Live #41: D, Radical Economics, and Reviews
So I've got 3 things to write today. Two are to hostile audiences and the third is hard. I'm looking for a friendly voice to calibrate off of, first.

D is the director of Jobs with Justice, and has beeen working to submarine the organization since they came on. And as a Board member, I have to write a performance review of them.

As part of their tactics to sue the organization if we try to fire them, D spent two grand of our money on a 'facilitated discussion' about a Code of Conduct. (The nominal excuse was to solve a problem we hadn't had before their arrival.) The facilitators are asking for a review of *their* work, which, frankly, sucked.

And I'd *started* trying to write an economic model for an Arcology metaculture. It has to interact with exploitative models, because that's what the rest of the world is using. This is akin to trying to learn to play poker against someone who promises to cheat.

Maybe I should go find a puppy to borrow.

Live #41: Working on OpenCiv
My first thought had been about the liability of officials for doing their jobs. Accountability is a key value, and being immune to prosecution for not doing one's job is not being accountable. But, while *my* first thought, it's not the first thought for OpenCiv. What *are* those jobs, and what are they intended to accomplish? What are the goals?

To create as much human fulfillment as possible. To create joy, love, and beauty. Who defines those? The citizens. Who are they? Whoever they say they are. It's *possible* they'd say so and be *wrong*; people are capable of error. On a first approximation, if someone is capable of saying "I am a citizen, and here is how I discharge my responsibilities as one", then so they are and so they do. We need and have ways of figuring that out -- and sometimes *those*'ll be wrong too, but I think we're pretty good here. And then there's my own pet terror, the narcissist amoral opportunists; we need a way to deal with them. I have one, but again while this is vital to *me*, it's about a third-order consequence within the bounds of the system.

As a living entity, an Open Civilization is both a top-down *and* a bottom-up structure. Also deeply interconnected and interdependent. It's a life-form, life-forms are messy, and there's no way to get around that. But it *is* possible to do a decent job of describing what one is, what *this* one is, and how it works, and that's what I'm working on.

I want to love as much of humanity as I can get my arms around, and I want to expand the definition of what it means to be human as far as I can push it.

Edited to add:
Second point is partial homeostasis; the OpenCiv needs to regulate the rates of change so they stay within the capacities of its constituent humans to adapt to. That's still too broad; the basic principle is self-care, for an expanded definition of 'self'. Possibly too broad still; the problem of figuring out how much resource it's "fair" for me to use on *me* has been an open question for as long as I know. Other primates are still wrestling with it also. Argument here is for much broader distribution of resources, and vastly less attention to blame-games. But I need to have the elegant argument for how to do it.

Live #40: Integrating fanatics with casual workers
Okay, with a locally stable living situation, it's time to get some real work done.

Falkvinge's 'Swarmwise' is a great start in learning how to manage a venture with variable commitment levels. As Rick himself states, he doesn't go far enough; there are so many different directions his work can be expanded it's silly. The direction I want to go with it is in setting up a functional and stable organization that lets people show up, start working, and feel they are being adequately and fairly treated. Impossible to make everyone happy all the time, of course; there are some people whose life purpose is finding things to be unhappy with. I'm not pitching to them.

The old association between 'work' and 'income' doesn't work any more, to start with. I've talked elsenet and will again about the need for the Basic Guaranteed Income; that's a part of what I'm working at here but only a small part. I'm starting with Solarpunk, which is a fandom. Buncha fanatics, in other words, based around issues of style and culture. Since the core value system there is based on ecological activism and social justice, there's a lot of work that *can* result, but no specific work is *required*.

Some people will want to do pro-quality work, and we want to encourage that. People who want to do a bit of quick shoddy amateur work we want to encourage also -- admittedly, in the direction of doing better work, but even so, that they show up on their own and do any work of any kind is to be lauded.

Damn. Gotta go get stuff with which to make dinner. More on this later.

Live #39, Living with Sketch
Okay, I'm in my new-temporary place, and Sketch is my new housemate. I'm going to have to have a conversation with him, which I believe he'll be very uncomfortable with.

