|New Civilization News: New Civilization Network, 10 years|
Category: Shared Purpose
55 comments13 Mar 2005 @ 03:11 by Lionel @22.214.171.124 : NCN
Long life to NCN!
13 Mar 2005 @ 11:01 by swanny : Happy Birthday New Civ!!!!
13 Mar 2005 @ 11:37 by jstarrs : Joyeuse...
...anniversaire et bravo!!!
13 Mar 2005 @ 13:45 by gea : Happy Birthday!
13 Mar 2005 @ 16:10 by martha : Happy Natal day
and many more to come.
13 Mar 2005 @ 17:54 by vaxen : Well,
grounding a lightning bolt isn't always that easy and there is a lot to be said for zero point. As far as leaderless anythings go? Check out good old "Teegeeack" where the 'real Government' is totally invisible and off planet (sector 0). Hope your day to day is doing justice for you and all your many ideasm ideals, and aims and that you are happy, eating enough, and have a nice place to live in. On line 'communities, to me, are rather an oxymoron. ;) Yom Holedet Sameach.
13 Mar 2005 @ 21:37 by bkodish : You have done a good thing, Ming!
Much thanks for all of your dedicated work in bringing and keeping the NCN to where it is today. I know that others have been involved too. But I don't think it could have happened without you.
13 Mar 2005 @ 22:29 by globalvillages @126.96.36.199 : happy birthday!
quantum leaps are going to happen this year! networks are looking at each other, finally! Franz from Vienna
13 Mar 2005 @ 23:08 by fleer : Congratulations
I still find the New civilisations creed inspiring. Well, I´ve been a member since ´97 and got here through the Celestine-l mailinglist. I can recall that I found this site at my local library. I would be nice to see some action being taken to bring New Civilisation network in a clearer way, but currently I am occupied and have only a limited amount of time.
Another suggestion I have is about the recent donation request in the member area. Maybe you could make it public, because I have a hunch that some non-members perhaps could contribute a little. Also how much money was raised ? I do hope enough was donated to keep NCN online.
Thanks again. >:)
14 Mar 2005 @ 00:26 by ming : Donations
Well, it could be structured more formally as a non-profit organization, which can receive tax deductible donations, and which needs to present proper accounting, and have procedures for electing officers. I originally was against that, so as to not be put under the authority of the U.S. tax department. But later I sort of changed by mind that it could be a way of doing it, but didn't get around to the actual paperwork.
The recent fund raising drive raised about $700, and a number of people committed to a monthly subscription. That is excellent. Monthly server costs are around $100. So that keeps things going for a while.
14 Mar 2005 @ 03:27 by Paul Hughes @188.8.131.52 : Congrats
Congrats Ming and keeping the flame of hope alive. May the next 10 years far exceed all that you could ever hope for, making up beyond your wildest imaginings what has happended thus far.
14 Mar 2005 @ 09:36 by lugon @184.108.40.206 : donations
what would you do if we put together say $1,000 a month? and $10,000?
my bet is many would trust you to decide - and my guess is you would decide openly. OTOH I can also guess you wouldn't want the hassle, so maybe there's someone around who would volunteer to help Ming with the paperwork?
Oh, and happy birthday Ming and all! Every day is a new day (sort of).
And do check [link] and [link]
14 Mar 2005 @ 11:38 by ming : Non-profit
Yeah, it kind of only makes sense with a non-profit when there are more people involved, so it is more of a group thing. So that takes a bit of thought. Like, it has to be more clear what its aims are and what it is doing. Last time I was just about to get the non-profit thing going, several years ago, my thought was that the non-profit would be active in gathering and cultivating new civilization principles, writing, projects, etc. I.e. there would be a board that would keep a certain focus. And NCN, as the online network, would be simply one of the projects, which is more free-flowing and unstructured. But there would be a number of sticky things to sort out, and it would change things in a somewhat different direction. And, well, the energy sort of needs to be right for it. So I'm not sure now is particularly a good time.
There are divided opinions about it, but a possibility is that NCN could be more productive and vibrant of there's a core group that sort of guards and promotes what it is about. Now, that also collides a bit with the idea that it is a wide-open leaderless thing. So that's what makes it controversial. But if I had to do it over again, I think I would have chosen to start off with a core group, non-profit, board of advisors, as a somewhat separate entity from the general online network.
14 Mar 2005 @ 12:46 by gea : Wow.
Great insight. The core group concept keeps things centered without especially intervening into or tempering with or interrupting, the flow of things.
