New Civilization News: NCN Happiness 2    
 NCN Happiness 2108 comments
picture7 Jul 2004 @ 10:17, by Richard Carlson

Part 1 of this topic has become a bit heavy to lift for those of us with dial-up Internet Service Providers. For those of you coming in from the outside, the link to that thread~~~ [link] You may prefer to continue the discussion here if you like or if convenient.

The photo is of a sculpture by Toots Zynsky (American, born 1951) and is titled Night Street Chaos, from the series "Chaos," 1998. It is made of fused and thermo-formed glass threads, 7 1/8 x 13 x 7 inches
Collection of the Tampa Museum of Art

To inquire after the truth, groping your way through the underbrush, is for the purpose of seeing into your true nature. At this very moment, where is your true nature?

---Tosotsu's First Barrier

If you realize your own true nature, you are free from life, free from death. But when the light of your eyes is failing, how can you be free from life and death?

---Tosotsu's Second Barrier

If you have freed yourself from life and death, you know where you will go. When earth, air, fire and water separate, where are you off to?

---Tosotsu's Third Barrier

I have a comment myself at this point which I shall post as the entry. I put "NCN Happiness" as the title to all this not because I was inviting further comment about the site itself, which is a topic many of us feel has been talked to death. However new people come in and are noticing things for the first time, so it is good for there to be an outlet for what they have to say. Nor did I put NCN in the title because I think a dogma of positive thinking power is insisted upon more here than anywhere else. The United States is full of it these days, and we have a legion of spin doctors to prove and enforce it.

Positive, happy outlooks are a matter of subjective opinion, and who decides what consititutes Happy often involves the playground pecking order and popularity contests in your particular neighborhood, workplace, or website. Sometimes it just means who finesses the best bullying on the block. There have been difficulties with bullying on the Internet in general and at NCN in particular. Some---maybe many---people have abandoned the site over it. As a safeguard about a year ago, the Webmaster formed a Workgroup designed to resolve inevitable conflicts that arise among folks who talk over ideas that are important to them. People joined it if they had an interest in moderating such problems. I didn't feel qualified to do that, but Ming thought I should be in it because I edit the Logs (for the Splash) and often see the heat first. So I am, and it's called the NCN Conflict Resolution Workgroup.

Almost immediately a group within that Workgroup decided to withdraw and start an alternative conflict resolution group. At the time I was prepared to "vote" against such a development (because I thought the effectiveness of Ming's group would be diluted), but maybe I blinked or something because I don't recall being asked about it. Not only did the people just go and do it (which many advocate as the Philosophy of NCN) but Ming has an advertisement for the other group at the logged-in Communicate Page. It seems to me there's nothing to stop any members from starting up their own versions of Conflict Resolution Workgroups. In fact, everybody could have his own. Would that put us back where we started? If I have my own Conflict Resolution group, do I have to respect the decision that yours makes? If I have my own militia, can't I just duke it out with yours? Why am I talking about this?

New Civilization Network takes greatest pride in its diversity. Most members scoff at any notion that might organize the site---because they think someone will end up telling you what to do. We prefer, it seems, to have our own individual rules---and therefore function quite tribally here. In fact, Ming has spoken often of his interest in small neighborhoods that operate like a tribe. There are little tribes in NCN that work well and are encouraged by the administration of the place. They do not necessarily communicate with other individuals or tribes, and there is no general gathering of the tribes---not even under a Rainbow.

This seems to be NCN Happiness. Several comments in this thread have addressed the question of whether anything actually comes out of this site. One answer to that is Product is not the intention or within the design of the place. But another answer I suggest is our diversity. For instance, there have been 3 or 4 entries in other Logs about this topic or in direct response to what's gone on at jazzoLOG since the thread started. That's diversity for you. However, it's a little difficult to travel around to each one to see if you want to comment on that variation---or to attempt a summing up...or even a plan of action. At that point, diversity may not be an answer at all...but a rather frustrating problem. May I ask if it is true that eventually diversity can become chaos?

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7 Jul 2004 @ 11:08 by bushman : Hmm
Well, minds change, ideas change, without chaos, things can't change. Anyway the conflict group thing was more of an experiment, and as I personaly saw it, being semi involved in it's creation, to me the idea was to deal with major problems, not so much personal disagreements, as well, the issues of free speach, that was the very crux of the creation of the creation of the secondary private group of mediators, and yes at first I thought well this private secondary group seemed to be saying we are good at this kind of thing, so we are going to take a different path from the primary test of such a concept as conflict resolution, which was an excercize in self government, and free speach.
You make it seem that the idea of the primary group somehow failed and died, this is totaly wrong, the rooms still there and people still stop by to see whats up, even deeper is that conflicts being resolved before they have to be mediated, the idea of tolerance qued with the fact that the primary group basicly put itself out of business,lol. So the primary group is still there, and maybe might take a more world based approch to mediating world issues. So deep is NCN and its world ties. Chaos keeps the universe in motion, and the fact dark and light will have to always be balanced and niether destroyed, but working smoothly together as one. You miss that the tribes are networks outside of NCN, like Yahoo, msn, etc... these are tribes. NCN is a chaotic tribe that bridges the other tribes outside of itself. Be the greese, stand on middle ground between 2 extreems, not the middle ground within a single extreem. Things go dormant till such time the conditions are right to be fruitful. One last thing is this, NCN's users, are far more awake as a one, than any other tribe out there. VIVA LA CHAOS!!! , lol, :}  

7 Jul 2004 @ 11:37 by skookum : I am in the middle Bushie!
In the eye of the storm.

I know for a fact Jazz that many people come and read and enjoy without posting. People are busy and sometimes they just keep in touch once in a while.  

7 Jul 2004 @ 17:47 by vaxen : Entropy...
is inherent within all 'systems' jazzolog. How can you/we benefit from this? Warren Buffet?  

8 Jul 2004 @ 12:55 by vaxen : Yikes..
I believe they've threaded out! Can this be? I love the vase jazzoLOG. Same technique as used in those beautiful Morroccan beads. I have one of them that is worth well over ten thousand dollars. Incredible when you think about it. Of course the one I have is made in the 'old style.' Did you know I'm a sculptor? ;) Many other things as well...but I love the 'clay table' and love to work with glass and fire too. Seems like so long ago, though...another life, another planet. Has'nt been that long but...thanks for the inspiring stuff.  

8 Jul 2004 @ 15:22 by Sellitman @ : NCN: what do the members want?
There is no question to me that NCN was a novative and exiting experiment when it was first launched a few years ago. Is it still so now or has it slowly fallen behind as the rest of the world has been catching up with what the internet has to offer and as the WWW has been moving forward? Is NCN still the "New Civilization," really (was it ever?) or has it become a thing of the past already?

"Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow"
T. S. Eliot, {link:|The Hollow Man}

"Things go dormant till such time the conditions are right to be fruitful," Ay, Bushman, but then again, a slight snooze, in this day and age, and one might, instead, end up just waking up like old Rip Van Winkle.

Still, NCN remains a nice network with many qualities to it. As far as Chaos is concerned, I am sure that It is present here to some degree as it is anywhere else to various degrees, but I don't know that chaos is predominantly one of the hallmarks of NCN. Is NCN "a chaotic tribe that bridges the other tribes outside of itself"? Don't you wish! It might have been one of the ambitious goals of NCN, but there is little evidence nowadays (and Ming seems to agree) to support the contention that NCN is the "grease" of anything between any extreems outside of itself, and judging from what I've read so far on that topic there is serious doubts as to whether NCN has succeeded in providing that "grease" when it comes to its own internal interactions.

"Unhappiness" often results from unwarranted expectations. And maybe people are expecting too much from the network. Maybe there should be some statement somewhere saying "Do not ask what NCN can do for you, but ask what you can do for NCN." (As a matter of fact, the into page does say something somewhere that sound pretty much like that.) More to the point, though, is that there are plenty of people out there who are contributing to the world and to the idea of a new civilization in small and large ways. So, a better question perhaps, should be, "What gives?", "Where are those people?" And "why haven't they joined NCN in throve?" (Okay, that's three questions.)

The logical follow up question would be, "Should something be done to address that issue (and what?) or are people happy with NCN just the way it is?" There is no right answer to that question. My guess is that most people here look happy with the way things are and are subscribing to the idea that if things are left alone to mature long enough, some new developments will eventually manifest spontaneously on their own. One possible obstacle for this to happen, though, is that "spontaneous creation" is more likely to take place in environments where diversity is present.

With respect to that issue, Ming rightly observed that "if there were 10 times as many newslogs, it wouldn't really work. One wouldn't have time to stay up on all of them, and one would have to choose amongst them which are the ones one wants to pay attention to. Which would make the diversity come a little more natural." The problem with that, Ming says, is that he is "not sure if that is really what is supposed to happen, as [he] knows well that it would change aspects of how this place feels and works."

Ah, so, maybe, we have another important question here, "are people just happy with NCN staying the size it is" or do people want NCN to grow, and if so, then, what can be done so that NCN still works when there are "10 times as many newslogs"?

What I suspect is that most people are just comfortable with the way things are (the coziness factor.) Some might even be afraid of change. People have come here, built some kind of a reputation for themselves, made some friends (just like other people on other networks) and, hey, that's great and maybe too much pressure is put on them by those of the members who want more. On the other hand, it would also explain why some people come and leave. Ming once commented, that "people come here, find what they were looking for, and leave." Another plausible explanation is that people come here, looking for something, do not find it, and leave. As with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  

8 Jul 2004 @ 17:38 by vaxen : The truth...
is, of course, very relative. Have you found 'your truth' here? New Civilization is an old idea. Hope you are having fun. Networking is as old as the hills. I am Me. Who are you? New Civilization, per se, is a game. But I'll stop right there for now. ;)  

8 Jul 2004 @ 20:31 by bushman : Ya
The rip van winkle thing could happen, as it might take me 100 years to afford better tech. The net is a whole different animal with high speed connections and fast machines, so as I sit here with my old tech, forcing it to be something its not, everything has changed, but the ultamit goal. Size of the network dosnt really mater to me, as long as it works for me personly. Members would have a problem with size, as ming points out, but if your just looking for info, then size really dosnt mater, because theres google. I still see the new civilization as a world wide event, and not just a network here and there. NCN to me should just do what it does whenever it does it. It should never be just for some, and it should never be for all either, I mean, I expect a machine to do what it was made to do, and maybe with some tweeking here and there it might be able to go beyond its original design. So as those that come and stay to be part of some undeffined community, then it's growth is self regulating, because even like minds are different. It's like Walmart, once the average joe knows he can get what hes looking for from there, then he no longer, goes to the smaller stores. I personaly cant look at this network as a big box of stuff. Because you know 90% of whats in walmart is made in china only. Here we got product made in many places, with directions where to go if it cant be found here. I like the fact that I can type my name into google and press the "I'm feeling lucky" button, and have all my NCN stuff come up. :}  

8 Jul 2004 @ 21:10 by spiritseek : cool comment bushman
a real nice plug for NCN, and I agree how you put what NCN means to you.  

