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Protension

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Testing the connection with G+
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Protension's profile photoBernard “ben” Tremblay's profile photo
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W000ps Addendum: I was using HootSuite back-end via b'marklet.
https://hootsuite.com/dashboard

My comment:
Not all that hard to find, because it's right new and so right at the top of this stream.
But this small effort should not be requred and certainly wasn't requested. If this were not so fresh? and I'd have had to search for it? that effort would be tenfold. Arbitrary.
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from mark Kingwell's "What Are Intellectuals for? A Modest Proposal in Dialogue Form"

A: I'm not sure any really great thinker can deny the temptation [to rule], even if they should always resist it. An intellectual looks at society and thinks: "I could do better than that, for crying out loud."

Q: But not without some violence. And that would make them, and society, worse. Also, they're probably wrong. The basic building blocks of politics are people, not ideas. Of course ideas are in the mix, sometimes with real power, but it really all comes down to the mysteries of human desire. What do the miserable creatures want? They hardly know themselves.

A: That's it. The whole "crooked timber of humanity" business. No such thing as an ideal state, or even a very rational one, when you're dealing with the humans. They're pretty hopeless.

Q: So philosophers, or intellectuals, should not aspire to rule.

[...]

[... T]here's no way out, no transcendence possible. But what you can do is hold on to an awareness of that fact. Frye once more, capturing the larger stakes of critical intellectual engagement: "Democracy is a mixture of majority rule and minority right, and the minority which most clearly has a right is the minority of those who try to resist a passive response, and thereby risk the resentment of those who regard them as trying to be undemocratically superior." Hence anti-intellectualism, which is really a resentment against assumed claims of elite status. Who do you think you are, being critical?

Q: Yeah, that sounds familiar.

A: But the real issue is the interior tension, not the external hostility. Frye nails it: "I am speaking however not so much of two groups of people as of two mental attitudes, both of which may exist in the same mind. The prison of illusion holds all of us; the first important step is to be aware of it as illusion and as a prison."

Q: I do like that--it sounds right. But if that's the first important step, what's the second?

A: Now we finally get to the fourth type. The second step is: make yourself indigestible.

Q: Uh ...

A: So the best public intellectuals can hope for themselves is to be good citizens, and to engage the semi-conscious majority with as much self-awareness, wit, and eloquence as they can muster. But they cannot expect to be thanked for this, nor should they take refuge in the soft tyranny of "non-material advantages." Especially in an age when there is no such thing as real public discourse, they will always be in danger of being consumed by the system they inhabit. More insidiously, they may find themselves doing the consuming, calculating the costs and benefits of their buy-ins of the mind, their mental self-cannibalizing. At that point, the best strategy--the only alternative--is to be as indigestible as possible.

Q: But come on, this is important! Don't you worry that we live in an age where irony is out of fashion, lost equally on militants who don't care about reason and on those autistic narcissists who spend all their time checking email on their phones?

A: Yes. Yes, I do. But you have to keep trying, and by any means necessary. Because if you give up, the system will eat you alive. It might do that anyway, but you can at least make it hurt a bit going down. Do you know Michael Foot? A British politician. He said this about intellectual engagement, in a campaign speech for an election his party went on to lose: "We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves."

Q: Yes.

A: Yes. Never worry about those on top--they will always find a way to take care of themselves. And never try to be on top yourself--you won't like it there. No, worry about those stuck at the bottom, speak and provide for them as best you can. There's no other point to being here.
 
"I argue that generally as a society we are failing to engage and that we need to find new and imaginative ways to do so if our democracy is to flourish." ("To this process of democratic engagement, I argue, intellectuals but contribute.")
--Janice Gross Stein; "The Public Intellectual and the Democratic Conversation"

Nice to see that some folk get paid to talk about this stuff. I get shunned and ignored.
#Xenocyst
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It is unreasonable to expect a person to abandon an opinion or position that pleases them. And yet that is what the situation requires of us, as persons and as citizens. Not all opinions and positions are optimal. Not all opinions are balanced and beneficial. Indeed, not all opinions and positions are well reasoned and grounded in accepted fact. We have to acknowledge a pair: it is human values that very typically determine opinions even in the face of well grounded counter-arguments. So even the least reasoned positions must, as rooted in human values, be respected for that, and even appreciated.

"Tragedy of the Commons"; see Samara Canada; (2014) p. 10
"How would you describe the job of an MP?"

