Grassroots Organization and Connection
What Do You Call an Open Space Facilitator?: Wendy Farmer-O’Neil’s Open Space blog asks an important question. In keeping with its unique, complex-environment orientation, Open Space provides a framework instead of a methodology, and its practitioners employ practices rather than tools and develop capacities rather than expertise. A key element of Open Space ‘events’ is the Invitation, so what do you call the people who ‘lead’ them and attend them, when they are self-organized? Facilitators and attendees, as Wendy points out, is a bit awkward and seems to elevate the ‘facilitators’ hierarchically. Hosts and guests is a bit pretentious — the party metaphor is a bit over the top. Wendy suggests artists and participants, but to me that, too, creates an unwarranted gap between them. How about convenors and practitioners?
Magnifying the Imagination: Imaginify has created a model, shown above, that is also inspired by complexity theory, to help grassroots creative organizations (charities, artists, Open Source practitioners etc.) connect, share knowledge and ideas, and collaborate.
Directory of Non-Partisan Grassroots Organizations: eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Network Partners list consists of companies trying to bring about social change, and a better world, by non-partisan, non-political means. I’ve said before that if we’re going to save the world we won’t do it by political or economic means, or by inventing new technologies, but through grassroots social, entrepreneurial and educational means. These organizations get it.
Grassroots Democracy and the Culture of Groups: A new article in First Monday by Beth Simone Noveck argues that social technologies can at last allow the devolution of politics to the community/group level, by enabling these groups to self-coordinate to do more macro level tasks, obviating the need for much of what larger, less responsive political units (states) now do. A long and intriguing look at the culture of groups. Thanks to reader Sven Cahling for the link.
What Will Google Do Next?: My prediction was that Google would stick to its search expertise and, having mastered find-what and find-where, would next tackle find-who, and create the global directory of everyone’s interests and expertise, the connector that would help us find our next employer, partner, friend or romantic interest. Internet News suggests that, instead, Google’s going to build on the success of Google Desktop and take over personal content management, one of the four pillars of PKM, starting with the so-called Office applications.
CIA Veterans Condemn Torture: A group of former CIA officials say Cheney’s argument for the necessity of torture in intelligence-gathering is nonsense. Thanks to Dale Asberry for this link and the one that follows.
The Fate of the State: A 10-year-old article by Martin Van Creveld (notably before 9/11) suggests that the nation-state is losing power and authority, and being succeeded by new forms of political organization better suited to the needs of our times.
Science & Health
Singing Unlocks the Alzheimer Brain: BBC news reports that singing can help Alzheimer sufferers regain some of their brain function and reconnection with the world. Thanks to Dale Asberry for this link and the two that follow.
And Mice Sing Too: Research by Timothy E. Holy and Zhongsheng Guo reveals that, when you pitch-shift (lower to human-audible range without slowing them down) the mating cries of mice, you discover that they bear an astonishing similarity in structure and sophistication to bird songs. Listen for yourself.
Arginine Better than Fluoride at Reducing Calories: Treehugger reports that scientists have discovered that arginine, an amino acid found in saliva and also occurring naturally in nuts and whole grains, neutralizes the cavity-producing acids produced by plaque bacteria.
…And for those looking for some provocative Christmas reading, I’ve put my Save the World Essential Reading List up on Amazon listmania. But consider buying them through your local independent bookseller.
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Archive by Category
My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 100 Posts --
Preparing for Civilization's End:
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
The Boiling Frog
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self:
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
The Wild Man (Short Story)
Flywheel (Short Story)
The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
The Horses' Bodies (Poem)
Distracted (Short Story)
Worse, Still (Poem)
A Conversation (Short Story)
Farewell to Albion (Poem)
My Other Sites
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