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Table of Contents (for FAQ page 2)
Community-Type Cities FAQs
1. What is the functional purpose for the first city?
The purpose for the community’s very existence is detailed in the Social System specification. In brief, it is to facilitate a group of individuals in developing toward their highest potentials in the most sustainable and resilient manner technically possible. Besides the primary purpose for the community’s existence, the first city is a prototype with several additional functions. A prototype is a model built to test a concept or process. The first city will operate as a center for learning, self-development, and orientation to this new way of living. It will be a testing space for our specifications, as well as an exploration and research center.
The city will function not only to facilitate our highest self-development, but also to:
- Work on the continued design and development of the system, which will involve testing and validating the community’s specification.
- Provide a space and the information necessary to enable people to adjust intellectually and emotionally to the new socio-economic system.
Hence, the population of the city will be composed primarily of people interested in their own self-development as well as the continued development and rapid duplication of the community’s design.
2. What is the planned population size of the first city?
We do not yet have a definitive figure on the population size of the first city. Its population size will depend on various factors including the land area, available material resources, and our financial starting capital.
3. Who will finance and join the first city?
We have not yet planned the financing for the first city. We are presupposing that it will be financed through two means: crowdfunding and individuals/families entering the first city.
Those selected to participate in the first city will principally desire a better way of living for themselves and others. The population of the city will be composed primarily of people interested in self-development as well as the continued development and rapid duplication of the community’s design. A percentage of the total incoming population will likely have some reasonable degree of financial wealth, for in the market which dominates this planet, it is those with financial wealth who have the means to most greatly influence the entire world toward this direction.
Screening is required for any community, and entrance into this community will be no different. It would be highly unwise for the community to just accept anyone from modern society without screening for things like violence toward others (through a background check), value orientation, as well as an understanding of the structure and function of the community itself. Herein, motivation and the probability of contribution are extremely important variables. The system would likely break down quickly if we just dumped a bunch of people with contradictory value orientations and psychophysiological disturbances into it. In fact, if such was to happen, then it shouldn’t be called a “community”, because a community is [in part] a set of commonly fulfilling social and economic interrelationships. It is a place where we build togetherness.
People in modern society have all manner of emotional, intellectual, and psychological issues for which the community must screen. This is a critical approach to the functional creation of the first city. Secondary and tertiary cities may be able to accept a larger percentage of people with some of these various issues. It can take time for people with psycho-social issues to heal and to re-orient. Later cities will be better able to handle a population going through healing crises and prolonged periods of restorative inactivity.
It is important to state that the first city will not exist to feed and shelter a group of people “taken in” from modern society. The city is not intended as a “safe haven” from which to escape the rest of the world. There is no escaping global problems.
4. Where will the first city be placed?
A geopolitical/jurisdictional analysis needs to be completed to determine jurisdictionally feasible locations. A climate and land assessment would need to be completed on the potential locales to determine viability. The location will need to be politically conducive to our socio-economic system. Ideally, the jurisdiction would already have high life satisfaction and low corruption (systemic and otherwise) among its population. We have not yet started these analyses. If you are interested in starting them, then we would appreciate your help.
5. How are you going to create this proposed community without fossil fuels?
The creation of a renewable energy technology requires a certain amount of fossil fuel input because you have to build, or otherwise acquire, the [renewable source] generators. We may have to use fossil fuels to bridge into a renewable economy, although it is also possible to source our energy from existing renewable energy sources in the market.
6. Are there zoos in community?
In community, in general, there are no “zoos” as establishments that maintain a collection of animals on display for public entertainment. It may be interesting to note that a second definition for “zoo” is, a situation characterized by confusion and disorder. Similarly, a third definition is, a place where living beings are displayed and studied at the profit and expense of others. From this perspective, in community, there is no such thing as a zoo, there is only observation from natural conditions. There may, however, be enclosed environments designed to sufficiently mimic natural ecological conditions where other animals are held for the benefit of both those other animals and humans experience. These zoo-like environments are possible to design and construct, and there are places on the planet where they currently exist. Artificial habitats for other species are possible, and in some cases they may be desirable. These artificial habitats would mimic natural conditions for species. With the above said, the topic of zoos is not currently detailed in the societal specification standard. The topic of zoos needs to be fully detailed in the societal standard, if you would like to help with this then please contact us.
7. Who will come to live in the first community-type cities?
This is a proposal for an entirely different way of living with a value orientation highly divergent from the many other orientations seen throughout modern, early 21st century society. Entrance into the first city configured through community will depend highly upon the value orientation and abilities of the individual. Joining (on-boarding) onto any organization at any point in time, always involves screening, to ensure that their value orientation, agreements, and abilities are aligned [with those of a community-type society]. Who will come is, who is aligned.
8. Can people live outside the cities?
In a community-type society where there is an abundance of human fulfillment there may be populations of people who chose to and are supported in their choice to live outside of the integrated/total city systems. And yet, there are so many advantages to living in an integrated city environment that it is expected that most people would not choose to live outside of such environments. Living outside of an integrated city is an obvious resource drain, and if a large percentage of the population were to chose to live this way then it would most likely drag down the efficiency and fulfillment of the entire population. Hence, cities in community are designed to optimally meet the full-spectrum of human needs, as well as being customized to the preferences of their local inhabitants. Many cities in community are planned with plenty of open country landscapes, parks for noisy and quiet activities, and forested areas. In these cities, where people choose to live in low-density single-family personal dwellings, there will be enough vegetation between dwellings to impart a sense of privacy. Hence, the aesthetic of rural living can be accommodated within the perimeter of a total city system, providing for the total needs and preferences of its inhabitants.
It is also relevant to note here that in the early stages of transition to a community-type society, where resources and need fulfillment still maintain serious barriers to abundance, it may not be possible, given obvious constraints, for people to live separate from the integrated city systems. Of course people are always free to chose where they live; there would never be force applied to keep anyone living in a community-type city. If someone would choose to live like a hermit in the woods, there would be no restriction on this or force to stop anyone from choosing that way of life. This is just to say that during transition, if one were to live outside of the integrated city systems, it is possible (under some transition scenarios) that they would not be considered part of community (i.e., not a citizen of community), and hence, not have the benefits of access to community resources and services.
1. Does central planning occur?
What communication takes place in the Market and under conditions of a State Authority (mechanisms, behaviors, etc.) is different than what communication takes place under community conditions and within a centrally distributed planning system. A community-type society is centrally distributed, because it uses a unified societal standard with a global habitat service system, as well as a distributed network of customized local habitat service systems, constructed as a planned fulfillment system for human and ecological concern. The Auravana Decision System Standard explains decisioning in a community-type society. Programs (a.k.a., plans) are a set of instructions (a.k.a., action-able events), and it always represents an ordering. In community, planning is central to human fulfillment, and when common heritage is accounted for, then planning can be optimized for common global human fulfillment (with preferentially customizable) object-services, because there is sufficient information and contribution to do so. Planning can occur in a central manner, only, when there is global co-operation through information transparency and material incentive for a better life. In community, planning actually connects the user as the contributor, the individual as the social, the personal as the common, the need as the fulfillment; whereas other configurations of society may not do so optimally, or even lead humanity away from this potential. Again, “central” planning is common to all forms of organization, for it is what creates the order in the first place. “Central” planning is more distributed in the market-State because there are many more organizations take societal-level project decisions about territorial (from the state to the private) resources. In other words, everyone in the market-State has a project plan of execution about their own resources. Alternatively, in community, there is a common societal-level socio-technical system composed of an informational and material system that is referenceable by all, and developed by the same group of people who use it. In community, there is an integrated societal information system with a physically operational habitat service network (a.k.a., city network), developed and operated by a societal-level InterSystem Team composed for information-standard working groups and local [city] habitat operational service teams. The habitat teams operate the habitats, and the working group teams develop articles in standards that become new and better iterations of our total societal environment. It is possible to have a common project plan for the global human need fulfillment of humankind, if it meets human needs and entirely allows for human preference therein. Our socio-technical standards sufficiently explain how to likely produce such a configuration of society, safely.
2a. What about needed jobs; how are you going to create jobs?
Here, it is important to remember that what is needed for global human need fulfillment is common heritage resources, contribution, and knowledge; what is not needed is employment for a wage used to purchase sold objects. Simply put, we aren’t here to create jobs and we aren’t interested in the market-based concept of “employment”. Instead, community is a system where tasks are created and coordinated by us, and acted upon by us, for our common fulfillment. The worldview that requires job employment for a wage is a different worldview than the worldview that understands the existent relationships between coordinated effort and global human need fulfillment.
Now, let us take a step back and pose a very simple question about the economic structure of modern society. What are the lowest common denominators required to perpetuate a market economy?
(1) Human labor must be sold as a commodity. Outside of investment and inheritance, nearly all money is obtained through income, and income is derived from wages, or profit through some form of employment. Therefore, there must always exist a demand for jobs for the market economy to operate.
(2) Money must be continuously transferred from party to party (employer > employee > consumer > employer) in order to sustain economic continuance and “growth”. This is done through constant and “cyclical” consumption by virtually everyone in the society. Therein, jobs are entirely contingent upon demand for production in some form. If there was no demand for goods and services, there would be no demand for labor and financial circulation would stop.
Needless to say, these two aspects of the market system that are intimately connected, are absolutely paramount to its functionality. If either one of them were substantially hindered, the integrity of the economy would be seriously compromised or possibly be made entirely obsolete.
