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What happened to the old TZM Members? Please let us know

I realised I put the cart before the horse with the Constellation Model proposal. This is partly because the proposal morphed from being an email reply to being a full on proposal. But also because I skipped a few steps and talking with others has helped me realise that.

The TLDR is that I’ve created an online form for old TZM members who have left the movement or aren’t active anymore. We want to know why.

TZM Form https://forms.gle/AiGEuTDKoAvomd1B7

I pointed out how the movement is very small compared to what it used to be.
I then figured that one of the primary reasons is a lack of funding and then proposed a new structural change that can help facilitate that solution.

Actually I think that there’s a variety of reasons that the movement isn’t as large as it was before and there will need to be a variety of solutions.

Google Trends – Searches for Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project have dropped over the years

I know there’s some people saying a lack of content is the problem. Some saying it’s a lack of educational materials, others suggesting we need to be doing more on the ground activism.

But first. What ball park numbers are we looking at?

Just looking at the TZM Official YouTube channel we know the Zeitgeist Addendum and Moving Forward movies have been watched by at least 20 Million people. Moving forward has 25 Million views and Addendum has 7.4 Million videos, with most other important presentations getting around 100k views and the more recent videos getting at least 6k views.

There is about 2.3k members on Discord, about 5k who are a part of most FB groups (National and International groups), there was 5k but that’s been going down to 3.5k unique visitors to the main website and 289k people who like the global FB page. About half of those who like the page are being reached with really engaging content and a quarter getting most of the content.

It feels like there’s only a hundred or so active movement members who are actively working on furthering the movement or working on projects related to bringing about a Post Scarcity. Certainly the core group doing most of the work on the movement is under 10 people. That’s expected to some extent. Previous grass roots orgs I’ve worked with have a similar structure. I think of it as concentric circles. In the center are the core members, rarely more than 10 people. There’s sometimes some other project based groups as well. In the next level are the engaged but not fully active members. The 100 people who are doing things. Then it looks like we’ve got about 2.5k to 5k people who are interested in doing more than just liking the main FB page and sharing the occasional content.

TZM Official YouTube Channel
Discord Server Member stats – 2,387 on the 19th July 2021
TZM Global Page Engagement stats – 19th July 2021 Showing 50 to 118k people being reached ( out of 289k who like the page )

Whilst there’s been tens of millions of people who’ve watched the movies and of the stats above I missed the hundreds of thousands of DVDs burnt, people who’ve read the books, listened to the podcasts, attended or ran ZDAY and other events and there was chapters doing local activism all around the world.

So where is everyone and why has the Zeitgeist Movement dwindled to nearly nothing whilst TVP and the like are having big increases?

Thankfully there’s a lot of other related groups. People making magazines or working on related but not TZM named projects. But that doesn’t cover all of the previously active people.


My theory is that we need people who can work on the movement full time, for that they need to get paid the survival tokens we call money. Be it content creation, volunteer coordination, social media curation, there’s lots of tasks that could be done in a good, engaged way instead of as a side hobby.


I also think that a refinement of the existing movement structure can help with this. Hence my Constellation Model proposal.


That said, I’m interested in why previous members are no longer active. Not just why we aren’t increasing our numbers on Facebook. I suspect it’s because:

1. The movement’s focus was on awareness raising. Once you’ve told everyone you know and run multiple events and spent some years promoting the ideas of the movement you feel that you’ve reached the people you can. You then want to do more than just advocating, you want to start building something.

2. There has been a perceived lack of progress or at least no indication of progress. Without knowing any useful metrics people resorted to using their own experiences of the world instead of being able to see both short and long term progress. When you see things like Trump get into power and simply watch the news for any decent length of time you can feel despair. It feels that the actually Zeitgeist is moving in the wrong direction. All that work seems to be doing nothing. But with some good quality input metrics we could show how many people are spending out much time, effort, money and resources helping define what the Spirit of the Future will be. We can also track output metrics, everything from number of members, number of unique views through to doing yearly surveys of the global Zeitgeist. This is where the informatics team would be really useful. Although the movement isn’t focused on this nor large enough to support it right now.

3. Lack of understanding about the transition. I’ve put together the Price of Zero transition model which is more like a meta framework that can be used to create a plan. Groups like Koto Coop have been inspired by that, although reality obviously alters the plan they’ve recently purchased their first property in Finland! There’s a few other proposals around the place, like the Project Aurora that Ziad has been working on. But for most movement members in guessing they don’t know of a solid transition plan nor much about practical steps being done to enact it, nor what can be done by them to help.

4. A lack of communication. I’ve helped create multiple newsletters over the years which PJ has sent off and Mark E also created one. Mark has also ensured there’s good regular International meetings. I’ve seen that TZM UK and Germany are having regular National meetings. There’s plenty of discussion on Discord, Facebook and some starting on the forum. But there’s a lot of other communication we are likely missing. Or we aren’t getting the information to people who want it where they are instead of having to come and get it. I do think The Venus Project are a lot more organised in this regards.

5. They found other related movements or groups that better resonates with them. Examples include TVPGame B, Communalism and more. This can also be because the other groups provide a better community or more cohesive thesis about what a Post-Scarcity Society will involve and how to get there.


6. They considered it something “that’ll never happen”, or not something that they can make happen so moved on with their lives.

7. The cost of being in the movement was too great. The emotional cost of seeing such potential in the world being squandered. The friction often caused by family and friends who don’t and willingly don’t want to understand. The financial cost of spending hundreds or even thousands of hours working on the movement and still having to pay up to get things happening.

I think part of the emotional burn out comes from hitting a brick wall of trying to talk to family and friends about it. But also a lack of metrics indicating how we are going. There’s no feedback loop. No progress indicators. I’ve already talked about the financial burnout, although Teemu also did and created a great document in 2017 about it if people want to read more.

Part of the lack of progress includes not knowing where we are going, hence the transition plan matters. People moving on to other groups is likely because those groups are providing something people want that we don’t.

However all of these ideas are based on my experiences with members over the years.

We want to be based on statistics. We need to know from the actual members who aren’t active anymore. So, if you can, please fill out the TZM Old Members Feedback survey and then get old, inactive members to also fill it out:

https://forms.gle/AiGEuTDKoAvomd1B7

The Constellation Model : A TZM Proposal

I first wrote about the Constellation model of Collaborative Social Change back in 2011.

The Constellation Model was initially developed by Mark and Tonya Surman as part of the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and the Environment in order to help remove toxins from children’s products. Mark is now the director of Mozilla. I met Tonya at an event in Adelaide as part of their Centre for Social Innovation where she explained the Constellation Model.

But before I explain what it is, I want to explain why I’m proposing TZM take it on as a new, refined structure.

As I’ve pointed out before, TZM is maybe 1-2% the size it was at the height in March 2009.

TZM Google Trends - Until July 2021

If the Zeitgeist Movement was an animal it would be considered an endangered species.

Cliff

So there’s a few things to check first:

Do we want to save TZM?

