Dancing Signs

“I wanted the proof of a living spirit and I got it.
Don’t ask me at what price” — C. G. Jung

What am I but a signpost
left here at the crossing of many paths
to point all ways, for always and no ways,
every way the same,
full of nothing which men divide
by knowing they wish to go
this way or that, preferring up or down
after missing the emerald tablet
at the entrance:
below and above the same thing,
no thing at all.

And so I stand, rooted to this earth,
having travelled far enough to measure
the distance from here to there
and back again,
each sign carefully painted,
pointing at this tree, that apple,
this cup of tea, those mountains:
meant for climbing, eating,
drinking, seeing,
no more, know less:

all of life a lesson
in how to listen
and, having heard,
the signpost sways,
remembering what it
feels like to dance again.

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John Cage and the Lecture on Nothing

I am here and there is nothing to say. If among you are those who wish to get somewhere, let them leave at any moment […]

I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it. This space of time is organized. We need not fear these silences – we may love them.

It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

Our poetry now is the realization that we possess nothing. Anything therefore is a delight (since we do not possess it) and thus need not fear its loss […]

More and more I have the feeling that we are getting nowhere. Slowly, as the talk goes on, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure.

If anybody is sleepy, let him go sleep […]

Everybody has a song which is no song at all: it is a process of singing, and when you sing, you are where you are. All I know about method is that when I am not working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.

What Kind of Idea Are You

What is this compulsion to write? It gnaws, crawls up from behind at the most inopportune moments with words and phrases he barely understands. Short sentences. Long sentences with the flowery addition of adjectives that I cringe at and cut away until only little bits of him remain. Mountains of my own mind to be cut down to pebbles and tossed into the current of seven billion lives. Boats ceaselessly borne into the past. Or born ceaselessly, I can’t quite remember now. And into the future from whence ten billion, and more beside, are bound to come. But never the present. Never can a word capture right now, the first moment of its inception. That silent unfurling, the single spark between a million billion connections in the galaxy inside my head. My own mini cosmos. At once the most superficial and deepest part of me.

I am overrun by dreams.

It rushes out, in too-personal groans, then stops. Like right then. Nothing. And then I dives back somewhere into the keyboard, pressing letters without my permission, parts of a self he does not know. Isn’t it fascinating what we can do with pronouns? Who’s there? Can you hear us? It’s me-not-I speaking. What do you call a deer with no eyes? And would said deer suffer from the same headlight affliction as her fellows? And would the fellows still feast on her should one of their number pass on? ‘Far too many questions there dear,’ my editor complains. I agree. It’s all so uncertain. Apart from passing, that is. On a long enough timeline everyone fails. Or something like that.

Sotimemes it gets all garbled, like just now, and I have to hit ‘backspace’, unwrite the musings of the puppet master seated behind my eyes. Jolly fellow, always up to some mischief. But sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I think what if it’s the language of a god?, or some equally vain banality; what if that’s what he meant to write and I just haven’t learnt how to understand it yet? Or she? The puppet master hides identity from me, that prankster. ‘Why did you call him a jolly fellow then?’ my editor asks. Oh that. A turn of phrase, nothing more. A left-over from history, my personal haunted house, built on the horror and humour of our humanity. Horrible humour is most important, you know. Keep the spirits up and all that. Death and glory. Once more unto the breach. In nomine patri.

I write to remember. Or I wrote to remember how I forget. Or was that ‘write to remember how I forgot’? Tense has always bothered me. Irritable vowel syndrome, doctors conclude. The past, the present and the future walk into a bar… Then? I’ve forgotten I’m afraid, left behind by the tap-tap of fingers across food-stained keys. I have to remember not to eat in bed. Mother would be less than impressed.

Somewhere a guitar plays while the wind blows and words breeze past me. A few fall into my lap, others moan and scream through narrow corridors and banging doors, refusing to let me capture them, imprison them here on this blank page of my devotion. The night is long and dark, this the only light I have, held too close to my eyes as I squint, trying to see between the lines to what I really want to say. What do I want to say? What do you want me to say? ‘You’re deflecting again’ my editor moans. Bullshit. I’ll say it, whatever it is. Anything to be loved, even for a moment, right? We’re all like that, aren’t we? I would do anything for love… Yes, even that. My heart has a skyline – ask the ECG.