What if conditions arose where the circulation of money or the necessity of human labor was severely stifled? In other words, what if people simply didn’t need to continually buy things? What if, hypothetically, it was discovered that through optimized techniques in resource management, collaborative design, and sustainable production, the most commonly purchased goods and services could either be made obsolete by larger order renovations, or could have such extreme product efficiency, longevity and near maintenance free durability, that most items could last a lifetime without replacement or major repair?
Here, we may come to realize that it isn’t a job that people want, but access to resources, goods and services that money brings. Most jobs today are not directly related to the actual necessities of life. Rather, most are artificial concoctions created in order to keep people employed so they can maintain purchasing power in an environment where our technology continues to expand exponentially, displacing humans from the production force.
It is a common statement in politics today to hear about “creating jobs”. Well, in theory, an occupation could be created where people are paid to sit in a room and test chewing gum all day, everyday… but is that a valuable use of the human mind? Should we relegate our mental capacity to any so-called job due to mere “economic” reasons, regardless of what it actually contributes to personal and/or social development? In fact, the very livelihood of most people in modern society is dependent upon how much they contribute to a planet and life harming structure, and even fewer of us are needed as contributors each year. The market becomes even more bizarre as a train of reason when we realize that mechanization not only frees us from labor, it is actually more efficient and productive due to the exponential advancement of science and technology.
In the market, automation will not [necessarily] free all humans to do intrinsically rewarding things. The productivity gains that technology enables mostly flow up the stratified socio-economic pyramid. Another quote from Buckminster fuller conveys the point nicely,
“If humans are not required to earn a living to be provided survival needs, many are going to want to be productive, but not at those tasks they did not choose to do but were forced to accept in order to earn money. Instead, humans will spontaneously take upon themselves those tasks that world society really needs to have done.”
Advancements in science and technology have shown that we can automate nearly all technical functions. The more we have applied mechanization to labor, the more productive things have become. Therefore, it is not only negligent for us to waste our lives waiting tables, working at a bus station, fixing cars, or other repetitive, monotonous jobs, it is also entirely irresponsible for us not to apply modern mechanization techniques to all service platforms, which is a powerful way to sustain abundance for all the world’s people.
Unfortunately, among the many things the market creates, is the creation of disorder, and then, the servicing of that disorder; and all the while people are thinking that the disorder is normal and the servicing is necessary.
In community, we have no need to create jobs for an abstract intangible (e.g., money). Instead, we are fulfillment and solution oriented. We understand that if no person or system does the work necessary to maintain the functional operation of the community, then the services therein fall into disrepair. This is, in part, why we can’t just take people from modern society and plop them down into community, and expect community to continue. Community requires a different approach, orientation, and direction to life than that which is active in most people in modern society, and has generated the question, “What about jobs?”.
Fundamentally, community represents the opportunity to contribute whatever you desire, wherever you desire, and whenever you desire; none of the work herein involves a salaried professional. The concept of “employment” is discussed in depth in the Lifestyle System specification.
2b. Isn’t it nature that forces people to earn a living rather than the market-State? Without the market-State, will people not be forced to work to survive?
Direct work is required for survival. The market-State forces a secondary type of work, work for money, which is then spent on what is wanted and needed. Work in nature, as you describe, is for direct fulfillment. Work in the market is for a wage, which is then used to buy things. Some refer to this separation between direct and indirect work, where the work benefits the owners over the workers, as exploitation. Most people in the market-State have to work to both meet their needs as imposed by nature and provide profit for an “owner”. If the “right to life” means anything, you shouldn’t have to work for “owners” to pay them for fulfillment of your human needs, or die.
3. Who will do the dangerous jobs? And, who will clean the toilets?
In the market-State, distribution of the necessary work is regulated within the framework of differing wages by having workers compete for jobs, and thus, their livelihoods on the labor market. On this basis, the supply and demand on the market creates enough competition to ensure that even the dirtiest jobs get done, even if for very low wages. In a community-type society, particularly dangerous or unpleasant work would be minimized and/or the danger reduced. A lack of willingness to take on certain tasks would make the members of society directly aware that a greater and/or different configuration of effort is required to produce a desired outcome. There are different options available to increase the willingness of people to take on unpopular jobs: unsafe working conditions could be made safer, unpopular working hours could be avoided, monotonous tasks could be made more entertaining, interesting, or demanding. Appropriate tasks can be automated. Or, tasks could be made more pleasant or the time spent on them could be shortened as much as possible.
In concern to cleaning toilets, one answer is: the user of the toilet (a typical way of operating for a family). Remember, the individuals in this community have a different value orientation and approach to life than individuals existing in modern society. We have taken the time to explicate our social organization through the Social System specification. Further, we recognize and highly value efficiency. Hence, another answer would be, the one who has volunteered temporary responsibility for cleaning those particular toilets as part of an Intersystems team. Cleaning a toilet is not a highly skilled task, so a third answer is anyone in proximity who received and has accepted an alert that a set of particular toilets are in need of cleaning. A fourth answer would be; we can design machines to clean the toilets for us. And fifth, even better, we can design more efficient, effective, and self-cleaning toilets.
We also feel the need to note here that the modern sitting toilet is something of an aberration that interrupts our ability to effectively relieve ourselves due the position in which our body is placed during usage. The human being developed to relieve itself while squatting, not sitting. In community, most people would likely return to the manner in which their organism been designed to relieve itself, squatting. Squatting toilets are much easier for a person to clean than sitting ones.
In a community-type society, needs are fulfilled on the basis of individuals’ work, and therein, on the willingness of individuals to participate in production and distribution. Herein, those who complete the tasks have a say in whether or how work is to be done. There are no inferior workers. Without information about the amount of work required by society to produce needed objects and services it would be impossible to weigh whether the effort went in proportion to the benefit.
This same type of question could be applied to food cleaning services, such as dish washing. Instead of washing our dishes manually, which is always possible, we have an automated system that cleans (Read, circularly moves off by scrapping) all the remaining food on each plate into a receptacle that collects the food scrapes for food direct for some other part of the cultivation system (e.g., to composte or to pork, which is just one example of an animal that can easily be fed food scrapes). The next subsystem in the machine network efficiently washes and appropriately sterilizers the surface. There are many ways to accomplish, both locally at someone’s dwelling, but also centrally for multiple dwellings or food catering buildings. The different subsystems can be used separately, as in, some preferences may be for just manual physical scrubbing,, then automated washing of the dishes (e.g., a home dishwasher). Some preferences may be for a fully manual or fully automated automated version of this service. In general, most common access food experiences (cafés/restaurants), are fully automated, but there are also some [staffed] cafes/restaurants in habitats that are semi-manually offered by contributors to the InterSystem team. In any given habitat, some dwellings may have full kitchens, others half, and even others may have no kitchen; it is a personal preference.
4. I want the penthouse; how will the community accommodate my want?
What do you mean by “penthouse”, and why do you want it? Everyone needs a comfortable place to rest, to be with themselves and intimate others. Among community we ask ourselves how can things be designed and structured so there is greater fairness in access and fulfillment for everyone.
In modern society, aside from having a top-level view or prime beachfront location, a “penthouse” is a status symbol. “Penthouses” have achieved the social status recognition that they have, not only because of their desirable location, but also due to their typical interior design. They are designed to be more spacious and have more amenities than any of the other living spaces in a building or neighborhood.
The material architecture of modern society has been so constructed and located that there are ownable prime locations; there are good and bad locations, which creates an unfortunate situation for those who either can’t afford the good location or who can’t get into the location because it is sold out. The common realtor statement of “location, location, location” is true, but its contextual expression indicates a lack of fulfillment-oriented and iteration-based design such that everyone has the best location. Among community there is no ownership, and this “thing” one might refer to as a “prime location” is available for everyone to enjoy. Remember that at the material architectural level the Community represents a strategically designed integrated service platform. Hence, we can design everyone’s living/dwelling space to be a prime location.
Unlike modern neighborhoods and cities, which are monuments to “great names” and amusing attractions, the material architectural space of the community exists for the highest fulfillment of everyone.
The question, “Who is going to get the penthouse?” may be valid in the socio-economic context of modern society, but it is not a design question that we would ask in community. In modern society, the people who get the penthouse are the wealthiest. In the market, the only answer to the question, “Who is going to get the penthouse?” is: the individual who, by one means or another, beat out the others, or whose relatives beat out others, and could thus, afford it and/or inherit it. The question itself presupposes the existence of an intangible transaction medium (i.e., money), and competition for access to scarcity; and hence, when asked in the context of community, the question represents a psychological projection.
The thing is, we all like living in and around beautiful places and locations. If that is something we all like, and to some degree need for our aesthetic well-being, then why don’t we just design that experience for all of us. We have the resources, the skill, and the intelligence to do so. In community, we don’t hinder ourselves through attachment to artificial limitations, we coordinate what we have, and we do what we need. We can solve for the technical problem of aesthetic need entirely without the monetary market. We can design and redesign our environment however we need.
It is important to remember that in community there would not be the same obsession with status driven placement as we see and experience in modern society. Individuals in community are in an entirely different socio-economic context with a divergent value set than the set active in individuals engaged in the “rat race” of modern society. An obsession with status driven placement is not only unsustainable, but socially unhealthy.
