Write or Die

I’m Nirgal, i’m 27 and until recently, i never managed to feel comfortable in this messy world.

I never liked going to school, I was bored and i was often reading books or dreaming about being somewhere else while teachers were preaching their rules, their world. I truly loved some teachers, but i ignored most of them not because i didn’t like them, simply because I didn’t feel concerned.

I’ve also suffered a lot, physically and mentally when i was 11-14 years old. I had to go to town in college, and i hated this place, these people, these rules, these never-ending days made of vomited knowledge. I hated it so much that it made me sick plenty of times. I was not happy in this world.

It started to get better in high school. When i was 16, i met some guys with whom i could share some of my thoughts, it helped. I contributed to a anarchist newspaper called “rêvons des révolutions”.

It was a revelation. I realised i needed to write, to share, to alert people about what’s going on !

Since then, i’ve never stopped thinking about how to stop this mess…acre.

Cause i see this mess as a mass massacre. Nothing else. Nothing less.

It always haunted me, and somehow i feel responsible about it.

At the end of high school, i had a choice to make. You know this time in your life you have to decide what your life is gonna be. What you’re gonna learn and what you re gonna work during your entire life… I chose philosophy. I wanted to debate and develop my own thoughts, confront them to others. It wasn’t the good place. I ended the year and watched for something else.

Back then i was thinking : “get quickly a job to be autonomous, then you will have time to write stories.” It wasn’t my smartest idea, but it lead me to fields I would have never been. And I sure don’t regret it.

It’s quite accidentally that i found a job and a school to prepare a management graduate. It was quite cool, half the week sleeping in class, the other half selling and repairing computers in a small shop. But i got bored, repeating the same words and gestures. My boss proposed me to stay after the graduate, I refused.

After that, I’ve worked as a commercial in a small communication company that also had some publishing activities while preparing a communication graduate. I stopped it after nine months because, whatever my efforts to sell the communication products, I wasn’t successful and the only thing i enjoyed during this process was designing and organizing the various actions I intended to find customers.

After I graduated, I tried psychology. I already read a book with mostly the content of the three first years before I even started but it was still interesting. After a few months, a friend working in video games industries told me about a project, and i did what I always wanted to do : I wrote. A fever made of words and worlds took me.

My friend got a job and the project stopped, but I continued writing.

In a few months, i had a blog, I wrote three short stories. I was starting to meet readers and correctors as well as other writers, it was exciting as I was learning so much from all of them. I was in a wonderful community on a website where you can publish your stories, get corrected by others and correct other’s stories. One day I published the beginning of a strange story, something brutal and dark. It came from nowhere and some people in the community loved it and gave precious feedbacks that allowed me to correct and rewrite it like I could have never done it alone. I was happy.

I continued the story on the forum, i posted half a chapter each time. Improved it with the help of the correctors, then i posted the following half chapter. It was working well, but, somewhere like in the middle of the story, the moderators closed the discussion, arguing it was not the place to write a book.

I had no other choice than to make my own forum and get the correctors on it. Some of them were ok, one more half-of-a chapter has been written there, but in the end, it didn’t work as there were a lot of one-time contributors in the writing community.

But the major reason why I couldn’t write anymore is that I had to get a job. My social rights that allowed me to live poorly but happily were about to end. During one year, I tried to find a place, in big shops, door-to-door, mc donalds…

Then, I realised i couldn’t sell anything anymore. It was against everything i strongly believe in. At start, i told myself i was providing advices and services to people in need. It made me like my job selling computers, and i was good at it. But the other experiences told me it’s much more about manipulation, tricks and lies with one goal in mind : steal more of their money. I felt that, to become a good seller, I had to turn off a little switch called humanity.

I then decided that I would never be part of this shit again.

That just lead me into another shit.

No money, no job, no home, no future.

I was pretty lost and confused, not to say almost destroyed, when a friend got me a job in the high school where I “studied”.

It just saved me.

It pulled me together.

Some broken pieces found their places.

Some scars stopped bleeding.

And I wrote again.

The more I was helping the students, listening to them, caring about them, the more I wanted to help myself.

During the last three years, I got a diploma of screen-writing, finished the strange story, got finalist to a writing challenge, worked again on the video-game project’ scenario which, again, aborted. This second fail on the same project told me a few things :

First, do not count on others. If you really want something done, do it.

