This blog is a record of what we are doing in the real world as we self-organise to deal with the repercussions to the credit crunch. There is no organisation to this, no group, no network. You are already part of it. Let's do the best we can.

the wave

800k+ people to be unemployed in the first two months of 2009 in the UK alone...

Tuesday 30 June 2009

brilliant idea!

What is the greatest social manifestation we could produce in a week, enabled by our $10,000?

Stick your answer in the comments.

Here's where the $10,000 comes from:

emergency efficiency

Played go yesterday, and met with a guy who works in London Transport. I pitched the idea of Emergency Efficiency to him. Then I remembered this fundraising service, and you are invited to participate with money, comments, and being involved if this thing gets off the ground.

Here's an extract from Social Art that explains the idea and procedure:

During the 24weeks experience (cf Generating Pulse), I began to think of applying Social Art to all manner of things. My attention was drawn to police cars driving through traffic; it's quite common to hear sirens while walking around london. I remember waiting at a bus stop and watching how traffic responded to an approaching ambulance. And then it occurred to me: there was a disorder in traffic. Coming up with a solution at the social level might help emergency services navigate traffic thus reducing time for fire-engines and ambulances to get to accidents. This could save lives.

I remember being taught to conduct emergency stops, but I could not remember exactly what I was supposed to do when I heard sirens. Normally, when I am in a car and I hear a siren, I try to locate from which direction it is coming. Quite often, people start to slow down. This causes blockages, especially at junctions. How many times have I seen emergency services stuck in a traffic jam caused by the sound of their own sirens? So, one thing to check is what the high-way code recommends. Do they suggest that we slow down and turn to the side of the road, or that we turn to the side of the road and then slow down? The difference is critical. My suspicion is, people tend to put their foot on the brake when they hear the siren. This means that everyone about has be aware of the change of state of traffic, and also apply their brakes. This causes the blockage. You can not turn to the side of the road when you have stopped. This takes seconds if not minutes for a collective around a junction to sort itself out. So, the solution, is to turn to the side first, and then slow down. That is, the priority is to create a free channel for the emergency services to travel down.

How could this be implemented? Here's where critical mass and timing come into play. It doesn't work if we just change the high-way code or try to emphasise it through traditional means. We need to induce a culture change, critically over a short period of time, so that we can witness the benefits. It's a classic social problem, and perhaps the case to set a precedent for Social Art. So, what do we do? We go to emergency services and say we will reduce the time it takes from notification of emergency and arrival at the site within the month. The first month we collect data, interview various drivers, verify the insight regarding the traffic flow, elicit ideal behaviour they would like to see on the roads when they are responding to an emergency. We also collect stats regarding the current times across the entire region of london. This takes a week. This is the current condition. We then ask for free time on radio and tv and perhaps even local new channels to publicise the efforts, in schools, every means possible to engage person-to-person awareness of the initiative. The objective is to ensure that everyone knows what they are meant to do when they hear a siren: to turn off before slowing down. And if they can not turn off, not to stop but to keep going until they reach a point where they can turn off. There should also be some kind of website to explain in detail with various examples visualised. Ideally too, there might be a phone centre where volunteers explain to members of the public that remain confused as to what to do. The instructions are pretty simple however, and should be comprehensible over a short radio broadcast. The fourth week consists of collecting various testimonials and current data regarding times to see if there is an experiential and objective consequence to the initiative. These results are then celebrated, with thanks to the public, reports with respect to the number of lives saved as a result, even personal gratitude to the public, reports, articles, etc.

If it works, this is real proof of the power of collective action. It sets a precedence for initiatives implemented through networks. It gives feedback to individuals about the collective effect of their behaviour. Because it deals with emergency services, it is a critical matter of timing and the genuine contribution to benefit others. It is uplifting. It is effective. It is practical. It is also a realisation of an ideal. It signals what is possible.

What does it take to put this into action? I would like to offer this service entirely free, but realistically it will cost a few thousand pounds to pay for the social artists involved. The initiative can also only go ahead at the nod of a few people in power positions. By providing this service, social artists prove themselves, and I believe they are in a position to ask for financial reward and more importantly recommendation after the benefits have been proven. It is important that there is money flow following this so that social artists can offer their services free in other situations. It is not about making money, but it is essential that money does flow as a consequence (cf Fun_d Stream).
$10000 is the figure I came up with to fund the bunch of individuals needed for the month. It also means that organisations can take the process seriously rather than just think it is a silly idea and dismiss our ability to self-organise such a solution. We are willing to put our money where our ideals are.