In the context of an apartment complex in the Community, maybe the top levels are not living spaces, but common activity areas and gardens for everyone’s enjoyment, and the same for the bottom several levels. Or, maybe there are access protocols that maintain fairness in accessibility to the top rooms on a rotational basis, 1 week or so with 52 people being able to stay in each room each year. In this case, the rooms would not necessarily be any more spacious or have any more amenities than anyone else’s living space.
5. What about moving homes after I enter the community?
Do you want to switch homes, or do you want your house remodeled? The access system is designed to accommodate these choices.
It is important to remember that the city systems are, to the greatest degree possible, location independent. So, regardless of where you live, you are living in an aesthetic place where you can easily and efficiently get to anywhere you desire. Aesthetic iterative design removes the idea of “priority geographic location” as land, within the community, with a more valuable attribute. Hence, there are, to a relatively high degree, no “prime location preferences”. And, if there were, then it must be determined why, and every location must be brought up to the same preference category. This would exist as a priority so that the access of dwellings could occur without preference bias.
The common types of location bias are:
- Location as position relative to socio-economic services.
- Location as position relative to a natural artifact of the ecology.
- Location as available interior space and technological amenities.
The community maintains a scheduling and access platform for moving from one home to another when desired. If you desire to move dwelling locations within a city that is at full carrying capacity (i.e., “peak capacity”), then the home that you are presently accessing can be placed on the list of available housing options. When another house that you would like to switch to becomes available on that list, then you can switch. If the city is not at full capacity, then the list of available options will be greater.
Alternatively, you always have the option to modify (or update) your home given the availability of resources, which are priority allocated to remove interior space and technological amenity bias. Sometimes, however, people just want to move because they want to experience a relatively different living environment, such as moving from a house to an apartment or tropical to temperate climate. In community, there are no jurisdictions, and so, you can move from one city in the community in the network to any other without restriction, freely and whenever you desire.
No one can decide to move you on your behalf. No one can decide to give your home to someone else. No one can decide to take your home because you didn’t finalize your payments for it, and a no one can decide to take you home because you were delinquent in tax payments. No one exists to do these things, and no one would want to. We all want each other to have a safe, comfortable, and convenient place to be ourselves and to fulfill our need for restoration on a daily basis. What we don’t want is a society where people live in fear that their home, their personal space, could be taken away from them if they become sick, if there are political changes, if they don’t “pay up”, or if they aren’t contributing to the society.
The rhetoric of “property” fools many in modern society.
6. Competition inspires excellence and quality far more than cooperation.
Per the reasoning and evidence that we provide in the Social System specification, we disagree that competition leads to greater excellence in an individual, and quality in technological production items. Therein we detail at great length why we value cooperation over competition. Cooperation is one of our values, and competition is its antagonist. Essentially, you are saying that withholding useful information from others for competitive advantage, scattering the information landscape with misinformation for marketing purposes and dis-information for causing missteps in others, and the generation of conflict due to the creation of artificial scarcity, creates a better environment for the individual and for the products of said society. For whom does secrecy, turmoil, and structural violence work best? It works best for the authorities of the day – those who are in power, and the next generation who will be acquiring power. Therein, you can’t really say that you are free when you are being given and accepting false information, which you are using to take decisions.
It is important to recognize that in a competition-based socio-economic system motivations for contextual actions are often hidden. When we cooperate, we share our motivations and we account for our actions. Fundamentally, any competition in an economic zero-sum-game scenario is detrimental to the biosphere and to everyone on the planet.
And finally, that which creates what you refer to as “excellence” is what we call “being in a state of flow”. The neurophysiological state of flow is described in detail in the Lifestyle System specification, and the lifestyle of those in community is built around that concept. We don’t need competition to facilitate an environment conducive to the frequent generation of flow (a.k.a., “excellence”).
We share and let everyone gain from every progress.
7. What do you think about capitalists?
Capitalists set society up so they can maintain capitalist social relations into the future. In doing so, they have encoded a particular set of static relationships into the fabric and infrastructure of modern society, which in and of themselves negate emergent feedback, and hence, restrict our capacity for self and social development. We who understand this direction must also understand that the capitalists have been inculcating generation after generation into their ideology, and they will not stop. They will continue to pursue economic growth and property rights at all costs; they will continue to capitalize (here, “capitalize” is a euphemism for exploit). And, it doesn’t matter how many of them fail in the process, for capitalism is a highly resilient networked [belief] system.
It is unwise to fight capitalists, or their networked system, for it is both highly resilient and powerful in its violence. Instead, we must begin cooperating and sharing toward a new system that facilitates a massive social realization that winning does not bring fulfillment, and that the system in which capitalists participate is entirely obsolete in giving them what they most desire (human fulfillment and flourishing) under its many layers of turmoil and repression. Let us use the tools that capitalists are presently creating to show them how life could be different.
8. Why don’t you just create a handicraft-based economic system?
The approach to design that is efficient for a craftsman making individual objects does not scale for teams developing complex and technologically integrated service platforms. Craftsmanship is a skill and a personal art, but it is not sufficient for the maintenance, or even continuation, of a community whose technical functioning involves machines and computing systems. It is not possible for city-scale population sizes. Making matters more difficult, electronic systems change frequently. Hence, designers require new systems-oriented concepts to represent the dynamics of economic action at scale. A handicraft-based economic system cannot scale.
Certainly, creation by hand (i.e., handicraft) can be fun and a useful skill, and that is exactly what it will be in community. If you enjoy it, then do it, but you won’t be expected to do it in order to survive and to have access to all that community can provide.
9. Aren’t we naturally apathetic as just our human nature?
No, that is a lie that we have been fed to get us to conform to an aberrant system. In fact, by nature we are playful, curious, and creative beings. A more relevant question might be, “In what environment might humans begin to express what others perceive as an apathetic attitude and behavior?” Approximately 15,000 hours after shoving children in the equivalent of a prison many of them come out with a lack of desire, naturally. Go to the Lifestyle System specification and read the section on “Learning”, or do a keyword search in the specification for the term “lazy”.
In community, if someone doesn’t want to contribute, we don’t mind. Certainly we don’t get angry, though we may conclude that they are suffering in themselves at the moment. We understand a lack of desire as equivalent to an illness. Why would any healthy person wish harm (added harm in this case) to someone suffering. In modern society, those who don’t want to “work” and participate are automatically regarded as lazy or hurting others. Notice the reality of the situation that the person without desire and curiosity and passion is actually the one suffering, not society (or government).
Let’s take it a step further and just presume incorrectly that some exceptionally healthy people will just be intrinsically “lazy” in an abundant and free society. What we are proposing is still a better alternative than falsely perpetuating scarcity, as well as unnecessary labor and resource usage, for the sole purpose of, and poor attempt at, producing “incentive”.
There are two general forms of motivation, internal and external. These are more commonly known as “intrinsic motivation” (internal) and “extrinsic motivation” (external). We recommending reading the subsection of the Social System specification entitled “Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose” if you are unfamiliar with the difference in these two types of motivation. The Social System specification also covers the topic of “human nature”.
“But what about all the ‘slackers’ who will consume without giving back? The answer is just, ‘So what?’ Why not have pity on such people who are stuck in such an embarrassingly juvenile state of mind? My mom, a hard worker, dreamed of being a slacker in a big house with servants. You know where she found her dream? A nursing home. 🙁 So, be careful what you wish for, slacker wannabees. 🙂 If a few can supply the many, then, so what of the slackers? Who cares? Why build a whole mythology around slackers? And surprisingly, there may be less slackers than one might expect, because when you have the freedom to make things your way, without a “boss”, there is often a lot of fun to be had in making things. Just look at all the kids making free music for the internet these days. Or people writing web pages. :-)”
— Paul D. Fernhout, Post-Scarcity Princeton
10. Won’t people abuse and misuse the abundance generating fulfillment system?
In the transition there will need to be a way of discovering misuse and abuse of the system. We can, however, take steps to curb such occurrences. The first and most important step we could take is to do our best to screen those entering the community to ensure a requisite value alignment. But even with excellent entrance screening measures there is no guarantee that abuse and misuse of the system isn’t going to occur.
Psycho-socially, it may be difficult for some people coming in from modern society to adapt to this new way of living. Therein, social therapy and trauma healing may be necessary. One could imagine that some people coming in from modern society may have psychological hoarding habits. In community, hoarding would be considered a misuse of the system. Others might begin selling common resources outside of the community in an effort to acquire money for themselves, or to acquire money to give to a relative still suffering under market conditions (possibly in poverty). This behavior would also be considered an abuse of the system.
Fundamentally, abundance [of access] disincentives hoarding, because people know they can have access when they need it, and so there is no need (no drive) to hoard for security of continued access. In a community-type society, continued access is strategically designed and planned for, and the population knows that. Hoarding is disincentivized because people know that that food (for example) available from an access center will always be there and will always be available to them. Knowing that there is somewhere that “you” can go to pickup any food (for example) “you” need disincentivizes hoarding.
11. What about people taking more than they need? What about excessive access? Won’t people in the community run in and grab a whole lot of goods and run off with them?
In concern to excessive access, it is reasonable to have limits on access at access distribution centers (by decisioning), and then, if more access is required, to have a decision inquiry process determine a resolution. For instance, if someone where to request for 10 televisions, then a resolution might determine the 10 televisions may be checkout out for a temporary period of time for an art or a aesthetic project. Whereas the accessing of one or two televisions may have a personal access tag, the case of 10 televisions for a temporary project is classified more as common access. Remember, is no resale potential in community. In community, people’s behavioral patterns are respectful of coordinated decision access resolutions and of limiting waste (because efficiency is a value and carrying capacity is accounted for).