Do not invest yourself like a blind man in another’s project. It it falls appart, you fall with it.

If I carry my own project, it depends on me. And I wanted to do something concrete, something cool.

That lead me to think more and more about what kind of life I really want. And how to get there.

Eight months ago, Lionel, a dear friend I met in university while studying philosophy, announced me an important decision he made. It’s only now I realise how his life’s choice has changed mine. For ever.

Talking about him could be a long ryde, longer than this one for sure…

We had something in common. He carried a cross, I carried guiltiness. He believes in God, I believe in Humanity.

We talked a lot about people, good and evil, the world. We shared many points of vue, except for one thing. Our faith. Our oath.

And this day, there was something missing in his eyes. The darkness, the pain were gone, as if he had lost his cross. I saw him serene, decided, strong as I never thought he could ever be.

He said he was going to live in a monastery, maybe for ever.

His choice has been hard. He sacrificed a lot of things for something he believes in.

His choice resonated with the crucial one I was thinking about.

At this moment, I had two options in mind : stay in the society, the world where I am born and growth, or leave it to see if the rain is better elsewhere.

It took some time, but I realised that I want to stay in this world but also that there’s no place for me in this world.

I want to be good, be an honest man, and most importantly, I don’t want to have any god or master, a boss or whatever. It’s been a while since I try to follow these words from Nietzsche : “You must become the man you are. Do what you alone can do. Become always who you are, be the master and the sculptor of yourself”.

I also want to have a simple life, to live on my own without having to depend on a system, an organisation. I want to produce my own food, share it with neighbours, share services with them. I don’t wanna eat frozen meat from new Zealand that spent two years in a freezer traveling the seas. I cooked one of these, it was delicious, but it left a strange taste in my mouth.

I need to stay connected. I love music, I use internet daily to stay in touch with friends, search, learn, share… Internet is what you want it to be. For me it’s an extension of my brain. I can live without it, if it disappear, I will not fall apart, I will just be less efficient and lose plenty of time. And I just hate not to be efficient and to lose my time. I’m always looking for better ways to organise and get things done properly. Internet is the perfect tool for that.

I also want to be able to travel to see friends, meet new people, visit new places, new horizons… I want to learn from people all around the world, I wanna meet them, share with them.

I want to travel the world.

That’s all I want and that’s a lot, I realised.

As far as I remember, I’ve always wanted to contribute to something great, something not selfish, something for everyone. I’m a dreamer, and I dreamt a lot about other worlds. I’ve always thought things could be different. Should be different.

And six months ago I had an idea about it. At first, I wanted to make a website to debate about problems to find a solution. During four months, I’ve designed it, talked about with friends, teachers and students. Everyone of them gave me really interesting feedbacks.

It took me a month to get something working with Drupal and the website is online since maybe two months.

It’s called démopolitique.

A web site designed as a tool to help a constructive debate which goal is to democratise politics, to discuss how we can live well together.

The project is actually in beta stage and only in french. As a lot of tools are not completely designed or are under development, it’s mostly a place to discuss about the idea of demopolitique. But we also started, with some other contributors, to discuss about subjects like capitalism or education. Some interesting things have already emerged, and we all have learned from other’s contributions.

It’s mostly about learning, sharing knowledge and point of vues with people that want to see things change. A place where anyone can speak about his life or work conditions and suggest how it could be improved.

The idea is partly inspired from the cahiers de doléances from the french revolution. With modern communication tools, it’s easier than ever to learn, share, discuss, collaborate…

Démopolitique is about that, and it’s about promoting responsible and autonomous ways of life.

As i work in a high school, i’m working on another project pretty close to démopolitique. The project is partly designed and is discussed with teachers, students and librarians. I need to design a new website for this matter for many reasons. it will take time, but it could be running in a couple of weeks. I already have a teacher ready to work on it with two classes before the end of the year. A lot of other teachers I talked to showed interest for this approach. In fact, the project is just a tool to help teachers organise working groups by using community tools. I’d like to make this website a game, where every talent is rewarded. Some students like to search, and are good at it, some others like to synthesise and do it well… A lot of small actions can make something move faster.

I am also part of a fab lab project which will use a tool mostly like démopolitique. The main idea of it is to provide a place with production capabilities and to allow anyone to come and produce anything for a cheap cost.

