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Presenting the Big Picture

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I share my letter with our lab s working groups, including Holistic Helping, because of our thoughts below on holistic thinking . Andrius ... Graham, Jeff,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2006
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      I share my letter with our lab's working groups, including Holistic
      Helping, because of our thoughts below on "holistic thinking". Andrius

      Graham, Jeff, Lucas, Laurent, Stanko, Irena, Bala, Massimiliano!

      Thank you for fantastic posts that point to what we might do together.
      I share my thoughts on how I would like to pursue this at our lab.

      With great help from Helmut Leitner, I have started work at
      http://www.openleader.info on an "Online Learning Environment". The
      immediate subject is Designing Community Currency, but I hope to expand
      beyond that to other Global Village issues, and also have investigation
      be the heart of our social networking. Certainly, that is the point of
      our lab!

      Graham, Jeff, Lucas you point to "holistic thinking" as that which we
      can all share by considering the "root challenge" for the situation of
      our world today. On a personal level, we likewise are able to speak
      heart-to-heart by sharing our "key concepts", the deepest concepts in
      our lives. I wonder if they are related.
      * Jeff, you write, "A failure of society is best expressed or most
      evident in the disconnect between the priorities of that society and the
      realities around it." And your key concept is "being connected to
      * Lucas' key concept is "finding better ways together". I think that
      relates to the "root challenge" he sees: My current rapid-fire feeling
      is "we live better as interconnected tribes (whatever a tribe is) where
      individuals pool their resources and take what they need", which of
      course is quite different from the stuff I see everyday ("hierarchies of
      replaceable individuals whose souls/minds/attention/deeper interests are
      * Graham's key concept is "integrity" and he writes: At present, we are
      mostly trained in Critical Thinking which is not how we think. It is how
      we justify our thoughts.... I believe the one "root cause" of the
      general state of individual and organisational integrity at present is
      "How we think is not how we are taught to think." with its corollary "We
      organise in line with the way we have been taught to think."
      * My key concept is "living by truth" and I myself think of the root
      challenge facing our world as "people don't want to look at the truth".

      My thought is if we share our personal "key concepts" and the "root
      challenges" that we see, then we are able to present knowledge in a
      meaningful way so that our dialogue is clear, deep and yields
      constructive actions.

      Lucas and Jeff also noted that the "root challenge" might be a window
      into a "global problems matrix" that we could present. As Franz pointed
      out, our colleague Tony Judge of the Union of International Associations
      http://www.uia.org has lead the assembly of a database with tens of
      thousands of world problems, solutions, values and organizations. We
      could create an interface to help make sense of what people can do.
      This could be the theme of our Online Learning Environment - connecting
      our personal concerns with our concerns for the world to make for real

      In particular, I have learned from Helmut how to set up our servers so
      that, for example, http://www.onevillage.biz/wiki/ could map onto a
      subwiki at our ProWiki such as
      http://www.openleader.info/wiki.cgi?OneVillage so that we could share
      the same pages but approach them through different URLs.

      Also, I'm finding that our key concepts and investigatory questions are
      sorting themselves out into groups much like those of the One Village
      mandala. And I imagine the same is true of the root challenges and the
      global problems matrix. We can explore this.

      I propose that a concrete way to explore this is to focus on the
      immediate problem of a bird flu pandemic, as Lucas is encouraging us.
      Such a pandemic - and the panic that may result - gives us a concrete
      problem to work on that relates to almost everything. Lucas is
      currently focusing on water at http://www.fluwiki.com and I hope we
      might pursue that here as well. Our Online Learning Environment matrix
      can help map out the issues.

      Massimiliano, Graham and all, I'm very glad that you wrote about other
      measures for quality of life. That got me to thinking that "peace" is
      more important than even "happiness", for when we are at peace, then we
      may be sensitive to respond in all ways - happy, sad, surprised, excited
      - as appropriate. And "peace" is something that we can measure, if we
      are creative. Or rather, violence is something we can measure, whether
      it's by human or the elements, simply how limited we are by forces. We
      might link these measures to the various nodes in our global problem matrix.

