Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Highly Networked, Does Not Mean High Quality

It's odd how oft-times the most networked sites (Facebook pages, Ning networks, LinkedIn groups) are not the best quality sites and, conversely, how often the best quality sites are the least networked.

Sometimes it seems networked equates more with aggressive marketing and publicity rather than quality of product.

It's a bit like the soppy radio songs and idiotically-plotted Hollywood films that still become blockbusters because their marketing and distribution budgets are immense and deployed massively. While the high quality, clever and moving, self-funded, small budget films remain largely confined to film festivals and fringe theatres.

Perhaps the web does help more get out (and certainly it makes it easier for more to be conceived), but there's still obstacles, and massively funded, corporate ventures (and aggressive marketing types) still control much of the space, or do now anyway.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ethnicity & Racism

Ethnicity is about different peoples and cultures, all worthy and deserving of equal respect.

Racism (or 'isms in general) is about characterising certain groups (youth, black, and so on) as less than 'fully' human, so justifying the mistreatment of them.


Conformity & Freedom

We don't have to conform to anyone else. We have to be ourselves. We can be ourselves without having to conform, control or recklessly endanger others.

Anyone who tells us the way we are is wrong, is wrong. They are the ones who want us to conform to their expectations, to their self-righteousness, to their standards and judgements.

Their impositions can be rejected (how polite am I!). We are free to fulfil and be ourselves, as we see fit and right for ourselves. Providing we do not try to control and harm others, purposively or recklessly, then we are free (or should be).


Monday, March 29, 2010

Manifesto Printing & Distributing Update

Exploring further printing and distribution of the manifesto. Seems off-set printing is the only way to reduce that cost (of printing) to a feasible level.

Nationwide Book Distributors do what appeals to be a fair deal on book distribution (if they accept your book, as, I guess, being feasible in a market sense). If they do, then this is what I shall probably do for New Zealand.

Then, hopefully, I will be able to get a publisher for the US, UK and rest of the world. To start with, I think 'The New Press' seems like the only clear option. So fingers crossed.

On the marketing front, I guess it's all up to me, but I need to have the distribution to back it up (and printing costs at a feasible price per copy) to make a real go of it.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amazonian Greed

Why does Amazon charge $3.00 for my e-book (The Common Purpose Manifesto) when I've asked the price to be set at $1.00? [I just want as many as possible to read it; Kindle for PC is free.]

Amazon already receives 65% of the price I set, so why do they charge another $2.00 on top (a surcharge which I assume goes straight to them)?



Digital Publication Distribution Agreement (Amazon)
"You will provide a list price for each Digital Book you submit to us in accordance with the then current Program procedures for list price submission ("List Price")."
"We or our sub-distributors have sole and complete discretion to set the retail price at which your Digital Books are sold through the Program."
"Provided you are not in breach of your obligations under this Agreement, we will pay you, for each Digital Book sold to a customer (i.e., an end user) through the Program, a royalty ("Royalty") equal to thirty-five percent (35%) of the applicable List Price for such Digital Book."

So basically Amazon rips off the customer to get more revenue for themselves, revenue that is completely unearned. It's appalling.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Managers aren’t responsible for what staff do. Staff are responsible for what staff do. If people aren’t responsible for what they do, then they don’t do what they do responsibly.

The idea that managers are responsible for staff actions is an attribute of organisations where staff are controlled, where there is a system of control.

When staff know their job and do it their way they are also responsible for their job. It is when managers that are controllers intervene to control the way staff do their job that the responsibility of staff for their job, and the ability of staff to do their job, is compromised. Manager-controllers have full responsibility for that mistake.



Liberate Learning

A shared base income liberates us to learn in the ways that we choose, not necessarily through institutions, universities, polytechnics and accredited providers.

We now have the greatest repository of information the world has ever seen. We have websites that link texts in smart ways using the ‘wisdom of crowds’ enabling us to create the best reading lists we could ever imagine, because these reading lists are created by ourselves according to our own interests.

