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"Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge." Winston Churchill

"Every really new idea looks crazy at first."
- Abraham H. Maslow
 

“Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.”

–Arnold Toynbee
 

 

It is not your obligation to complete the task [of perfecting the world], but neither are you free to desist [from doing all you can].

- Ethics of the Fathers 2:16

As cited in "Jewish Wisdom" by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

 

Human Beings have some instincts that foster the greater good and others that foster self-interested and anti-social behavior.  We must design a society that encourages the former and discourages the latter.

Matt Ridley, Origins of Virtue, 1996

"No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings."

Peter Drucker
 

If we are to recover social harmony and virtue, if we are to build back into society the virtues that made it work for us, it is vital that we reduce the power and scope of the state.  This does not mean a vicious war of all against all.  It means devolution, devolution of power over people's lives to parishes, computer networks, clubs, teams self-help groups, small businesses--everything small and local.  It means a massive disassembling of the public bureaucracy. Let national and international governments wither into their minimal function of national defence and redistribution of wealth (directly--without an intervening and greedy bureaucracy). Let Kropotkin's vision of a world of free individuals return.  Let everybody rise and fall by their reputation.  I am not so naive as to think this can happen overnight, or that some form of government is not necessary.  but I do question the necessity of a government that dictates the minutest of details of life and squats like a giant flea upon the back of a nation.

Matt Ridley, Origins of Virtue, 1996

 

“Societal choices, more often than not, are the result of expediency, statistical fallacy, sentiment, political or media pressure, or personal prejudice and vested interest. Crucial decisions affecting the lives of everyone on the planet are made under conditions that virtually guarantee failure. Because societies lack the necessary reality base for formulation of effective problem resolutions, they fall back, over and over, on a resort to {government} force (in its various expressions such as law, taxation, war, rules and regulations) which is extremely costly, instead of employing power, which is very economical.”

 David Hawkins’

Thoughts on Intocracy

Many people will feel that this is not "powerful" enough to contain the fear, uncertainty and doubt in a rapidily expanding set of global issues.  Yet, my concern is that we fall into the trap of  a particular "common sense."

The following quote was sent to me by Richard Freis.

This is from Shunryu Suzuki's Not Always So, 49-50:
 
"Buddha tried to save us by destroying our common sense....Our tendency is to be interested in something that is growing in the garden, but not the bare soil itself.  But if you want to have a good harvest the most important thing is to make the soil rich and to cultivate it well....Buddha was not interested in a special deity or in something that was already there; he was interested in the ground from which various gardens will appear...."
 

The key is to design the habitat as my friend and mentor Don Beck states.  Yet, being watchful not to merely design a value system that forces others to tradeoff their own system in exchange for someone else's. 

The key is the medium within which the cultivation can take place and flowers--many of which are unknown to us and wait in evolution to arrive--not be destroyed before they've had a chance to bloom.

I expect conflict to occur among vMEMEs and rightly so, as the twisting of the "memetic tectonic plates" bump and grind on each other--creating divides and differences.  Yet, these are the sounds of conscious evolution that must be welcomed rather than prohibited. I'll leave you with this quote from Ridley, who in my opinion has the knowledge to make the case for an intocractic form of commons.

Mike Jay, July 2003

"For St. Augustine the source of social order lay in the teachings of Christ.  For Hobbes it lay in the sovereign.  For Rousseau it lay in the solitude.  For Lenin it lay in the party.  They were all wrong.  The roots of social order are in our heads, where we possess the instinctive capacities for creating not a perfectly harmonious and virtuous society, but a better one than we have at present.  We must build our institutions in such a way that they draw out those instincts.  Pre-eminently this means the encouragement of exchange between equals.  Just as trade between countries is the best recipe for friendship between them, so exchange between enfranchised and empowered individuals is the best recipe for cooperation.  We must encourage Social and material exchange between equals for that is the raw material of trust, and trust is the foundation of virtue."