Please leave a comment if you want to get involved in any way.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

twitter experiment

Got an idea today. I was using because the designer, @danzarrella, has included a recommendation of 5 similar thinkers to you. I suggested that he make a bigger jump than he has made so far, which is to compile some kind of algorithm that brings people together from different thinking styles... in order to suggest ideal groups.

Anyhow, I contacted the five individuals who match my profile, got one response back within the hour who said he was interested in an experiment, @robertetaylor. Which is why I am writing this blog, so I can introduce him to the bleeding edge of this experiment. (I assume he's interested in this initial state because... our profiles match:)

Originally, when looking at the various recommendations, I thought it would be a simple matter of seeing if we could do something together as a group. As an extended network of similar thinkers. I contacted robert first because he has a similar follower count to me. We may need to pull our power in order to get the attention of the fifth one who has something like 50,000 followers if I remember correctly.

Then, when I searched for robert's profile, his recommended five did not include me. And I started to think of extended networks. I am not sure what the point would be, but if we could map out our relationships, would this show something of communities? And I am talking about a straight maths analysis of a network graph. Could we use something like nodebox specifically java-network? Could we ask dan to include this as an extension, or could one of us implement it for him?

SO, with experiment#1, what can we five do that we can get to see a social result within the week? How can we empower one another, perhaps, such that we can manifest the greatest social effect. Or, has someone got an alternative idea?

AND, with experiment#2, we create an extended network, each of us mapping to only 5 others. This extended network might be willing to play the following thought experiment once we reach eg 1000 people: what can 1000 people do, the results of which we would see manifest socially within the week?

Feel free to add your own experimental idea, or to answer some of these. This is just the beginning. (It could also be the end. Depends on what we think :)

Shoot, almost forgot. I also did a simultaneous thread introducing my friend @olasofia to her profile recommendations, and @thinksmith with his since I am meant to be interviewed by him tomorrow on his radio show. We can call that experiment#3.

Tuesday 26 May 2009

real meeting dynamics

In order to enable a wow in the new economic paradigm exercised through tuttle, a game can be played with a compare or referee to ensure the following rules are followed:
  • no! oppositional state, from A-or-B to A-and-B, encourage the yes
  • no pulling, into the past, ideas, definitions, or self, avoid distraction through dissapation, ego spiral, pastwise into old ideas and becoming a waste of time, in order to encourage the return of attention, convergence, futurewise and fluid dynamics
  • no grouping, no pairing, triples, splitting, or delaying conclusions for later, no compacts, encourage shared attention
  • not creative, not determined creativity like brainstorming and outlandish ideas, but simple observation and emergence of cross-mind pollination
The idea is that the referee will show an orange card if someone breaks the rules and they must stop. If it continues, then the ref shows a red card and everyone stops for 30 seconds to remind themselves of the self-disciplined acceptance of the rules of the game before they began. If people continue, the referee needs to leave, to get up and go, despite how interesting it may appear to be, wishing them the best of luck.

These bare some relevance to the RealtimeOS of the confluence model.

Saturday 9 May 2009

new strategy

So, seems like collective strategy is ahead of its time. My respectful engagement with people at the bottom doesn't seem to work either. Presenting a link between buddhism and maths hasn't piqued anyone interest. Was hoping that respect, attention, gentleness, non-ego, would realise a result, but credibility seems to be the big problem. So, under the nudging of Sofia and Tav, looks like time to make a big change.
Playing the genius card.
I've been giving people an interactive value from 0-10 or buddha-genius, from silent observer detached to active participant using will rather forcefully and loudly. The low approach hasn't worked. The ante needs to be raised, so here's the genius card.

