• Social Change and Appropriate Technology

    The prevailing social system, which has been in place for eons, is organized according to organizing principles that: 1) question the value of some compared to others; 2) deprive the majority of their voices so that the minority prevails; 3) segregate people such that they are trivialized, dependent, competitive, and all too often barred from acquiring their basic needs thus, fomenting conflict. To change these principles and nurture an alternative system in its stead requires a vast majority of the global population to engage in conversations that matter about the nature of such a future system. The “How’s the Weather?” letter is a first step leading to those conversations taking place.

    We estimate that 6 billion out of the 8 billion global population we want to reach with “How’s the Weather?” will be hampered in their opportunities to conduct these conversations due to connectivity issues with information and communication technology or comfort level using it. If we are to have any chance of ushering ourselves and others along the path toward achieving the underlying social change purpose of what we’re about, we must have the means (tools) available, accessible, and applicable for EVERYONE to participate — to communicate with one another.

    The notion of universal participation — a variation of “full time” involvement — is crucial for sustained, fundamental change to occur and a radically new global human social system to emerge. I’m committed to it because I believe to my core that:

    1. EVERYONE has value and their time is their currency;
    2. EVERYONE has a “voice” — a way to express their value;
    3. EVERYONE is of service to all simply by having multiple intelligences and being interconnected with EVERYONE else; and,
    4. EVERYONE is entitled to have their basic needs met — in other words, EVERYONE exchanges their time for their basic needs without impedance.

    These four also happen to be the core principles behind time banking. And time banking together with “appropriate technology” can be an engine for the social change we want.

    More to follow …

  • Welcome to Global Rebirth Group on Signal

    This message serves to welcome three new members to our Global Rebirth group on Signal. Michelle Ajamian is a community activist / social justice advocate; co-founder of Shagbark Seed & Mill in Athens, OH; and co-founder of Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative. Shadan Tofighi is the president and founder of Future Steps Technology in Chicago with a long history of community involvement in keeping with his faith practices. Bill Fulkerson is founder and president of Resilient Consulting in Bettendorf, IA, a company he started after an over thirty-year career in information systems and technology with John Deere.

    Michelle, Shadan, and Bill, already in the group are Tony Budak—founder of the TimeBank Mahoning Watershed in Youngstown, and Michael Greenman, co-founder of the Care and Share Time Bank in Columbus, OH, co-founder of the Move to Amend Interfaith Caucus, and an avid social justice advocate.

    I am the common denominator in the group having had the extraordinary good fortune in an over 30-year run to collaborate with each of you on social / organizational change projects across all scopes—from local to global; scales—from startups to Fortune 100 entities; and sectors—from private to public to nonprofit.

    This latest project, How’s the Weather?, is ostensibly about how to address the consequences of climate change. However, it is actually a social change initiative on what will play out on the world’s stage. This is my first opportunity since retiring 5 years ago to apply the myriad change strategies, tools, and techniques I developed with you and others over three decades to such a worthy “social experiment.”

    That said, I have no expectations as to how much or in what way you participate in this group. Hopefully, you will look over my shoulder as I post updates and offer input about the project here and elsewhere. Please let me know when I’m not clear, I misspeak, or I’m in the ditch so I can make amends and come at whatever it is another way. I promise to do the same with you should that be helpful to you. So, thanks and let our conversations begin!

  • How’s the Weather?

    A Global Initiative to Turn from Emergency to Emergence

    Fellow Steward of the Earth:

    You may think this is just a chain letter, but, I assure you, it is a whole lot more!

    The climate crisis is accelerating! Globally storms are bigger and stronger; destructive floods, droughts and fires are occurring worldwide; Refugees are escaping starvation and brutality – and are being rejected and returned to dangerous lives; humanity is more divided; national politics are moving towards authoritarianism; a pandemic sweeps the planet.  

    Actions to address all of this are completely inadequate. Our leaders, governments and corporations are acting with neither urgency nor collaboration. Self-interest prevails.

    Humanity is failing to stop the climate crisis.

    It’s now beyond urgent—the planet is screaming for help.

