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
solitude.

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

.ox

To know, yes or no?

I’m so tired of hearing
‘I didn’t know’.

I grew up
surrounded
by people who
didn’t know
didn’t want to know
couldn’t know
hadn’t the will to know
didn’t know they could know.

How many gyres
must fall
apart
before we learn
that not knowing
is not enough
is never enough
never will be enough
can never be enough if
we want to go on
with this
life?

And what a life
it could be
the not-knowing known
and in such bliss
walking forth
hands outstretched
fingertips trembling
though they may be.

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

https://swarm.fund/

“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.

The Most Important Thing I Have Ever Written

If you laughed at the impossible title, carry on reading.

I love wordpress. It let’s me share my work and find other people sharing theirs, all for free, from almost anywhere in the world. That is a beautiful thing. The internet is merely the latest in a long line of technologies – starting with sticks and stone and broken bones – that we have designed for the purpose of expressing unchecked human subjectivity. What makes it notable is precisely sites like wordpress – here you will find crafted, yet still gritty, profound human subjectivity on a scale only matched (in quantity alone) by the likes of facebook and youtube. Did you know, for instance, that every single second, 18 000 seconds of video are uploaded onto youtube?

Have you ever asked yourself what is really going on here? What it is we’re really doing here? Or is this just some fancy that you can escape to through a screen? Some weirdly shadowy zone where a few who know how to code are fighting some suspicious and murky war against an equally suspicious and murky government…

I am a humanities student, and happy to be labeled as such. I think it a compliment. Yet, I have always wondered why it seems so hard to say ANYTHING MEANINGFUL in traditional language, mine being English. And, it turns out, the truth is because the fight for liberty exists – right now – at the level of code. The most important free speech document in the world is not in English, or any other aural language – it is a 50×50 matrix of numbers and letters. If you know what that means, you’ll know why this post is so titled. How can us word-smiths help? Well, writing into the big black nothing (as it sometimes feels here) is not enough. Come and write into the big black nothing of swarm, and use that writing to shape the space and generate value.

The truth of it is, the internet is bound to reach every corner of the globe and fundamentally alter the way we interact with each other and the world. Just look at wordpress – I’ve been sharing poems here, entirely for free, just to build some reputation and a community who might listen to me once I had something actually important to say. Well, I do now. So listen up.

More and more (Western) governments strip liberties for the sake of the COPYRIGHT and CARTOON industries, at the expense of the single greatest tool we have ever developed for the expression of human subjectivity. I’ll give you a moment to think about that.

1) I never do anything wrong. Why should I care if the government tracks my data, I share most of it anyway?

a) I have some photos of me from my first year at uni being incredibly drunk and over the top. I have since deleted them from facebook, actually wanting to get ahead in the world and realising how harmful those could be. Still, they’re captured on some server. Suppose – god forbid – I were to have a beer with some friends one night, drive them home and have an accident where someone died. Now, there’s some doubt as to whether I was intoxicated, so the police go hunting through my data, produce some uni photos of me to prove ‘alcoholic tendencies’ and I get sentenced to culpable homicide. Does this seem awfully far-fetched to you? There are, of course, far more stark examples. If you’re interested in what the internet is calling ‘murder and jay-walking’ policy-making, look here, but go through the channel carefully.

2) It helps stop terrorism.

a) Oh? The acts of terror carried out at Charlie Hebdo were unconscionable. The fact that murders at an institution of FREE SPEECH were used to crack down on that SAME RIGHT is almost as perverse. As one of the lead cartoonists said after the attack, ‘I vomit on these people who show solidarity with us’. There’s an example of sticking to your principles. What you might not know, because your data-retaining governments filter your news feeds and control access to information (not always consciously) is that, just 3 days after Charlie Hebdo, Boko Haram massacred 2000 people in Nigeria. A whole village. Gone. Censorship does not stop terrorism, it just stops the people with wealth and conscience enough to do something from hearing the full horror. Cui bono? (That’s 117 times the cost in human life to Paris. Oh wait, they were black… Everybody carry on. Je suis the ghosts of Africa, the slaughtered multitudes of Baga and Garissa and the Sudan and everywhere else you haven’t heard of.)

If you don’t find it disturbing that you are tracked everywhere you go, listened in on whenever someone in a spy agency might happen to want to, without a warrant, then stop reading. If you are – a bunch of people called https://swarm.fund/ have been thinking about ways to step outside the current, failing system without doing anything illegal – as you will see when looking over the scribd.com paper. What we are interested in is changing the world. Copyright needs to be REINTERPRETED, and it needs to happen within an evidenced-based framework. We need to find new ways to apply copyright law creatively with this new tool we’ve developed in. The internet makes possible Trust Networks, where one need not worry about legal concerns – all transactions of value are guaranteed by the blockchain, a really important technology. Why does this matter, you ask?

