Basically, most facts are accepted by most people most of the time. Our communities do work.
Few facts, if any, are accepted by everyone.
But there’s something even more important: even if everybody agreed on the facts, we would still disagree on what those facts meant.
Unless we are willing to accept and live with something like a "benevolent" dictatorship, we act along with others by reaching "working agreements".
These normally involve compromise. They are sometimes elegant and simple. They are often clumsy and accidental. They very often leave nobody feeling satisfied, with almost everyone frustrated at the end of the day. We muddle through, one way or another, because we have no choice but to go on … the clock of life does not stop ticking.
We can muddle more accidentally, more clumsily, with more waste and frustration or we can muddle with some sense of what we’re on about.
We are not all of us going to have one single sense of what the facts are and what those facts mean, but we can most of us work to have some sense of what we’re working towards and why we’re working the way we are.
Even without universal agreement on ultimate truths, we can build community by building consensus.
The alternative is some degree of dictatorship and tyranny.
P2P Foundation … certainly something that deserves a bit of elbow grease.
How to put things in context, how to begin … and where?
March 2008 … 13 years on the WWW, after 36 years of online activity in one form or another? (I could say 41 years, if I counted ham radio!)
How about this:
let’s go with “Something old | Something new …”
|The website for our People’s Summit project … the event we mounted parallel to the 1995 G7 conference. A fabulous example of how group activity can demonstrate the best and worst of progressive dynamics. (An A-list type parachuted in to proclaim and be proclaimed as holder of revealed wisdom concerning things HTML … dividing the project, dead-ending the effort, and contributing precious little. When time came to re-vitalize the project in 2002, for the G8 Finance Ministers’ Meeting, I came up with a preliminary homepage but, well, bad memories haunted the whole community and it never stirred its loins.)|
“Green Future Foundation” and one of its resource pages, from 1996 … the community was a spent force. What should have been a veritable celebration of dynamism and collective intelligence became an exercise in careerism and one-upmanship. The project was still-born. Sad. Just sad.
And most recently?
Beside a couple of posts to my dusty old “DAV and Docs” blog, and the inevitable updates to my venerable aulde LiveJournal…
… I launched something to revitalize my more general interests: UdJonell.blogspot.com is getting me to re-visit Jon Udell’s body of work, which seems to me a veritable cornucopeia of delights. (So this will do double duty, counting as something borrowed, too!)
And GroundPlane.wordpress.com, my newest thing and certainly the most significant in a long while.
This has been a long time coming; I can’t say I’ve dropped “stealth mode”, the cat’s still very much in the bag … let’s say I’ve allowed it to poke its head out. Yaa, something like that.
To energize collective intelligence …
… to magnetize the wisdom of crowds.
My begging bowl
Thinking together about what is crucial …
… speaking deeply about simple things.
GroundPlane.org and TruthTree (“an army of analysts” in design) … it’s about enabling OpenAccess and extending participation!
In communications one of the things that limits the “through-put” of a channel is band-width, quite like “how big is the pipe”. (You can increase the pressure, but widening the pipe has even more effect.)
In radio communications there’s another limit: the “ether” doesn’t just carry the signals we create but also signals from a bazillion-million other sources, everything from lightning crashes to atmospheric static to hum from machinery to hash echoing from the Big Bang itself. So “through-put” is limited by the ratio of that noise to the signal we’re looking for, the signal-to-noise ratio (also signal/noise or SNR).
A resonant antenna works by grabbing more of that signal, passing it to the system while shunting the noise to “ground”, an artificial replacement for the earth. And so the SNR can be vastly improved, not just with a better antenna (increasingly complex) but by providing a better ground. That artificial earth is known as a “ground-plane”.
This system works as a ground-plane. The internet is the cosmic ether. You are not just the source of the signals; you are the antenna and the receiving system.
GroundPlane.org will allow you to maximize your through-put by optimizing SNR!
Why the begging bowl?
A few years back I got hit by a double-whammy; the first messed up my finances, the second was a knock-out that also messed up my health.
I was at Dalhousie University studying cog-psych and criminology (double major) as a mature student. In my 2nd year I was getting high grades and even got research funds for my work on taxonomy. (I rigged up a VRML experiment in ethology, writing an app in VisualBasic5.0 *Gack Ptui!*)
Things were going well … after years as an independent consultant and contractor (computerization and technical documents), coming away from years raising kids in a country home … I was even invited to give the psych faculty a presentation on scientific visualization.
Things were well. I slipped on the icy steps of my front porch and suffered eye damage (minor) and concussion (not at all minor). That knocked me down. I failed a course that spring. Though I got A+ in the redo that summer I failed another that fall and lost my funding.
Having lost most everything I had to move to housing that can only be called humble, at best. A fairly decent room (12ft X 8 feet) in a rough neighborhood. Three months later 2 crack-heads kicked in my door and tried to lay a beating on me. (I think there was a 3rd outside, but I’ll never know.)
Chosing to escape rather than kill them (I was armed with a huge table-leg I’d stashed away), I fell from my second story window when the rope I’d rigged snagged on the window frame and parted.
In 2008 I’m using a 7 year old Toshiba Toughbook. It’s going strong, but 300MHz w/128Meg RAM running Win98SE … the world is closing in on me. (Firefox has been like a friend, but the newest version won’t install.)