Agnese, Thank you for your supportive letter. Glad to have you back at
I'm currently visiting Franz Nahrada at his family's Hotel
Karolinenhof. I'm the artist-in-residence.
I made a poster "Wie erkenne Ich Dich wirklich?" (Do I know you?) which
I displayed yesterday at Vienna University's lecture hall C2 which has
been occupied round-the-clock for several months by student protestors
and homeless people, a focal point for the Unibrennt ("burn down the
university") movement which is protesting the EU's Bologna agreement to
replace the diploma system (popular in German speaking countries) with
bachelor's and master's degrees. My poster was very well received. But
today I checked and all of C2 was closed down by University security and
everyone and every thing thrown out. I managed to salvage my painting
from a trash truck.
In English it means "Do I know you?" and it has twelve questions by
which, over the years, I've gotten to know people. I list the questions
in the order that helps me understand them as credible, serious people.
Greetings from Franz and me!
Maria Agnese Giraudo wrote:
> Dear Andrius,
> although late, I have read you email regarding you intention to change
> your life, also complaining of poor participation and understanding by
> members of the Lab.
> I'm one among many people got great benefits from you and your
> Andrius, as you know I'm back recently after criticisms and
> misunderstandings ( that I consider natural part in human sharing)
> and I would like to say you thanks for wonderful opportunities you
> have created for us and for sharing and joining so good people
> together. They are my friends, starting from my great friend Sasha,
> Ken, Fred, Samwel, Mark, Pam , Janet,Josepaht,Tom and many others.
> I don't understand what are your plans....I would like to meet you
> face to face and when you come to Italy you are welcome in Santa
> Marinella again. Nevertheless you know that my contribution to your
> Lab is very limited because I'm currently very busy at work due to
> changes in my job management, my commitment in Tanzania where I'm
> involved in a social enterprise in agriculture with local people and
> in Italy with immigrates and opposition to Berlusconi government. I
> recognize that what you do is precious and would be very important to
> give visibility and support to groups struggling for human rights and
> democracy and also to protect their work.
> Please don't be discouraged and be free to follow your personal
> benefit too, whatever would be your decision, you have to know that
> you have many friends who appreciate and believe in you!
> Take care and enjoy your life!
> Maria Agnese
> *Da:* Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>
> *A:* firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
> *Inviato:* Ven 5 febbraio 2010, 20:57:59
> *Oggetto:* [learnhowtolearn] Authorities and Patterns for a Culture of
> Independent Thinkers
> I share my course for the future of Minciu Sodas http://www.ms. lt
> <http://www.ms.lt> and
> Worknets http://www.worknets .org <http://www.worknets.org> I face
> financial pressures, personal
> relationships, and changes in the world that have me reevaluate my life.
> Currently, my goal-in-life is to organize a culture of independent
> thinkers. I'm concluding that we've enjoyed many aspects of such a
> culture since 1998 when I founded Minciu Sodas as a laboratory for
> serving and organizing independent thinkers. I nurtured such a culture
> by setting up venues (mailing lists, wikis, chat, meetings) around
> mature independent thinkers (Franz Nahrada, Janet Feldman, Samwel
> Kongere, Pamela McLean, Thomas Chepaitis, Audrone Anusauskiene, John
> Rogers, Kiyavilo Msekwa, Josephat Ndibalema, Benoit Couture, Edward
> Cherlin, Kennedy Owino, Fred Kayiwa and many others have been key. Thank
> you!) At these venues we learned to think out loud, to work openly in
> the Public Domain, to appreciate that money can bring us together but
> you can't pay people to care, to want everybody to succeed, to allow for
> God where relevant, to reach out and include the hard to reach, to
> relate to each other regarding our deepest values, investigatory
> questions, endeavors and dreams. This culture let us organize large
> teams for My Food Story, Pyramid of Peace, Mornflake Outreach and many
> smaller projects, too.
