Month: May 2012


Why is there a mandatory element of exercise and physical training?

You can with a little thought find 3 reasons for this;

  1. Physical exercise has been shown to improve mood, combat chronic disease, manage your weight, improve motivational and energy level, lead to better sleep and improves cognitive function. 
  2. A good physical preparedness will prepare you to be in the best possible condition to deal with the unexpected situations you may face in life whether that be severe trauma or chemotherapy,  being able to help others after an earthquake or tsunami or simply to run and catch the bus that will get you to your job interview. Preparing for the unexpected before it occurs is always preferable to wishing you had done more to prepare later. 
  3. It is n the best interests of the community and yourself that you live a long and healthy life, do not squander or throw away the remarkable body and life you have been lucky enough to have. Allowing your body to deteriorate is a prolonged form of suicide you should be circumspect of the way you treat it. 


Why should there be a moral / philosophical / ideological element to the community? In all honesty, there was a hesitation in including moral or ethical elements to these entries but with such a community who’s purpose is to provide for future generations and help self-guard the planet there is an obvious need for a pure moral and ethical element to the community. For cohesion alone mutual respect, equality, patience, humility and compassion along with a healthy dose of gratitude seems desirable, if not necessary. Also there are the problems of people, people will no doubt find loopholes in the system, abuse things for their benefit and falsify research. Why? Because they are human and it can be anticipated that human nature will not immediately and magically change in the community despite its good intentions. As such there should be an educated moral framework of guidelines for all members, a public promise to maintain exemplary standards (entry 57).

Culturally some standards change over time and acceptance of behaviour is now very different from the 1950’s and no doubt 2050 will be very different again. All writings on the subject of ethics are therefore subject to cultural shifts, this should be obvious and the system of improving and evolving the code of conduct of the community should never be considered complete. This isn’t saying there aren’t objective moral foundations that one can rigorously defend on a rational level and aren’t subject to change irrelevant of public opinion, however that is far beyond the scope of this entry and actually exploration I.


Why is the community different to existing organizations? Presently there are many different charities, foundations and companies dedicated to helping and providing a range of services to humanity at large. The differences between their system and the community are the physical, living, social arrangement, the broad long term focus and the focus on self improvement to be prepared to help others.

While many organisations like ones you know; Wikipedia, Greenpeace, Ubuntu, CERN, RDF and others focus on different aspects of helping or improving the understanding of the world we live in. The community can be considered a living breathing physical community with actual inter-human communication and collaboration. But more than this we can see it as a multi-tool of technically advanced people who help all the institutions that already exist with their expertise, research and publications.


Why would the community have a positive effect on the world? Aside from the obvious benefits to the members such a community, due to its independence and structure, would be biased on the side of humanity as a whole and not a single nation, religion or political ideology. The purpose is to dedicate ones life to being informed, prepared for the unexpected, to help others and help the world through scientific, technical and educational channels. Once again if one considers the example of 900,000 of the catholic monastic orders and nunneries it would be easy to see how an equally sized number of people in the community spread around the world would help create comprehensive free educational texts, help with pharmaceutical developments, produce new open designs of operating systems and processors, new farming systems and research into some of the greatest problems of the current epoch.


Why would people be motivated to join such a community? People are motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose. The purpose of the community (as per 58) is to be prepared and to create, educate and research for the betterment of mankind. If we were to use one single phrase it should be something like:

“for the moment, for humanity, for the future” 

such a purpose should provide a strong motive for long term members, for the more immediate desires there is the motivation of, health of mind and body, savings, qualifications and practical growth. Finally, there is the motivation to be part of something where you are not only improving yourself but providing a service to humanity.


Why would the community succeed? This would depend on the definition of success. Success is the achievement of the purpose or objectives of the community. So, if the community only makes one single contribution to the benefit of the present and future generations it will have succeeded. It will achieve much more than this if carefully managed. You can see in the world around us a large number of religious and charitable foundations which survive and grow to large sizes through nothing more than willing volunteers. A community of research and discovery to increase understanding and help the people of earth is nothing new. If you search back through history there are various organizations that have fulfilled this role. If an organization can stand on contributions alone or simply on the basis of its beliefs the community will be a huge success and will offer practical help and improvement that will have a massive positive effect on the next generation.

The fact that the community produces content, applications and practically applied skills for competitive prices makes it a magnet for businesses, organizations and governments alike. The expertise in software production, experimentation, peer review and an attention to detail without bias will only enhance this. When placed in comparison to existing communities it becomes clear that the community will succeed, must succeed for the benefit of the next generation and all that follow.


Why form a community in the first place? The initial reasoning for starting a community was somewhat shallow and indistinct on detail. Upon my realisation of two factors

  1. My successes had not made me happy and the stress of maintaining my status was causing me to live to work and miss true social connections (note: in all honesty I am still in such a situation and minus the live to work mentality) 
  2. I realised my love for the sciences yet was not sure how to return to education so that I could work in such a field (i.e. the disillusioned worker 69 and the late realiser 73
What further compounded my irritation was based in part on religious institutions, not their beliefs in this case, but their exceptional ability to accommodate new members at any time. Take for example if my second point was that I had suddenly realised a profound and great love for the teachings of Buddha, Jesus or Muhammed suddenly my options are clear and there are many monastic orders, groups and paths that one can join or follow to arrive at a point where ones life is centred around their passions and beliefs.
Not only is there this enviable ease of finding an institution but the benefits of a simpler life, a guaranteed retirement with your church, temple or brotherhood looking after you and more importantly a life centred on something you feel is important. In 2008 the catholic church alone announced it had over 900,000 members in monastic orders and nunneries around the world. Imagine for a moment 900,000 scientists, engineers, software developers and technicians around the world all contributing to the next generation, building educational software, teaching in developing nations, helping countries improve their infrastructure, and creating devices to help heal the world. 
I realised that a scientific order of reason and progress for the betterment of mankind would be a great benefit to the world and would provide a place and home for those like me who have found our love of sciences, helping others and understanding the universe but have no clear route to get to that point.


The paid for scientific retreat; Some individuals may pay for a period of time at the community to simply experience the different pace of life and/or get healthier or for any number of personal and professional reasons These individuals would pay a flat rate offset by the work they perform during their stay.


Who is allowed to enter the community? In theory this should happily be answered as anyone as entries 10 and 25 clearly state. However, there are constraints in any system and also assessments, such constraints include space, budget, lack of sufficiently ranked (advocate positions), there are a number of factors that will cause a waiting list if the community becomes popular. Such a list should be on a first come, first served order, It also depends on why and how long you are planning to stay, individuals planning for a 1 month retreat compared to people wanting to make a life long commitment need some assessment.

Thus, there should be a committee of randomly selected individuals (on a 6 month churn) whose job is to assess on a case by case basis who can enter. Unless there is an exceptional circumstance to justify it people are considered equals in entering. Exceptional exceptions might include a world leading research specialist at CERN deciding to join, or a PhD level student jumping ahead of a number of unskilled individuals. Exceptional does not, and never should be to do with generous donations or monetary incentives.


Who decides what research is funded, unethical, at odds with the purpose of the community etc? Initially the head of a department decides on research funding issues. If there is an ethical element to the research this should be carefully considered by all heads of the department. Followed by a public debate of randomly selected peers to resolve any disputes. Each grant can be requested once a year, if the researcher believes there is a bias on the part of the head of the department he can request a public dispute debate to formally demand the grant (if he wins the debate in the eyes of his peers.