Weaving a Co-opernation

So, we got a little help, and we’re about to get a real website . . . but before we go live I want to make sure we’ve got the right bits out there. But at least people are getting it with the latest changes.


The site’s already more readable,so best to just go straight there to get an idea what it’s about. We still obviously need all kinds of help, but at least the idea’s communicable now.

And yes,I meant that exactly how you thought it. And the other way. :smile:



Working on that list, but the absolute biggest one I can think of is if we can’t attract enough people, then it will be yet another movement that briefly popped up on the radar for some people but then quickly fizzled out, or never got very far.

The closest analogue I can think of right now is the Free State New Hampshire and Free State Wyoming projects, a movement to get people to move into the same geographic area so they can take over local politics and work up from there. Like-minded “communes” of this sort are nothing new though, there are many types within the United States. Actually thinking about it, another analogue that comes to mind are the Amish communities on the East Coast. I live in California where we have no such thing and have zero exposure to Amish peoples, so I would leave it to others to comment on whether there is anything we could learn from them.

As for distributed diaspora, history is littered with nations that for one reason or another were broken up and had to use postal and shipping systems to communicate and assist one another. The Jewish people (particularly pre-1946) became especially adept at this, having little to hold them together other than their traditions and shared ancestry, even as they blended in and melded into European nations and post-Columbian nations.

If we look hard enough, there’s a lot to learn from all of these different peoples and projects. Doing this groundwork first would potentially enable us to build up to critical mass faster.

An alternative view: if we had incentives to offer beyond just the vision and a nice place to live (which are usually not incentive enough to reach critical mass), recruiting would be easier. Not everyone will understand the vision, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be something for them.


Dude, you nailed it! I’ll make sure to emphasize that bit better.

The fact that the bar is set so very low for jobs right now, and the fact that most everybody needs one puts us in an excellent position. None of us can find anybody combining recruitment with sustainability with peaceful citizenship, if Mondragon or any of the big co-ops nailed that side of things the they could hire a huge percentage of the world while strengthening their business model . . . and that’s just a baby step, right?

In fact, our first big fear was that it would explode too quickly and would turn into a mess. A HUGE amount of work went not into helping it grow, but guiding it. The proxy voting system, the attention to monkeyspheres, the competitive buds, and the focus on enabling the next generation all became part of that.

Meanwhile, talk about EXCELLENT positioning! I mean, who would have thought of a vision that invited people in, but was inside a construct so infused with power? It’s like having cheat codes, isn’t it? It’s a huge opportunity to add a massive mind-hack that’ll kick things into gear. It’s almost overkill.

There are SO many excellent sources out there, and they all overlap. If there was a venn diagram of it all these TED talks and small, revolutionary ideas would look like a spirograph, wouldn’t they? I think we’re all seeing it, we just started to forget where everything we enjoy and dislike came from. . us.


As an off note, if I hear one more person say . . ‘Oh, sure, I’d do fine, but these other people will screw it up’ I’m going to scream.

Seriously, I’m not sure how I can do a better job of getting it that particular point across, because I think a lot of good people are getting hung up on that one, and that’s just representative of our collective madness.

If somebody’s obsessing over some other group of people to the point where they’re unwilling to even explore the options,then maybe they’re stuck in the second wave. . . it may be a semi-Libertarian thing.

But I can say repeatedly that it’s all about them, and they can agree there’s something good in there that they can be part of . . . but they still go back to how ‘people are bad’ and so we might as well not try.

That’s just. . . irrational. They have so much to gain, and they’re halfway there, but they’re so biased that they seem to instantly assume that this can’t work. . .when a human’s a human and while not everybody is a fit for this. . . I think we’ve covered more than enough bases with actual science to show that the people who produce and do the most useful work can and would thrive here. I can’t even figure out what documentation they need, because they just turn off their brains and almost avoid the questions.

I hate giving up on a group of otherwise possibly useful people, even if in the competitive buds. . . but talk about exasperating! Anybody have any ideas on how to handle that?

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It occurs to me that the challenge of winning hearts and minds dwarfs the challenge of designing the system…

I’d guess maybe one of the biggest stumbling blocks would be the tendency to write it off as too good to be true, perhaps particularly amongst the best and brightest? Such a person might not see any more problems with the notion than I do, but just automatically respond in pick-holes-in-it mode because of an automatic assumption they may not even be aware of.

