Message to My Readers

Every once in awhile I feel the need to shake the casual journalistic pretense of this blog and just talk out loud. If reading stream of consciousness blogging is not your thing, you can skip this post — you won’t miss anything important.

Although I’m a great fan of Getting Things Done, lately I’ve fallen seriously behind. I want to apologize to the 200 people whose e-mails (dating back to July) are now backed up in my “to reply” queue, all of whom deserve, and will eventually get, a reply that takes more than a few minutes to compose. The only way I could have shortened that queue would be to cut back blogging, and I don’t want to do that. I’m also more than two weeks behind in responding to readers’ remarks on the comments server. And on top of that, my blogroll and table of contents have not been updated in five months. And the promised debuts of Blog-Hosted Conversations and AHA! The Discovery & Learning Centre are seriously behind schedule. Because my pinched nerve prevents me from keyboarding for extended periods, it will take some time to work through this backlog. Please be patient with me — it will all get done eventually.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been doing more business-related blogging lately. My posts on politics have become less frequent because I’m increasingly dubious that anything important can be achieved through political means. My posts on environmental philosophy have also become less frequent because I think I’ve said just about all there is to say at a theoretical or philosophical level — it’s really time to do something, in three arenas:

  • Natural Enterprise (self-publishing the book and then offering the course, with group study instead of lectures, field visits instead of classroom time, and successful launch of a natural enterprise worth 100% of your grade, through one or more universities),
  • Intentional Community (either starting one, or at least getting out and visiting some, since I don’t think there’s much more to say about the theory), and
  • The Generosity Economy (writing and self-publishing the book, building on real-life success stories, showing the tie-in to Open Source Business and dealing with Complex Adaptive Environments, and showing a viable transition path from where we are now to a fully-functional economy where all the essentials of life are free, where nobody owns the commons, and where everybody’s time is valued equally).

All three of these revolutionary ideas require that (as Daniel Quinn puts it) we ‘walk away’ from the existing dysfunctional and unsustainable economic, political and social constructs of our world, and create an entirely new political, economic, and social structure based on radically different principles. As Bucky Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I confess I am still intrigued about the possibilities of drawing together several very modern business concepts:

  • Social Networking,
  • Personal Knowledge Management‘,
  • Personal Productivity Improvement (including Getting Things Done),
  • Wisdom of Crowds,
  • Business Innovation,
  • Effective Conversations,
  • Narrative and Storytelling and
  • True Collaboration.

and I was delighted by the response to my recent post on the Psychology of Information, which described some of the cultural impediments to SN, PKM and PPI. I’ll be writing more on this and drawing these concepts, all of which I have written extensively about over the past two years, into a single integrated approach (tentative name: Working Smarter). If I could find a company that really understood the potential and value of ‘working smarter’ I wouldn’t even be averse to going back to work full time for a few years.

How to Save the World is likely to be predominantly about the sixteen subjects in bold above for the next while, with the odd article on culture and ‘being human’ thrown in for good measure. Hope you’ll stay around.

Computer-generated image from the movie Final Fantasy

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7 Responses to Message to My Readers

  1. Devin says:

    Why not make your blog collaborative? I’m sure there are people that would be interested in helping you work on these things. And it would be a chance to put your ideas into practice, making this a cooperative effort. “We did that!”This would surely take some pressure off of you. You’re trying to maintain a full-fledged website, an entirely new business, a family, and lots of connections with readers. Give yourself a break!

  2. Arjan says:

    In relation to your analysis above… what dou you think of the comeback of Servant Leadership?What is Servant-Leadership?Ê </b<Servant-Leadership is a practical philosophy which supports people who choose to serve first, and then lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions.Ê Servant-leaders may or may not hold formal leadership positions.Ê Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.Ê Robert Greenleaf, the man who coined the phrase, described servant-leadership in this way. ÒThe servant-leader is servant firstÉ It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.Ê Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.Ê He or she is sharply different from the person who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.Ê For such it will be a later choice to serve Ð after leadership is established.Ê The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types.Ê Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.Ê The difference manifest itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other peopleÕs highest priority needs are being served.Ê The best test, and difficult to administer , is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, will they not be further deprived?Ó Taken from the Servant As Leader published by Robert Greenleaf in 1970. Ê

  3. Alan Post says:

    focusing in on these things for a little while would be extremely topical for me, as they are areas in my life that are either changing or i’m actively pursuing. so no problem tuning in here!

  4. Dan says:

    I’ll be here Dave, keep on the brilliant job!

  5. kerry says:

    Funny – I was thinking about an image of an eye just before I saw your post. Had been exploring some Hubble space sites and the black hole at the centre of our galaxy from which stars and planets are spiralling outwards…Well. It kinda took me off into a scifi plot that I won’t bore you with. But I’ll stay grounded by checking in here regularly :)

  6. Applause from this quarter Dave, about “I’m increasingly dubious that anything important can be achieved through political means.” As a way of reinforcing your dubiousness (is that a word?), I’ll offer one of my favorite quotes. It is from Tom Robbins’ novel, Skinny Legs and All, and describes an insight by the book’s heroin–“She understood suddenly, and for no particular reason of which she was aware, that it was futlie to work for political solutions to humanity’s problems because humanity’s problems were not political. Political problems did exist, all right, but they were entirely secondary. The primary problems were philosophical, and until the philosophical problems were solved, the political problems would have to be solved over and over again. The phrase “vicious circle” was coined to describe the ephemeral effectiveness of almost all political activity.”

  7. Could anyone explain in which way politics is separated from human activities like sciences, economics, management or environmental philosophy? I mean politics is also about humans trying to find the “best” way to make sense out of the grand game’s rule. How could anyone discuss the “best” solutions for saving the world without having revolutionary and political thoughts? Aren’t we politically driven when we go voting? We’re all discouraged by today’s politics, for it stands up-side-down! Politics seem like a old school top-down system, when it’d rather be a bottom-up one based on real human activities and scientific discoveries.Cheer up, Dave! We’ll find a way due to collaboration, action and realist utopia… We’re talking about it now. Words shape the world; it’s a creative process, a changing energy.

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