      One particular challenge in preparation for a flu pandemic is how we
      might assure people that we will reward them for caring about the common
      good - whether it means culling poultry, or teaching people hygiene, or
      caring for the sick. And that could relate perhaps to the metrics that
      we note.

      What I will need soon is help at our wiki to collect principles, design
      patterns, case studies, etc. that relate to community currency design
      but also other global village issues. What I offer is that those who
      help be awarded time credits which they might then exchange for help
      from our Research Fellows, George Christian Jeyaraj and (I expect)
      Samwel Kongere. For example, Jeff, if you might help, then in exchange,
      George could help as a web programmer with the One Village site. This
      would be our economy in action. If we can get that to work for us, then
      I imagine that we could find more funding for Research Fellows.

      Please feel free to create pages at http://www.openleader.info Slowly,
      over the next two months, we will migrate all of our wiki pages to the
      new system. Your participation will help us figure out how best to set
      things up.

      I spoke today with Kyle Shannon about this. He's interested in
      knowledge architecture, especially for "know how" or "how-to" knowledge
      that's relevant for designing solutions. His key concept is "clarity in
      communication" and his investigatory question is "How do we go beyond
      the people who live to volunteer and get to the people who are just
      living?" He's a seasoned marketer and is keen to help us lower barriers
      to people so that they know "what's in it for them" and we can shift
      from volunteering based on obligation to enrollment - we can choose to
      volunteer rather than agree to volunteer. I need to learn how to make
      our sites more inviting, so I am looking forward to this!

      Also, last year I worked for Adrian Bowles to write summaries of the
      Information Technology impact of various government regulations. He's
      setting up an "open source" project for such an online resource, and
      there will be related work opportunities, see:
      http://orca.omg.org/grid/index.htm and "Grid in Progress". Who might
      be interested in such work? Please let me know! This is a chance to
      "work openly" and invest ourselves in connections with more business and
      social opportunities opening up. For example, each of the areas in our
      global problems matrix (ecology, housing, banking etc.) relate somehow
      to corporate regulations and thus, corporate resources and solutions
      which they care about. We can learn to think as they do - "learn the
      language of your enemy" is what my grandfather used to say. (Or simply,
      love your enemy.)

      In other news, Franz has been making good progress in setting up
      Internet videoconferencing at his Hotel Karolinenhof
      http://www.karolinenhof.at in Vienna. He's also brought our Atzalynas
      club into a proposal for EU funding for 2007 so that we might set up
      video bridges with our independent thinkers in Lithuania, Europe and the
      developing world. (Thank you!)

      Thank you to all for contributing such deeply thoughtful letters!
      How can we translate our thinking into wiki pages for our Online
      Learning Environment?



      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 (699) 30003
      Vilnius, Lithuania

      jeff buderer wrote:

      > Graham,
      > I wanted to call everyone’s attention again to what you have said in
      > this email for two main reasons:
      > I have added it to the oneVillage Wiki with the title the
      > Dehumanization of Reason
      > <http://www.globalvillages.info/index.php/OneVillage/DehumanizationOfReason>
      > and invite further comments and linkages there.
      > 1. It expresses a major component of why Open People and Minciu
      > Sodas has brought us together here today in I feel a succinct
      > and compelling way.
      > 2. It also takes us full circle in relation to the debate Lucas and
      > I have been having regarding holistic thinking and the idea of a
      > root problem that sustains the problem matrix that now
      > increasing governs human reality and consciousness with what I
      > would say is a unprecedented sense of anxiety about the future
      > that is unmatched and unique in human history..
      > Jeff
      > -----Original Message-----
      > *From:* minciu_sodas_en@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:minciu_sodas_en@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Graham Douglas
      > *Sent:* Monday, January 30, 2006 6:23 PM
      > *To:* minciu_sodas_en@yahoogroups.com
      > *Cc:* mejoresvias@yahoogroups.com; 1village@yahoogroups.com
      > *Subject:* Re: [minciu_sodas_en] A Sketch of the Big Picture...A
      > Thought about an Immediate Possibility
      > I agree with Jeff when he states:-
      > "It is not simply that I have a problem with our “busy lifestyles” (I
      > do but that is a whole other subject), it is rather an issue of how do
      > we built a sense of fullness in our lives seeing that and not this
      > idea of sustainable technology as the real core driver."
      > Our "busy lifestyles" and other aspects of sustainabilty are connected
      > and I doubt we will make much progress until we address a fundamental
      > issue - the way we are trained to think.
      > At present, we are mostly trained in Critical Thinking which is not
      > how we think. It is how we **justify** our thoughts. In educational
      > institutions, at work and even at home we train what I call our
      > *Critical* *Mind*. We train people to reason in a *disembodied* way as
      > though our minds were symbol manipulators like computers, unconnected
      > with the remainder of our bodies and our physical, social and cultural
      > environment. We train them to break problems down into parts, to put
      > these parts into rigid categories with shared properties and to
      > manipulate symbols representing these categories. We train them to
      > hypothesise using these rigid categories (thereby excluding all other
      > possibilities) and look for a grain of the “truth” about these
      > categories that is imagined to be "out there" in the real world and to
      > justify that "truth" with propositions expressed in words or
      > mathematical symbols joined together in accordance with the rules of
      > logic. We train them to think in a straight line towards a conclusion.
      > We train them as though the way we justify our thoughts - in logical
      > statements - is the way we think. In short, we train people to think
      > “inside the box”. We dehumanise reasoning.
      > The effects of this on our lives and work include:-
      > * People who are predisposed to be less comfortable with manipulating
      > symbols tend to become alienated from the better justifiers.
      > * Power tends to lie with the better justifiers.
      > * As justifications become more specialised the difficulty of
      > communicating increases and trust decreases.
      > * We tend to become locked into our justifications.
      > * We make a habit of being critical first and thinking constructively
      > second or not at all.
      > * We continue doing what has worked in the past even when
      > circumstances change.
      > * Critical thinking based on different, crude and rigid
      > categorisations often leads to unresolved conflict in groups and
      > organisations. This unresolved conflict can surface later and
      > undermine the group or organisation.
      > * Similarly, as individuals we can be left with unresolved internal
      > conflict. This can damage the individual and others.
      > * All this unresolved conflict leads to cruelty, unhappiness and
      > inefficiency and hinders our creativity and performance as
      > individuals, in groups and in organisations.
      > Critical thinking has produced and will continue to produce much
      > knowledge of parts of the world around us but it is inconsistent with
      > the integrative way in which nature, our bodies, brains and minds
      > function. There is mounting evidence in our increasingly
      > interdependent world that *in addition* we need to be trained
      > specifically in something like NEW Integrative Thinking™ (NEW IT)
      > which is consistent with the integrative way nature, our bodies,
      > brains and minds function. While continuing to train in and employ
      > critical thinking we need also to train what may be called our
      > **Integrative Mind**™ of which our *Critical Mind* is a part.
      > * *
      > Lucas is considering "How do we think together" at Mejoresvias so I
      > added this piece to the discussion there:-
      > "How we think (reason) is not how we are mostly taught to think
      > (reason) so it would help if people started by learning broadly about
      > our current scientific understanding of how we think (reason). This
      > would be a first step towards acquiring a common basis for
      > communication which can be regarded as being essential for any
      > successful enterprise.
      > The lack of a common basis for communication seems to be a basic
      > reason why virtual groups in particular tend to be limited in their
      > outcomes and become unsatisfying for participants. Without a common
      > basis for communication people find it hard to develop a group in
      > which all members have a similar level of commitment - another
      > essential ingredient for successful and sustainable enterprises.
      > By way of introduction to the subject, there are basic articles at
      > http://www.winstonbrill.com/bril001/html/article_index/articles/551-600/article589_body.html and