Matt Ridley, Origins of Virtue, 1996

 

RESOURCES TO PONDER:

NOW THE PENTAGON TELLS BUSH: CLIMATE CHANGE WILL DESTROY US By Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York The Observer Sunday, February 22, 2004

- Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
- Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
- Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1153513,00.html

Feedback:

Thanks to Barrett Brown:

Concerning the pentagon report, for what it is worth, your link to the Observer article is questionable. The Observer isn't exactly a highly respected paper on the global scene, more like our "NY Daily News", a tabloid which tends to sensationalize things. They are criticized for sensationalizing this Pentagon report. Some more accurate and at least a little more respected recounts of it can be found here:

the Fortune magazine article which first carried the story (requires subscription):
http://www.fortune.com/fortune/print/0,15935,582584,00.html

and Grist Magazine's write up on it (certainly not un-biased either) http://www.gristmagazine.com/muck/muck022504.asp?

For people to read the report for themselves:
http://www.gristmagazine.com/pdf/AbruptClimateChange2003.pdf

 

THE FUTURE OF HIGHER (LIFELONG) EDUCATION:
For All Worldwide, A Holistic View Click here

World Development Report, 2004

The World Bank annual report on how countries are "making services work for poor people".

http://econ.worldbank.org/wdr/wdr2004/text-18786/

 

More comments:

http://joi.ito.com/joiwiki/EmergentDemocracyPaper 


Emergent Democracy

Mostly by Joichi Ito

Version 1.40 October 1, 2003

Note: another version of this document is in process, to be included in a book O'Reilly is publishing. If you have changes, additions, or comments in mind, please contact Jon Lebkowsky at jonl at polycot.com.

Proponents of the Internet have long sought a more intelligent Internet which can help correct the imbalances and inequalities of the world. Today, the Internet is a noisy environment with a great deal of power consolidation instead of the level, balanced democratic Internet many envision.

In 1993 Howard Rheingold wrote[1],

We temporarily have access to a tool that could bring conviviality and understanding into our lives and might help revitalize the public sphere. The same tool, improperly controlled and wielded, could become an instrument of tyranny. The vision of a citizen-designed, citizen-controlled worldwide communications network is a version of technological utopianism that could be called the vision of "the electronic agora." In the original democracy, Athens, the agora was the marketplace, and more--it was where citizens met to talk, gossip, argue, size each other up, find the weak spots in political ideas by debating about them. But another kind of vision could apply to the use of the Net in the wrong ways, a shadow vision of a less utopian kind of place--the Panopticon.

Rheingold has been called naive.[2] While the Internet has become a global agora, or meeting place, effective global conversation and debate is just beginning. We are on the verge of an awakening of the Internet, an awakening that may either facilitate the emergence of a new democratic political model (Rheingold's revitalization of the public sphere), or more fully enable the corporations and governments of the world to control, monitor and influence their populations, leaving the individual at the mercy of and under constant scrutiny by those in power (an electronic, global Panopticon).

We must influence the development and use of these tools and technologies to support democracy, or they will be turned against us by corporations, totalitarian regimes and terrorists. To do so, we must begin to understand the process and implications of this Emergent Democracy. This new political model must support the basic characteristics of democracy and reverse the erosion of democratic principles that has occurred under the burden of concentrating power within corporations and governments. New technologies may enable the emergence of a functional, more direct democratic system which is able to manage complex issues and will support, change or replace indirect, existing representative democracies.


-----End Excerpt-----
 

"Poor countries thus don’t have to wait until they build bigger and better school systems and educate a whole generation of workers. Nor do they need to wait for more development aid from rich countries. If local businesses followed the proven approaches for organizing production and managing a workforce, poor countries could grow much faster than most people realize. Domestic savers and foreign investors hungry for good returns would also supply these countries with plenty of capital for new investments."

Source

For decades, international institutions have pumped billions of dollars into developing nations in attempts to remedy their ills through the development of their technological infrastructures, educational systems, and health care programs.

Yet despite this infusion of capital and attention, roughly five billion of the world's six billion people continue to live in poor countries. What isn't working? And how can we fix it?

In his book The Power of Productivity, William W. Lewis—a founding director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and a former McKinsey partner—offers a practical look at why some countries are rich, why others are poor, and what we can do about it.