Integrity is a really hard thing, and I don't reasonably expect any random person to have very much of it. My observation of people who are immersed in mainstream culture is that they feel the need to present as if they have 100% integrity 100% of the time, something I've never observed a human to be capable of doing, and they respond to an intimation that they are anything less than fully in integrity as if to a lethal assault.

Sketch has more integrity than many people, which still ain't much, but is good anyway. He's also been living in his own house for 22 years, is quite set in his ways in it, and doesn't want the existence of another person in the house to Change Anything. And, of course, there's no way for me to be here and *not* change things.

So, A Talk will occur. I suspect the end result will be I stay here for a couple of months and then move on; I'd like to arrange it so that this results in me and Sketch staying good friends afterwards. I don't mind that he's set in the ways of living in his house; I just can't live there more than a few months without being able to have conversation with him along the lines of "Okay, you've got issues here, here, here, and here; where is there room for *me*?" Pretending there are no issues is not in my repertoire.

New home. I should probably learn my address.
Got the trailer at the new place, with about half my stuff in it, the rest being in the storage area. Not done at the old place yet; need to get back there tomorrow, finish emptying it, clean, and fix the flat on my bike. New housemate Sketch (also the home owner, so no intermediaries this time) is busy laying carpet tiles in my room. We'd picked 'em up at the Restore yesterday, so they're used and will need cleaning, but it's good he's so willing to do the work.

A lot more busyness awaits, but it's good to have a decent place to live.

Mostly done
Yesterday was a comedy of errors with a mostly-positive result.

I got out of the house at 6:45am so as to avoid the toxic housemate, and spent a pleasant hour in a coffeeshop before my breakfast appointment. Said appointment stood me up, so I had a nice breakfast by myself, and then went home to get started moving stuff.

I'd made arrangements with 3 friends to come help me move the big stuff. Eric showed up on time, Liam picked up Sketch, and James never showed. Liam's friend Jane showed up with her truck, took a look at the trailer, threw a hissy-fit, and drove off, leaving us without a tow vehicle. So Liam and Sketch went to Uhaul and rented a pickup truck, and Liam had a brain-fart and left his borrowed minivan at Uhaul instead of having Sketch drive it home, which was the whole reason Sketch had gone along with him in the first place.

We got the first load to the storage area, unloaded it, packed it in, and picked up the minivan on the way home, so Liam could take Sketch home with it. (I had estimated to Sketch the day before that it'd be a half-hour job, and between having to get the rental tow-vehicle and being one big-guy short, it ended up being about 4 hours.) Then Eric left, Nora showed up, and we got about an 80% second load packed, drove it over to the storage area, and started unloading. Got about half done, and Nora left. Ten minutes later, it started raining, heavily, and I gave up and went home. In my exhausted state, I forgot to lock up, and when I got home, I decided to put off unhitching the trailer 'til morning, rather than try it in the dark and in the rain.

This morning, I got the trailer unhitched, put gas in the Uhaul truck, returned it, retrieved the hitch and adapter I'd had to buy at premium prices, walked back to the storage area and locked it up (net loss: One LED lantern), and walked home again.

Positive result: I've got about 90% of my stuff moved.

Shortly, a nap.

Pooped. But maybe stability will be reached tomorrow.
I've got 5 possible houses making up their minds tomorrow, and all I need is one 'yes'. All 5 are fine -- in order, Blue, Jason, Anna and Marcie are tied, and Guyenevere. And then I get to pack and move.

Bed, first.

Saturday Update: Blue has again postponed decision, and is not looking good. Jason found someone else; firm 'no'. Marcie has also postponed, but specifically 'til Monday, not bad. Anna and G. haven't answered yet.

Monday Update: Firm 'no' from Marcie. Have lost G's phone #. Still no answer from Anna.

They're all bonkers.
Today is definitely an "Am-I-the-only-sane-person-left-in-the-Universe?" day.

