zaterdag, september 08, 2018

What is a topic?

(Copied form my first entry in the GCC forum)
I was the one that noted this question in the last GCC Friday Experiment Conversation of September 8th. It is on my mind since 1984. Then I worked for a year at the now vanished Fokker Airplane factory. I was hired to bring clarity and structure into the internal documentation of the R&D facility for Advanced Composites. (Plastic planes seemed a far fetched dream for most engineers, back then.) So I dreamt a lot about structure, categorisation, standardisation, taxonomies and keywords.
All my ideas still apply, but have also shown their limitations. They are only valid from one single vantage point. Any rigid system requires the acceptance of many preconditions in order to function and be of use. Writing this piece for instance requires me to accept the alphabet, the qwerty keyboard and the english language. All are alien to me and demand a slice of my limited attention. So I recognise the comment by our friend Kreutzer.

From a more integral perspective we have learnt that any predefined structure is a limitation to the one that might naturally emerge. Yet emergence is easier when embedded in a proper structure. I now reason from the assumption that any structure (this Wordpress environment offered by Josh) is as good as any. And immeasurably better than no structure or connection point. The factual experiment is in just doing this and adapt and learn by doing it.

Now what makes a topic a topic?

The short answer is; I don't know yet. But my felt sense is that I am closer to understanding it then before. Thanks to my learnings and experiences in the integral community of which GCC is one expression. So let me think out load here for a bit. Hoping to feed your thinking and our dialog.

I lately use NEEDS as my most stable starting point in understanding human behavior. This thanks to my friend Sven van Echelpoel who proved to be far more consistent than me in applying the insights from Marshal Rosenberg on this. The simple starting point is this unrefuted assumption: All our behaviour stems from needs. And Abram Maslov discovered their hierarchy. His contemporary colleague Clare Graves discovered the psychological healthy behaviours or coping strategies humans develop to meet those needs. So they are in a hierarchical order as well. A simple experiential proof, you can do yourself anytime: Even the most pressing situations can be interrupted by bio breaks. 
It is that natural hierarchy that defines our lives, our interests and hence also define the distinctions between what we call 'topics'.

So in my mind 'topics' are situations or instances that require attention. Due to their very nature of being they draw my attention because they initiate a tension. (Attention and tension are related methinks) The same thing can go by totally unnoticed by others. A topic is anything that is interesting to me, of interest. Interest means it holds or represents a potential value. Negative value if it is considered a risk or threat, positive value if it promises any gain.

So following this line of thought from a human standpoint topics have a natural order. And I personally see the GCC as a group focused on 'Restoring viability to a disordered world'. Here I deliberately quote 'Levels of Existence as Seen by Dr. Clare W. Graves'.
This is the defining need that brings us together and hence defines our interests and the priorities of the topics we treat and discuss.
The interesting (!) aspect of the integral approach is that it does not exclude or deny any prior need, interest or topic, but embraces them as an essential part of the wholeness. And as the records of our conversations show this way all unmet tensions surface and require attention. I need to heal my own fractured psychology as part of my ambition to restore the viability of the society around me.

Summarising my thoughts so far, I would say that our striving to<em> find appropriate forms of collaboration to cope with the current global challenges</em> is one of our main topics. Following that logic everything else follows from that and might be ordered according to the hierarchies I mentioned earlier. And we can attribute our attention following the same prioritisation. As a group or individually. No need to agree or wait for permission before following your own interest. That is only one beauty of this emergent paradigm.

NB I notice that <em> 'Finding appropriate forms of collaboration to cope with the current global challenges'</em> can be seen as the HOW in answer to the WHY of GCC. The more action oriented among us gravitate to the WHAT we can do. 

Harry van der Velde

maandag, augustus 06, 2018

My mission.

Written in 2016, but it still stands. So... 

My mission on earth is to help create a good life for all, developing my knowledge, emotional intelligence and skills. I promised my self to evolve my full potential. Grateful for the gift of life itself. Including the inheritance of our ancestors. That what we call our culture and civilization.
I feel the need to accelerate evolution in order to survive the systemic threats to our ecosystem. Not just for me or my daughter after me. It is for the wholeness of life.

How to collaborate or How to do 'us' better.

