131 – Obtaining money

How does the community obtain money?

The community will have a number of incomes. Firstly from work contracts with outside organizations, these should be considered low cost, long term solid contracts that benefit the recipient. Secondly, from donations from private individuals and institutions who support the ideals of the community. Thirdly, from self generated web services and associated advertising on the internet.  There are numerous different possible incomes but as much as feasibly possible should be offered for free or in exchange for honest, simple work in the community. The other method can be from existing members People who make lifelong commitments place all their money they would have saved into a community account to aid the community through difficult times.

130 – helping society

How does the community help society at large?

Simple, it helps by researching developing and creating thing to aid and benefit mankind. Initially this will be by working through and for existing organizations offering peer review of scientific papers, computer applications and technical support at low rates. Especially it will try to help organizations which offer something free to the world (citizendium, wikipedia, linux etc.), organizations that are trying to help heal the world (WHO, Medicine sans frontiers etc) and ultimately independently help educate local and international students for nothing to improve education for all. The only thing that limits the community is its size and the dedication of its members.

129 – outside contracts

How are outside contracts decided upon?

Due to the necessity of securing work with exterior agencies, firms and foundations. There should be a committee dedicated to taking on the responsibility of which jobs are taken, declined or delayed. the committee should really only have to worry about the the numbers of available community members who have the required skills. However, if the institutions asking for members demands work that is contrary to the communities ethical stance or is currently involved in provable actions that run contrary to the benefit / future of mankind they should be turned down. Once again turned down contracts can be complained against and a a decision committee involving outsiders can be formed. No outside influence should be involved in research as it would create a bias automatically unless those involved are left unaware who requested it.

128 – education

How does education occur?

This is a very broad question I asked, I would imagine that given the practical working nature of the community where & when will education take place?

There are 3 main methods that can be broadly applied; theory & study much like a traditional education system, practical application and learning by usage/inquiry/investigation, dialogue and debate with your chosen mentor or teaching those in your care.

We as individuals can take everything to be a learning experience and indeed education should be a perpetual thing. The moment we cease to inquire is the moment we need to be circumspect and ask ourselves why we have stopped.

self-study is also vital in education an a healthy respect of skepticism or doubting the currently accepted status quo for things should be applauded. Be open minded enough to allow new ideas but not so much that our brains fall out

127 – Election process

How are members elected to different positions?

Initially in a small community positions will be given to those most suited to the role and with the most experience. Ultimately a list of advocates amongst the top 10 in each department will be found and for each dept a random 3 will be selected to be the voting representatives for each department who will then vote for their preferred official.

The random element that regularly occurs in committees an selection processes exists for 2 reasons:

  1. To try keep the system free of corruption and loaded committees.
  2. The elected position will undoubtedly remove the selected individual from their research for a number of years, such a situation should be considered a necessary chore and not a privilege one strives towards.
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How are people organised?

There are very few divisions in the members of the community and you can label them easily by situation.

  1. Transitory members: Those who are in the community for a brief period (6 months or less) there to give lectures, run courses, provide  support, on sabbatical leave, or simply to attend a conference.
  2. Candidates: Those who want to join a in a more permanent way. People who are considering  a long-term commitment will be evaluated for a period of the 3-6 months to decide whether they are appropriate members of the community.
  3. Novices: those who pass candidacy are considered novices who are obliged to reach a minimum level of knowledge within all the basic sciences and other core subjects.
  4. Advocate/Citizen: a full member who has reached a level of reasonable understanding of all the core subjects and who can provide a service to the community. At this point they can say they are an advocate of a certain field / skill / discipline which they intend to dedicate their life to.
  5. Elected officials: Selected from citizens (advocates) these members hold positions of administrative power. The purviews and limitations of which will be defined in the founding document.

Much like martial arts the only division between a novice and a master is their level of knowledge and ability on the continuum of a particular discipline (although that definition is questionable). The only only division between members is novice, those still reaching a basic level of understanding, and an advocate who has reached a point where they can make an informal decision and picked a subject / skill / purpose to dedicate themselves to, or be advocates for.


How do we define dialogues?

As previously discussed in e115 dialogues can be broadly split into 5 types each one devised for a specific purpose. Although if a dialogue shifts into Eristics it will automatically be considered a win for the opponent.

Dialogues should be clearly started and finished as to employ clear moments and their purpose from an inquiry to an advanced learner to a deliberation in a committee. They should fal between either formal discussions where something is at stake or informal where learning is involved.

The rules for dialogues should be clearly defined in their own set of entries later.


How are decisions made in the community?

There appear to be (from previous entries ) a number of methods emerging. Firstly an elected official can make decisions within the purview of his elected position. Secondly, there are are both short term and long term committees made of a random selection of members. Short term committees are created to resolve disputes in the case of an individual vs another or an individual vs an elected official.

Long term committees are created for a number of years to have authority or expertise over a particular part of the legislation, chore distribution etc. In all cases committees should be chosen at random from an equal spread of disciplines, gender etc.

Finally a 2/3 majority is necessary to pass, accept, agree on a verdict if this doesn’t occur more debate time should be allowed and then more members should be added or compromises created.

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How to find your purpose (attempt 3)

15 Questions

Duncan Hull - Flickr
Duncan Hull – Flickr

This list was borrowed from Tina Su’s blogpost http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/life-on-purpose-15-questions-to-discover-your-personal-mission/ which focuses on a purpose rather than passion seeking. I am merely using her method, if you want more methods like this I strongly suggest going to her blog.

