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Sender: Bentley Davis
Subject: Re: Conservatives - values - cocreativity
Date: Mon, May 5, 2014
Msg: 100968

Bruce/Bill and everyone

Thank you for this inspiring discussion. I agree that we need to come along side the existing system. I agree that no one person can see the whole issue alone.

I believe we can "collaboratively construct the elephant" by giving individuals the ability to express something more meaningful than even a vote on a specific topic. Encourage them to share why they feel a specific proposal is good or bad. We can reduce the overload by asking people to not repeat the same reasons already stated but they can contribute by making sure the reasons are expressed clearly.

I contend that we are often using labels when we need to get specific. A party is a collection of values and ideas but individuals do not fit in that group exactly. Until we find a way to efficiently get to the details and address everyone's concerns you can only build consensus by manipulation.

Trust is a natural byproduct of deep understanding. Transparency in reasons eliminates suspicions.

I believe we have technologies today that make it possible to distribute the work to collect and address all these concerns and transparently summarize them so everyone can understand and take action together.

Bentley Davis Founder

On Sat, May 3, 2014 at 6:21 PM, Bruce Schuman wrote:

> I appreciate this response, and thank you. > > > > Just for perspective -- I might be a little radical (or a lot radical) -- > because it looks to me like the problems with USA national governance are > so fundamental that no "adjustment" is really possible. It looks to me > like there are primary and "ontological" issues about the way we are doing > things that are fundamentally misconceived. The category systems don't > work. The language doesn't work. Human-to-human understanding doesn't > work -- not well enough. Things don't mesh. The battles are built into > the system -- the battles and the failures and paralysis that go with them. > Let's not "curse the darkness" -- or our fellow citizens we are tempted to > regard as moral inferiors. Let's conceive a brilliant new vision of ideal > collaborative decision-making and co-creative democratic governance that > convenes our collective intelligence in an influential way. > > > > So -- I want to advocate for a few radical design principles -- such as a > fundamental recognition of the "holistic and integral" quality of any truly > sound solution. Issues in the world are not separate from one another. > They are intimately interconnected, to an absolute degree. We need a > political framework -- a process for making collaborative decisions -- that > recognizes this, and builds everything on this basis. > > > > And for me, this does not mean "throw out the existing system". It means > -- "build a collective force of People Power that comes together in an > emerging and enlightened way, and can begin to influence the existing > system" -- what I have heard described as "a new center of gravity". > > > > Right now, what is emerging for me -- is a kind of information-gathering > and coordinating idea based on surveys or polling -- very much inspired by > the recent NCDD survey conducted through -- as described here > by Sandy H as a brilliant success: > > > > Just finding myself leaping ahead into designs I am doing my best to > actualize -- I think I see ways that this kind of approach could become a > massive data-gathering framework the solves the problem of overload, that > addresses the huge and critical issue of diversity and social > fragmentation, and builds a simple and intuitive and very natural pathway > to large-scale agreement. I'll attach a graphic at the bottom of this > email illustrating the beginnings of this idea... > > > > ***** > > > > BILL: > > Re public values failure - If I remember right, something like 60% of the > country wants to further restrict access to firearms. Congress just has > incentives (campaign donations) to not act. To me, this is a failure of the > two party system and that failure is that even though there is generic > support for gun control, there is not broad consensus for a specific policy > proposal or a way for voters to enforce it if the consensus were there. For > example, if you are a conservative that wants gun control, then you likely > have to become a single issue voter and vote democrat to vote for gun > control ( and possibly support gun control candidates in the primaries or > support an initiative effort). If you are liberal, then the only choice you > have is work against the incumbent in favor of a gun control candidate in > the primary (assuming your representative was one of the Dems who didn't > support gun control). > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes, somehow we have to get past these monolithic ways that voting by > party is organized -- and develop a recognition of the huge actual > on-the-ground diversity in American opinion. > > > > BILL: > > This illustrates the inability of our current system to represent the > diverse and complex views that voters hold. > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes -- I sometimes think we need a complete "a la carte" way to vote -- > people should have absolute freedom to express themselves as unique > individuals -- and be able to express a meaningful opinion (vote) on issues > separately. > > > > BILL: > > It allows for the politicians to play games with positions to get you to > vote for them even though they don't represent your interest because you > don't have a better choice. With the added pressure of the need to raise > money, politicians seek to be the least bad choice for voters that > maximizes campaign contributions. > > > > My idea for a solution is that we have a system for citizens to express > their policy desires and develop policy consensus independent of the > election process. Then citizens would ideally vote for politicians based on > their success in implementing those policy desires and NOT their policy > views. To me, that would radically shift the dynamic. > > > > BRUCE: > > I too would like to see a way for the views and insights and "collective > intelligence" of the citizens to become an effective and influential > force. I tend to suppose this will require a kind of "revival" spirit -- a > reawakening of belief in the potential of democracy-in-a-republic -- that > we have to somehow enable by overcoming the primary blockages that prevent > effective citizen engagement (primary among them being overload and > complexity). > > > > BILL: > > Re: bedrock fundamentals- I happen to share Bruce's ideals because I have > had access to a liberal education, thought leaders and the luxury of > pursuing personal growth and development. To me, the trick is that almost > any way we frame that vision, most people will find a way to object or just > not engage because on that level of values, we all say it slightly > differently and we all have slightly different relationship with it. That's > what I was trying to express- we have see different parts of the elephant > based on the path we are on. > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes, I absolutely agree. Great metaphor, and very much to the point. > Maybe what I am sensing -- is a emerging new capacity we might have in the > world to "collaboratively construct the elephant" -- by first of all > recognizing that none of us can see it all -- and that this is natural and > not a moral/ethical failing. It's just a humble fact of life in a complex > world. Let's try to be friendly.... > > > > BILL: > > The trick and the point of this conversation, is to find a way to name IT > in a way that most people will be inspired to action. I believe that the > process of working collaboratively to understand the elephant together is > that unifying framing. > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes, thank you. Let's collaboratively create an "elephant weaving" system > -- to build an invisible wholeness (the entire USA) from millions of > visible small parts (local neighborhoods, particular issues). > > > > BILL: > > The only people that won't come to play are the fundamentalists - meaning > people that willfully do not seek to change their mind. These will be > everyone from idealogical extremists to political activist traumatized from > years of trying to make change in an insane world. They will be threatened > by a system that seeks to find new perspectives and change existing power > structures. At the same time, I think we will be pleasantly surprised to > find that there are people willing to change their minds and learn from > others in every community and every way we can group people- young, old, > conservative, religious, etc. > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes -- and to echo the emerging new "doctrine of community"-- we need all > those points of view, all those perspectives. We need the libertarians, > too -- to push against the weaknesses of excessive collectivism. All things > in balance. > > > > BILL: > > The thing I can't decide is if that is really very different from what > Bruce is suggesting or just a specific way of saying it. To me, the thing > is that I want to entice people that may not be in communitarian solutions. > > > > Sent from my iPhone > > > > BRUCE: > > Yes--meet people where they are. Maybe we can avoid the turnoffs of > "labels" -- and just -- connect in very basic ways. That would take a lot of > trust-building -- but who knows -- the appetite for a rebirth of faith in > "the system" . > > > > And PS -- you typed this message on your phone? You are a master... > > > > > Bruce Schuman > > NETWORK NATION: > > SHARED PURPOSE: > > INTERSPIRIT: > > (805) 966-9515, PO Box 23346, Santa Barbara CA 93101 > > > > >


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