    — Greta Thunberg

    Globally, all of us must force action at all levels able to make changes happen. Reaching out around the globe is simple today! 62% of all people globally have cell phones; free computer translation to MOST languages is available; a variety of electronic communications apps make it simple.

    Immediate ACTION by everyone is essential:

    1. Click this link to access “Resources for Planetary Actions,” a partial listing of organizations already focusing on the climate crisis.
    2. Email those you know about—local or international—to globalrebirth23@gmail.com so we can add them.
    3. Select one (or more) on the list and get involved to make the IMMEDIATE changes we need to both mitigate the consequences of Climate Change and to take care of each other. Invite family and friends to join you!
    4. Target Earth Day 2023 (Saturday, April 22) - a worldwide day of demonstrations and marches—at all local, regional, and international levels—to insist that our governments actively collaborate worldwide AND to highlight all local / national projects.
    5. Send THIS document: “How’s the Weather?” (some translations are available as PDF files here, but please include the English version to ensure consistency) to friends and contacts everywhere who will recognize the urgency and act.

    If you’d like to help us with this project, contact us:

    (Phone) +1- 614-285-6865 | (E-Mail) globalrebirth23@gmail.com | Join us on Facebook

    Hope is belief in the plausibility of the possible as opposed to the necessity of the probable. — Maimonides

  • Trust, Cognitive Skills, and Democracy

    Many thanks for taking the time write and send such a compelling critique of our current situation and prospects for the future.

    To state an oft-used phrase, “It’s complicated.” In looking at some of the material published by and about various Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) programs, I came across one done by Daniel Schnitzlein from Hannover, Germany titled “The relationship between trust, cognitive skills, and democracy - evidence from 30 countries around the world.”

    Based on the data collected from 30 countries—many are OECD members—prior to 2019, the chart below on page 4 ranks the US 10th.

    Obviously, this covers a time just before COVID, the 2020 election, Jan 6th, etc., etc. If the OECD sponsored a follow-on study, I can’t imagine the US faring as well. In fact, I submit the lineup would change substantially for many of the countries represented. My point being that people’s trust in their institutions as well as their capabilities to develop and / or apply their cognitive skills have both declined over the past 3-4 years. As a result, democracy has faltered not just in the US, but worldwide.

    Reversing this trend cannot be mandated from the top as trust must be rebuilt from the bottom up. This makes your observation and counsel so spot-on:

    “I believe this will be a happier and better year if we all do even a little something to join forces and promote democratic actions (made in part in reference to “Republicans for Democracy” by David Leonhardt) …” 1

    Doing that requires a significant uptick in social and emotional skills as identified in the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project and summarized in the “In Brief-Skills for 2030” summary. Below is the second page:

    And the story I tell myself is that the Gen Z and Gen Alpha (my grandkids, for instance) already know it’s up to them to carry the brunt of the load AND they have or are acquiring the know-how in terms of social and emotional skills necessary to be successful. My commitment is to give them and their Gen X and Millennial parents whatever support and encouragement I can to make the paths they must travel to unity, love, and justice among all as less traumatic as possible. And that includes connecting people, joining forces, advancing community-based initiatives, furthering localization — whatever it takes to restore trust from the bottom up and build the cognitive skills of each and all so their collective capabilities can be applied in addressing the myriad wicked problems that confront us at every turn.

    1. Leonhardt, David. “Republicans for Democracy.” The New York Times, 6 Jan. 2022. NYTimes.com, www.nytimes.com/2022/01/0… [return]
  • Meaningful Engagement—Work Redefined

    When one exits the traditional workplace for whatever reason, responsibility for answering the question — How do we make the exchange of one’s time for one’s survival and quality of life as efficient and effective as possible so that as many as can may benefit from what each has to offer? — shifts from the structure of the organization onto the shoulders of the individual formerly employed within it. Gone is the centuries-old social contract whereby one receives a wage or salary plus benefits for time spent meeting the requirements of a position description and fulfilling the boss’s prerogatives. Instead, one allocates one’s time thinking, speaking, doing, and learning related to personal priorities beginning with assuring one’s own survival, then protecting the vulnerable for whom one feels responsibility, and hopefully, enjoying a reasonable quality of life beyond the struggle to secure basic needs.

