February 20th, 2005

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Starting to angst about work again; much too early. But it is at least a wee bit legit to angst about what I want to get done Collapse )

So I'm getting better at handling shit, but what am I doing about fulfilling my *own* purposes in life? I'll see if I can get back to writing something about that next.

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So what's immediately important for me is getting life running the way I'd like it to be. My short-term goal is to get moved and settled into New York City this coming summer, so that Zack can learn how to live in a city and Gabe can continue his artistic education. What's in it for me is helping my family grow properly, which is a need of mine.

Problem is, life isn't only about making sure the laundry and dishes get done, the dog-shit gets cleaned up, the money getting made and the bills getting paid. These are all necessary, true, but follow this through reductio ad absurdam and the Purpose of our Existence is brushing our teeth every morning. No.

So if I'm trying to demonstrate How To Live Life to my family, I have to have my own larger dream to pursue, so I can show them myself pursuing it. That way the function of the maintenance stuff *as* maintenance stuff can be demonstrated. We keep a nice house? Why? So we are happy inviting people over to share it with us, as is necessary for attracting them to our community. [as part of my own personal example.]

More in a bit; I have to find out why my computer is making animal noises.

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So my computer was making animal noises because there was another browser running that had been directed to a gaming site, and was asking me to swing from vines and catch monkeys. And from that I went to being distracted by pain, which I suspect is a bit of bursitis in my left hip. If so, I'll have to find a doctor to give me a cortizone shot, which is a nuisance but not a critical one.

Now to take care of a bit of mundania, then back to telling you my dreams.

Community Designing

So first a dream, and then why it doesn't apply.

The dream: A community based on "social entities," rather than an overarching belief system. You're a member of the community if a.) you self-identify as one and let the other members know about it, and b.) actively participate in at least two of the social entities. Reason for two is to prevent bottlenecks of viewpoint or information.

Entity the first: The Respectabiz. Simple and useful, it's any respectable money- and contact- making business. It exists to provide cash, information, and influence to the community. The job shop I work in now could fill this role, or a real estate holding company, or a law firm, or a widget manufacturer. You get the idea.

Entity the second, much more exciting: The Improvisatory Repertory Company. It might also make money, but that's not why it's here. It's here to train us in how to best express ourselves, and keep our social muscles loose and working. Also to be fun. Inspiration is from dealing with a problem in my early SCA days, people who got so into their persona they lost track of the fact they're *not* their persona. If you have to switch personae every few days this becomes a very difficult mistake to make.

Entity the third: The Educational Institute. Exists to keep an example of first-class research right under our noses, so we don't forget how to do it or what it looks like. Can also provide references for our community members who are about to go off to graduate school.

Entity the fourth: The Hacker Cabal. Provides data mining and research to the rest of the community. An awareness of what exists out there and how it might be useful to us, as well as making sure our own network works and isn't spied upon without our knowledge or corrupted.

Entity the fifth: Parnosseh Enterprises. Provides employment for our students, artists, artistes, and anyone else who wants to study philosophy. They can do so while hammering shingles and making themselves useful.

Entity the sixth: The Living Company. Feeds us, making sure the food is both nutritionally proper and esthetically pleasing, cleans up after us, makes sure the toilet works, the house is warm, and there's babysitting if we want to go out and be adults for a while. And also can provide these services to others, for a fee.

Entity the seventh: Daycare/elementary school, so our kids grow up with our values. Could be privately run, or could be the result of getting a plurality on the schoolboard in a moderately liberal community.

Entity the eighth: An office in the medical industry. Could be a doctor, or a referral company, just someone whose job it is to know which doctor we want to send you to when you turn purple, stop breathing, and fall down, and to have just enough clout to make sure the doctor sees you.

We can add more entities if we like; this was just a basic "I want this" list.

One advantage of this particular community structure is that it doesn't have a rigid boundary. My paranoid hindbrain tells me that in the modern world anything you can draw a line around is a target. By *not* going with a geographical community or something with a rigid members list, whoever the Bad Guys of the Week are they have a hard time figuring out who *we* are. Another advantage of this is that people can become involved in any of the community entities without "joining" the community. We then get as much time as we want to case 'em out and see if we want to invite 'em further in.

The disadvantage is that this model doesn't of and by itself tell us who we are. It'd work just as well for a bunch of Zen peacemongers or the American Nazi Party. So who are *we*, what do we want, and how do we decide?

This and other questions to be addressed the next time I take a hit of philosophy.