So this angle might help:

This is not too good to be true.

Despite everything you’ve some to expect from humanity… it’s not the full picture. People respond according to circumstances, so we’ll use science to enable far better circumstances for people to respond to. A lot of clever people have been working on what makes people tick for a long time now, but rarely are their findings ever employed to general benefit. It’s 2013. We have the tools to create a society that’s so much healthier it’s currently unimaginable, and all that’s standing in the way is the inertia of entrenched power structures, which by the way, depend on human misery and rampant destruction of the biosphere.

As anybody who pays attention can tell you, democracy is pretty much a sham; to illustrate this, Peter Garrett makes a pretty good example. People respond according to the circumstances, and the circumstances suck. Your elected representatives have other, more important, more vested, interests to represent than yours, which is the kind of everyday fundamental betrayal we’ve all just learned to grudgingly live with; we make jokes about how politicians should wear sponsor’s livery and so on, while we try not to think about the horror that constitutes business as usual, or wonder what kind of world our grandchildren are going to grow up in.

Most of us are resigned to being dominated; disenfranchised, brainwashed, impotent. But wait - here’s an idea that sounds too good to be true. Can you afford to rekindle a flame of hope? When was the last time it burned?

Think about it - the reason life blows chunks when it shouldn’t is that the people supposedly in power have never given a damn about you or me, because they’re in thrall to large corporations. So, ask yourself - what’s stopping us from having a real, live democracy inside a large corporation? Large corporations get to do whatever they like, don’t they?

We see wealth disparity continue to increase, because it feeds corruption, which increases wealth disparity and so on. It doesn’t end well… unless we can take advantage of how the corrupt have gamed the system to restore justice. Think of it as giving the corporatocracy cancer.

This only sounds too good to be true because it’s bold enough to fundamentally transform, rather than merely aspiring to make a small dent. We can take humanity to the next level with this; it’s truly audacious.

And thanks to the insane power of corporations, it’s doable.


I think you’re on to something, Kimmo.

Do we need some sort of ‘Still don’t believe?’ section . .a tab right on top there?

I’m not beyond a healthy dose of skepticism myself, I was hoping by combining . .

  • This is different and well thought out, designed by science.
  • This is FUN.
  • If you’re pissed off at the world, this is your angle, and
  • It’s kind of important to do SOMETHING instead of complaining all the time

That we’d get somewhere, and some of that’s fairly new, but I think it’s not enough yet.

I really wish everybody else hadn’t littered the path here with all these psychological mines . . . we’re not suffering from an idea that doesn’t work or a lack of information . . . we’re fighting everybody’s brains to give it a chance.

Time to plot further!

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I totally stole a couple of earlier comments you made @Kimmo and think we might have something here!


I’m almost tempted to go ‘Home|Angles|Why hasn’t this happened yet|Reference’ on the front page!

And one more element that it turns out was a sticking point for at least a couple of people.

I have no idea HOW, but looks like I had to hit this one a bit harder. Have we hammered that one into the mud yet?

ISP: You’re completely naive! In the real world, people are all screwed up and some people are practically evil and . . .

Will: . . . and why do you insist that our only option is to give those people all the guns and power, and make as many as possible?

Seriously people, how are so many of you missing this?

Firstly, most of us are pretty darn fluid, and respond to our environments quite a lot, actually. You don’t need any special research to see this, it’s one of our most popular subjects in ‘The News’ . . . entire nations of largely peaceful people suddenly at war and blowing each other up. You think they were faking it for GENERATIONS?

Secondly, even if there are a few left, we’re more than happy to use every tool at our disposal to destroy/buy/take apart/acquire all of the Nukes/WMDs/Warships/Firearms we can . . . and we’re trying to hire away the people who actually make them. We’ll have our ranges and games, but we won’t use them on actual people. I bet we can carve a big chunk out of that pie.

Thirdly, we’re presenting as small, mobile, and undesirable a target as possible. We’re being as gentle as we can, not begrudging the happiness of our enemies, and generally trying to be as open and nice as possible. We’re focusing on healthcare and education, being as transparent as possible, and generally doing all we can to be as unpopular to dislike as possible.

Fourthly, by letting people choose to live without fear, they can produce and discover more. We set them loose and don’t make them worry about all the stupid stuff and they can make enough technological leaps to make whatever’s left as collectively threatening as sharpened sticks.