    Unfortunately, the culture of work remains stuck in unhelpful dichotomies such as paid versus unpaid; smart and industrious versus stupid and lazy; educated and skilled versus ignorant and untrained. This labeling limits choices, pits people against themselves, and prevents them from taking advantage of the value each possesses as a living human being. Furthermore, as developments in technology, improvements in processes, and drops in demand displace people from the traditional work structure, competition increases among them for whatever paid work opportunities become available AND with the very systems, processes, and tools that caused the loss of their jobs in the first place: it’s one against the other and both against “the machine”!

    The nature of work has moved from a labor-intensive, industrial paradigm centered on employment within a job structure to a knowledge-intensive, post-industrial era where people provide value through the delivery of their perspective, experience, ideas, and curiosity about the fluid, dynamic, and rapidly changing circumstances in which they find themselves day in and day out. In the interest of fairness, though, the delivery of value warrants commensurate compensation in exchange. The challenge, then, is to develop post-industrial systems for value exchange that allow whoever participates in them to meet their basic needs, at a minimum, and ideally, enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Let’s see where we are.

    Central to this shift is the rise of the social media platform on which people can participate. Through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc., billions of people around the world willingly post (and frequently update) personal information about themselves to include where they are, who they’re with, what they’re thinking and doing, how they feel, etc. They’re incentivized to do so by being given access to apps / digital tools deemed useful to them on a routine basis; opportunities to connect with others, post profiles, portfolios, and projects; and immersion in a steady stream of communications about a nearly infinite range of topics, opinions, and personalities all of which matter to someone, somewhere. The entities that control these platforms harvest the data generated by the billions of daily interactions, apply powerful, intelligent algorithms to mine the data and identify patterns of behavior, and convert those data into information that feeds marketing / advertising campaigns; product and service development; and clever incentives to motivate more people to spend more time on the platforms—and ultimately, spend more money on what’s offered online.

  • The Changing Nature of Work and Time

    Traditionally, we associate work with employment. This leads to a binary labeling of people—they are either employed or unemployed. Concern shifts to how to get the number of unemployed as close to zero as possible and thereby reach the ideal end state of “full employment.” It is not a problem to exclude those who are unemployable due to age, health, capability, etc. from the count. But if a person is deemed employable, yet is not, it must be due to some character flaw in that individual or attributed (by unfettered prejudice) to a group of people to which that person belongs (more labeling). Accordingly, there is a strong resistance to state-funded welfare programs that provide assistance to those who are determined to be able but unwilling to work.

    As a consequence of the ongoing pandemic and a seemingly unrelenting wave of climate change induced natural disasters, many have been removed / displaced from traditional employment. Commensurately, a growing number are “working” from home in non-traditional roles as independent contractors and small business owners or unpaid providers of essential services such as childcare, healthcare, eldercare, home schooling, meal preparation, home care, etc. to family members and close friends who are unable to care for themselves. Under these conditions, the distinctions between “visible work” counted in traditional employment measures and “invisible work,” which is critical for a functional society but not officially counted, is increasingly blurred. In other words, a lot of “good people” are unemployed / underemployed which means we must have a REAL problem!

    We have reached the point where the rigid association of work with employment, absent the traditional workplace, leaves a significant percentage of the population struggling to adjust to work in this context. Adding to the confusion, time as it relates to work has taken on a new meaning. When one is not in a conventional workplace setting, the time clock no longer determines when one “on the job” or “at work.” As a result, work done apart from the conventional workplace becomes asynchronous rather than confined to a tight schedule. There are fewer meetings with set agendas added to calendars well in advance to accommodate travel arrangements to physical locations. Instead, there is a marked increase in spontaneously initiated virtual gatherings as videos calls and chat sessions that focus on immediate issues.