Why would someone from the community walk into an access-distribution center, and then, run out with a bunch of televisions (or any technology)? In community, where you have access to everything and nothing can be sold, and there is no need for trade, why would someone behave in this manner? What is the incentive? Remember that there is no property or commercial relationship among community, only ‘access’ is encoded. Hence, the televisions can’t be sold in the community – there is no sale value (i.e., no price). The only exception one can think of is if someone has an art or research project. And even then, a community artist or researcher would coordinate his/her access to those resources required in large quantity so as not to burden the community. We can account for this sort of access in decisioning.
However, in a society where scarcity-oriented behavior is incentivized, then that population is likely to associate objects and services that are “free” with hoarding and with lack. This view is reflected in the common question, “In community, where everything is free, then everyone will want a 10 televisions, and won’t that break the system?” In community, because goods are coordinated to be accessible without the need for exchange, we don’t live with the fear of not having things, and hence, we don’t feel the necessity to hoard and collect. Further, when the benefit of sharing is visible (through a unified societal information model that makes coherent sense of our environment), then there is unlikely to be hoarding and jealousy-oriented behavior. If you don’t live with the fear of not having something, then you don’t feel the necessity to hoard and collect it. Here, “free” is actually a misnomer, because there is no money in community, in real life. Money is a social construct; there is nothing like it in nature. There is no physical referent. Our belief in it is the means and the ends. Money isn’t anything that you can use on hand. It is the potential to get what you need, and so, people want to keep that potential amongst themselves, or only a few very close knit individuals. And then, sharing breaks down, and we start noticing a loss of contentedness, a loss of happiness, and a loss of core meaning and identity [in life] starts to emerge [from the cash economy], then nepotism and hierarchy. In a society where money is used, people will hoard the money itself as a resource, and begin hoarding other resources that have monetary value. Community cannot be sustained when some people hoard resources.
If a collection is the “selecting, gathering and keeping of objects of subjective value”, then where is the subjective (price-brand-uniqueness) value in a functional object embedded within a society that does not encode the idea of unique, scarce, market-consumable products? In the market, objects facilitate survival through their re-sale and status symbol value. Therein, advertisers leverage popularity and artificial scarcity in order to promote the acquisition (and collection) of their products. In community, there is no such thing as a “resale value”, and hence, no incentive to collect or hoard functional objects for such a purpose.
Humans sometimes add artificial meaning to objects in search for solace, safety and security. I modern society, where many people feel socially isolated and disconnected from community, the collection of objects helps to fill the void they feel in social connection. Therein, objects become substitutes for the experience of community, an artificial source of emotional security.
- Why do we collect? by Vsauce2, youtube.com
12. How does community view the individual versus the social?
It would be more correct to ask, “How does the community view the individual and the social?” In the indigenous mindset we are simply a strand in the web of life. The world is not a ladder or a chain or a pyramid, it is a cycle of life and death of which we are an individual part living among a social population. In community we have a holistic view. We understand individual self-awareness, biochemical individuality, as well as, social and ecological inter-connectedness. In other words, the community recognizes both the individual and the social as a whole system, and it accounts for the interrelationships therein among a common ecological environment.
Many people in modern society are so atomized in their thinking and physical relationships that they think they are “in” some atomized [subjective] reality. In community, we understand that the human species has common needs, that the life-grounded ecology that provides for our needs also has common needs, and that we can provide synergistically for all of our individual wants through cooperation, and that our wants, in fact, also have commonality. The Social System specification describes the spectrum of human needs at length. We also understand that when some individuals don’t have their needs met and others are consuming the most frivolous of wants, then that environment is one of social instability, and that likely, structural violence is occurring to prevent the fulfillment of the needs of those who do not have them met. Wealth inequality is highly destabilizing to social interaction; poverty is the same for individual physiology.
13. Sounds good, but without prisons or police, what do we do when someone actually is violent?
Our response is nicely summed up by Dr. Gwen Adshead, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist on Dr. Gilligan’s book entitled, “Preventing Violence”.
“[Dr. Gilligan] argues that traditional approaches to violence prevention, which emphasize punishment, actually make violence worse; and the more severe the punishment, the worse the violence grows. Violence is more likely where there is a culture of shame. Key risk factors for shame include rigid gender role stereotyping, with resulting distorted views of what is to be “masculine” or “feminine,” and entrenched social hierarchies, based on inequalities of opportunity, income, and hope[ium]… [He] concludes that we can reduce violence by reducing social inequality and other stigmata of shame. We should also stop putting people in prison except in those cases where people need a type of therapeutic restraint for the protection of others. If we do this, we should provide therapy and education for violent offenders, rather than deprivation, isolation, and more shame.”
Essentially, the community applies what is known as “restorative justice”, which is detailed at length in the Social System specification. In a community-type society there are no police, per say. There
are no police, but there is investigation when issues occur to human fulfillment. Here, there are conflict resolution and de-escalation intersystem
teams. When serious violence occurs, medical teams will dispatch medical personnel with the additional training on how to handle violent situations and de-escalate them so fulfillment can be restored. Conversely, police are, in general, trained to escalate violence. Also, police exist to
enforce law. Police respond to legal incidents, whereas in a community-type society, medical personnel respond to medical incidents, of which violence is one sub-type (and hence, the responding team includes medical personal with that additional training).
- Punishment and Violence: Is the Criminal Law Based on One Huge Mistake? by James Gilligan, jstor.org
- Shame, Guilt, and Violence by James Gilligan, jstor.org
14. I want my child circumcised. How will the community accommodate my want?
The question implies that you have some sort of ownership over the child that you gave birth to and are nurturing. Therein, circumcision suggests that there is something wrong with the natural state of our bodies. Essentially, you want an irreversible medical procedure completed on another human being without their consent that will have lifelong consequences, whether male or female. As a sovereign human being, are you comfortable with your parents making a permanent, unnecessary, lifelong decision about your own body for you? The name “female circumcision” is now called “female genital mutilation”, and it is considered socially unacceptable, a crime even. But, modern society continues to perform the homologous equivalent surgery to males as infants without consent.
Among community, we would expect someone who wants such a procedure done on another human being that they are nurturing to have an up-to-date and well-informed view. So, please read Circumcision the hidden trauma by Ronald Goldman. The book clearly evidences how all of the supposed “medical benefits” have now been disproven. Just by recommending this book it would appear that we are taking a position. But, this is not the case. If you enter into the Community and you still want the procedure done on “your” child, then the procedure may or may not be possible dependent upon the community having a surgically trained medical service team member capable and desiring to complete the procedure. The tools for such a procedure are of course available, but whether or not a medical intersystem team member wants to perform the operation is the issue. Of course, you yourself could become a trained medical intersystem team member and then perform the operation yourself. Among the community, the issue is not the availability of the tools; the tools are available. Instead, the issue is whether or not someone is sufficiently skilled to use the tools to perform the operation and whether any of these people think this is an appropriate use of the tools.
Do read the recommended book, and you might also enjoy reading all of the Amazon.com reviews for the book, including sub-comments.
15. Are drugs illegal in the community? What is your drug use policy on consciousness altering substances?
We do not look at life from the same worldview as the worldview that generated that question. Coming from modern society, you may think that we have policies for everything, but our policy is not to have policies.
No, we do not have a drug use policy to govern individuals’ drug usage behaviors. We do not use nor do we advocate the use of force against those who choose to use drugs. We recognize that there exists a scale of harm, neutrality, and benefit in concern to drugs, and we support research and dissemination of empirical evidence concerning the effects of conscious altering substances. We don’t assume that any use of a consciousness altering substance is problematic. And yet, we acknowledge that the usage of some drugs, at appropriate dosages and conditions (i.e., set and setting), can lead to an expansion in creative expression and facilitate a healing of trauma. We recognize that informed individuals with access to many life enhancing opportunities are more likely to make healthier and wiser decisions. Fundamentally, no one has the “right” to regulate another’s consciousness.
When it is claimed that a “drug is illegal due to abuse”, then such a statement is ironic because the abuse is in the making of the drug illegal. Drugs are excellent scapegoats by the dominant and in-power culture to vilify groups that it doesn’t care for, or like. It wasn’t health and safety concerns that lead to cannabis being made illegal in the United States. And then, the United States making accords with numerous other States that subsequently made cannabis (and many other drugs) illegal. It is a matter of public record that the United States’ Richard Nixon administration (1953 – 1961) made cannabis illegal in order to disenfranchise the youth movement against the Vietnam war, and they also focused on heroin as a way to criminalize black resistance. So, when people speak about health and safety as factors in “drug legalization”, then such statements are fundamentally dishonest.
Coffee is a widely accepted drug in modern society for of its economic benefit. Businesses that sell coffee, of course, do not like coffee being referred to as a drug. Yet, coffee shifts neurochemistry (and consciousness), and allows people to focus for long durations of time [on the most mundane of tasks]. Corporations will even give their employees free access to the drug. If you drink coffee every day you have very little room to point a finger, or make judgment, for you too have decided that the state of mind that you are in under the influence of a strong stimulant is desirable to the “unmedicated” or “undrugged” state of mind, and your employer probably agrees with you. They provide that particular drug to you for free. You have to buy your own cigarettes and cannabis, but if you want to experience the drug ritual of coffee, they will not only give you the time off from your job (i.e., a “coffee break”) to do it, but they will provide the drug because they know that it will enhance your ability to focus on a single task for long periods of time, and that is in their economic interest.
