New Civilization News - Category: Communication    
 Being Real2 comments
picture23 Sep 2002 @ 20:31, by quidnovi. Communication
Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet

"As the virtual world grows to encompass all aspects of our lives and online interactions shape our communities, influence our politics and mediate our close relationships, the quality of being real, which is accepted and assumed with little thought in the physical world, becomes one of the central questions of society..."
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 Informational Distortions2 comments
picture20 Sep 2002 @ 13:10, by ming. Communication
One of the things I'm interested in is how to recognize and expose deceptive information, and how to recognize communication that is meant to mislead and control you.

That takes many different forms, and is a whole big subject of study. So here are just a few hints about it, particularly as they apply to interactions between a few people in places where more people are watching, such as panel dicussions or online forums.

Our use of abstractions and symbolism in our language and in our thinking opens up the door for many different ways things can be twisted. Many of them are harmless or accidental. The main thing to watch out for is when somebody would like to give you an untrue picture of something in order to make you think or do something that really isn't in your best interest.  More >

 Tuesday 27 Aug 200229 comments
picture27 Aug 2002 @ 01:46, by ming. Communication
  • The NCN public News Log at [link] was accessed 143146 times in the past 5 weeks. That's the most popular place across and 20% of all traffic. A big thank you to Richard Carlson who's the person who selects the postings that make it there.

  • Lotus Notes was the leading edge collaboration tool for corporations in the 80s. Steve Gillmor says that Notes is Dead. Well, the online world has changed. Ray Ozzie was the guy who created Notes. 15 years later he created Groove which is a very cool peer-to-peer collaboration platform. And, as you can see, he has a weblog, and encourages his employees to have weblogs too.

  • Tara Sue Grubb is the first candidate for U.S. Congress with a weblog. Libertarian from North Carolina. I think I like her.

  • Apparently Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation trilogy of science fiction books were translated into Arabic under the title "Al-Qaida" and there's some serious speculation that it might have been an inspiration for Bin-Laden's Al-Qaida. Farout, but rather intriguing.  More >

  •  At Play in the (fractal) Fields of NCN10 comments
    picture28 Jul 2002 @ 19:54, by quidnovi. Communication
    Hail to you NCN… "Hail to you...for you perceive sensibility in the insensibility of the world, uncertainty in its certainty. For you are often conscious of others as of yourself. For you feel the anxiety of the world, its limits and its false unlimited assurance. For your obsessive need to wash your hands from the dirt of the world, for your fear of the absurdity of existence. For your subtlety which prevents you from telling others what you see in them. For your awkwardness, for your transcendental realism and your lack of daily realism, for your exclusiveness and your fear of losing your great friends. For your creativity and your ecstasy, for your maladjustment to what is and your adjustment to what ought to be, for your immense possibilities not yet actualized... Because your celestial might have been crushed by earthly brutality. For what is unique, original, intuitive and infinite in you. For the solicitude and the oddness of your paths. Hail to you!"---G. R. de Grace

    I feel so much strength and yet so much vulnerability, here at NCN, so much grace and yet so much clumsiness, such guileless simplicity and so much confusion, such cheerful conviviality and yet so much loneliness. We listen, and we work things out carefully in our heads and lay them down in our newslogs and comments, through words and images so people will understand, and though we all aspire to the universal, we can't help but write and paint in the languages of Babel.

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     Structures for Change Conference5 comments
    12 Jun 2002 @ 22:10, by ming. Communication
    I try to go to some conference every month or two, to stay in touch with what is out there, and to connect with real people. The conference I just went to,
    Structures for Change in Seattle, represents what I most enjoy when I go. The focus was on the people who came, not on any presenters, because there largely weren't any. And it was run by Open Space principles.  More >

     Relationships11 comments
    4 Jun 2002 @ 02:13, by mmmark. Communication
    Dear Chums . . .

    I thought I would get your response to this idea:

    If we share in the investment, don't we then share in the rewards?

    This is a question of mutual concern that is the practical and actual basis upon which unity is achieved, and it works without distortion on any scale.