8 Jul 2004 @ 21:22 by vaxen : I agree...
with spiritseek about your comment, too, bushman. I adapt 'old tech' to new all the time and I've found work arounds which are brilliant and vie on a quantum level with anything being done at MIT. The real crux of the issue is that we are telepathic beings and the greater web is'nt based only in electrometal configurations but is totally organo mimetic and syntheo electro magnetic! We are 'the new civilization game.' We really are! ;) Nice!
"Kha-Khan" to Source. ;)  

9 Jul 2004 @ 05:09 by jazzolog : Fun & Games
Vax asks if you're having fun, and Bushman likes to find himself in his computer. OK, so do I---and the couple hours I just spent fiddling around before logging in here involved unit maintenance, a favor for my wife, and some fun. But when I log in to NCN is when I'm ready for some possibility of work. For one thing I have a duty here regarding the Logs. I like that, but it is work...and it means reading everything that has happened there and at Subjects since I was here last---including comments (which is a duty I undertake and is not assigned). Somebody should do that for the Chats, and provide some kind of marker so you don't have to go in each one and find out where you left off. There could be summaries of WorkGroup accomplishments too.

But I find no one here interested in anything like that. Four months ago or so I announced I'd probably have to cut down and maybe cut out my participation at NCN, at least until after surgery---if I survived it. I asked for a volunteer to take over the Log editing. Not one member stepped forward. (Ming finally sent me an email and said he would do it a couple days before I went into hospital, and I thank him for that.) Apparently any manifestation of a New Civilization to the active membership means a rec center. Ming should install games.

I'm particularly barren on this topic this morning for another reason. Since I have been out of circulation these last several weeks (and a theatre production only increased the time I didn't have to join in NCN fun) most recently I've been making an effort to comment at other people's Logs. This seems to be a most unwelcome gesture on my part. Flak has flown at me at nearly every Log---if not by the "owner," then by another commenter. OK, people can disagree with my about my opinions---no problem---and they can just plain hate my guts, but what strikes me is something of a change I think: there is a tone of nastiness in the Logs now that used to be reserved for 1 or 2 of the Chats, but now (thanks to the disrespect people have for Ming's designation of the Chats) pervades them all. Maybe people think they're being clever or funny, but I suggest the tone of this site has become abhorrent---and I believe it's why more people don't participate and why so many leave. Oh yes, there are some snuggy relationships---particularly among members with big control issues and their followers...or at least allies. People quarrel here with a most unpleasant tone (and I've done it too). These days it's as if folks who spoil the fun must be driven away...a true playground attitude. A huge percentage of the Log entries are about being a nice and healthy person. Is NCN Happiness truly a matter of "Gee, it would happen if only you would go away."  

9 Jul 2004 @ 05:47 by spiritseek : jazz
there is an undertone going on but its bringing things to the surface, if done stronger we may just have total chaos. One other thing is I know for a fact comments were posted by a couple of people (women) who said they would take over your position while your away. I'm not sure if Ming responded to them or not but they didn't get the position in your stead. To me that shows a little prejudice against women because both women are strong intellect people. Also no one wants any one to go away,I and others have commented on getting people to open up, that is what we want the most,to get people out of their comfort zones and getting moving along their paths. A joint effort is how I see it with encouragement and love for each other even if what you hear hits you square in the face.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 08:21 by jazzolog : The Zone And The Path
I like that comparison Spiritseek, especially given the latest topic at OrgasmoVolution. Maybe the Logs and Chats are spots for zoning...but are the WorkGroups for working---or just more chatting? Everytime I ask that, someone shoots in to say his/her WorkGroup is getting amazing things accomplished. Will we see the results out here---so identified?

Anyway, I want to talk with you about the "couple of people (women)" you mention just above, and your conclusion "that shows a little prejudice against women." Let's take this one step at a time, OK? I did not get any emails from these people making the offer...and I believe I did ask for that approach. (I could be wrong: there's a lot a pain-killer between here and back then.) Did they email to Ming? If they just left a comment of offering somewhere or other, I suggest that's not a very efficient method of offering to work. This place is a maze---and if it was in a Chat or Conversation Room in a WorkGroup, it's so quick to be scrolled away.

So one may want to check the facts before moving to a conclusion about prejudice or anything else. Now that you mention it, in my experience Ming's delight with the ladies is such that I see him giving preferences often to them and their proposals. It's the men who stomp out of here, screaming the guy can't work with them. Of course, the women may leave more quietly and demurely. That anyone leaves because of inhospitable conditions is a crying shame.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 08:27 by spiritseek : I believe
one of the ladies commented it on Mings log, I may be wrong but it was directed to him.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 09:31 by swan : Richard,
I am curious about this statement : "but what strikes me is something of a change I think: there is a tone of nastiness in the Logs now that used to be reserved for 1 or 2 of the Chats, ". I am not sure if you really feel this way or if you are being provocative. Personally I have experienced a new level of people opening up in the Logs that wasn't there before and some real dialoging. If I read you correctly you believe there is a pervasive nastiness. "but I suggest the tone of this site has become abhorrent-"

I see it differently and it would be helpful for me if you could elaborate, as I have a hard time with generalities. Please feel free to use one of my comments to illustrate your point, so as to be more specific. I have been commenting a lot lately and if I am blind to my nastiness I would sure like to know . I welcome the feedback. Thanks  

9 Jul 2004 @ 09:52 by ming : For the record
I certainly don't love the job of picking article on the front page, so I'd have been happy for somebody else to do it. Did amrani offer she would do it? I had forgotten, but I think that might have been the case. If so, ok, that's nice of her to offer, and she probably does read everything, but my position would probably be that I'd have some doubts about whether she'd be sufficiently neutral and unbiased in the selection. You can argue about that, but that was my call at the time. Nothing to do with whether she's a woman or not. Was that a democratic decision? No, it wasn't. It wasn't a democratic decision either that jazzolog got that function. He expressed his willingness to do something like that, and I expected he'd do a fine job at it, which he does, so fine. None of that has to be construed as any negative opinion about anybody else.

I've certainly considered making something like those articles on the front page an automatic selection, based on popularity somehow, which would be more democratic. But the choices probably wouldn't be as good.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 10:17 by ming : Social networks
As I've mentioned, I think some of the aspects of how NCN works are a function of the current size it has. Like Sellitman mentioned, I said that if there were 10 times as many newslogs active, the rules would automatically change. One would be forced to make some selections as to what one reads and what one doesn't. If it were much bigger, one would need to make more narrow choices as to where one hangs out and where one doesn't. Which would remove some of the sense that this is all one community. Which might be both good and bad.

NCN is in some ways a forerunner for the people networking sites that exist on the net now, like {link:|Ryze} or {link:|Orkut}. They're much bigger, so it is totally impossible to try to keep up on what everybody's doing, so nobody expects to do so. Also, they're more "bare", in the sense that they don't suggest any tone for what will go on. "New Civilization" Network suggests some fairly grand purpose. As does, I suppose, the introductory materials, even if I've tried hard to curtail any unrealistic expectations in them.

Also, there's of course still the design choices I made, which produce various incidental or accidental effects, which might or might not be desirable. You can easily see all the newslogs in one list, in addition to a combined newslog, and you can right now easily notice everything new there. Which hints at that they're all part of a certain space, and gives the expectation that they're somehow supposed to be in sync with each other. Which wouldn't be likely to happen if the list was either so huge that you couldn't read it all, or if the list wasn't there at all. Normal weblogs outside of NCN have a "blog roll", which is a list of other blogs that one reads and that one likes. So everybody's forced to choose a list of people to hang out with, and one doesn't try to pay attention to everything, as it is impossible anyway.

There's certainly the possibility of moving NCN more in the direction of those things that work in that kind of space. I.e. that one chooses one's network oneself, and that one's contact list becomes more important. And that it is easy to monitor what a certain list of people are up to, but impossible to keep an eye on everything. I'd know quite well how to do that. But, again, there's the possibility that something is lost. The more intimate atmosphere that is currently here. OK, it has lots of warts and conflicts, but it might be a substrate that something grows from. It is something that doesn't normally exist out there. One self-selects who one hangs out with and who one doesn't, so therefore one avoids a lot of clashes. So, despite that I've preached that it should be like that here, I'm also saying that maybe it is an essential feature here that we do to some degree exist in the same space. There's an inward looking feel here to a large degree, which is otherwise rare to find. I could very well change that whole thing by rearranging the software and by working up ways of attracting many more people back here. But I hesitate. In part in respect for what IS here. A prime directive kind of thing. I'm trying not to interfere. Which I'm in several minds about.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 10:57 by bushman : hmm
How about this idea, do the auto select thing by popularity(comment based), that device should pick the top 5, then add the human factor, and pick 2 of them for the entry page, then go back and just humanly pick just one a week from the whole slew of stuff as the pickers choice, that would put 3 logs up a week, or if you feel doing it 2 times a week, that would be cool too. I see things in here at 3 day intervals, even though I'm here an easy 8 hours a day, I have group stuff I do, and outside reading, as I have more fun finding syncronicitys. I been doing that for over 7 years now, and if I was doing a study, you would be suprized what I have found, even maybe too woowoo for me, lol. Also NCN has games sort of, they can be found in Jmarcs workgroup, this is where the 3 day window of discovery comes in, like in it takes me personaly 3 days to read everything and then 3 days later going back and seeing the comments generated. You know, road kill is abhorent to see, but it's a fact of life. The things that the 3 stooges do to each other is abhorent, but lots of people will sit all day and watch a stooges marathon on tv, still the melding of man and machine. A car is a 3000lb bullet, if the driver is drunk, or not paying attention. And then there is the point of no return, when the light turns yellow, you either slam on the brakes, or stomp on the gas. People go to the mall, not just to buy stuff, they go to see a movie, play in the arcade, or just go to check out the people, some of them become mall rats, they hang out there everyday, meet with other mall rats, that could be called a spontainous community in itself. NCN is no different, it's a place where things unexpected can happen, and is life in the big city. The mall dosnt change to meet the needs of the mall rats, but when the needs of the mall rats are the same as the needs of the shoppers, then changes for the mall rats happen, naturaly, good or bad. It still all boils down to the fact that the malls doors are open to all. I remember once way back when they put in the santa anita mall, the first mall I ever seen or been to, it took me 2 hours to find the taco bell in there, lol.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 11:19 by vibrani : Yes, MING
I did offer to do the front page and I'm sorry you don't think I would be "sufficiently" unbiased. I don't agree with you and since you haven't given me a try in this area, I don't think you can assume that. To quote one of the front page quotes at NCN:
"You never know until you find out." I also think what you said about me isn't cool, even if these are your feelings I don't think they belong in a public log.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 11:22 by scotty : How about this !
We all go out and buy Nintendo type game machines that we connect to the comp - then with the use of something like 'it's me' ( {} ) we could design our bodies and add our faces - and THEN - we could come in here and wander about from place to place - meeting people in an 'animated' way ! We could exchange animated hugs 'n stuff - or even cuffs ! hahaha
All Ming has to do is figure out how to make it work and put it all together - all this of course while he's working on how to figure out a way to let us come in here as holograms !
Just think Ming - you'd become a millionair selling all those On-line Interactive Real-time NCN Video game cassettes !