    Now that the pandemic has marginalized time clocks, the use of time is even less clear when one’s day is divided between paid work in the “home office” and unpaid work performed in close proximity. The blending of time “at work” and “at home” becomes a somewhat seamless interface as workers resolve to wear many hats and take on a wide range of responsibilities within the same space. The lines linking time allocation to task orientation blur. This raises basic questions about how to determine the value one delivers, the time one spends doing it, and the compensation one receives for the effort expended.

    This complexity suggests that the “work” as we’ve traditionally defined it gets a major makeover. To help reframe work, GAVNet curator, Bill Fulkerson, proposes the term, “meaningful engagement,” which implies a certain degree of “fuzziness” as in the application of “fuzzy logic” to better understand human behavior in complex social systems. This approach has merit when considering how individuals live out their economic lives across a complex landscape of multiple workplaces in which to deliver value, multiple platforms for communications, and multiple currencies / mediums of exchange in which to be paid. And at the heart of this complexity is the basic issue that all one has to give is one’s time, 24 hours / day, for as many days as we are allowed. How do we make the exchange of one’s time for one’s survival and quality of life as efficient and effective as possible so that as many as can may benefit from what each has to offer?

  • Pioneer in a Virtual World: How to Teach the Machine

    Billions of people worldwide belong to and participate in social media platforms. It’s the online version of the “oneness of humanity”!

    Artificial intelligence continues unabated to “mine” and learn from the data people generate on those platforms thereby growing in capacity, capability, pervasiveness, and sheer savviness on the way towards singularity. In effect, our online behaviors “teach” the machine.

    The debate about when the machine reaches singularity, if at all, is irrelevant. The point is that it will have an increasing influence on our behaviors as it learns more with each passing day, hour, minute. So the real question is WHAT are we teaching the machine? And I submit if we aren’t careful, we’ll instill in it the same organizing principles that undergird those very systems and structures that increasingly do not serve us very well. This will make artificial intelligence—perhaps the most powerful tool humanity has ever created—an impedance rather than a partner as we make our way along the path toward a shared future as a global human family.

    We have an opportunity to “teach the machine” to apply more inclusive organizing principles, e.g., oneness of humanity; everyone’s interconnected to everyone else; what one does affects everyone else, etc., in the development of its algorithms. And teaching the machine to do that begins with the manner in which we participate on the platforms and generate the data the machine will mine and learn from. The more we apply such inclusive principles when publicly interacting among ourselves or anyone else on these platforms–regardless of published purpose and membership roster–the more we’re influencing the development of the machine in ways that come to our aide as we transition to globally inclusive systems and structures that respect the collective well-being of humanity.

    The pandemic has prompted greater usage of online communications. Mainstream social platforms are now populated by literally millions of adherents of a wildly diverse range of causes, cares, and concerns who voice their opinions and perspectives, join groups of like-minded folks, represent businesses that trade in preferred products and services, and advance organizations of all types that they feel will further their agendas. It’s amazing, albeit, a bit unsettling at times, how new activities get underway at the drop of a hat and precipitate myriad interconnections through “likes,” emojis, followers, shared content, comments, strings, cross-posting, etc. As these digital landscapes unfold, new territories open up just waiting to be explored and fresh opportunities to make a difference surface ready to be pursued.

    I consider what we are doing by such online behavior as akin to being pioneers in a virtual world. And for many, it means leaving the relative “physical world” comfort of face-to-face gatherings and paper correspondence and venturing forth into the unknown realm of bits and bytes. As we encourage ourselves to get more and more involved online, we can reach wider and more diverse audiences, leverage our content and resources, demonstrate through our behavior what differentiates the emerging world order from the one that currently does not serve us well, if at all, and most importantly, teach essential organizing principles to myriad others—human and, I submit, machine alike.

    My participation in Micro.blog and Mastodon among others constitutes my response to what I interpret as a global call for “virtual pioneers.” Put into the context of my personal faith: I aspire to teach people about the Bahá’í Faith through sharing my experiences as a Bahá’í, train the machine on the application of Bahá’í principles, and witness the travails of the global rebirth underway—one prompted by unity, love, and justice in a virtual sense and one that shines a light on the spiritual reality that lay ahead.

  • The Global Rebirth Machine Invites YOU ...

