What if I think a world that works for everyone can't be built?

Maybe I should start with what I mean by 'a world that works for everyone'.

I mean that everyone has their needs met, and that every single facet of their experience of their life is at least satisfactory. The closer to ideal we can get, the better. Some of this will be altering circumstances and some will be getting satisfied with the way things are. How much of which is an unanswered question.

It can't and won't be accomplished through any kind of force.

It's not about charity, altruism or selflessness. There's plenty of that in the world already. This is all about selfishness: I want my world to work for me, so I focus on that. Only once your needs are met and your circumstances are satisfactory do you start thinking about others. (Actually, working on the circumstances and satisfaction of others is a natural outgrowth of making your world work for you.)

To answer your question more directly:

That's fine; I disagree. (I don't know it's possible; I am choosing to believe it, and I invite you to as well.)

Consider this:

  • Since 1900, the nature of warfare has permanently changed. There are no wars between nations anymore. The number of people who die in wars decreased dramatically after World War II and continues slowly to decrease. Is it possible that there could be a time coming that we realize, as a species, that we've killed enough people already, and we don't need to kill any more? This is an idea worth pursuing. See: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/war-1900.htm
  • In 2010, the British Royal Society for the Arts produced this video called “The Empathic Civilisation,” dealing with the scope of our interactions as human beings. In short, as technology for communication has improved, the size of our communities has increased, and the reasons for isolating communities have broken down. The concept of the other (as in, us and them,) is getting weaker. With the rapid development of technology and communication, worldwide communities are possible now that were never possible before. Events like the Arab Spring would have been unthinkable even 15 years ago, but now with social networking, oppressive regimes are on the defensive and obviously unsustainable.
  • The ways in which the world works for people, and the number of people for whom the world works, is increasing. With few exceptions, more people have better food, cleaner water, better health care, more time with family, more vacation time, etc. I think a world that works for everyone might be inevitable.
  • We're all going to die eventually. I'd rather die trying something worthwhile but impossible, than give up and just die.

Given all of this, is it possible that a world that works for everone isn't only possible, but likely, or even inevitable?

But How?

You've probably heard the saying, widely attributed to Albert Einstein, that “The thinking it took to get us into this mess is not the same thinking that is going to get us out of it.” This project is about discovering and/or inventing the “new thinking” that can solve the problems created by the way we were already thinking.

There's a poorly-understood concept of a “meme pool” (kind of like a gene pool) that contains the ideas people are communicating with each other. By “meme,” I don't necessarily mean the images with text you see all over the Internet–though those are one form of meme. Some are more successful than others; they spread, they get combined, they change, they are passed on from one volume of media to the next. Both the “old thinking” and the “new thinking” are made up of many different memes.

As an example, consider “before you can love anyone else, you have to love yourself.” This is a meme that represents a concept, and it's gained a lot of traction in Western culture. It's a distillation of other memes that came before, and the main reason it's been so successful is its brevity. It's easily digestible by the masses and rings true, so it gets accepted and repeated.

What might its offspring be? How about, “Once you learn to love yourself, loving others comes naturally.” Or, “You have to take care of yourself first.”

This project has two sides:

  1. Active research into “new thinking,” whose adoption will produce different actions, and therefore different results.
    • This also requires acquiring clarity about what the “old thinking” actually is–what memes make it up.
    • Right now, it is a LOT of reading and distillation. In time, I expect there to be research projects, surveys, studies, etc.
  2. Active promotion and dissemination of whatever new ideas and memes are found and developed. This could include books, publications, seminars, and institutions, among other things. A more important goal, however, is getting the new thinking to exist in institutions that already exist; schools, corporations, governments, churches, etc.

This sounds a lot like (some other program)

(Est, Landmark, Great Life, Scientology, motivational speaking, The Forum, Impact, Alcoholics Anonymous, etc etc ad infinitum…)

The work that these other programs do is (mostly) useful, and the work I'm describing here is largely informed by it. The critical difference is that each of those other programs has a different definition of success, and different methods of measuring it. Mainly, they measure success in terms of how many people they can sign up or some variation on it.

I am not OK with these programs costing money. I am not OK with them being someone's intellectual property.

This program, or whatever it turns into, will be free as in beer, and free as in speech. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, meaning that you can use it for whatever you want, and you can even build a business and make money at it if you want, but you must provide attribution to the source materials, and you must make your changes and improvements available under the same license.

FIXME Metrics.

Where do things stand right now?

Well, right now it's just ideas and a few interested people. There aren't any established practices. There isn't a book written. There isn't someplace you can go to find this work being done, though there are plenty of places where other good things are being done.

At first, I was writing this on my own. I'm now playing with a few different people on lots of ideas. I'm learning how to take others' ideas and use them, rather than just do things on my own. (Yay, maturity!!)

