Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Manifesto Is At Unity Books Wellington

The Common Purpose Manifesto is now available at Unity Books in Wellington, New Zealand (my favourite bookstore). This is the only store in the world where you can walk in off the street and buy a copy (and I can't think of a better bookstore where to do this).


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Generalisations Discriminate

Generalisations from surveys and averages cause discrimination through smart policy and targeted benefits that don't apply to people who don't fit the average, which is most people.



It's not lying to say you're right if you think you're right. But of course you may be wrong.


Oil Bloody Stains On Clothing

They're enough to make me give up olive oil dips forever.


Adaptive Communication Modes

Different modes of communicating (email, text, face-to-face, phone, Facebook, twitter) for different messages and for different people according to what we're comfortable with.

And that's great.


Mastery & Best Contribution

Mastery may be a result of us making our best contribution, but is it a necessary aim? Isn't making our best contribution broader and more achievable? Best contribution speaks to our best, which is an internal measure. Mastery speaks to an external measure. I think our best, is a better term than mastery. We may not be the master tennis player or the master economist, but we can certainly be the best tennis player we can be and the best economist we can be, and this can be very good without ever being equivalent to mastery. That deals with the 'best' part, but what about the 'contribution' part?

I like 'contribution', it speaks to giving, not serving and not mastering. Making our contribution doesn't mean it will be appreciated by others, but we can still gain our fulfilment from making it. Contribution also says something more about producing, about making a product or delivering a service, than mastery does. And I think the contribution we make is vital to the growth we all get; mastery doesn't have this connotation, therefore it's more difficult to see how mastery ties in with productivity and economic growth.

So our purpose of 'fulfilment without harm' is pursued by making our best contribution. Fulfilment via our best contribution is our intrinsic motivation. It must be without harm so that our and others ability to contribute is not harmed. In other words we must be 'able to make our best contribution', we must be 'free to make our best contribution': inequalities and/or control damage our ability to contribute as we best can, so they must be removed.

Why do we make our best contribution? Because it realises our potential and gives us fulfilment.


Actually, on further reflection, mastery is primary to best contribution. Mastery is autonomous, self-measured – I was mistaken to interpret mastery as an external measure, it is not, not the kind of mastery we seek, because mastery is not a point with an end where we become a master, but a line we travel with mastery always the motivation and always accumulating: we have mastery now, but we always seek more, that is the primary motivation. Why do we seek mastery? Because it is fulfilling.

Mastery results in contribution and our best contribution, because mastery drives us to achieve our best and through it we naturally make contributions that reflect it. If we use contribution as a measure there is a danger we devalue it, as others may not even notice it, even in this interconnected world. Our own measure, if we do not wish to despair, must be our own mastery.

So we seek fulfilment without harm, and a great deal of that fulfilment is found through our quest for mastery, with our best contribution a result of that quest, whether anyone else appreciates it or not.


('Mastery' is a term used in Drive by Daniel Pink. 'Fulfilment Without Harm' and 'Best Contribution' are phrases used in The Common Purpose Manifesto.)



Climate Change: A Matter Of Basic Physics

"Warming, Alley said, is a matter of basic physics: Increase the concentration of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the atmosphere will hold in more heat." On Capital Hill - Researchers Offer Data To Answer Climate Change Skeptics (Science, 21 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5981, pp. 1121)


New Measurement Tools

What we are able to now measure, we are now able to understand. It is new measurement tools that enable new discoveries and new understanding. And new understanding enables new measurement tools enabling new discoveries and new understanding...


Reciprocity & Selfishness Aren't A Problem

Reciprocity and selfishness aren't a problem if we see the purpose of life as fulfilment and that, for this to happen, we must all live without harm (to others fulfilment). When this purpose and principle is understood it makes logical sense to share and reject harm, for this enables us all to grow and, selfishly, fulfil our potential.


Places Of Mystery

There is a place in New Zealand for more permanent structures, monastic places, and mystery, places where we ask "Why? Why did they build this?".

Build them.


Publicising & Networking May Not Lead To Acceptance

I wonder if trying to promote my work, networking and so forth, is completely detracting from my pursuit of understanding. There is a chance this is so. But surely it's right to want my contribution heard and perhaps even make a difference? And don't I learn by trying to disseminate my understanding?

"A gentleman can be cultivating a way for himself; he can outline and summarise what he has learned, and gather all the strands and sort them into principles. Yet people will not always accept what he can teach them. Now it seems that you are not pursuing self-understanding. Rather, you seek to have your ideas gain acceptance. Your goal is not far enough!" p108, Confucius, The Authentic Confucius, Annping Chin (2007).

Actually this is not anti-publicity quote, it's an anti-demanding acceptance quote. No-one's ideas are entitled to automatic acceptance, however, we should be able to get a hearing, and that is hard enough.


Poem-Like Children's Stories Are Best

Short rhythmic rhyming poems are the best for children's stories and the easiest to read I find.

They must be harder to compose and write than one supposes, because there aren't many of them.


No Vices

It has to be no alcohol, no tobacco and no caffeine for me to maintain equilibrium and not wholly succumb to them.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Golden Rule

WITHOUT HARM is the "Golden Rule" or as Confucius says, 'Do not do to others what you would not like done to you', regardless of religion. Karen Armstrong (in her TED talk) pretty much gets the fundamental aspect of without harm right, however, it is a principle that does not require us to be religious.

[ Karen Armstrong]