OK, so you don’t earn value for posting stuff on wordpress, but you have a great community? I’m not asking you to leave, just to look over swarm, try and understand what is going on, and follow this. It is the web 2.0 – built ON TOP of the existing web. You need do nothing drastic, just look over it. Very simply, you can earn tokens for sharing your work and generating value. You may not be in a country where you could use this yet, but hey, you get a little more than wordpress gives you. Plus, you can keep your blogs going here, just set up a Distributed Collaborative Organisation that links to them, keep on promoting your work on the web 2.0, try earn some SWARMcoin on the initial run and, if we get enough people involved to convince the world that this is how we might save ourselves from ourselves and out out-dated, analogue institutions, you could be rich in 5 years. Here is the link for my DCO which simply links back here for now, drawing more hits and views and visitors to this site as we speak.

Here is the most interesting conversation you’ll hear all.

I will keep posting here periodically with more simple updates about what is happening, how you can get involved, how best to explain what EXACTLY it is we are doing and how you can use what we are building for the world to enrich yourself and those around, not only with your beautiful words and blogs, but with actual tokens you can exchange for goods and services, or as a membership to a decentralized organisation, or as an intellectual copyright. It solves a lot of problems.

When I first came across Silva, I was taken aback by how over-the-top it all is, how exuberant he sounds, but the point about these kinds of ideas is that you have to look a little like a drug-crazed maniac – a wonder-junkie – in order to articulate them properly. And part of doing so is realising that it is all a performance (‘the whole world is a stage’), and that – at one level – it is entirely absurd and impossible and undreamable.

But, watch his face at the end, and you’ll see that the horizon of our dreams – what Stephen Johnson calls ‘the adjacent possible’ – stretches far further than it may ever be possible to describe.

Humour me for a moment and think about Interstellar (2015). Silva talks about the Imagination Foundation and how they argue that humankind has always been able to imagine a thousand future possibilities, pick the best one and pull the present forward to meet it. So, for the first time, Christopher Nolan showed us, in an immersive experience of sight and sound, what it might be like to experience time as a dimension. This is not to suggest that we will now pull the present forward into time travel , but… did you see what just happened there? The sentence itself pulls into the future, wanting to break the tense and escape somewhere else, some place else.

This place is organisations like Swarm. And not just Swarm, we’re not brilliant or particularly different, just first.

So join in the fun, because that’s what it’s about. Seriously, play. Play to your heart’s content with us and change the world as an after-thought

They say that Beethoven or Picasso would have been nothing had the technologies of the violin or the oil painting not been invented by the time they were alive for them to unfurl through. Well, this is not about one person, this is about the whole of human subjectivity. This is OUR violin. Here is one of my new favourite videos: ‘Jet Man’: “We love to fly. We are exploring the limits. We are in an element of nature: air. And that element, we have to respect it like we respect nature; it’s so strong, so present. And we are just lucky guys that we can play in that element, for some small moment. The future of human flight is clear – it will be completely autonomous like a bird. The real dream is to be completely free, completely free.”

What will be your freedom?

Check out this site if you are intrigued:

https://swarm.fund/projects/Teach_Me_Blokchain_1431716742

If you’re American, perhaps you could tell me what you think of this author and book. I honestly don’t know what to think. Please protect your VPN first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqQejvy8yXQ

Via Emma: “Knowing can be violent, given the truths there are to be known”

Drummer Boy

I know it now,
or I knew it then,
rounding the bend
into a field of sunshine:
what kind of life it could be.

Not one
of speaking truth to power.
I am born of powerful
and dangerous men,
cocksure and confident.

No, I am here
to sway power
with visions of a
small child, running
through sacred spaces

leaping giddyingly
on a shaft of light
and giggling as it
runs through her mind
like melting butter,

chasing it around
the men in solemn prayer,
women waiting in shadow,
her vision disturbing quiet
as it dances in the stillness

of an ordinary day,
all afresh and new,
alive with possibility if
sunlight is how you dream,
dance, your way of life.

History’s Roads

I returned to the buddha tree today,
set ablaze by the white snow of
late spring sprung with daffodils
turning in long sunsets like some
endlessly infinite, recurring movie
played out over port meadow.

All but a few of the blooms are
already gone
passed
blown away by the bitter winds
we had last week after she left.
Just sturdy green buds remain.

It’s achingly temporary,
all of it,
the beautiful suffering lot
of bodhisattva sat under
his spring tree singing
the perfect blossom.

I found a field next to the lake,
and sat like a statue watching
the still water, small eddies
tickling the surface with each
breath of wind as I made faces
and tempted the fates.

A tree’s branches whispered
‘let the past go’.
Not erase, forget, repress,
just ‘let it go’. Why fight
for sticks and stones and
the words of long dead men?

It is my history, too,
but don’t you see?
The shit on his shoulder
is part of the monument,
a momentary release meant
crudely to memorialise

the fight for freedom
long vacant, vanquished
by whitepink men equal
before only our own laws.
Let the statues go.
I, too, need less reminders.

History has brought me here,
far away to the centre where
spring is singing, ringing, winging
through pinkwhite trees while
the heady scent of happiness
hangs light in the hazy air.

History does not live in stones
or stanzas, but in your mind
as the world’s pulsing rhythm,
so let the statues go.
Build anew a beating heart
to the blossoming birdsong,
based on humanity, humility;
on the belief that we
can be better than the
men and women
we remember once being,
in long-ago ages when
the darkness was unbroken.