for all, with less impact on people and the environment; so that the network effect is magnified by orders of magnitude, and so that large numbers of people are drawn into the action of the simulations by their growing, visible potential to make a profound difference collectively. Then, merge the simulations at their boundaries, so that they can actually simulate working in collaboration with each other. Tweak the game engines so that they reflect the new discoveries of the arts of the possible! Run the simulations, and repeat the processes!

If mass mobilization psychology is taking hold as it can, participants are going to be naturally feeling that it is time to go live -- to take it to the streets! This then becomes the focus of discussions in the virtual and physical worlds, as they assess whether just about everyone is ready, or there is work to do in specific scenarios to make them as strong as the other links in the chain. So everyone who can contribute to those efforts does so, and the people engaged in the difficult scenarios get to feel as if they have been in a ropes course, and stood at the edge of a picnic table and fallen off backwards, into the arms of all the people taking the course with them! (Of course, the people helping get to feel as if they were catching those people falling off -- a truly sacred experience!)

It is now time to bring the virtual and physical worlds together. The project management and supply chain software will have a model of all the resources needed, and all the processes to manifest, to immerse the simulation in the physical world and effect a paradigm shift. It is now time to secure commitment of all these resources, and to all these processes, by the participants, self-selecting their roles. Some (most? all?) of the roles will involve persuading people in the physical world to collaborate with the transformers as they take it live. It may take a campaign, with creative, uplifting displays of progress toward the levels chosen, and role-playing and even charrettes to work out solutions to problems or issues that are blocking people, to get all the commitments needed. And, like in the Marines, if there are missing pieces, or people down, others will need to come up with solutions and implement them, on time and without disrupting other resources (or solving that too).

Some parts of the solutions simulations may have been shown capable of functioning in the physical, social, economic, political world autonomously, or with some of the other parts, and they may be designed to help set the stage for full deployment of the processes and resources modeled in the simulations.

So it's D-Day! Or, P-Day for Paradigm-shift Day, or T-Day for Transformation Day; "let's roll!"

Using the same tools and processes as in the simulations to manage coordination and communication, but now 'out in the wild', the swarms start to act, individually and collectively, and to display and share about what is happening in a million websites, blogs and wikis. It's a full court press in basketball terms. Except that it's also defense, reserves, change-ups, and more, and there is no real way to defend against it by those who cannot stand the thought of national and global unity from the bottom up and from the middle out. What's more, the participants have already calculated how many people are in each arena, and have prepared to welcome all of them into the new paradigm, as it unfolds -- and as people undergo profound realization and rush to join, or seek shelter or reassurance in fear that it will bring calamity. Even as some seek to strike it or crush it, wherever they are. Collectively and, to the extent we are able, individually, we respond fully to the varieties of the human experience, in real time.

Since part of the simulations was practicing the steady-state new systems which will be developed in the paradigm of sustainability and social justice (I forgot to mention that earlier), and since they are modeled in the knowledgebase and in the content of the simulation of the environment, people will also know how to exercise stewardship of these new systems in the physical and economic world. In fact, if the designs are really good, it will be intuitively obvious what the tools and resources are for, and how to use them. (That is the definition of an Affordance in industrial design terms.) So between people who have studied how to manage them and their natural affinity for the human mind, the tools will metaphorically 'fall naturally to the hand', and people will realize a profound level of peace and security, and the simulation participants will start showing their friends and peers how to allocate their time and resources in an 'open stewardship economy'.

This is what I meant when I gave the Great Game the name, Reset!!!

Would you care to join me in making it real?


In the Coalition of the Willing (CotW) discussion group on Open Stewardship, I noted the following paragraph:

"Fortuitously (and although they are completely ignored by mainstream economic theory), other-regarding emotions such as compassion, empathy, love, and altruism are key components of the human behavioral repertoire (Manner & Gowdy, 2010). The central question is whether we can muster the national and international political will required purposefully to create a set of “memetic mutations” that reinforce these natural “other-regarding” feelings (both for other people and other species)."

The knowledgebase and game strategy I have been promoting with CotW directly integrates other-regarding emotions and the question of political will. We know that an 80% majority is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are ignored by those in power. I saw a video on child slavery in the chocolate industry that included an interview with a trader who looked into the camera and said that plays no role whatsoever in his business decisions, even though he thinks about it personally. This trader typically owns 50,000 tons of cocoa beans, and has owned as much as 500,000 tons. That is a significant part of the total industry production.

We cannot follow the same leaders, and we cannot follow the example of the money, though we must follow the money analytically to know what we are up against.

What we can do is to bring other-regarding emotions into play as drivers for a global enterprise in which we organize all of us (maybe 99% of humanity, ultimately) to collaborate in economic competition with those who have been conspiring and competing against us, with the result to this point that they now control most of the economy and almost all of the political power, and the vast majority of the media.

The game of Reset!!! is not just clean-up campaigns! It is about designing and creating an environment in which people are motivated by game psychology, which is at least as sophisticated as Madison Avenue marketing psychology, to DO SOMETHING POWERFUL about their own corner of the universe -- something that empowers them AND protects the world around them, and other people.

I suggest we incorporate the Stanford program (CCare) that offers a curriculum for managing emotions based on Buddhist principles in >2000 schools, and presented when the Dalai Lama was at a conference there October 14 & 15, 2010, sponsored by the School of Medicine's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), titled "Scientific Explorations of Compassion and Altruism." That will augment the game psychology by empowering people emotionally (limbic system in harmony with forebrain).

An idea I have been repeating since 2007, to tag information by the eco-region and culture it supports, will make it possible for people to find and focus on the information they really need to effect change. The project management (and supply chain) software are two of the tools they need to coordinate and organize effectively.

Those of you who have been in any kind of high-performance team have had the experience of empowerment that goes with it -- that is developed during training, and exploited during performance. It is the same feeling someone gets in basic training in the Marines, or joining a leading company. I propose to embed the tools and practices that feeling in the game engine, along with the motivators of game psychology, and the need to save life on earth from corporate and governmental rapaciousness. Stack the emotional deck, make the actions intelligent and real, organize for success, and commit to making change regardless of what those in charge think about it.

You could say we are embarking on a last-ditch, desperately needed turn-around of the human venture. We use the best thinking available, and we organize economically, socially and politically, using personal relationships and the Net to bypass corporate media propaganda and raise the SWARM. Then we use the SWARM effectively, to redirect the economy by reducing sales of bad corporations below their break-even point, and increasing sales of good companies (including the ones we form around new and suppressed technologies and practices) above the break-even point, and we use every form of communication we can access to convince the rest of the population that this is for them as well as for us -- that it is time to stop being the victims of the hyper-aggressive ultra-rich who live for domination, and come together in compassion and altruism. It is our higher birthright, and it feels far better than our other inheritance, of constant competition for diminishing resources, living in frequent fear and loathing and constant anxiety and insecurity -- just like the members of a baboon troop with an aggressive dominant male. Now there's a monster archetype!

If you can agree on the concept, we can work out the system dynamics and the details.