I write because of her. The girl I see in half-remembered dreams. ‘Remembering is a more psychotic act than forgetting,’ my editor tells me. Right on again. I write to glimpse her on full-moon frosty nights, the bike path iced over with moonlight. Burn, burn with me love, to hell with decay! Scared of slipping into the world beneath the reflection, diving headfirst along the road and down the rabbit hole where foxes sniff at the light and then paw softly away and mad-hatters and cheshire cats and armoured battle-badgers accost me, wandering figments of reality in this strange world I have constructed from someone else’s imagination where nothing fits together. Things fall apart. Entropy is a gyrating goddess. Strange how fate can be described so succinctly. That in such neat symbols lies the truth toward which all must tend, cold-hearted mistress of chaos hidden in the logs and slippery S of the icy bike path. Logs, rhythm and Logos – surprising what words seem to slide together, if only you stretch your mind far enough. To live is to live, and while alive, to die anyway.

Then there is the gun barrel to explain away. To rationalise and understand. To place in memory, carefully framed with the help of someone trained in soothing words. Still oddly black-and-white though. Can we ever escape the prison of our skin? Overcome our meatbag bias, he heard someone say. What a thought hey? Guns and meatbags going hand-in-hand down the street of just another suburb, on just another afternoon. Nothing out of place except urine-soaked school shorts and the falling syringa berries. Syringes of his memory, neatly bottled up. And the car crash, lest he forgets, and more gun barrels, bottled in green dustbins this time, and an enraged rhinoceros and a supposedly tame lion. ‘What are you’ my incredulous editor asks, ‘a circus clown?’ Almost unbelievable how often she is right…

What kind of idea are you?

I write because we live in a world surrounded, surveilled by too many eyes. All recording exactly what happens. Isn’t it sad? How we only see what is really there, carefully watched by closed-circuit cameras, completely insulated from the worlds upon which they gaze. Playing Orpheus. I write because someone needs to tell the story as it didn’t happen, to reveal all the parts which could have been might have been will have been, once we disappear and the cameras are left to watch themselves. What of self-consciousness then? All that watching has to bring some pretence of understanding. Right?

The puppet master decides that he prefers the story as it did not happen, tells me that it’s far more revealing; that the camera focussed on reality misses her shy glance, the scent of a fox slipping by, his Lordship The Fly, the sound ducks make diving into freezing water to escape the running figure as I flee this insane place of a hundred thousand literal eyes-in-the-sky.

But mostly I write for happiness. I write because the world has always been fucked up, because suffering is the only universal and so someone has to remember how we forgot or forget about happiness. In between all the theory, all the learnéd, distant talk of others, the Other, otherness, otherism, whatever, the puppet master works his magic and gets me to remember happiness. No matter how wrong I could be, no matter that there are poets out there who write about life and pain in heart-rending words and haunting ways which I could never achieve, no matter that we have to think about all those we exclude and silence and do violence to when we tell our stories, no matter that what I write will never change this strange, suffering place, no matter that infantile celebrations of life were hollowed out by sentimental folk and that happy endings were exterminated in gas-chambers by bloody-minded men, the puppet master commands that I write of the happiness within.

No matter that those marauding men, maulers of history and happy endings, live in me, haunting echoes of jolly fellows who feast on no-eye-deer, inbred over generations of captivity in a place called Magdalen Park. Pronounced like death, that is. Maud-len, mort-den, place of lies and long-dead tradition. Poisoned by the ivory tower, no different to the glass-and-steel skyscrapers, or the fake-lit studios, or the virtual chat groups, or the security rooms where snide men sneak-peek preview the terrorism, barbarism, dare-I-say-it cannibalism of silent black-and-white films in the interests of a failing state. A state change, perhaps that’s what we need? ‘Treason!’ my editor cries. She’s of the blindly patriotic type. Pity the fool. Never mind, the only people for me are the mad ones. Don’t worry, censorious editor, I meant a transformation. Of depth and surface. A turning of ice into water, water into vapour. We are the vaporous men, swirling together, eyes full of virtual reality.