> However, activity at our venues is going down. Our leaders are
> typically not investing themselves in these venues, but often setting up
> new venues, where they are not fostering this culture. In general,
> we've arrived at an age of social networking where I can't compete with
> Facebook, etc. and I can't foster values through a network of venues
> that I organize myself. I can't invest in such a network and expect
> returns for my business or this culture. Social networking is not
> actually my interest.
> In conversations with our leaders, I find that although there's a great
> appreciation for the benefits of our culture, there's not a single
> person who wants to champion such a culture, who wants to commit to a
> culture that proposes the minimum expectations for all to be able to
> work together, who wants to be held accountable as an example of the
> integrity of such a culture. Last year I drafted an explicit Charter
> of my understanding of these expectations
> http://www.worknets .org/wiki. cgi?Charter
> <http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Charter> But now I think that there is
> no single "yes-no" switch by which others might make such a commitment.
> Wael Al Saad suggested that I write a pattern language for this culture
> of independent thinkers. I've started to do so:
> http://www.worknets .org/wiki. cgi?Patterns
> <http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Patterns> I mean "pattern" here in the
> sense of architect Christopher Alexander who wrote a "pattern language"
> of hundreds of patterns ("rules of thumb") for buildings to be alive
> (such as "every room should have windows on two sides"). I am authoring
> a pattern language that describes the recurring concepts that are
> relevant in the lives of independent thinkers, at least as I understand
> it. Some we have a lot of evidence for, such as: deepest value,
> investigatory question, endeavor, dream. In other cases, I'm making
> explicit assumptions in my own personal experience, such as: inner
> reality, meaningfulness, private language, God. I'm taking
> responsibility as an author to launch a movement, much as Baden Powell
> did with his book "Scouting for Boys". I want to put together the
> materials for an individual to pursue a life as an independent thinker.
> I imagine it as a "Handbook for Investigators" , a workbook with
> questions to ask oneself, each question evoking a pattern, an optimal
> personal solution to a general existential problem. The workbook might
> be a set of videos. I would like to create fun games that help one
> appreciate each pattern's dynamics. Perhaps there are four or five
> patterns which are the "memes" that help one convey the essence of the
> culture. I will illustrate the patterns with all of my artistic
> abilities. My pattern language will document the entire culture as
> hundreds of patterns which people can accept, ignore, verify,
> invalidate, restate as they like.
> I take responsibility for authoring this pattern language as a way of
> organizing this culture. I will focus my online work with others who
> would like to work with me on this. I'm finding that there are people
> who agree to be authorities on aspects of this culture:
> http://www.worknets .org/wiki. cgi?Authorities
> * Franz Nahrada: Global villages.
> * Thomas Chepaitis: Fostering humanity, listening to others.
> * Markus Petz: Collaboration between communities.
> * Wael Al Saad: Making a living, economic solutions as the basis for
> culture and ecology.
> * Barry Hunt: Street wisdom.
> Please let me know if you'd like to be an authority for me on some or
> all aspects of this culture.
> As I work on the pattern language, I will look for input and feedback
> from my authorities. More than that, I will wrestle with them, morally
> speaking, to make sure that they and I live the lives we preach. We'll
> learn how this works, but this role of "moral authority" will be only
> for those who wish to grow morally, who wish me and God to morally
> challenge them and might challenge me and God likewise. I'm remaking my
> business Minciu Sodas as a network of such people and activity. In this
> way, I will invest my efforts in those people who will actively shape
> this culture, embrace it in their own lives, champion it with others,
> and create an environment where I and others might apply our creativity
> and also provide for ourselves.
> In my mind, I'm making changes to Minciu Sodas which will be apparent
> over time. At some point, I will archive all of the emails we've
> written, publish them on a CD along with our wiki pages and chat
> archive, and make them available for all who want. I will make sure
> that each of our leaders owns their mailing lists and can continue
> without my participation. I will mostly work at our Worknets wiki
> http://www.worknets .org <http://www.worknets.org> and may likely
> shift over to a new wiki
> technology if I find one that better suits my more modest purposes. I
> won't be organizing, including, coaching or mentoring people unless they
> want to focus on their own moral integrity. I won't be offering "free
> service" for those who "work for free". I won't be funding or managing
> small $100 projects for their own sake. I won't lead a large online
> community or code software for online networking.
