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uniteddiversity - a page started by JosefDaviesCoates

The [united diversity] project is to improve quality of life on Earth and to protect and grow the global commons.

Visit our wiki at [uniteddiversity.com]. See also the [Open] site for more info about the exiting new project, The [Open Co-operative]. We believe that new forms of OpenCooperative?'s are the organisation structure of the sustainable future.

Please put anything you like here, especially ideas about how best to unite diverse people and projects.

Can we create collaborative communites of communities to save the world?

Can we design and implement efficient self-organising systems that are owned and run by everyone?

Everyone: please read and pass around. Thanks and Peace, ud x

Sat Feb 7th 2004: *uniteddiversity Open Space Technology event*

Sharing makes sustainable living simple, improves quality of life, and reduces our ecological footprint (see http://wiki.uniteddiversity.com/ecological_footprint)

Imagine if all your mates and loved ones, together with all the talented and caring people you collectively all know (plus all the people they all know) shared some of everything they have: time, tools, knowledge, land, food and shelter...

If you think about it, you'll soon realise that together we already have the knowledge, expertise, land, property and resources necessary to establish a global network of sustainably managed commons.

We just need to self-organise and start sharing.

All the Tools for Change we need are already at hand: free software, land trusts, co-ops, social enterprise, social forums, community currencies, renewable energy, satellite broadband, community wireless, social software, open space technology, ecological building, permaculture design, urban ecovillages, city farms, community gardens, infoshops and social centres etc. etc.

Like what you hear?

Everyone who shares our principles (see http://www.uniteddiversity.com/about and http://wiki.uniteddiversity.com/member_agreement) is invited to come along on *Saturday February 7th* to experience experience a session of Open Space Technology and shared times...


Apart from the obvious (to have fun), we hope to to decide how we can be the change we all want to see in the world.

The rough plan is:

    * Launch a formalised *Open Organisation*, incorporating our shared principles, and agree to begin to use it to more effectively pool our time and resources towards acheiving our common goals.
    * Experience *Open Space Technology* to help us mind share and move ahead.
    * Party! With our all-star jam sessions: *Sessions of Spontaneity* (tbc)

Invitations will be sent to the ud list by 21st January. If you're not on it already, use the form on our homepage to sign up now.

More details about the meeting will be coming soon. In the meantime, make sure you have a read through the ammusing and illuminating brief history of Open Space Technology at http://www.openspaceworld.com/brief_history.htm ans check out the 12 steps (see http://www.uniteddiversity.com/12steps)


the ud crew


Yes. we can. lots of people have already done it. the task now is to become symbiotic engineers: to build mutually advantageous relationships between these people (perhaps this should be re-phrased to "develop and disseminate tools that help disparate groups and individuals build mutually advantageous relationships with one another" - JDC).

Symbiotic engineers. Curious. Careful what you build doesn't get too big.

is big always bad? - JosefDaviesCoates

I'm not so sure about building "mutually advantageous relationships" because that's the kind of double-speak that can mean different things. A MAR could be a relationship that is non-exploitative, which would be a good thing (basically socialism). Or an MAR could be a relationship where I build my factory in India and you get a job, which wouldn't really be a good thing at all (basically globalisation). MAR is a phrase as dangerous as "the right to the pursuit of happiness" at the expense of other people.

Point taken. "Building MAR", left undefined, is a bit of wholly phrase that can easily be applied to relationships that are clearly NOT mutually advantageous. I actually tent not to use it much - perhaps that's why. Can you suggest a better phrase? - JosefDaviesCoates

It can be applied like that if it was doublespeak, but let's AssumeGoodFaith that you didn't intend to pull the wool over our eyes. When you said "mutually advantageous" I assumed you meant "mutually advantageous". You don't have to apologize to cynicism. -- SunirShah

cheers Sunir, mutally advantageous is indeed what I meant. - JosefDaviesCoates.

As an subject in America "United Diversity" probably gets dragged down into debate on political correctness, race and gender, but on this side of the lake it's primarily about economics and politics.