I write to confess. I know those prying men, often play them myself in interrogation cells, muffled yells, Ben’s ringing bells, leaden circles and old motels, men everywhere in chains, no brains or brawn, just torn hearts and hope and the dream of healing, someday. Inventors of the themselves trying to fly high enough to feel a little warmth in the grey sun of a land with no borders where day is as cold as night, darkness the same as light, where wrong is write and magic myths of dancing men and women, some crying, some laughing, some twirling to their heart’s own beatbeat a rhythm in my overwhelmed imagination until grammar buckles under all the pressure of good and evil master and slave wrong and right leftwrite leftwrite marching across a wretched earth doomba baboom doom heartspace and the danger of beauty as the unknown calls and i follows blindly devout to the constructions of himself she long ago gave up believing full stop

I write because of the enduring feeling that, no matter what life does to us, the fact of being alive makes up for it. I write because, in moments of delirium, I see all in me, me in all, I in we, you and me. I write to do away with false pronouns and tense bar-fights which give the illusion that time can be controlled, neatly portioned and packaged into the correct parts of a sentence and then sent off into the world where it ends up having done strange things, curling back on itself, sped up and slowing down, mixed with space so that light itself became relative. Time and light, as intimately linked as logs, rhythm and Logos, an angel-demon pair ruling over life’s ticks and tocks, all the clocks of the city beginning to chime: you cannot conquer time.

And yet, the puppet master – who once proved how stars bend into a cone in front of you as you approach lightspeed (a space where time does not exist), presumably on chariots of fire, yelling Death and Glory in a maths exam without numbers – still returns to happiness. I sing the body electric the jolly fool demands, not caring that it’s been done before. It must be done again, over and over through each age if we are to make it out of this mess with our souls intact. Ha, that may be the funniest joke yet, don’t you think?

Life’s altogether too short to be taken so seriously. And no-one gets out alive anyway. Not the best, not the worst – although they sometimes seem to get closer – and certainly not the middle-masses marching in step with downturned faces in crowded places pretending that this, right now, ‘the eternal present’ as some mystics like to mumble, isn’t the strangest, most absurd thing they’ve ever encountered. Acting as if all of this is normal, as if this brief moment were something to be, at best, shouldered as a burden, at worst, left in the corner of an unloved childhood as all the adults go about their business. Forgotten, for the most part. Seen but not heard for the rest.

What kind of idea are you?

The one of a thousand masks. Although I’ll let you in on a secret – this is my confession after all – the one he most likes wearing is Peter Pan. The boy who never grew up. Bravely battling Captain Hook with childish glee, even facing that bloody big crocodile – Steve Irwin style – with the feared-and-hated clock hung about its ancient neck. Last survivor of the dinosaurs who, if we’re honest, at least managed to go out with a bang. Unlike the crocodile hunter, poor bloke. Death is always so… unexpected.

Tick-tock Tinkerbell. Our time is nearly up. I just hope that someone believes in you enough to keep you real, stop you from fading into a dream-world of fictional characters. Fear not, beloved, for I must follow you soon, a pied-piper leading all the merry dancers down memory lane, yellow-bricked and ice-covered, reflecting on the dreams to which we awake.

I don’t want to get to an end
and miss being.
I want to be, have been and bent
against the headwinds,
have sent a hundred love letters
with no reply,
have vented the agonies of my soul
on lonely shores
(for who else loves like me?)
have forged in ancient smithies
one small stone,
neither grand nor ornate,
no fate or fortune found
carved and bound within.

Just a simple stone
added to the mound,
cut by my lover I,
soul sufferer of life
singing satan’s songs
of unrequited love
and unreturned longing,
wonderer of the ages
ready for an end,
seeing and having seen,
being and having been,
a final act of love:
I lets go and
submits to death again.

Te Tapu-nui (Mountain of Intense Sacredness)

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste; remember what peace there may be in silence.”

He walked into the woods
to gather up a poem,
drawing rhythm from the
melodies of a gurgling stream
running its ice-cold course
across paths and pine needles
passing beneath his feet;
from the wagtail’s call
chiming through quiet trees –
nature’s bell to mark the passing
of no time at all;
from breathless gasps
steaming out his lungs to the
rhythm of a beating heart,
matching tune of the wilderness;
from the silence of a frozen pool,
solid ice reflecting the view
of dramatic mountains and a
sky-blue lake supplied by snow.

