Jamál, 05 Qawl (Speech), 179 B.E


Low-light experiment …


Some thoughts about cooperatives and timebanking:

Community development is a wicked problem. I find three contributing factors to this challenge. We see evidence of people everywhere learning every day that 1) humans are genealogically members of the same family regardless of skin color, nationality, ethnicity, cultural heritage, etc; 2) genetic commonality bestows upon us a shared human spirit that interconnects us despite our unique differences as individuals or geographical distances that separate us; and 3) social connectedness means that what each of us thinks, says, or does impacts everyone else. Such knowledge of cause and effect demands each of us bear responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable for their impact. Of course, not all community members express the same willingness to embrace responsibility and accountability. And that form of diversity is what makes the challenge of community development so sticky.

Our current social systems of inclusion (membership), governance (rules of conduct), and exchange of human value do not honor the three factors outlined above. We are quite content to 1) leave some people out of the social system that could provide their basic needs, 2) cause those who are in the social system to play according to the rules in order to get their basic needs, and 3) force people to exchange their time for money to secure their basic needs. The advent of technology (tools) allows people to see what the system does to them, experiment with alternatives, and drive change in the formal systems of governance based on what they learned from their experiences.

Platforms like Loomio, Hylo, Slack, Discord, Mastodon, etc. foster communication whereby people see what’s going on and engage in rampant experimentation. Groups like Social.Coop and Collaborative Technology Alliance on those platforms have a governance component that defines the rules one agrees to when choosing to join. And they all have some kind of “accounting system” that seeks to establish value for the time members devote to tasks they commit to doing.

At present, cooperatives constitute the only viable legal governance structure for these groups to organize and maintain their principles. Timebank networks offer the only mechanism by which people can document their time without pegging it to some form of monetary compensation. The hOurworld network is that it combines cooperative development with timebanking as the article by Linda Hogan and Terry Daniels states:

Cooperatives are, as we know, an excellent way to do business in harmony with our values. It is why the two of us, and our third partner, Stephen Beckett, formed hOurworld cooperative five years ago. Although hOurworld’s foundational mission is to provide immersion training, social architecture and free software to time banks, we quickly realized that the social architecture component extended beyond the world of time banking. 1

I don’t know what it would look like for hOurworld to be involved with these groups as they build on the experimentation hOurworld itself spearheaded well over a decade ago. But I do know there’s a future play for the hOurworld network, cooperative development, and timebanking going forward. After all, we desperately need an adaptive social architecture that enables us to embrace a renewed moral compass and wisely guides us in how we use those tools we keep developing at a scorching rate. At this stage of life, the best I can do is stand on the river bank, point to the other side, and say the land of opportunity is over there - go for it!


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The Moody Blues - Octave

Notes by Discogs.com


Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Reason in History, a General Introduction to the Philosophy of History; New York, Liberal Arts Press, 1953. http://archive.org/details/reasoninhistoryg00hege.


Hogan, Linda. “Returning to the Essence of Neighborhood.” Grassroots Economic Organizing, November 26, 2014. https://geo.coop/story/returning-essence-neighborhood.

Hogan, Linda. “Community Currency Classroom-It’s All about Building Community.” Grassroots Economic Organizing, December 13, 2016. https://geo.coop/story/community-currency-classroom.

Hogan, Linda, and Terry Daniels. “Community Cooperatives-Fusing Cooperatives and Time Banks to Meet Community Needs.” Grassroots Economic Organizing, December 31, 2014. https://geo.coop/story/community-cooperatives.

Johnny. “Kimono Portraits Were Popular Souvenirs for Sailors Visiting Japan in the 1800s.” Spoon & Tamago (blog), November 18, 2022. https://www.spoon-tamago.com/2022/11/18/horyu-goseda-kimono-portraits/.

Johnny. “The Amaterasu Railway Now Runs on Leftover Tonkotsu Ramen Broth.” Spoon & Tamago (blog), November 21, 2022. https://www.spoon-tamago.com/2022/11/21/the-amaterasu-railway-now-runs-on-leftover-tonkotsu-ramen-broth/.

Johnny. “Paper-Cut Cityscapes by Kirie Artist Hiroki Saito.” Spoon & Tamago (blog), November 22, 2022. https://www.spoon-tamago.com/2022/11/22/paper-cut-cityscapes-by-kirie-artist-hiroki-saito/.

Loury, Glenn. “The Tribute of Criticism.” Substack newsletter. Glenn Loury (blog), November 27, 2022. https://glennloury.substack.com/p/the-tribute-of-criticism


Still no …


This meeting of yours tonight is very different in character. It is a universal gathering; it is heavenly and divine in purpose because it serves the oneness of the world of humanity and promotes international peace. It is devoted to the solidarity and brotherhood of the human race, the spiritual welfare of mankind, unity of religious belief through knowledge of God and the reconciliation of religious teaching with the principles of science and reason. 2

  1. Hogan, Linda, and Terry Daniels. “Community Cooperatives-Fusing Cooperatives and Time Banks to Meet Community Needs.” Grassroots Economic Organizing, December 31, 2014. geo.coop/story/com… [return]
  2. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 447. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/32#955162073 [return]