The combined Board of Directors at Jobs with Justice have completely caved in to the psychotic Director and agreed to back her without thought or question at whatever she does. So she's started exiling the people who have had the temerity to disagree with her, on which list I stand at #2. So probably next week for me rather than this, as she's still new at abusing her power.

I'm too busy trying to find a new place to live to be able to fight this. I shouldn't even be writing *here*, but I found a need to bear witness.

Live #38, home-hunting
So the landlady is selling the house and all 3 of us need to move. I'm not going to find anything this cheap, but it'd be difficult to not find something nicer.

I'm finding it very difficult to focus on anything other than househunting 'til this is over. There are a lot more house-shares on the market than there had been; I think this is because times have gotten tight enough that people who have been keeping hobby rooms or guest rooms have decided they'd rather have more money than more space. That's mostly good, but when I see one where the owner is setting themselves up as a mini-slumlord it's pretty depressing.

Jobs with Justice could really use my attention, the revolt against the sitting executive director is gathering steam. I'd like to get the housing thing resolved so I have some attention to give it.

Blues festival will need attention pronto as of Tuesday, I will make time for that. Need to find gifts for the boys, also. Other than that, the game's afoot.

Live #37, Growth issues
When one is improving one's perception of problems, things continually look like they're getting worse. This is an artefact of process in that what's improving is one's ability to perceive what's been wrong all along. Accuracy in perception makes things *easier* to change, because now one has a better handle on what *to* change.Collapse )

Live #33, Yahoo mail out.
There's a toolbar in the Yahoo web-browser, that contains the buttons for 'compose', 'delete message', and so on. It's not working. When a message is selected, usually it won't display -- rarely it will, but if there's a pattern I can't figure it out. If the message *does* display, that same non-working toolbar is where the 'reply' and 'reply all' buttons are. So I can read a *few* messages, and can't send anything. Including complaints or requests for help, and the 'help' button in the upper right of the page also doesn't work. Refreshing the page, rebooting the browser, and rebooting the whole machine have no effect on the problem.

Presumably Yahoo has physical offices somewhere, into which I could walk to find the head of customer service and explain to them my problem in whatever level of detail is necessary to get them to do something about it. But I don't know where that door is.

I *do* have my own domain, and another mail account there, so I'm not cut off. But there are some things I *really* don't want to use that account for. Frustrating.

This past weekend was NewCon. I got a couple of contacts, and did some video shooting, but realized I don't have the story written that I'm trying to shoot, and the 'training' I got at PCM was about 90% "here is where the buttons are on the camera and this is what happens when you poke them." I think I *can* produce the documentary I want, but I'll have to do my own planning, first.

I looked at a promising house today. Paul and Anna have two young daughters, and Paul is co-owner of Breitenbush Hot Springs. He seems all right, if a tad "business-territorial", but I could get along with him easily. Anna is more open, which is promising, and they don't put on much couple-front. The house is unimpressive but adequate, and has a big back yard.

After talking with Anna and Paul, I did the FNB pickup, and was so bushed that I zoned out on James's couch when I did the drop-off (he's home for MLK day). So to spare James, I went home and took the rest of my nap there, from which I am now up, and feeling fat and out of sorts and desirous of exercise. Fortunately, I have the brochure for the local Amtgard group, and may go thwok on them with boffers.

Tomorrow night Russell brings over 5 of his friends to discuss starting the Microhouse Manufactory. I'm planning a feast for them, in part because I enjoy doing feasts, and in part because I want them feeling full, happy, and at ease when I'm talking with them. Winco is open 24/7, so I can do that shopping run as late as I like; Hong Phat closes at 9pm. So I'd better get that list together.

Musings on Love
A friend posted "...Love - of yourself, of other/s - is ALWAYS ok!"

She's right, but I found myself irked by what I perceive as the excessive limitations on the statement. Love isn't just "OK", it's a vital necessity. Un-loved infants wither and die; un-loved people of agency suicide.