Beliefs change, principles do not (universal laws)

current quest:
How to collaborate
How to do ús'better.
  • problem originated: behavior humanity threathens it's future
  • give energy (time x attention) to solution
Solution = everybodies needs met. Now and later

  • basic conditions: Health shelter, community
  • level of comfortability
tension evokes attention @tension

On purpose

De 'circle of consent' van Betty Martin heeft woorden gegeven en gebaren bewust gemaakt  die ik eerder nooit had.
Eerst enkel binnen de context van een 'touch workshop' over aanraken en aangeraakt (willen) worden en (kunnen) ontvangen geven en nemen enzovoorts.

Inmiddels zie ik de beperktheid in het culturele wereldbeeld die ikzelf meedroeg ook in andere domeinen.
En wel ook in de zakenwereld, waar het mercantiele bitalerale zakelijke contract de enige optie lijkt te zijn.
In onze uitwisseling blijkt dat al zeer onvoldoende zoals we net bespraken.

Bij het nieuw organiseren vormt die beperkte beeld een steeds storender obstakel in het denken over nieuwere oplossingen.

The reward thing

The internet develops into a global artificial nerve system (mixel kiemen + Francis Heylighen)

The internet seems to be at the stage of differentiation. The funghi now hosts larger blobs. Huge centralized functions like google and facebook and ali baba.
They suck up a lot of the energy and develop in a tumor like fashion, wanting to take over the whole.

Patreon to me is one of those crowd funded new patterns that demonstrates another emerging new global behavior.
What wikipedia did to media, kickstarter dit do banks, patreon can do for economy
current commerce is basically always a two dimensional p2p transactional channel/pipeline
In a patreon concept, a person is not payed for each output with a p2p transaction, but he is funded to do his own thing according to his own best interest.
Because money follows value (Mila)
That is fundamentally different. The next stage is a group of 'cells' crowd funded. like a band or...T4T of GCC! 
That group would then autonomously rule how they use that fund to thrive. Their internal small group function is their own responsibility/freedom. (which will evolve through the global spread of open data about best practices)

stop sounding the alarm bell, because those who ring it (The forward future watching generalists in their watch tower) only scare the deatil traditionalist of gated conservative tribe on the ground into building up their defenses even stronger. higher wall, deeper ditches, hard labour, but no progress, just regression

+ so follow the joy (anna)

How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions SFI Community Lecture - Damon Centola -

Harry van der Velde

(0031) 618 393 115

zondag, april 08, 2018

Liefde moet van twee kanten komen

Deze volkswijsheid kreeg ik al heel vroeg mee samen met sinterklaasversjes, psalmen, spreekwoorden en andere culturele injecties. Mijn moeder gebruikte het als een concluderende verklaring van minder succesvolle contacten en het was voor mij evenzeer een onbewust beleefd gegeven als het eten en drinken waar ik meer opgroeide. Pas vandaag, bijna 65 jaar onderweg naar mijn einde, krijgt het een diepere betekenis. Niet spontaan op de gebruikelijke gevoelslaag maar op het hardere overlevingsfundament er onder. Ook niet als spontaan inzicht maar door een bewust gekozen zorgvuldige ontleding van mijn eigen gedrag. In 1980 bij Fokker werd ik verliefd werd op een specifieke betekenis van het woord Thesaurus: bewaakte woordenschat. Die belofte van werkelijke talige eenduidigheid heeft me tot zeer recent enorm geïnspireerd. Ik vond daarmee een aanpak om grip te krijgen op mijn bestaan. Zorgvuldige gedefinieerde woorden kunnen een helderheid creëren die vergelijkbaar is met illustraties volgens de 'klare lijn' stijl. Het soort van geoptimaliseerde functionele overzichtelijkheid die ik broodnodig had. En waarnaar in deze tijden van immer groeiende complexiteit enorme vraag blijkt te zijn. Infographics en data visualisaties zijn daardoor tijdens mijn generatie tot bloei gekomen. Een goed gekozen woord weet de betekenis van het achterliggende begrip perfect te 'grijpen'. Zoals het juiste tangetje iets heel precies en onherroepelijk in zijn greep kan hebben. Volledig in de hand van de gebruiker en aan diens wil overgeleverd. Om te worden gebuikt ten goede of ten kwade
Een goed gedefinieerd woord raakt precies waar 'het' om gaat. Er bestaat zelfs iets als een goed ontwikkelde 'Clear Language' beweging in Engeland die zich hier methodisch mee bezig houdt.