Regards,

Mark

PS
I have a lot of specific technologies and strategies to apply, and a network full of people with great knowledge and commitment themselves.

PPS
Here are some links for Coalition of the Willing:

-----------Coalition of the Willing-----------
The Coalition occupies several spaces for communication and action. Keep the discussion on this list civil & assume good faith. Strive for brevity.

For the what-why-where of Coalition work, look to http://cotw.cc. That wiki functions as a routing-portal and a locus for some of the work. All group efforts should maintain an updated statement of current focus, channels and spaces of work and anything necessary to support orientation & keeping up-to-speed.
 
"BetterMeans" is where we coordinate our work: making proposals, endorsing & signing up for work, and tracking tasks. https://secure.bettermeans.com/projects/163
Share the film: http://cotw.me/film
-----------------
subscribe to coal...@googlegroups.com

Robert Steele

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Apr 26, 2011, 10:11:44 AM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com, Medard Gabel
Medard Gabel, co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, created the architecture concept and staffing-funding model for the digital EarthGame(TM), and then I ran out of money and the economy collapse.  Learn more here.

About: EarthGame and World Brain

Review: Designing A World That Works For All

Who’s Who in Earth Intelligence: Medard Gabel

Worth a Look: Medard Gabel, EarthGame and More

Graphic: Medard Gabel’s Cost of Peace versus War

Review: Ideas and Integrities–A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure

I admire Jane McGonnigal, but she has not connected to those that went before her.  I truly despair when I read "learned" or "innovative" books and find that their intellectual roots do not go back more than ten years.  She is the leader now, but she needs to harvest all of us around Medard Gabel.

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Jane McGonigal

Serious Games are a mess because everyone is building their own game for their one problem.  The AHA that Medard knows better than anyone is that everything is connected and you cannot "game" the Earth unless you do so in a Whole Systems model.  Here are three top-level links that help there.

Review: Biocapital–The Constitution of Postgenomic Life

Reference: A World That Works for All

Reference: Strategic Analytic Model for Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

To be absolutely clear on Jane McGonnical:  brilliant, a thought leader, she needs to do a better job of connecting with Medard, who is deliberately not reaching out to her because we old guys understand that the young must WANT to hear from us, if she connects to Medard, and via Medard they connect to "true cost" economics as pioneered by Herman Daly (Ecologicial Economics, etc), then it is "game over" as we say, and the people win.

True Cost Meme

At "root" gaming is only as good as the data that feeds it and the clarity, diversity, and integrity of the people that play it.  Here are the three creations I funded before the economy crashed and took me with it, this is as good as I can do, eager to help any larger group accomplish larger objectives.

Reference: Earth Intelligence Network Concept for Execution

2010 INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Incidentally, transparency is the new app and the center of gravity for both serious participatory gaming, global to local giving, and the eradication of corruption.  I have very high hopes, but right now the separation between Jane McGonical and Medard Gabel, and the nature of this specific wonderful exhilarating groups, is illustrative of the "tower of Babel" nature of our explorations.

Reference: Transparency Killer App Plus “Open Everything” RECAP (Back to 01/2007)

Reference: Trust and Networks

Open Data Developments from Seattle, Portland, San Fran & New York City

Worth a Look: Macrowikinomics Hyper-Transparency

I'll say it again:  P2P Foundation Wiki, and a master  roadmap that is a living document.  I also believe that crowd-sourcing is ready to go to a billion dollars a year for a properly integrated, transparent concept for achieving self-governing panarchy on all issues at all levels, but I am not the right person to lead such a fund-raising endeavor, only to support it.

See Also:

2008 World Brain as EarthGame

TAKE INITIATIVE–Design the World, Don’t Edit It…

Review: Reality Is Broken–Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Reference: World Model (IFF)

FuturICT Living Earth Simulator; EarthGame / Whole Earth Strategic Analytic Model

Search: peace vs cost of war

My Talk With Tom Atlee: Primer on Citizen Intelligence

Review: The World Is Open–How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education

Search: “the truth at any cost reduces all other

Virtual President Announces Coalition Cabinet

Dennis Kucinich, Vice President for the Commonwealth–and Some Details

Review: The Empathetic Civilization–the Race to Global Consciousness in a World of Crisis
With appreciation for all of you,
Robert Steele
Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Robert David STEELE Vivas

Curtis Faith

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Apr 26, 2011, 3:07:05 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Wow Robert, thanks for all the excellent links. I've got my day's reading determined already.


Serious Games are a mess because everyone is building their own game for their one problem.  The AHA that Medard knows better than anyone is that everything is connected and you cannot "game" the Earth unless you do so in a Whole Systems model.  Here are three top-level links that help there.

Yes, that is the key insight. That We is singular.

This is essentially a really huge and interesting design problem. I have a really strong intuition that designing what we should have is much easier than designing the pieces for fitting into this corrupt and horribly inefficient current system.

One of the things that is really important is showing how global warming and energy usage results from tremendous inefficiencies in our systems. Simple things like traffic which come from people living in the wrong places and not working together. Some very interesting ideas in this space I saw on Don Roble's site, got me thinking about how to connect some people I know to start building the Whole Systems model. More below on this...


To be absolutely clear on Jane McGonnical:  brilliant, a thought leader, she needs to do a better job of connecting with Medard, who is deliberately not reaching out to her because we old guys understand that the young must WANT to hear from us, if she connects to Medard, and via Medard they connect to "true cost" economics as pioneered by Herman Daly (Ecologicial Economics, etc), then it is "game over" as we say, and the people win.

Thanks for the insight. We have a lot to learn together, the young and old.


Incidentally, transparency is the new app and the center of gravity for both serious participatory gaming, global to local giving, and the eradication of corruption.  I have very high hopes, but right now the separation between Jane McGonical and Medard Gabel, and the nature of this specific wonderful exhilarating groups, is illustrative of the "tower of Babel" nature of our explorations.

Transparency is hugely important. It is the sine qua non of deep trust. Without trust We is nothing.


I'll say it again:  P2P Foundation Wiki, and a master  roadmap that is a living document.  I also believe that crowd-sourcing is ready to go to a billion dollars a year for a properly integrated, transparent concept for achieving self-governing panarchy on all issues at all levels, but I am not the right person to lead such a fund-raising endeavor, only to support it.

I'm happy to jump in here if that's the best place for my skills.

There is a lot of very interesting ideas floating around. I'm trying to hook people up who don't know about how they might help each other, yet.

For instance, John Baez is a mathematical physicist who you know if you follow math or science since he started blogging before there even were blogs, publishing an email "This Weeks Finds"  and web site with archives that explored and educated general science and math geeks since the mid-90s. Last year, John stopped his work on physics and math and decided to work on helping save the world. He launched the Azimuth Project (see: http://www.azimuthproject.org/) which is "an international collaboration to create a focal point for scientists and engineers interested in saving the planet. Our goal is to make clearly presented, accurate information on the relevant issues easy to find, and to help people work together on our common problems."