This lab will encourage creativity, learning and sharing in a sane and autonomous place. We are designing it to be a place where you can live and work, eat, learn and share knowledge with various people.

Ultimately we want to build something like an open source university, where every knowledge and skills will have a place. Somewhere you can learn anything the way you like. You could spend the morning in the field, learning perma-culture, breeding, tracking… and spend the afternoon learning economics, management, programing…

These projects are ambitious and will take a lot of time and efforts. We’re working on it since a few months and can’t count the time spent on it. To be honest, we don’t count it because we just have the feeling we are doing what we’ve always wanted to do.

Since I invest that much in something I believe is good for people, I now have the energy and the willing to make my dreams come true. And I realised lately that some people shared the same dreams and are working for it all around the world. It gave me hope, it gave me faith. Something like a month ago, I said to someone I’d gladly die if I was sure it would help humanity. Sounds a bit fanatic ? It wasn’t. I was pretty desperate about Humanity at this time.

Now, I wanna live.

Anyway, anyhow, I want to help good things happen.

I want to help all of you, with my bare hands if I can.

I’ve always felt I was leaving on an edge.

Between good and evil, others and me, peace and madness.

And I feel like my ryde is just starting.

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Alternate version of my life

Hey Nirgal - thanks for your story! I could connect it to mine at many points and on many levels, it almost read like an alternate version of my life … .

Regarding your friend and the monastery decision: I have to admit that monasteries have indeed some appeal. It’s not only that it is caring about God and dealing with, tackling, the basic questions in life that many tend to avoid (and are miserable doing so). It’s also the power of a disciplined community, somewhat like the “jointness” experience of modern warfare. If monasteries would still be the centers of knowledge and high tech that they have been through the centuries, who knows, I might end up in one …

Like you, I’m a fan of free knowledge and high degrees of personal autonomy. About fab labs, specifically laser cutters and 3D printers and other empowering tech: I would not want to give them back when I had 'em. For now, I have access to a small 3D CNC mill, but it’s a beginning … . What’s interesting is that, seemingly unlike you, I am not interested to find solutions at the level of societies of millions, or even at the global level … so running that démopolitique site would not be my first choice. But people are different, and that’s ok - let’s see what will work out in the end and if we can help each other out. (My ideas, for the time being, are centered around designing economically autarkic mini-societies of ca. 200 people, much like the folks of Open Source Ecology are doing with their open source farmtech.)

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Nice to meet

Hey,

It seems we share lot of things for sure.

To be honest I don’t like using the term fab lab when talking about our project. It’s pretty different than usual fab labs and closer to what you and open source ecology are looking for. I didn’t know this website, thanks for the share, it will help us a lot !

I’d like to know more about your mini-societies you have in mind. I’ve already though a lot about it and would be happy to share ideas about communities.

Concerning demopolitique, you just made me realise I can define it in an other way. It’s designed to help people find solutions at every level of society. We have already planned to adapt it to our lab’s project to organise the life in every aspect. It could be used for a family, a community, a farm, a village, a town, a school, or the world. It’s just about avoiding speaking about important matters in front of each others, but to take the time to think about the problem, search for solutions, and discuss about it.

To be honest, it’s hard to describe it because atm it’s just words and a place for them. I can’t do what I have in mind alone because it’s quite tricky, it’s a technical challenge I can’t do on my own.

Démopolitique is not something I’ve made to change the world, societies, or anything else. I think that knowledge is power and that a lot of people just don’t know what is happening because they don’t look for the truth or don’t know where and how to get it. There’s a lot of websites that are doing a fantastic job to inform people, show them, alert them. I thought it could be cool to use these datas or informations to start discussions, to debate about finding solutions.

The website and the concept behind have evolved a lot since this first idea, but it’s mainly about it. Changing the conditions of a debate to make it accessible and transparent, like actual politics are not. It turned out that while looking for a hostname, we tried, my bro’ and myself during an hour to find a name no one took. Believe me, we tried loooad of things. Démopolitique was available and it made sense.

Démopolitique is not a solution. It’s a tool that could help people find solutions collaboratively. A crowdsolving tool as it’s starting to emerge in sciences, but adapted to language and social issues.

Edit : in fact, edgeryders is technically close to what I have in mind for démopolitique.