hmm - to be perfectly honest - I for one would buy it !*grin*  

9 Jul 2004 @ 11:34 by jazzolog : The New Civilization As Mall
You see, the only point I've been making, from the start of this entry (Part 1) is that the current active membership likes the idea of hanging out at the mall. For those of us who thought New Civilization Network was going to be or is supposed to be different from that, we either accept what happens (maybe hoping a dream someday may come true) or we get out. I've felt that sometimes there is a Happy tone we are supposed to maintain in our presentations, and if we don't we get scolded---not by Ming, goodness knows...but by people who presume to know what's best and even to speak for what is the real "NCN." Therefore I put up the original article (Part 1) which declares research shows a nastiness appears even in Happy people when they are crossed or frustrated. In other words, demeanor and outward presentation is no sure predictor of successful outcome and fulfilled result. What has unfurled at this Log from that article either is an extension or a complete misreading of it. That's OK, I like when people say whatever they want here...although I do try to remind us what the thread really is about.

As to what the place could become, I appreciate Ming stopping by and sharing thoughts, plans, dreams, alternatives. But I've heard all this before...and lots more. Almost nothing has changed in here in 3 years (I started a Log in February 2002)---a few new clicks and blinks, but nothing compared to proposals and plans projected. Ming can do one of 2 things to change that---or both I suppose: 1) he can manifest the leadership of the site, as the sole authority and director (which he is anyway), and/or 2) he can delegate his authority to interested and willing others---with all the strings attached he wants to tie onto the deal. In fact, he already is doing the first thing, because the LACK of direction of the site (like finding out what the 9000 members of NCN actually DO here---or want to do) is the nature of his leadership. Either he changes that or else all this talk is pure pipe dream and smokescreen.

Swan, I'm not going to quote people or give examples of an impolite tone at NCN that I wish were more respectful of the many nations and perspectives that are present here---or could be. I will invite you to take a look in the NCN Conflict Resolution Group at the kind of conversation going on during the past 24 hours. I am delighted you find people in your circle are opening up more and more, and I look forward to the harvest to come. It may be a time for me to sit and listen, rather than talk. Thank you sincerely for your interest and for all that you do, good friend.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 17:57 by ming : enamrani
Well, yes, I agree actually, it doesn't really belong in any public log. People were asking an explanation, and, well, that was it. I'd be happy to adjust it to leave out your name. And, yes, one never knows until one finds out.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 18:30 by vibrani : Ming
thanks - I am okay with you leaving your comments for all to see. Especially after we created mediation teams and rooms to resolve conflicts and character issues in logs...  

9 Jul 2004 @ 18:47 by scotty : Ming
glad to see that you're big enough to agree that perhaps what you'd said wasn't exactly - hmm - the best way to have er... 'explained' things!
Glad too that Nora is big enough to accept your appology (even if it was a bit veiled !*smile)
Mutual respect and the courage to claim responsability for our words and acts are going a long way to realise the 'new civ' (that so many of us believe in) is actually coming about !

P.S. .... I still think it's a great idea (see my earlier comment) to go 'virtual' !!! *wink*  

9 Jul 2004 @ 22:19 by bushman : Scotty :}
Theres, and for 74 bucks a month, you can build your own village and stuff, its pretty cool, I used to spend alot of time there when it was free. Ya that would be cool to have an activeworlds like room. But there really is no permanent record of chat on there, unless you have a logger. So Jazz, why don't you just look at the nastiness as a bad hair day, and leave it at that? It's the thoughts of the people that creates the new civilization, not the network they choose to house thier thoughts on, or communicate with others that think the same way. Like if we ran NCN like the site looks, then we wouldn't get the people that at the moment might not want to change the world. Letting cybernature take its course, would give us the oppertunity to be fishers of men/woman, where we could maybe motivate them, yes more chaos, but its about getting intrested in wanting to change things in the material world, alot of us do just that, you know why I'm here, and nothing could make me leave, because I know this is the place that gives me inspration and ideas I can use out there in the material world, and things I can use in the not so solid world. Time is the master, the longer something takes to grow the stronger it will be.  

9 Jul 2004 @ 22:38 by vaxen : richard...
ming is not ming the magnificent! do you really want a repeat performance of the 'new scientology?' nazism? g.b said "It would be so much easier if I were dictator." is that what you mean? it is very confusing when you never really say what it is you are trying to say? new stuff? like what? wherein are you, personally, dis satisfied with the status quo technologging system established here? it is quaint, a bit ancient, over used once upon a time, yet...synthesis is occurring. what would make the site a more pleasent experience for you? jack booted thugs hailing emperor jazzolog? or perhaps a group of teenie bopper girls and boys in short shorts servicing your every whim, called messengers, of the kind that old hub had? living in a mest universe does'nt have to be rough but it sometimes requires 'doing.' so do what it is that you envision or at least mock it up in clay so we can all examine it...  

9 Jul 2004 @ 23:12 by ov : Happiness 2
Richard I think I can empathize with your position. I recently spent a year trying to set up a virtual news room that would allow for collaborative work in a virtual environment. I wanted to set up a system of protocols and routines so that this structure would then be the coordinating factor without having any single person being the authority figure. Nobody else seemed interested. There was a few people that looked interested in watching me do it, and I did some of it but when I made the suggestion that what I was doing was trying to set an example and I was waiting for others to jump on board and start adding there was no takers, and when I stopped and waited until they did jump on board everything came to a grinding halt. I then shifted my attention to bringing in new people to the conference, and even though the software was excellent for what I had in mind, there were few takers and it seemed like my 'partners' were more intent on getting these new people to leave than to join in. None of my other partners had any luck at all at bringing anybody new into the conference. I finally had a small group that was showing up regularly to discuss systems thinking, and then the person that actually paid for the software got abusive and when we called him on his shit we found out the next day that our logins weren't working and there was a batch mailing sent out to everybody that had ever registered that the place was closed due to trolls until further notice. I gave up a hosting position at alternet to work on this, had host and even administrator status, and I was locked out and called a troll. I've often got the feeling that the primary purpose was to get me occupied and keep me from voicing my ideas in public. Which is absurd because all I would have had to do was write all the news articles myself and there was an outside website to publish them on, but that wouldn't have been the team effort that would have been effective, that would have been competitive with an established news firm that had a diversity of skills working on each and every article, and was able to provide the fact checking, proof reading and credibility gaining features that would have made this an influencing factor. This sounds to me Richard what you are looking for, and if not then this is entirely off base.

On the other hand, if a website ever did become noticably effective it would be swamped with trolls, or the traffic would be so high that we couldn't afford the band width, or we would in some other way be shut down. As this place stands it is not a centralized command center but a place which can fly below the radar while information is dispersed to randomly shifting delivery points.

I'm still pissed off about that last year though because there was a good plan and good software. But then again even at its best would it have been anything different than alternet or utne where a dedicated cadre of agent provacateurs insure that a very lively debate occurs within a very narrow range of options and thus vent the energy through wheel spinning.

Vax, wrt your last post, imho and all that, what you are saying about the mock up etal totally precludes the demonstration of emergence. It would only show the failure of a top down structure and drive another nail of hopelessness into the coffin of the self organization of team work. A team is not a collection of individuals all doing there own thing. It might be a beautiful thing in its own right but it is not the organizational structure that is able to swiftly respond to news events, or to any rapidly changing environment for that matter, in the timely method that allows the scoop. If you don't get the scoop you're simply recirculating bird cage liner.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 01:00 by vaxen : I...
like what is emerging here, ov, and think that some people are dis-satisfied because of the rather chaotic, at first glance, structure. I like this that you said:

"As this place stands it is not a centralized command center but a place which can fly below the radar while information is dispersed to randomly shifting delivery points"

Yeah, that is succinct and to the point. I am just confused as to what exactly Richard wants is all? I think most 'teachers' are lost outside the dictatorial systems they inhabit called the educational system. The 'mock up' would enable us to see, 3D, as much as possible what richard, perhaps, is finding it difficult to put into words.

The present system is apparently inadequate to some degree but in order to facilitate a dynamic of adequacy we must know just what is wanted and or missing in jazzologs' esteem. Ming just does'nt appear to be 'tough enough' for jazzolog? I like the way ming is doing this. This is a network not a mall, not a business, a network...

Please further enighten us jazzolog through clarification of your goals here as you see them...  

10 Jul 2004 @ 04:00 by jazzolog : Hug 'N Happiness Mall
You can duke it out with Bushman, Vax, as to whether NCN is like hangin' out at the mall---and how a "network" differs from that vision or any message board. Both you guys have been here longer than I have.

This thread is not about my goals for NCN, nor will it get turned into that. Here's why: a couple years ago a few of us newbies did set up some Log entries in which we bandied about ideas for change. When Ming stepped in to set us all straight, some of us flew for the door, one or 2 set up private king/queendoms of our own out of Logs and Workgroups, and the remainder of us settled into restless acceptance of the Fact. The Fact is Ming, and if anyone wants something (s)he corresponds with him (in private works best). I am among the accepters of that reality.

It is Ming who presented some alternatives to the status quo in his he often does at moments like these in the Logs. He thinks outloud about stuff, but in my years here I've never seen it go farther than that---even when people volunteer to help facilitate.

However, yes Ov, it would be nice if the WorkGroups showed us their work from time to time---as a couple of them do already with Logs they maintain. And it would be cool if there were some kind of marker outside the individual Chats as to when the last comment was made, besides who made it. And yeah, the Subjects list is pretty daunting. Ming HAS asked for a volunteer to help him work on that. If interested, please write him.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 05:11 by vaxen : Subjects list?
Cool...there ya go. Thanks jazzoLOG. Now I understand a bit more. You mean code wise stuff that needs addressing such as the...