Tapping the consumer

 

The Power of Productivity argues that the key to reducing economic inequalities between rich and poor countries is productivity and its links to competition and consumption. It further argues that only one force can stand up to producer special privileges—consumer interests.

Lewis's book is based on years of research on the economies of 13 nations. His analysis asked fundamental questions about what products are purchased by consumers, how (or if) people and corporations pay taxes, even how large or small a country's retail stores are.

From Russia and India to Brazil and the United States, MGI studied national economies from the ground up, and Lewis brings together the results and formulates them into a broad and applicable set of solutions for ameliorating economic disparity.

Demolishing long-held beliefs

 

In laying out these solutions, Lewis also demolishes long-held beliefs about how best to help poor nations. For example, an educated work force, he found, is not essential to improving a country's productivity, so development money spent on education in poor nations has often proven ineffective in improving economies. The same is true of efforts made to improve the solvency of individual governments and exchange rate flexibility as well.

With a firm fact base behind him, Lewis explores beyond the strict economic lines that define MGI's reports. The last three chapters contain Lewis' insights into political economy based on extensive research and his own observations.

Lewis's conclusions will prove to be highly controversial, but few will be able to argue with his research and reasoning, in part because it is based not on theory but on actual practice.

The McKinsey Quarterly New from
The McKinsey Quarterly:
Public Sector
The power of productivity
Only competition can close the global wealth gap.
http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/links/12910

This article was adapted from The Power of Productivity: Wealth, Poverty,
and the Threat to Global Stability
, by William W. Lewis. Visit the McKinsey
& Company site for information about the book and its author:
http://www.mckinsey.com/ideas/books/powerproductivity

The hidden dangers of the informal economy

DAVID KIRKPATRICK
Saving Lives with a Simple PDA
From Palm handhelds to Microsoft software, the right technology can bring incredible changes to developing nations. That's why a unique nonprofit wants to make sure the tools get used wisely.
Apr 28 2004
By David Kirkpatrick
Fortune.com

 

No single issue in IT is more important than figuring out how to use technology in the developing world. That's why you should know about Teresa Peters. Raised on a farm in Ohio, she now runs a group in Cape Town called Bridges.org, a unique nonprofit consulting firm on IT and development. "Our expertise is helping others use tech better," said Peters at a recent lunch in the unfamiliar precincts of an expensive midtown Manhattan restaurant. "We're all about the critical eye."

There are two reasons why this subject—and Peters—is so important. First, if you believe as many of us do that technology is a transformative social force for good, this is the ultimate test. The global economic divide is the world's single biggest problem today and the root of many of its ills. Tech can help, but it's not easy. It can give the world's underprivileged tools to increase their productivity and incomes, enabling them to pay for what would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. The second reason is more one of business pragmatism. As University of Michigan Business School professor C.K. Prahalad and others have explained, the biggest opportunity for large companies to grow is for them to tap the biggest markets of all—those that are home to all the world's more than six billion people, not just the few hundred million that have wealth in the most developed countries. C.K.'s book on this—The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid—is out this summer. There is a beauty to this convergence—markets grow and people are helped, in tandem.

Bridges.org consults on IT-related projects for governments, nonprofits, and groups such as the World Bank. It evaluates specific technologies, and advocates policy changes that will make it easier for tech to be useful in developing countries. The government of Rwanda created something called the Rwandan Information Technology Authority and put together what Peters calls an "excellent, phone-book sized" strategy. But the government brought in Bridges to help implement it. The group has focused almost exclusively on Africa, where Peters, normally modest, proclaims, "We know more about what's happening on the ground than anyone."

Many IT-related projects in Africa are failing. That's because, Peters says, too many ignore the basic criteria for success: "Small, cheap, local, and relevant are the key things for IT here, with a suite of applications around the device." Often, for instance, what's appropriate is not a PC but a handheld, or even just a cellphone. (One of the main reasons for that? PCs are often stolen.) Assessments are not what's needed, she says. Action is. "Our calculation is that 84 different countries worldwide have had their IT assessed more than 10 times."

