Conversations that Mind and Matter, episode 2: Value

In a network, digital curation, connecting dots and discerning lines, weaving between generative intention and networked agency win^n behavior.

All value can be re-enacted and accessed, through understanding patterns and processes of interdependent generativity in a context of complexity, making a difference for our thriving , as we transition through the 21C.

21C: Divest & Discover
We will benefit from divesting from some of our 20C patterns and processes.

“One of the most insidious things about enclosures is how they eradicate the culture of the commons and our memory of it. The old ways of doing things; the social practices that once bound a people together; the cultural traditions that anchored people to a landscape; the ethical norms that provided a stable identity — all are swept aside to make room for a totalizing market culture.”
David Bollier

You’ve found some of the others and together, you’ve made a makeshift camp in the outskirt of the village.

“…along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.”
— David Abram

Some of your stories are about what pieces of the puzzle, what parts of the predicament, what threads to rekindle and re-weave — is yours, individually and as a group, to bring to the whole.

“Standard game theory doesn’t take communication into account because it’s so complicated to do the math for the expected payoffs. But just because the math doesn’t exist and the general formula may never be solved, it doesn’t mean we can’t explore the idea using agent-based modeling. Communication is critical for cooperation; we think communication is the reason cooperation occurs. It’s generally believed that there are five independent mechanisms that foster cooperation. But these mechanisms are really just ways to ensure that cooperators play mostly with other cooperators and avoid all others. Communication is a universal way to achieve that. We plan to test the idea directly in yeast cells.”
Christoph Adami

21C Community: On Wells, Bridges & Lighthouses
From yeast cells, to beer, to Guinness, and Ireland:

“In a network, community is the worthwhile dilemma.”

Cathal Ó Searcaigh:

‘Is doiligh tobar a aimsiú faoi láthair,’ arsa Bríd, ag líonadh an bhabhla athuair. ‘Tá siad folaithe i bhfeagacha agus i bhféar, tachtaithe ag caileannógach agus cuiscreach, ach in ainneoin na neamhairde go léir níor chaill siad a dhath den tseanmhianach. Aimsigh do thobar féin, a chroí, óir tá am an anáis romhainn amach: Caithfear pilleadh arís ar na foinsí.’

’Tis hard to find a well nowdays’, says Bridget filling the bowl again. ‘They’re hidden in rushes and grass, choked by green scum and ferns, but, despite the neglect, they’ve lost none of their true mettle. Seek out your own well, my dear, for the age of want is near: There will have to be a going back to sources.’

If the 21C will see us bridge from old, obsolete narratives, reaching out to the other at the other side — we will have to address all the dimensions of risk for the baby in our arms, as well as pouring the old, funny-smelling bathwater over the side, allowing it to be swept away by the river, clear to the sea.

21C: Five dimensions of risk that needs to be addressed

A too institutionalized response to the current atomization, fragmentation and devil-take-the-hindmost among a wide spectrum of the constituency, is not only insufficient, it risks dead-ending almost all policies before they even can begin to be implemented.

If community is the worthwhile dilemma, the solution is holding space for conversations that mind and matter, and the generative review is our cocreation of value, co-extensive and co-evolving with, our ability to steward our vessels according to what new light shines forth from our re-discovered lighthouses.

1. Fragmentation, atomisation

Solution: offering governance dialogue spaces, nurturing meaningful grassroots connectivity through anecdotes, stories and narrative.

2. All policies are symptoms of larger issues Large, top-down, technocratically perfect, agency-spun policies — fail.

Solution: small steps, building on the first point.

3. There’s no, one, definitive formulation of policy

Solution: sufficiently inclusive (digital, social) discourse and networking, annealing policy formulation capability (aka less clueless crap) and enabling different, quicker and more responsive policy updates.

4. Every issue is unique Water as one example issue, will not be resolved until the unique challenges and the unique opportunities are sufficiently explored.

Solution: local stakeholder dialogue, towards developing listening capability, towards rich and diverse context, towards shared understanding what works.

5. Governance is continuous redesign Entrenched, polarized, polarizing positions is synonymous with not being in charge, not assuming responsibility, not properly assuming office.

Solution: The essential measure of governance and opposition is metalogue — where the opposition is charged with keeping the discourse vibrant, relevant and convivial and everyone is charged with keeping an honest course. This here text, includes metalogue, a conversation that already minds and always matters. You are always and already invited. The strategic outcome is value. That’s the spirit.

21C: Listening Forth

— We made it?
— What happened?
— We happened.

If we remember the well-being of our children and grand-children, seven generations to come, we will find in ourselves a place from which to speak.

Once we are speaking and the rest of the world responds in new ways to our new-found voice, we will find ourselves listening.

How are we to listen? We can choose to listen, in and within a context of mutuality, learning and nature.