> I will work with a smaller group of people ("moral authorities" ) and
> slowly organize with them this culture as we support each other. I'm
> concerned to solve the problem, how might we all make a living? I will
> continue looking for business opportunities to organize global teams
> (such as My Math Story). I will work on an "economy of dreams", an
> online system for helping with tasks, a reference of online participants
> and venues who support the culture, perhaps an online help room. I will
> participate online more as a follower than as a leader, focusing on
> those venues where I might find work. I also want to find more bases in
> the Lithuanian countryside where I've enjoyed myself greatly. I would
> like to understand how large families catalyze global villages. I want
> to learn how to apply myself as an artist and also how to encourage
> muses to inspire me and others. I may stay with David Ellison-Bey in
> Chicago to look for work there, perhaps go bankrupt.
> I feel this is a big shift for me, although in practice it may not seem
> this way. Thank you to all for years of wonderful experiences. I'm
> glad that each of us is thriving in so many ways. I invite you to
> consider working with me as a "moral authority" as I describe above.
> Truly my life is different than when I founded Minciu Sodas in 1998. My
> goal-in-life then was "to know everything and apply that knowledge
> usefully", and to my surprise, last year I achieved that to my
> satisfaction with my video "I Wish to Know"
> http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=ArN-YbPlf8M
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArN-YbPlf8M> I kept God to a minimum,
> but now I feel free to engage God warmly. I came to Lithuania when it
> was a poor country, but now there are more opportunities to make a
> living. I started with $3,000 in debt and now I have more than
> $110,000. I came to Lithuania wanting to surround myself with the
> Lithuanian language, increase my chances of falling in love and starting
> a family, and today I have good friends there and it is all much more
> delightful and real to me. I once wondered, what might I do useful in
> the world? Now I've feel that I've done my life's share. Once I thought
> that I could and would find a job to repay any loans I might ever have,
> but now I doubt that's what God wants. I might gladly be bankrupt and
> homeless in Chicago, organize a gang on the South Side to establish the
> kingdom of heaven. When I started, I supposed that "independent
> thinkers" can come to agreement on all matters, values, answers, and
> it's wonderful to have the widest variety of perspectives. Now I've
> concluded, it may be so, but if I seek a culture of independent
> thinkers, and others do not, then I might best pursue that myself,
> perhaps with the help of a few people who truly want that.
> This is "the state of the lab". Here's a link to other such letters
> over the years:
> http://www.worknets .org/wiki. cgi?TheStateOfOu rLab
> Greetings from Vienna, Austria where I'm staying at Franz Nahrada's
> family's Hotel Karolinenhof http://www.karoline nhof.at
> <http://www.karolinenhof.at> I came along
> with Pamela McLean, Markus Petz, Wael Al Saad, Thomas Chepaitis, Julius
> Galdikas, Julija Astrauskiene for Franz's EU Grundtvig adult education
> "learning circle" on video communications.
> http://www.dorfwiki .org/wiki. cgi?VideoBridge/ GrundtvigWorksho p
> <http://www.dorfwiki.org/wiki.cgi?VideoBridge/GrundtvigWorkshop> I'm
> staying here for all of February to try my chance at art projects (most
> recently with video jockey Michael Schreiber
> http://www.flickr. com/photos/ 50525222@ N00/
> <http://www.flickr.com/photos/50525222@N00/> ) and explore business
> opportunties (thank you for comments on My Math Story proposal! I'm
> writing a My Video Story proposal and keeping in mind Suresh Fernando's
> Open Kollab work).
> Thank you to all who've helped me think through these thoughts. I
> should have done more "thinking out loud" this last month. I invite us
> to do so!
> Andrius Kulikauskas
> Minciu Sodas
> http://www.ms. lt <http://www.ms.lt>
> ms@... <mailto:ms%40ms.lt>
> +370 699 30003