Our interest in whatever subjects interest us is the greatest motivator for learning. Limitations on where we learn and how we learn are simply obstacles to our learning. We can drive our own learning, seek our own findings and take our own direction according to our own interests. The internet makes this possible. We need to liberate funding from its ties to institutions and tie it to people. A shared base income enables us, frees us, to learn and grow and contribute how we wish.

Institutions should be provided as facilities, but not as prerequisites to funding and thus learning. The existing funding system is just an obstacle to our freedom to learn. Take it away and share the income from trade in a base income so that we can all have the freedom to learn and contribute in the ways we are best able. These forms of funding control are no longer needed. We can direct our own learning and co-ordinate and organise in the ways we wish to if we have the security to do so.



Fair Income Distribution Enables Choice

When income is poorly distributed most people cannot afford to make the choices they would wish to buy environmentally friendly products. While income distribution is unfair demand for environmental products will be constrained, and the cost reducing factors of mass production will not come into effect to drive prices down.

We need to enable people to make their choices directly. That is our greatest democracy. Government imposed legislation is not democracy, it does not allow freedom of choice. A shared base income does.



Business Organisations Should Serve People

It is not people who should serve businesses, but businesses that serve people. Business, companies and organisations are our means of organising ourselves to contribute and increase the ability of our system to enable fulfilment without harm for everyone.

Businesses are not more important than people. There is no reason why businesses should pay less tax on their profits than people do on their incomes.



Why We Need To Change Our System

Our system sustains inequity and does not enable us to realise our full potential. Too many people are harmed. One factor is that a few people’s products will always attract substantially more money than most others. But we can change that by sharing half our income from trade in a base income we all receive so we can all contribute in the ways that best match our abilities and realise our potential. Let’s do that.

By doing that and other things we can construct a system that helps to lower crime, reduce disadvantage, equalise opportunity, and eliminate exploitation, poverty and the enormous cost of lost human potential.

The internet has seen a massive explosion in creative contribution, but our system doesn’t work for this. Our system curtails our ability to contribute as we wish in ways that best suit ourselves and where we see a need. We need our system to take a lesson from the internet and enable sharing. By sharing half our income from trade in a shared base income we can freely share our ideas and more fully realise ourselves.



We Expect Too Little & Accept Too Much

What vision do our politicians give us? What direction do they head for? How do they know where to turn when they don’t even know where they are going?

We need a system that allows us to live our lives without harm. Without an aim, without a vision, an ideal or a purpose we cannot reach where we want to go. If we do not know where we want to go we cannot get there.

Let's make this something to do. Then, when we examine and understand our system, we can uncover the means to get there. But to say, before we’ve even tried, before we’ve even aimed for our goal, that it is too hard, that it could never happen, means it never can. We haven’t even started to try. Let’s start now. Let’s aim for this. Let’s discover how to reach it. And then make it so.



Fulfilment Without Harm

What do we all want? We all want to live fulfilling lives, to realise our potential, to contribute in ways that best reflect who we are.

What is the fundamental wisdom? No harm. With wisdom we realise that the only way we can live fulfilling lives without harm is by not harming other's fulfilment.

Not harming other's fulfilment means means not controlling what other's do. Thus control is a form of harm and we must reject it.



The Right Way

The right way is to realise our potential and find fulfilment without harming other's fulfilment.

Fulfilment and the realisation of potential comes from making our best contribution, from being ourselves and realising ourselves in our ideas and our product. This realisation is growth, is life.

We who pursue the right way of fulfilment without harm are characteristically persuasive, tolerant, responsible, free and fair, because these attributes facilitate fulfilment without harm.

Pursuit of the right way breeds flexibility and the strength to see other's points of view and attain win-win scenarios. Understanding the unlimited nature of our potential leads us who pursue fulfilment to see the world as an open game in which we act independently but without harm so we all grow.

The pursuit of fulfilment without harm leads to free and fair markets, a shared income, and democratic organisations operating in accordance with the purpose of fulfilment and the principle of no harm.

[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]