      > http://www.integrative-thinking.com/iifree.htm ."
      > Hope this helps. What do all of you think?
      > Graham
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > *From:* jeff buderer <mailto:jeff@...>
      > *To:* minciu_sodas_en@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:minciu_sodas_en@yahoogroups.com>
      > *Sent:* Tuesday, January 31, 2006 10:47 AM
      > *Subject:* RE: [minciu_sodas_en] A Sketch of the Big Picture...A
      > Thought about an Immediate Possibility
      > Shannon,
      > Its been while but I wanted to respond to your emails. The basic
      > thematic I think many of us are trying to put forward is not
      > necessarily an anti corporate message but rather a realistic look
      > at the challenges of promoting healthy and sustainable food
      > choices view the traditional corporate mode.
      > As we have begun contemplating developing a pattern language for
      > GlobalVillages and so the emphasis shifts from corporations and
      > towards communities.
      > Companies like Whole Foods are a step forward and provide
      > innovative approaches in helping to transition society towards a
      > more sustainable model. However I have seen certain patterns
      > emerging in this industry that concern me.
      > First if we are going to focus on local sustainable agricultural
      > why do we even need a Whole Foods? We might see WF as providing
      > jobs to communities, providing health food choices, and providing
      > new business models. However does the value add they provide to
      > the community compensate for their export of local economic
      > capital to shareholders and corporate operations? Critics of the
      > corporate organizational model such as Katherine Austin Fitts of
      > the Solari Network <http://www.solari.com/> would say that the
      > existing corporation today creates a shell of value around it. It
      > basically exports the local resources to sustain its own wealth
      > pyramid (which for the most part of primarily corporate officers
      > and shareholders.), while degrading the social and ecological
      > commons.
      > Now the question for us here is in determining how socially
      > conscious is corporations like WF who like to call themselves
      > socially conscious corporations?
      > In terms of the root idea of sustainable agriculture and the
      > promotion of sustainable produced products and services, we see
      > the life cycle is very complex. And that is one reason why I see
      > WF’s and the prevailing Health Food business model as so
      > problematic because it is emulating the existing food industry
      > standard which is to encourage more complexity in our lives.
      > Convenience foods is one issue. It is not simply that I have a
      > problem with our “busy lifestyles” (I do but that is a whole other
      > subject), it is rather an issue of how do we built a sense of
      > fullness in our lives seeing that and not this idea of sustainable
      > technology as the real core driver.
      > And there are so many issues involved because we have bought into
      > the idea that more complex our lives are the better we will feel
      > about ourselves. What is the result? People are so busy they no
      > longer have time to appreciate life. I would that such a model of
      > living is hardly sustainable. But it is not to say however that
      > busyness is bad but rather questions where that state of busyness
      > is taking us. Are we like that gerbil in the little wheel in the
      > cage going round and round?
      > More to the point of this email…What role does excessively
      > processed and packaged foods and microwaves play in a sustainable
      > world? A very limited one I hope. Microwaves distort the molecular
      > composition of foods. I don’t know if you have looked at the
      > ingredients of a processed food product but the list seems to grow
      > longer and longer. What is the impact of all these increasingly
      > complex chemicals going into our bodies? Finally the fact that we
      > have no time to prepare a healthy meal for ourselves in which we
      > sit down, get together and eat does not bode for the general
      > social state of our communities and families.
      > I am not sure I buy your argument that processing at centralized
      > factories is more efficient than eating at home. I have worked as
      > a food handler and the waste levels in many facilities is very (in
      > my view unsustainably) high.
      >>I know that I regularly see the same produce and local cheeses,
      > organic yogurts, etc at local Whole Foods that I see at local
      > organic farmer's markets.
      > While many of the large chains, whole food specifically, may
      > source much of what they buy from local to that region for much of
      > their produce, the overall trends of the produce market is
      > sustained by the subsidization of transport costs.
      > I agree with Farmers markets are not the panacea they work for
      > some people and only during certain times. Another options is
      > Community Supported Agriculture
      >>All that is to say that I think that markets, such as Whole Foods,
      > who promote and support organic growers, and especially local
      > organic, are worth supporting and giving your business to them.
      > I would prefer to support a local market or coop before I support
      > a large corporation and I think that follows along the logic that
      > we have been putting forth in these discussion groups. In many
      > cases I go to WF because I am not aware that there is a local market.
      >>See http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/ for Whole Food's own
      > words on the matter and at
      > http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/produce/local.html for
      > their specific top ten reasons to buy local.
      > We all can create great documents documenting the most wonderful
      > and fantastic views of ourselves. - I am from the Show Me State
      > show me the numbers. What is the percentage of food (all food
      > items sold in the store not just produce) from a typical WF store
      > that is sourced locally?
      > Jeff
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