14 Mar 2005 @ 13:57 by lugon @220.127.116.11 : personal trust
Yeah, right - but what I was saying was that I would trust you, Ming, personally, to use some amount of collected money and use it well (and openly).
Like a small spreadfirefox ("firefox ad") thing, sort of.
(Hey, that might be another way to community participation: not only do I give my vote on educational matters to "that person whose judgement I trust, and who happens to know about Education", but I can also do that with the use of public money. Well, whatever.)
14 Mar 2005 @ 23:53 by ming : Trust
Thanks Lugon. It would be nice if personal trust were enough. Maybe it is. I wish the economic system was based on that. Instead of hiding behind opaque organisations that look right, even if there maybe is nobody home to trust.
15 Mar 2005 @ 11:27 by lugon @18.104.22.168 : trust
At some levels it's true, or maybe at all levels. In many places of the world, wives must trust their husbands, or the other way round. Of course some people are more to be trusted than others. Children just have no choice (generally) and must trust their parents.
Andrius Kulikauskas made what I think is a good point: trust is evil, we need accountability. (Or something of the sort.) So I can say you're trustable because I've seen you write openly. Oh, yes, and also because you're open to comments from others.
Not exactly like many a politician, manager, parent, etc. :-/
17 Mar 2005 @ 01:51 by jerryvest : Thank you for your devotion
I am so happy to be a part of this movement--expansion of consciousness. This is a wonderful contribution for improving our planet and our relations. Thank you.
24 Mar 2005 @ 23:19 by Andrius Kulikauskas @22.214.171.124 : Write a paper about NewCiv
Flemming, Please consider writing a paper on your experiences and submitting it for the Open Culture conference in Milan, Italy June 27-29 [link] (day 3 is on "open investigation") There might be funds for travel, we don't know yet. The abstract is due April 15th, and the paper is a maximum of eight pages. [link] It could be a nice chance to meet up and also try to get Anthony Judge to submit a paper. Soon I hope to learn and say more about an opportunity for our Minciu Sodas lab to organize "working openly" for a large educational institution in the developing world. Finally, I want to alert you and your colleagues to our Open Leader Biz - it looks like we've landed our first big job and it would be great if you migh take a piece of it: [link]
25 Mar 2005 @ 17:10 by ming : Paper
I'm not sure if I'm in the mood for writing a paper about it right at this point. But it is an excellent idea as such. And, yeah, sounds like something I'd enjoy attending. Sounds great with the project. That's stuff I'm very good at.
25 Mar 2005 @ 22:35 by Andrius Kulikauskas @126.96.36.199 : Open Leader Biz
Ming, let's take the chance to work together. Also you are welcome to bring along colleagues who you think would fit here. Shannon Clark has brought this to us - he is in charge of the client side, and he's having me lead the developer side - and he's very sympathetic and supportive of what we might do here. Also, I'd like to involve software developers from Africa, etc., if only to free us from some of our duties at Minciu Sodas (or New Civ) etc.
25 Mar 2005 @ 22:37 by Andrius Kulikauskas @188.8.131.52 : Interview instead of Paper
Just a thought - if you'd be interested - instead of a traditional paper we might do a set of interviews where we interview each other (perhaps Picsie could do this) and then submit them as a series of papers. Picsie has already done a lot of interviews. It would be good to have founders/organizers of formal/informal open culture communities come together.
13 May 2005 @ 16:28 by Andrius Kulikauskas @184.108.40.206 : Our Paper
Hi Ming, It was great talking. I started a list of online laboratory / learning networks [link] Actually, I don't know quite what to call them. I will compare them across some basic parameters that might help explain why they are as they are. And I will also go through your post above and the materials you point to. What you've written reads very well and frankly we can just put it into the paper. I'm just thinking to go through the key observations you make that might say something about the "generative patterns for wiring the global brain", what we might think regarding that. I look forward to your posts. Andrius
13 May 2005 @ 22:12 by Andrius Kulikauskas @220.127.116.11 : Civilization Networks
Flemming, I've been wondering what to call these online labs, and have realized that your writing is beautiful and you say it very well, these are Civilization Networks. The most ambitious projects are such that, if successful, they would spawn a new civilization. In this light it is possible to distinguish projects like the New Civilization Network, Minciu Sodas, the BootStrap Institute, The Transitioner, Chaordic Commons, etc. from others that might be quite successful but actually have much more humble scope, such as Slashdot, Wikipedia, Ryze, etc. There seems to be a whole range that we can define based on the scope of ambition, the extent to which it envisages remaking our world, whether a few or all aspects of civilization.