  1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)

Films, good conversations over wine with friends, old stories, helping someone “get it” when they didn’t before, compliments, new experiences, getting to the summit of a mountain or hill and then enjoying the mad descent. Finding out how something works for the first time, having a moment of realization about the world we live in.

  1. What are your favourite things to do in the past? What about now?

In the past it was painting, role play games, Judo, guitar, travel, meeting strangers and talking. Now I am working so much at the school I have little time for hobbies, I guess I like to meet with friends, walk around town, meditation… I need to do more stuff now apparently.

  1. What activities make you lose track of time?

Debating people about subjects I feel are important, researching something, walking in the countryside, reading (or listening) to a good book.

  1. What makes you feel great about yourself?

Getting people to understand something they didn’t before, receiving praise from people about my work.

  1. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?

In my personal life I would say Kevin Carr; for his determination and perseverance to follow his dreams despite their enormity. Andrew Medlin; Who dedicated his life to his martial art and who constantly works to improve himself in whatever it he’s doing whether it be bartending or Computer Science. My brother, for his dedication to his writing and his lens like focus on his career.

In public life, Martin Luther King and  Mahatma Gandhi; both inspired entire movements that created great change and who did so with a completely non-violent approach. To peacefully inspire such a profound changes to the world they lived in constantly blows my mind.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Malcom Gladwell et al. Those writers who try and understand the human condition and try to see ways to improve it.

Neil Degrass Tyson, Steve Nye, David Attenborough et al; All the passionate scientists and researches who through their works have helped me learn a great deal about the world we live on and the universe we are just beginning to discover.

  1. What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)

I would say I’m fairly good at explaining concepts using allegories, similes and metaphors; taking something complex and reframing it so it is more accessible. I am good at thinking up concepts and novel solutions to problems but I do need to work on actually seeing them through.  I also am a moderately good programmer, although I’m out of practice on that front. Oh and I’m very good at finding stuff quickly on the internet either to defend a position or find a solution I can find it if given a few minutes!

  1. What do people typically ask you for help in?

Computer problems, I generally can fix most issues. Many people now are starting to ask for my help in the domain of English and translation (scary stuff).

  1. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Hah! Trick question :), I already teach English!!

  1. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

Well that’s 3 questions not one so I’ll answer each in turn.

  • Doing – I’d be disappointed if I didn’t visit more of the planet, I’d love to travel more and see the world, from South Africa all the way to Norway and likewise across the America’s, Asia and Australasia. I don’t have to see every mountain and tree but I want to end my days well travelled.
  • Being – A manager of my own company… I mean technically I am right now, but I’d like a permanent staff, a working business and a stable enterprise before I feel like a true manager. In fact more than some manager I’d like to be a leader of something bigger than me, I don’t just want to make a school, I want to make a movement that helps teach people.
  • Having – A family, whether mine or adopted, a nice cabin on a mountainside somewhere, where I can relax meditate read and contemplate.
  1. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you’ve been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you’ve achieved and acquired, all the relationships you’ve developed; what matters to you most? List them out.

That I have left something meaningful that can grow and help future generations become more than they were.  To have touched the lives of others in a meaningful way.

  1. What are your deepest values?

    Select 3 to 6 (See list of words to help you ) and prioritize the words in order of importance to you.

  • Variety
  • Curiosity
  • Respect
  • Inner Peace
  1. What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you’ve overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?

No easy answers here, I struggled through University, I found my first job as a programmer and struggled to get to be good at that, I cycled around the south of Europe overcoming mountains, extreme heat, cold and wind. At the moment I am struggling to create a school here in France. How did I do these things? Mostly I’d like to say it was through determination, although it’s also because of massively supportive parents helping finance some of the more ludicrous things I’ve done. I’ve also been exceptionally lucky in all my endeavours, leaping into things without a plan has always been an issue and I need to do much better in the future in that regard.

  1. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?

I find very few causes I strongly connect with in the way you’re implying I like Sir Ken Robinson’s cause to change education to be much more centred around the individual learning than the current system allows. I like Ben Goldacre’s campaign to have all medical trials released to improve the medical system. Maybe I should get more involved in some kind of movement, in fact maybe that’s what I’m missing in life.

  1. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?

We need to do more for the future and not just focus on the immediacy of our lives. To paraphrase JFK

“Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world.”

His “Ask not” speech galvanised a nation, it made them put up with adversity, it took a nation and asked them to accept the difficulties and fears of the time and face them. I don’t think we need to completely lose our limited time here by doing everything for those that follow, but I do believe we need to seriously look at creating something that will last into the future with a net positive benefit to humanity.

  1. Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute? ( to people, beings, causes, organization, environment, planet, etc.)

I could help program, teach (English or Programming), help organisations notice bottle necks and re-organise or change established routines. I would happily go to impoverished regions and help people with maths, English and basic literacy.

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How should new members be found?

The community should encourage new membership broadly through its website, through associations at universities and word of mouth. Affiliations to existing institutions and the creation of educational material software should help spread the word to encourage new members. Public debates and interaction should not be seen as a recruitment drive any interaction with the public should if asked only respond; “The community is always happy to welcome new members” we should be clear we don’t have ulterior motives to any of our acts that help the community and the world, our motive is what we are, what we do and we want the world to improve for the present and subsequent generations.

In fact certain responses should be crafted that give a unified response to all questions that are regularly demanded so the community can speak with one coherent response.

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