    If we share the responsibility, then there is rarely an opportunity for conflict or disappointment. Worst case scenario - we suffer and learn together - then quickly decide not to do that shit again! Obviously the incentive to create the most bliss is omnipresent.

    The prevalent paradigm has us acting independently with hopes that the divergence will magically overlap to produce harmony in Love. Rather ironic considering how much un-loving we do along the way, maybe moronic is a better description.

    Any method of social engagement cannot work when it becomes exclusive in any way, as it will be too disconnected from the reality of a very diverse species to serve itself fairly.

    I believe that relationships succeed unconditionally when partners place the union first in all decisions and those discussions are measured by a simple principle - whether the outcome of one's choice will be responsible for the healthy good of everyone. That means we will all be looking out for the health of our associates and partners, in love, business and in politics all the time. My mission in life is to see to it that I help everyone get what they need and want within the realm kindness.

    Now I knew most of this by the time I was 6 or 7 years of age, but certainly by age 14. Didn't you? Children are generally better models of spiritually connected people than most adults, so I am trying to recharge my innocence in hope for the awesome potential we fritter away most of the time. I think we should hold Namasté in our hearts at all times - that we respect other's rights to build true spiritual success - and as you know, I don't use the word "spiritual" in a way that would indicate a limit on the where, when, why, how, or how much.

    Well, that's my pitch for standard human operating procedure. Show me where there's conflict in humanhood? Come to think of it, I am beginning to detest limiting gender distinctions in words like brotherhood and sisterhood. Is humanhood even a word? How do you talk about the whole hood anyway? Globalhood doesn't sound very personal, even though that's where I come from.

    > > > Mark  More >

     "What Do I Want? Wowypops" Or "What makes a lucid arrow a lucid arrow?"
    20 May 2002 @ 11:31, by invictus. Communication
    This one is a bit longer than most, but bear with me. Usual disclaimer (no offense or personal attacks intended) with one qualification: if what I say here offends you, we really need to have a talk. It came out initially as a stream of consciousness, and it was more difficult than usual to organize it into a coherent thought pattern.

    What I really want is power. Not power over people, but the power that is my birthright as a human being. I am talking about the power to explore, both inward and outward; the power that we feel when we start to explore who and what we really are. The world we are in today discourages such exploration in favor of games with a bunch of techno-toys and a mad dash to see who can become the most excellent at being mediocre. The power that I want is only at odds with those who seek to deprive me, and the rest of humanity, of freedom. I don’t wish to exercise power over anyone except myself. They are in the process of exercising a different kind of power over me. This is the kind of power that George W. Bush and cronies are so desperate to have.

    I’ll tell you why power over other human beings is meaningless. Any person who would submit themselves to my power, or to the power of any “leader”, in the traditional sense, has nothing I would care to have control over. Any human that would give the responsibility for their life over to another being, willingly, has no resources that are of value to me. I really don’t care what kind of being it is that they are signing their lives over to; God, gods, a president, a cult leader. Anyone who is worth a single molecule of the air they breath has absolutely no use for followers or “sheep”, nor would they ever become one themselves. So, when I say I want power, I do not mean that I want power to rule others.

    The people who spend their lives ruling over others do so because they themselves are empty shells; they have backed away from the challenge of facing themselves in the mirror of consciousness. They try so hard to give those shells meaning, by trying to make sure that their standard of mediocrity is the universal rule. They are even so terrified of their own inadequacy that they think they have the right to fight wars over it, and to declare monopolies on the use of force. Whether it is an individual, or the population of a nation making such claims to authority, they are only displaying how terrified they are of their own humanity. We are, every one of us, human, no matter which side of an imaginary line we were born on. The whole idea that I am any different from anyone else, simply because they were born in another one of these dehumanizing jokes we call nation-states, is probably one of the most destructive ideas humanity has ever come up with. The only reason a person could want power over others is to make sure that those others never exceed that person. It’s just fear; fear that another human being, if allowed to live freely, would delve into the mysteries that they themselves were too much of a coward to confront. They want to convince themselves that they are the best humanity can do. They create systems to perpetuate their own cowardly “power”; to produce human beings as crippled as they are.