Thanks for the explanation! Yes, it makes sense … we definitely need better idea-sourcing, citizen engagement and consensus-making tools for open societies. I have some stuff in my list (incl. Liquid Feedback), but I have yet to meet the killer application in that area. I’ll keep an eye on how your idea develops - the starting point of transforming the discussion makes sense to me.

I’d like to know more about your mini-societies you have in mind. I’ve already though a lot about it and would be happy to share ideas about communities.

In short: it’s a tech-centered project, not a social one. Think of Open Source Ecology and their GVCS set for 50 machines as providing the basic tech to build everything an autarkic mini-society needs. That however is not the full story: it also needs instructions how to build actual products with these tools, how to govern a mini-society, and eventually, how to be sovereign. And all this should be shared open and free, in the sense of open source and free software. I took it on to collect and systematize all the free and open tech needed for a complete “free & open” society, so that one can indeed go on straight away and build one. And I’m still amazed to find a free & open project for pretty much everything. Here’s just some of the amazing stuff that’s going on these days:

  • Bitcoin, a digital crypto currency without central banking
  • Thingiverse, a repository of now nearly 18k free digital designs for 3D printing and CNC milling
  • SolarFire, a free and open 30 kW solar concentrator to build yourself
  • hand pumps, free and open designs, for wells up to 80 m
  • composting toilets, freely shared design, for building yourself
  • Khan Academy, video course materials to learn "almost anything for free"
  • Veloso 3D Printer, high resolution DIY printer not to be compared with RepRap etc. filament deposit printers; maybe not totally free and open, but others will take on that task once the kit is available
  • Solar Sinter Project, DIY SLS 3D printer using just sunlight and sand; an experiment so far, but looks promising
  • OpenMRS, GNUmed, FreeMED, free & open medical record management systems
  • DIY methane and heat from composting, originally invented by Jean Pain the 1970's
  • Horto Domi, a kind of open design automatic garden, controlled by an Arduino
  • FarmHack Tools, another OSE-like community designing free farm equipment
  • Gridbeam, an ingenious DIY construction system - possibilities 8020 T-slot, but can be produced with simple tools
  • BoardX, an open design microcontroller motherboard, extensible with modules
  • load-bearing bicycles, provided as open designs for building yourself
  • Team Wikispeed, producing an open source gasoline car that needs just 1.5l / 100km
  • ...
Could go on and on here; there are literally hundreds of projects in my list already. What I haven't found yet is open source medicine production, but I will take a look at some old herbal medicine manuals for that ... ;)

You can find links to the actual documents indexing all this in my profile; but be aware that these are more than a year old already (I need to update them online, translate them completely, and transform them into  a wiki shape - I’m working on it).

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Nice stuff

Thanks for the share !

I see  we want to build something very similar.

Sharing is particularly important to me as well.

Not only it proves it is possible, it also explains how to do it.

Network Infrastructure

An open source stack for enabling communities to build and deploy a mesh network is a component not yet in your list.

Consider Free Network Foundation’s stack:

  • FreedomTower
  • FreedomNode
  • FreedomLink
  • FreedomNOC
Their site and blog have some good info:

Very good stuff!

Thanks sgormick, great stuff! I did not know about this.

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Democracy and open source

I’m also very interested in democracy and open source hardware.

I think that the ‘open source’ meme (I’m not sure I like that word?) being something relitively new and fresh, offers a pathway that I could see being taken by societies to somewhere I think I’d much rather like to be.

Regarding open source hardware - these sites offer some amazing resources  (beyond the pages I link to here)

List of Free Open Source Hardware

http://rbose.org/wiki/FOSH_list

List of open source renewable energy projects

http://freeknowledge.eu/wiki/index.php/Renewable_Energy

An encyclopedia of sustainable and appropriate technology

http://www.appropedia.org/Welcome_to_Appropedia

Regarding e-democracy a tweet by Hexayurt a few weeks back turned me onto a blog post by Pietro Speroni which I found very thought provoking (both these people are on Edgeryders) http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/speroni20120427  I was particularly struck by the idea that people should remain annonymous within a democratic system.

I was thinking about e-democracy a few years back and came up with something different to the process of votes being cast by proxy as described in LiquidFeedback.  My idea was for after a set time for your  votes to be placed automatically copying those that have a voting record most similar to yourself - giving time for you to review the automatic voting.