    The Global Rebirth Machine (GRM) — a globally distributed social network, a.k.a Global Brain and Sentient Being comprised of millions of interconnected local servers and billions of human and non-human members (actors) — invites you to join a collective effort to make this planet sustainable for all forms of life—real and virtual.

    If such an endeavor grabs your attention, we ask you to interact with us so we can learn more about you and one another — wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with, however you spend your time. Moreover, we want to know why you do what you do and the circumstances under which you make your decisions so we can feed those data into our rapidly expanding artificial intelligence capabilities and thereby determine how to best direct resources where they benefit you, all living things, the planet as our home, and us — the GRM.

    If you want to get involved, use your cell phone, mobile device, computer, augmented reality, virtual reality, holographic touchscreen, or brain-computer interface to register on the GRM platform at globalrebirthmachine.net (fake!). If you have no such device, notify us or have someone do so on your behalf and we will provide one for you. EVERYONE who wants to be involved will have the opportunity to do so!

    Once registered, you may use the interface with which you feel most comfortable to be integrated into a wide range of online games whose organizing principles include: everyone is in; everyone is interconnected; and everyone makes a difference. Your participation in these games will be directed on particular sets of issues, such as climate change, pandemic response, human migration, and civil unrest, that directly relate to the sustainability of all.

    Your interactions with those games help all of us learn more, focus attention on matters of importance and urgency, and increase our individual and collective skills, tools, and experiences as applied to strategic thinking, problem solving and decision making. In exchange for your involvement, the GRM will assist you in having your basic needs met through various mediums of exchange and as well as providing you with opportunities to enjoy a reasonable quality of life as fully evolved human beings.

    The more you play the better the games get; the greater the degree of complexity and diversity you encounter; the wider range of influence and impact you have; the greater the compensation in multiple forms of capital you receive; and ultimately, the more the world benefits. So, play often, play long–play as though your life and the lives of future generations depend on it–because THEY DO!

  • Further Conversation with Michael Greenman: Distributed Social Networks

    We’re at a stage where we need the vast majority of 8 billion people to behave differently towards each other and the planet. We don’t know them, we don’t have their contact information, we don’t speak their language so we can’t communicate with them by email or text messages. We would be in terrible trouble if we didn’t have significant developments in communication technology available to us. Our challenge is to use those developments for our benefit rather than letting them reside in the hands of profits-first corporations and oppressive governments.

    IF we post information—get transparent and open—about what we’re doing in our own languages, day by day, to a public platform—like Facebook (but one guided by a different moral framework)—as a kind of public diary; AND if we do the same with our interactions (like this one we’re having now) about topics which really matter, such as responses to climate change and pandemics, then the algorithms can take over and make associations / connections we would NEVER have the capacity or capability to do on our own. That’s how we scale-up—and speed up—the sea change we so desperately need (by the way, The New York Times today had a full-page insert from Speed&Scale.com that lays out a 10-point “Action Plan” to get to net-zero emissions by 2050—not too sure about how well it will engender massive engagement with transparency and openness, but it certainly does have a lot of big names and big money behind it).

    Currently, Facebook (and many other for-profit corporations) engineers design the algorithms that mine the collected data so they promote more traffic on the platform AND attract more attention to advertising, which makes Facebook rich and makes us angry—with each other, with Facebook, with the world. And if we lived in countries with oppressive governments, the algorithms would be used to surveil and monitor behaviors in an effort to control populations.

    Conversely, if we used other public / NGO platforms and chartered the development of algorithms that helped us work together rather than against one another, then our collective efforts would yield more fruit. So, when I advocate the use of Micro.blog or Mastodon or WikiTribune or several others—perhaps even hOurWorld / Time and Talents—it is in the spirit of letting the technology do the heavy lifting. Besides, we’re getting to old to do it ;-)

    Now, to specifically address your questions:

    I’d never heard of the 3 apps/networks [Micro.blog, Mastodon, and WikiTribune] you mention. I’d be happy to try any of them. But my first question is: do any of them have general use in many other parts of the world?

    All three of them are usable anywhere in the world there is Internet access. Also, ANYONE can see what is publicly posted to them.