Mijn inzicht in het belang en effect van zorgvuldig taalgebruik en vooral van de meest oorspronkelijke definities dank ik aan het boek 'De korte weg naar wijsheid' van de vergeten Nederlandse goeroe Saswitha. Hij liet mij als lezer hele zinnen van voor naar achteren lezen en va achteren naar voren, elk woord herkauwend tot ik het woord voor woord begreep en de betekenis had verteerd en in mij opgenomen. Vanuit dat inzicht ons taalgebruik observerend, leken juist onze meest wezenlijke basisbegrippen ambigu en on(be)grijpbaar. Woorden als liefde, geluk, trouw, menselijkheid, gemeenschap, politiek, recht, economie, wetenschap zijn verbazingwekkend ruime containerbegrippen. Iedereen lijkt vrij om ze als vlaggen te gebruiken op eender welke modderschuit. (Ik neem waar dat ik hier om algemeen te kunnen blijven teruggrijp naar metaforen.) Ik heb dat altijd ervaren als een onbegrijpelijke slordigheid. Neem eender welk futiel formeel contract en het begint met de beschrijving van wat de sleutelbegrippen betekenen. Dat houvast mis ik in de echte wereld. Wat moest ik als kind met ronkende beweringen als "zo is liefde de vervulling der wet" die ik Christenkind op zondag als vermaning over me heen kreeg..? Ik werd daardoor evenzeer magisch geïmponeerd als volledig verward. En radeloos om me heen kijkend leek ik de enige te zijn die in plaats van geruststelling paniek ervoer. Dit gevoel van niet adequaat zijn heeft mijn leven verregaand bepaald. (Nu nog ligt er altijd één boekje onder handbereik: het Prisma handwoordenboek 'vreemde woorden'. Ik zoek nu ook 'adequaat' op. Duidt dat onnederlands klinkende woord inderdaad correct aan wat ik wil zeggen? Eh ja, en wel precies, godzijdank.)

Het belangrijkste woord
Het belangrijkste woord dat ik ken is 'liefde'. Ik sla hier even over hoe ik er toe ben gekomen, maar mijn huidige werkdefinitie van 'liefde' is 'eenheid'. Als staat van zijn, als beleving en mogelijk meer. Tot nu toe voldoet die definitie uitstekend. Ook enkel als innerlijke duiding in contacten waarbij de anderen deze rationalisatie mordicus verwerpen.

Mijn leven als individu is afhankelijk van succesvolle onderhandelingen met anderen. In gronde gaat het over de brute overlevingskansen van de betrokken partijen. Instinctief en uit vroege ervaringen weten we dat we elkaar nodig hebben, ook al wordt dat niet altijd beleefd als een aangenaam aspect. De overlevingsdrang is ten diepste egoïstisch en meedogenloos. Alle andere gedragingen stoelen op later ontwikkelde vermogens. Ik vrees dat 'liefde' zo ook kan worden bezien als een functie van een vroege overlevingsstrategie. Zoals een kind overgeleverd is aan de 'liefde' van zijn moeder. Een al bijna even basaal instinct dat voor de vrouw in kwestie eigenlijk een existentieel dilemma is. Waar wordt de zelfzorg opzij gezet voor de zorg voor het eigen kroost? Als man heb ik dat niet beleefd van binnenuit, ik heb 'enkel' de effecten meegekregen van mijn eigen moeder. Een emotioneel verwaarloosd halfweesje, dat zich eenmaal gehuwd, opgescheept zag met acht 'van God gegeven' kinderen. Maar nu als bijna 65 jarige wil ik me ontdoen van de laatste illusoire noties van menselijkheid waarmee wij ons in schijnbare nederigheid omhullen. Ik vermoed nu dat al ons gedrag, hoe verfijnd en kunstzinnig soms ook, altijd utilitair geworteld is.