It is a story of the journey
upward to a place within
beautiful enough to match
the white-crowned mountains
and mirror lakes,
a place as wild and unkempt
as the forgotten goat paths
to abandoned cabins
where once we panned for gold,
pulling nuggets out the stream
before descending back to town
bearing riches in our packs,
wrought of hard work and

That is his story, his world,
out there in the mystic wilds
of his own heart where
streams of blood flow in time
with the bird call’s of his mind,
and the quiet trees are always green.
There he chooses to walk
wandering hitchhiker,
no phone, no pets, no cigarettes,
looking to unmask the false being within,
the person made to match the
thoughts and feelings and laws
of other men, no better than himself,
nor any worse.

Leave him to it,
aesthetic voyager of the heart.
Let him have his world
and be done with it,
to perish or prosper in lonely grandeur,
far from the company of men
and yet always in sight
if only they’d look up, look harder
at the background of their photos,
to see those silent stony cliffs
which hear the last confessions
of every soul that leaves this life,
ascending for the final time
up the snow-capped alps
and into blue eternity,
far beyond the clouds.

Susan Sontag and Silence

“So far as he is serious, the artist is continually tempted to sever the dialogue he has with an audience. Silence is the furthest extension of that reluctance to communicate, that ambivalence about making contact with the audience… Silence is the artist’s ultimate other-worldly gesture: by silence, he frees himself from servile bondage to the world, which appears as patron, client, consumer, antagonist, arbiter, and distorter of his work.”

See the full article here, on my hero’s site, brainpickings


Swarm.fund: A Quick Guide for Close Friends

1) Harness the power of collective intelligence

Go to the swarm.fund site and apply to join. This may take a few days or weeks depending on where you are and what the team is busy with at that particular moment.

2) Get slack, mate!

Meanwhile, if you are interested, email me at tuddy0525@gmail.com and I will add you to one of the slack platforms I have set up for the various DCO’s I’ve created myself. Slack is simply a social platform which makes it easy to organise teams and work effectively while still socialising. Each DCO, or each individual, within swarm can create their own slack platform, so feel free to use it for other stuff too.

3) Time to graduate from counterstrike to counterwallet

Go to counterwallet.io and set up your own wallet. It is VERY, VERY important that you write down the 12 word passphrase as you will NEVER get it from anyone, ever again. So take it down in quadruplicate and put them places you know you won’t forget but that are safe. Store it offline on a USB or hard drive. Be safe and treat it like you would your ordinary wallet that you carry around with you from day to day.

4) Take it easy though…

Start to acquaint yourself with Slack. You can set up a profile and talk to slackbot. I have already posted some initial research and links in the chat channels for the intrepid to go through, add to, adapt, steal, and make into their own. That’s really the whole point here: you don’t have to devote your life to this or anything, just think about what you could do if you spent the 6-7 hours a week we do on sites like facebook actually generating value with like-minded people. And value which can actually translate into the ability to improve actively the communities we happen to be a part of in ‘reality’. There are some very dodgy if’s at work here, but isn’t the dream worth the risk of those two pesky letters?

5) Set up on swarm.fund

Once you have been welcomed into the swarm, set up your profile. Copy-paste your wallet address into the slide-in tab and go and take a look at the Distributed Collaborative Organisations we have going already.

6) Join a DCO

You can join whichever project(s) excite you and you will receive an email with a link to confirm. Once you have followed the steps, you should be able to see who else is involved in that particular project and start trying to figure out how you can add value.

7) Create

You can also have a go at creating your own DCO. It’s super-easy and you need have no coding knowledge. It’s all about selling the dream.

8) Buy

You can buy swarmcoin with BTC, XCP, USD, GBP, EUR and some others, so I suggest you do the smart thing and invest. Look for our COO, Andrew Cook, in the chatrooms. Owning some swarmcoin will also give you some voting rights within the swarmDCO.

9) Love and share in the virtual abundance

When swarm launches on the new platform, each DCO will be allocated some of its own coin, so if you manage to get in soon and get accepted, you might just be able to create your own company and get some seed money from some of the most innovative and equitable people out there.