21C: Mutuality, Learning & Nature You are always and already in the midst of a crowd of people. You and all others, what value you co-create among yourselves, is the generative review, stories and tasks out of your understanding of, embracing of, and acting in a spirit of, mutuality.

The sail is an ear, the mast a sloping pen, the hull a mouth-shape, the keel an open eye

No porters. No interpreter. No taxi. You carried your own burden and very soonyour symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared.
— Seamus Heaney

21C: Conversations that Mind and Matter

Jason Martineau
Hard to add to that! Though I’d like to drop two concepts into the mix here, in case they are found to be supportive in the overall thrust of this post, or in generating discussion, with respect to social media platforms, and the collective goals frequently cited in this group:

Adding Value, and Filtering.

John Kellden
Those are great additions Jason.

Jason Martineau
Thank you ~ Perhaps a bit reductionistic by comparison, but there you go. :-) The governance (or, self-governance) question is a big one….and one I have personally encountered here once or twice, as you know.

A term I’ve thrown around in my mind and in some of my writing is “Autonomocracy”. Something I glean as having been pointed to in a book by Ursula Le Guin entitled “The Dispossessed.” I don’t recall the word having been used in the book, but by my reading the notion was there.

We have two trajectories to harmonize: a growing world population (and by extension, a growing online population, and the ideas each person brings); and, the overall movement of techno-economic models which more or less trend toward greater personal autonomy (freedom of thought, etc). The irony is that we want greater freedoms, in this case, of personal expression; but at the same time, by the sheer numbers of people, we somehow seem to need greater governance, to keep things civil and so forth.

This would imply that the shift toward an emphasis on self-governance might be called for. Everyone starts at level one, developmentally, however, and so the best we can hope for is for each of us to move toward the center of gravity of the cultural context we are in; but as social media platforms increasingly transcend cultural contexts, then the goal, it would seem, would be in moving that center of gravity upwards, universally.

To the extent that we all can acquire greater self-accountability, greater expanse, and wider embrace, to me that would seem to be a desirable goal. Thus everyone can have a seat at the table (which supports the movement against fragmentation and isolation), so long as they don’t wish to blow up the table when there is disagreement.

There perhaps needs to be an entry point, a developmental prerequisite, and this could be this self-governing principle.

How to propagate this idea so that it can be inspirationally internalized (and not imposed), while remembering that everyone has to go through all of the necessary developmental stages to reach this idea? (and they cannot skip a step in this process). This, for me, is the question — and the answer, in part, which you frequently point to, is in conviviality. A friendly embrace of diversity, the new post-pluralism. I would point to the philosophies of Ken Wilber and Integral thought, in this pursuit.

John Kellden
I really like all of that. Agree on many of the challenges. Could conviviality be framed as a pull?

John Kellden
Jon Husband just pointed me to Denis Noble, The Music of Life. Feels like a great book, will return and weave in a strand or two here, once I’ve read it.

Jason Martineau
I suspect if conviviality were framed as a pull, if I understand you correctly (selling point?), then it might appear differently to different perspectives — to some, it seems appropriately civil and congenial, a matter of simple decorum, in fact, a de facto social contract that requires no explanation or “enforcement”; to others it might appear as a front for empty platitudes, pleasantries, and feel-good back-patting which perhaps bypasses the hard work of sorting out disagreements, which in turn otherwise will not lead to new ideas — we all agree with each other anyway because we are nice (and I am exaggerating this for purposes of the point).

It really depends on the “perspectives of the prospectives”… for me this goes back to the standard debating lessons: avoiding ad hominems, straw mans, divisive tactics, bandwagoning, self-inflation, and rabble rousing and so forth… and in more modern terms, avoiding “trolling” and personal attacks and asides.

You mention the music metaphor — in all harmonic contexts, whether consonant or dissonant, there is still the sorting out of a narrative of ideas and relationships, whatever the “outcome” shall be (does the music “resolve”, or leave things open to further question and exploration?). We need not agree with each other always about everything, and we probably won’t; but from an integral view, if we allow all views to the table, then there is room for disagreement, discord, and by the same token, plenty of room for growth and inclusion — though it is in everyone’s interest to “play nice”. I think then the “safety in numbers” element applies.

The more who are present and on board for conviviality, the less group tolerance there is for a lack thereof. Eventually I end up at the Golden Rule, here.. but then, what is Golden depends on the developmental stage participants are at. So I still come back to the question of how to raise cyberculture and healthy and vibrant groupthink to a center of gravity that is sufficiently civil and self-governed, to allow for the greatest degree of social discourse and discovery. I think that’s what we are after, here…

John Kellden
Good considerations. I was more thinking of pull as meaning design synthesis and abductive sensemaking, as if conviviality is a quality which we are yet to understand well enough to be able to hold such a space.