I personally do. I think it’s one of the few Post-Scarcity advocating groups that’s got global potential. We want to both tell people about the amazing potential future we could have, but also go through the process of working out what that looks like in a modern way. There’s been a variety of other movements spawned from TZM and from people having watched Zeitgeist Moving Forward / Addendum or the large amounts of other material that’s been produced. A recent example is Koto Coop which aims to create a Post-Scarcity like community and will be buying property in just a few days.

Are there issues with the movement?

Yes of course. Everything from too much emphasis by some members on conspiracy theories instead of action, through to a lack of new content and of course, new members. But those are mostly annoyances, or lack of activity. Too much spinning of wheels and not enough actual movement.

Can we save the movement?

I think we can but we need to make some changes as it’s obvious what we are doing isn’t working.
The TZM 2.0 changes show I’m not the only one, the movement is interested in developing and evolving. Remember when the movement first started YouTube didn’t exist, only Google video.
DVDs were all the rage the iPhone was still new, I don’t think it even had basic copy / paste abilities.
Things have changed a lot since then. It’s time the movement does too.

I think we need to :

  1. Move to the Intelligence quadrant – Do things good for humanity and for the members
  2. Start using money as a necessary tool. One we eventually want to do without, but one we need right now
  3. Setup the movement more in line with the Constellation Model
  4. Create more content and projects
  5. Become better at onboarding new members

I think the last two points will come about somewhat more easily if we do the first 3 points.

Note: I use the term members to refer to people who are doing work for The Zeitgeist Movement. Others prefer the term activist as we aren’t paying dues and there’s no official list of members. Unfortunately I’ve seen too much negative media spin and right wing propaganda that’s tarnished the term activist. But internally rewrite it in your mind if that helps.

Moving from Helpless to Intelligent

With the movement as small as it is we are having troubles even keeping the basic digital assets running. Paying for domains, the running of the TZM community and cloud, these sorts of things are currently a burden. But I’ve been a chapter organiser for over 12 years and running events has almost always cost more money than it made. It’s certainly been a net drain on finances, time and now that I’m a father it’s something that can be keeping me from spending time with my little boy.

This leads us to one of the primary issues. The movement is in the helpless quadrant. Members are expected to do things that are good for others, but it generally comes at a significant cost to themselves. That’s why there’s been such an epic amount of burn out.
Zday events are a great example. The majority of TZM members I know who have run a global Zday event have ended up spending months working tirelessly, ended up adding thousands of dollars of their own money and usually then burn out and leave the movement, or at least drop out for a few years. Older members tried to face off with the old gatekeepers.

Thankfully with TZM 2.0 we’ve removed the old centralised authority. The power is a lot more spread out and in the hands of more competent people.

That said, to really thrive we need to move to the Intelligent quadrant. By doing things that are both good for others and for ourselves.

Helpless quadrant
Movement members are expected to do things good for others, but it comes as a cost for themselves

One of the primary issues at the moment is the movements relationship with money.
My interpretation is that TZMs aim is to help humanity transition to a Post-Scarcity society (what I call an Abundance Centered Society) and get to the point we no longer have a need for money.

We know there’s a variety of issues with our current monetary paradigm. But unfortunately we can’t work without money and also enact a global transition. We are going to need to embrace using money. I’d love to see us use the system in a Judo like way where we can redirect the monetary system into ways that’ll help bring about a transition.

There’s plenty of great projects that are currently stalled because they’ll cost too much in terms of resources. Be it time, 3rd party services, professional help, or sheer manpower. The Zeitgeist Survey project (aka TZM Intelligence Team), a variety of video series and some projects still in early development are all great examples. As I said, right now we can barely afford to keep the domain names.

Using money can be very effective

The usual NGO funding models are donations and grants.
Most NGOs then setup some full time staff and some have the job of simply applying for all the grants they can.
The newer option is systems like Patreon whereby people donate a monthly amount or per content release.
There’s other options like spending 30% – 40% of money on marketing to make the movement bigger and better.

Seriously watch the TED talk by Dan Pallotta about how the way we think about charity is dead wrong.

Revolving Funding model
I’ve also been a board member of CORENA Fund which funds renewable energy projects in a revolving funding model. Giving out interest free loans and using the repayments to cover more loans. Unfortunately this option won’t work well for the current type of admin expenses we are dealing with and the types of projects we want to take on which can’t give a return. But later on when trying to fund large post-scarcity projects, like automated farming solutions or delivery systems which could be rented out, this could be very powerful.

Transparency is key

We should already be having transparency with meetings and decisions. We’ve been recording meeting notes from years of the International meetings.

But when operating with money, we need another level of transparency. We need to be able to see the flow of money in and out of the movement. Who’s donating, what the money is being spent on, what services, who’s getting paid for work. All of that. Whilst a low energy usage crypto ledger like Tezos or NEAR would be great for this, that’s not currently a option. But publicly releasing most accounting information should be a good start.

There’s another issue. The distributed nature of the movement. We have people in all timezones and with various levels of activity. How do you coordinate dealing with money and transparency and all the regulatory requirements whilst also making it easy for members to jump in and out and work on projects they are interested in as needed?
I tried an initial version of a new model with my node based document and a few other ideas developed from that. But now I’m suggesting that the answer is:

The Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change

In this section I’m mostly adjusting the important parts of the Constellation Model document to be TZM specific and help explain the concept.

In the diagram Partners are what we would consider members who work in a group (a project team or set of members working on an issue). Multiple groups or even whole other organisations (e.g Free World Charter) can be part of a constellation or a single constellation can be a single group. Lead partners are people who represent that constellation in the Stewardship group, which is where the shared vision and long term strategy plans are usually formed. It’s also usually where money flows into and is then distributed to the constellations as needed. The constellations can form, evolve and change quite rapidly and are thus considered more of the chaos side of things compared to the more ordered stewardship group.

Keep reading for a more detailed explanation.

As the diagram shows, the model’s biggest strength is that it is built around the natural energy flows of a group. With the action-focused work residing in the constellations, these clusters become active when a group of TZM members decides to work on a particular project or deal with an issue. When there is low energy or declining opportunity, a constellation can become inactive or disappear altogether without negatively impacting the overall movement.

This emphasis on action teams accommodates the tensions around priorities that naturally exist when several groups come together. If one group wants to prioritise research and another wants to work on public education, they can. They simply start a constellation and other interested members cluster around them. Constellations flow from opportunism, not from a rigid strategic plan. This makes it possible to balance the interests and needs of each group within the broader goal of highly productive collaboration.

The model also helps to preserve the movements’ organisational autonomy. Groups only engage in issues that align with their interests. These benefits flow from three major elements within the constellation model: 

Lightweight Governance – A constellation-based movement is created in response to a need or opportunity, a magnetic attractor. In the case of TZM he magnetic attractor is transitioning to a Post-Scarcity (NL/RBE) society. Multiple organisations or even TZM chapters might be trying to work on these issues individually, but are often competing with each other for scarce resources. Their uncoordinated actions can result in confusion and limited impact.

I’d like to point out here that the Common Heritage org tried to bring many of us together but unfortunately the founder got sick before she could really unite everyone well. I had hoped that Common Heritage would end up acting like the Stewardship group for Post-Scarcity Societies.

