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Investigatorius, know yourself...

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I m very happy that our laboratory Minciu Sodas http://www.ms.lt has become a workplace where independent thinkers can pursue their investigations, and thereby
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20 5:23 AM
      I'm very happy that our laboratory Minciu Sodas http://www.ms.lt has
      become a workplace where independent thinkers can pursue their
      investigations, and thereby help stimulate a wide variety of projects.
      I want to invite us all to think about becoming an Investigatorius at
      our lab. I write to our working groups (Global Villages, Cyfranogi,
      Thinking Powerfully), to our gateways in different languages (EN, ES,
      AR, BOS, FR, DE, IT, BY), and to our friends (1Village, ActAlive,
      ProdigalArt, ERDE, OnDemand, PersonalBrain). I appreciate thoughts on
      how each of our groups might serve as homes for investigators.

      What does it mean to be an Investigatorius at the Minciu Sodas
      laboratory? We have two full-fledged examples in Franz Nahrada of GIVE,
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ and John Rogers of WICC,
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyfranogi/ I share my thoughts to help
      them boldly play their role. I encourage us all to support them and
      leverage their efforts. I also look forward to having more
      Investigatorius at our lab, including Joy Tang and Jeff Buderer
      http://www.onevillage.biz, Chris Macrae http://www.valuetrue.com, Gary
      Alexander http://open.coop, Kerry Santo, and all who might wish to
      affiliate themselves with us in this way.

      An Investigatorius is one who leads us into the unknown along a
      direction that they care about. We encourage them to "think out loud".
      Their unfolding quest to "know themselves" helps bring together, and
      hold together, a variety of people and projects. The Investigatorius
      helps us grow together as a framework, an ecosystem. They are able to
      reflect further as their vision unfolds and their ideas grow tangible.

      An Investigatorius helps us focus on our long-term work. They help us
      find the long-term value in all of our work so that we are truly helping
      each other and feel encouraged to work-in-parallel. They have us invest
      ourselves in what is eternal (people and concepts) rather than what
      comes and goes (groups and projects). In particular, they allow us to
      invest ourselves in them, and some concept that they care about.

      Would you like to be an Investigatorius? Here is a list of questions
      you might answer. As you think through this, share your thoughts with us!

      A) What is a subject that captures your interest?
      An "independent thinker" is one who returns to their thoughts and keeps
      pursuing them further. Write about a subject that captures your
      interest. It should be a subject that you could write about forever.
      It can be narrow or broad, but it should be inexhaustible. Rytis
      Umbrasas cares about helping people use the Lithuanian alphabet on their
      computers. I think John Rogers is interested in community currencies,
      and Franz Nahrada is interested in how modern technology can help us
      return to villages. I'm interested in knowing everything and applying
      that usefully.

      A1) What is a page (or pages) where you overview your findings on your
      Let us know! (and let us know if you need help to set one up). It
      should be a place where you can keep folding in your work-in-progress.
      You can do this by yourself, or in conjunction with others, so long as
      you can put your thoughts down.
      Rytis Umbrasas a loose collection of his thoughts and links:
      and also a page where he and Viktoras Dagys present advice on Lithuanian
      character sets:
      Geoff Thomas, Becky Booth, John Rogers and Sarah James of WICC document
      their work-in-progress on currency design:
      Franz Nahrada is writing a FAQ at the ERDE wiki:
      and the ERDE team is preparing a Grundtvig proposal:
      I have a set of notes on "Life, My Understanding" in English:
      which I'm rewriting in Lithuanian:
      Franz, John, let us know where we should look for your thoughts when we
      want an overview.
      It's also important that these pages be in the Public Domain (except as
      noted) so that we can help effectively by encouraging us all to work
      with this material in a variety of ways.

      A2) Where do you share your thoughts of the day?
      This might be a blog, a discussion group, a wiki, etc. It should be a
      place in the Public Domain (except as the material notes otherwise) so
      that we can all work with the material without having to ask for permission.

      B) What is the key concept that for you gives eternal purpose to your
      We wish to invest in you deeply, not superficially. So we need to
      appreciate the grounds for your interest. What is the broader concept
      that you care about? What is your deeper concern? What does your
      interest mean to you? What idea or value does it tap into within you?
      You might ask, how does it relate to "caring about thinking"? because
      that is what lets us share it with any independent thinker.
      For Rytis, it is the idea that machines should cater to people; people
      should not have to cater to machines. For John, it is "participatory
      society". For Franz, it is "global villages". For Joy Tang, it is
      "courage to create". For Kerry Santo, it is "values". For me, I think
      it is "caring about thinking". The concept should be so deep and
      central to our lives that it can serve as a window looking out onto
      everything that we care about in life. It is the "belly button" to
      which we can keep returning and adding meaning to everything our minds
      touch. We should feel so comfortable with our concept that we don't
      feel it restricts us in any way, but rather encourages us to grow in
      every way. We should feel that our concept is the starting point from
      which people can understand who we are, and

      B1) How would you describe your idea in one sentence?
      For John, it is: "the participatory society where every citizen feels
      valued for their particular genius and contribution - every one a
      leader, every one full of unrealised potential"
      For Franz, it is: "Global Villages are small and sustainable settlements
      embedded in their cultural landscapes and in informational /telematic
      networks of support. The working together of these two factors creates
      astonishing and endless possibilities to improve our living condition."