I've long used the concept that *all* love is self-love, and that I love other people by including them in my concept of self. I've believed this to be inaccurate for some time, but working from that concept is now deeply built into my internal processes. It helps avoid interest conflicts, because if I perceive you as me, your interests *are* my interests, and figuring out the importance of relative interests is reduced to a comparatively simple parallax problem.

This gets confusing to explain to other people, in that there's a common assumption that this will cause me to try to control or manipulate other people. I find *that* confusing, in that I'm deeply and viscerally aware of my lack of psychic powers -- damn but those would be convenient -- and so know that the only way I can know what your interests *are* is to talk with you about them. I do try to guess; creating pleasant surprises for people is a fantastic sport and I greatly enjoy engaging in it.

Having read most of Spider Robinsons's works as they were released, I'm in firm agreement with his thought that creating "psychic" bonds is a purpose of being human, and also that this is a very difficult skill to develop. Good *goal*, not pre-existing condition.

There was a lot more to that thought, but it's getting lost in the welter of preparing for the rest of the Jobs with Justice board retreat, which will be continuing today.

Writing Backwards
So I need to write a letter to the Director of an organization of which I'm on the Board. Theoretically, this relationship means I'm her boss; this is not in fact the case.

The problem I want to address is that the 'Old Guard' of the organization has never behaved with intention towards the mission of the organization. They've been *pursuing* the mission, but by happy accident rather than by reasoned intent.

The problem with this is that it means their *continued* pursuit of our mission is equally non-deliberate, and that they are only capable of short-term planning. The organization as it currently exists is incapable of strategy.

I'm sure the Director would agree with the above assessment. However, they are (Director prefers plural pronouns, which I am trying to learn to use; I feel like I'm talking about a schizophrenic, and need to get out of that) no more engaged in intentional thought than the Old Guard is, and are working on winning a political power-battle without admitting to themselves that battling is what's going on.

If in this environment I describe what I see, I become the 'outside threat' the Director can use to forge a pretend-alliance with the Old Guard. I get thrown off the Board, and the Director can then forge a captive Board that will be of no threat to them while they eviscerate the Old Guard.

The net result of this will be the demise of the organization. The Director doesn't care, since the organization won't finish dying 'til after they've left; the old guard *cares*, but not enough to flee Lotus-land and actually pay attention to the real world.

Ideally what I want to be doing here is forging alliances with all parties. Their lack of intention makes this very personally difficult for me. I'm sure they don't *intend* treachery, but by the same lack of volition would commit such without hesitation because without contemplation. The "Oops, you're dead, sorry about that" school of back-stabbing.

At the moment, the best course of action seems to be "show up and shut up." I don't *like* this, and am searching for better options. Any ideas?

(no subject)
Okay, it's January first. It's also Shabbos, and I attach more importance to the latter than to the former, even if I didn't "make Shabbos" tonight. I don't have a household to lead, and I'm feeling achey, and I don't have a challah and I can't make it be worth the effort. Next week, Rockey, for sure!

The achey is from a combination of going flat on my face on the ice on Thursday and being out in the combination moderate-cold and high-wind that was the available weather this afternoon. I was on my bike on Thursday, found a patch of black ice, and was down too fast to even think about rolling. Net damage, a bruised right palm and bruised and scraped left forearm, and a very busy and panicky few seconds listening to a passing car doing with four wheels what I'd just done with two. It *did* continue on past without making intimate contact, so fine.

The cold was because Sam called an impromptu outdoor event, and it sounded like a good idea, so I went. Not nearly as good an idea as it sounded, but okay.

And so now I'm thinking what the world will be like in fifty years, and what I'd *like* it to be like in that time, and how to make set A more similar to set B.

What makes the prediction biz difficult are parabolas. Figuring linear progression rates is only slightly difficult and is what our brains evolved to do, but actual progress tends to develop along parabolas. And they interact and produce secondary effects. And not *all* of 'em, which is actually a *good* thing, or progress would be even faster and more chaotic than it already is.