I think also that you capture well the point of remaking civilization. In my words, it would be "so that we all might grow", or as you say, "a world that works for all". Most important is the wish to be inclusive for the good of every single one. Again, this inclusivity is a parameter for considering the networks. And I think that by this good we mean that people may forever grow. So in what sense do the networks nurture our growth? (The real goal of education). Inclusivity and growth together mean that the network should nurture us at a variety of levels of maturity, perhaps in parallel, and perhaps often together. If the environment is to continue to nurture us, then we expect that the environment itself must keep up with us, and grow along with us, and thus be shaped by, and respond to, our own growth. So does the network evolve, co-evolve as an environment? And the environment is shaped, in particular, by action - Is the network a place for action?
I suppose for our paper we might present analysis along the following lines:
1) We describe what is a Civilization Network and its basic characteristics (much as above).
2) We focus in detail on what we've learned from the New Civilization Network (and perhaps Minciu Sodas) as far as what we think has worked, and what has not. As in your post here. (We don't have to agree, but its interesting where we might.) And this gives us some ideas to test out.
3) We list a variety of projects (about 80 so far at [link]) that exhibit more or less of the spirit of a Civilization Network. We compile information about their mission and origin (why), the way they structure and organize themselves (how), their achievements and outputs (what), and their robustness (whether). (I can collect this). We ask questions based on the ideas we want to test out from 2). Then we draw conclusions on how these dimensions are related and what they suggest.
4) We propose, based on our findings, some guidelines and suggestions for Civilization Networks for structuring themselves and working with other such networks. We think of this as a first step in describing "generative patterns for wiring the global mind".
What do you think of this? I think it would be very useful. I will write an abstract. Please let me know your thoughts so that I might adjust accordingly. This will be fun! I also invite help from all at your site.
14 May 2005 @ 15:28 by ming : Andrius & Civilization Networks
Hey, that sounds excellent.
My personal quest has been to look for ways of doing networks where the network itself sort of can get out of the way. I.e. where it mainly is a connecting mechanism which can grow and evolve based on what people need. But where the focus is on what those people are doing, as opposed to the identity of the network.
So, yes, there's a difference between the networks that try to do that and the networks that are a group of supporters gathered around a certain site or plan or philosophy.
I think success is achieved when one has something that is like e-mail or like the phone system. It connects people and you can do stuff through it and with it, but you wouldn't think of assuming that all phone users are one homogonous group with one philosophy and one stand on everything.
It is apparently much easier to make a group with a certain focus than it is to make a enabling network that supports whatever it is people want to do. The best examples of the latter are the internet protocols for the web, for mail, etc. They make self-organization possible, and enable all sorts of new things one can do, but they don't require you to agree with the other uses on anything other than the protocol. Which is a very different thing from making a group like, say, Greenpeace, or Slashdot. They might not directly decree what you're supposed to believe in or how you're supposed to act, but there's a centralized power structure and information flow that makes it work that way.
The truly interesting task is in creating a contentless network, with a minimum of goals one has to agree to, and with the maximum productivity and synergy from a diversity of projects people put into it. Doing this for people-networking is sort of a next frontier. Nobody's done it very well so far.
Online social networks like Ryze or Orkut are a step in that direction. But they don't really do a whole lot in terms of truly facilitating collaboration. Having a place to list your friends and to post stuff is nice. But nothing much more happens.
In part we're lacking some computer-assisted ways of connecting people and information and needs and desires. So we're still in a situation where the groups that work best are the ones with a simple top-down information or command flow, or the groups that are small enough that everybody can know what everybody else is doing. The technical thing to solve is how large numbers of people can move about with a great degree of freedom, while still collaborating and sharing information in useful ways.
Like, if I have a book I don't need, there might be somebody on the next street over who'd really like to read it. I'd be happy to give it to him, but we don't know of each other. It wouldn't be worth it for me to go around putting up notices about it, and if everybody did that, nobody could find anything anyway. But the right communication and optimization system could make it possible for many micro-connections to be established in an optimum way. That would make sense for the optimum use and sharing of many resources. Like a bicycle rental service. If a computer system would be good at telling me where the closest available bicycle was, and there generally was one available within a couple of hundred meters, I wouldn't have to worry about owning my own. So, I'm looking for that kind of thing for people. Of course the right people to work with are out there, and the exact information is there. If the problem can be solved on how to optimize the structure and the flow of that information.
15 May 2005 @ 00:31 by Andrius Kulikauskas @18.104.22.168 : Social Protocols for Civ Networks
Hi Ming, I wrote up this abstract. Please feel free to change it, (150 words or less), and if you like, please submit it to OpenCulture.org at: [link] It seems the deadline is Sunday, May 15. I enjoy working with you on this, and if you can come to Milan, that will be great!