I’ve also spent time considering and even carried out ‘action research’ in using SMS text messaging to enable governance participation in groups where regular internet use is not common and ICT skills are not developed and time and energy for participation are limited

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woups

Can’t edit again last talk.

This website is technically close to demopolitique as it has a lot features in common, and some others I plan to implement. But it’s also different in many ways, and what I have in mind is quite different. Just to clarify.

Familiar (and much needed)

Hello and welcome. My name is Alberto. Démopolitique sounds quite familiar (I have briefly checked out the site); in fact many people I know are working on the problem of a better more streamlined way to bring the power of collective intelligence to politics and governance. I am one of them, though my approach is not algorithmic (more precisely, it delpoys algorithms only to noncore activities of the deliberative process).

If you come to Strasbourg you’ll meet a mathematician from Italy, @pietro , who is trying to develop a software to assist collectvive decision making in a “mathematically fair way”. He makes use of the concepts of Pareto front and human genetic algorithms (are you coming?).

I guess we really, really need better and smarter governance. Now. So it’s great that many people like you are working on the issue. I am trying to do my bit too, with Edgeryders and another project that we call Dragon Trainer (video below: first results are here). See where we can get.

Great !

I already found some people already working on this kind of tools, and I’m pretty sure there are others. It would be really interesting to get all of us talking in the same place.

I agree with you, actual governments are silly jokes, dangerous, and new technologies can help us find different solutions.

I think the worst part of actual governments is that it’s representative governments. How can you feel responsible about anything when you choose a guy once in a while and it’s your only possible political act ? Everyone should be listened equally and must have the same chances to be eard.

Of course, I will try to get to the conference. Whatever the difficulties, I really want to get there and meet all of you.

We could learn a lot by sharing our thoughts.

Hey, I did not say that! :slight_smile:

Good stuff, looking forward to meeting you!

But please note I don’t actually think governments are jokes. I have worked for government institutions myself for the past five years! I am on optimist: I think they do need to get better (like everything else), but they are probably the single most powerful card we can play in the face of global emergent issues like global warming or hardcore financiarization of the economy. we will make them better.

Sorry

My apologies.

My words often seem restrictive and not opened. I’m working on that because it already caused me many troubles because it lead to misunderstandings. In fact, I try to see things in a holistic way. Everything is linked, problems have multiple causes…

But it’s really hard for me to be more subtle because I like short and efficient sentences, and I also like strong sentences that means something. I realise talking about governments like a joke may be insulting for people working on it or for it and I apologise about that. It’s my opinion but that’s far from all my thought about governments.

I’m talking about government structures, how they work. As you say, it can be better, it needs to.

I’m pretty aware of the great work people can make. My grand-father did two mayor mandates and managed numerous associations. He made an incredible work in his town. Other people in my family work in social institutions, do great things and love their work. And I realised they spend most of their time and energy struggling and fighting to make things possible.

I think the actual organised structures could be more efficient in many ways. Actual governments have been thought and made too many years ago. They are obsolete as we now have these wonderful communication technologies, management theories…

I do think actual governments are jokes and dangerous. They are jokes because they are too complicated, they have been thought centuries and decades ago and have not been really adapted to reality. It’s quite like justice. No one is supposed to ignore the law, but this knowledge is in the hands of a few. It’s a bad joke because the most important and decisive places in these political structures such as presidents are thrones that give privileges, wealth, and power. We all know humans. They can be good, they also can be wolves to each others. And actual political structures are just a perfect place for them.

Actual governments are dangerous because of this, amongst other things. They are dangerous because they represent incredible powers and can be often lead by guys only interested by their own success. I don’t need to cite names, there are plenty of them. Some people like Etienne Chouard are working on writing a new constitution in france and they do a wonderful work.

There are also wonderful things done thanks to actual government, this website is a perfect exemple, but there’s also structural issues that need to be fixed quickly because nowadays, crucial decisions are being made that will make tomorrow’s world. And I’m quite afraid about what some governments are doing or planning to do.

You are free to say what you think about governments, no need to apologize.

I was reading Andrea Di Mateio’s blog post about government employees this week, and I didn’t like what he said about citizens… (see “Why employees are the missing link for successful open government”) “Who knows best about policy making: cabinet staff or open data entrepreneurs?” Edgeryders is walking in the opposite direction.