To understand John's motivations, check out his announcement for the new change in his life's direction: 

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week301.html

John is looking for ways he and the people working on the project can help "save the world."  Recently, he posted that he's not satisfied with progress yet, he thinks there is something missing. What I see missing is the connection to other like minded groups around the world. They are collaborating within the group, but not within the context of the rest of people trying to save the world.

So, after seeing Don Roble's Ingenesist site and especially the video Social Capitalism; The Value Game (http://www.ingenesist.com/general-info/social-capitalism-the-value-game.html), it struck me that one thing that John would be really good at, is advancing the theory for optimization of shared global resources. This seems to fit into a lot of his current work.

If we knew better, for example, how much carbon comes from particular sub-optimal resource usage (like empty planes flying, or empty vacation homes, or cars that stay parked, etc.). If we could build maps and networks of the global system with a sound basis in science and math, then we can better direct our efforts in the fight against global warming and other environmental destruction. I think we also will find that we'll have a lot more fun in the process.

This is just one example where I hope to help introduce people to each other that might be able to collaborate on something really cool that will have global impact. I suspect that after John starts working with a few other people, he will find even more interesting problems where he can pitch in to help save the world.

If we all leverage our personal relationships better (and make them visible to each other more transparently), we will find that all of our individual passions progress faster and with less stress. John Baez needs better tools to do this. We need better tools to do this.

Let's build them.

Peace,

Curtis


Robert Steele

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 3:09:00 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
this is very valuable input and will be cross posted on Phi Beta Iota.  Can you send me a link to your photo and bio?  Want to put you into the gallery.

Curtis Faith

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 3:23:30 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Robert,

Try the photo on this site:

http://www.curtisfaith.com/about-curtis/

That's my "business face" site so the bio doesn't describe my passions very well. Another example of the bigger problem really.

This one better reflects me:

http://www.azimuthproject.org/azimuth/show/Curtis+Faith

If you need a different photo let me know and I'll try to dig one up.

Peace,

Curtis

Isaac Wilder

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 3:51:39 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Curtis,

Welcome to the list.

On 04/26/2011 02:07 PM, Curtis Faith wrote:
> Wow Robert, thanks for all the excellent links. I've got my day's
> reading determined already.
>
>> Serious Games are a mess because everyone is building their own
>> game for their one problem. The AHA that Medard knows better
>> than anyone is that everything is connected and you cannot "game"
>> the Earth unless you do so in a Whole Systems model. Here are
>> three top-level links that help there.
>
> Yes, that is the key insight. That We is singular.

Couldn't agree more. I like to phrase it as singular humanity versus
plural humans.


>
> This is essentially a really huge and interesting design problem.
> I have a really strong intuition that designing what we should have
> is much easier than designing the pieces for fitting into this
> corrupt and horribly inefficient current system.

Agreed. One quote that's gotten pulled onto the list a few time is the
Buckminster Fuller line on the front page of the p2p foundation
website. "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To
change something, build a new model that makes the existing model
obsolete." True as ever.


>
> One of the things that is really important is showing how global
> warming and energy usage results from tremendous inefficiencies in
> our systems. Simple things like traffic which come from people
> living in the wrong places and not working together. Some very
> interesting ideas in this space I saw on Don Roble's site, got me
> thinking about how to connect some people I know to start building
> the Whole Systems model. More below on this...

Interesting. Link?


>
>> To be absolutely clear on Jane McGonnical: brilliant, a thought
>> leader, she needs to do a better job of connecting with Medard,
>> who is deliberately not reaching out to her because we old guys
>> understand that the young must WANT to hear from us, if she
>> connects to Medard, and via Medard they connect to "true cost"
>> economics as pioneered by Herman Daly (Ecologicial Economics,
>> etc), then it is "game over" as we say, and the people win.
>
> Thanks for the insight. We have a lot to learn together, the young
> and old.

We are all so very young, in the scope of things. Even civilization
seems young, when you think about it on the right timescale. That
being said, some are younger than others. I admit to being among them.


>
>> Incidentally, transparency is the new app and the center of
>> gravity for both serious participatory gaming, global to local
>> giving, and the eradication of corruption. I have very high
>> hopes, but right now the separation between Jane McGonical and
>> Medard Gabel, and the nature of this specific wonderful
>> exhilarating groups, is illustrative of the "tower of Babel"
>> nature of our explorations.
>
> Transparency is hugely important. It is the sine qua non of deep
> trust. Without trust We is nothing.

Transparency is important, and so is unity. How do we get these folks
in conversation with one another, and how do we ourself become a part
of that conversation?


>
>> I'll say it again: P2P Foundation Wiki, and a master roadmap
>> that is a living document. I also believe that crowd-sourcing is
>> ready to go to a billion dollars a year for a properly
>> integrated, transparent concept for achieving self-governing
>> panarchy on all issues at all levels, but I am not the right
>> person to lead such a fund-raising endeavor, only to support it.
>

Robert, just submitted a kickstart application last night, and I'd
like to see where it goes. If it is approved, I'll ask for input from
the list before going public with it. I don't know if we should ask
for a billion, but I do think we could crowdsource enough capital to
get the ball rolling.


> I'm happy to jump in here if that's the best place for my skills.
>
> There is a lot of very interesting ideas floating around. I'm
> trying to hook people up who don't know about how they might help
> each other, yet.
>
> For instance, John Baez is a mathematical physicist who you know
> if you follow math or science since he started blogging before
> there even were blogs, publishing an email "This Weeks Finds" and
> web site with archives that explored and educated general science
> and math geeks since the mid-90s. Last year, John stopped his work
> on physics and math and decided to work on helping save the world.
> He launched the Azimuth Project (see:
> http://www.azimuthproject.org/) which is "an international
> collaboration to create a focal point for scientists and engineers
> interested in saving the planet. Our goal is to make clearly
> presented, accurate information on the relevant issues easy to
> find, and to help people work together on our common problems."
>

AWESOME LINK. Thanks.


> To understand John's motivations, check out his announcement for
> the new change in his life's direction:
>
> http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/week301.html
>
> John is looking for ways he and the people working on the project
> can help "save the world." Recently, he posted that he's not
> satisfied with progress yet, he thinks there is something missing.
> What I see missing is the connection to other like minded groups
> around the world. They are collaborating within the group, but not
> within the context of the rest of people trying to save the world.
>
> So, after seeing Don Roble's Ingenesist site and especially the
> video Social Capitalism; The Value Game
> (http://www.ingenesist.com/general-info/social-capitalism-the-value-game.html),
>
>
it struck me that one thing that John would be really good at, is
> advancing the theory for optimization of shared global resources.
> This seems to fit into a lot of his current work.
>
> If we knew better, for example, how much carbon comes from
> particular sub-optimal resource usage (like empty planes flying,
> or empty vacation homes, or cars that stay parked, etc.). If we
> could build maps and networks of the global system with a sound
> basis in science and math, then we can better direct our efforts in
> the fight against global warming and other environmental
> destruction. I think we also will find that we'll have a lot more
> fun in the process.