An old graphic showing Post-Scarcity advocating groups. I’d add Koto Coop and Game B as new orgs

Stewardship group

Once a group forms around a magnetic attractor, it needs to quickly form a stewardship group whose purpose is to serve the group’s broader collective vision. In small partnerships, this group can comprise representatives from each partner organisation. In larger partnerships and networks, it may comprise trusted members of the broader group who voluntarily step forward. These people are stewards of the community interest and the work that is being undertaken is in relation to the magnetic attractor. They are not representative of their organisation’s interests. But each organisation can pursue its interests through individual constellations.

The stewardship sets strategic direction, monitors the partnership’s overall health and aligns constellations with the partnership’s purpose. It first asks: how and why should the group work together? The answers are then fed into a set of plans. The group then typically turns its energy to the practical matter of supporting constellations: looking for opportunities; assessing the current assets; and listening to ideas.

The stewards, often called the ‘coordinating committee’, should be focused on creating three key documents:

1. The guiding principles – This is the shared vision that the constellations agree with. e.g “Transitioning to a Post-Scarcity Society is the most important thing humanity can do for the long term wellbeing of humans, animals and the ecosystem.”. The document should also lay out the assumptions and as it says, the guiding principles.

2. The governance terms of reference – This focuses on how the groups will work together; the rule is ‘as little process as possible’. It should provide guidelines for decision-making, money flows, secretariat services, conflict resolution and adding new groups. The aim is to keep this agreement was lightweight and short so that most authority and decision making is left with the constellations (project groups / chapters) themselves.

3. A strategic plan. This is about articulating the movements overarching goals. These can include raising awareness of the Post-Scarcity idea, creating content, developing transition plans and models, understanding the current Zeitgeist and working on changing the current intellectual, moral, spiritual and economic sign of the times. Or as recently described by Magni “The spirit of the future“. The focus here is on long-term goals. Individual action plans are left up to whatever constellations (project groups) that emerge within this strategic framework.

Action-focused Work Teams

Within the broader strategic vision of the movement, constellations take the form of clusters of activity in which a subset of the members voluntarily participate. They can be formal projects, opportunistic initiatives, working groups or local / regional chapters. They must however act consistently with the overall vision.

Two elements are needed to create a constellation:

  1. A need or opportunity
  2. Energetic leadership by one or more member

These constellations (groups) can galvanise quickly around an issue or project and once resolved can disband. Others might be supporting long running projects. Existing TZM constellations include some of the remaining chapters (there aren’t many), most of the people oriented around social media platforms including some of the Facebook groups and page as well as the Facebook moderation team, the Discord community and Discord moderation team, Telegram. The tzm.community and most recently Kees is an example of someone creating the forum and is starting a fledgling constellation as an energetic leader. There’s also a new content creation focused project currently in the works.

Like the stars in the sky, constellations are ‘loosely coupled’ together to create a rough and chaotic whole (this is partly where they get their name). Members come together based on their own interests and assets, which usually ensures that the ‘right’ members are at the table.
This element of self-interest also makes it more likely that there are high levels of contribution and participation. There is something to be gained in making the constellations you care about work.

As constellation based groups exist only through lightweight agreements between members, they are not themselves a legally incorporated entity. Although the Stewardship group and some chapters living in some (mostly European) countries likely need to deal with any legally incorporated entities.

This model intentionally benefits initiative takers. Money and responsibility are spread around. However, leadership goes to those who step up with an idea and move it ahead.

If appropriate, constellations seek funding or other resources to support their work. For example the Canadian Partnership that first developed the constellation model worked with many groups on joint fundraising of over CDN$2.5 million over seven years, with funds flowing through at least half a dozen different groups.

The advantages of this are obvious: resources are spread around in a manner that is relatively fair, but that also builds on the skills and capabilities of all the members. More importantly, because of reduced competition, groups are able to raise considerably more money for transitioning to a Post-Scarcity Society together than they could individually.

Third-party Coordination – The Secretariat

All collaborative projects need some sort of coordination team to manage overall efforts and troubleshoot problems. When non-profits set up collaborative projects, they typically address this need by selecting a member to be the secretariat, often someone who has the most capacity. This is seldom an ideal solution. Placing the coordination function within one of the members permanently alters the power dynamic of the group. One member takes power. The others defer responsibility and lose energy.

With the constellation model, the coordination function resides outside of the core members.

Ideally, it is housed in an intermediary organisation with experience in guiding the planning process, facilitating meetings, supporting new constellations, fundraising for joint projects, mediating conflict, helping information to flow and building the overall capacity of the group to work towards its desired outcome. E.g The Centre for Social Innovation.

At the core of the secretariat is at least one highly skilled, senior person committed to helping the group move along well together. Effectively, this position is the ‘executive director’ of the partnership and supports the content experts who are drawn from the movement. This person must strike a balance between driving the group process forward while nurturing leaders from the movement.

The partnership director supports the members in this work and ensures that all initiatives managed by different groups work as a cohesive whole.
The partnership director also balances power amongst the members. The ‘in-motion’ nature of money and constellation management helps with this, making it less likely that power will pool in one group.
If one or two groups tend to get all of the resources, the collaboration will become unbalanced. The partnership director, working with the stewardship group, has to regularly ensure that all interested members get the chance to lead a constellation. In some cases, this requires actively building the capacity and encouraging the involvement of less active members.

The partnership director also plays a critical role in managing changes and growth. Part of this is orienting new members within the partnership. “This model is constantly having to bring new partners, and even new members from existing groups, up to speed. The old model of distrust is so embedded in the voluntary sector that it is difficult to truly believe in the freedom of collaboration until you have personally experienced it.” Unless the partnership director spends time with new people as they come in, there is a risk that they will act in the zero-sum manner than many nonprofits and activists bring to collaborative work.

Overview

The constellation model is based around lightweight governance, action-focused teams and third-party coordination.

You can read the full document here

Anecdotal evidence of this working:

After starting the South Australia Zeitgeist Movement chapter, after a few years we decided to branch out and connect with and help other groups, so I’ve been a part of a few different grass roots orgs, one CLEANSA was small but played a vital role in getting other orgs working together to turn South Australia into a renewables energy hub and it has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars of investment. Beyond Zero Emissions a think tank organisation did the engineering and technical work to say that a coal power plant in Port Augusta (a town providing power to the capital city of Adelaide) could be replaced with Solar Thermal as part of a 10 year plan to transition Australia to 100% renewables. CLEANSA, the Climate Emergency Action Network of South Australia was a small group of maybe 10 members but we organised for BZE to give a presentation to people at Port Augusta about how they can transition from a coal plant based town to one championing renewables. We helped getting the mayor and community on board. Thankfully then the well funded AYCC (Australian Youth Climate Coalition) saw the work and took it to a whole new level, organising the Walk for Solar (the video is about 80% my video footage it was a life changing 2 weeks). Over the next few years a variety of NGOs worked together for years to get the community and political will to get renewable energy being built in a massive scale. Now we have everything from floating Solar PV installations and Wind farms to the Tesla big battery and more recently a Virtual battery system made up of thousands of households.