De crux: liefde is eenheid volgens mijn definitie. Als die eenheid niet wordt geleefd in wederkerigheid bestaat hij daar niet. Eenzijdige (voor)liefde voor iets of iemand is dus een verlangen, een zin hebben in iets of zinnen gezet hebben op iets, een projectie van een behoefte. Een wederkerige behoefte kan leiden tot een gedeeld vruchtbaar contact en de partijen nader brengen. Na een bepaalde consistente mate van die toenadering ontstaat er effectief een nieuwe eenheid. Dan vormen beide partijen een natuurlijk of kunstmatige entiteit, een nieuw 'instituut'. Zo worden twee vrienden maten, samenwerkenden compagnons, corporanten of coöperanten, geliefden een 'stel' enzovoorts. In onze samenleving herkennen we de uitkomst van dat patroon in de namen voor verwante grootschaliger instituten als maatschappij, compagnie, coöperatie of corporatie, en in het instituut huwelijk.

Met behulp van deze meedogenloze verklaring neem ik mijn eigen relaties onder de loep. En ze schijnen me allemaal utilitair toe. De meest aangename contacten verwateren tenzij ze mij iets brengen. Mijn moeder had een gezegde dat eindigde met ".... en eigenbelang, daar schudt en dreunt de wereld van."

donderdag, maart 15, 2018

Grounded in beliefs and assumptions

For over more than 60 years I have been on a quest for understanding of my self and the world around me, I have had to leave behind almost all the securities that defined me. All that is left is a state of wonder and disbelief. All that defines what I know as 'normal' turns out to be just some loose assumptions we all take for granted. Further scrutiny reveals that this shared belief is the single most solid property of it all.
Ownership, money, law are mere social constructs. God turned out to be just as unreal as Santa Claus. The state that defined my citizenship and identity is a young immature concept, based on insecure power balances. The earth we rely on is not an endless resource but almost depleted. There is growing awareness that the current human behaviour is threatening our very own existence. How to go about this finding is a mostly unanswered question. Ignoring it is a deadly option for the human species.

At this moment I have only myself and my felt sense to inform me. I feel my body on the seat and the ground below it. There is nothing that wants to kill me. Contrarily. So it is all about us. You and me. Can we talk? Look at it? Can we change this huge intertwined social construction and replace it with a better designed function? More consciously engineered for durability, stability and resilience?

Looking at the pace at which we have changed the face of the earth in just a century, combined with the power and knowledge we developed at the same time I would say of course. It is just another design quest. So let's open source it. What is the best next version of the human collective operation system?

vrijdag, maart 02, 2018

Towards a generative economy

Most of my conversations are in some way associated with one of my main concerns: 
How does human society evolve to a more durable form?
The technological revolutions have brought unprecedented wealth, but the side effects turn out to be life threatening in the long term. The complexity of it all is staggering and increasing. Too much of too much.

So back to simplicity. To the founding principles behind the universal laws that shape our lives.
I am trying to see, sense, feel and think into the truth of stable patterns for humans that are common sense across cultures. The generative traits from which progress is made.
(Noting that the destructive ones automatically get enough attention. Thanks to our amygdala function)

I very recently formulated -more distilled- two interesting points:
  1. We are in this world individually. We are born and die alone. Each choice in between is our own. (Even if we are made to believe differently.)
    This innate autonomy gives any person the freedom to bring to the world what ever they decide is the right thing to do. And every single one of us by definition brings something that is unique.
    But the point is that contribution is individual.
  2. On the other hand receiving is not. Whether it is actively taking or passively accepting. Because what ever you receive comes from a source that is not you.
    It could be from another person, directly from mother earth or anything in between. This is to me a crucial difference that we need to deeply understand. 

Whether and how and what I contribute is my autonomous choice. 
Whether and how and what I receive involves more than just me.

Makes sense?

These actions seemed to be mirrors, but now I think they represent essential different qualities.
And I now suspect understanding the implications and consequences could point to 'doing us differently'.

We have built our society on transactions. This mercantile approach seemed to me the best way to get along with each other. And it is in fact a great improvement above bluntly stealing and fighting. Yet the underlying principle remains the same: Competition. 
There is enormous evidence of the negative side effects. History is full of grueling examples. 
The most negative effect being the spread of inequality. That is a threat to the harmony and stability of human society. There inevitably comes a point in which it seems worth while for the poorest to use violence to get their needs met. 