The war on drugs is a war on people and on consciousness. It is not a war anyone in community would participate in. It is a grotesque invasion of our privacy and our sovereignty over our own bodies that a government would even have the temerity to suggest that it has the right to punish us for using drugs. We look forward to a day when the war that has been declared on nature, and on our nature, ends.
By criminalizing certain things, we don’t focus on the relationships. Therein, one of the biggest problems with prohibition is that drugs are adulterated and people don’t know what they are taking. In modern society, the harms of prohibition so far outweigh the harms of just letting people engage in, sometimes, self-destructive behavior, that it is bizarre that is still a conversation.
“There is no war on drugs because you can’t have a war on inanimate objects, there is only a war on drug addicts, which means we are warring on the most vulnerable segments of our society.” -Gabor Mate
We would like to see the prohibition on all drugs lifted, and we recognize that the usage of some of these substances are fundamental to our natural way of life. It quickly becomes apparent to the student of anthropology that substances belonging to this category (hallucinogens, psychedelics, entheogens, and neuro-gnostics, etc.) have been used by human beings quite-nearly everywhere in the world, and are integral to the spiritual systems of natural peoples. A prohibition on them is as unnatural as banning fruits or seeds. Modern society has made drugs appear as “good drugs” and “bad drugs” investing properties in drugs without regard to the thousand-year statement of natural compounds that “the dose makes the poison”.
The problem with the “religious freedom” exception to drug usage in some jurisdictions is that you need a specific religion. It doesn’t seem like any government should be in the business of telling us what we have to believe to access certain chemicals that affect our brains.
Note: Hallucinogenic mushrooms are that most mysterious of drugs that grow just about everywhere and transforms into an illegal substance the moment you pick it up. DMT is illegal in many jurisdictions, and yet, we produce it in our own brains. All humans have an endo-cannabinoid system designed to generate and receive cannabinoids, and yet, cannabis is illegal in many jurisdictions.
It is important to understand that although consciousness altering drugs may be illuminating, they are not automatically illuminating the truth. A “drug” is just another technical, biochemical tool. Their use exists within a context, a “set and setting”. Therein, drugs can lead you to question the reality of everything you think you know. Drugs can also lead you into a state of hyper suggestibility for others to take advantage of. Some drugs act as a non-specific amplifier of consciousness as they bring subconscious thoughts and fears to the surface. They have the potential to shift the fundamental nature of what you think reality is. Whereupon, new information can come in and new structures can be built. Some societies and their authorities are so terrified to have people question their existence that they outlaw drugs. Certainly, authority doesn’t want its enforcers to explore [their] consciousness because in such exploration individuals are likely to begin to see authority for what it is.
Unfortunately, when it comes to drug usage in modern society many people substitute contempt for compassion and learning.
If you are interested in the history of drug prohibition, then we recommend:
- Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure by Dan Baum
- Legalize It All: How to win the war on drugs By Dan Baum, harpers.org
- Ethan Nadelmann: Why we need to end the War on Drugs from TEDx, YouTube
Not all drugs are addictive and no one chooses to be addicted to life consuming drugs. People with addiction actually respond differently to drugs than people who don’t become addicted. Drug addiction involves a variety of contributing factors including genetics, childhood trauma, and access to life fulfilling and enriching activities in the present. Addiction is not a problem, addiction is a person’s attempt to solve a problem. Further, criminalizing things that people crave and are addicted to has all sorts of follow-on disaster consequences that go well beyond the damage that the cravings, substance dependencies, and addictions do themselves. What is addiction? Addiction is when someone is willing to engage in risky behavior to acquire that which they have an addiction to. Addiction is repeated and failed attempts at abstinence. Addiction is compulsive use that continues despite negative consequences. Addiction requires negative consequences, and if there are none, then that is
If you are interested in drug addiction, then we recommend:
- Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism by James Robert Milam and Katherine Ketcham.
- The works of Dr. Gabor Mate.
- The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think by Johann Hari, huffingtonpost.com
- Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia Szalavitz (twitter.com)
What exactly is a drug? Is a drug that which affects consciousness? But, doesn’t a deeply nourishing meal impact consciousness as well? In modern society, people tend associate the word “drug” with things they don’t like and “medicine” with something which is beneficial, which creates an artificial distinction. Particularly since the number two cause of death, at least in the United States, is properly prescribed medications. So, just saying something is a medicine shouldn’t in any way imply that it is benign.
To return to the question in specific, we do not allow or disallow any drugs; this is not how we, among community, approach life. We do, however, seek to account for the compounds we ingest, and their metabolites, on ourselves and the local ecology. If we cannot filter compounds out of our water recycling system that pose a danger to others and our ecology, then we will not use those compounds in our community until such time as we have solved for their filtration or safe decomposition. We need water to be free of all drugs and others medications, including the industrial by-product sodium fluoride.
Essentially, community involves the creation of a lifestyle where people aren’t interested in drugging themselves into oblivion.
16. What about art?
What do you mean by art? If you are referring to art as “creative self-expression”, then we too recognize art as an important self-development and communication medium. One of the sub-platform service system of the community is entirely dedicated to art. In community you will no longer have to do “art” to provide for your survival and basic needs, as is the case for “artists” in the market. Instead, you can participate in art for the enjoyment you get from participating in creative self and social expression.
17. Does science create your value system?
Science does not create anything; it is a method of discovery and a repository of falsifiable data. The scientific method is one of three approaches we use in combination with an intentional direction to generate, or otherwise arrive at, an emergent orientation system (i.e., a value system). The repository of knowledge known as science informs our selection of a value system in the context of our fulfillment and the flourishing of all life on this planet. In community, we sense the world we live in, rather than impose upon it with traditional assumptions.
E28. What does love and marriage mean in the community?
In community, just like in a healthy love/marriage relationship, we continually recognize each other’s needs, and seek to facilitate their fulfillment. We express our love in a myriad of ways. When we love something, then we want to see that thing realize its full potential.
If you want to get married, or not, that is your own personal choice. However, in community, there is no entity called “government” to act as a third or fourth party in the marriage. There is no marriage with the State. In community, marriage with a State does not exist, because there is no private property and no State.
In the market-State, marriage is linked to property and authority. Under market-State conditions someone enters into a [legally binding] contractual relationship with another human being and with the State; the contract between the two individuals is governed by the State.
Note: People living under market-State conditions can face discrimination from two types of entities. They can face discrimination from the State, and they can face discrimination from the market. The State may discriminate, for example, in forbidding a couple a marriage license, which would allow for a better tax position.
In the market-State, licensing and marriage ceremonies have a financial cost. One might well ask, “In what type of society do you have to pay to compose an agreement with another human being to whom you are expressing a list of pledges around the idea of sympathetic love?”
There are several additional notes to consider:
- In modern society, married couples frequently fight over finances. Community, does not encode the idea of money, so that is one less stressor to break a couple apart.
- It may also be of interest to note that marriage, historically speaking, was primarily for political alliance.
- It is important to recognize that in community people are not objects of possession.
18. What about school bullying?
Please read the Lifestyle System specification; it details the difference between learning, education, and schooling, while defining each at great length. Fundamentally, forcing people to live and work beside one another (as occurs in the modern schooling system), and then later in life, in the labor market, is unlikely to produce an abundance of positive and fulfilling social relationships. In community, education is based upon one’s own interests and projects, which is not equivalent to the modern conception of school. In concern to bullying, one might well ask, “Is it not natural to want to lash out at others (or inward at oneself) when feeling trapped?” Bullying occurs in settings where people are trapped together, as in, school and other states of forced association. If you can’t leave the situation that is where bullying is likely to occur. One of the primary characteristics of the State is forced association. Children also carry trauma and hurt into the classroom, from their family life, thus harming others therein.
19. How will I get my news in community?
What exactly do you mean by “news”? If, by “news”, you mean access to new information without opinion mixed in, then in the context of community, we need to know whether you are talking about events involving systems-level societal issues, including alerts about the design and operation of the community, or whether you are just asking about socially coordinated events, such as a scheduled group activity. In concern to systems-level issues, as is discussed in the Decision System specification, the Community’s design and operation are entirely transparent to everyone. As such, the community maintains an open and unified information system where all incidents and other events are reported. Here, you can keep abreast of activities by viewing event logs, incident reports, schedules, and source code. Further, users can setup alerts for new and/or changed content. In concern to scheduled social events, just imagine a platform like meetup.com, which coordinates group events and meetings. Of course, everyone in the Community will also have uncensored access to the Internet where a variety of applications facilitate distributed, real-time reporting.
Or, do you define “news” as pre-packaged information about current events reported by an external entity? If by “news” you mean the information spread by various for-profit and State-supported media outlets, then let us start with a quote by John Rappoport from a blog post entitled “The space-time continuum called The News”:
“The news isn’t a just a thing, a person, a message. It’s a hallucination pretending to be real, as if a dreamer has suddenly risen and broken through the surface of the ocean, and now he can see the shore and the glittering buildings…and when he reaches the beach, he can walk into the city and actually watch very important people doing very important things all around him…and that’s supposed to be the up-to-the-minute news. But actually, it’s the reverse. The news is the dream, not the awakening.”