Peters says the most effective use of technology she's ever seen was in a pilot project that gave doctors and medical students in Kenya Palm handhelds that contained a regularly updated set of medical reference materials. Drugs change frequently, as do treatment regimens. But, she explains, "Doctors are out all day seeing patients two to a bed and on the floor—so many it's unbelievable. They make notes on each patient but without a handheld they have to wait until the end of the day to check reference books for drug interactions and other information." The program resulted in clear improvements in patient care.

But Peters says that despite the effectiveness of handhelds in such situations, it remains impractical to expand such programs. At present it is almost impossible to buy any kind of handheld in most of Africa outside South Africa, and even there it is hard to get one repaired. A simple thing like a handheld repair service might be the unexpected gating factor for a medical technology program. "It's about more than just devices and connections," Peters says.

Bridges is now conducting a study comparing open-source software like Linux with proprietary software for community-access computer labs and Internet cafes. It is assessing the total cost of ownership—doing what Peters calls a "reality check." While the report is not complete and she says they aim not to take sides in a commercial competition, "today's realities indicate that proprietary software is more suitable for most of these labs. Technical support is the absolute deal killer. The tech support is just not there for open source." While she says most African governments are feeling pressure to move to the "free" open source, most projects will fail because, for now, there is simply no technical support in Africa for desktop Linux. (People aren't having as much trouble with Linux for server installations, she says.) Microsoft, on the other hand, which is the de facto supplier of proprietary alternatives, has a well-developed support infrastructure in many places.

Peters is excited about a program Bridges has underway in its home city of Cape Town, which has one of the world's highest rates of tuberculosis infection. One doctor at a TB clinic was frustrated that even among patients who had come up with the money to join a treatment program, success rates were only about 60% because skipping the drugs for even one day meant someone had to start all over again. But he noticed that most of the patients had cellphones. ("In Africa people who don't even have addresses have cellphones," says Peters.) So he designed a program that automatically sends out daily SMS text messages to those phones in local languages. It says, according to Peters, "essentially that if you don't take your medicine you will die." Treatment success rates shot up. Now the City of Cape Town is considering rolling out the program in all 27 TB clinics across the city, and testing it in AIDS clinics.

What really upsets her are ill-informed and anachronistic government policies that prevent IT from fulfilling its potential. For instance, in South Africa voice-over-IP Internet calls are illegal, as is Wi-Fi wireless Internet access unless it is inside a private building. "So you can't use Wi-Fi to expand Internet connections," she complains. The rules protect the revenues of the national telephone monopoly. And labor unions have fought against changes, worried for their jobs. So Bridges has begun meeting with the unions to help them understand the opportunities.

Bridges' work is so multifaceted it's amazing that it only employs 12 people. The group, officially registered as a non-profit in the U.S., has a wonderful website loaded with information (www.Bridges.org). Go look at it, and give them some money if you can. Bridges is also planning to start cloning itself by helping to create a center for International Information and Communications Technology Policy in partnership with the Harvard Law School and the Makerere University Law School in Uganda. "There are lots of well-intentioned development efforts which are losing momentum because they're not thinking about the real issues," says Peters. "I don't want to see them fail."

Questions? Comments? E-mail them to me at dkirkpatrick@fortunemail.com.

Underreported Global Issues Index:

Male to Female Birth Ratio in Developing Countries

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24761-2004Jul2.html

Gandhi and the Politics of Development in the New Millennium

http://www.pamij.com/99_4_1_walter.html

World Democracy Count

There are 135 democracies in the world today. 100 Democratic
republics and 35 Democratic constitutional monarchies.
Other forms of governments –
Absolute monarchies        11
Authoritarian republics    28
Military governments        3
Communist states            5
Transitional governments    8  

(Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_system_of_government

Systems of Government: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_of_government

Notice there is no definition of Intocracy.

Rough Draft 2004

Here goes: Intocracy is the form of governance which allows a people to participate as a people in governing themselves in relation to the ability to govern as a people.

1. Systems of Government seek spiral fitness and design appropriate structures.

2. All structures are built as open systems

3. All forms are promoted through an understanding of stretch, but not dislocation from the spiral nature of the governing peoples.

4. People are encouraged to be who they are and when being who they are interferes with other's right to be who they are, there are actions taken according to the rules of the governing system, by the leaders in that system.