Oh, so many things. The light begins to shine through the thick leaved branches of the tall Sequoia trees and I find myself in Muir Woods once again being dazzled and amazed by natures infinite bounty! EXCALIBUR was not the sword that Arthur pulled from out the stone!


For non-members and visitors, the Subjects list is not only an organizing of some Log entries by category but also separate entries made right there among the Subjects. I think it's available to members only, although sometimes I feature those entries on the Splash page. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what happens if you click on one of them from out there. Work to do...

Vax, are you on the West Coast today---or having a vision at dawn? Looks pretty hazy here. Time for a jog...after I do the editing.


10 Jul 2004 @ 10:56 by vaxen : Heh Heh...
yup. Had to do a SECDEF 4 PSI-OPS SF ORG so we had some spare time and I took off to my old spawning grounds. Muir Woods is so beautiful. Especially at mid night. Of course those 'shafts of light' coming down through the ancient trees cannot possibly be the 'Sun' but I never let something like that daunt me.

I'll check out the 'Subjects' thing. Would you believe that in all these years I've not once used the 'Subjects' list?'

I never click (Well sometimes I do-but rarely, very rarely, and then only for 'self-ish' reasons) on one of the logs 'out there!' Must be the `hoipolloi' at it again! Out ethics! Gonna have to as is that and see what happens!

Tone 40
Over and Out
'Via Con
Ojos Claros...'

10 Jul 2004 @ 11:13 by vaxen : OMG!
OH------MY------GOD! Just clicked on the 'Subject' portion of the Navigation bar and I'm stunned! I knew I should have staid in that dream! Stunned...Gotta go and take a really cold shower or better yet I think I'll jet up to the falls and dive in! Colder there...

I'll be back...SUBJECTS?

This may help jazzolog:



10 Jul 2004 @ 12:28 by ming : Old chat rooms
Ha, well, even I was surprised that it still works. And that there actually are people who think of going there. I mean, years after it was taken off the webpages. Those chat rooms date back from before the NCN that most of these people here know. But I kind of enjoy the idea that there are people gathering in the underground steam tunnels.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:42 by Baalberith @ : Did anyone say...


10 Jul 2004 @ 12:43 by Rhamiel @ : I hate to disappoint you
...but you're not going to find much chaos in here.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:44 by Baalberith @ : Too bad
Can't say, there is much order either...  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:46 by Rhamiel @ : Well, maybe, a little bit of chaos
Noise, statics, mostly.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:47 by Baalberith @ : Nothing of the glorified kind, then?

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:49 by Rhamiel @ : There are patterns...
that people mistake for chaos:

"What has unfurled at this Log from that article either is an extension or a complete misreading of it. That's OK, I like when people say whatever they want here...although I do try to remind us what the thread really is about."

People talking without speaking,
{link:} People hearing without listening,People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:51 by Baalberith @ : *smile*
NCN A.D.D. ???  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:53 by Rhamiel @ : There is no such thing
as A.D.D.

(Er...Richard, would you please fix that link in that last comment just above...
Wipe that grin of your face Baalberith!)


Done. Ah, the dangers, Vax, of "out there." Good to see you guys back. You're becoming old friends around the campfire.


10 Jul 2004 @ 12:54 by Baalberith @ : A.D.D.: Are you sure?
It seems it is the Brave New World's drug of choice. In here there is always the "Medication Room"  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:55 by Rhamiel @ : Not funny, Baalberith!
That's "Mediation Room," and you know it!  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:56 by Baalberith @ : Oh pooh!
Too bad!

I wonder what it is they are "mediating", anyway?  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:57 by Rhamiel @ : You know...
the usual thing.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 12:57 by Baalberith @ :


10 Jul 2004 @ 12:58 by Tlingel @ : Or maybe

{link:|Alter-Ego Mania} :-)  

10 Jul 2004 @ 13:00 by Baalberith @ : Touché
Good thing for you that I am "big enough" to take your veiled criticism with good grace, Tlingel, lol  

10 Jul 2004 @ 13:26 by vaxen : For A.:D.:D.:
"In the broad universe
Are many civilizations.

"Only a few require
Methods of control
And enslavement.

"All others love freedom
Exchange of ideas,
Free trade,
And open communication.

"Cherish spiritual expansion.
Let not martial conquest
Be your goal.

"Your real power will create
A radiant, jewelled planet -

"For the Admiration
And Prosperity
Of All Mankind.

"Enter the Galactic Community
As a re-born Wonder -
Not as an enslaved

"The choice is yours.

"The Alternatives have been shown.

"It is up to you to decide.

"For Your Own Forevers."

Astar Paramejgian
Deputy Sector Commander
Sector 9


10 Jul 2004 @ 14:56 by Baalberith @ :

"Descend, then! then I could also say: Ascend!
'Twere all the same. Escape from the Created
To shapeless forms in liberated spaces!
Enjoy what long ere this was dissipated!"  

10 Jul 2004 @ 15:08 by Tlingel @ : Good quote
(Faust, is it?) and certainly in character.
No ritalin for you then, eh Baalberith ;-)  

10 Jul 2004 @ 15:09 by Baalberith @ : :-)

and no "Medication Room" either!  

10 Jul 2004 @ 15:12 by ov : Hyperbolic Bliss
Baalberith, I think that's implicit in {|The Divine Design}. This report that I got a couple days ago from {|} indicates that the cosmic orgasm is right on schedule. Fuck heaven and hell and everything in between, let's go for it, that's what I say.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:10 by Tlingel @ : Angels and mortals

Fight for the right
To have a little pleasure
And enjoy an easy flight.
—Mark Henley: "November song"  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:14 by Baalberith @ : November song:
"Angels and mortals
Sometimes get their way."  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:18 by Rhamiel @ : November Song
Angels and Mortals
sometimes have to pay...  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:20 by Baalberith @ : NCN Happiness
"Some think they see their own hope to advance
Tied to their neighbor's fall, and thus they long
To see him cast down from his eminenc3;

Some fear their power, preferment, honor, fame
Will suffer by another's rise, and thus,
Irked by his good, desire his ruin and shame"

(Purgatorio, Canto XVII)  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:23 by Tlingel @ : Milton:

For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy—the only evil that walks invisible…  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:34 by bushman : Yep :}
I say let the child rule and be done with it.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 16:58 by Baalberith @ : The child:
"Some think they see their own hope to advance
Tied to their neighbor's fall, and thus they long
To see him cast down from his eminence;

Some fear their power, preferment, honor, fame
Will suffer by another's rise, and thus,
Irked by his good, desire his ruin and shame"

(Purgatorio, Canto XVII)  

10 Jul 2004 @ 17:04 by Tlingel @ : lol
"The angels were all singing out of tune.
And hoarse with having little else to do,
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon,
Or curb a runaway young star or two."
—Lord Byron  

10 Jul 2004 @ 17:24 by vaxen : VAB 6---
9. "The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

10. "The Powers not deligated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

You have a right to sanity.
You have a right to quit the game.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 19:01 by jazzolog : KRRRAAAACK~~~
My god, I'm smiling! Can this be NCN Happiness Parts 1 AND 2...both barrels at once?  

10 Jul 2004 @ 19:30 by Calvin @ : You know what I have noticed, Hobbes?
Things don't bug you if you don't think about them.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 19:31 by Calvin @ : So from now on
I simply won't think about anything I don't like and I'll be happy all the time.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 19:33 by Hobbes @ : Hmmm
Don't you think that's a pretty silly and irresponsible way to live?  

10 Jul 2004 @ 19:33 by Calvin @ : .................

What a pretty afternoon.  

10 Jul 2004 @ 20:29 by Tlingel @ : Calvin and Hobbes, NCN members?
Who would have thought? Hmmm...this would explain a lot... Nah, it can't be, they are just visitors, methinks. Chances are they escaped from one {link:|Bill Watterson's strips} (unbeknownth to him) eheheh

Let's se, "Scientific Progress Goes 'Boink'" or "The Revenge of the Baby-sat", is it? lol "It's a Magical World"...  

10 Jul 2004 @ 21:57 by spiritseek : no
its a small world after all  

11 Jul 2004 @ 04:32 by vaxen : A cycle of action...
Give'em data-that's what's important if you're teaching.
But if you're practicing do'nt give anybody any data at all.

Put the aesthetic band on this thing.

The aesthetic is'nt knowledge,
it's putting it to use...
and the amount of interest-
which will be given to you-
because you know.  

11 Jul 2004 @ 12:34 by Tlingel @ : NCN: it's a small, small world...

Okay, clearly the last word on this belongs to Spiritseek.
(Is there a price, Richard?):

It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev'ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

{link:|It's a small world}, Written by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman  

12 Jul 2004 @ 00:06 by Sellitman @ : NCN Happiness 1 and 2
What is NCN? The obvious is that people mean at least two different things when referring to NCN. There is NCN the concept (the design, the engine, the mission statement.) And NCN, the current membership (i.e. the active members, their interactions, and how new members are greeted, or, possibly, turned off by the current NCN settlement.) For all practical purpose, I think it is clear that when Richard refers to NCN's "playground attitude," ("a tone of nastiness in the Logs", "members with big control issues and their followers...or at least allies", "as if folks who spoil the fun must be driven away") it is of NCN the current membership that he is talking about and not of NCN, the concept. I believe that needed to be clarified, because, as with many things that seem very obvious, the lines are often blurred without people even realizing it.

I have no informed opinion when it comes to the "playground attitude" of NCN (the current membership,) nor is it my place, nor my desire, to comment about such things. Judging from NCN Happiness 1 and NCN happiness 2, what I did observe however is that the main topic, and/or the comments of people who seem to have a genuine interest about the main topic (or closely related topics) rapidly sputter out as the issues are being ignored or addressed in a dismissive or irreverent way. I can see how a newcomer would find it disconcerting, for instance, when asking for some specifics such as what time it is, to find his or her request answered with such a statement as "time is relative," or "I have a watch, don't you?," which all might seem very witty for people who are in the know or people who like to nurture such an impression about themselves, but which reflects poorly on NCN (the membership) and ends up ultimately hurting NCN as a whole (the concept.)

In a comment at the beginning of this thread I asked "are people just happy with NCN staying the size it is or do people want NCN to grow?" Sixty five comments latter, I am wondering if what we are hearing here is a resounding 'no', 'no people do not want NCN to grow.' In other words, and going back to Richard's comment, one can legitimately wonder if indeed the "playground" analogy is not a proper one. And it would explain why there are people who seem to feel frustrated that NCN is not living up to its potential. When I talked about old Rip Van Winkle, I was not talking about the technological evolution of the Internet (though I am sure that this too is relevant and I thank you, Bushman for your perspective) but, rather, I was echoing Ming's observation (NCN Happiness 1), that, "there's probably much better facilities now, that could support concerted action," in other words when NCN was first launched, NCN was, concept-wise, a forerunner of many of the networking developments that are now common on the internet (and are expanding.) I doubt it is still so now.