It is called [news] media, because “they” are mediating the information for “you”; it’s not direct to “you”; it’s mediated through a third party, “they”. The opposite of media is direct experience, is being in immediate touch with the facts. “They” are mediating the relationship between “you” and reality.
In the market, the end goal of “the news” is not to inform (i.e., to convey a description of events in reality); instead, it is to increase viewers, to entertain, to sell products, and also, to spread corporate and State messages. Therein, the news significantly represents the agendas of others, and headlines are media creations designed to attract attention for profit. In each moment “the news” treats its audience as an empty vessel, and as such, it is the antagonist of self-directed inquiry and integration. Each new event is as surprising as the last, except for its resolution, which is nearly always satisfied by a commercial product and/or the State. “Analyses” provided by the news media are no such thing – they are primarily public relations statements issued by players in the market. The purpose of the news media is not to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of events, but instead, to present an audience with an impossible, unsolvable situation that invokes division and polarization. The resulting confusion creates despondency, and amplifies social isolation. The news amplifies threats in order to sell itself, advertisements, products, and other agendas. In other words, the news [media] exists to create a state of mental confusion for profit and/or competitive advantage.
In practice, news is a bunch of contradictions that rarely get corrected, and a bunch of dots that never get connected. The information received from the news media ruins an individual’s flow and integration of information toward greater systematic understanding of that which is actually occurring (dynamically) in reality. Therein, news media trot out the same important faces of governmental and business leaders over and over again, who, day after day, are struggling to improve our destiny against great odds and intransigent enemies of progress. When the news is taken into one’s mind on a daily basis, most sink so far into it they fully accept its parameters and remain enclosed in a mental box. The space and time of “the news” form their own continuum. In this continuum, viewers are content to take their dream-knowledge from the anchor. Whereupon, they go about their daily lives feeling sufficiently informed, void of a curiosity to explore the systematic nature of events that occur in the world. In a news-oriented culture, this is considered safe, proper, normal, and reasonable. The audience comes to think of the news as a space where they go to acquire the knowledge they need to function in the world. Therein, the news produces a trance like state that clouds reality and conceals power.
There are several additional notes to consider here:
- In the market economy, news organizations dictate many of the conversations around important subjects in society.
- News media, alternative or otherwise, is often opinionated speculation that rarely gets cleared up with facts. Often, the media deceives by not correcting their mistakes. Here, journalists are otherwise known as opinionators.
- The news business often does everything it can to eliminate technical mistakes and, above all, guard against their nemesis: dead air. Seconds of nothing. This is also what a hypnotist avoids; anything that would cut the trance.
- The purpose of the mainstream media is at least threefold: to reassure the powerful; to push products; and to conceal root causes.
- The evolution of individuals’ understandings can be undermined simply by not reporting events. The media doesn’t have to twist or spin a report, they can just ignore it.
- If the media can get its audience asking the wrong questions, then they never have to worry about the answers.
Fundamentally, when profit controls the spread of new information, or there is no systems-level societal transparency, then there is no way to discern when someone is telling the truth. When “news” (as new information) is monetized, then social values start to change. It is profitability that has led to the 24 hour cable news station. Advertising is sold during the news broadcast and between broadcasts, which pays for the total production. In the market, access to new information becomes a profitable enterprise, at the expense of individual self-integration and societal transparency.
The market-State organization that creates and distributes “news”, isn’t principally interested in conveying the facts; they, like every[one] organization in a position of socio-economic competition, are interested in controlling others by controlling the narrative.
- News is bad for you by Rolf Dobelli, theguardian.com
- The News Manual: What is news?, Thenewsmanual.net
20. How does your system deal with playground activities that are dangerous to children?
If a desired engineering structure is causing injury due to its engineering, then we will re-engineer the structure. Which, is a different approach than the approach taken by a litigious bureaucratic society. Certainly, we do not deal with activities that pose a “danger” in the way in which modern society deals with said claimed activities. Officials in modern society seem set on removing playground activities to the point where there are very few enjoyable activities left. Officials keep removing the most “dangerous” activity under the guise of “health and safety”. The process is somewhat like a game of whack-a-mole — they remove the first most dangerous activity/equipment, whereupon the second most dangerous activity/equipment takes its place as the first, and the process repeats itself. For instance, first the carousel is removed, and the seesaw takes its place. Next, the seesaw is removed, and the swing takes its place. Now the swing is removed, and something else takes its place. When officials are asked why they keep removing activities that were once commonplace such as carousels and seesaws and swings, their response is unanimously, “We are afraid of being sued for negligence”.
Community isn’t about “allowing” the young to do or not do something. This is not our perspective or our approach. The more experienced individuals in the community are not the authorities of the lesser experienced who “allow” or “disallow” activities. Such an approach is out of alignment with reality and will generate a lack of trust between participating individuals of all ages. In a healthy and cooperative society, calculating risks will include seeking knowledge from people with experience, and not rebelliously ignoring what people know. Hence, in part, what is a “dangerous” or “not dangerous” activity is relative to the social context in which a young human is developing. In other words, young humans may learn from the sharing of experience[d people], and thus, avoiding certain danger does not come at the expense of those people not experiencing or looking into things themselves. Trust in the experience of others and request for guidance is unlikely to occur when others aren’t seen as trustworthy and well-informed mentors.
There are reasonable risks and unreasonable risks. A structure engineered with the potential of chopping off a finger through its normal operation is an unreasonable risk. We can create/engineer reasonable challenges for the young of our society. If the young in our society want to experience [risk], then we can facilitate that experience.
When the young are brought up in an environment where they learn to trust one another and themselves, they are more likely to calculate risk precisely and intelligently. Unfortunately, at this very moment we can’t find the reference to the study we are about to mention, but we are going to recount it as best we can. If we remember correctly, a theme park was having trouble with children hurting themselves in a certain location of the park. A study of the situation found that when parents were “hovering” around children in that location (i.e., dictating to the children what they were and weren’t allowed to do), the children were more likely to hurt themselves. Essentially, in rebelling against the authoritarian parent, the children would miscalculate risks and injure themselves. The park solved for the problem by making the area a child-only section. In other words, parents were not supposed to enter the area, and hence, could not hover over the children. Without the parents’ presence, children calculated risks more accurately and injuries dropped.
In community, children are not anyone’s property. They are sovereign and free to make their own decisions, including putting themselves in some [relative] degree of danger (like hunter-gatherer children around cliff edges, camp fires, and sharp objects). These are considered to be their decision that they would suffer the consequences for if they acted without care, and intervening on their behalf would be interfering with their sovereignty. In this case, adults communicate with children as they would other adults: How would you interact with an adult if you were concerned for his/her safety, or didn’t want them to touch something they might break? How would you treat any other sovereign human in an environment where danger is present? There is value to the way in which hunter-gatherer societies raise their young by acknowledging their sovereignty instead of ruling over them.
Further, an article in The Atlantic entitled “The Overprotected Kid” suggests that potentially dangerous play has some kind of constructive benefit in a person’s development; primarily, the acquisition of risk calculation skills and the overcoming of fear. In other words, the young need a space to experience and manage risk at an age where the risk can be better managed. A young person that misjudges the power of a stream and gets all wet as a result will learn a lesson about his/her environment that will be useful in more serious circumstances.
May we also recommend:
- A book by Daniel L. Everett entitled “Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle” as an introduction to how one indigenous tribe facilitated the upbringing of their young in an environment of natural risk.
- LeMoyne, T., Buchanan, T. (2011) Does “hovering” matter? Helicopter parenting and its effect on well-being. Sociological Spectrum: Mid-South Sociological Association. Vol 31, Issue 4. DOI:10.1080/02732173.2011.574038
- Can a Playground Be Too Safe? By John Tierney (18 July 2001), nytimes.com
- The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost by Jean Liedloff (1986)
21. What happens when people have different points of view?
What happens in most civilized parts of the world when people disagree? People talk things through, and they wait until sufficient information is available and coherently integrated to arrive at a workable solution. Herein, when we have our needs sufficiently met we can approach challenges and conflicts with an intelligent and “cool” (i.e., non-inflammatory/non-violent) response.
When disagreement arises it is important to first reflect on our common ground:
- The Universe
- The Galaxy
- The Solar System
- The Earth, our biome
- Our common needs
- The air we breathe
- The water our bodies require
- A sensory experience
- Investment in ourselves, our various societies, and our progeny
- Our ability to learn and unlearn, to evolve and adapt
- Intentions, values, beliefs, perspectives, ideas, approaches, and thought filters/biases
The first 12 common grounds are pretty universal among all Earth’s human people. The 13th one is where all the divisions arise. We must express the first 12 as the common ground with everyone, and then, for the 13th, express the reasons as to how and why we have arrived at a particular train of thought, and how and why it has brought us to reach certain conclusions. In other words, we must use our intellectual capacity for reasoning and our ability to collect and integrate evidence, which is how we have arrived at community in the first place.
If only more people could be aware of how much all of our children and grandchildren lose when we don’t coordinate our intelligence and our efforts. In their heart, many are aware of the damage that conflict does, but in their fear they listen to one rival party who advocates one exclusive path, which must prevail and be victorious, regardless of the cost.