Fifthly, approaching it this way is one of the most most important mind hacks in this. You do it any other way and you’ve got a self fulfilling prophecy.

I’m just getting started, but sixthly sounds derpy. Have I piled on enough yet, or do you actually need more?

This isn’t wishful thinking, this is science and duh. We’re just not deliberately being stupid.

I don’t really have the energy to parse all of this but it seems to go well with a lesson I’ve learned for my own life …

If I find myself fighting to get teensy fixes, I step back and say “what would this look like if I had it exactly the way I wanted” and start fighting for that instead. From a personality and brain chemistry perspective, I’m not big on hope. But I am huge on great big loopholes you make for yourself.

Yeah, I’m not actually doing this for hope, this is more a sense of obligation. Is this part of why it’s hard to get people to see this? Because all the other good ones are kind of hope-strained, and I’ve just been plodding along because I don’t have much of a choice?

I’ll admit, there were times I wanted to give up on it and throw it away and just go back to a tiny life, but . . . man, I once hoped that dealing with the cumulative suffering I was failing to prevent would get easier to manage if I did something else. . . whoa was that a stupid thought. It’s the sheer OBVIOUSNESS of it that’s the problem, it IS a few lateral hops, don’t get me wrong, and there are a lot of bases to cover because of all the different scenarios. . . but how else do you fix this mess? You build a better model.

In past lives I had a knack, complex interactions between systems and people just flowed for me. They always get more complex the more is going on, but it’s pretty easy to see what’s real and what’s not. Of COURSE an algorithm to predict consumer behavior for marketing would have useful applications predicting patient behavior in health care. It’s not a ‘marketing algorithm’, it’s an algorithm that does X and Y and is being applied to marketing, right?

Then of course you DO have the things that have some disproportionate effect when added, removed, or changed. Those were usually really easy to find, but every now and then some really weird harmonic develops and those are a bit trickier . . . but I usually was already pretty far ahead of the game by the time they cropped up, and those were my favorite parts! How am I supposed to get better at something if I’m always right? Feynman was kind of my idol.

So, that was my forge, and I’m starting to think my thought processes are an important part of this, because it helps to know WHY certain things were added, rejected, and considered, doesn’t it? Just promise if I’m right (and I am, the bar is set low) . . . you guys’ll use this thing to help me hide away and have a small life at some point. I really don’t like the idea of this being about me, or any stupid messianic stuff. This is just science, effort, and persistence.

So . . . my wife, Rebecca. . she was something else. If you’ve seen Vincent and the Doctor. . that was my life She was just too gentle for this world. . . it HURT her to know what was going on in the world, because she couldn’t help. And then right when I feared she was the saddest thing in the world she’d open up the sky for me and show me beauty right THERE . . . stuff I’d missed all along.

It’s been almost two years since we lost her. And I dedicated myself to the only thing that made sense, to find the most Rebecca worthy thing in the world to do. . Something little, but something genuine.

I just wanted to make a place to help a few people, the sort she loved. . . and maybe also send some of them out to get the most pathetic, nearly broken animals at the shelters and save them and get them around people who need something to take care of . . she would’ve wanted that job, and there are a lot like her. It wasn’t SUPPOSED to be big and complicated.

But you do need it to work in the real world, and she hated when something was half-assed . . . and once it was strong enough to do that. . . well. . . you start seeing loopholes and exploits right away. Of course I started looking at industries and verticals I was comfortable with, but really. . like I said, some of this is just painfully easy to see. A person’s a person and a mind is a mind, and once you’ve got something good enough for a typical Middle-Upper class Westerner . . then what about the rest of the world? Don’t you have to take them into account too?

Seriously, anything else would be a dick move.

And then . . . holy shit, MORE exploits. . . but also more types of people and more problems. You think I’d complain, but finding and hitting those from a dozen angles is one of my greatest sources of pleasure. And when I make progress . . when I KNOW that I’ve just made this more flexible and stronger at the same time. . . well, that’s when I hear her delightful evil giggle the most loudly. Maybe it was a little mad, but it was USEFUL madness.

And TED . . . man they’ve got some great mind-hacks, and every speech connects to a bunch of articles and journals . . but you also start to realize there’s a lot more unlearning to do than learning. We make most of our problems without any help. . . but we can engineer our world around us to control that, too.