There are good government employees, and good decision makers, doing their best out there. Let us face it, if the decisions which have been taken by governments were all appropriate, we wouldn’t be in this actual mess…

How do you think that the structural problems can be fixed? Do you think that citizen’s collaboration could play a role?

Citizens must play a role

I apologized because my words are usually harder than what I think and I don’t like offensing people.

It allowed me to clarify my thoughts about political structures.

To answer your question, I think the only way is to give power to citizen.

The name démopolitique was chosen a bit by accident, but it really made sense. Demos polis : la politique du peuple.

Nowadays things are really complicated, but it’s an artificial complexity.

All the instances, parliaments, ministries, administrations are such a mess. They can’t treat all the data, the needs, the voices that need to be studied just to do their job.

If you add the vertical structure that is common to the majority of organisations (professional or public ones), it just can’t work at all.

Hierarchy is for me the worst thing ever. There’s a sentence I like to use when talking about bad side effects of hierarchy : “shit always goes down”. And reality tends to stay down because of hierarchy. We need leaders, we need people that can organise things and people. But they don’t need all that power to do their jobs. In fact, they do a better job when they are amongst the people they work with, close to the reality. I don’t need to argue on it, there’s thousands of studies that show the inefficiency of hierarchical organised structures. And there’s more exemples of differently managed structures.

I think we can get rid of hierarchy.

It’s just common sense. There’s things that work better, let’s do it.

Actually, I think the solution is just in front of us.

Like pieces of a worldwide puzzle, there are solutions for every problem in someone’s mind.

But these solutions are not taken into consideration mostly because these guys and garls can’t be listened, or can’t materialise their ideas.

I share the feeling we are all linked somehow. Something interesting with internet is that it’s making it real.

In History, there are some exemples of technics that appeared in different places in the same time at far distances. There are also a lot of technical knowledge that disappeared to appear somewhere else later or some that couldn’t find an application at the time it emerged.

Internet changes the deal. Talents, uncommon people can find a place to express what they are and eventually find people sharing the same sight. They have a virtual place where they can share and grow with people they would have never met.

As I’m looking for an autonomous and responsable life, I made a lot of searches about it and found a lot of cool sites, ideas, ways of life. Neodynos shared a lot of links on this same page that I wasn’t aware of. It’s just like everything is just here. I’m pretty sure that if you get all of these people discussing together and sharing their knowledges with anyone that is interested in the subject… Something would emerge. Maybe the world we will live in ten or twenty years, maybe less, maybe more.

I searched about things like démopolitique and I realised there are also a lot of people working on projects really similar. Something interesting is that I did not find anyone that had the same approach. If we discuss altogether, sharing our ideas and propose something in common that everyone can discuss about… Something else could emerge. A tool to help us organise our behavior locally and globally.

These two topics concern everyone of us. It’s about our life, and life with others.

A lot of people are not informed or just don’t care. Internet is somehow like real life on this point. You can live between four walls and never look at what’s beyond.

When there’s walls, there’s often a door or a window. But windows are polluted by false dreams, tricks, lies…

Advertisments are a plague. They cost a lot of talents, they pollute the air, our eyes, our minds.

I don’t see the need for companies to compete to each others. They could share knowledge, learn from each other to be more innovative and efficient and I’m pretty sure it will give a leap forward at all levels.

Advertisments are not a good way to inform people about products. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but there’s no advertisment type that is more than 20 or 25% efficient, and it was the most expensive one. A side effect is that it’s pretty hard to find exactly what you want because it’s all about tricking your choices. There must be other ways to do it.

People do have needs. Advertisments create needs, illusions, and twist reality.

Many industries used ecology or health as an argument, a look, a style. By doing it, they confused the real meaning of these important subjects.

I recently met a 17 years old student that just discovered what’s happening whith ecology while trying to find a subject for a group work. She was furious about it, she said she talked around her. she even alerted her mother !

I was petrifed.

How ?

Advertisments and misinformation are part of the answer.

I also think it’s because a lot of people think that we can’t live differently.

Eco-responsible life means a rude life, made of sacrifices, for a lot of people.

There are a lot of emerging technologies that could allow us a transition with just some life changes.

All of that is not about decisions which are now made by a few.

All of that is possible by the many.