Talking of other networks out there, Ming suggests that "they're more 'bare', in the sense that they don't suggest any tone for what will go on." I both agree and disagree with that. I have met both kinds, those which are into tones (and which will promote one tone or another, big time) and those which aren't.

I do agree with Ming though that the concept of a "New Civilization Network suggests some fairly grand purpose. As does the introductory materials." NCN as a concept carry implicitly with it a "We are the World" idea and "being the world," in turn, implies such notions as diversity, multiplicity of beliefs, of understandings, traditions, cultures, etc. all working together or in parallel at a global level to help bring about a world that works for all. Such was, it seems to me, what the conceptual idea was (or strongly implied.)

Now, people can pretend that this is what NCN has become, or will become soon if it continues on its current path, but plainly there are huge sectors of humanity, beliefs, understandings, knowledge, traditions, cultures, etc. which are not represented here and whose absence, several years later, now undermines both NCN' s credibility and its effectiveness as far as the grander purpose of its original design is concerned.

NCN is not the world. But some members of NCN do talk as if they were the world, and though there will be those "who know the truth" who will find pleasure in devising all kind of witty and clever ways of "demonstrating" philosophically or spiritually that indeed they are the world, depending on what one means by that (the universe in a grain of sand, and the butterfly effect theory, and the 100th monkey and so on and so forth --- this is one thing the NCN current membership apparently relishes and seems to be very crafty at) I am sure there are many outside of NCN who are not convinced and huge sections of humanity to which such niceties brings as little comfort as the abstract discussion about the sex of the angels the theologians of old used to have.

NCN is not the world, but shouldn't it be? Ming is aware of this:

"Little things might have made a big difference in what sorts of people mostly moved into NCN. For example, back in 1995 I made a Celestine Prophecy discussion mailing list. It still exists on the server, has hundreds of members, and is still quite active. Because of that, various Celestine Prophecy mailing lists recommended NCN as a good place to take a next step. Which, still today, means that a lot of the new people are folks who're looking to learn more about energy, and it is obvious from many new member comments that they believe this to be a Celestine Prophecy oriented community. Which is fine and great, but compared with the original target, it is a more passive group. Nice and spiritual people, but not the kind of activists, inventors, organizers, systems thinkers, etc, that originally were expected."

You see, Richard, diversity is not the problem here, quite the opposite, actually. And chaos is not the problem either, some people here like to think of themselves as big bad-ass chaos mongers and shakers of the establishment, but, despite the constant bickering and feuds, NCN is a pretty homogenous almost monolithic group, when you look at it.

Still quoting from Ming: "For example, right now a number of people can comfortably read through all posts in the newslogs every day. That creates a certain coherency, which is both good and bad. It plants the idea that everybody's sort of supposed to fit in the same box."

I agree. I can see there the seeds for a sort of a pseudo NCN religion to take root here. Some people, already, seem to believe that this is what NCN is about. To them it doesn't matter how small NCN is now (or how inadequately representative of the world at large,) because they have made up their mind that NCN, the few of them who are here already, are a microcosm of the world, and that NCN is the cauldron that will give birth to the core of the New Civilization that they are envisioning. In other words, they believe that NCN (and that the energies that are being created here) is birthing the New Civilization. We have subtly moved beyond "NCN is a meeting place for people of good will who are working on building a world that works for all of us" to religion, plain and simple.

Ming goes on:

"But it [the small size of the Newslog section and its coherency] also allows issues in relation to working that out to surface and be processed."

I do see that. I can see the interest for people who are into "processing" as such, and also people who are into the pseudo-religious stuff, too, (some of them are the same people,) as such limited and controlled environment is favorable to the kind of alchemical process both groups are interested in.

"But if there were 10 times as many newslogs," Ming says, "it wouldn't really work. One wouldn't have time to stay up on all of them, and one would have to choose amongst them which are the ones one wants to pay attention to. Which would make the diversity come a little more natural."


"But, I must admit, it might also lose something which might be valuable," says Ming.

Yes, there is an element of risk. On the other hand, it might help shake off the issue of CONTROL. Are there control issues at NCN, as Richard suggests? Just taking a look at the Newslogs, there is ground to believe it is so. I believe there is an issue with the pseudo-religion stuff, too. I would not go so far as to suggest that the new Mediators of which Richard was speaking are the new priests wannabe of NCN or that the secondary private group of mediators is in any danger to become anything like the Spanish Inquisition (neither was Richard.) But there are some currents there that have an aura of familiarity about them. With religion comes proselytism. With "processing" comes the temptation to extend it to others, even to those who have no interest in it. And those that religion perceives as a threat oftentimes end up branded as heretics.

Ming says: "I could probably increase the number of active members drastically by…actively promoting it to various groups."

Yes. Other ideas have been suggested too (anything that would reinforce the meta-paradigmatic vocation of NCN.) It almost looks as if this was going to be the next step in the evolution of NCN and, for some mysterious reason, never took place.

My thanks to Richard and Bushman, and especially Ming, for the time they took in addressing my comments in a fashion I found considerate, informative and much in the spirit of what one would expect of NCN (the concept).  

12 Jul 2004 @ 01:27 by ov : Happiness 2
Once again Sellitman a nice summary and a fine grasp of the meta level issues of on-line community. OLC is one of those post generating topics because it calls into question the subject of identity.

Speaking of identity I'd once again like to express what a good idea it would be if you were to register, make your own identity known and even to start up your own blog so that we could get to know you better.

One of the standard come backs to identity and especially when it comes to anonymity is that the person behind the statement shouldn't really matter, that the words should stand on their own and that objectivity rules. I tend to disagree with this perspective and I think that the intent of the speaker has a lot to do with meta type discussions, and especially when they are about identity, community and control issues. This relates to one of my current back burner projects concerning the dysfunctional elephant in the living room of rationalism is the exclusion of intent. Intent is what centers the viewpoint of the speaker and it is what determines their reality (sidebar: I'm finding interesting connections here between the objectivity of the Gregorian calendar and the Tzolkin calendar where personal intent is a large function of which day you were born, which in turn becomes a person's first name and hence known to themselves and the entire rest of the community)

Sellitman, your time and concentrated focus on these subjects that you raise is making your identity, and from that identity over time and indication of your intent, a very significant factor in these discussions. My pontifications on this may be a case of the kettle calling the pot black, but at least I am standing behind them with an identity that I have built over the last eight years on the net, and fifty years in real life, and which can only be changed with an identity change accompanied with a falsely created history.

Is this off topic? I don't think so considering the direction these threads have been going. Then again, this is simply my own personal opinion which is obvious by the fact that I've written it and haven't quoted anybody else as an authority.  

12 Jul 2004 @ 04:21 by jazzolog : Let's Get Specific About New Members
Gentlemen, I am tremendously obliged for your time and consideration on issues that have interested me about this site since I was led blindly through the door. (I say that because I literally was guided in here by 2 members through email first...and then through a WorkGroup. It still took weeks before I found my way to other groups and the Communicate page---but the whole setup did not motivate me wildly.) I'm not sure how much Sellitman can see, from a non-membership perspective, but there is an Activity page here that tallies various statistics about the site. It keeps a scroll of New Members, with links to their Profiles, and another one of who logged in during the past month.

Since June 13th, we see that 59 new people have requested membership and been accepted. My understanding is that each application is reviewed personally by Ming. If he has questions he asks them. If he thinks someone is screwing around, the application is rejected. The process of applying is a pain in the ass, as I remember, being a guy who hates to fill out forms---especially one with a personality test(!) involved. Then you're supposed to introduce yourself, in the form of a biography, and put up a picture too. It's lengthy, it's complicated, it's serious.

I did a sort of random check of 20 of the 59 new members, which also is not easy, as you have to scroll and click, and then backscreen, find your place...and all that. Of the 20 I just looked at FOURTEEN (14) went through that application process, were reviewed by Ming, welcomed (according to what he tells us he does with new members), BUT have never logged in or visited the site. Six came in. What is with that?

What does it tell us? Why in the world would people go to the trouble---and it is trouble---to apply to NCN, get accepted & welcomed, and then not come in to look around? (I'm presuming the measuring technology works, of course.) Fifty-nine people, from lots of countries, is a pretty good number of new personalities and input. But where are they, and what the heck happens? I suggest something vital really isn't working with the process! And if this were my club I sure as hell would want to find out what it is.

What percentage of the 9017 registered members never come in here at all---or maybe only once? Only about half of the new members I viewed had bothered to write any kind of Profile...or a philosophy sketch in which they put down what they're hoping to find at NCN. Maybe they just want some free advertising for their Reiki service or whatever..and I suppose Ming finds that a valid reason for joining. But it makes me curious as to what he has to go on in judging the value of these applicants---if indeed that is what interests him about us. I don't like to put down a lot of personal stuff about myself on the Internet, especially with lists being bought and sold to the spam and porn merchants, not that I suspect Ming does that. In other words, my contention is there's something wrong at the application and welcoming levels of this site. But if most of the regulars here really don't want new people upsetting their little power structure, then there's nobody to pressure Ming to review and change what he's doing.

Incidentally, I also noticed a number of senior members have logged in over the last month---people who used to be active and had Logs and everything. They logged in but left no sign of themselves anywhere that I visit regularly. As Ming says, there are areas only a select few know about and maybe that's what they did. Or maybe they took one look, thought the tone was unfriendly, uninviting, inhospitable and left again. I don't know. But every active and flourishing group I ever was in would want to send messengers to find out!

This is not the first time I have brought up this subject or supported my contentions with statistical reference. In the past the response has been, "If you don't like it don't come here anymore." Or, "I don't know what to do." I wonder what it'll be this time...if any response at all.  

12 Jul 2004 @ 04:51 by scotty : I suspect
that people simply like to take 'tests' - they probably don't have any intention of becoming a 'real' member at all !

Am I being flippant - not at all I assure you !
But after all the head scratching and wondering and supposing and assuming that's going on ie... that there must be somthing wrong with NCN or with the attitude of the membership here or with the set up of the site or the 'lack of something or other' that prevents the new members from taking part or joining in or that we're even scaring them away ... It seems to me that one is trying to take something apart to repair it because it's not working ' - whereas in actual fact it's working fine all the time .. .... I get the feeling that one is complicating everything and can't accept that the simplest answer might in fact be THE answer... we CANT know peoples motives for entering (or not)the membership of NCN - so why put all the complicated stuff into gear when perhaps the simple answer is - they like taking tests !  