So what started as a tiny little thing HAD to get bigger. That recruitment exploit is just to good to pass up, who can fight us there? The only way to compete is with a better offer (AWESOME!), and the only people who wouldn’t be interested would be those we . . . really don’t want until they change their attitude, y’know? Addition by subtraction is SO powerful. And then you see what we could do overseas, with a nation that would let us give anybody we wanted a Visa (in exchange for us spoiling them senseless!) or if we exploited Citizens United at the US Primary level . . . again, so many options.

And you start to realize that we’re all spinning our wheels and complaining, but nobody is DOING anything, or they’re doing things in silos that aren’t designed to interconnect and grow.

This is a framework for them is all, exploiting everything we can,it’s already more than solid enough just using the corporation, but again. . Rebecca hated half-assed things, so might as well extrapolate a logical vision, right?

And I still somehow managed to stay humble enough to know that this is just the seed of something way better. I’m actually getting a little excited (not like THAT) at the idea of somebody actually finding a problem, or coming up with something better. That sounds . . . beyond awesome. And I’d get to be less important as well. That’s at least a win-win, right?

So . . . I’ve posted enough on these boards lately that people can see how my mind works. . . add this to that to what’s here . . . and I guess maybe there are reasons that this hasn’t happened yet, but once it’s out there properly, it HAS to happen. It’s too easy to miss . . but for the first time in my life I’m stuck with something I can’t prototype. Which really sucks, because this is the only one that actually matters.

So, yeah. Maybe I needed to say that?


What would you do if you discovered a new way and sustainable way to produce cheap energy?
Or feed the poor?
Or prevent war?

How would you get your ideas into the world, as fast as possible, so they could start doing good?
That’s where we’re at right now.
Will has been working on these ideas for a year and a half, and sharing them online for a few months.

Right now, he needs to find a place where he can earn his keep that’s in line with these visionary ideas.
Somewhere that won’t just be a distraction or drain.
Hire Will! He’s brilliant, and funny, and kind.


Yeah, I’ve also got a couple of good friends who are similarly connection-and-resource poor who get it.

Points to Amanda/Twelve_Twelve/AdorableSpiderHat . . . She in particular has made an EXCELLENT questioner! Good questions are really, really important sometimes.

Also, several major updates to the site. . . I’d still LOVE to figure out what else isn’t clicking with people, because I haven’t had to break much of a mental sweat on the few concerns I’ve gotten!

And if I’m not getting challenged anymore, either this is ready to go or I need somebody to help me break it! (best way to fix things!)


Obsolete. There’s a word to chuck around.


Read some more but I’m still not on parsing phase. What’s your phase 1 and phase 1 time frame? I possibly missed the link that that on the site but I was keeping an eye out for it. XD

That’s a . . challenging question.

I’m getting that and ‘How does this get paid for?’ a lot. And they’re both questions that I’m trying really hard to get people NOT to ask.

It’s not that they’re not good questions an a regular context, but they’re putting the cart before the horse in this one, there are about a dozen different possible timelines and implementation methods, and each one has a very specific set of costs, advantages, disadvantages, and so on. Choosing one at this stage is. . . well, both arrogant and foolish at this stage.

This is a problem with a lot of our current internal systems too, like the project planning. By having the wrong people make these decisions it creates a mess for the people who are actually qualified to do so. Part of the point is to break away from that.

On top of that, when I led in on a specific approach I lost a bunch of people because they were stuck on a particular approach and it wasn’t theirs. That’s where you get into different sorts of corporations and other legal structures, eco-villages, co-operatives, non-profits vs. for profit (it’s our behavior that’s important, the rulesets are still our tools), something sponsored by the government, etc. If I do that for multiples I kind of triple the size of the site, y’know?

I’d LOVE some help here figuring out how to get in front of all of that while still giving people enough information to get from point A to point B without turning off their minds. . . would people benefit from some rough timelines tied to approach with some starting costs? Can we do that without making people miss the whole point or imagining some fatal flaw that turns off their brains?

I’m starting to think I may see an approach, . .but it’s kind of nebulous ATM and I’m not that confident it won’t backfire on just the people we need to kick this into gear,The goal at this stage is to get somebody with resources and/or a platform to grok it enough to lead/sponsor it, right? So we’ve got to play to them, I think.

. . . and we’ve got to do it in a way that holds a mirror up to reality at the right points. . . to make it obvious how we’re spending money/time/resources on lots of stupid things right now. . . because you wouldn’t believe how many nitpicks there are in each approach, and I don’t think I’m SUPPOSED to have to know every little legal framework before getting help getting this going, true?