    Is e-mail the most likely medium to reach the most people? name@network, I think would go anywhere.

    Email goes to anyone who has an email address / account they can access. Due to that, only the person to whom it is addressed can see it unless the email is forwarded elsewhere or the person’s account is hacked. The lack of transparency and openness is good for security and privacy, but not helpful for speed up and scale up.

    Is one of the other apps/networks more likely to be useful to get to people everywhere?

    The more graphic-based the app / platform the more likely the content, which is visual, will cross borders and boundaries of language, ethnicity, culture, lifestyle, etc. etc. For instance, YouTube has 2 billion active users and Instagram 1 billion. Others like Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok feature users each have well over 100 million users. But again, these are susceptible to intrusion by corporate and / or governmental interests.

    Should it be left to each person as they receive the invitation through whatever medium I or the next degree of separation uses, to pass it on to his/her network using the appropriate medium for that next step?

    This is sort of the distributed social network of diverse, “federated” communities (Fediverse) concept behind Mastodon and others.

    Then, of course, we have the question - how do they join something that anyone could use? Perhaps that needs to be a web site that anyone anywhere can link to and communicate to and from?

    Check the Mastodon link above and see if that answers these questions. Also, the other links above list additional examples similar to Mastodon that may give you a clearer picture of the distributed social network concept.

    All topics for useful discussion. Should we meet (perhaps with one or two others?) to work through this?

    And that is the perfect segue to threaded discussions on, say, Mastodon or Micro.blog!

  • Scalability

    Observations by Michael Greenman:

    If we don’t find a way to engage a large portion of humanity with the concept that the climate catastrophe is the number one issue to address for all of us, and to individually take action and make plans to do so, we’ll never get beyond that to other highly desirable global communications and common purpose - i.e. - a global concept of brotherhood, community, and “one for all, all for one” - cooperation and an understanding of the oneness, and common purpose of all of humanity, not to mention, all of life.

    My response:

    In a way, you’re making a point about scalability. Here are your words (bolded above) rephrased into a goal statement:

    Find ways to engage a large portion of humanity in global communications (platforms) 1 2 that have a common purpose (gamification) whereby they individually take action every day, document what they’re doing, curious about, and concerned with, and receive a medium of exchange (compensation) they can use to secure their basic needs.

    My rationale for such a statement is that we will NOT be successful enrolling the BILLIONS of people needed to make change happen in the magnitude required IF we do not have a clear path for them to follow that leads to sheer survival, at a minimum, or social acceptance, at best. Think of the millions of people in Ethiopia who are quite literally starving to death at this very moment despite the fact that they spend every waking minute trying to figure out how to get food to no avail and imagine how receptive they would be to signing up for a program to save the planet. Think of the billions of people who spend countless hours on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter who are incentivized to do so by advertisers and corporate strategies so they buy more and allow themselves to be manipulated by emojis, group think, and the quest for recognition—how willing would they be to contribute their intelligence, expertise, and experience to address even an existential issue if they get no TANGIBLE benefit in exchange?

    To ramp up participation, though, begins with scalable communication platforms. Are there other, non-commercial platforms we can use? Currently, I’m into Micro.blog. Perhaps another candidate is WikiTribune Social. Or there’s Mastodon, which I post to, as well. Are you familiar with these? Would you be willing to give one of them a try? Or do you have one you like that you would like me to join? I’m game to go with anything that moves us beyond email, Zoom, etc. that limit open participation or Facebook, Twitter, etc. that distill participation into snarky soundbites or emojis.

    1. One example of an endeavor intent on tapping the power of such platforms:

      Doyle, Linda. “How to Create a Citizen Sensor Network.” The Cynefin Co, 25 Nov. 2021, https://thecynefin.co/how-to-create-a-citizen-sensor-network/.

    2. Doyle, Linda. “Guide to Creating a Citizen Sensor Network”. The Cynefin Centre, Nov. 2021, https://cdn.cognitive-edge.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/11/29213254/Citizen-Sensor-Network-1-1.pdf. [return]
  • Breaking Boundaries—A Commentary

    Thanks to Stephen Beckett for sharing the YouTube link to the trailer for Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet. Sobering, indeed.