This links back, I think, to what was being referred to here as 'true
cost'. In my mind, this also links to ubiquitous sensing, so that we
do know what is going on. It's not just a matter of better models, but
also of better data capture.


>
> This is just one example where I hope to help introduce people to
> each other that might be able to collaborate on something really
> cool that will have global impact. I suspect that after John
> starts working with a few other people, he will find even more
> interesting problems where he can pitch in to help save the world.
>
> If we all leverage our personal relationships better (and make
> them visible to each other more transparently), we will find that
> all of our individual passions progress faster and with less
> stress. John Baez needs better tools to do this. We need better
> tools to do this.

One such tool is what I'm particularly passionate about. A free
peer-to-peer physical network layer that is co-owned by the whole of
humanity. I view this aspect as a central support mechanism for other
endeavours.
>
> Let's build them.
Let's.
>
> Peace,
>
> Curtis
>

Take Care,
Isaac Wilder
Free Network Movement

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Curtis Faith

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 4:20:55 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
>> Some very
>> interesting ideas in this space I saw on Don Roble's site, got me
>> thinking about how to connect some people I know to start building
>> the Whole Systems model. More below on this...
> Interesting. Link?

Try the videos here:

http://www.ingenesist.com/introduction

All of them are interesting but the one entitled: The Value Game is the one most relevant to the above.

>> Transparency is hugely important. It is the sine qua non of deep
>> trust. Without trust We is nothing.
> Transparency is important, and so is unity. How do we get these folks
> in conversation with one another, and how do we ourself become a part
> of that conversation?

We need to move from Google Groups to human groups interacting in the real world. Connect is going to be part of that. Perhaps something much smaller even sooner might be a good idea?

>>
>>> I'll say it again: P2P Foundation Wiki, and a master roadmap
>>> that is a living document. I also believe that crowd-sourcing is
>>> ready to go to a billion dollars a year for a properly
>>> integrated, transparent concept for achieving self-governing
>>> panarchy on all issues at all levels, but I am not the right
>>> person to lead such a fund-raising endeavor, only to support it.
>>
> Robert, just submitted a kickstart application last night, and I'd
> like to see where it goes. If it is approved, I'll ask for input from
> the list before going public with it. I don't know if we should ask
> for a billion, but I do think we could crowdsource enough capital to
> get the ball rolling.

Good luck.

>> If we knew better, for example, how much carbon comes from
>> particular sub-optimal resource usage (like empty planes flying,
>> or empty vacation homes, or cars that stay parked, etc.). If we
>> could build maps and networks of the global system with a sound
>> basis in science and math, then we can better direct our efforts in
>> the fight against global warming and other environmental
>> destruction. I think we also will find that we'll have a lot more
>> fun in the process.
> This links back, I think, to what was being referred to here as 'true
> cost'. In my mind, this also links to ubiquitous sensing, so that we
> do know what is going on. It's not just a matter of better models, but
> also of better data capture.

Yes, these are all related issues and important ones for wiring up the Global Brain.

>> This is just one example where I hope to help introduce people to
>> each other that might be able to collaborate on something really
>> cool that will have global impact. I suspect that after John
>> starts working with a few other people, he will find even more
>> interesting problems where he can pitch in to help save the world.
>>
>> If we all leverage our personal relationships better (and make
>> them visible to each other more transparently), we will find that
>> all of our individual passions progress faster and with less
>> stress. John Baez needs better tools to do this. We need better
>> tools to do this.
> One such tool is what I'm particularly passionate about. A free
> peer-to-peer physical network layer that is co-owned by the whole of
> humanity. I view this aspect as a central support mechanism for other
> endeavours.

This is an important part of the infrastructure. I think I listed it as 1) on my project summary at the beginning of this thread.

>>
>> Let's build them.
> Let's.

So is there a central place where those who want to help have signed up? How do we find out more about the various interested people?

Peace,

Curtis

Venessa Miemis

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 4:26:11 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM, Isaac Wilder <is...@freenetworkmovement.org> wrote:

Robert, just submitted a kickstart application last night, and I'd
like to see where it goes. If it is approved, I'll ask for input from
the list before going public with it. I don't know if we should ask
for a billion, but I do think we could crowdsource enough capital to
get the ball rolling.

just in case you didn't know, you get docked close to 10% of earnings after kickstarter and amazon payments take their cut. 

Isaac Wilder

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 4:56:51 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 04/26/2011 03:20 PM, Curtis Faith wrote:
>>> Some very interesting ideas in this space I saw on Don Roble's
>>> site, got me thinking about how to connect some people I know
>>> to start building the Whole Systems model. More below on
>>> this...
>> Interesting. Link?
>
> Try the videos here:
>
> http://www.ingenesist.com/introduction
>
> All of them are interesting but the one entitled: The Value Game is
> the one most relevant to the above.
>

Thanks.


>>> Transparency is hugely important. It is the sine qua non of
>>> deep trust. Without trust We is nothing.
>> Transparency is important, and so is unity. How do we get these
>> folks in conversation with one another, and how do we ourself
>> become a part of that conversation?
>
> We need to move from Google Groups to human groups interacting in
> the real world. Connect is going to be part of that. Perhaps
> something much smaller even sooner might be a good idea?
>

Very much agreed. The world moves much too fast for us to wait on
this. My plans are still up in the air. But by mid-June I'll either be
in Austin, TX, to get hacking with Charles Wyble, or I'll be on the
FLOfarm in Pennsylvania. Either way, my plan is to get in the same
room with you people as quickly as I possibly can.

Well, there's a list of participants in the conference that's up on
the p2p foundation site, but as far as a comprehensive list of people
that are involved, I haven't seen one. One of the things we've been
talking about is a custom tool for collaboration and discussion, and I
think that a directory of world-changers would be an integral part of
any such system. Then again, I don't think we've got time to wait for
it. There's also a list of key stakeholder organizations here:
http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:P2P_Infrastructure#Key_Organisations_.2F_Stakeholders
, but I'm not sure that's exactly what you're talking about.
>
> Peace,
>
> Curtis
>

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Patrick Anderson

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 5:54:24 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
> Isaac Wilder wrote:
>> I don't know if we should ask for a billion


Venessa Miemis wrote:
> you get docked close to 10% of earnings


Yowza, that is 100 Million! That is surely
more than it really costs...

Maybe we should ask for just enough to create
an alternative to kickstarter (+ 10%), and then
use that to ask for the remainder?

When the Users are real owners (not just
members of a co-op), then they pre-pay all the
costs of production, but cannot pay profit - for
who would they pay it to?

Devin Balkind

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:04:32 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Open source crowd funding platforms:

"Akvo makes it easy to bring development aid projects online. Use our open web and mobile tools to connect and share progress with funders and followers." Open source code here.

Catarse is an open source 'clone' of Kickstarter. You can access the code here.

"BEEx is a Free/Libre/Open (FLO) project of The Sarapis Foundation that helps people raise the resources they need to do what they want. BEEx.org is a deployment of the BEEx code provided by our foundation. Donations through BEEx.org go directly into registered organizations' Paypal accounts and we take no transaction fees"

--
Devin Balkind
@devinbalkind
vitamindwb.com

Mark Roest

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:08:54 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
I just posted a game-all concept to Gameful's newsletter editor; it's her website. We'll see if they are open. I took Bucky's lecture course in 1966 at San Jose State University.
 