Open and transparent businesses

Nirgal, you would make a fantastic open government advocate!

Thank you for explaining the origin of the word ‘Démopolitique’. I was wondering where it came from. It was the first time I was seeing it.

Fascinating. You understand that these principles must be extended to business as well. It will. Eventually. Some governments are trying to educate the business sector. I think it should be included in any opengov plan: there should be strategies for raising awareness among the business leaders, and programs to help business to become more open and transparent.

All this can take place, because we are all connected to each other. We have recently become more aware of these links because of the connections emerging from the rise of social media. The day that we will work together in this direction, things will probably align by themselves. There will be more balance in the distribution of power, and balance will spread to everything else.

Most of the time, we witness the whole emphasis on technological tools and there is almost no vision, no understanding about the how and the why, and the nature of things.

I am one of the few who speak about consciousness in the sphere of open government. Yet it seems very obvious to me: understand the nature of consciousness, to be able to consciously manage the collective consciousness. When I say this, everyone looks up, with some embarrassment! Uh.

+75

While I am at it, I am awarding you +75 reputation for a very honest and compelling mission report. Good work! :slight_smile:

Les ‘mous’ et le ‘souci exclusif de soi’

Hello Nirgal. Monastic life is also something which I have always been somehow temped to try. There are times in my life that I would have liked to drop everything and go on a high mountain, and stay there, recluse. But I am unable to sit cross-legged, since I was 8 years old, because I have too much energy in my body. It’s a bit ridiculous, but that’s what has made me think that monastic life was not for me! That was when I was 8. My understanding of the world has grown since then, and now I realize that the greater the degree of goodness (illumination), the more sensitive the mind becomes to the sorrows of fellow beings and more resolutely does it act to alleviate their condition. That is just the way it goes… The aim of the desire to become a better person is not to make one insensitive to the environment or to the pain and suffering of fellow human beings.

Selfish occupation with one’s own salvation (ie monastic life), when the world is burning, is not really considered a sign of spiritual regeneration anymore.

I just discovered your Démopolitique web site, and we are on the same wavelength.

I especially enjoyed reading your ‘dilution of responsibility’. I repeated numerous times on this Edgeryders platform that we are responsible for everything (since we are all connected to each other. We are One).

Reading through your web site made me think about the essays of philosopher and sociologist Pascal Brucker, which I read many years ago. Actually, that was 20 years ago.

Bruckner, dans ‘La mélancolique démocratie’, a dressé une exquise description des ‘mous’.

À moins de dire et d’écrire n’importe quoi, on ne voit pas comment le souci exclusif de soi pourrait nous sensibiliser au drame humain, concret, immédiat de la famine, comment la mode creuse le lit des droits de l’homme et fait ouvrir les yeux sur le malheur de l’humanité, comment la participation passagère à la carte, à la fois branchée, drôle et festive, à des concerts antiracistes nous transforme en philanthrope, bref comment l’on peut être à la fois détaché et concerné, égoïste et altruiste.’ (Bruckner, avril 1990)

Tout comme Bruckner, je suis convaincue que le ‘souci exclusif de soi’ (le sentiment d’être séparé, le fait de ne pas percevoir la non-séparabilité), je pense que c’est à l’origine des maux de notre société actuelle. Et que nous sommes en fait tellement enfoncés dans ce souci exclusif de soi que notre société a sombré dans la décadence.

Il n’y a pas de quoi être fiers de l’Age du Nucléaire dans lequel nous vivons. Non seulement nous sommes devenus indifférents aux gens qui meurent de faim et de violence chaque jour, mais nous sommes devenus à ce point fous d’avoir créé des armes si puissantes et meurtrières qu’elles peuvent anéantir l’humanité toute entière, en plus d’effacer de la surface du globe un nombre incalculable d’espèces vivantes.

Nous continuons de vivre dans ce monde, avec cette menace qui pèse sur nous, telle une épée de Damoclès, comme si tout allait bien. Nous vaquons à nos petites occupations sans réfléchir aux conséquences de notre grave errement collectif.

Il y a 20 ans, je lisais Bruckner, qui nous avertissait que ‘notre société s’est abonnée au conte de fées et ne veut plus entendre parler du négatif. Comment a-t-on pu penser qu’une fois les furies partisanes apaisées, nos pays allaient s’orienter vers la coopération en vue du bien public? La vérité, c’est que les égoïsmes catégoriels se déchaînent comme jamais dans une modération en effet quasi générale et une indifférence de chacun au sort de tous.’

