What do we truly want?
- I share my goals for the future. I encourage us all to share ours likewise.
I am very happy for the dedication that we are sharing at the many working
groups of our Minciu Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt/news.php for
serving and organizing independent thinkers. Congratulations to Marcin
Jakubowski and all at Factor E Farm http://openfarmtech.org/weblog/ for
your open source tractor LifeTrac, your solar turbine, your exemplary blog
and videos. Congratulations to Samwel Kongere for arriving in Italy from
Kenya and building bridges across the deep divides that isolate us.
http://www.ms.lt/news.php?thinker=Samwel_Kongere Thank you to Maria Agnese
Giraudo, Kennedy Owino and the Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
http://www.nafsiafrica.org Our dreams are coming true. Thank you for
Our network and our culture have grown strong over the years. We have
many opportunities, but also I have constraints that keep me running.
Since 1998 I have accumulated more than $100,000 in debt to establish the
Minciu Sodas laboratory. I make monthly payments of $1,400 on these loans
and I need at least an $1,000 more for my needs and expenses. I don't
have any income and I have about six weeks to find some. I hope to
receive $7,100 this year from the Knight Foundation but that will only
stretch things out for about two months more. I may have to take up a
full-time job and bide my time for two or three years. This makes it all
the more important to distribute our leadership so that we continue to
grow and inspire. Most importantly, I ask myself, What do I truly want? I
invite your leadership to let us know, What do you truly want?
My life's work is to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully. I
work almost every day to make sense of my conceptual limits
http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?LivingByTruth/Summary I am making steady
progress as I try to imagine how all knowledge unfolds from God's point of
view. I think about how God takes up the question, does God exist even if
God does not exist? and this leads me to consider the potential for God
as it opens up from God to I to You to Other around whom we may all unite.
Day by day I am jostling concepts so that I might see how they make sense
and how they might bring forth dynamic languages for how things matter,
have meaning and happen. This is lonely work, but our lab gives me hope
that more and more, it will have practical impact and others will care.
Our laboratory's purpose is to serve independent thinkers by providing
helpful minds, a social framework for making our dreams real, ways to make
a living and find resources, a context in which to grow, and moral
I personally wish to grow in virtue as a human and a leader. I wish to
empathize with others and live fully to take up every concern. I wish to
learn how to accept hurt ably and transform it. I want to be masterfully
creative, to learn what is meaningful to say, to recognize hurt and joy,
and connect with others so that we might all live fully. I'm drawing
http://www.flickr.com/photos/50525222@N00/ and writing a poetic drama in
Lithuanian. I wish to write my Includer blog as episodes in a novel. I
would like to fall in love and raise a family.
I wish to serve God as an independent thinker. I welcome God's leadership
just as I welcome all of ours. I invite us to make evident God's values,
investigations, endeavors as an independent thinker, and likewise include
all who may not be able to participate directly, so that we overcome every
divide. I believe that God endeavors to "reach out to the hard to reach"
for this is the endeavor that it seems that all of our endeavors work
towards. http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Endeavors I think that he
investigates, how can he reach every single person? I would like to help
by working together to understand each other's deepest values
http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Values This is also a way for us to
accept each other, support each other, and foster our creativity to speak
to and from each other. All of our deepest values are aspects of Love,
which I take to be God's deepest value.
In the next ten years I wish with others to bring to life a culture of
independent thinkers, with at least 100,000 active participants, enough to
make evident in many villages and neighborhoods and some regions or
countries, how independent thinkers address all aspects of life. This is
a culture of investigation, of leadership through any individual who
openly takes up the challenge to grow. I am encouraged that more and more
of us grow confident to take responsibility for our culture, which
includes principles that help us act on each other's behalf: Our venues
are in the Public Domain except where content notes otherwise; money can
bring people together, but you can't pay people to care; we want all to
We are, in fact, making practical many of the principles that Jesus spoke
of: give everything away, love your enemy, turn the other cheek. More and
more, I hear his vision of a "kingdom of heaven" as an invitation to
establish the culture I and others wish for. He relates his vision with
parables that say, "What you believe is what happens", just as the tiny
DNA of a mustard seed already has within it the giant plant that unfolds.
I think of eternal life as God's wish for each of us that as individuals,
we forever grow and unfold. We are blessed at our laboratory to witness
each other growing in this way, even as adults. I think of a kingdom as
the wish for authority, which is not power, but responsibility for power.