I’ve been a part of failed attempts too, like Occupy Adelaide. That was a dysfunctional mess that was full of trolls, bad actors and just people who’s mental health issues made them too unstable. I’ve also been a part of tens of startups and plenty of companies. Given my experience: I highly recommend that TZM take on the Constellation model.

That said, the movement is so small that we can’t possibly pay for a 3rd party secretariat, we’ll need to at least start with existing members or maybe a similarly aligned group like someone from Game B.

For discussion about this I suggest using the TZM Discord server or TZM Forum.

Posted by Michael Kubler – 6th July 2021

Updates:

Teemu a former TZM member created a great document explaining why funding for the movement is so important. He did a much better job explaining the need than I did and compares it to the way funding is used for pure science. I think the Constellation model is a similar but more refined and detailed structure than his proposal, but the reasoning is sound. You can view his document here or on One Drive.

https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=2FA51B593C7AA7FF!42543&ithint=file%2cdocx&authkey=!ABmNI7nX2qvWQXE

For those wondering about how ineffective a fully flat / leaderless structure is have a read about the toxic culture at Valve software.

https://medium.com/dunia-media/the-nightmare-of-valves-self-organizing-utopia-6d32d329ecdb

InterReflections Review

This is a repost from https://write.as/v0oorihuzwdw0.md with permission from the author.

Peter Joseph’s first foray into feature-length fiction is a refreshingly sober, jarring, horror fantasy/sci-fi ride, taking risks that pay off in defining the contours of a new genre: the social purpose film.

For those who are familiar with Peter Joseph’s body of work, a cerebral, feature-length sci-fi sounds about as intriguing as it does peculiar; what does a social activist known for verbosity know about making movies? The answer most likely lies in the near-decade it took to produce this movie. First announced nearly 10 years ago, what Joseph lacks in budget, he more than makes up for in conviction and execution. InterReflections may very well be the first fully metamodern film. Basing the film on his heavily sourced 2017 non-fiction book, The New Human Rights Movement, Joseph elevates the medium with informed pragmatism. What emerges when all these elements are set in motion is a film worthy of multiple viewings.

Warning: light spoilers ahead

We follow ’23’ in the era of the Great Debate - so named for her number in the HR queue at the company she’s just been let go from - through an Alice in Nightmareland fever-dream sequence as she begins to see the ugly face of our society and how the underserved are treated by it. Parallel to this plot (30 years in the future around the time of the Great Transition) is a subterfuge mission by an Edward Snowden-esque former alaphabet soup defector named ‘John Taylor’ and the whistleblower group known as Concordia. The Central Authority that protects financial interests at the expense of planetary wellbeing has captured John Taylor and is willing to negotiate a reduced sentence with him for help - they need his expertise catching anarcho-primitivist hackers known as ‘Orion’. The film begins with an idyllic scene of a family picnicking in a vibrant meadow, but this is obliterated almost inexplicably abruptly, destroyed by nuclear weaponry. Later we’ll draw the lines between weaponry and livingry, but in this moment we have to trust that the creative team has a plan. This dream-like sequence ends with a fade to a young girl painting a representation of earth on a nuclear warhead. This will make sense to us by the end, when it’s revealed this nuke is a weapon that Concordia, a group identified as terrorists by the state apparatus in the film, intends to use for their liberation.

Films like Tomorrowland and Midnight Special aim to similarly inspire, but fall short of substantial guidance. Similarly, Mr. Robot in it’s premiere and first seasons addressed similar underlying socioeconomic distress, but collapsed on this plot by seeking to resolve the economic concerns with an interior journey. InterReflections goes further than these and deeper than other metafilms/series like The OA or Adaptation in its honesty and abstractions. The film confronts us with the questions it knows we will ask, with answers ready: Is the film’s premise too grand? Too utopian? It seems to be backed by scientific consensus, so why is this even a debate?

The director sits with us as filmmaker and co-conspirator, acknowledging that the film exists in the reality that produced it, and that we all have the capacity to contribute to a better future should we so choose. This is heavily supported by the film’s concurrent timelines and multi-dimensional approach to the narrative, which manages to surprise and delight in a post-Inception landscape. Yes, apparently we can still go deeper without amping tired tropes to some ridiculously conceived next level of arbitrary complexity, giving plenty to theorize over. More immediately in the plot’s pacing, we are afforded the opportunity to learn a great deal from our cynic antagonist, ‘Simon,’ Taylor’s old boss, about the sinister UX-83 program, aka the Malthusian Mandate.

What Simon doesn’t realize is that John has a plan of his own. Apparently driven to cynicism by the weariness of enforcing a paradigm with destructive consequences, Simon is a self-aware antagonist who playfully quotes UBS boss Arthur Jensen of Network. Simon, like Agent Smith before him, affords our protagonist the opportunity challenge his dominion while they let loose riffing off one another in a continuation of the Great Debate unfolding between their staked positions. Where Simon is incentivized to accept a misguided ‘human nature’ argument, John recognizes that we are all participants in the game we play and that we can choose a better suited paradigm as long as we understand the parameters. The key difference in these two figures seems to be the proximity each has to the fear of scarcity and the actions other humans might take in what each puts forth as likely projected scenarios. Joseph flexes here, using his credentials as an author to demolish socially darwinistic arguments and confidently construct counter-arguments through Taylor.

Interspersed among these parallel plots throughout the film is an interview documentary that takes place 100 years from our own 2020, delivering exposition and supporting arguments for the actions and malaise experienced by our protagonists in their respective times.

So far we have the Great Debate time (our present), the Great Transition (30 years in the future), and the Future/Present (100 years from our present, where a documentary is being filmed that views the prior timelines as past).

The imagery in InterReflections dispenses with “cope talk” and instead subverts euphemisms like “pink slip” with a more literal economic execution. Writers like Steven Pinker emphasize that the world is getting better while minimizing the systemic inefficiencies and structural harm produced by our economic system; however, Joseph makes a conscious choice to illustrate how subtle, normalized economic mechanisms can exacerbate into epidemics, like an opioid crisis plaguing the United States fueled by economic disenfranchisement. The film takes its time with each element, introducing them deliberately and with the evidence necessary to pull off a film laden with theory. After marinating us in nightmare fuel, Joseph breaks out with a musical number and counters the recent bleakness of Black Mirror with optimism as Chomsky defines it: “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.” Hot off the heels of hit blockbuster ‘Joker’, InterReflections is a much needed antidote to the cathartic despair of Arthur Fleck.

It’s through this integration of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and documentary-style film techniques that Joseph transcends the medium beyond merely breaking the 4th wall, it seems he aims to break the black mirror, the very looking glass that we - the audience - use to comfortably distance ourselves from the subject matter. Without spoiling what breaking the black mirror refers to, it’s something that you’ll recognize when you see it and it all comes together. Only a social activist with a sincere, uncompromised, and vulnerable adaptive vision can move the stale medium of film beyond superficial capes and crusaders, damning, by its very existence, the emptiness found by appealing to only empty calorie denominators. This facet of the film is where Joseph breaks new ground, placing the onus on us to understand what we can do with the information presented. Empowering us to do so.