22. How does a dissenting minority make itself heard?
It appears that there is a misunderstanding here concerning the resolution of decisions in the Community. This isn’t a system of factions, minority or majority. Also, this isn’t a democracy where opinion rules, and everyone’s opinion has equal weight. We don’t impose our opinions on others (i.e., there is no such thing as politics in community). Instead, this is a system of self-integration and social coordination through an approach that involves critical examination of evidence and systematic design, which generates an entirely unique decision resolution space. Among community, we don’t want anyone’s consent or dissent; instead, we facilitate each other’s self-integration and self-develop as we work together to fulfill our needs and desires commonly. In the context of decisioning, “dissent” simply represents an “alternative” decision. In community, we account for all possible decision alternatives, while integrating all available knowledge into a holistic design that sustains our highest possible fulfillment. We resolve problems together, synergistically, using an open, emergently informed, and unified information model, which is presently separated at a high level into four specifications. At every step of the process we recognize that it is important to question more deeply in order to integrate more fully. In this sense, it is everybody’s responsibility to question (Read: “dissent”) in order to improve their own understanding, as well as facilitate the stability and evolution of community itself. Hence, in community, it is easier for us to talk things through. We are able to discard personality, pride, personal clashes, and territoriality more readily, and our precision of language and logic allows us to resolve many preliminary issues.
Without questioning and critical understanding we can very easily just become empty vessels for whatever factions, politicians, and businesses tell us. Through a thoughtful desire to understand we can quickly tune in to what is actually going on around us, and after integration, we resolve decisions for the highest fulfillment of all. Herein, “freedom” is found when individuals can identify fact from fiction with consistency. And yet, in modern society, it can be bad for public relations (i.e., “bad PR”) for people to know how things [f]actually work.
It may be of relevance to note here that the community maintains a communications platform that is openly accessible to everyone, and it maintains an anonymizing subsystem for anonymous communication where desired.
Certainly, the practice of labeling “dissenters” with dismissive terms such as “conspiracy theorist”, “nutcase”, “utopian”, etc., is enormously destructive to society’s ability to talk about lesser known and innovative ideas in science. If conversations in a society about ideas [in science] that diverge from “textbook theory” are reacted to with social isolation and re-labeling (as something that the idea is not intended to be), then such a society is likely to subtly destroy individuals and hinder the integration of ideas that could be more accurate and of great benefit.
23. Will pets be allowed in the community?
Obviously. Co-habitation with animals can work and it can be mutually beneficial. Animal companions require care and can also given care. Most animal companions require attention and feeding, and an appropriate environment. These companions can’t speak for themselves in society, and thus, require protection (Read: structural protection by society). Hence, there are decision protocols surrounding access to animal companions. In community it is similar, but opposite the market-State. In the market-State there are crimes concerning the mistreatment of animals. In the community, there is education, competence, and environment that are principle to [decision system] access to co-habitation with animal companions. Individuals among society have a need to know that animal companions will be treated well and that the animal companions will not similarly mistreat the community (e.g., the sound pollution of repetitive barking dogs).
These other animals that we co-habitat with are simply other beings that live with us, and that we caretake to some degree, but we do not view them as “our” property.
It must be noted, however, that in modern society, more and more people are acquiring companion animals to make up for the social isolation they feel from others of their own species. “Pets” are well known to work as a buffer against social isolation.
24. How will the community produce food?
This is actually a complex technical question, for a complete answer we would have to include mechanisms and models for sustainable organism cultivation. In brief, however, the community uses multiple systems in the production and cultivation of food, which include but are not limited to: permaculture; aquaculture, hydroponics, algae bioreactors, wild food foraging, sustainable/regenerative agriculture and symbiotic farming.
25. Will there be bowling (x sport) in your “utoptia”?
We are not designing a utopia. The idea of “utopia” is discussed at length in an appendix to the Social System specification. In concern to the recreational activity known as “bowling”, there may be bowling in the community; it depends on the interests and technological capabilities therein. Let me ask you, would you like to clean a bowling alley? No, we don’t expect many people would. Can the process of cleaning a bowling alley be automated? If no one wants to clean the bowling alley, then the bowling alley will no longer exist as a functioning structure in the Habitat system and will be recycled back into it. Instead of bowling inside, among all the noise and neon lights, the culture might shift to an easy to upkeep outdoor bowling type game.
There is a saying to the accusation of utopianism:
Question: Isn’t this utopian?
Community response: You may say I’m a dreamer; but I’m not the only one; I hope someday you’ll join us; and the world will live as one.
26. What about the notion of exchange?
In community, instead of exchanging property or artificial intangibles (for there is no such thing), there is a contribution of one’s human abilities, skills, and time on a coordinated social basis. Herein, if we so choose, we may exchange our time and effort for the time and effort of another, which may or may not involve resources accounted for by the common decision system. This “social service exchange network” is part of the community’s social participation network. This network is connected to, but exists outside of, the systems-level operation of the community acted upon by InterSystems Teams.
The “social service exchange network” involves effort applied toward socially laborious tasks that we voluntarily desire to do for one another. Such tasks arise on an individual frequency basis, and may involve, but are not limited to such services as massage and hair cutting. These are not tasks that are necessary to maintain the structural integrity and operational continuity of the habitat service system, and so, they lie outside of InterSystem Operations. This contribution exchange network is essentially a non-currency-based information sharing and scheduling exchange platform where, “I will exchange my time and effort to do something for you that you value in exchange for doing something for me that I value, or just because you enjoy doing it and are not looking for an exchange”. In a sense, this is kind-of-like, but not really like, the “Gift Economy” that Charles Eisenstein speaks of in his book “Sacred Economics”.
Herein, the means of exchange/contribution is the self, and not an artificially distinct construct (e.g., money) or tangibles (i.e., material resources or products). As we become more capable of automating services, and more capable of performing some services ourselves, then some of these initially exchanged services will naturally become automated, or at least, mechanized (as labored desire for them decreases).
27. In the community, will you solely use open or closed source software?
Per our value system, we prefer open source standards and software. However, if we need to use closed software because there is no open alternative, then we will do so until such time as an open alternative becomes available.
28. What is your opinion on unconditional basic income (UBI)?
Note: There are a variety of forms of basic income including but not limited to: unconditional basic income; universal basic income; guaranteed basic income; annual government income; annual State income; citizens income; and conditional basic income.
Under market-State conditions, a basic income is rooted in the principle that the world is the common property of everyone. A basic income (citizen’s income or guaranteed income) is an automatic payment by the State to every citizen. There are sometimes conditions applied to the idea of a basic income. In the context of an unconditional income for every citizen, then the income is not linked to work.
Project Auravana does not currently have a position on this subject. Unconditional basic income (UBI – the State as the employer) is not a part of the internal design of the Community. Our question is, how will unconditional basic income help or hurt our ability to form the community and to transition toward community at scale? Will it give interested individuals more time to dedicate toward this direction? Will it raise taxes, and thus, reduce the financial contribution of those who would contribute to the formation of the community? What psychological affect would occur by punishing the “productive” and rewarding non-contributors (while remembering that humans are prone to emotional resentment)? Is unconditional basic income just a way to preserve capitalism? Will the worth and value of individuals become dependent on their ability/desire to go shopping? How will an unconditional income affect consumption rates, and hence, resource usage and waste production? Could UBI be accomplished on a voluntary basis, without government coercion (i.e., taxation)? Is governmental force and wealth redistribution a way to facilitate the creation of community? Will UBI lead to higher rents on poor people, or any number of other raises in costs on the poor and working poor?
Fundamentally, UBI is not a systemic solution to addressing the inequalities and other societal issues that persist with the market-State. UBI, however, may be a part of a transition solution.
If you are interested in basic income then we recommend Federico Pistono’s lecture given in 2014 entitled, “What if everybody got free cash? Myths and facts about Unconditional Basic Income” (YouTube). It is important to note something that Federico doesn’t mention. He doesn’t mention that taxation is, at a basic event-based level, the threat of violence. Some people refer to it as “theft”. Regardless of the political concept of “representation”, taxation is not voluntary; and when there is resistance, then there is violent enforcement. Is violence, or the threat of violence, the way toward human fulfillment and flourishing?
Consider unconditional basic income in light of the following research study. According to a study published in Nature, after scanning the brains of more than 1,000 individuals, scientists have found a relationship between brain size and socio-economic status in children and adolescents. According to the study, certain brain regions, in particular those involved in language and decision-making, tended to be smaller in those from poorer and less educated families than those from affluent backgrounds. Although the study was correlational, the researchers are hopeful that the findings may bring about positive changes to anti-poverty measures that could make a real difference to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is interesting to consider how UBI (and hence, better access for some) would impact poverty, and the host of diseases that flow downstream therefrom.
29. Why aren’t more environmental protection and ecological policy organizations on board with your direction?
In the market, membership organizations look to maximize the number of people making [financial] contributions; they would not survive otherwise. We are proposing a non-monetary, non-state system. One has to basically say that the system is the problem and begin working a change to its structure.
Environmental protection and ecological policy organizations say things like, “Sometimes the best way to get something done is to go out there and stand up for what you believe in, no matter what.” We cordially disagree that the best way to effect systematic change is to “stand up for what you believe in”. In the real world, the best way to effect systematic change is to design a new system, and then follow through with a strategic implementation plan. Therein, slowly people will begin to experience and see this new way, and a transition will occur. Most people who “stand up to [authority] for what they believe in” do not understand the totality or complexity of the actual problem, otherwise they would take a different approach. Fundamentally, pressuring politicians and businesses to change their practices shows a lack of understanding, and possibly reveals a felt sense of inadequacy on the part of the protestor to actually participate in a tangible redesign. Designing a new system to make the existing one obsolete represents efficient action toward effective change.