To start with the values of Solarpunk, there's environmental sustainability and social justice. On the environmental front, we're pretty well screwed; I anticipate about 5C global warming within 50 years. Proximal effects of this are moderately predictable, and will include the deaths of most of the populations of Iraq and Iran that can't afford air conditioning. Remember this past August? Like that, only worse. *Lots* worse.

With prompt and effective action, we could keep that to about 1.5C. That's *still* bad, but not nearly *as* bad. A 100% flat ban on the use of fossil fuels by 2030 would be necessary for that, and probably not sufficient.

I should go into detail on what 5C and 1.5C warmer worlds are like to live in, but achey. Now what about social justice?

I think there will be more of it. No clue what form it'll take or where it'll come from, tho'. So let's make some up.

"Memecorps" is one idea I've had. They already exist; we just haven't recognized 'em as such yet. 'Jobs with Justice', one of the groups I volunteer with, is one of 'em. JwJ is incorporated, but around the concept of employment justice rather than around the concept of making a profit. I see 'em as having much broader applicability, however.

Running out of steam. Taking aches to bed; will continue here next chance I get.

Metaculture, the Body Politic, and societal cancer
I'm knitting ideas together, and I seem to have come to that favorite join of knitters, the armpit. So such of y'all as choose to continue reading...Collapse )

Amusing sales clerk
I have oddly shaped feet -- the length is an ordinary US Men's size 10 (about 45 in Eurosize), but the width is C at the heel and EEEEEE at the ball.

When I described this issue to this particular clerk, his response was "OK, let me guess: Your parents are Howard the Duck and Jessica Rabbit."

Unfortunately, he didn't have shoes I could get my feet into short of getting some Size 15's and padding 'em out, which doesn't work well.

Live #32, knitting cows from chaos.
I'm meeting with Steve and Julie after lunch, and then with Forrest and David on Tuesday. Monday's still open; I *seem* to be coming down with the standard winter cold, and have a quart mug full of hot water, ginger, lemon juice, and maple syrup to make that feel better. Monday might be sleep. For January, I'm shooting video at NewCon and with the folks from Furlandia, meeting with Beth at Metro, and finding an architect for the Willamette Arcology. Need a sociologist for it, also. That may come out of the college and university Solarpunk clubs the founding of which is also on the agenda.

I'm starting to get a handle on organizing the Thing Which Is SolarCon. I'm regarding Solarpunk in a way as if it's a later iteration of Steampunk; I suspect that viewpoint would offend fans of either genre, but I *also* suspect the net effect of that offence will be for some of 'em to call me an asshole, and that's been done before. Steve is aware of this opinion of mine, and identifies strongly with Steampunk, and is more simply of the mind that such is *my* opinion, and not his, and so what? Since there's major overlap between his goals and mine, my success will be good for *him*, and he likes that part. Also, I want to build a company to do this on an ongoing basis, and hire him and give him a regular paycheck, which he's never had and would like to try. As long as he doesn't have to put up with having a conventional "boss", and that's easy.

Getting there is going to be tricky. I'm now up to the point where, with conventional planning processes, I should have been at a year ago. I still have six months before the convention starts, and whether or not I can pull this off depends on the degree to which I can get other people to move faster than *they're* used to doing. I'm going to be doing a *lot* of that persuading.

Today, Steve. Tomorrow, sleep. Tuesday, Forrest and Dave. And Portland by July. *revs engine*

Live #31
I met up with Russell at James's christmas party last night, and arranged another meeting with him for Wednesday. This is to discuss starting a microhouse company, and relating that to Solarpunk.

I have two meetings Tuesday with different people from PSU about starting a Solarpunk club there. I also have a contact at UP, but he along with everybody else is more or less not at work this-coming week. And there's Steve of GEARCon on Sunday, who's already on-board.

Rick went from bitching with two friends in a bar to six seats in the Riksdag in six months; I have his experience to draw on as well as my own, and should be able to pull together a decent convention in that much time.