Optimism and nihilism are transformed into a metamodern utilitarian pragmatism, and our blooming existential turbulence is given data-driven medicine far more powerful than the milquetoast manufactured hope of Pinker. By acknowledging the POSIWID (The Purpose of A System Is What It Does) of perspectives, InterReflections understands that while it proposes apparently lofty goals, we are merely limited by our own abilities and structural incentives. By involving the audience in the Great Debate through 23, the cast and director dare us as an audience to ignore the pragmatic design proposals of the film’s future. It preempts ‘utopian’ critique, with a nod to Massive Change author Bruce Mau, and a blunt quip that we should only bother calling effective design ‘utopian’ if we want to sound stupid.

Finally, the film ends with wisdom and a warning. The director asks one of our documentary subjects that if they could reach someone in their distant past, aimless and disenfranchised prior to the Great Transition, for all the lost people out there listening for direction, what would they say? To which she replies: Recognize that you are all one, or find out the hard way.

We’ll see if Dennis Villenueva’s adaptation of Dune reaches what is now the bar for ambitious, purposeful sci-fi as Frank Herbert, an ecology activist, might have dreamed for Dune, but for now InterReflections, a low-budget indie production, holds that title.

Heading into the Soaring 20’s, the timing for InterReflections couldn’t be better. It may set an idealized tone, but it does so with a self-deprecating sense of humor and meticulous awareness of the subject’s gravity. Don’t miss this film, it may be the most important one you see.

TZM December 2018 Newsletter

Here’s a small summary of what’s been happening in The Zeitgeist Movement and related groups.

It was August when the last newsletter was sent.

Zday 2019 Argentina Crowdfunding campaign

The 2019 global Zday event will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first time it’ll be in Latin America. But we are looking for help. In order to cover the costs of a real time translator without making the cost of the event unbearably expensive for those in the region who have been going through major economic strife they have launched a crowd funding campaign. They’ve raised $1,300 of the required USD $2,000

Have a look at their incredible video about it. With quality that good you know the event will be worth it.

Updated Intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVMNp4Y0dVo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/168064074096472/

GoFundMe: https://gogetfunding.com/zday-2019-main-event-buenos-aires/

TZM - Development and News

For those wanting to quickly view the latest TZM news check out the news site: https://news.tzm.community/

It shows a list of messages posted to the Discord server in the #development_and_news channel with at least 3 likes / thumbs up.

This awesome ability is thanks to Juuso the Finland coordinator as part of his TZM weekend hackathon work. You can email him at juuso@vilmunen.net for more information

TZM - Communication Guide

For those interested in being active, engaged members there is a suggested communications protocol. The aim is to get people to at least one of the two monthly meeting so we can be informed of what is happening and help with the myriad of projects happening.

You can read the full communications guide here and the important points are listed below.

Communication Protocol

Expectation: Approximately 3 hours work a month

1. Once a week check the announcements channel #development_and_news channel in Discord http://bit.ly/tzm-discord

2. Make sure to properly write announcements that are relevant for everyone to read and post them in the #development_and_news channel in discord

4. Once a month attend at least one of the two global meetings. It is not necessary to attend both

The meetings are on :

–  The last Saturday of every month at 9:00 UTC in the (voice) International channel. On Discord ( http://bit.ly/tzm-discord )

or

–  The last Wednesday of every month at 21:00 UTC. On Team Speak

Team Speak Server Details

Server Nickname or Address: tzm.teamspeak3.com
Password : Tzm_GHJ

If it’s not possible to attend then you can read the minutes

Common Heritage Pledge

As part of the awesome work that Erykah Sundance has been doing in getting the post-scarcity, post-monetary groups together The Zeitgeist Movement has signed the Common Heritage pledge.

https://www.commonheritage.us/

The pledge in its final form:

I declare the Earth as the Common Heritage for all life.

I support a global transition to a system based on science and the Earth’s capacity to sustain us. Replacing resource competition, money/trade and private property with sharing earth’s resources, goods, services, technology and knowledge.

In this system, I pledge to freely contribute my skills and motivations with my time and labor. To serve a community that serves me, that fulfills my basic needs, and does not subjugate me in any way.

I do this with the knowledge that others will too, and hereby affirm my commitment for co-creating a better world for me, and for all.

You can learn more at the Common Heritage website or view the final document.

Below is a work in progress image of other various Common Heritage groups:

Zeitgeist European Meet-Up 2019

The TZM European meetup will be from the 1st to 8th of July 2019 in Enköping, Sweden. It looks to be an amazing time with a big line-up of guests, including Eleanor Goldfield.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/285168392092346

You can buy tickets from https://www.tickettailor.com/events/tzmsweden/206271

TZM - Latest Videos

The latest videos released on the TZM official YouTube channel are:

Michael Kubler : The Price of Zero Transition to an RBE, Zday 2018

Michael Kubler talks about transitioning to a post-scarcity / abundance centered society by first getting the necessities of life to be free to everyone on the planet, using what he calls the Price of Zero transition.

His slides are available at http://bit.ly/price-of-zero-slides


“A Picture of Transition” looks at several looming economic crises in energy and resource overshoot, challenges that we will face in transitioning to a renewably-powered circular economy, social adaptations that need to be made, how they can improve quality of life, and with case studies, shows how you can get this ball rolling in your local community, making almost anything from almost nothing.


Want to contribute to the newsletter? Email newsletter@zeitgeist-info.com with any news or updates.

As these are only sent a couple of times a year, you should post to the #development_and_news Discord channel if there’s more timely news. Then it can get automatically added to the TZM news portal.

We hope you have a great 2019.

Happy RBE!

SDi Integral Quadrants

This Integral Quadrants diagram is much simpler and more appropriate to explaining the dimensions of reality. The upper left or I/I is about what we think, feel, and experience inside ourselves. Our thoughts, priorities, matters of interest, opinions.

The upper right or I/E is our nerves, our brain activity that allows I/I to occur, our meat and physicality.

The lower left or I/C is basically where all of our business takes place, our idea of property, and every kind of social convention in existence over the development of people and cultures over time. This is where our memes reside and where our political conventions exist. Traditions. All the fake shit we make up to virtue signal to one another. Our belief in gods and myths and stories alike. We do things in this space to make sense, to provide a narrative for people to make sense of in the I/I space. We pass this on generationally. We can always change these things.

The C/E lower right quadrant are the systems as they actually are, what they actually look like. We get easily confused by ideas like property because of their interobjective occupation. They appear real because we abide by it, but the specific epistemic justification for it’s existence is a subjective thing. It’s something that resides interior to our being, if we all disappeared from the planet there are no contracts that would remain making titles true. So the way we assign and create meaning is important and malleable, and we should be aware of this meta-cognitive capacity any time we are discussing memetics that are rooted in the left quadrants. The house that someone lives in and owns, worked their butt off for, yes, it’s theirs because of rules that exist in the lower left. There isn’t a universal constant determining the human epistemic property of ownership.