Regards,
 
Mark Roest

Charles N Wyble

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:10:03 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
On 04/26/2011 05:04 PM, Devin Balkind wrote:
Open source crowd funding platforms:

"Akvo makes it easy to bring development aid projects online. Use our open web and mobile tools to connect and share progress with funders and followers." Open source code here.


Well that didn't appear to be quite open source. Only pieces. I didn't wade through all of the documentation though. So maybe it is fully open source. Dunno.



Catarse is an open source 'clone' of Kickstarter. You can access the code here.

"BEEx is a Free/Libre/Open (FLO) project of The Sarapis Foundation that helps people raise the resources they need to do what they want. BEEx.org is a deployment of the BEEx code provided by our foundation. Donations through BEEx.org go directly into registered organizations' Paypal accounts and we take no transaction fees"


Oh most excellent!

*cackles evilly*

Thanks for sharing that. I know what I'm doing tonight...

Funding platform has been lower on my list of priorities, but the platforms you mentioned look easier to setup and more in line with what I want. Superb.


Isaac Wilder

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Apr 26, 2011, 6:18:45 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I'm worried about driving traffic, but BEEx does look real nice.
(especially that part about no fees).


imw


On 04/26/2011 05:04 PM, Devin Balkind wrote:
> Open source crowd funding platforms:
>
> "Akvo <http://akvo.org/> makes it easy to bring development aid
> projects online. Use our open web and mobile tools to connect and
> share progress with funders and followers." Open source code here
> <https://github.com/akvo/>.
>
> Catarse <http://catarse.me/> is an open source 'clone' of
> Kickstarter. You can access the code here

>
> "BEEx is a Free/Libre/Open (FLO) project of The Sarapis Foundation
> <http://www.sarapisfoundation.org/> that helps people raise the
> resources they need to do what they want. BEEx.org is a deployment
> of the BEEx code <http://github.com/beexsvn/Beex.org> provided by
> our foundation. Donations through BEEx.org go directly into
> registered organizations' Paypal accounts and we take no
> transaction fees"
>
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 5:54 PM, Patrick Anderson
> <agnu...@gmail.com <mailto:agnu...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>> Isaac Wilder wrote:
>>> I don't know if we should ask for a billion
>
>
> Venessa Miemis wrote:
>> you get docked close to 10% of earnings
>
>
> Yowza, that is 100 Million! That is surely more than it really
> costs...
>
> Maybe we should ask for just enough to create an alternative to
> kickstarter (+ 10%), and then use that to ask for the remainder?
>
> When the Users are real owners (not just members of a co-op), then
> they pre-pay all the costs of production, but cannot pay profit -
> for who would they pay it to?
>
>
>
>
> -- Devin Balkind @devinbalkind vitamindwb.com

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Robert Steele

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Apr 26, 2011, 6:32:56 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
12.5 million was our original estimate in 2007, including $2.5 million a year for Medard Gabel to create the EarthGame.

The billion is more focused on buying back the US Government and other governments--the going rate started at $300M under Newt Gingrich, then jumped to $500M for Bush, then $750M for Obama, and I anticipate this next go around, if and only if we were organizaed, would cost $1B to go nose to nose with the thieves that want to keep their "pet" government that blocks 63 of 65 parties from participation.

Venessa Miemis

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:41:41 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com, building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
doesn't the world game concept involve delivering 3 billion smartphones to the bottom of the pyramid? 

someone better get that wireless mesh infrastructure built? ;)

Sent from my iPhone

Robert Steele

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 6:50:02 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
no.

the world game foundation can be build in one year for three million dollars by Medard Gabel.  No one else has the "feeling in the fingertips" that I would trust to lead it, but many could help and ensure it is scalable across all issues and data types.

I have to agree with the Simultaneous Policy guy (John Bunzi), we need to focus on the 5% that are willing, but I also agree with Range Networks, we need to start NOW on connecting the 3 billion poor with cell service at $2 a month or less.

it's all connected.  all the pieces move at the same time.  this is not a linear development.

Kaliya Hamlin

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 8:17:33 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
On Apr 26, 2011, at 1:26 PM, Venessa Miemis wrote:



On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM, Isaac Wilder <is...@freenetworkmovement.org> wrote:

Robert, just submitted a kickstart application last night,

For what specifically?

Did he do the video recording?

and I'd
like to see where it goes. If it is approved, I'll ask for input from
the list before going public with it. I don't know if we should ask
for a billion, but I do think we could crowdsource enough capital to
get the ball rolling.

just in case you didn't know, you get docked close to 10% of earnings after kickstarter and amazon payments take their cut. 


Kaliya Hamlin -  Identity Woman 
Executive Director, Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium - http://www.personaldataecosystem.org
Leader,  Internet Identity Workshop  http://www.internetidentityworkshop.com

Identity Woman Blog - http://www.identitywoman.net

Twitter - @identitywoman
Skype - Identitywoman
Phone - 510 472-9069

IM Handles (best way to "talk" to me)
AIM/IChat:  kal...@mac.com



Isaac Wilder

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Apr 26, 2011, 8:51:39 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 04/26/2011 07:17 PM, Kaliya Hamlin wrote:
>
> On Apr 26, 2011, at 1:26 PM, Venessa Miemis wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM, Isaac Wilder
>> <is...@freenetworkmovement.org
>> <mailto:is...@freenetworkmovement.org>> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Robert, just submitted a kickstart application last night,
>
> For what specifically?
>
> Did he do the video recording?

I didn't do any recording, though that is definitely something that
will need to happen. It might have been premature, but I wanted to get
the ball rolling.

In any case, I've been convinced that kickstarter is not the right
platform.
(see below)
>
>> and I'd like to see where it goes. If it is approved, I'll ask
>> for input from the list before going public with it. I don't know
>> if we should ask for a billion, but I do think we could
>> crowdsource enough capital to get the ball rolling.
>>
>> just in case you didn't know, you get docked close to 10% of
>> earnings after kickstarter and amazon payments take their cut.
>>
>
> Kaliya Hamlin - Identity Woman Executive Director, Personal Data
> Ecosystem Consortium - http://www.personaldataecosystem.org Leader,
> Internet Identity Workshop
> http://www.internetidentityworkshop.com
>
> Identity Woman Blog - http://www.identitywoman.net
>
> Twitter - @identitywoman Skype - Identitywoman Phone - 510
> 472-9069
>
> IM Handles (best way to "talk" to me) AIM/IChat: kal...@mac.com

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Venessa Miemis

unread,
Apr 26, 2011, 9:16:38 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM, Isaac Wilder <is...@freenetworkmovement.org> wrote:


I didn't do any recording, though that is definitely something that
will need to happen. It might have been premature, but I wanted to get
the ball rolling.