So after acknowledging this unpleasant truth, could we imagine a modern way to interact without that outcome? A more durable form of human society?
Can this
new dicernment between the nature of contributing and receiving be of value here? I think it can. And I sense this awareness is rising not only in my mind.

Can we imagine the natural interaction between those two principles
  • That what I bring is mine to decide freely
  • That what I receive is up to the other, or the others, or the larger context.
To me the interaction between those two points evokes a very old archetypical pattern: 
That one of a tribe gathering. Every one brings their contributions and put them in the middle. And when everything is present (either scarce or abundant) it is distributed between those present. Without any need to measure or weigh or negotiate or compete about who brought what.  In this context that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that everybody needs to eat and survive.

That image shows me more overlooked truths:
  • The need of people show far less variation than their ability to contribute.
  • In a healthy society the majority is of good will and likes to be perceived as such by their neighbours and peers.
Before exploring this concept deeper and further I want to note the major implication it suggests:
The commons seem to enable a more stable and pleasant economy.
This sharing or gifting economy might be less naive that it felt at times.
Looking at it this way, an economy revolving around the quality of our relations instead of our transactions, not only seems to be more natural and desirable but also achievable.

What do you think?
Is this a coherent and sound reasoning?
  • If not, help me to stop waisting our time and attention. 
  • But if it is, I would love to explore this further.

dinsdag, februari 06, 2018

The perfect frame

After a weekend of experiential abundance I am back at my desk trying to coherently fit all of it in my current paradigm. And I am failing at it. Some stories do not fit in and I am forced to review my core beliefs/hypotheses. Thanks to Dave Grays great depictions of Belief Systems in his book Liminal Thinking and the impactful practices of Liminal Coaching by Mike Parker, I have become comfortable with the fragility of my mental constructions. I have come more open to adapting them to reality as it hits me.
So pondering about the meaning of 'everything' I find myself zooming out to find a fitting frame of reference that wil accommodate all my recent experiences.

Jeremy England (MIT) has the compelling idea that life is 'just' a causal effect of the laws that form this universe. And if I understand it correctly (not sure) we humans are just a more effective way to arrive at the entropy end state. Dissipating energy at an unbelievable speed. Our behavior seems to prove him right. There is no other life form that burns energy as fast as we do. The fact that this 'success' will cost us our lives is of no meaning in the bigger picture. As said, that depends the frame of reference.

Earlier I already bought into the ideas of Stephen Wolfram that all complexity can be seen as results from endless repetitions of extremely simple interactions. I have believed mathematics to be the most truthful and precise (pattern) language. It helps me understand my existence and meaning within my world. But that frame of reference seems to become too small, too narrow. And this belief is undermined by the most unsuspected source possible: the celebrated mathematician Sir Roger Penrose himself.
He states that understanding is beyond computation. Here is a recent slide of his hand:

Now that is a fascinating thought in the middle of the exploding possibilities of the current Artificial Intellegence developments.
I wonder what Ray Kurzweil would think about that.

For now I am stuck in the irreversibility of the causality that defines our universe. Which drives me to ponder beyond. That limitation never has meant anything to my imagination. That is more akin to the stuff that dreams are made of. But up until this weekend I could kind of separate my inner world with the outside world. The latter I named 'reality' and I saw no real connection with the first, known to me as 'my fantasy'. Reality to me is the factual space defined by the same laws of nature I mentioned when I referred to the hypothesis Jeremy England puts forward. So I prefer my thinking to align with what can be scientifically validated. (Meaning; double blind experimentation excluding personal biases.) I like a straight causal line linking back to to founding principles of our universe. (Exhausting and valuable work)

My intuition and associations however are free with no apparent boundaries. They lead me to very different spaces. Spaces that I assumed to be produced by my imagination. But these days I start to suspect something else in happening.  It could be the other way around!

Instead of producing the thoughts, I might be receiving them. Like a radio of sorts. That idea is with me for decades but only as a form of thought experiment. But now it is beyond me.
That of course is a total ego crasher. It hits me exactly in my dearest personal property: my private imaginations with all those cherished dream castles and goodies.

Now that the confession is out in the world and on the virtual table of by blog, I will pause to hear what you think. In a later piece I might elaborate what exactly drove me to this disruptive assumption.