That said, there’s a clear need that we humans have to make sense of things, to perceive reliable expectations and meet basic needs. Some of our needs include the things Maslow outlined. There are better sources I’m told but for now, let’s say humans require food, clothing, shelter, comfort. No where in our neuroscientific bodies of knowledge do we have a need for property, because it isn’t a real thing.

What people like to do when they hear someone say something like this is to effectively *lose their shit*, assuming that the argument being carefully made is of the USSR’s bolshevik communism or something like that. People have a difficult time of accepting truths that rebuke the existing conventions out of fear of the unknown. What does it mean that property doesn’t exist? There are many options, but this is our generation’s problem to solve. This is our creative problem. Anarchists have already made huge strides by defining the differences between capitalistic private property and personal property, public property, and commons property. We frequently forget that we are on a moving train whose parts we’re constantly upgrading in motion. We have entirely new technologies and methodologies of holistic-systems thinking, the scientific method, etc, with which to address these problems.

So in the future, it would be helpful if we agreed to learn from one another with the perspective that if part of our reality is being contradicted, not to assume the worst motivations or naivety of others. We are all ignorant and naive. None of us have nearly enough information to direct “the conversation” of the future, we all own and must contribute a small part of ourselves to it by listening, incorporating, and upgrading our worldviews collaboratively.

Zeitgeist Movement August Newsletter

TZM newsletter August 2018


Here’s a small summary of what’s been happening in The Zeitgeist Movement and related groups.

Argentina chapter to host the 2019 global Zday event

After the success of the 10th Annual Zeitgeist Movement event in Frankfurt, Germany it was decided to have the next global Zday in Latin America. The passionate Paulina took up the torch and after some searching the Argentina chapter has put up their hand to run the next global Zday with help from other chapters such as Chile.
For those that are interested you can contact Paulina by emailing konstancja.tzm@gmail.com
We are also working on a Zday document for helping those who want to run a Zday event get some ideas of what has happened with previous ones.

TeamSpeak server being replaced with Mumble and Discord.

The existing TeamSpeak server is being switched off. For those wanting to do large scale 100+ voice chats like before the Zeitgeist.Earth team are donating their Mumble server to the cause. There is however an existing TZM community on Discord which has a lot of chat and occasional International meetings.

Address: mumble.zeitgeist.earth
Password: heavenlyblue
How to setup mumble: https://wiki.zeitgeist.earth/doku.php?id=tutorial:mumble&s[]=mumble

For those interested in more general text chat then checkout The Zeitgeist Movement Discord server.

The TZM website has had the zday global events merged in


The Zday global site is being merged with the main www.thezeitgeistmovement.com website. It’s likely most of you haven’t seen the site in a while and it’s since been replaced with a more sleek version, so have a look.

TZM is looking for content

We are looking for articles and posts for the website, Facebook, Twitter and other feeds. If you have any quality TZM materials or something Zeitgeist Movement related you can email tzmbot@thzeitgeistmovement.com with your article and preface the email subject with [TZM content]

Template for chapter sites

In more techy news there’s a request for anyone who’s interested in web design and development to help out with a Jekyll based TZM chapter theme. The project, run by Juuso is designed to make it easier for TZM chapters to create a simple website. The idea is to make it easy to update the theme and have people use Github pages and similar version control systems to easily add content whilst sharing designs.

It’s still under active development with an initial example page available. The Github repo is https://github.com/TZMCommunity/rbe-edu
For those that don’t know Jekyll is a system for converting plain text into HTML websites. Because the output is straight HTML5 and it doesn’t need a database it can very easily be hosted with minimal requirements.
Contact the Finland coordinator juuso@vilmunen.net for more information.

Latest videos

The latest videos released on the TZM official YouTube channel are:

Peter Joseph & Friends “The Viable System”

Based on Peter Joseph’s Zday 2018 presentation on Cybernetics and The Viable System, this was filmed in Toronto in May.
https://youtu.be/AFZjZa5ZAyY

Anna Brodskaya : Happiness in a Time of Uncertainty, Zday 2018

Anna Brodskaya gives some advice on how to negate anger and experience happiness, for anyone – from those on the frontline of political activism to those simply in the pursuit of a considered life.

https://youtu.be/W_BnQgUh4p8

ZEITGEIST (DOT) EARTH


The Zeitgeist.earth project is introducing a number of digital tools and services for communities involving technology, hacking and open source culture, as well as art and storytelling.

Zeitgeist Moving Forward opens with perhaps one of the most appropriate quotes to be highlighted in our generation: “In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” — Ernst Fischer
In this spirit, while perhaps not obvious to everyone, it could be noted that memetic associations with the Japanese artform anime, currently underpin many of the Internet’s subcultures and younger generations. The Zeitgeist .earth project is taking that spirit and has been hard at work creating an image board and wiki, are hosting the high capacity Mumble server mentioned as a TeamSpeak replacement. They are also running project management tools like taiga.io and gitea a self hosted equivalent to github to help developers create the digital tools needs to transition to an RBE.

The team has been hard at work and the professional graphic designers have been redesigning the Zeitgeist logo and are working on the image board design with both light and dark themes. However the project is still under heavy development.
More information check out https://zeitgeist.earth/newletter_01.html
You can also join the .earth Telegram group: https://t.me/zeitgeistearth or visit https://zeitgeist.earth once the team is ready to reveal more content.

Zeitgeist Survey Project

Want a project to sink your teeth into and you aren’t good at web development but are interested in psychology?
The Zeitgeist survey project needs some help. The idea is to create a survey which can work out what the global Zeitgeist is. What is the general population’s intellectual, cultural and moral spirit of the time, across the world? By repeating the survey every year we can see what direction it is headed in as a feedback mechanism.
Firstly we need help creating the survey itself. Working out the questions and how they’ll be used. Once the survey is created we’ll need the help of all ZM chapters to get the 16,000+ randomly distributed survey responses needed to have an adequate result. Hopefully we can then do a world wide poll every year and see which the places are most ripe for transition.
The briefing document is here and you can email survey@zeitgeist-info.com if you’d like to contribute.

Free World One


Free World One is the new, hybrid for-profit initiative that was launched by Colin Turner at Z-Day 2018. FW1 is a company designed to leverage the existing market system to promote RBE ambitions through monetizing various activities in education, awareness and prototyping. Profits raised by the company’s ethical and sustainable projects will then be used to support other projects.

Colin, who founded The Free World Charter in 2011, is doing a great job at getting support and the company is now well into its first round of funding with over 270 investors. They are about to embark on an exciting educational project called LifeGames which promotes skills and traits like compassion, cooperation and critical thinking through fun classroom activities for kids. Books and apps of the LifeGames project are expected to go on sale to schools next Spring.

Free World One’s mission statement is:

“We believe that free access to basic living requirements is now a fundamental human right of all twenty-first century citizens. We see the existing method of controlling resources through money, markets and labour as outdated and unfair to the majority of people. We recognise that by combining the power of community with available technology, we can meet everyone’s needs easily and create happier communities.