5. If the leaders in any system refuse to take power, accountability, authority and responsibility for the violations within their systems, the intocratic council will sanction the leaders, the government with a "time bound escalation of intervention" that no one can stop excepting the leaders and system being sanctioned.

6. The escalation of PAAR begins with a warning, which is then followed by sanctions at the intocratic council, leaders are expunged from the council, then followed by economic sanctions, then followed by exile from the united nations, then followed by blockade, then followed by invasion, capture, trial and rebuilding by the civilary.

7. Each nation "earning" their way into the intocratic council by gradually moving itself along a development path agreed to by the IC as proposed by the UN will receive an escalating program of support defined by military peacekeepers, civilary, economic support, admission to the UN and finally representation on the intocratic council. (reverse of the punitive program)

8. All nations agree to a payment of support, fair trade as determined by their contribution and governance, acceptance and promotion of civilary and leadership growth to support intocracy.

9. All nations agree to move towards the formation of an intocratic planetary system by 2025, with specific steps to be outlined by those governments rated on the intocratic scale at the highest levels.

10. Governments are judged by an intocratic index of development that is supported through the growth of the intocracy, formation of an intocratic council, a revised UN and IMF/World Bank and the creation of the civilary.

Civilary

Civilary is a stratified force of specially trained individuals form any country who operate on behest of the intocratic council. In the beginning, it becomes a governing body for all organizations on earth at all levels exporting relief in any form.

Grouping by level

Beige: Survival support and recovering, fast-acting intervention emergency actions and currently tied to FEMA-like structures, designed for in and out intervention to stabilize survival in calamity of any form. Used in conjunction with military interventions as dictated by intocratic law described above.

Purple: Short term support design like the Red Cross.

Red: Military invasion force, quit hitting strike force that kills the enemy while avoided non-military targets (marine recon, delta, seals, rangers, etc.) with lethal force.

Blue: Military forces coming in behind Red for longer term military presence with lethal and well as non-lethal weapons*

Orange: Military Police force designed to promote the gradual introduction of spiral activity in the populus where military police are required to stabilize with non-lethal weapons

Green: Long term aid workers who work in areas that have been devasted, attacked by disease, famine and pestilence that require long term aid and rebuilding (peace corps)

Yellow: Intocratic intellectuals, scientists, governance, economists, bankers, entrepreneurial coaches, designers, professional innovators who are supplied and paid by intocratic council to provide a shot in the arm for jumpstarting economies, systems of delivery of services, etc.

Turquoise: Healers, gurus, pundits, mystics, artists and shamans who agree to support the growth of healing and development according to the ways of the people.

This civilary would often be deployed as a system and would draw from professionals who are paid, supported and trained by the yellow and turquoise levels to become civilary.

Civilary would be a global force and would take applications from any country regardless of status. A rigorous stratified training system and qualification system designed to promote the growth of each individual in the civilary to the desired level of their contribution. Applications taken on a rotating basis so all countries could participate in sending members and a quota established based on the population of each country and the representation related to population of each country.

Countries according to intocracy would be those entities that are recognized through allowing people to be who they are at any level matched to the appropriate system.

Planatary visas would provide free moment among countries allowing people to move as immigration quotas allowed according to their "history" of peace contribution, non-peaceful participants would be limited in movement as well as electronically tagged for varying levels of probationary status depending on intocratic guidelines.

Access is allowed to internet kiosks in all parts of the world using 4G wireless system, accompanying "lisa-like" monitors identifying large value fluctuations in the consciousness through detection and the deployment of appropriate civilary to guard, support and deter events which would affect people being who they have a right to be.
 

*Non Lethal Weapons to be used for all Non Red Strike Force & Blue Protectors when possible Source | Read

http://www.locusmag.com/2004/Features/09_ShirleySocialFuture.html

The world seems dangerously chaotic; the spread of nuclear technology, unmonitored fissionable materials, WMDs and so forth, might be an argument for a powerful centralized global government. On the one hand this has fascist overtones, or it risks something dictatorial; on the other hand one could argue it's the only way to prevent significant loss of life. Can one defend greater governmental control for the future, in this increasingly overpopulated world?

