What do members do?
Primarily, members research, study, teach and practise their skills as much as possible. On top of this they will have additional duties for the benefit of the community as a whole and physical and mental training as part of their daily routines.
Duties will comprise of community chores like farming, laundry, lab work, cooking. Elected duties such as administrating departments, regulatory matters, community decisions and contractual duties – using ones skills for external groups, peer reviews of studied papers, working on community software and open source educational tools.
There should be a balance between reason, aesthetic and physical conditioning to create well balanced individuals.
[note:These ideas are developed much more in later posts, including specialised positions and methods of electing officials etc.]
I was reminded of Malcom Gladwell’s book on viral marketing ‘the tipping point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’ when I watched this video. Just for the method of creating a sticky message easily spread. I haven’t smoked for a long time, and I realise the difficulties in giving up. The road to obtaining release is probably never traversed, I still to this day want a cigarette when I’ve had a drink or when I have a moment of indecision and stress.
The strategy followed in the video is a great one it makes people question themselves, it makes people realise the questions they wont ask. It needs to be pursued, cigarette companies are a multi-billion dollar industry based upon addiction and death. When was the last time we looked at that and thought “this is wrong”.
I for one wish that the selling of tobacco was banned but that probably wouldn’t stop the trade. We need better methods to stop children from starting and strangle this industry from the roots up.
Why are members trained in subjects like martial arts and meditation?
There was a long consideration in writing the entries about martial arts and meditation. Meditation has a solid amount of scientific evidence to show that it has numerous physical, emotional and cognitive benefits. While we can draw connections between practitioners of martial arts and other similar benefits it may simply be due to increased exercise, focus, discipline or even meditation done during the course of their studies. The correlation is less clear.
Either way in the spirit of preparedness for any situation it would be prudent to teach a soft system of martial arts [note: by soft I mean a martial art that utilises technique over brute force and yielding rather than opposing forces] like Aikido which can be more defensive in nature and also teaches practitioners how to fall without hurting themselves or restrain someone who is being violent.
Martial arts teaches discipline, allows for purposeful exercise, aids balance and builds self-confidence. If we take a holistic approach to the individual members of the community this is a vital facet of that approach.