In any case, I've been convinced that kickstarter is not the right
platform.

i didn't say don't use it. my partner and i just raised almost $7,000 on kickstarter for our future of facebook project. (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1125835313/the-future-of-facebook-project)

i just said be aware of the % that funding platforms take. 

as devin offered, his beex platform takes no fee. 

another service that doesn't charge anything is http://www.chipin.com/ - it doesn't take a %, but you still have to pay paypal the fees they charge. there's no way around that at the moment.... any financial services platform will take their fee to transact.


Isaac Wilder

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Apr 26, 2011, 9:24:17 PM4/26/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com

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On 04/26/2011 08:16 PM, Venessa Miemis wrote:
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM, Isaac Wilder
> <is...@freenetworkmovement.org
> <mailto:is...@freenetworkmovement.org>> wrote:
>
>
>
> I didn't do any recording, though that is definitely something that
> will need to happen. It might have been premature, but I wanted
> to get
> the ball rolling.
>
> In any case, I've been convinced that kickstarter is not the right
> platform.
>
> i didn't say don't use it. my partner and i just raised almost
> $7,000 on kickstarter for our future of facebook project.
> (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1125835313/the-future-of-facebook-project)

That's awesome. Congrats.
Don't worry too much about discouraging me. The main motivation here
is that I think it would be better to use something open source, which
kickstarter does not appear to be.

>
> i just said be aware of the % that funding platforms take.
>
> as devin offered, his beex platform takes no fee.

BEEx looks great, and I think it's where I'm headed. Especially
because of Devin's involvement, but also because I like the look and
feel, the licensing, and the features.

>
> another service that doesn't charge anything is
> http://www.chipin.com/ - it doesn't take a %, but you still have to
> pay paypal the fees they charge. there's no way around that at the
> moment.... any financial services platform will take their fee to
> transact.
>
>


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Charles N Wyble

unread,
Apr 27, 2011, 12:53:14 AM4/27/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
On 04/25/2011 11:27 PM, Curtis Faith wrote:
> Hi,
>
> This is my first post to the list, so I thought an introduction was in
> order.

Welcome to the list. Thank you for such a great first post. :) Comments
inline....

> First, I am very pleasantly surprised at the amount of really good
> thinking and work that is going on in the space surrounding the
> projects and issues that brings everyone here.

Yep. It's been a pretty useful list, and allowed me to get a good
sense of the community. Been great to connect with folks directly
and get things moving forward.


> I have been very
> impressed with those I have found in just a few weeks of following the
> various Twitter meshes. I go by "inflector" on Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to find folks. Just watch @ streams of a few
people and you can uncover high quality contacts/relationships
fast. Immensely useful tool.

>
>
> Flemming had me follow Venessa Miemis, Seb Paquet and a few others. I
> branched out and found the work of Robert Steele, John Robb and then
> Venessa pointed me to this list. I have been reading non-stop for
> about a week. People's blog posts, watching videos, following Twitter
> links.

Excellent. You should post a list of all the resources that you
consumed. Serve as an
intro for others.

> I believe I now have a pretty good sense of the picture at 15,000
> meters.

Good stuff. It's useful to have an overview. When I started all my data
ownership/mesh/digtial economy work
a few years ago (2007) I just knew some of the different pieces and what
I wanted to personally do. It's great
to see others catching up and coming in with new perspectives etc.

> In 2000, I was CEO and part of the small startup team for an Austin,
> TX startup called OneCard which was building a loyalty card system for
> retailers where the data and control would be in the hands of the
> users. Thought a lot about the issues of privacy and data ownership
> and how to keep companies form selling that data for marketing.

Very cool. What is the status of OneCard today?

> After that I was CEO and VP of Marketing for a small startup called
> ScoutFire which was working on semantically categorizing the web and
> using that to help people find other places they might like to go. So
> I have done some thinking here as well.

Semantic stuff is good. I worked at a semantic tech startup as well.


> I try to keep reasonably fresh with new technologies. I worked on some
> major features for the Vienna Open Source RSS reader last year to
> learn Cocoa and Objective C, made a compiler using LLVM in C++, and
> did a bit of iPhone programming, but there are many better programmers
> than me. That's not my greatest strength.

Nice! Good to see someone who knows what LLVM is. :)

> What I really like to do most of all is work with awesome people doing
> something that most everyone else thinks is impossible. And help teams
> work together to build something that we never could have done alone.

Mmhmm.

> 1) I have a sense that many people are working on pieces.

Yes. Certain projects have emerged as category killers in various
categories.
The p2pfoundation.net wiki has a lot of data, also the FreedomBox project
wiki.

I'm in the process (over the month of May) of mind mapping out the
problem space
as I see it. I've been working on this for a few years, and have a good
grasp of it.
You can see my data ownership work at
http://wiki.knownelement.com/index.php?title=Data_Ownership
which is an attempt to capture every type of data a user creates and the
associated FLO(SS) tool that I use
to own that data.

> Is there any
> chance this could all be rolled up into a meta-project?

Well my wiki is attempting to that. I'm taking various pieces and
integrating them all together into a
cohesive whole, which I plan to ship as a set of debian packages. A
FreedomBox software stack as it
were. So I'm rolling up all the software infrastructure pieces into one
highly repeatable system for
data ownership. Have been evaluating systems, testing, using on a daily
basis etc for some time.
This is why I can say "tool xyz is the best for me". The FreeomBox wiki
has a comprehensive list
to all the tools out there, if you want an alternative to the tool I
have chosen for a particular category.
I link to them on my wiki page.

> There are good
> reasons for splitting up the pieces from a task/architectural
> perspective, obviously, but there seems like a lot of synergy in
> building together towards a larger whole that solves one really
> important problem.

Which problem is that?

Each of the various projects is rapidly progressing towards solving
their individual niches. Lots of cross
pollinating and collaboration happening. A handful of people like me
exist to drive that forward. We
read really fast, have excellent memory and sit on a bunch of lists to
cross connect.


> 2) Would any of you be interested in forming and joining a non-profit
> international coop-type organization to raise money for this meta-
> project?

Tell us more about how that would work. What kind of money would we
need? What would the budget look
like?

> Here's the kind of collaboration I'd be happy to work in:
>
> In order to foster maximum trust, everyone is completely equal.

So no board of directors? No executive management team? No middle
management?
Or everyone vote counts equally? Or...?

> Everyone works at the same pay (adjusted for local cost of living
> probably?) Everyone shares equally in the rewards. 1/3 of excess cash
> flow gets split evenly to members, 1/3 is used to bring more people
> onboard the project, 1/3 is used to build for the future.

Yes. That's a good model. One I've used in the startups that I've founded.

> No one would be "in charge" but each of us would have certain
> responsibilities that we take on subject to the agreement of the rest
> of the group. I also have some specific ideas on how this might work
> from a practical perspective, and I'm sure you all have some better
> ones.

I'm eager to see those ideas.

> I believe it would be possible to raise as much money as we need
> pretty quickly.

What money would we need?

> Some of you may have more experience as entrepreneurs,
> I have raised $20 million in the public markets and a few odd million
> in various ventures from VCs and angels in the past, so I know a bit
> about that process, the timing is right for this idea.