Approach the big players, those with money, the stage, the decision makers. If I get a positive feedback loop from them, an audience of a few strategists, or well-monied individuals, or an audience from a stage, then this might make the whole thing move a lot more smoothly. That is, making an appointment at the bottom, with the backing of someone from the top, or getting some social credability from large numbers of people. I had hoped to get it from family, and now from entrepreneurs.... looks like I need to do what most people do, which is to connect to the "powerful". I suspect that my challenge at the top level is exactly what they want. Challenge lower down the system, at the horizontal plane of self-organisation, seems to be too threatening. So, let's see what the big boys are playing at.
What's the game plan?
The usual, 2020worldpeace, tron, alpha and 2p2 social security as part of the wave, transitional economics, XQ, pulse and Realtime OS, mathematising collaboration, educare, strateg_os. The objective is to get enough money to fund proper engagement with people, perhaps fund a project or two, and more importantly to get the backing of certain organisations.

Acertain a number of organisations who are trying to work on these problems and present them with these solutions. How about creating a video of my presentations? Walking from one to another, hoping to see people, talking to them, and then writing up things on windows etc. Ie, make a bit of a spectacle of it. Listing the problems, and throughout the presentation ticking off those problems that should be prevented as a result.
What are the Problems?
There are a lot of these, from lack of collaboration skills, the catch-22 with adults v kids, captialism attractor, scalibility, too much everything (info, network, ideas), grouping (selfish, competitive, bounds network, mid-top engagement pulling bottom thus top-down effect again), unpredictability (though determined), inefficient methodology of funding, encouraging bottom up growth from above. They should be outlined specific to the institutions that are engaged. Imagine writing up a list on the window outside eg NESTA the problems that face the individuals in this building; here I am outside, outside because my solutions are at a different level to theirs, I can't even get in.
What are the Solutions?
These are at a level lower than the problems, such as culture change (vertical movement together, biggest being 2020worldpeace), ethicising western practice (XQ), nerd mentality (convergence with eg tron), one non-group network eg tuttle (unity, not monopoly), ths (using the transitive economic model), . Hence, outlining these, and even describing these precisely, should show how the problems faced are resolved, or pre-solved, actually. Also generate a list of principles as a result that seem to inform most of the solutions, that define the parameters of the new paradigm.
failing that
If I can't get backing from organisations, what can I get out of a few rich backers? An iphone, free travel, place to stay (preferably in a warm country, eg cabo verde), investment in books in terms of getting publisher, pulse, hotel?, funding tron in schools.
I like the idea of a funky video. Recording how I get on at these places, showing my explanations drawn on glass, perhaps getting some people to help draw some graffiti in the background while explaining concepts. Could be a lot of fun, and no matter what happens, there is plenty of material which shows the ideas for all to see, if anyone is interested of course :)

Friday 1 May 2009

confluence consultancy

OK, so how do the principles of the new economic model work in real life? Let's use tuttle since it was Lloyd who helped formulate it.

We perform a kind of free tuttle within a client's office comprising of a unique collection of individuals, vertically from company, and horizontally from tuttle collective. Because this is not a us v them situation, the ideas people come up with are positive and spontaneous based on genuinely interesting responsed to each other's ideas, just like in a standard tuttle meet up. The difference is, this unique group arrive at a decision, by consensus, to realise the best idea. And what is the best idea?
  • ellicits a wow from all participants
  • beyond the capacity for any individual to achieve alone
  • minimal effort investment so as to produce a social result WITHIN THE WEEK
  • the highest level of participant within the company simply allows the attempt to be made
If people make the decision to go for it, and they all do whatever they do within the company and with whatever network and resources they have at their disposal, then there is a chance that the idea is realised that week.

The quality of the manifest idea in the real world is that it benefits the individuals in the company and as a consequence the company itself. This might be indexed by how many people watch a video, say, or how much sales increase etc. The idea is, participants in the meeting might wish to come up with an idea that actually manifests as money flow.

If money flows, then the representatives of the company may wish to pay the tuttle collective a fee for their efforts. THIS IS NOT TO BE ACCEPTED! The tuttlers did what they did free. It is the nature of the kind of work that people are wishing to do. It is not money motivated. It is results based for sure. This allows an ethical dimension to enter into the equation. What the tuttlers may accept is a gift so that they can offer their services free ELSEWHERE.

Tuttlers are then free to contribute their skills and resources ad hoc to organisations. Clearly, we need to start clever, with the highest chance that the first consultancy results in a high potential return within a week. Hence, It's generally self-selecting as tuttlers choose those who they believe will be able to spark off the best ideas in themselves, as well as approaching the most open-minded clients. Once the positive cycle begins, tuttlers will be able to give a week, a month, a year of their time for free to realising a potential. It all depends on how successful their contributions are.