Muscles have power, but will has authority. The kingdom of heaven is for
the "poor in spirit", the independent thinkers, who do not want to fling
themselves as martyrs, but who wish to walk step-by-step, in small leaps,
with small risks, by reproducible miracles, small projects, a science of
subjectivity. The kingdom of heaven allows each of us to exercise our
will, to apply ourselves to human-sized concerns, and walk and fly and
unfold step-by-step forever, alongside each other and together. The
kingdom of heaven invites each one of us to take authority as creators, to
share authority as co-creators, and so to be authors.
We will learn of more and more movements that make real such a culture.
We know of Sarvodaya http://www.sarvodaya.org, the village movement in Sri
Lanka, and of the Grameen social businesses in Bangladesh
http://www.grameen-info.org We also have wonderful leaders, such as
Benoit Couture's relentless passion for a "Kingdom Deep Net"
http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?KingdomDeepNet and his deepest value
"Going from the spiritual division of human DNA to the Organic Experience
of Spiritual Unity." I am delighted that we have leaders from such a wide
variety of faiths and outlooks, and I embolden us to project our visions
even wider. Thank you to Franz Nahrada, Pamela McLean, John Rogers,
Kennedy Owino, Samwel Kongere, Janet Feldman, Peter Ongele, Ricardo,
Edward Cherlin, Tomas Cepaitis, Dante-Gabryell Monson, Chris Macrae, Peter
Burgess, William Wambura, Josephat Ndibalema, Audrone Anusauskiene and
One of our great contributions will be to bring together all of our
movements. Our culture is an eternal exploration of the minimal
principles by which we might work together. The Internet should not be a
requirement, but rather a catalyst and a metaphor for our network. I hope
we might discover the structures for our online and offline venues that
would allow us all to participate fully and freely. Minciu Sodas means
"Orchard of Thoughts" in Lithuanian, which I later came to find quite
prophetic for our haven as a Paradise, with trees of life and of knowledge
of good and evil. Likewise, our "worknets" may be prophetic in the sense
of Matthew 13:47. "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that
was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, which, when
it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the
good into containers, but the bad they threw away. So will it be in the
end of the world." And likewise in his inviting disciples to be "fishers
of men". This is all frightening, but the "kingdom of heaven" is about
making belief, authority, truth, fear all human-sized, real and tangible,
so that we might all participate. I expect that it is more about the
absence of God than the presence of God, reaching out before God to the I
and You and Other for whom God is understandably foreign, and to make
sense of the world even as we transform it with a heart for living now and
forever. I am sure we'll make progress by asking what a "kingdom of
heaven" might mean to the widest variety of people.
I will learn how to participate as one leader among many. Minciu Sodas is
a base that I lead, but there should be thousands of such centers. I plan
to headquarter myself at Zenonas and Audrone Anusauskas's center near the
village of Eiciunai in Lithuania, but also stay at various centers such as
David Ellison-Bey's house and Moorish Cultural Workshop at 6726 S Parnell
Ave., Chicago, where I am now. How can we nurture our many centers for a
My priority is to set up our online infrastructure to open up more
opportunity for leadership and to decentralize our venues yet resonate our
energy. I will try to set up Ringside Networks
http://www.ringsidenetworks.org which is open-source software that allows
us to set up our own social networking venues (like Facebook, but in the
Public Domain) at more than one location, to share IDs amongst those
locations, to show our Facebook activity but at our own sites, to write
applications that work both at our sites but also at Facebook, and to
invite others to drift over from Facebook and into our venues. If this
all works out, then we will have control of our own venues and IDs and can
integrate our activity at Yahoo groups http://www.ms.lt/news.php , our
wiki http://www.worknets.org , our chat room http://www.worknets.org/chat/
, our survey http://www.worknets.org/survey/ , our personal Facebook
activity (for those who wish that), and our Ringside social networking
pages. This might also open up work opportunities. Can we find
programmers who might help us?
I look forward to speaking with Pamela McLean, Samwel Kongere, Ricardo and
others who might coach and mentor our participants. Franz Nahrada and
Janet Feldman have a great impact on our laboratory, and as much as they
are available, I value their leadership. I wish though to make clear new
leadership roles and acknowledge and support the people who take them up.