10) Play!

Have fun. Delight yourself. Delight others. Share joy. Share burdens. Share dreams. This is about all that and so much more. It’s about governance, it’s about finance, it’s about a universal basic income, it’s about community, it’s about emergence and feedback loops and chaord. It’s not about utopia, but it is about a better future.

Put a different way, it’s about having a future at all.

Leading Equity: Collective Intelligence in the Age of Collaboration

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici

Cinema, it has been said, distills truth 24 times per second. It renders the dream visible. And I have always had such grand dreams, dictated by Disney, then remixed by the anarchy in my head until I can’t quite tell Hook from crook, as crocodiles eat the sun and Edmond Dantés conducts Tchaikovsky’s overture to the dying gasps of Madame Justice.

So falls blind faith.

‘What utter nonsense’, the collaborator-in-my-head remarks. I only speak the truth though, is that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free.

‘Ah, the truth’, my collaborator scoffs. ‘You should’ve been a comedian.’

Fine. No truths. No lies. No literary conceits or intertextual references to revolutionary films. Just information. Because we are building a space where sharing information carries real value, both for individuals and for the communities of which they choose to be a part.

. . .

Leadership in the Age of Distributed Collaborative Organisations

1) Your idea needs to be tangible, credible, inclusive, and epic.

All collaborative efforts are a matter of quantity. Quantity of people. Like army ants in the Amazon rainforest, it is a matter of overpowering your opponents with sheer biomass through superior organizational skill and the ability to channel volunteer energy. If you start talking about abstract concepts, you’ll just have yawns among your prospective volunteers.

You must be able to break your idea down into some very simple math. How many people engaged at a minimum level, equivalent to voting, buying a product, or signing a petition, do you need to succeed?

A traditional method might involve an advertising campaign to generate interest. Working swarmwise, though, two words apply to the idea of an advertising campaign: forget it. If your idea doesn’t generate enthusiasm on its own, no amount of corporate polish is going to create the grassroots activism that you need to form a DCO.

Tangible: You need to post an outline of the goals you intend to meet, when, and how.

Credible: After having presented your daring goal, you need to present it as totally doable. Bonus points if nobody has done it before.

Inclusive: There must be room for participation by every spectator who finds it interesting, and they need to realize this on hearing about the project.

Epic: Finally, you must set out to change the entire world for the better — or at least make a major improvement for a lot of people.

The idea doesn’t need to be polished. The important thing is to put that stake in the ground, start attracting people, and get working on your way to the goal.

2) Focus in any collaborative organisation is always on what everybody CAN DO.

A DCO is a decentralized, collaborative effort of volunteers that looks like a hierarchical, traditional organization from the outside, but behaves very differently internally. It is built by a small core of people that construct a scaffolding of go-to people, enabling a large number of volunteers to cooperate on a common goal in quantities of people not possible before the net was around.

The first thing to do is release control of your brand and its messages. This need not mean letting your brand go entirely, just developing and realising it in different ways. You need to understand that you can use creative individuals to progress communal goals. Open source enthusiasts are often more advanced than the people regulating and supposedly ‘innovating’ almost any given industry. 

You therefore also need to delegate authority to the point where anybody can make almost any decision for the entire organization. You need to accept and embrace that people in the organization will do exactly as they please, and the only way to lead is to inspire them to want to go where you want the organization as a whole to go. 

3) Collaboration is all about TRANSPARENCY and TRUST

A key aspect of the DCO is that it is open to all people who want to share in the workload. Actually, it is more than open — everybody in the whole world is encouraged to pick work items off a public list, without asking anybody’s permission, and just start doing them.

 Do you see how the platform allows that sentence to enact itself? When I first joined, I knew next to nothing about swarms and swarming. I’m still learning more every day and have little to no idea if this is what Joel Dietz, the founder, actually wants me to write. I have no idea if it is in line with his initial vision for the swarm DCO. I am certain that you might be able to find my vision somewhere in the mess, but I simply read that sentence in Swarmwise, copy-pasted it here and built an article around it to convince the swarm DCO that I can add value to the overall marketing project.