Ideas? This is kind of a forehead-wall thing for me, and there are lots of cans of worms that I’d rather avoid diving too deep into without more sets of eyes on this thing.

People have a tendency to ask that sort of question. Getting started on at least the start of a working skeleton isn’t really that expensive. Though it does require some short-term sacrifices on the “not working so hard” part. It’s easier to see how big an obstacle is than to see how little is required to get started.

This may be an area where our ideologies are different enough to cause a clash. lol While I definitely appreciate big-picture thinking (a lack of big-picture thinking has contributed to the U.S.'s woes in ways I can’t even begin to say), I think focusing on a short-term attainable goal and making it work will clear up a lot of trouble getting people on board. You’re not building a nation … yet. Build a village. Build it in an open source DIY fashion, prove that it works, and then brag and let people build their own if there’s some deal breaker as far as they’re concerned. Also gives the advantage of not needing a wealthy benefactor to get started. Just a pile of flexible autodidacts.

Having spearheaded a few small cooperative projects online, I don’t think it’s a mistake to keep some things vague. If you get people on board for a common goal, they’re bound to have different ideas about how to attain that common goal. Not letting them be involved in shaping that plan would probably squeeze a lot of interested folks.

But you do need (at least in my opinion) a short term goal to start with. :stuck_out_tongue:



Okay, I completely agree on one level, though I get the feeling getting this bit right might be hard. I suppose I should be happy that communication still seems to be the only hang-up, but I’d really prefer to use my mind for what it’s good at, fixin’ stuff!

So what if we add a section that’s got something in the middle? I tried to do a little like that with the ‘Valve to Awesome’ approach, but I could have been more specific there as well.

Would putting together three or four small and somewhat tight variants work? One as a charity, one as a bootstrapped eco-villiage, one starting from an existing private corporation, and one starting from an existing co-operative or something like that?

And would it be better in those cases to start from a real, existing thing? So that we don’t have to get so detailed that we’re having to put together articles of incorporation and such?

And could I get help with that? It’s kind of hard to be covering all the bases at once (You’ve got to admit I’m already covering a lot, only have so many Neurons, y’know?) , Since this is hanging people up, I’d rather have a lot of the direction at least come from the sort of person that’s hung up there.

This is kind of the point where in past lives I’d kind of flail and point to imaginary parts of my user interface and give up and prototype things, I’m not sure if one brain can cover both angles easily, at least not mine. This is definitely where I’d benefit from some help, I think.

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Much to think over on this post. But as a preliminary, I will say definitely you need help and definitely a good idea to work multiple fronts at a time. Detailed response once I’ve had time to read over some more of the linked documents on the Co-opernation site.

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Thank you, sir!

One thought:

Would it be better to say right off that this idea SHOULD work if we just stick to one approach, it at least raises the bar, but it might get messy and groups can try to slow it down for no reason other than the fact that they see the days of them getting to have power over people are numbered, and that scares them into irrational behavior? But it works far better if we take a more mentally agile approach and weave things together a bit more humbly and creatively? We’re dealing with actual human beings in the real world, so we kind of have an obligation to use every tool at our disposal, regardless of why it was made, right?

Something along those lines?

I’m thinking I might need a new lead-in, and that may help a lot.

It’s still percolating right now, but the real ‘Engine’ of this is a layer of mind-hacks.

We know that intrinsically motivated people are more productive at pretty much every non-automatable task (and also the best at inventing robots), and we have science to back us up.

We also know that happiness and stability increase productivity, while fear and angst reduce it.

And we know that we’re just not designed to worry about the whole world, and most of us are better suited to live small, useful lives that we can understand.

So, but defining the core as people with a set of principles that gets that ball rolling, we’ve not just created the beginnings of a dynamo of productivity, but we’ve also added another hack to stabilize it by making it undesirable to exactly the sort of people we don’t slowing us down.

Violent, destructive people just aren’t productive, and 50 years from now most of us are dead. If we do this and can give EVERY child the option to have something like this (or better) than we’ve got our peaceful revolution from within the system.

All we need to do is have a vision and put an evidence based method on top of us to keep track of how we really work, right?

Do you guys think that’s a better way to lead? Rather than diving right into a single, half-vague solution?

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