Progressive Open Source Thought and Action Network

An organization dedicated to establishing and disseminating the intellectual infrastructure of the progressive movement should not be thought of as a tank, because a tank is an enclosed structure, it should have an open structure that allows growth and the evolutionary development of core structures and related surrounding structures. An organizing structure should develop like a central nervous system develops in nature, through progressive iteration on the theme of nerve cell function in a multi cell network within the context of an organism. The philosophy of the open source software development movement is used below as a starting point for looking at a progressive think tank, which would be more like a think network, or habitat, than a tank in its structure and functioning.

Philosophy

In his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar,[3] open source evangelist Eric S. Raymond suggests a model for developing OSS known as the Bazaar model. Raymond likens the development of software by traditional methodologies to building a cathedral, "carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation".[3] He suggests that all software should be developed using the bazaar style, which he described as "a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.? Fact is, that the ?coherent and stable systems? Raymond mentions do emerge from Open source software development projects. From Open Source Software article on Wikipedia

The babbling bizarre matches the social environment and dynamics of the progressive movement. So we should try to pick a development method for our intellectual infrastructure that matches structure and dynamics of the movement. From a systems point of view what I see is the majority of the progressive movement being event driven, not systems driven. People who see the events that comprise the list of concerns dealt with in the progressive movement as arising from systems need a way to develop intellectual material that supports a systems change focus and aligns that with the event focused folks that are the engine of change in progressive activism. In the Cathedral model, development takes place in a centralized way.

13.82 Billion Years

 

We fall from the sky

Distilling out of apparent emptiness

Our foundational chemistry

Spread thin but gaining form

Pulled together by gravity

Clouds, Crystals, Ice, and Rocks

Moving much like our parents

From their birth to ours

 

A rocky planet, pressure heated core

Receives the space dust, ice and rocks

The warming planetary embrace

Quickens the dance of life

A sun respectfully close

And time for growth

Make space and planet

A father and mother

 

The Machine Can't Hear Our Song

I have been reading The Master and His Emissary, the Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. I'm about 1/3 way through the book and am tremendously excited by the insights presented in the book. The poem that emerged from my reading is a plea from the holistic right hemisphere to wake the reductionist left hemisphere to the primacy of right hemisphere, perceiving, feeling and thinking. Song is the province of the right hemisphere and preceded the development of speech on the left. 

The machine gone deaf

Now thinks a world apart

This Year's Theme

I don’t remember the date but it was a spring day in the mid 1960’s when I decided to do the thought experiment that changed my life. I had been reading about General and Special Relativity and was curious about the idea that the Universe was finite. The way I thought Einstein portrayed it was that gravity curved light and a beam going straight out from my house would curve and come back to its source in something like a circle. I’m not sure why this was important to me but I began the experiment by laying down on my bed, closing my eyes and imagining that I was heading out into space as a point of light in a straight line. I imagined my direction beginning to curve under the influence of gravity but then I began to wonder what if I resist the curve, what would stop me from doing that. I imagined a brick wall that prevented me from turning and resisting the curve. Then I thought; why can’t I just break through the wall? 

Everybody Knows, That's Why They Occupy Wall Street

The reason the media fail to recognize the message of the Wall Street Occupation Movement is that they don't know what the rest of us know. They are part of the corporate ruling structure and it isn't at all obvious to them why people people are so worked up or what they want. It is an expression of a dawning realization that our whole system is rotten. Now, the rottenness of the system is not going to be universally perceived, just as the revolution will not be televised, thank you Gill Scott-Heron. The truth is known by everyone in a primal way. When they call us consumers and consume us at the same time, we get it. When they say they are the source of all that is good and that we rely on their brilliance and creativity while they destroy our public education system through propaganda and ever decreasing funding, we get it. When they are eating us for lunch and telling us we should be grateful, we see the self serving lie. Yea, we get it.

Leonard Cohen writes and sings this mood of eyes wide open recognition of perpetual betrayal. This seeing through the lie is what is going on and why the elite don't get it. As Cohen's lyrics put it in Everybody Knows;

Moral-Ethical Scale

All behavior can be judged relative to the purpose of expanding the scope of consciousness in the service of life. Imagine a scale that has a zero as a neutral point where an action is neither positive or negative in it's effect, negative 10 is the most negative point on the scale, positive 10 is the most positive point on the scale.

Systems and Human Power

Systems of human cooperation are the primary method used to magnify human power. We are now in an era of human history where technology seems to be the primary amplifier of human power, but the growth of technology is really an outgrowth of human systems. The human systems that have collected knowledge in written form and made it widely available are the backbone of the technical accomplishments of our species.

Privacy and Power

With the advent and then the acceleration of extra-biological power availability to humans previous privacy dynamics should be revised. The dynamic of people, institutions, and systems being able to invade the privacy of others has been, and currently is, a feature of aggregation of social power. When extra-biological power is added to that social dynamic the inequities of the fact that the functional ability to achieve privacy, prevention of unwanted intrusion across a semi-permeable boundary from the outside of that boundary, has increased with the acquisition of power.

Boundary Permeability = All Things Are Reciprocally Interconnected

Each individual is then also interconnected physically with each every other individual through atmosphere, water, soil, sunlight, plant and animal life. So even on the physical level of our existence we are clearly separate independent entities and we are so interconnected with each other and everything around us that we are a whole process of life that is fully shared and not individual in the exclusive sense at all. Each individual is then also interconnected physically with each every other individual through atmosphere, water, soil, sunlight, plant and animal life.

Power = Conscious Possibilities + Choice + Force

Power is the result of combining possibilities with conscious choice. Where there are no conscious possibilities choice is not possible. In circumstances where there is only awareness of possibility and no opportunity to take action based on those possibilities, there is no conscious experience of power. When both possibilities and the ability to act on them exist consciously, then power is experienced. In the realm of conscious choice of action the individual is confronted with the existence of other individuals.

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