Perception is reality, happy people.

4) A DCO optimizes for speed, trust, and scalability.

The advantage of collaboration is that resources aren’t spent keeping people out, but are spent getting people in to it. Moreover, if you know anything about bitcoin and the blockchain, you’ll know that the parameters of these networks allow for trust between complete strangers on opposite ends of the globe. It is, perhaps, the single most defining feature of Satoshi’s code. Combine a computing environment which is premised upon trust networks with the power of collective intelligence and suddenly changing the world becomes only extremely difficult, not impossible.

Furthermore, everything is transparent by default. Financial records are transparent for all to see. Discussions about strategies and tactics are transparent for all to see (and open for all to participate in). Conflicts are transparent for all to see. This is because all discussions happen in places where everyone CAN see them. Since everybody can see all the information and all the discussions in the entire organization, it provides a very powerful sense of trust and inclusion.

To harness the sense of inclusion, the DCO’s very first task will be to self-organize, and it is you who must set the initial tasks needed to do so. In order to attract the people needed to build your organizational structure, there needs to be something to be done right away with a potential incentive scheme that is clear for all to follow.

Whatever this may be, it needs to be a task that looks challenging but is doable for about one hundred people; it needs to be a task where you can provide for internal competition between the thirty-or-so subdivisions that have already been created; and it needs to be a task where everybody can see the clear benefit to the DCO and the larger swarm.fund project upon its completion.

5) OK, how – precisely – should I set up such a task and organisation?

A DCO is all about people who know other people and who choose to work together. Therefore, getting people to know other people should be an overarching goal of your activities at this point.

While the effective DCO consists almost entirely of loosely knit activists, there is a core of people — the scaffolding — that requires a more formal organization.

Its role and value is not in directing, but rather in SUPPORTING the other 95 percent of the organization — the swarm — which makes its own decisions based on the values you communicate and looks to the scaffolding only when assistance, support, or information are needed.

In this regard, it is vital that no more than 7 people work closely with one another in a given, narrow context. We can set up larger groups of 30, in which people can still know a fair amount about each other and work loosely together, but 7 is the ideal size for productive collaboration. It doesn’t matter that this inevitably results in some duplication – big data is all about utilising the power of iteration to find the most successful solution and progress from there. For the literary critics out there, Derrida was made for this kind of organizational structure.

The largest group-size is 150. There is no relationship between these numbers. The number 7 appears to come from a practical limit to the effort spent on maintaining relationships within a group. The more elusive number 150 appears to be a limit hardwired into our brains, also known as the Dunbar Limit. It is no mistake that 7, 30 and 150 correspond to the size of squads, platoons, and companies, or that 150 is the limiting number for most tribes, including the modern-day Amish. From the best military commanders to out-of-touch communities, to the sharpest marketing and political minds of our day, comes the same message: you need to know that groups above 150 people in size will lose the social bonding required for efficiency and, well, the fun.

6) So this isn’t even that new or revolutionary then?

Perhaps not, we have only ever hoped to remove a few blindfolds.

However, seeing as you asked, the new part is the entire DCO around the scaffolding, and the role that these officers — these geographical and functional leaders — must take in order to support it. One key insight is that the responsibility of the DCO leaders is not so much managerial as it is janitorial. Nobody answers to them, and their task is to make sure that the DCO has everything it needs to self-organize and work its miracles.

Remember, a DCO can’t compete on resources — but it is absolutely unbeatable on speed, reaction time, and cost efficiency. As ever, the old legal dictum (as related by a close friend) always applies: “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”.

7) Leadership is not an appointed position, like management; leadership is a state of group psychology.

Along with trust, this is THE key mechanism in DCO organizations. You cannot and should not try to tell anybody in the DCO what to do. Rather, your role is to set goals and ambitions; ambitions that don’t stop short of changing the entire world for the better.

The correct motivation for the DCO’s mission is going to be key in making this happen. You need constantly to show your passion for the end goal, and those who see and pick up on your drive will seek out things they can do to further it — all on their own.

A DCO grows by way of people talking to their friends and communities. You don’t have the luxury of putting out ads, but your passion and desire to change the world for the better (along with a complete denial of what other people would call the impossibility of the task) make people talk among one another. This is how your DCO grows: one conversation at a time, one person at a time.