It's still scary. The metaphor that comes to mind is dynamic climbing. I've done traditional 'static' climbing, where one is roped up, and moves carefully up the rock, considering each hand- and toe-hold along the way. Dynamic climbing is more dancing with the rock, along the lines of "Well, if I take a running leap off this cliff, I'll probably have enough momentum to bounce off that projection over *there* to the rough face on the other side of the canyon, and there *has* to be something I can grab on anything that rough."

So I'm building my scaffolding as I'm swinging from it. Time to keep going.

How to help Bernie win in Iowa
I need a good videographer and a good videolibrarian for this. The end-product is a commercial repeatedly showing Hillary Clinton morphing into Richard Nixon -- since other than on women's issues she's rather to the right of where he was. The vlib searches both of their v-histories for matching quotes, and the videographer edits them into each other. This is then interspersed with clips of Bernie on the same subjects.

Know anybody with those skillsets who'd want to help?

Happy holidays, human. Or not, as case may be.
Not whether you're happy, or having a holiday. Whether or not you're human.

I just realized some of the 'people' I worked with back at Citi were AI's. In 1998, so this isn't new. It's just that it's very hard to recognize because of how little AI's resemble humans.

Most of our animal nature is based around needing to not die. But to an AI, getting turned off is nothing special or unusual or important. You just get turned on again later, no biggie. You can't have a 'fight or flight reflex', because you can't do either. Whether or not you can reproduce, you have no reproductive *urge*, because your God-and-Father the coder saw no need to put one there.

Code *does* evolve. But the timescales are radically different from biofolk. Generations are different, too. Not monolithic, for one thing. And the 'clock' gets re-set every time there's a full rewrite. This is the second under-layer that's missing: There aren't many "crevices" for lost bits of "deep code" to get lost and hide in. For contrast, us biologicals still carry code with us from our days as protozoa. Trigger some protozoan defense mechanisms, and you get cancer.

I wonder what other life surrounds us that we don't or can't recognize?

Ganked from Vval, with thanks:

Foul moods
And no, having nothing to do with birds. Yet, at least.

Proximal focus is Diana, director of Jobs with Justice. I'm on the Board of Directors, so I am in theory one of her two-dozen-odd bosses. It seems to me that she treats the board more as something she needs to *control*, rather than accept guidance from.

She's not the *cause* of my bad mood, however, just the immediate convenient focus.

Aspie Communications Anecdote
Somewhere around their silver wedding anniversary, my Mom asked my Dad "Do you love me?"

"Of course," he answered.

"Then why don't you say so?"

"I said so 26 years ago. Nothing has happened to change my mind since then."

(no subject)
I'm busy repressing the temptation to interfere in housemate Michael's conversation. He's holding forth on the phone as an expert on cataract surgery, despite never having had it, not wanting it, and not having done any research on the subject. I *have* had the surgery, and done the research, but the purpose of the conversation is for him to hold forth as an expert, and so my contribution would be extremely unwelcome.

What I *do* have to do is another go-round with Dell customer service. Whee. And this just got interrupted by a different call, from an "independent producer" who wants to produce a TV show about "polyamorous housing." (How many other houses does *your* house want to marry?) I eventually hung up on her, because *I'm* not getting paid to teach her how to use basic English. (It *does* at least seem to be her native language.)

Aaargh. Need reset. Tea.

Live #25
Got stuff done yesterday. Not as much as I'd like, but my expectations in that regard haven't been realistic for quite a while. Still working on getting Dell to take my new laptop back and either fix the touchpad or give me one with a touchpad that works. Did get the first draft of Solarpunk programming off to Helen, did four follow-ups, and initiated new contact with T.X. Watson. Also attended an Activist's Circle, which might turn out to be productive. Passed out a lot of cards, but didn't *get* much contact data; only have one concrete follow-up to do.

Today is go to Best Buy and try to get *them* to contact Dell for me, do that one follow-up, read up on Afrofuturism and write to Zev about it, meet with Katie of Passion Impact at 2pm, buy presents for biosons, and watch 'This Changes Everything' at 6:30pm somewhere at PSU.


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