What makes you say the timing is right? In particular the timing
for fund raising/investment? Do you see a particular opportunity?
Has a new technology come to play? New mind sets? Macro or micro
catalysts? Usually when the timing is right (in context of funding)
something
made it a plausible opportunity. So I'm curious what you think that is?

>
> The money needs to come in as voluntary donations, either as a
> Kickstarter or IndieGoGo project, from a social venture fund, our own
> web site, or some combination of the above.

Fair assessment.

>
> The way to get this funded is to aim very high. Share the common
> vision. And have a team of people that can credibly deliver. It is
> critical that the team shares the vision and common values.

What does that team look like? What's it's makeup? What's
the desired personality profiles? Etc etc etc.


>
> People will help us if we show them why we want to build this. Why it
> is important. And what it will mean for the world. Trust them.

Been trying to do that for years. Everyone says "great. come back
when you've got something started and we'll help". So I just sat
down and built it.

I'm a man of action. An active change agent with a demonstrable track
record. I tried to get others on board. Tried to build teams etc. Didn't
work.
So I just started doing stuff. Actively participating in communities and
projects.
Blogging. Tweeting. Keeping my wiki up to date. etc. It's generated
serious buzz
for quite a while and I have my very loyal audience. They quickly
amplify what
I do. I'm the go to guy for so many different things.

>
> It is inexpensive to live here. So it would be great if some other
> people wanted to work here, but I imagine there being four or five
> different locations worldwide that might be involved initially and a
> few people scattered around in addition who work by themselves.

I live in Austin TX. Great place. Like the bay area but a lot cheaper.
We have a production mesh in town. Lots of co ops. Hackerspace.
I work for a hosting company and am very happy with my job. Deeply
fulfilling.

> Can enough of us pull together to make this happen?

Yes. We already have pulled together and are already making it happen.
VillageTelco. ServalProject. OpenBTS/OpenBSC. Bitcoin/Cyclos.

Certain pieces are missing (overall integration and security). I'm working
on making those things happen.

> What would it take for us to learn to trust each other?

Running code. Git commit history. Active contributions to projects.
I come with decent credentials ( http://blog.knownelement.com/about )
and an extensive trust network already built. I tend to trust people pretty
easily, if they are moving forward and building things.

> I see five main pieces:
>
> 1) Network transport level that replaces telco dependence and makes it
> easy/cheap to connect the unconnected world while preventing
> government shutdown.

Yep. VillageTelco/ServalProject are making huge strides in that area.
I'm also working on a
mindmap/roadmap/execution plan to go from regional networks to global
interconnected
network. Expect this in mid may.

> 2) Security and anonymity layer which works over current or future
> networks and allows people to communicate without government snooping.

Yep. Security is a joke today. I'm working on a system that will
let everyone run their own banking bits in a regulatory compliant
manner. Solving that problem makes everything else work as well.

> 3) Federated secure personal data store that respects the freedom and
> will of each individual.

Yep. My data ownership wiki has that covered.

> 4) An online collaboration system that allows people to work together
> more effectively by matching ideas and projects with available talent
> and resources so that everyone knows where they can best help, and so
> good projects get done.
> 5) An open collective intelligence system that wires the global brain
> so we can all make better decisions as we set out to make the world a
> better place.


This is said by many to be important. I wait for others to build it.


> Each of these projects is big. But we can start small and improve
> iteratively. Since they are big, I necessarily left a lot out in the
> brief descriptions. Further early versions of 3), 4), and 5) can be
> used independently of 1) and 2) until those are ready.
>
> Let me know if I am missing anything or if this idea seems wacky or if
> you think I'm crazy.

You are pretty much in line with everything else I've seen so far. :)

Curtis Faith

unread,
May 16, 2011, 3:26:03 PM5/16/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Many apologies Charles. Somehow this post from a few weeks back ended up in my spam folder, God I hate spam and its effects.

Flemming had me follow Venessa Miemis, Seb Paquet and a few others. I
branched out and found the work of Robert Steele, John Robb and then
Venessa pointed me to this list. I have been reading non-stop for
about a week. People's blog posts, watching videos, following Twitter
links.

Excellent. You should post a list of all the resources that you
consumed. Serve as an
intro for others.

I'm trying to build a list. I'll see if I can make it accessible someplace public.

In 2000, I was CEO and part of the small startup team for an Austin,
TX startup called OneCard which was building a loyalty card system for
retailers where the data and control would be in the hands of the
users. Thought a lot about the issues of privacy and data ownership
and how to keep companies form selling that data for marketing.

Very cool. What is the status of OneCard today?

OneCard ended up dying after the founder quit. The VCs (Austin Ventures) ended up putting a former VP of marketing in charge of the company (and removing me as CEO since I was hired by the founder personally) and the new VP was nowwhere near as good at the founder let alone someone capable of starting a great company. So the company died. In the internet boom of 2000, there were many people in over their heads.

I try to keep reasonably fresh with new technologies. I worked on some
major features for the Vienna Open Source RSS reader last year to
learn Cocoa and Objective C, made a compiler using LLVM in C++, and
did a bit of iPhone programming, but there are many better programmers
than me. That's not my greatest strength.

Nice! Good to see someone who knows what LLVM is. :)

I like to know all the parts. How can you design a big system for change if you don't understand the things that might be useful? Or know who is better connected and smarter than you within areas outside your particular domain of expertise?
I was thinking about solving the problem that Venessa Miemis recently posted about (in her words):

"a user-owned hardware and software stack that allows communities to self-organize, self-govern, and empower themselves to manifest ideas that are good for themselves and that build resilience, sustainability, and thrivability."

I get the strong sense that everyone here is interested in this idea, or they wouldn't be here. How many are willing to put their own personal favorite idea on the back-burner for a bit to work together to deliver real software systems that can be easily deployed (for example, no more work than installing a LAMP stack).

2) Would any of you be interested in forming and joining a non-profit
international coop-type organization to raise money for this meta-
project?

Tell us more about how that would work. What kind of money would we
need? What would the budget look like?

The money and budget needs flow out from the list of people who want to join up, where they live, what they need to live on, etc. Starting with the money first is the wrong approach for this. We need to go out to the wider world and say:

1) This is what we are going to build and why, it will be very very cool. We will keep working on this and make it better and better. Please help us.

2) This is the set of people we have committed to the project right now, they are very good at what they do, if you can help please let us know where.

3) This is how much money we need to accomplish this task. Isn't this fair and reasonable? Please help us if you can.

There is a lot of money available for the right people with a strong sense of where they want to go.

Here's the kind of collaboration I'd be happy to work in:

In order to foster maximum trust, everyone is completely equal.

So no board of directors? No executive management team? No middle
management?
Or everyone vote counts equally? Or...?

I think I addressed this in my replies to the "distributed leadership" thread. Let me know if there are still any questions.