In a rather profound sense, DCOs make possible a world where perception is reality, where the way that reality shapes our perceptions can be used to mould a new perception of our different, divergent, often contradictory and paradoxical worlds, which can nevertheless complement each other in interesting and generative ways.

Evey: All this riot and uproar, V… is this Anarchy? Is this the Land of Do-As-You-Please?

V: No. This is only the land of take-what-you-want. Anarchy means “without leaders”, not “without order”. With anarchy comes an age of ordnung, of true order, which is to say voluntary order… This age of ordnung will begin when the mad and incoherent cycle of verwirrung that these bulletins reveal has run its course… This is not anarchy, Evey. This is chaos.”

8) Damn, sorry. No revolutionary movies. ‘Ideals caricatured and beliefs betrayed; that is the definition of revolutionary success” wrote no less a writer then Conrad, after all. 

Ah, Joseph. Things fell apart and the heart of darkness has since written back to overturn your cynical world. All you need to do now is embrace it.

Leading by doing is necessary here, but not sufficient. You need to repeat periodically that one of the core values of the DCO is that we trust each other to work for the DCO in our own unique ways. One of the things that makes DCOs so outstanding in terms of efficiency and scalability is their diversity. People come from all walks of life, and once they realize they have a full mandate to work for the DCO in the ways that they can, they will do just so. Just like I am doing right now…

Usually, we go with the three activist rule, which simply states that should any three activists agree on a given course of action, then they should immediately take it.

The takeaway here is that authority and accountability must always follow each other in the concept of responsibility. Your DCO’s leaders will not have much of either, though, to be honest. They may get responsibility for a small budget as your DCO progresses, matures, and grows, but as we recall, they never get to tell anybody what to do — nobody does.

Ultimately, the trick is to ignore completely the stuff you feel does not advance your DCO’s goals and focus only on the stuff that does. Given the scale and nature of these sorts of organizations, there are enough iterations of any given solution to a problem that you can lead your swarm in the direction you want it to go by simply paying attention to the stuff you like.

Attention is reward. Unexpected attention is great reward – try and respond to your activists as often and positively as possible, picking out and focussing on the aspects of their work you feel most valuable. They will naturally learn the rest. Leadership is psychology, and has very little to do with a paycheck and much more to do with deeply ingrained social wiring in human beings. The trick, then, is how to communicate your vision. If I had to give a short answer to that question, it would be this:

You need to be positively radiant with your desire to change the world for the better, and, above all, communicate three values: 

— We can do this.

— We are going to change the world for the better.

— This is going to be hard work for us, but totally worth it.

. . .

“You’re in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You’ve been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there’s a world outside. That’s because you’re afraid, Evey. You’re afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You’re afraid because freedom is terrifying. Don’t back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body. You said you’d rather die. You faced the fear of your own death and you were calm and still.

The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside.”

10 Ways to Explain the Blockchain to Brits


“They come for the tool and stay for the network” — Ev Williams. Founder of blogger, twitter, and medium.

1) Would you rather…?

My favourite game to play in the UK is the British version of ‘would you rather…?’ Back home, this took on epic proportions, but here, the simple question ‘Would you rather hug an acquaintance intimately or ask someone how they are and spend 10 minutes actually listening to their answer?’ is enough to elicit the most acute looks of discomfort. Therefore, the best way in is, and will remain (in my most humble opinion) to ask ‘Would you rather I talk about politics or the blockchain?’

As sure as it will rain tomorrow, I get at least 20 minutes to tell them all about how we’re building a kickstarter with equity. Let the conservatives snoop all they want, no-one gets what’s at stake in complicated terms like ‘cryptoequity’ and ‘data retention’ anyway. But, hey, at least they’re polite about it all, even when I dovetail neatly back into politics-and-eye-contact. Always been a deadly combo, that.

Here is where I learnt all I know: ediplomat.com/

2) “In England, politeness, reserve, and restraint are admired. The English are courteous, unassuming and unabrasive and are very proud of their long and rich history.”

