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August 28, 2004


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Broken HREF alert! Here's the white paper.

7) Smart mob fund raising and offers of services for those brave enough to speak and sacrifice, and to assist those who find themselves forced to act on their conscience. A good old boys' and girls' network without the stealing and nepotism.

8) Make this post a permalink in the sidebar and ask others to do the same, mirrored or linked, on their sites. Mirror the white paper.

Thanks, fixed the link.

Two good points. Can you do a link from Scratchings?

Done, under "Site Pomotion" and in bold tags.


Tho' I've only skimmed it, the white paper looks impressive .. a clear no-nonsense synthesis of many of the ideas that have been floated, poked, noticed, identified, flogged, articulated, made into software and networks, derived from org design/change/development over the last decade or so.

There is "something" coalescing .. that seems clear. The paths to and from that coalescence, and the implications therein and thereon seem to be coming into clearer focus.

Quite a paper, ties lots of stuff together. Only about 1/3 through as yet. I note the prominent place of the Boyle and Benkler papers I have been going on about in the section on the commons.

Axelrod's book is very good too, I read it about 15 years ago. It really gets interesting when he gets into the more sophisticated models where you are more likely to "compete" again against players "in your neighborhood. Nice strategies (any that hold on point 1, Minim's favorite) all do well in this context, but they can loose the retalitory impulse as it doesn't get called on much, then I defector can come in a clean up for a while.

Another interesting one related to "be clear". You could get into an alternating pattern with each player defecting and cooperating on alternate turns. The scenario was any basic Tit-for-Tat against T4T+ that might randomly defect to see what happens. On random defect starts the pattern and you can't break out without another random change or some higher level stragegy.

More thoughts.

For #7, the cooperative model shows a lot of promise. And this is really more your kind of thing than mine, Tutor, but some sort of fraternal or charitable org has possibilities.

Thanks, Harry, yes. I don't know if you are aware, but Notio participated in the Chicago Giving Conference. His experience with coops is very much to the point. Yes, the nonprofit or fraternal model, as well the coops, and some hybrid form, like a social venture (forprofit with social purpose) are all efforts to honor and codify the efforts of citizens to come together for purposes that go beyond profit. To use such models and extend them is a key contemporary trend. At http://www.gifthub, phil does try to track this evolving world. Some of that gets intricate, because, as you note, each form has its own IRS and legal requirements, which have to be dove-tailed with social purpose, the needs and wants of constituents, including volunteers, mangers, investors or donors, and those served by the org. Not easy, but very important, I think, because it goes to the heart of world increasingly dominated by a corporate form in which conscience was inadvertently excluded. Corps are required to profit maximize, with the Candidia-style madness that we now see all around us. So, what would it be like if we could create corps, or other organizing enttites that could produce goods and services, but which would have a social conscience "baked in" from the gitgo? Could they survive? Prosper and ultimately displace the more ruthless orgs? That is the effort. The hurdy gurdy man is also important. "Conscience," ethics, art, these are not so easy either. Much of what passes for social ventures is a tribute to narrow education an narrow culture. MBAs who still cannot see beyond the horizon of "measurable results" and now want to measure excellence and human flourishing on a linear scale to compute a second bottom line. Doomed, of course, as any lit major or philosophy major would recognize, from the start. Based on unargued assumptions, and built on fallacies, (like trying to deduce and ought from an is). A single criterion is foolish. What we can is a pluralist society, in which we come together to express our deep traditions in communities and vital organizations, from social ventures, to churches, to frateral orders, to schools, to green businesses, that then interact in a cultural as well as political and economic "market place of ideas," or vale of soul-making.

Unvarnished awesomitude, dude!

vernaculo mentioned in another post that "predatory" had beengiven/acquired a pejorative connotation. Yet this is at odds with the way we evolved. I mentioned to Jon some weeks ago that the archetype of the hunter, who respected and mourned his prey, had given way to the warrior, for whom disrespect is part of victory.

The questions you pose I see as. . . can an ancient archetype -- that worked so well -- replace one designed to eliminate it. And if so, how is it possible?

In a discussion with Inspector Lohmann, I mentioned the role of satire to enforce humility more or less painlessly in groups that needed to cooperate at all times in order to survive a lean existence.

I think small, highly mobile bands that cultivate an excellence of products and services could drive the lumbering behemoths -- dependent on rigging the rules to maintain their inefficient bulk -- off the common grounds. They'd have to forego escalation of personality clashes; treat them as sport, not blood feuds and always keep in mind the value of sacrifice that lets their fellows prosper. Those who sacrifice have to reap some secondary reward and be assured of their basic survival.

H: To prevail over predatory bands a cooperative group "would have to forego escalation of personality clashes; treat them as sport, not blood feuds and always keep in mind the value of sacrifice that lets their fellows prosper. Those who sacrifice have to reap some secondary reward and be assured of their basic survival." Yes, sport rather than blood feud is exactly right for satire and for parliamentary debate - two important sublimations in the 18th of what had been murderous civil war. To make that level of civility work you need to be able and allowed to get it all said, not literally necessary, but get it all out. Memely to do so is huge relief. When opponents get it all said, and stand up under one another's ritual blows, it leads - it really does -- to deep mutual respect and friendship. Witness how fighers embrace at the end of a bout. In fact the two key pleasures in satire or debate are a) slaying your opponent after a prolonged session of exquisite torture and b) sharing a beer in the pub with him afterwards. For those who are good at it there is no doubt it has an erotic element. It is blissful even to take the blows when they are well-aimed. There are times, even in losing, when you have to laugh with delight to see your opponent so sharp, volley after volley busting up your face, until you go to one knee. This sentiment is for me a visceral thing. I realize know that not all share it. Some think it cruel or inhumane or in bad taste, or politically incorrect since it hurts the opponents "self esteem" or vanity. But what I enjoy about our opponents on the right is precisely there willingness to use every resource of English to vilify us - more power to them as long as they let us return the favor in equal good spirit.

Regarding: "6. Pass up tainted honors - Do not cooperate with malfeasance."

I don't think that the examples given square well with the descriptor. Rather, the offer of credentials or a soapbox (TV gig, Tenure, Fellowship, etc) should be seen as an opportunity to speak, and taken.

The warnings about being bought, or cowed, should go in their own item.

Ok. Linked to it and blogged it.

Thanks, Craig, for the thoughtful comment. Yes, if given a chance to speak out, we should take it, no doubt, if we have the guts to perform under pressure, counter to the expectations of the "setup." In candor, I often fluff it, giving people what the setup requires rather than challenging the conventions. I am working on this, and find blogging helps, because I get certain riffs down, and then under pressure, I can reel them off. But it is so easy to slip into the role they want you to play. But, your point is very well taken.

Len, thanks.

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