“Free World One creates, supports and funds a wide variety of projects that promote our ethos of creating a free and sustainable planet for all.”
If you’re interested in helping kickstart transition through this hybrid approach and have some money to invest, then check out:
https://freeworldone.com/
https://www.facebook.com/freeworldone


Want to contribute to the newsletter? Email newsletter@zeitgeist-info.com with any news or updates. If there’s enough requests we can create a more automated solution and notice board.

ZDay presentation – Price of Zero Transition to an RBE

At both the Global ZDay event in Brisbane, Australia and the New Zealand ZDay event in Auckland Michael Kubler gave this presentation about the Price of Zero transition to a Natural Law Resource Based Economy.

This is based on the presentation given on Sunday the 26th of March 2017 at the New Globe Theatre in Brisbane, Australia as part of the Zeitgeist Movement’s 9th annual ZDay event, but with some tweaks incorporated from the New Zealand presentation, although that was a shorter version.

 

You can view the original Google Slides online or get the PDF version.

Afternoon everyone.

We’ve heard from plenty of speakers over the last day and a half about how screwed our current socio-economic system is.

It’s obvious that this shit’s got to go.

Thankfully there’s a variety of alternative economic systems we can choose from:

True Cost Economics – which values human well-being and the environment.

Steady State Economics – Which helps us live within the carrying capacity of the Earth.

Participatory Economics (Parecon) – Understands that there’s an issue with voting for people to represent you if they are meant to work in their own self interests.

So instead of representative democracy at the core of Parecon those most affected by a decision are the ones with the most influence in the decision.

Then there’s the Natural Law, Resource Based Economy which is based on

the application of the scientific method to social concerns.

access over ownership and

abundance through automation and a systems design approach

As you can see the current best option is to transition towards is an RBE.

If this is a journey then that’s our target.

It’s a combination of science, technology, and a mindset change which helps us reduce scarcity, waste and violence towards zero.


Before going on our journey we need to know where we are.
We are in a fiat based, fractional reserve lending system

With a culture who’s definition of success is how much financial and material wealth, power control and fame you can acquire.

The engine of this system is the cyclical consumption cycle, powered by people earning money and buying things

Due to the way supply and demand works with the priority of profit, and externalities, when you boil it down we currently consider the cost of things based on :

  • Human Labour
  • Property Rights and
  • Perceived Scarcity

We don’t really value human wellbeing, nor the environment.

Knowing the system, we can predict 3 main ways that it can collapse.

The Price of Infinity collapse is really just business as usual

Whereby the issues with Capitalism cause Environmental, Energy and Economic crises and would mean that nearly everything costs so much you can’t afford it.

In short, it’s not good.

The Phoenix Model is the price of infinity, but somehow as the monetary system is collapsing we transition to an RBE, despite there not being any Internet and barely enough food, water and electricity to survive.

This is the transition model I heard being advocated a lot when first joined the Zeitgeist Movement.

I think the thinking behind this is that no one will change to a new system if they are happy where they are.

It’s like being asked to cross a long thin plank to go from the roof of one building to another. It’s dangerous, very few people are going to do that.

 

As per http://kevinpojezny.com/the-compound-effect-part-2/

However, if the building is on fire you bet your ass you will.
You’ll walk, crawl or do whatever you can to get away from the burning building.

But the trick is to put the plank on the ground and make the trip easy and fun.

There could even be a party at the end which people want to go to.

 

NB: Photo by Michael Kubler

https://www.dropbox.com/s/992eq11j5hnx824/IMG_7864.JPG?dl=0

That’s why thankfully there’s a third option, the Price of Zero.

The aim is to at least have Food, Water, Electricity, Transport, Education, Entertainment, Health and all the necessities of life for free to everyone on the planet.

But it’s beyond that. The end game is to create such long term abundance there’s no longer a need for money, so we transition away from Capitalism.

So which is the best transition approach?
Well the Price of Zero is obviously the better option as we can :

Start it today and

we are heading towards the end goal.

The Price of Zero is also based on the Buckminster Fuller idea that

You Never Change Things By Fighting The Existing Reality.

To Change Something,

Build a New Model which

Makes the Existing Model Obsolete.

OK.
So you can’t build a global Resource Based Economy instantly. But we can start small and expand.

Like a plant spreading seeds all over the place

we would want at least a dozen or so RBE like sustainable communities

Which can develop into towns, cities and beyond.

Now, not all will succeed, but we can learn from those that fail.

Through systems based thinking plus automation they will be creating an excess of goods and services which can be sold off to the surrounding monetary system for cheaper and cheaper prices whilst also allowing the communities to expand, converting our current system into an RBE over time.

Just like it takes years for a tree to bear fruit it could take 10 or so years to go from a tribe of under 150 people, to a city of tens of thousands and producing a substantial amount of abundance.

I mentioned 150 people in a tribe as it is Dunbar’s number beyond which you can’t really know everyone in the group.
Adding more people means changing from a connected tribe to a large community,

In the process requiring more complex governance structures plus tools for management, trust and the like.

Thus it’s an important milestone.

After the cities get to around 10k or 100k people that’s when we hit a tipping point.

It’s also when we have to start worrying about crossing the chasm.

 

With the adoption of new disruptive or highly innovative trends, be it social media,LGBT rights or an RBE different stages of the uptake are done by different groups of people.

 

At the start the RBE concept is being developed by ourselves. The innovators and early adopters.

We can see the potential and are willing to work on making it a reality.

Even if not that many other people share our passion and aren’t ready to join us.

 

Then there’s the chasm, this is where a lot of ideas and trends die out. They don’t become mainstream if they can’t cross the chasm.

Often what is needed to cross the chasm is a whole new set of branding as a way of attracting the pragmatists.

These are the people who will join the RBE because it provides a tangible benefit, a better life for them than they currently have.

They are likely to be people who have a dream of something they want to do, but are too limited by capitalism.

 

After the pragmatists join the late majority will often tag along simply because it’s what everyone else is doing,

whilst the laggards are those still trying to use a rotary phone until they no longer work.


Not shown here are the Luddites, those who will actively try to suppress or attack the adoption of a Resource Based Economy.

The luddites are the main reason why we will need to defend our cities, ourselves and the core RBE concepts.

 

In saying that, we should treat violence like a contagious disease. We don’t want to inflict it or spread it.

There’s some broad structures we can use for the transition.

I would suggest starting with a Decentralised community of like minded geisters. They would be limited to what they can do whilst living within the monetary system.

But could be an initial support network that are donating their time and resources towards helping create a small village that can grow into a sustainable RBE like city.

These initial cities are for trying out new paradigms, such as being created around access abundance and designed to work without the need for fossil fuels nor money.

Being Distributed is the end goal whereby we have all the communities and cities physically linked together, hopefully by Maglev trains.

The communities should have lots of communication from early on so they can learn from each other.

We don’t want to keep making avoidable mistakes.

Note the structure of the movement should be as leaderless or starfish like as possible.