De-centralisation is the key: we can't make each other count as individuals for an equal, democratic and libertarian society unless we reduce the level that decisions are made in society down to the community level. -- OceanHorgan

Really? So communities can intervene to stop families, for example, acting in a tyrannical way towards their members. On the other hand the 'centre' has no role at all in stopping communities behaving badly, for example, towards minorities? -- CharlesMatthews

What does everyone think of the following idea: the use of the global commons being a global decision, but that use of ones own time being down to the individual? -- JosefDaviesCoates

First, it's important to understand that the "global" decision is really a series of individual actions. In a liberalist society, one has the opportunity to make that global decision represent the viewpoint of all the individuals in society, not just a few or one. Speaking of liberalism, the general idea is that the people (individuals) have created a state structure (global) to create the conditions necessary for those individuals to control their own time. I think this is what you're suggesting.

You're right, the global decision is a series of individual actions. The problem at the moment is that it's the actions of very few individuals (mainly rich powerful westerners who control government and business). I think the global decision should be made like this:

1. a global project/priorities list is formed.
2. anyone can add proposals to the list
3. everyone then gets to vote/prioritise on all the proposals (similar to the frame work suggested by http://www.open-organizations.org
4. numbers of global votes are calculated like this:
time working on projects on global list (i.e. value added to GlobalCommons?) divided by EcologicalFootprint (i.e. value recieved/taken from the GlobalCommons?). -- JosefDaviesCoates

I recently discovered Hegel wrote about this at length, first believing that all of social history worked towards increasing freedoms for people, and second noticing that a lot of infrastructure is necessary to provide this freedom, such as--though I don't know the conditions he mentioned--the rule of law, contracts, public education, public power, low unemployment, etc. The libertarian view eradicates all this infrastructure, which is why it must be crushed. -- SunirShah

Is the libertarian bit from Hegel or you? (I haven't read Hegel). The libertarian answer to that is of course that the infrastructure should still be provided, just by voluntary organizations rather than through a government maintained by force. - very good point Bayle, structures of systems can only legitimately be designed and implemented by users of that system, JosefDaviesCoates - (anyway, libertarians still support government provision of the rule of law and contracts; those who want to decentralize that are the anarchists). (on the question of low unemployment, there is also the liberal/laissez faire economics argument against government provision, which argues on economics grounds that there is basically nothing the government can do* to reduce unemployment in the long term that would be as effective as doing as little as possible and lowering taxes). (*: My impression is that economists who believe this would add an "except for fiddling with interest rates/currency through the central bank").

-- BayleShanks

The main problem at the moment is central banks (well, all private banks in fact). Currently virtually all the total money supply (97% in the UK, just under in the US, same everywhere else) is created as interest-bearing debt. More on this can be found at the new uniteddiversity wiki on monetary reform and democracy, http://wiki.uniteddiversity.com -- JosefDaviesCoates

Also, I agree with Ocean (but not as strongly): the more we can bring decision-making down to a community level, the more we will count as individuals. I do think there is a place for larger organizational decision-making, though. -- BayleShanks

I also agree that as many decisions as possible should be taken by small, self-organising groups. Businesses such as Semco of Brazil and VISA International, and the Mondragon Co-operative Collective in Spain, are all large-scale proof that such decentralisation works very well -- JosefDaviesCoates

So, what community-level decision gets taken about SARS? My money is on 'bar the doors'. Infectious disease is an example where it's an issue of how to unite not divide: pandemics literally threaten us all and the only solution in the end is the collective immune system of the human species (a global common good), which will be improved by greater travel, contact. The infrastructural solutions are typically large scale public works, pharmaceutical research, better basic science. The 'cordon sanitaire' idea (what Proust's father, that notable emotional absentee, was busy with, by the way) is just a holding measure.

I suppose I should put the other side of the case: Toronto. There it was argued at the community level that they didn't want to shut people out (bad for business); and that the WHO was outrageous in saying that for the greater good they should. --CharlesMatthews

Torontonians would have been more amenable to the travel advisory had it been based on science, not UFOlogy. The WHO based their decision on newspaper reports, not the actual situation on the ground. So, out in the world, any time someone had the flu who had been near Toronto, they were considered a "probable" (or sometimes thankfully merely a "suspected") case of SARS, when in reality these people had been nowhere near the quarantine zones. Since there had been only two cases of SARS imported into Toronto, both of which were contained quickly in the hospital system, the only way to get SARS was to be in the infected hospitals. The WHO was malfeasant when they trusted newspaper reporting, which as scientists they should know are written by medically ignorant journalists, not doctors. -- SunirShah



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