    I was raised with this funny little notion in my head that we can do better than this. I believe in happy endings, I believe in heroes, and I believe that there is a “good fight” to fight. If the way the world is now is the best humanity can do, then I am certain that I am not a human being. I am also certain that, if this is the best we can do, humanity does not have long left to survive. If all we can do is fight other people under the illusion that we are more worthy of survival than they, we will go on fighting forever. Is fear the only thing we will ever allow to rule ourselves, even to the point of diluting us into thinking that killing those we fear will accomplish anything?

    More than being raised with it, when I was in my mid-teens, it just jumped out at me. The universe in my head, and its ability to interact with this universe and its inhabitants, is worth more than ten million times the gross national product of any nation that ever was or will be. I am in this thing, for the “long haul”, but not by choice. If I had the option of forsaking all this madness and frustration for a life of blissful ignorance, I would probably take it. Noble and altruistic impulses aside, the pain involved in being as I am is far too intense to tolerate, willingly. The problem is that I do not have the option of abandoning myself to the call of idiocy. I am far too aware of my potential (and of the potential in all of us), and the only way I can imagine spending my life is exploring that potential. I am not here out of infinite compassion or love for others. I respect those who are willing to explore themselves honestly, in spite of the world. A few, I may even come to love. Also, I do have a degree of compassion for every human being; it comes from empathy. However, I have no respect for those who are truly willing to be sheep. I’m willing to try to wake them up. What if they stick to being afraid and complacent all their lives, and it is impossible to change them? I will not let their insistence on small-mindedness deprive me of the wonders within me. I probably don’t have a choice, which is why I really hope that the rest of humanity has something at least a little bit like what is in me. I am here to better myself in the most meaningful and fundamental way. I am also very eager to meet others who would empower themselves in a similar way; life is meaningless without them.

    Conscious evolution is a personal matter; it is the most important personal matter there is. It is also the most personal important matter. Without it, all we are left with is “our children will do it”. You know what? Children learn by example. You spend your entire life saying that your children are going to do it, and they are going to learn to hand it off in the same way, generation after generation. DO IT. Evolve. Explore your minds and cast off these god damn delusions. Do it for the children. That’s right… instead of preparing your children to hand off the responsibility for the world’s situation to their children, take the leap for them. Show them that it can be done, and that waiting for the next generation to do it will only work until we run out of generations. The last humans, trapped on a war torn bio-weapon eaten smog smothered planet will have no children to pass it on to. They’ll wish their great-great-great grandparents had done something, when there was still a chance. What to do? Hey, most of the people reading this are at least twice my age; use the life experience that makes you all so venerated. I’m only 20. I am trying to figure it out. What I do know is that we MUST make it personal. Ultimately, our selves are the only tools we have with which to better the world. If we don’t focus on making those selves better peace warriors, world servers, or whatever term you would prefer, then we will be useless. It has to be about bettering and improving the ME, because that is the only way WE are going to have any agents worth using. Otherwise, the WE is just a bunch of underdeveloped ME’s hoping that someone else will do it.

    The kind of power I am talking about wanting is only effective when thousands or millions of humans are willing to stand side by side and exercise it. I don’t want this power for myself alone. Quite the opposite; I need to bath in the light of others who are as desperate to grow as I. If this world that we live in today, with its nation-states and politics, is the best the human race can do, I have no place here. Aware though I may be, I’m only “human”. As such, the weight of six billion people is more than enough to pull me down, if those six billion people are so contented that this is just the way things are. If that’s true, then I am a mistake. The belief in happy endings that defines me is some kind of pipe dream. Yet, at the same time, I am no more or less human than anyone else. How can this be? I don’t know the answer.