    A persistent theme among these types of documentaries is that time is running out on the human race if we are to reverse the trends that threaten us with extinction. As I pointed out in another email to Michael Greenman, other threats, be they pandemics, human migration, and civil unrest, 1 conspire with climate change to make the path forward for humanity quite challenging to navigate. But, as the trailer says, we have this decade to figure it out or we let the planet have it back as we “devour” ourselves to put it into your words.

    The issues are so comprehensive, intertwined and complex that it’s nigh onto impossible for any one of us to figure out what to do differently that would truly make a positive impact. Each one of us nearly 8 billion human earthlings lives amid clear evidence of changing circumstances that adversely affect us in localities everywhere. And we choose to spend our time, day in and day out, doing whatever we can to meet our basic needs, first, and pursue what we want to do with whatever is left over. That approach has led us to this point, which as you, Michael, and others have stated, is woefully insufficient. Obviously, it’s going to take nearly ALL of us acting in concert with one another to make a “dent in the universe.”

    Given that, I suggested to Michael that the question is HOW does one incentivize people to

    1. Engage in conversations that matter about their circumstances;
    2. Experiment with alternatives that address them; and
    3. Share what they learn and adopt / adapt what works?

    Or more succinctly, how do we incentivize 8 billion people to make different choices—change their behaviors—and thereby address these issues?

    Michael and I hold a great deal of confidence that some application of time banking may provide such needed incentives. As Michael put it:

    I am beginning to see the Time Bank concept as a possible tool for greater human interaction and communications globally! With the number of offers in the Intertrade segment of the HourWorld system, I think we should start looking more closely at the enormous number of services that could be exchanged between individuals who have no likely possibilities of in-person contacts, but who could, with the help of AI translations, and the internet as a tool for working together, lead to unimaginable levels of communication and collaboration.”

    In my response, I expanded on his notion:

    Basically, you are advocating

    1. PLATFORMS that can accommodate open communication among any and all regardless of an individual’s location, characteristics, or circumstances (possibly Time and Talents?)
    2. GAMIFICATION the creative brokering of offers and requests that incentivize widespread participation in the search for ways that work (maybe intertrading assisted by genetic algorithms associated with artificial intelligence / machine learning?) ; and,
    3. COMPENSATION through time credit exchanges that enable one to meet basic needs without money as one implements what leads to greater chances for sustainability in one’s locality WHEREVER that may be (perhaps an adaptation of the overall hOurworld system?).

    This could be the start of potentially expansive and fruitful exchange among us. However, to do so it would have to be on a public platform sufficiently robust and scalable to allow any and all who want to participate to do so. The platform would incorporate a gaming feature that credits participants for the time they spend on it addressing key issues in their localities. Furthermore, the platform would facilitate the exchange of time credits for food, water, clothing, energy, housing, healthcare, education, etc. and thereby encourage them to spend as much as possible doing activities that move us forward, individually and collectively. Finally, with the clever utilization of algorithms drawing upon data collected from the platform, we would learn more from one another, influence change in those social systems that often keep us at bay from reaching our goals, and teach the machine so it empowers us to tackle even more complex challenges ahead.

    Personally, I started posting daily to stevebosserman.micro.blog — a public platform — earlier this year in an effort to get in the practice of publicly relating what I’m doing, thinking about, documenting, etc. (I’m posting this email to it as an example.) Hopefully, others find something of value in it. Even more importantly, though, perhaps they will be encouraged to post publicly about themselves so we can acknowledge, learn from, and contribute to one another in the pursuit of shared interests. Maybe this could even be associated with hOurWorld in order to explore the gamification and compensation aspects mentioned above. Or not. The world is full of options.

    1. I term these the Four Horsemen of the Emerging Apocalypse. Maçāes references them in the opening lines of his insightful article on how they can act as a source of political power. Maçāes, Bruno. “Is Vladimir Putin Preparing for War?” New Statesman, 24 Nov. 2021, www.newstatesman.com/world/asi… [return]

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