John Kellden

“how to raise cyberculture and healthy and vibrant groupthink to a center of gravity that is sufficiently civil and self-governed, to allow for the greatest degree of social discourse and discovery.”
Jason Martineau

is very close to how I see it. I will reflect on that, towards possibly reframing it as a (generative, exam, powerful) question.

Jason Martineau
There is perhaps a meritocratic aspect to the question, then…. probably one isn’t going to actively join this group unless they are already agreeable to and in accord with this element.

John Kellden
Could well be. Not sure I always agree with Margaret Mead, but she could turn out be right in this here matter as well:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead

Jason Martineau
But yes I think we, as a species, now have the opportunity to gain increasing understanding of this quality well enough to be able to hold such a space… if we SEIZE the opportunity, in sufficient numbers. And I think this platform, limited though it be, provides that opportunity, in part. The question is in how to make it attractive.

The movement toward a Global Village is inevitable… and it’s been happening for a long while, increasingly… but there are still billions of people out there who are not involved. This is a slow-moving and very big ship, at best. Course-corrections take years, decades… to say nothing of paradigm shifts…. But, how the members of this inevitable Village could/might/will behave with each other, and what its ideal functions could be, is what we are addressing, yes?

I think new psychosocial dynamics clearly are already coming into play, which transcend all real-world cultural social dynamics — e.g. what does xenophobia even look like in a social media context? We are all disembodied words on a screen, with the same typeface, formatting, color palette, and UI. We use links, pictures, emojis, words, and we can translate other languages with more or less reasonable clarity…

The only things that potentially ideologically identify us, here, are our names and personal photos, their potential cultural or ethnic associations, and the things we actually write…. no guns, no shouts, no picket lines, no physical violence….those things just don’t work, here…. we can espouse ideas, and entrench ourselves behind them, but the only way to “fight” about them are those methods I mentioned earlier (ad hominems, etc, avoidant or aggressive debating/discourse tactics), which carry far less weight or power here.

People can get angry at each other and attack each other endlessly in the physical realm, with horrendous and heartbreaking outcomes (just read the news, yesterday’s, today’s, tomorrow’s); BUT in the noosphere, these tactics are far less effective… AND therefore, I think, in time, as the collective center of gravity rises (it always has, why would it stop now?), those tactics will subside, and conviviality will take their place. Destructive, regressive, or antagonistic impulses just don’t work online, in the big picture. And there are “tools” to deal with them which for the most part (so far) are not over-reaching.

You know, when the majority of folks in the world are working together toward figuring things out, while you are among the angry minority trying to crack it all open in some dramatic way in order to get attention and feel heard, thinking it will get your agenda considered, I think it will quickly occur to you what the best path to that end will be — do what everyone else is doing. At that point, that strategy will be difficult to disagree with. The only destructive tactic left would be to destroy the whole medium (e.g. hackers taking down FB) — BUT then they lose their voice platform along with that.

We have a lot to be optimistic about, I think. I don’t think it will be a smooth transition, that’s the painful part that drives us into scrambling for answers and “what’s next?”, but things will transition, nonetheless. And we will need active, forward-looking thinkers, when that happens. And, to me, that is why we are here embarking on these exploratory journeys.

We send probes into deep space, right? :-)

John Kellden

probe, sense, respond, re-enact

I’m working on fitting those four choices, onto a gameboard, possible with generativity as a golden thread at oblique/orthogonal angles, to each iteration of the board, out of each session.

Jason Martineau
Orthogonal generativity — it sounds like 3d chess (without the attrition aspect). :-) Or x-d chess….. I like the re-enact part.

The nifty bit about deep space probes is that we don’t know what data they might actually return to us. We keep an open mind, and attend mostly to ensuring the probes will continue to work and collect and send data. How can we cultivate that same mentality in the noosphere? Take care of the process?

Since the word “village” is used in the global village notion, perhaps we can look to past tribal and agro/horticultural-stage models to integrate. I mean, ultimately, it hasn’t changed much…. just more people, more tentacles, a bigger pool in which to swim, and bigger questions.

John Kellden
Yes. Applying it, we would need to be informed by (among other things) the TIMN: Tribe, Institution, Market, Network.

Jason Martineau
The methodology is more or less the same.

Jason Martineau

Jason Martineau
Greater expanse, and wider embrace. Consciousness has its own agenda, ultimately, are we not but cogs in the wheel, and facets in the diamond?

John Kellden
We are. We never ever were not part of it all. This of course often feels like a provocation to all the gnarly, rugged individualists out there.

But it’s really one inclusive, seamless AND — me and we.

The and is the thing. How each note is played, and another, and another, and…

Jason Martineau
Each with their own salience and resonance, and each, also part of a greater whole. This is the essence of music.

Jason Martineau
…moment to moment… Brilliant. I will sleep well tonight, and I hope, you too, when it’s time. Thank you.

Conversational Intelligence Mixtapes between Identity and Shared Understanding.



Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.