With the above said, we do support these organizations in bringing awareness to some of the symptoms of the actual problem.
30. Why are people in modern society taking so long to change over to this new, fairly-well understood, and certainly more fulfilling socio-economic systems design?
Problems are perpetuated for the sake of those in power. However, the complete response to this is complex and multi-variate. Change toward fulfillment can be difficult when our biology and psychology are wired up through experiences and cultural programming to reproduce suffering. Certain experiences can produce people with:
- a severe lack of empathy, and hence, a lack of an ability to take another’s perspective;
- a severe lack of an ability use mistakes as adaptive feedback.
Also, remember that the people who came before us built a lot of architecture, and as the saying goes, “You build and environment, and then the environment builds (or otherwise, keeps rebuilding) you in its image”.
31. Why is the “market-State” written the way it is written?
Why is the market-State written as such throughout the document. First it is noteworthy to mention that this is a whole concept (in english, a noun), and not a noun and adjective. Nether the State nor the market are adjectives, together they are one concept that is sub-conceptualized by the concept, “market”, and the concept, “State”. There is also a capitalization difference. In english, State names are capitalized like real people’s names. In part, this shows a contradiction in the market-State, that both are not started with capitals. Secondarily, the term Stat is capitalized to differentiate it from the usage of a term relating to the technical state of a system, which is not capitalized. The market-State is the technical name of a type of society, and it is a type of society that encodes a contradiction, because the State is viewed as a real thing, when it is not. It is an organization of real-world resources and humans, and not a real-world thing in itself. Yet, in the market-State, States are viewed as real-world bodies (real-world objects), which they are not. States are not objects, States are concepts.
Also, the “market-State” term is used preferentially over “capitalism”, because it is a more technical term for capitalism. Note that the term “capitalism” is also used throughout the document, and that it is an synonym for the market-State. Terms that do not have an -ism suffix are generally (though not always) more technical.
32. What if I enjoy performing labor tasks? Not everyone hates working with their hands.
If you enjoy performing “labor” tasks, then perform them. There is no major difference between the concepts of “work” and “leisure” in a resource-based economy. Do not forget that one of the purposes of the RBE is to allow people to freely pursue activities that they find enjoyable. If you enjoy performing activities with your hands, then there would be nothing to stop or prevent you from doing so. Also, remember that many traditional survival tasks require an artisan like skill, and these skills are important to self-esteem in any society. The ability to craft things is not a skill any community on Earth would want to lose. And, the “teachings” for such skills would be made available to everyone so that they would always be available and anyone who wants to pick up the skill may do so. Our species evolved as a tool making animal and so most of us have a desire to create things with our hands. If you enjoy making things by scratch, by hand, by might, or by whatever, then the design of the RBE exists to freely allow for that.
33. What is a net positive community?
From net zero, meaning cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, to net benefit, meaning rewarding those who actually do benefit to humanity and the ecology, to net positive, meaning to continue to take, but also give back in the sense of helping improve well-being, to net positive communities, meaning the community stakeholders are involved in the giving back and well-being generation process, and then into the future, into community at the societal and planetary scale, meaning the development of a true community configuration of society. There are many different configurations of society, and a community-type configuration is really what we are all searching for in the end. In our view community is a specific configuration of society, a specific configuration of the four domains of any configuration of society, the social domain, decision domain, material domain, and lifestyle domain. A net positive community is a specific configuration of society that accounts for those four system together in a unified societal standard. Within this standard, real world, common human needs are systematically identified, common heritage resources are accounted for, ecological and production system carrying capacities are maintained awareness of, and designs, decisions, and materializations are oriented toward the operation of a network habitat service systems (i.e., cities) where the optimization of global human fulfillment is most possible. A net positive community uses this unified societal standard to optimize human need fulfillment and ecological regeneration so that all humans have the opportunity to flourish, experience their greatest well-being, and are on a path to realize their highest potentials. What is net positive in a community sense, is collaboratively meeting our common real-world needs (and preferences) without damaging our well-being and the ecologies ability to restore itself. There is also advocacy and education as necessary constituents of organizations that seek to create a net positive global community-type society. A net positive community develops itself internally so that its performance is reflective and generative of that higher potential state of humanity that we can achieve when we work together on a common positive vision and actual positive outcomes for all.
34. Is technology going to fix our global problems?
What is the [definition of the] actual problem? You never go looking for the answer to something when you think you know it already. If the definition of the problem is individual human fulfillment at the global scale, then necessarily, technology is part of the fix to our problems. Technology is not the only necessary fix to the problem, but it is an essential component, since many human needs (especially those involving material object usage) are resolved and provided for by means of technology (e.g., cooking, architecture, food acquisition, etc.).
35. Isn’t it nature that forces people to earn a living rather than the market-State. Without the market-State, will people not be forced to work to survive?
Direct work is required for survival. The market forces a secondary type of work, work for money, which is then spent on what is wanted and needed. Work in nature, as you describe, is for direct fulfillment. Work in the market is for a wage (provided by an “owner”), which is then used to buy things. In the market, people have to work to both meet their needs as imposed by nature and provide profit for an “owner”. If the “right to life” means anything, then it means no one should have to work for an “owner” to have shelter…or die. The hunter gatherer was free to choose to do the extra work, or not. Today, no one is free because the land is not free; by commodifying the land (and all common heritage) the market-State stole a birthright.
36. Community is based on cooperation, does that mean that there will be no sports teams, sports stadiums, television channels or movie studios in a community-type society?
Not exactly. At a structural level, yes, community is based on cooperation and not on competition; however, that does not mean that there will not be competing sports teams or sports stadiums to host competitive sporting events in a community-type configuration of society. Likely, there will continue to be competitive sporting activities and sports stadiums to host competitive sporting events for a long time to come. With that said, it is often true that the culture around sports typically teaches in-group cooperation and
out-group aggression. In the market-State, schools and nations fiercely fund and promote their sports teams, which is part of the indoctrination process of the the early 21st century. Once someone starts establishing arbitrary loyalties (to a sports team, for example), their neurology and epistemology become more easily able to be hijacked to rationalize, serve, and support some [flawed] “position” rather than to actively seek the truth. Additionally, the early 21st century, sports is a business profession (i.e., it is a job done for money; a.k.a., professional sports). In community, there is no InterSystem team profession/job/role called sports; sports is a recreational habitat activity and not a professional InterSystem Team activity. No one is paid to do sports and no one is paying to watch sports. Professional sports harvests peoples attention for the consumption of their money.
Habitats (a.k.a., cities) in community are divided into three primary service system platforms: Life Support, Technology Support, and Exploratory Support. Within the Exploratory Support Service System there are a set of sub-systems, including Recreation (which includes sports) and Art & Music (a.k.a., Creative Express; which includes movies). In community, there will still be people interested in sports (recreation) and movies (creative expression), and resources will be dedicated to these activities.
In concern to television channels as they exist in the early 21st century, these channels are businesses. There is no business in a community-type society, so although there will continue to be video media, the media would not be produced by any business, but by individuals, and where appropriate, the InterSystem team. In a community-type society, the production of movies is never for profit, as it is in the market-State.
Films and sports are, as the saying goes, are “bread and circus” for the alienated masses of the early 21st century.
37. How do you get a house and access things in community?
People live in community in habitats/cities that are constructed based on master plans that are decided by the local inhabitants, decision working groups, and available knowledge and resources (etc.). Master planning is redone every set number of years for each habitat (to ensure local customization [cultural preferences]. Each revision for each local habitat takes into account all the habitats together, ensuring an optimized resource-service support network for optimal human need fulfillment. People have access to houses that meet their needs and preferences under a decision protocol that provides them free access to all [life phase] habitat services in within the habitat and local network within which they live (i.e, within their life radius). You do not have to “do anything” to have access to shelter, and preference therein. However, society as a whole does have to do something, it has to have teams of contributors that have to do work (of both the informational and material kinds). There is no merit in community that someone who does more or is luckier gets more. That is a harmful market-State value and is not at all representative of community. Community is not a social-credit system. What is a “credit”, another word for “token” or “money”. There are many exact (or small deviations from) synonyms for money, including token, credit, property, etc.
38. I’m feeling the tension between making something open source, and the fact that we still live in the money / capitalism paradigm. How would such things be dealt with in a community based society? Once done once, done forever, and for all, right?
There is not competition for access in a community-type society. Once done, it is available for everyone’s benefit, which is the entire point of community, of the commons, of the common heritage, which is actual sustainability and an actual application of the concept of efficiency, which is a necessary value orientation for social justice and intrinsic freedom.
You can only protect the work from someone privatizing it and not sharing. Through a “left”-type license, which is the only actual community license, the work is shared into the commons and anyone can use it for any purpose; its just that if they do or if they change it, then they have to share the result into the commons.
A left license is the only actual commons, community license. The rest are not because they allow privatization for profit-over-others (and in fact, incentivize it). Which leads to advantage over others, and cannot lead to community (is not a transition of resources into community).
That said, it would likely be possible to use what has been learned with other organizations, guiding those other organizations, through integration of their standards into a unified community system, or even, their own, separate unified standard. AI is advancing quickly. I think this open source system (e.g., code, standard, product) will be created anyway, so best to learn from its actual first instantiation.