We should design the roles so our leaders benefit. Our working groups are
active to various degrees. We need people who might mentor four or five
working group leaders so that they might all generate momentum. This is a
role that I have played and which I need to share. This might relate to
the idea of "schools", each of which supports dozens of related endeavors,
and makes tangible the leader's vision. I also want to recognize the
leaders of the "local centers" in our network and the teams they are
We have many opportunities to write proposals and engage potential
clients. I can't pursue these all myself. Let's work openly in teams.
If you lead a proposal team, then you can decide how much paid work you
wish to specify for yourself and others. If you help with a proposal,
then we will work to include you in our paid work, if we win any. Here
are some proposals that I have written in the past:
http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Proposals Please write to any of our
groups if you would like to be on any of our proposal teams, such as the
following, and how you might like to participate:
* Wolfram Science. In July, I attended Stephen Wolfram's summer school "A
New Kind of Science". Last week I wrote a research proposal for him that
I do an exhaustive study of the cellular automata that are the foundation
for his approach. http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?CellularAutomata
Earlier, I wrote a proposal that our social networkers work to expand the
"A New Kind of Science" and Mathematica communities and encourage more
people to do mathematical exploration and apply mathematical thinking.
Stephen Wolfram was especially interested in our social networking
capability. It may take a long time to build up this relationship, but it
might also mean a lifetime of paid work from one of the world's greatest
* Includer. In June, I prepared a presentation
http://www.includer.org/presentation/ for Internet businesses that they
hire us to make their online services available offline. There are other
angles that we can pursue. We should survey our African participants.
Who might help us write proposals?
* African Innovation Challenge Fund
notes are due September 1 to propose teams that in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria,
Ghana or several other countries would promote the adaptation of
innovations identified by Research Into Use, a UK agency. This is a great
opportunity for us to showcase our achievements and propose a worldwide
network of support with bases in the African countries but also in
Eiciunai, Lithuania and at Factor E Farm. What are our personal visions?
* Afghanistan http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Afghanistan The Lithuanian
Foreign Ministry is accepting proposals of up to 75,000 USD by September
30 to help develop Afghanistan's Ghor province, especially for basic
education, infant health and government communications. I believe our
Includer proposal or an OLPC laptop proposal might be relevant, but we
need partners in Afghanistan, and supporters in the ministry. I would
like especially to organize Islamic independent thinkers, for example,
school teachers and doctors, and help them make the most of marginal
* COMMUNIA http://www.communia-project.org , Ethical Public Domain
http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org We have already received 4,800 EUR of
travel money for COMMUNIA meetings for the Public Domain, and we will
receive a similar amount for travel these next two years. We also might
organize another conference for the Ethical Public Domain or another event
or activity to foster the Public Domain. Who would like to participate in
COMMUNIA? and who would like to engage corporations and agencies to fund
projects to expand the Public Domain?
* Catholic schools in Chicago. We have an office at David Ellison-Bey's
house in Chicago where I am staying. I look forward to introducing to
David many people who I met at the SocDevCamp. I belong to St. Benedict
the African East and would like us to engage the local community. People
suffer intensely from the racial caste system. Our pastor's vision is that
we engage the community through the Catholic schools. Indeed, for any
family here, sending their children to a Catholic school is I believe one
of the best investments. Our laboratory can help add to that a program of
adult education. We can help adults locally get tutored to use the
Internet and then get support from our worldwide community. This could be
a general service. Perhaps the Catholic school system and other private
schools might be willing to pay us to provide such adult education for
parents who send their children to their schools because the more the
parents study, the better the children will do.
* Living Labs movement. We have the opportunity to join the European
network of Living Labs. This might open the doors for us to win European
Union funding. Who might help with this proposal? It's due September 30.
We have many opportunities and I invite us to bring to us others that
you'd like to pursue. Who are independent thinkers who you'd love to work
for? Muhammad Yunus is one more example. What kind of money would you
like to earn? What kind of work would you like to do? What is your
personal vision for your life? How might you participate as a leader?
Who would you like us to help or reach out to? How might we make our
venues more effective for you? What are the questions that you'd like to
pursue, the values you'd like to live, the endeavors that you'd like to
Thank you for writing!
+1 312 618 3345
in Chicago until October 14