12 Jul 2004 @ 07:41 by dempstress : You know
I think you are proably right about the thing not being broken, Chris! And that despite my expostulation at the fisticuffs that broke out in 'Happiness 1'. That's pretty much why I said I wanted to stick around and enjoy the view. Let's face it, no one group, real or virtual, can expect to be all things to all people.  

12 Jul 2004 @ 10:34 by bushman : Also.
I would like to mention, that you have to register to read news articals on places like Newyork times, and other news papers, just to read one of thier stories, so when you have logs linked outside in a member area only, people have to become a member to read the story. I'm going to bet that a large percentage become new members for a day due to the fact, not all the real good stories/articals are public access, and or this happens too, a member sends a story to a non-member from a member area, so they are asked to log on to read the story. I personaly make sure when I send a story out from here, that I do it from the public access page to a newslog, if its not public, I don't send it out. So as I could send the 100's of people on my ICQ lists a story from a member only log and force them to register. Same for links I leave in yahoo, and other chat networks. I am conciouss of that problem with the logs. If I find a story in a member only log for example, something the paranormal underground might be intrested in, I tell them that they will have to become a member to read it, thats a very rare occurance, but deffinetly creates members for a day. :}  

12 Jul 2004 @ 11:48 by jazzolog : A Tip For NonMaintenance-Type People
It is possible to take a thing apart and put it back together without breaking it. Sometimes we do that because there's a little rattle that's driving everybody crazy. Maybe we didn't put the jack back securely, tightly enough...or we just need to click that little clamp again...or something simple like that. Sometimes we just want to see how something works...and marvel at it. It's when people DON'T want us to know what's going on inside---a la les Bushies---that we need to worry. Or they say you couldn't possibly understand it because we're more expert than you ever could be---yeah...worry.

So...let me understand this: I ought not worry about it, because----yes, that's right---17 people are active in the Open Area...and the other 9000 just wanted to take the personality test. OK, got it. Whew. I'm over my anxiety now.  

12 Jul 2004 @ 11:48 by swan : I am happy that Sellitman
has volunteered to be the official scribe for NCN so I don't have to keep track of all of those tedious details. For a non member you have so much knowledge and wisdom about things that have happened historically around this web site and in places that non members don't even go. I find that fascinating.

It is too bad you want to remain a non-member and make conclusions about a group based on what appears to be months and months ( maybe even years) of observations rather than joining and adding to the energy. I realize you don't feel that anything of any value is happening here but may be you could do something to change that. Join, start a newslog, maybe get involved in a work group, start your own...there are so many possibilities. You could do something that has never been done here before.  

12 Jul 2004 @ 12:21 by bushman : Question,
Since, NCN, is linked to Worldtrans and other networks. If I bcome a member of WT, am I automaticly a member of NCN and visa versa? And or are NCN member only logs accessable from WT and other networks linked. I think the member count on NCN also reflects a hit counter hybrid members list, like how many members are just hits, and even how may members become members of NCN then move over to another network like WT? I think sellitman is a member from a linked network, but I don't see any problem with it, even if he/she is just a public joe with an oppinion, about the facilities, or someone from a linked network doing some sort of of study as to write an artical to be posted in one of the other networks linked to NCN. Its about transmiting ideas and thoughts to make a better world to me anyway. Again if you use the google touchgraph browser on the NCN splash page, you can see all the other networks that are linked to NCN. So god only knows how many people read the stuff we post and who reads it as well and why, is thier agenda the same as ours do we have an agenda other than makeing a better world?


That's an interesting idea Bushman, but I think we may be talking about 2 different member counts. The one at Activity does measure hits and makes that graph-thing. But the count at People must be actual accepted and realized applications that Ming has passed on. As for linked networks, etc. I think Ming.TV may bring some folks in least to look around. I'm just glad Sellitman is giving us some of his time, since he's provided some of the best insights around here in a long time.


12 Jul 2004 @ 13:22 by scotty : Richard !
re :"So...let me understand this: I ought not worry about it, because----yes, that's right---17 people are active in the Open Area...and the other 9000 just wanted to take the personality test. OK, got it. Whew. I'm over my anxiety now"

I really must tell you that I think it's quite impolite of you to take words from your mouth and put them into mine - not to mention unhygenic !


Not to worry: I'm guaranteed antibiotic for another 2 months. Hospital overkill you know.


13 Jul 2004 @ 06:42 by ming : Member counts
Actually there's not particularly overlapping member groups or several networks here. I've thought about things that would go in that direction, but haven't acted on any of them. Worldtrans is not a network, but essentially just my somewhat aging website.

I've thought about making NCN a subset of a bigger network. I.e. make the software here available as a more plain un-branded set of tools for other purposes. I'm going to do that, but I'm not sure if it makes sense to share the member databases, or keep them separate. You know, it might be for an organization that needs a place to work on various things in a very focused manner, but which rather wouldn't run into a bunch of other strange people there.

Anyway, the 9000 members you see here do come about in several somewhat distinct ways, which gives a partial explanation to why they aren't really here. First there was no member area, but just a mailing list people subscribed to. But pretty quickly I made a website where people could join, which would put them on that mailing list, but otherwise there was nothing going on there. Nothing like the features you see now. You could log in, but really just a couple of documents there and a single chat room. So hardly anybody logged in ever, as the action was on the mailing list, or several mailing lists, actually. So, people from that time are likely to not really have discovered that there's a lively member area, and they're just sort of wondering why NCN isn't sending out mailings any longer. If they still care, of course.

In L.A. I made events for several years, New Civilization Salons. At some point I started signing up everybody who came there, unless they specifically refused. So, took their picture, got a bit of bio info, and I entered them into the database. There's a few hundred of those. Since they didn't actually go and sign themselves up, it might not really have sunk in to them that they're members here. And they might not be people who'd really think of using the net this way.

Then there are the people who came here because NCN was mentioned on a Celestine Prophecy page somewhere, thinking that this is a Celestine Prophecy community somehow.

All in all, the majority of members have signed up for something that looks like what you see now. But, yes, still about half of them never actually logged in even once. We probably can't count those as disgruntled customers. But maybe rather the typical ADD of the net. I've probably signed up for many things too that sounded good at the time, but which I forgot about.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 07:08 by ming : New Members
All I really do in terms of "approving" new members is to glance at their profile and see that they're not just out to make trouble, and that they're not duplicates of existing members. I.e. if the suggested member ID is "fuckyou" and the bio says "fuck off!!", I'll probably just delete it. If it is mostly blank, I'll accept it, even if it is clearly not their real name or anything. If the application seems to be from an existing member, either because they forgot their ID/password, or didn't know how to change it, or because somebody's trying to have two accounts, I write to them to clarify it. But otherwise I don't really write to people or welcome them. I did at some point, when the numbers where small. Then I got a volunteer for that function, to look through the new applications, approve them, and send an invitation. A couple of different people held that function for several years. But they usually only got around to looking at it once per week, and didn't really send welcome notices either, so I took the job back again. But if somebody else wants it, I'd be open to that.

Indeed, things would probably be different if there were a more personal welcome. Somebody who could help you learn the ropes, and showed some interest in what you might want here.

It would also help with some automated follow-up. There are some features here I didn't really finish and activate, that would send people e-mail messages regularly, telling them which messages are waiting for them, showing them new activitiy, reminding them of their password and that kind of thing. That would most likely bring in people who otherwise had forgotten.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 07:32 by ming : News mailings
I should mention, for those who weren't around, that one of the most vibrant periods in the history of NCN was mostly before the existence of the member area you see now. I sent out a mailing to the whole membership by e-mail once or twice per week. Several different kinds. For example, a collection of NCN Visions, with visions of a new civilization that people had submitted. Another with news of activities and projects people are engaged in. People would send them to me, and I'd edit a little newsletter reporting on them. Also, the list of new members who have joined was sent out every month. Occasionally I would write some kind of inspirational thing about what a new civilization might be. And others could submit items to send out to the main list as well. Which either I sent out, or gathered for a bigger mailing, or I might reject them if I didn't find them appropriate. All of these mailings were very popular, and I'd typically get 50 or so responses back for each mailing, with positive feedback, new material, etc.

These mailings gave the impression that there was a lot going on, and people were very active with their projects, and we heard about successes and progress and inspiring plans.

A big problem was, however, that I was a bottleneck there. People sent it to me, and I acted as editor to choose what to pass on. Which made it quite homogenous. But it also put me in a place I didn't really want to be in. I didn't really want to be the guy who defined what it was all about, or what goes and what doesn't. But increasingly people were looking more to me for what is going on. At the same time, there were frequent discussions about just that on the mailing lists that were open for discussion. Heated disagreements. Some people leaving in disgust because their view didn't get represented well enough. Most people who spoke supported my views, of this being about diversity and openness and the law of two feet, and anybody who wants to do something a certain way could just start a group for it. At that time I frequently set up mailing lists for people who had a particular focus, similar to the workgroups now. But there were also people who wanted NCN to be a particular thing, and who left in anger or disappointment when it seemed impossible to make it that. It was a very small percentage, but often noisy and unpleasant for everyone concerned.

Some people at that time tried to get me to take a more firm leadership role, and actually get clear and serious on what I'm trying to do, instead of this sort of vague openness to anything and everything.

Anyway, for various reasons, I decided that it was untenable that I was becoming a figurehead who had to evangelize a new civilization and who'd be the obvious target for anybody for whom something wasn't working.

So, instead, I built out the member area, so it can be a do-it-yourself proposition, and I became more invisible. Maybe not invisible enough, but at least it doesn't have to be about ME most of the time. I enjoy that.

Now, looking back at it, I'm not sure if it makes sense bringing back some of the activities that were successful in the past. I still don't want to be a target or a figurehead. But I do recognize that something similar to those regular mailings of newsletters could be useful. It would, however, also pull things in a different direction. I'm sure a number of people here could have problems with that, and it might not honor the NCN that is here right now.

In the past I've tried to recruit people as newsletter editors or journalists, for gathering the news about what people are doing and passing it on. Well, for a while that worked in somebody else's hands, but not to a great extent.