Hannah pointed out a disorder in thinking which might occur to you as you read this. Why would a company pay for something that was offered free? This is a mistake in order of thinking. If looked at in the right way, there is no organisational discussion or exchange. There are individuals within an organisation, normally aligned hierarchically, and individuals from a collective eg called tuttle. The honour of the payment is moral, and so must be conducted at the individual level.

Think blood and the circulatory system. This is a reasonable "model" for social media, since the medium of the social IS more fluid than solid.

With this model, there is only need for one tuttle, as it were. Since it is not really an organisation, but the closest to a formalised network there is. After all, we are all networked anyway, in the same way we are all self-organised. This model allows for a dissolution of the traditional structures, as people in companies experience the benefit of working in this way, they may add themselves to the tuttle pool, as it were, and find themselves in another company's office offering their services free.

Saturday 25 April 2009

standing wave

Very interesting moments of engagement. Talking with Dougald at tuttle assured me that he is a good man and doing his best; I shall not question him ever again. Meeting his mother also verified deeper aspects of his being. Spoke at length with Mamading, regarding collective strategy and my potential role as an outsider drawing attention to dynamics as I enter their organisational space and depart, only once invited of course.

Met with Luke, a genius, again at a talk at the beginning of Slow London Festival; watched an excellent talk by David Rooney about Time, and talked to one of the organisers of the event, Cathy was it?, and remembered that I hadn't replied to their request for information regarding my initiative with slow business ehehhe. Luke and I talked afterwards and we might be playing Armagetron together and mathematising the 'lose me, we win' ethic. There was also mentioning of tango, and perhaps Liz would be interested in teaching him with my guidance.

Big blow out with Tav, on Tav's side, which seems to have resulted in a useful engagement today. Attempting to invite thought on collective strategy, specifically on creating the conditions for next year that enable 1,000,000 to confluence well (cf pulse). This is further qualified by talking with Sofia with a 6 month goal of creating an "empty space" in autumn/winter which perhaps 1k people might block off, individuals who we have determined as having and demonstrating the appropriate qualities for confluence. It might be possible to define the skill/belief set in the negative space, ie it is not this, not that, etc, and whatever is left is thereby defined indirectly. Also, Sofia came up with "drop it when it gets too heavy", aligned to the mantra I suggested to her last week: imagine 10 people lifting a table; if it feels to heavy, then the response should be to relax and let more weight be taken by others. Consider this in relation to personal gravity, when things get personal, too heavy, just let go. The table will only crash down if there are too many people who are not "pulling their weight". Would be very impressed if Tav just decided to do the dishes, all the dishes, all the time. This is an example of the kind of thing required.

Regarding collective strategy, it's like a teacher who prepares the learning environment for the student to piece things together. Or, when people get thirsty, you have the water ready for them. Those involved in social innovation camp et al will realise the limited scope of their growth because the inherent basis of their business model is competitive. That is, the current successes of social media now will meet with failure, with some people realising this throughout the year until by next year it shall be understood. The trick is to set into place influential strategy so that by next year, when a new solution is proposed by various parties, the conditions are appropriate. A reasonable metaphor is to think about improving the quality of soil. It's not about seeding and growing things, but embracing the failure that is death, composting, enriching the conditions. To this end, finally, Sofia is starting to get the "failure vibe" and we hope to have a fun time with that.

Brief engagement with Lloyd of the social art piece, tuttle, which seemed to echo a lot of the things I have written and practiced with collective consultancy. Think I worked out the necessary business model for it to work. Instead of most of these startups starting up with cash injections, I believe it begins with free services, and money flows along the principle of pay it forwards. Start with small group and an effect within a week, giving rise to longer term, larger projects, and greater money flow. Think institutional aikido.

Tomorrow looks like a nice day. If the weather is nice, a picnic with the collapsonomic guys at st james' park, followed by meditation, fresh and raw food salon before tango in the evening.

Looks like this coming month and next month are going to be critical, as this year and next is critical of this decade and the next. The outcome of our efforts may define an age, heheheh, really. You can just sit and read this and watch it as it happens, or you are cordially invited to participate as you see fit. Please remember initial sensitive conditions of chaotic systems. Whether we get hurricanes or depressions depends on our actions now. Be awake. Be well.

be the wave