What are the limiting factors right now?

  • I don't know how to get people interested in actually doing transformational work. People love to talk about it and get off-track, but actually doing it is not happening.
  • I'm not good at keeping people on-topic.
  • People hear “a world that works for everyone” and just check out. I'm learning how to manage that.
  • People hear what I'm talking about and jump to “oh, this is just Scientology / Est / Landmark / Motivational blah blah blah etc.”
    • Progress is being made.
  • I am lazy. ;-)

What's next?

I could keep writing this forever and never actually do anything with it, or I can start getting other people involved.

It's been hard for me to admit that I don't have everything I need, and I can't do this myself. So I think the thing to do is get a small group of people–maybe half a dozen, maybe a dozen–and start actually going through the process described herein together. Working the bugs out. Finding out what works. Culling what doesn't.

If the process works, then we will shortly have a group of people whose lives work, and who are able to make life work for others. That then becomes the point: to make life work for as many people as possible; to seek out the places that are difficult and uncertain, and find solutions to those problems; and to expand as quickly and effectively as possible.

For laughably incomplete details on the “grand scheme” of how we get from where we are now to building an entire world that works for everyone, see the strategy page.

How do you know if it works?

You get to say what works and what doesn't, in terms of your life. You get to rate your own satisfaction. That's the measurement that matters most. There will probably be some prepackaged inventories to help jog the mind, but “Success” has to be defined and measured in terms of real differences made in peoples' lives. Does your life work better than before? Do you have everything you need? Are you able to cause that to be the case for others?

It is critical that the measures defined for an individual are based on what they want to have happen with their life. More discipline? Better relationships? More money? Hotter sex? You say what you want. We measure how you're doing with it. (This is not to say you'll be happy all the time. Shit will still happen.)

What you measure becomes your obsession. Making life work for people is worth being obsessed with. Measuring that as directly as possible is the only way to know that this works.

(Note: the act of measuring has an affect on what's being measured for probably most of what we're doing. There's probably also a sizable placebo effect. I don't care. As long as goals are being met, I'm pretty sure that these concerns are safe to ignore.)

Where Do I Start?

Read about the first Paradigm Shifts. Then go to work on building a world that works for you. Do the exercises. Do them regularly and frequently. Most of all, have someone who's been doing this a while help you, or at least listen to you.

If you are brand new to this, then the Introduction is the best page to read first.

How Can I Help?

The Most Helpful Thing You Can Do is to transform your life. Use what's here, and whatever else you find that's useful. That's the section above, Where Do I Start, which, sadly, isn't organized very well yet.

“Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” - Lao Tzu

When you find something that works, Share! Especially bring it here, and let's make it part of the plan.

Life Coaches, Motivational Speakers, Leaders, Organizers

If you now play, or have ever played one of these roles, or worn one of these hats, your assistance could make a huge contribution! Please consider taking ideas, techniques, strategies, plans, or anything else you've developed or have permission to share, and release under a Creative Commons license.

Please also consider contributing directly to this wiki, or sending me materials so I can add it in a way that makes sense.

Please also consider helping to organize coaches, leaders, organizers, etc., to use free and open-source materials such as these, and become part of a cohesive, collaborative, cooperative movement.

:!: (Make sure you use CC 3.0, share-alike, attribution. The material in this wiki is NOT under the non-commercial clause: you CAN use it to make money, as long as you provide proper attribution, and share any changes made under the same license. If you want to get paid for your services, and release materials as open source, this is the license you should use. If you are not sure, I STRONGLY recommend using this same license.) :!:

There are also a number of ideas that need to be researched more:

  • Finding copyleft or public-domain resources from which to draw
  • How to free people from absurd beliefs / black holes / thought viruses
  • How to have people who are not really open to contribution become open to contribution (put more simply, get people to respond in a more useful way to criticism)
  • How to spread useful ideas such as this to more people more quickly, as broadly as possible
  • Identify groups of people for whom this won't work in its current form, and develop solutions to make it work for more people

Becoming a Leader, Coach, or Organizer

I figure it would take someone at least 2 years of doing of participating in various plans to get to where they can start helping people through their own exercises. That's because you have to have your world work for you before you can start making it work for other people. The tactics are designed with lots of personal sharing and storytelling, so you will also need to create those stories. Creating those stories also requires that you do enough exercises and produce enough results to share about; so you will make your life work for yourself before, and as part of, helping others make their lives work.

It really is that simple, though. First you make your life work. Then you start helping others' lives work. Then they start making others' lives work. Entire communities of people whose lives just work will arise. Everything will start being satisfactory…



What if I have other questions?

Contact me!! Email me at naptastic@comcast.net or find me on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/naptastic or… well, those are the best ways to contact me.

frequently_asked_questions.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/24 14:00 by naptastic
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