Another possibility I played with, after having refused it for years, was to make an incorporated non-profit, called the New Civilization Foundation, which would have a bunch of well-known figureheads in its board, who would talk authoritatively about what a new civilization is about. That would set a certain focus and tone. And then NCN would be the free-form network connected with that. Well, I had various internal conflicts about whether it would be the right way to go. And now the window for that is somewhat over. I.e. there was a time when it would be quite attractive for a number of big names to be associated with NCN. Whereas today it is a good deal harder to make the case for it. If I run into Barbara Marx Hubbard or Jean Houston or John Perry Barlow or somebody like that, they'll have a blank look for a second or two, and they'll be, like, "Oh, yeah, eh... New Civilization, whatever happened to that?" NCN at some point seemed (deservedly or not) like something at the leading edge of, well, something. But today there would be a bit of a has-been kind of thing to overcome if it would try to be that again. And it isn't really what is happening. The focus here now is a lot more internal. And I don't think the current NCN people right here would particularly relish that some outsiders suddenly were put up on piedestals to explain what it is all about.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 15:44 by Sellitman @ : News Mailings
Yes, I remember the early days (another place, not NCN) when networking was essentially done through emails and newsletters. And the transitory phase too, when people didn't quite write comments directly on a board, but just sent emails that were bounced back and forth and circulated around. The paradox is that indeed, I feel that for some reason this was a more vibrant period. I am not sure why. Maybe it was the "pioneer" thing or maybe the fact that to many people this form of communication seemed new and exciting and people were not taking it so much for granted (Yikes! Am I starting to sound like my parents?) There is probably somewhere in here some lesson to be learned about this. I am not sure which. There is little doubt in my mind that there is no turning back and, as far as I am concerned, “the do it yourself” proposition does fit the bill of the New Civilization concept.

Yes, I have some doubts too as to whether having some figureheads talking authoritatively about what a new civilization is about is such a good idea (I think we can see already some of the problem with that here with people who are no “figureheads.”) On the other hand, I find it hard to think it possible to be “believably” talking of being the new civilization network when people such as Barbara Marx Hubbard or Jean Houston or John Perry Barlow (good choice) and many others (not all speakers or figureheads for the movement) involved in one way or another in stuff which relate directly or indirectly to the growth of a new civilization are not actively represented in a “new civilization” network. Diversity is important, and so is INCLUSIVENESS. I totally understand that the current NCN people right here would not particularly relish that some outsiders suddenly were put up on pedestals (good analogy) to explain what the new civilization is all about. (I see no reason that it should be so. Furthermore, it would defeat, I think, the purpose of a “grass root” new civilization, which is what people seem mostly interested in, here at NCN.) In the same vein, one can also easily extrapolate from this how an outsider (any outsider, or some new member just joining NCN) might not particularly relish either that some current NCN members be put up on a pedestals (same analogy) to explain what the new civilization is about (if those two NCN Happiness threads, and others I have read, are any indicator by which such things can be measured, I see plenty of signs there indicating that the perception is that some members are doing just that.)

One of the keys to the whole NCN cohabitation thing probably comes down to a matter of design and construct. Whether we are just talking about NCN or about any other kind of hypothetical network which might emerge in the future in conjunction with NCN or not (I think/hope one will eventually emerge with or without NCN’s help) it is probably easier to look at it in terms of a synthesizing/symbiotic kind of evolving construct of some sort, an image that comes to mind is that of a Web{link:|Space Station} (Okay, Mir might not be the best example, but I like the interactive graphic.)

Thank you again, Ming, for your kind and considerate responses and please accept my apologies for putting you a little bit too much on the spot, more than I intended too really, such was not my purpose (you just so happened to be one of the three or four persons here interested in talking openly of NCN in an informed and considerate manner) and I agree with you that a webmaster is best when people hardly know he exists. There are those who believe that such talks, as we just had (thank you Richard for the forum, and some very interesting questions---they needed to be asked), serve no purpose (that such exchanges took place before and led to nothing.) I disagree, I don’t know whether previous talks about such things led to nothing or not, but I believe such talks are ALWAYS helpful, healthy even, especially on such networks where talking is such an important component.

Hey, maybe one ought to think of making it a tradition and have like a yearly State of the New Civilization Network Address and some kind of a follow-up forum kind of a thing. You know, people could come together, share what they have been involved with; propose new features; suggests ways of attracting new members or add new hubs to the "WebSpace Station" that might help NCN expend in new directions that have been overlooked or neglected, etc.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 15:52 by Sellitman @ : NCN WebSpace Station
Here is Mir again: {link:|link} (the link above doesn't seem to work.)  

13 Jul 2004 @ 16:30 by jazzolog : Please, Somebody Volunteer!
In Ming's second comment above @ 07:08, he allows he is open to a volunteer (or 2) serving as a welcoming guide. Shawa offered a similar service for a while with a sort of greeting Workgroup. However this could be just a form letter a couple people could email out to the new members welcoming and offering to help. I mean, if I sign up for USAToday daily blat I get a little confirmation thingie. I thought everyone here did too, although I don't remember getting anything---but in the past people said there was something emailed out. Please let's do this! Could some people write to Ming...and let us know you have done so? It would take only a couple of minutes a day to welcome people.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 16:58 by Sellitman @ : Or...
...maybe such things would be better handled (and would be less burdensome on the members of NCN, not to mention less open to human frailties, such as egos and politics and the potential development of a burdensome bureaucracy) if the Welcoming was done automatically as part of the programming of NCN. I had assumed that this was already the case, isn't it so? If not, then there might be room for some easy fixes and improvements there. Am I wrong?  

13 Jul 2004 @ 17:06 by vibrani : Richard
we do welcome new members on our own...have always done so.

May I ask what group called "we" you are speaking for?


13 Jul 2004 @ 17:08 by Sellitman @ : Something like this, perhaps:

{link:|link} :-}  

13 Jul 2004 @ 17:26 by Sellitman @ : But seriously folks...
Actually I am being quite serious. The future of Networking lies in the ability of systems to handle more and more things automatically in the background (including welcoming majordomos, animated or not, and even AI.) The idea is that anyone stepping into the network should feel right at home from day one and feel the network is theirs (and extension of who they are into cyberspace) and there to serve them without the need for any third party (or senor member) to get involved and show them the ropes. This is one of the reason why more and more products, hardware and software, people use are manufactured with an intuitive interface and helpful devices that pretty much allow people to figure things for themselves.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 17:33 by Sellitman @ : Volunteers is a good idea
but, if I had to take a wild guess, I would say PROGRAMMERS (the creative kind, people who would want to get involved with NCN because they see the fun and potential of it) are the kind of volunteers Ming needs the most to surround himself with.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 17:34 by jazzolog : I Know You Are And I Agree
I too thought something went out automatically. It is tragic that it doesn't, given the kind of heartpouring that goes on in those Profiles...which even are featured as "A message from a recent new member" on the Activity page. It seems cruel, if those people are left dangling without a clue as to how to technically to work toward some of those goals at NCN. However Sellitman, we may need to wait for response from others, including Europe which may be going to bed right now.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 18:13 by ming : Welcoming message
There's a couple of very basic messages that go out automatically to new members. Essentially just a "welcome, your account is now active" kind of thing. It could of course just as well include a bigger piece of text that explains what they can do here.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 18:36 by spiritseek : let the women
do the easier part like greeting new members and leave the thinking to the men kinda thing your talking about right? Haven't any of you men noticed yet how you decide on the male and female roles? I'm so disappointed of this part of NCN, because this is the part that hasn't changed.  

13 Jul 2004 @ 19:03 by spiritseek : Nora is speaking for me too!!!
"13 Jul 2004 @ 17:06 by enamrani : Richard
we do welcome new members on our own...have always done so."

"May I ask what group called 'we' you are speaking for?

14 Jul 2004 @ 02:41 by jazzolog : On the Horns
As has been said before in this long thread, it is completely possible the consensus of the current active membership remains NCN is the best of all virtual worlds as it is. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

The little investigation I reported earlier---about how many new members hadn't even come in to look around (14 out of 20)...and which Ming corroborates in his comment ("about half")---indicates to me there is a communications problem of some sort. That means an influx of members, that might make a difference in what's new about the civilization at NCN, doesn't get in here.

I've said I accept what the consensus is. I get excited when even one person seems to wonder things along similar lines that I do. The reality is nothing much has changed in the last 3 years.  

14 Jul 2004 @ 11:05 by Sellitman @ : Consensus?
Consensus by whom about what?

1. An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole.
2. General agreement or accord: government by consensus.

I read somewhere in the intro that "NCN is not an organization. It is a database of people and a lot of facilities intended to help [people] find what [they] need and collaborate with others when appropriate."

In that regard, shouldn't NCN be thought about more in term of a {link:|skin} or a neutral interface (a network of public and private places for people to meet and work together) rather than in term of a community per se? For that matter does NCN has a voice (other than its mission statement) or does it in fact have many voices? I would believe that the danger facing networks such as NCN would be for one voice (no matter how well meaning or spiritually oriented it is) to take over. Such networks as NCN are at their best when no voice is suppressed (openly or covertly so) and no one voice present itself as the holder/harbinger of the ultimate "truth" of what the network is about.

Richard question is a good one: "May I ask what group called 'we' you are speaking for?"

People who join a network sometimes forget that they are just GUESTS of the Network (the facility they are using) among many other guest (some of whom are visitors) and sometimes speak in terms of "we" and "us", thus implying (intentionally or not) that they are speaking for the whole (i.e. that they are NCN.)  

14 Jul 2004 @ 13:31 by Sellitman @ : Illegitimate Totallies
"We may ‘speak’ (verbalize) about ‘a proposition about all propositions,’ but in actuality we cannot ‘make’ a proposition about ‘all’ propositions, since in doing so we are in fact producing a new proposition, and thus we run into stultifying self-contradictions."

Bertrand Russell rightly called the products of these pathological verbal performances "illegitimate totalities." By such unconscious over-generalizations we humans have been living, not very successfully.

No answer, model, action, or person is simply "right" or "wrong". There are always many factors involved. Some pull in one direction, some pull in another.

Scrolling through the newslogs, this morning, I found that a couple of new entries were spawn on the Newslogs, possibly (or not) as a result of Richard’s own entries about NCN Happiness (but more likely not, since, in view of what I am told of NCN, it is fairly safe to assume that had the content of any of those articles had anything to do with this thread, people would have, no doubt, chosen to post a comment here, in the interest of dialogue.) One of the entries {link:|A New Civilization} tells us what "the way to a New civilization is", the other entry on another {link:|Blog} is simply entitled "Why I joined NCN".

While both articles make some very good points (both blogs are always a pleasure to read) I found it easier, as far as those two articles are concerned, to relate to the later ("Why I joined NCN") than to the former ("A New Civilization"). Probably because in relation to what I was talking about in my last comment (above), there is a quality of "to-me-ness", in that article (that I find easy to relate to,) that is not present in the other article.

Talking in terms of absolutes, with authoritative and peremptory statements such as The truth IS that. Or it IS NOT that. Or "you are either with us or against us". Or like the author of the article (A New Civilization,) "This is the ONLY WAY a new Civilization can happen," has always seemed to me more consistent with the ways of the old civilization than with the ways of what might one day emerge as a new civilization.