    Some have said that it is obscene to declare that one’s self is better than anyone else. That’s a problem, because if I am not better than the mass of mediocrity out there, then I am really a piece of crap. To advance at all, I have to believe that I am better. I know we are all human. We all share something, but I absolutely must believe that there is at least the potential in me to be above what the rest of humanity is acting out. Perhaps that potential will never see the light of day, but it is the only thing I have to go on. I want to believe that the rest are better than their situation and actions, as a species, would lead me to believe. I hope beyond all hope that one of the traits of our common humanity is that potential that I am certain I have within myself. I hope that I am absolutely no better than anyone else. The only real criterion I can think of for declaring anyone to be “better” than anyone else in the first place is the extent to which they allow their will to be taken over by an authority figure. The people who refuse to, no matter the cost, are the ones who are going to save the world. They will take their lives into their own hands, because they recognize that they are the only ones capable of improving themselves. Those who wait for a messiah or an afterlife are embracing death. Some of us are not ready to embrace death yet; we love life too much.

    Sit here and live my life, you say, and accept the way it is? Recognize that the cosmological constant of human self-mutilation is not subject to change? I’m sorry, I wasn’t designed for such a world; I live in a world where humanity is capable of rising above this state of being perpetually scared stupid. A design flaw, perhaps? Am I ahead of my time? Maybe I’m behind it. Or maybe I’m just skewed so far sideways from my time that I can’t even comprehend this world in the slightest. All I can do is hope that the “masses” of humanity have the same kind of vastness within them, waiting to be being explored. I know I do, and I know that if everyone were as self-interested as I am, and wanted the same kind of power as I do, the world would be one hell of a better place. With this power comes a boundless respect for anyone else who would dare to exercise it. You see, I want to live in a world full of people I would neither want nor need power over. I think it is critical for as many people as possible to feel as empowered as the idealized me does. My biggest challenge right now is to increase the similarity between the idealized me who is writing this and the actual me, who has no idea what to actually DO. Only with that kind of empowerment can we help each other find the pieces to the puzzle that is our humanity.

    The though keeps coming back to me: this can’t be the best we can do. Even when every little practical detail and imperfection is taken into account, we must be able to do better than this. Why haven’t we; why are we even in this mess? How is it that the vast majority of our species has allowed itself to become so disempowered? If we can do better, then let’s do it, and do it fast. Let’s get people to take power away from fear and use it to discover themselves. I think that, with a sufficient amount of self-discovery, fear will have no place, and no power over us.

    I dedicate this ramble to the president and vice president of the United States, for giving me faith in the fact the being scared stupid is what runs the current social and political systems (this applies to both the rulers and the subjects; all are scared stupid), and that there absolutely MUST be something better than the state of fear they offer us.

    P.S. I am open to any and all reactions to this; if you think I am out of my mind, say so. If you'd like to flame away, do so.

     Ultra Wide Band1 comment
    picture25 Jan 2002 @ 23:35, by ming. Communication
    There's a new communication technology on the horizon which sounds like hocus pocus. Ultra Wide Band (UWB) radio sends on ALL frequencies at the same time, but in such short bursts and upredictable intervals that everybody can share the airwaves in a secure way. And it allows for up to a gigabit of connectivity for anybody who wants it. Anyway, the technology seems to be ready, but agencies like the FCC have not yet decided if they're ok with it. See article from Robert X. Cringely.  More >

     Suitcase satellite uplink0 comments
    picture21 Jan 2002 @ 13:52, by ming. Communication
    This is what you need if you want to upload broadcast TV to a satellite over the TCP/IP (Internet Protocol) from anywhere in the world. Fits in a suitcase, can be set up in 5 minutes, even by non-technies, finding the satellites itself, using GPS. Runs on batteries, uploads at 2Mbps. Hm, I can't find the price anywhere, though.  More >

     Dialogue4 comments
    picture14 Jan 2002 @ 02:10, by ming. Communication
    I always come back to *dialogue* as a central ingredient in creating a new civilization. That is, a space of mutual exploration where we can talk about what we're experiencing, without any need to judge each other. I particularly support dialogue as David Bohm described it. Several people have compiled excellent resources on dialogue. See Tony Judge's page at UIA and Heiner Benking's Open Forum page. And the people who introduced me to dialogue: Linda and Glenna at The Dialogue Group. Also, check out Deep Dialogue.  More >

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