      B2) What is a memorable phrase that we can use to call your idea?
      For Rytis, it is "zmogus valdovas" which might be translated as "human
      is king". For John, it is the Welsh word "cyfranogi", which means "to
      participate". This is what we will use as your brand. As much as
      possible, we want to invest ourselves in brands for people and concepts,
      rather than for groups and projects.

      B3) What is an Internet domain name which you can acquire for pointing
      to your work on your idea?
      John has www.cyfranogi.com, and Franz has www.globalvillages.info

      C) What is a question to which you don't know the answer but you intend
      to discover it?
      It should be a question that helps you leverage and clarify your key
      concept as you pursue your interests. It should be a question that you
      can think about as you work on more concrete things. You should feel
      comfortable thinking out loud about and inviting others to help. You
      should feel that it is a challenging question, but that you can find the
      answer, perhaps in a few months, perhaps in a few years. It might be
      part of a larger question that you care about.
      John Rogers: How do we design currencies so that they work effectively?
      Kerry Santo: What are my values? Nick Duffill: How do you decide what
      is important to you? How would you want information presented so you
      could make decisions quickly? I'm currently working on: What is the
      general structure (that unifies the four primary structures which I have

      D) What is a place where you share your work-in-progress on your
      question and you engage us to help you?
      This should be a place where the materials are in the Public Domain
      (except where they explicitly note otherwise). So far we're finding it
      most helpful to work at working group (mailing lists) dedicated to our
      key concepts. Franz' working group is
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ and John's is
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyfranogi/ They've also both agreed that
      their groups can serve as homes for other investigators to get
      themselves started and build critical mass. In particular, Franz has
      invited Jeff Buderer to participate as an Investigatorius at the global
      villages group. Joy Tang and I are thinking that she might explore
      "courage to create" at the ActAlive group (advocating the use of arts to
      address HIV/AIDS and related issues) lead by Janet Feldman
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actalive/ A weblog and a wiki can also
      be very helpful.

      E) What is your plan for pursuing your investigation?
      I should do more of this myself. What is your strategy for answering
      your question? What methods will you use? What data will you collect?
      This is very important so that we can all think about how we might
      support you. This can be very hard to write out, and perhaps it is
      enough to keep a set of notes. But I think this is also the key
      requirement for being an Investigatorius at our laboratory. Put
      together a plan, and we can point to this as the basis for your work as
      an Investigatorius. At that time we can also agree formally about
      affiliation (I will write about this separately).

      E1) What is something practical that can be achieved as you conduct your
      This can be large or small, but helps us know that our efforts can
      contribute to some purpose.

      F) What would help you pursue your investigation?
      This is where our lab can help! We can help organize people, jumpstart
      activity, create software tools.
      For John and his colleagues at the Wales Institute for Community
      Currencies http://wicc.newport.ac.uk/wicc.htm we're creating a currency
      design tool which will help us all see the connection between choices
      and effects. We'll connect this to other pages where people can explore
      related concepts, theories and patterns. We're also designing this
      software tool generally so that it can be used elsewhere where there is
      a relationship between choices and effects.
      For Franz and his colleagues at ERDE, I want to especially focus on
      building a pattern language repository. Franz, let's discuss your
      needs. It is important that we openly discuss our tools so that others
      can offer help or give feedback, and can understand what we are trying
      to do. I hope that we might design tools to support the work of Joy and
      Jeff and others at One Village as well.

      In summary, I invite us all to think of ourselves as investigators. If
      we present our work as investigation, then it is possible for our
      laboratory to provide support in a deep level. In doing so, we can
      contribute in ways that are very cost-effective or even free. Also, I
      encourage all of us who are helping (special thank you to Lucas Gonzalez
      Santa Cruz, Janet Feldman, Bala Pillai, Rick Nelson, Chris Macrae,
      Robert Tolmach, Robin Upton) including our team of programmers (Algis
      Cibulskis, Raimundas Vaitkevicius, Emad El-Deen El-Akehal, George
      Christian Jeyaraj) to grow as investigators, because that is also how we
      can best understand and support them in this path.

      I wish this path to be fruitful for us. I am glad to learn from us, and
      together keep clarifying this path. I'll pursue this as my own
      investigation of "How can we be supportive of investigators?" which
      develops my key concept of "open learning". Open learning (which I
      think of as being an example of self-learning) is a part of "caring
      about thinking" that I want to focus on this next year or so. I will be
      working on that through our working group
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thinkingpowerfully/ and I invite us to
      join me there (send a blank message to
      thinkingpowerfully-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) That is also where we'll
      discuss more and more of our work designing software tools to support
      our investigators.

      Thank you to all for "caring about thinking" at our lab, and supporting
      our Investigatorius!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 (5) 264 5950
      Vilnius, Lithuania
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