Everyone works at the same pay (adjusted for local cost of living
probably?) Everyone shares equally in the rewards. 1/3 of excess cash
flow gets split evenly to members, 1/3 is used to bring more people
onboard the project, 1/3 is used to build for the future.

Yes. That's a good model. One I've used in the startups that I've founded.

No one would be "in charge" but each of us would have certain
responsibilities that we take on subject to the agreement of the rest
of the group. I also have some specific ideas on how this might work
from a practical perspective, and I'm sure you all have some better
ones.

I'm eager to see those ideas.

Again, I think I addressed this. Please let me know if I missed something.

I believe it would be possible to raise as much money as we need
pretty quickly.

What money would we need?

It depends how many people want to work on this full time, where they are working, etc. (see above)

In the beginning we need to get enough money to take the next step credibly. At this point, that next step is assembling the team and fleshing out non-technical requirements for the unified project.

Some of you may have more experience as entrepreneurs,
I have raised $20 million in the public markets and a few odd million
in various ventures from VCs and angels in the past, so I know a bit
about that process, the timing is right for this idea.

What makes you say the timing is right? In particular the timing
for fund raising/investment? Do you see a particular opportunity?

There is a worldwide cultural phenomenon going on. The open source software movement has been there for a long time, but sharing and working together are starting to be widely seen as a much more humane and rational way to operate than our current worldwide for-profit ownership and exclusion based economy and society.

Has a new technology come to play? New mind sets? Macro or micro
catalysts? Usually when the timing is right (in context of funding)
something made it a plausible opportunity. So I'm curious what you think that is?

There is a lot of money out for new social ideas in the VC space. Very few killer projects with capable teams.

There is a lot of money available for social ventures through foundations and social venture funds.

There are new sites like KickStarter that make it possible to self-fund the start.

The money needs to come in as voluntary donations, either as a
Kickstarter or IndieGoGo project, from a social venture fund, our own
web site, or some combination of the above.

Fair assessment.

The way to get this funded is to aim very high. Share the common
vision. And have a team of people that can credibly deliver. It is
critical that the team shares the vision and common values.

What does that team look like? What's it's makeup? What's
the desired personality profiles? Etc etc etc.

Ideally, the team is optimized for diversity of talents and perspectives; unity of purpose; and commitment to a particular style of collaborating which everyone believes in.

It is more important that people believe in the same vision than that they have particular talents. We can find specific talent if we are missing it. It will be harder to fix vision mismatches. True collaboration is critical.

We're talking about a project that has the potential to have enormous impact. We need everyone fully on board. This means they must decide to join for their own reasons. Recruiting only works to the point of making people aware of the project by doing really cool things and having others spread the word.

Force is evil. We need maximum free will. That's what free software and open software are all about. Open and free societies should be the same.

You want to spend six weeks tweaking a dispatch algorithm for the messages that helps system performance by 25%, by all means go to it. We'll just expect that you'll work with us to make it something good enough the rest of us will want to put it in. That attitude applies in other endeavors besides software or hardware development.

People will help us if we show them why we want to build this. Why it
is important. And what it will mean for the world. Trust them.

Been trying to do that for years. Everyone says "great. come back
when you've got something started and we'll help". So I just sat
down and built it.

Most people aren't scouts. They don't live on the edge of new and old territory. They want to know the path only after the exploration is done.

That's fine, that's why we'll build a big map for them, so they can help.

I'm a man of action. An active change agent with a demonstrable track
record. I tried to get others on board. Tried to build teams etc. Didn't
work.
So I just started doing stuff. Actively participating in communities and
projects.
Blogging. Tweeting. Keeping my wiki up to date. etc. It's generated
serious buzz
for quite a while and I have my very loyal audience. They quickly
amplify what
I do. I'm the go to guy for so many different things.

It is a very valuable place to be. I'm sure that you can help tremendously here. From what I've seen you've worked out many of the technical issues and are willing to jump in and figure things out. We could use those talents.

It is inexpensive to live here. So it would be great if some other
people wanted to work here, but I imagine there being four or five
different locations worldwide that might be involved initially and a
few people scattered around in addition who work by themselves.
I live in Austin TX. Great place. Like the bay area but a lot cheaper.
We have a production mesh in town. Lots of co ops. Hackerspace.
I work for a hosting company and am very happy with my job. Deeply
fulfilling.

Lived in Austin for six months with OneCard. I liked it quite a bit. I suspect there are 10 to 20 places all over the world that would be good centers for pieces of this. We need to pick a few and start there with a few people working remote and then expand out.

Can enough of us pull together to make this happen?

Yes. We already have pulled together and are already making it happen.
VillageTelco. ServalProject. OpenBTS/OpenBSC. Bitcoin/Cyclos.

Certain pieces are missing (overall integration and security). I'm working
on making those things happen.

It looks like some very smart people. Thanks for the pointers.  Where can I read more about the design for the "system."

What would it take for us to learn to trust each other?

Running code. Git commit history. Active contributions to projects.
I come with decent credentials ( http://blog.knownelement.com/about )
and an extensive trust network already built. I tend to trust people pretty
easily, if they are moving forward and building things.

There are other aspects to the project besides the tech and coding. Getting the word out. Coordinating with customers. UX design. Product vision. Industry speaking and evangelism at conferences, etc. We need to figure out how to develop trust there too with people who are not developers.
Those are the parts that have my full attention. They are the application layer that will make this useful to the wider movement.

Each of these projects is big. But we can start small and improve
iteratively. Since they are big, I necessarily left a lot out in the
brief descriptions. Further early versions of 3), 4), and 5) can be
used independently of 1) and 2) until those are ready.

Let me know if I am missing anything or if this idea seems wacky or if
you think I'm crazy.

You are pretty much in line with everything else I've seen so far. :)

Yes, like I said, the timing is right for this. Many people are seeing what needs to be done. Many have been working on parts.

We need to pull things together into one complete whole to collaborate.

Peace

Curtis

Phil Wolff

unread,
May 16, 2011, 5:06:59 PM5/16/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Curtis, if you were to start with something tiny, a nod in the direction of what it could become, the completed result of maybe a week's work, what would your system do? I'm trying to wrap my head around the tangible part of your initiative. If I was buying it at the supermarket, what would be on the box? Thanks, - Phil Wolff

Curtis Faith

unread,
May 16, 2011, 7:05:03 PM5/16/11
to building-a-distributed...@googlegroups.com
Check out:

http://www.worldhouse.org/forovivo/doku.php

This is a user-level requirements document a friend and I collaborated on a couple of years ago. We decided not to build this at the time because of the new presence of Google Wave's launch. But Wave died because it tried to do too much. So the idea is a good one again.

This shows a nod in a direction of what this could become.

Really, I think you need to look broader to get a real feel for what is needed.

A federated system to replace Twitter and Facebook and Quora and to provide new features to coordinate massive online collaboration.

Here is a description of the single project from a non-technical perspective:

http://www.worldhouse.org/2011/05/the-game-of-we/

With nods to Bucky Fuller and the others who've been working on this kind of idea.

Peace

Curtis

om Design

unread,
May 17, 2011, 3:06:54 AM5/17/11