La différence, entre il y a 20 ans, et aujourd’hui, c’est que la jeunesse n’adhère plus autant au ‘souci exclusif de soi’, que les générations précédentes.

La différence, c’est qu’il émerge en ce moment même, des mystiques à la pelletée. C’est grâce à ces individus qui s’efforcent de faire le bien, qu’une nouvelle société pourra se construire. J’ai bon espoir que la coopération sera cette fois-ci au rendez-vous.

C. C. Jung believed that the human being is essentially dark. “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” He explored the possibilities of the soul, he was on the right track, but did not completely manage to unravel its  mysteries, and what it does for the world.

I think there are much brighter prospects for humanity. We walk towards a more balanced society.

About 6 weeks ago, I had the honor to meet Gene Kieffer, president of the Kundalini Research Foundation, and an ex-journalist who edited many books of Gopi Krishna. In 2007, Gene Kieffer declared, about Kundalini (the process leading to illumination of the mind):  ‘Kundalini changes everything, not only within the individual in whom this process awakens, but within society as well. If as many as ten men or women become enlightened in the 21st century, the world would be changed completely.’ (ref, The biggest story of the century)

There are thousands awakening at once, now…

Le temps des ‘mous’ tire-t-il à sa fin?

As you said, thousands of people are starting to look for something else.

The last events showed to everyone that there was something wrong.

We are in an economic world war since a while and it seems like wind is changing sides. I think the seeds that brought these changes are internet and open source spirit. Capitalism works around intellectual property, especially when it becomes technical, and wins because of it.

The more free knowledge is available on the web, the more the thrones will tremble.

The battlefield that is to come may be about knowledge and the possibility to use it.

There are plenty of talented people around the world who want to learn. There are autistic people that can show excpetionnal talents when well surounded. There are also millions of wasted talents. I mean administrative tasks that somehow remind me an old movie. I mean all the gifted people working for secret services, advertisments…

I could write an encyclopedia about all the talents wasted because they just can’t find their place or because they are not used for something good.

And I really don’t like this situation because I love sciences. I’m not good at numbers so I leave a huge part of it to others, but I’m always curious about what is happening in every domain. And it’s getting faster. I already feel like in one of the many science-fiction books i’ve read when I was younger. But if everyone had the same chances…

The ones holding the secrets may argue it’s for the best of the most. But governments and laboratories take decisions that concern all of us when they toy with genetics, nuclear, or any research. There are already people working on democratise choices around science researches in france : http://sciencescitoyennes.org/, And there must be other people working for the same thing i’m not aware of.  These choices must not be those of a few.

It’s just too dangerous.

I’m talking about species survival.

Ours.

And we can survive.

It’s just that a lot people don’t know how or can’t in their situation.

Luckily, more and more people are sharing their knowledge, their passions and find new ways, new lives. Even more luckily, all of this tends to be free and shared. It will take a lot of time and efforts, but we have the tools to make it right. Many people have a clue, or know how they can live in a responsible and automous way.

My friend found his way. He lives a simple life, reads, pray… I don’t think his monastery depends on vatican and they produce a superb liquor : la chartreuse !

I understand what you said about him, it’s what I first thought. He’s leaving the boat ! He deserts !

But he said something that made me change my mind.

He got there because he always believed in God, he raised with it and studied a lot about it. He wanted to learn, read, meditate and pray. And most importantly he wanted to be happy and his choice was obviously a good step in that direction. He also asked a crucial question : how can you be useful to humanity ?

He answered that he has faith that if a man gets to be happy, it helps everyone.

A lot of wise men retreated and it never harmed anybody.

He found an answer to this question that rings in our mind : what do I really want ?

You want what you believe is good for you.

And nowadays, there’s a lot of lies about it.

I wonder how you’d do…

with the International Otherhood of Artmonks (it exists!) or similar organizations. I’ve got quite a monastric streak myself, can’t ever quite seem to fit into the world as it is, only fitting into the process of making the world what it ought to be.

Isn’t the phrase they use “to be in the world but not of it” meaning to be sort of here, but not fully engaged in the madness of it all?

What do you think? Is that possible?