What I mean by that is that if you:

  • Cut head off spider, it can’t control itself, it dies.
  • Cut legs off spider, it can’t get food, it dies.

Many corporations and capitalist systems are spider like in nature, they have a central leader and will attack as if we are the same.

But if you cut the leg off a starfish, it contains everything needed to grow into a new starfish.

That’s the power of leaderless or leader full movements.

When attacked we can spread out and create more communities, fantasia broom style.

Reference :
The Starfish and the Spider – The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations 

https://www.amazon.com/Starfish-Spider-Unstoppable-Leaderless-Organizations/dp/1591841836

When creating the RBE like cities they should be adapted to their local environment and resources.

Trying to live in the desert? Build a long thin city in the sand dunes

Living in Bali? You might want to learn from the green school about how to build with bamboo.

You might also want Earthship houses, tiny houses, Venus project style circular cities or massive million people plus buildings.

An important concept during infrastructure design for reducing waste is Access instead of ownership

An example of access over ownership is that not every house needs a vacuum cleaner. You could have one industrial grade long lasting vacuum that is shared among a block or apartment. Now you’ll be using a 20th of the resources.
Apply that thinking on a large scale for everything from kitchens to cars and you have reduced a lot of the resource requirements, allowing more access abundance.

Although in some cases we might be able to retrofit existing cities we will usually want to create new infrastructure which is designed with this mindset from the start.

To implement this all properly you need to use some systems design thinking which works best by zooming out your view on a problem until you see how the whole system works, and how it should actually work.

An example is Litter

The current thinking is around ensuring people put their trash in the bin.

A better option is to have signs saying Please litter here because the packaging is Bio-nutritional and good for the environment.

 

Supermarkets
When dealing with automation people might ask how for example you would replace checkout chicks at the supermarket. Self-serve checkouts is the current answer but that’s the wrong thinking. Zoom out and you realise what you want is to have Food in your fridge, or things in your cupboards.

Imagine taking some tomatoes out of the fridge, making a meal and by the time you are done a new set has already been picked from the local vertical farm and is already in your fridge.

Now you no longer have a need for supermarkets.

Cradle to Cradle Materials Flow

Just like there’s a water cycle and carbon cycle we should have a materials cycle. Instead of the cradle to grave system used where we throw things away we should be tracking the flow of say steel, titanium, glass and other materials and be creating things to be broken down into their component elements and reused.

Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle-to-cradle_design

Mindset Change

It’s not just technical changes, one of the biggest changes is with the mindset.
There will be a much greater focus on Social and community relationships.

Ownership replaced with Responsibility
Another important change is that Instead of money we’ll have to have a culture of responsibility.

Think about it.

you don’t really own an apple.

When you eat an apple you use the life supporting nutrients which then get passed through into the ecosystem.

But, you now have a responsibility to the tree that bore the fruit, the people who helped tend the orchard and the ecosystem that enabled it.

So yes.

The Price of Zero means that Capitalism Collapses, Because there’s no longer a need for money.

But this isn’t the specifics of an actual transition plan, just a broad approach.

There’s going to be a whole lot of different variations. There’s already been some attempts, here’s some of the learnings.

Earth Communities was a decentralised RBE like community started in Adelaide, South Australia.

It failed for a number of reasons:

  1. It tried to grow too quickly and purchased an organics food shop that had some crushing debt.
  2. That was a bad decision done in haste which showed how important it is to find the right balance of speed and quality when working out decision making processes.

I suggest trying to identify decisions which are important and lasting versus small and inconsequential and ensure that the lasting ones are made with quality and consensus (has buy in).

 

There’s a variety of decision making processes and often the important point isn’t the voting, but the discussions which stress test the options and can sometimes uncover new, better options.

Ideally we’ll use the scientific method to work out what the best decision making processes are for the variety of decisions.

Some examples of different decisions :

  1. Technical decisions with quantifiable metrics
  2. Things with quantitative and qualitative goals,
  3. People and their positions
  4. Ethics, morals and behaviours.

These likely all need to use different decision making processes which will also vary according to the number of people making or being affected by the decision.

Check out the NZ Earthsong community for information about how they go about their consensus based decision making process which is great for up to 70 or so people.

We still have a lot we can learn from existing communities.

For example Christie’s Walk, the only sustainable community in a capital city in Australia (Adelaide) found that working on things together helps with conflict resolution so much they haven’t yet needed a formal conflict resolution process.

But when looking at the communities we have to realise that few communities are trying to be RBE like.

That’s why the Brisbane ZM chapter (which also hosted the Global ZDay) has started creating the RBE Aspiration Index. A way of rating the sustainable communities they have been visiting.

Currently the ratings are based upon :

  • Locality,
  • Construction
  • Economy
  • Society

It’s still in it’s infancy but ask me or Zac Syme if you’d like to learn more.

Because you’ll be limited to what the government requirements are, from building codes to use of money and paying of taxes, it will likely help if you can convert the RBE like city’s land into a micro-nation, a block of land that’s considered it’s own country.

 

There are 12 Micronations in Australia alone and 79 around the world.

 

Although few are still active or officially recognised as it’s hard to pull off.


The Hutt River Province is one of the most famous micronations in Australia and Sealand is more well known Internationally.

You likely have a number of questions and want every step of the transition explained in great detail. Unfortunately

This is a long journey currently without a good map.

We know the direction to head, but like the Fog of War concept used in computer games, we can only see a few steps ahead of us, not all 100,000 steps.
Thankfully as we walk along we can work out the next few steps ahead of us and in an iterative process make our way towards ->

A far more abundant, inter-connected and sustainable Future…

Thank You.

Other things I could have also mentioned if there was more time :

  • Inertia of decisions and what the first people do. Like a small water trickle turning into the Grand Canyon over time a lot of things are set early on and get harder to change over time.
  • The sheer amount of work needed. Expect something like 15hr days for 8+ years.
  • Likely costs AU$20 Million+ (of current day power purchasing equivalent), e.g as $1/mill yr in interest payments for a proper shot at a decent community and that’ll still be really hard..
  • The Rules for Rulers and how we need to work out what the actual values we want should be and what the structure should look like instead. Would love a deep discussion about this.

 

Disclaimer and other notes :

Whilst I’ve purchased or taken many of the stock photography used in these slides, there’s still plenty of images that I’ve used which comes from online and I’ve had for such a long time I’ve lost the references to. I’m sorry if I haven’t properly credited your imagery, please let me know if this is the case.

 

Critical Thinking Animations

The 6 short animations cover the basics of critical thinking including logic and faulty arguments. Well worth watching for anyone especially those who do lots of debating.

Original source : http://bridge8.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/critical-thinking-animations/

Spirit of the Times #3 Transition to a Resource Based Economy

Download the latest issue:

Spirit Of The Times #3

Spirit Of The Times #3 Transition to a Resource Based Economy

Video Wall

In consolidating the Zeitgeist Info site, the Resources page has been converted into a Video Wall and updated with a few new resources.

http://zeitgeist-info.com/video-wall/

If you are new to the movement then that page should be your first point of call for a great selection of videos.