Pat Murphy: “I am not convinced by any argument for increased governmental control. In fact, I would be more inclined to look in the direction of increased personal responsibility. I see this as a direction in opposition to a more powerful government. I feel that the more powerful the government is, the less people take the personal responsibility. And what we need now is more personal responsibility, not less.”

Several interviewees mentioned the European Union in this connection.

Kim Stanley Robinson: “I like the UN, the European Union, and other aspects of trans-sovereignty, but I don't like globalization as the massive emplacement of capitalist injustices, so I don't know what to say about 'greater governmental control'.”

Ken Wharton sees nuclear power as resource that could help us handle global crisis: “Actually, I could make a strong global-warming-based argument for more spread of nuclear (power) technology. It's ironic that our courts have decided a 10,000 year nuclear waste depository doesn't take a long enough view, while on most issues our society can't seem to look beyond a decade or so. On century timescales, you can't stop large groups from getting just about any weapon they want. And while stomping on personal freedoms might slow the acquisition of those weapons, it will probably only increase the probability that they'll actually be used.”

Norman Spinrad too is skeptical of global control systems but sees a break-up of the old nationalisms: “Way back when, I sort of liked the idea of a world government. Then I heard Lenny Bruce say: 'If you want to imagine a world government, think of the whole world run by the phone company and nowhere else to go.' On the other hand, I think that the concept of absolute national sovereignty is on the way out and good riddance. The European Union is one model. My own, as in Greenhouse Summer, is some form of syndicalist anarchism — 'anarchism that knows how to do business' — no national governments per se.”

Cory Doctorow doubts the efficacy of big control and again sees information as the key: “The Stasi — the East German version of the KGB — had detailed files on virtually every resident of East Germany, yet somehow managed to miss the fact that the Berlin Wall was about to come down until it was already in rubble. Tell me again how a centralized government makes us more secure? September 11th wasn't a failure to gather enough intelligence: it was a failure to correctly interpret the intelligence in hand. There was too much irrelevant data, too much noise. Gathering orders of magnitude MORE noise just puts that needle into a much bigger haystack, while imposing high social costs. Fingerprinting visitors to the US and jailing foreign journalists for not understanding the impossibly baroque new visa regs makes America less secure (by encouraging people to lie about the purposes of their visit and by chasing honest people out of the country), not more.”

Bruce Sterling speculates that big global government might take new shapes: “I had a brainstorm about this very problem recently. What if there were two global systems of governance, and they weren't based on control of the landscape? Suppose they interpenetrated and competed everywhere, sort of like Tory and Labour, or Coke and Pepsi. I'm kind of liking this European 'Acquis' model where there is scarcely any visible 'governing' going on, and everything is accomplished on the levels of invisible infrastructure, like highway regulations and currency reform.”

To sort of top off a previous question: Is a real world government possible and could it be a good thing, on balance?

(What can I say, I'm really interested in the question of world government and plan to write a novel on it someday.)

Pat Murphy's response is succinct: “I don’t think it’s possible or desirable.”

Kim Stanley Robinson is equally succinct and he has exactly the opposite opinion: “It's possible, and if it happened it would be a good thing.”

Ken Wharton: “The only nice thing I can say about a world government is that there are some global problems that are best dealt with on a global level. As for it actually happening in a way that such problems can indeed be dealt with... I doubt it, but I'll be watching the E.U. to see how far the concept can go.”

Norman Spinrad: “As I said before, probably not a good thing. And probably impossible. Too many cultural and economic disparities. Even the recent expansion of the European Union east is not going to work too well for that reason. Even Germany has plenty of problems in its governmental union with the former DDR.”

Bruce Sterling: “Civilization is better than barbarism. I'm not sure I believe in 'real world government,' but global civil society attracts a lot of my attention. 'Globalism' used to be a synonym for 'Americanization', but nowadays it's starting to look a lot more genuinely global: Iranians in Sweden, Serbians in Brazil, global Bollywood movies filmed in Switzerland, a real mélange.”

 


 

The Wellth Mastermind Introduction & Vision:

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