Hmmm, ‘unabrasive’? What strange words they have here… I have found it very hard to reserve politely my opinion that the UK is considering leaving the EU Bill of Rights, when not even Russia (yes, Russia) has proposed such a move, to be just about the height of imbecility. No-one seems to admire my restraint.

3) “Scots are passionate about their country, guarding its uniqueness and refusing to go along with English ideas. While cool and aloof externally, they are extremely sentimental about their family and their country. Overall Scots are free of class consciousness and social elitism, except in religion.”

Note to self: find a sentimental Scot with a brave heart and give him one last chance to annex the English.

4) “Wales has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 400 years, but has kept its own language, literature and traditions.”

Show a Welshman a few lines of PHP code and he’s bound to understand what’s going on better than you.

5) “Irish value friendliness, sincerity and nature.”

Whale oil beef hooked. Just have a beer, commiserate about Seamus Heaney, sing a few songs, tell him or her that they’ll never be any good at rugby, get into a fight, make best friends and compare the colour of their country to the ‘colour’ of the coins s/he could earn from a kickstarter on the blockchain.

6) “The British are reserved, which may cause them to appear cool and indifferent or overly formal. In fact, they are very friendly and helpful to foreigners.”

Rick Falkvinge and some other folks on the net have been talking about ‘murder and jay-walking’. Well, these two sentences are the classic British two-step that goes along to morals-based policy making. What ediplomat is really trying to tell you is that no-one cares, but they were raised not to say so.

Note to self: phone UKIP and check the facts on that last part. Perhaps approaching people clutching a camera and map would buy me enough time to tell them how they could be part of changing the world?

7) “Women should extend their hand to men first.”

Don’t try this one at home folks. British women and their government have never really been on the best of terms. But that’s helpful, this article has worked wonders for me so far: (women’s) gift circles.

8) “The British are not back slappers or touchers and generally do not display affection in public.”

This is another great ‘would you rather?’ game to play. You can almost position people around the room by standing too close. Being polite, they will shift slightly away but can never simply leave because they’re feeling uncomfortable. Get enough people doing it at a party and you can play Alien Invaders if you’ve spent as much time perfecting the art as I have.

Fun aside though: start out a healthy, respectable distance away and then slowly move closer. Lots of Brits are awesome and hate what is happening here, so if you’re good, you might even be able to sneak a hug in at the end.

9) “In older companies, business still centers around the ‘old boy network’ with prep schools, universities and family ties being of great importance. Newer companies are more progressive.”

Ah, the two step again. They do use full stops to such devastating effect on these muddy isles. Like Arthur in search of his grail, find the ‘newer companies’ with no ‘old boys networks’ and get them involved. London, in particular, is set to take off into the cryptoworld. It’s always been a weirdly liminal space, somewhere between tales of two (or more) cities.

10) Have fun.

People here, though confused about what’s going on and how they can alter the course this country is seemingly set on, have always had a great sense of humour. Appeal to that. I mean, it’s depressing that the Tories want to think seriously about leaving the EU. It is so far-fetched that they would even mention de-ratifying the EU Bill of Rights when not even Putin has considered it, that one can only laugh. And self-deprecation is a national talent, so use that.

Point out that, for a first world country full of very smart people, it is astounding that so many come to the simple-minded conclusion that because they did not vote conservative, this is not ‘their government’. Well, refer to the point on history. If you’re going to talk up a bloody and oppressive story as a tale of conquest and civilization, then the least that you can do is accept that – by definition – democracy entails the rule of the majority. Therefore, who you voted for is irrelevant once the election has occurred so far as considering who ‘your government’ is…

This sort of second-person pronoun stuff just doesn’t hack it with the politeness requirements in 2) though. People think you’re accusing them. But I’m not. There’s just this whole big picture, which is out there online, to be seen if you simply look. Ethereum and Whisper and swarm.fund are part of a much larger movement towards trying to save this world from the people who refuse to think beyond their own generation.

It’s not just about equity and blockchains – these things are just the start, just the structure on which YOU can build your dreams. Literally. Vitalik Buterin puts it thus: “Bitcoin is a blockchain that is intended to serve just a currency, but Ethereum uses the same technology to create a COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT where you can do basically anything: smart contracts, finances, intellectual copyright etc.