Social Protocols for Civilization Networks
The online world inspires projects so ambitious they might give birth to a new civilization. What principles, if any, allow such civilization networks to unfold, thrive and work together? The authors draw conclusions from their experiences as founders of the New Civilization Network and the Minciu Sodas laboratory. Such networks are distinguished by their inclusivity in creating a world that works for all. They nurture participants of a variety of levels of maturity, and thus must be shaped by their actions, and grow along with them. In practice, should such a university focus on a particular agenda, or can it bootstrap itself by facilitating collaboration relevant for all agendas? A review of dozens of networks suggests that the most promising ones foster a culture of transparency. Networks can support each other by sharing social protocols that foster a culture of openly thinking and openly growing.
15 May 2005 @ 22:05 by ming : Paper
Sounds absolutely fine to me, Andrius. I submitted it like that. So, let's see what they say. I can certainly say some things along those lines.
30 May 2005 @ 14:00 by Andrius Kulikauskas @22.214.171.124 : Looks like our abstract was accepted
Hi Ming, It looks like our paper topic was accepted. Now we have supposedly ten days to write a paper. Also, for you to think about if you'd like to come speak. One of our keynote speakers is Andrea Mills of [link] We're going to schmooze regarding his innovation labs and network. Also, Chris Macrae of [link] may be there, too (we're writing a paper). But if you don't want to, that's fine, too. I'm doing my US taxes these next few days and after that I'm interested to help collect data. Looking forward to your hypotheses. Andrius
2 Jun 2005 @ 22:19 by ming : Abstract
Gosh, I've better get busy. I'm really hung up right now, but I'll work on it over the weekend.
Suddenly I have a lot of places to go. Going to Copenhagen for Reboot next week, and strangely there's something else I need to be in Italy for in the beginning of July. But I'll try to make the 27-29 thing in Milano happen too, if at all possible.
3 Jun 2005 @ 06:05 by Andrius Kulikauskas @126.96.36.199 : Great, I will be helping
Ming, Great, I will help out, I first hope to finish my taxes today and tomorrow. This will be great. Andrius
3 Jun 2005 @ 22:18 by Andrius Kulikauskas @188.8.131.52 : Social Protocols
Ming, Here's some thoughts I ponder on social protocols. I'm interested what you think. It would be good to go through the civilization networks and see what evidence there might be for what kinds of social protocols we really need. Some kind of scientific, unbiased view. But it might be good to start with our personal biased feelings. Here are mine:
Here are some basic rules that I have found key for our individuals and
groups to work-in-parallel effectively:
A) We generate our material in the Public Domain, by default, and if we
need to protect it by copyright,then we make that clear in each case.
This is so that we can use our content to network on each other's behalf
without having to ask for permission.
B) We do not exchange money for "caring". This is so that we
acknowledge that each of us is responsible to care. We care because we
do, not because we get paid for it. And we can't be paid to care,
because nobody can measure if we care or not. In fact, the way to know
that we care is that we are willing to turn down money, turn down work,
or stick with somebody even when we are losing. We can get paid for
many kinds of work, but not for "caring". We should be especially
sensitive in the fields of education, health, mentoring, outreach, etc.
Note that all of these fields suffer systemic problems because they
operate as businesses. The worst cases result in sects, cults, gurus.
If we want to be inclusive, then we need to be especially careful not to
mix money and spirituality. Spiritual leaders should not have
amibiguous motives, interests, allegiances. And we should all be active
as spiritual leaders.
C) We care that all succeed. We may compete with each other, but still,
we would like everybody to do well. For this reason we are especially
interested that people focus on what they truly care about, so that we
each have our own natural niche.
D) We share people and activity across our brands. The same activity
can count under many brands, and forums can serve a wide variety of groups.
These are some rules to think carefully about. They are helpful at our
lab. I don't know how they might work in a broader setting. But I
think they are very important for us to hammer out in linking our networks.
3 Jun 2005 @ 22:23 by Andrius Kulikauskas @184.108.40.206 : About the gurus...
I'm trying to understand what's at the bottom of my heart regarding "you can't pay money to care". I think it's that, in relating to each other, it's vital that we be true to each other that we're each responsible for our own life. We have to be accountable ourselves, and we can't push that onto somebody else. Paying for somebody else to care about us, I think that is a way of pushing aside our responsibility to care for ourselves. I feel it is a deep lie, but especially wrong to support such behavior. And certainly not allow it to be institutionalized. I'm curious what you think, what sense you might make of this matter.
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