"You can't solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it."
(A. Einstein, was it?)

14 Jul 2004 @ 13:37 by Sellitman @ : Ooops, wrong link again
Sorry about that. This is the {link:|link} to the Blog (The Ramsey Report,) where the article "Why I joined NCN" can be found.

Good stuff!


Clarifying coincidental footnote: if Sellitman is seeing the Logs from outside, he can read and add comments at Swan's article but not at Sharie's, as she has them turned off presently to the general public and search engines.


15 Jul 2004 @ 15:34 by ming : All propositions
I like the reference to Bertrand Russell and "illegitimate totalities". For me that's a very key piece, and something fundamental to a network like this here, and, for me, to what a new civilization might be. You can say all sorts of things, except for something that purports to cover what everybody else could possibly say. You can talk about what everybody else might think or want, but you can't really speak for them in any conclusive way. Likewise, you can go and do your own thing, and others might have the same freedom, and some might want to do the same thing, but the moment somebody starts to coerce everybody into doing the same thing, because it is "right", the whole foundation is being short-circuited. Anyway, this has been discussed in various ways a number of times, and is sometimes disagreed with, but that happens to be almost the only principle I take the liberty of insisting on in relation to NCN. Which of course is bit of a paradox in itself, but so be it.  

16 Jul 2004 @ 04:51 by jazzolog : NCN Community
I'm not sure, in my short time at the Network, I've seen advocacy of a community at NCN. There could be, but the dangers and inconveniences are mentioned above. Member help in organizing and administering the site does not consititute establishment of a community either, in my opinion.

I think there may be communities within NCN though...and not just represented here by various members. Maybe some WorkGroups are like that.

But it's undeniable to me there is community here. There is sharing and real intimacy sometimes. Real friendships and love relationships are formed here...and there can be a spirit of togetherness among members that is real community. When people fight there is real concern. When people leave there is real grief. Sometimes. There is a real spirit...but not a dictated entity. I think such an experience on a computer is new, exciting, pioneering in its possibilities, maybe revolutionary, maybe civilizing.  

16 Jul 2004 @ 05:50 by swan : Sellitman,
if you were to join NCN you could place your commentary about my newslog in my newslog and it would/could open an interesting dialog on how my comment that this is the only way to a new civilization might be in error. It is took bad that you don't join and only choose to dialog through this newslog. I am always open to comments to the contrary in my newslog. ( by the way I have a couple newslogs in my archives about why I joined NCN)  

16 Jul 2004 @ 06:21 by jazzolog : Post No Bills
Anyone wishing to advertise one's own Log here is welcome...and there will be no fee charged. I shall not jealously guard Sellitman's interest in jazzoLOG. ;-) Actually Sellitman has posted elsewhere...and Swan's Log is public too, with open comment hospitality, so he can take a swim with the great bird.

Where Sellitman may pick a wishbone of contention, Swan, as might I (in a friendly way) is about it being "took bad (sic)" that he hasn't joined. I'm sure that's an individual opinion that you have, rather than result of a group chat for which you are speaking. I know you well enough that I'm pretty sure you're not saying that. Thanks for stopping by this early morning.  

16 Jul 2004 @ 06:34 by spiritseek : now this is nice
I feel like the new civilization is here!  

16 Jul 2004 @ 15:22 by swan : Thank you Richard, I will try to keep
the flyers to a minimum. How about over on this tree where it will be out of the way? :-)

RE/ Sellitman joining..just a personal lament and of course he might say I used the wrong wording in saying " too bad" rather than " I wish Sellitman would join NCN, that would bring me great joy." Nope, not the result of a group chat. You know me well enough to know I speak for my self.

You are welcome...  

6 Aug 2004 @ 05:14 by jazzolog : Well Well Well, What Have We Here?

Calif. Lawyer Sues Yahoo Over Message-Board Posts
Thu Aug 5, 3:59 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California lawyer who has waged an ongoing battle with Yahoo Inc. over personal attacks made against him on Yahoo message boards has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the company.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday by associates of corporate attorney Stephen Galton, claims Yahoo has unfairly protected people who post negative messages on its bulletin boards and falsely advertised that it prevents such abusive messages.

"It wouldn't be prudent for us to comment on this pending lawsuit," Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said in a statement.

Galton is a partner in the firm of Galton & Helm, which specializes in insurance law. He registered to use Yahoo message boards in early 2004 in order to respond to a negative late-2003 post about one of his clients, which he did not identify in the suit.

After Galton posted his response, under the screen name "stephengalton," he was subjected to name-calling by various other users of the message boards.

One user, a person using the screen name "mumioler" who had posted the original messages about Galton's client that started the dispute, wrote a series of new messages calling Galton a "shyster" and an "overly robust geezer that makes a living walking behind the elephant with a shovel."

Other users also took personal shots at Galton, and he filed suit in April of this year against them. At the same time, he sought their personal information via a subpoena from Yahoo. The company, the suit said, responded with incomplete or inaccurate information.

The suit proposes as a class any California resident who has been targeted by abusive messages on a Yahoo board, who tried to get such messages stopped or learn the identity of the message poster, and who had such requests denied within the last four years. It seeks restitution, a permanent injunction and other forms of relief.

Another version of the story~~~  

6 Aug 2004 @ 07:21 by ming : Lawyers
I would guess that if we looked at the details of what went on there, we'd find that somebody posted a negative report on some company, and this lawyer was sent to "fix it", and probably acted like an arrogant asshole, demanding that people remove everything potentially negative they said about the company that pays him, and threatening them. And then people started giving him a piece of their mind, and when he persisted, they probably dug up a bit of dirt on him on the net and re-posted it. And now he wants to sue his way out of the truth.

The question is how we maximize truth while not making life unlivable for anybody. How we can make it harmonious enough without being phoney?

The most harmonious thing in a forum is usually to avoid personal attacks. And the most safe and cautious approach, legally, is to avoid what can be construed as slander.

But I can't help but emphasizing with the side that is provoked into being mad by somebody who covers themselves in legal security. Not everybody is able to make battle in a legally bulletproof manner. More simple folks than lawyers might simply voice some expletives to voice the truth they feel need to be said. Is it then fair that the passive-aggressives win over the aggressives, by having covered their legal asses better? Not necessarily.

But, yes, it shows of course that legally I'm sure one can make a case for making a bulletin board operator responsible for what people are saying, and force them to remove negative things people are saying, even if it was fully warranted that they said them.

I'd rather live in a free and truthful world than in a phoney world policed by lawyers. But, alas, we still live in an enviroment where that kind of position holds a lot of weight.

And the issue remains of how one deals with postings delivering an untrue picture of somebody. And who decides what is untrue and what isn't.

Is it really meaningful that people who can afford enough lawyers can make sure nothing negative is ever said about them?  

7 Aug 2004 @ 10:50 by jazzolog : What Are Laws Really For?
Since this thread has something to do with NCN Happiness, let me discuss the site in my reply to Ming. I do not want to discuss any personalities of current active members, but I probably need to take another look at what a Webmaster does. I am surprised at what Ming has to say here and also that no one has responded to his comment in the last many hours.

There really is no need for supposition about the case at Yahoo. The articles linked lay it out pretty thoroughly. I don't know if Ming's presumptions about the attorney who alleges libel are correct or not, but they do not appear to be to me. I think what we have in Ming's comment is a pretty thoroughgoing thesis against law as a profession and quite possibly the process itself.

Here's what I mean by that: Ming thinks somebody probably called the man an "asshole," and his concern about the administration at Yahoo seems to be only whether the man deserved to be called that name. I suppose one could say that if you get called an asshole, probably you asked for it somehow---either in something you said, someplace you went, or someone you talked to. In other words, the man should have known better than to stir up trouble.

I would quibble with that opinion quite a bit, particularly since I've heard such thoughts by cops and judges in reference to rape victims. It was her own fault for looking attractive to that guy. Our happiness at NCN becomes affected, however, when this outlook is represented by our Webmaster. We have a few rules in here, which I suppose are like laws. To Ming's credit sometimes he adjusts the rules according to members' appeals, complaints, and petitions. He doesn't take a vote or survey or anything, but he is open to influence---and I must say, open whether he likes the member or not...usually.

But what happens when it's time to enforce the rule? The Conflict Resolution Group never really has been tested...I guess fortunately, because some disputes get handled informally. Ming has said many times that he does not like to patrol the site, split up people who are fighting, and maintain order. But I suggest that is precisely what a Webmaster has to do. Our Webmaster prefers just to work on the technical aspect of things, and express his own spirituality and community consciousness along with the rest of us, not dictating to the site. That's a good thing, but is the position possible? Is it enough? Does a Webmaster have to be judge, jury, and high executioner all rolled into one? Or at least provide such offices? Has NCN become like those last outposts in Apocalypse Now just before we get to Brando?

I used to frequent another site that was essentially a massive message board. Gregg Waffle, whom you may remember as Simpleman and Tricia Deane's life companion, went there too, and I think maybe still does. There are about 20 different chat "rooms" with specific functions and topics to each. A particular member presides over the orderliness of each. There is a tremendous population at the site and things really fly by. About a year ago some people began to come into the place who were real flamethrowers. They were having tremendous fun just tearing apart anybody and anything that was said. Mocking, ridicule, character defamation, the usual Internet bullying was on their menu.

It was more than the individual moderators could handle, and the people were raiding and vandalizing all the rooms, not caring a twit for what topics were supposed to go on where. They had only one topic anyway and that had to do with their egos. The site began to suffer, and people stopped going there. It was a waste of time. I quit bothering with it too. I looked in recently and there has been quite a change. The Webmaster has asserted his authority and started to lower the boom on people with bad manners. There is one room where people can go and there are no holds barred. There's advice at that chat to "wear your flameproof undies" if you go in there. You carry on in the other chats like that and you're warned and then you're bounced. The site has recovered. But of course the Webmaster had to see the situation as a problem, rather than an amusement (which I think he did at first), and care about it.

There may be some lessons and solutions for NCN in that example. If there is unhappiness at NCN, I think a structure of enforcement is what's needed---rather than the castigation of individual personalities, one after another, by volunteers and vigilantes. That informality really enables the bully and encourages him/her. There are 6 chatrooms at NCN (not counting WorkGroups that may be serving a similar role) with names on each that designate the topics or moods or atmospheres one may expect and desire. There seems to be one where anything goes. But what if anything goes in all of them? What if anything goes all over the site? How many members are willing to take on that kind of situation as individuals? I'm sure that everyone who joins NCN likes freedom, but apparently very few are attracted to what goes on in the Member Area, or to stick with it if they try. I suggest some people to help Ming out with overseeing the decorum here is a solution to a site that often seems to be operating only on fumes.  

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