Month: January 2012
Who cooks, cleans, administers the the community? In any communal system there are necessary chores and tasks that are less than appealing [to a majority of the members]. Such tasks will be distributed evenly amongst all the community irrelevant of experience; However, it wont be simple to organize or achieve. Certain expertise and skills (Cooking, Electronics, Building, Plumbing etc.) require training and experienced individuals. Key people with unique skills in key research areas may well have limited periods of time to perform critical research or find it impossible to leave their team to tend to the allotment. Administrators positions should also be considered a chore, that takes the member away from their studies and research.
A set number of days per year of chore work will probably be needed, alongside this there may be a need to be a division between specialised and unspecialised labour positions. For example, a chef versus kitchen staff, A cultivation specialist versus a farm hand e.t.c.
A cycle of work on chores, in study, in research should be possible with unspecialised tasks being performed by members; However, hours of work on a specialised field like accounting, contract work, should probably reduce (but not completely remove) the amount of unspecialised labour required in a year.
The best solution then would be to have people voted into positions of control, there members are not paid more, nor are their positions considered more than chores. Administration in such a community is more of a hindrance than blessing. These people using progressively software would be in charge of assigning the hours of work and distributing hours fairly. A web portal showing the distribution of work and funds, members savings and grants should be readily available to all members.
Who makes up the community? Primarily, I would imagine the community being made up of students, researchers and scientists, tired of the continual rat race and lack of fulfilment in current society. Those who are searching for something more/different. They would I hope eventually cover all the primary disciplines of scientific endeavour, engineering and software development to help the people of the world progress.
To continue I think I will answer all the questions generated in 40-47. After that is complete I should have a much clearer picture of what is necessary.
So far there is just a wordpress blog here. However I intend to change this into a site with a variety of examples of my coding, thought, FOSS contributions and various outlets for my insatiable curiosity.
There must be a method of entry, exit and hand over in the community. Knowledge cultivated in the community should be recorded and not lost. Manuals of lessons, dialogues, processes and procedures should be kept and backed up regularly.
Where possible there should be two people, or more, capable of assuming any single position within the community, in this way there is a minimum disruption when unexpected absences or problems occur.
When establishing a project there are certain criteria that need to be observed whether a minor project for personal growth or an advanced research project for which you asking for community funding.
By establishing solid project requirements and structure you ingrain a methodology for achieving projects into all the members of the community.
The rules for this methodology should be based on solid business, psychological and exhaustively tested methods of project planning. The project system should be cultivated to avoid procrastination, burnout and frustration, while promoting creativity, motivation and efficiency. The methodology itself should be reviewed after each project to improve it or specialise it for particular project types.
Meditation instructions for Vipassana:
- Sit comfortably with your spine erect in either a chair or cross-legged on a cushion (traditionally a Zafu).
- Close your eyes (at least partially) take a few deep breaths, breathe to your diaphragm or stomach and usually through your nose. Feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting – feeling of pressure, warmth, vibration e.t.c.
- Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly – either at the nostrils or in the rising and falling of your abdomen.
- Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing, there is no need to control your breath, just allow it to come and go at a natural pace.
- Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
- As you focus on the breath you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to surface; sounds, feelings in the body, emotions e.t.c. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness and then gently return to the breathing.
- The moment that you have the realisation that you are lost in thought, notice the present thought, feeling or emotion as an object of conciousness. Then return your attention to the breath or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
- Continue in this way until you can witness all objects of conciousness – sights, sounds, sensations, emotions and even thoughts themselves – as they arise and pass away.
Rules for meditation: There is a basic technique called Vipassana (Pali, “insight”) which comes from the oldest tradition of Buddhism. The advantage of this method is can be taught in a completely secular way.
The quality of mind cultivated in Vispassana is generally called mindfulness and there is a growing literature on its psychological benefits. Mindfulness is, simply put, a state of open non-judgemental, and non-discursive attention to the contents of conciousness whether pleasant or unpleasant.
Cultivating mindfulness has been shown to modulate pain, mitigate anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function (although exercise is far more effective as method in that regard) and even produce changes in brain matter density in areas of the brain related to learning, memory, emotional regulation and self awareness.
There is much in the writings of Buddhist methodology that is worthy of respect and its aim to achieve enlightenment. We can argue about what the meaning of enlightenment might be; but, in the case of this document we shall define it as a moment, whether lasting or transitory, that gives us an insight and understanding, a Eureka! Moment, or lasting awareness of the world and our place or purpose in it. Also notably a realization of compassion or love for our fellow human beings. Various methods to reach enlightenment exist but there are some that don’t offend the intellect while providing tangible health and emotional benefits.
If we are to come up with a direction or purpose for the community it is threefold
- To provide a community for people from any background to come together for the purpose of studying science, technology and research while cultivating their creative and expressive techniques.
- To be prepared and prepare for anything in the future, predicted or unexpected, mentally, to physically and emotionally stable and content both as an individual and as a community.
- To create, research and educate for the benefit of both the present and future generations of humankind.