"Well, I can give you the canned thing of why they tell us we're there, and I can share with you what I believe is the truth. So, in a nutshell, we're there to adopt national policy for the betterment of all in the country. The truth is: you're there to develop policy that is self­serving and beneficial to your party in order to keep you in power and get you re-elected .... There is politics involved in everything, so you kind of look at 'Okay, how many are we going to gain from this?' 'How does it fit with the principles of the party?' ... That was the challenge of me deciding to become an MP: I've always been an independent thinker and the fact [is] that the majority of life was governed by someone else, and you had to adhere to the policy or [endure] the wrath of the whip."
-Russ Powers, Liberal MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough Westdale, 2004-06.

Is this what Powers set out to do when he ran for office? Exist in a system where the majority of his life "was governed by someone else"? Of course not. Nor did his fellow MP's aim to work in similar conditions. But change is not so easily accomplished.

In 1968, the American biologist Garret Hardin published an essay in the journal Science called "The Tragedy of the Commons." In it, Hardin discusses the challenge of managing common resources. In his most famous example, Hardin describes the situation of a group of farmers who can freely graze their animals on a shared pasture. Facing no extra costs 10 Tragedy in the Commons ...
 
#Aggregation - My notion is that when the input is processed, that it is in effect bowdlerized. All very good to harvest propositions and proposals, but there's a whole human value aspect that tends to evaporate. (Something like how when data is "sanitized" or "normalized" information is lost when significant out-liers are exterminated.)
Conversation is not debate. And discourse qua discourse is more than just discussion.
#SubjectiveNarrative

p.s. any cog-psych geeks out there? Lateral intraparietal area ... Like/Not Like in less time than it takes to blink an eye.
#DeliberativePolitics
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My response to a very well-meaning reply:
====
... several ways of improving engagement even before voting, in order to have quality. Out-liers have a great chance for stage time if PB doesn't simply accepts online project submission. Getting people together and making sure they talk and discuss each-others ideas is greatly important.
==
Alas we very quickly get into #GroupDynamics and #SocialPathology ... the grumpy (Bernie Sanders?) are too readily dismissed while the charming (psychopaths are quite typically charismatic) and the beautiful get and red velvet carpets. Thus has it always been.

Good work to be done, n'est-ce pas?

p.s. a bit of cleverness I resurrected from the 1970s social justice stuff when the WTO/WB/IMF stuff spilled out into the streets ... something along the line of "First they laugh and you, then ..." but with a twist.
The 4 Is of the aparatchik: Invite, Involve, Inform, Ignore. A very, very, very small fraction of those engaged ever have the tenacity to see the whole cycle through. And those who do, may throw up their hands in quasi-despair. So ... although the dynamic is easy enough to document, well ... there are so many other things to attend to that are more fun and less depressing, nae?
==
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This is what it comes down to:  "decision-making as a self-documenting process".

"Wouldn't it be nice if policy decision making also produced an easily accessible "paper trail" of what went into making that particular sausage?

see also "the Argument Economy"
<plus.google.com/u/0/b/110093549387595974648/+BernardTremblay/posts/i9EAJRxzDeE>
 
Synchronicity? Peeling away the onion layers that is my "PTSD" I only this morning saw clearly that the hyper-vigilance I experience actually comes in 2 flavours: 1 is the regular stuff ... anxiously self-editing in the face of near certain doom ... but there's a 2nd I've glimpsed before but while wielding my tooth-brush I caught a real good look at it: always on duty; constantly on watch.
For what? for events or phenomenon that feed into the mission. (This was vague at the moment it became idée fixe back in SEP73, c/w obsessive compulsion; only quite a bit later did it take the form of "create a tool and method to facilitate the roll-out of proper public policy".)
As example? yesterday morning I made clear note to grab the audio of one radio interview in particular, listening to 2 or 3 hours as I slept, which is my morning routine. (see ** below)

And just minutes ago, in an apparently unrelated string of web articles, I caught / saved a perfect example of my main concern:
Wouldn't it be nice if policy decision making also produced an easily accessible "paper trail" of what went into making that particular sausage? Have a look at this:

Decision-making as a self-documenting process ... which also allows / enables ongoing commentary!

** using members of the community as spokesperson for a commercial cause http://www.cbc.ca/radio/the180/oil-and-gas-ambassadors-democracy-app-political-court-1.3033119/does-peer-pressure-stop-you-from-speaking-up-for-the-oil-industry-1.3033201
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Great ... this sums it up:
The thinking behind my "decision support system". It actually does work for that ... "discourse-centered" ... but covertly what it does is surface the "assholes" i.e. the psychopaths and the sociopaths who serve them. Also rabid dogs, of course.
 
The thinking behind my "decision support system":
It actually does work for that ... "discourse-centered" ... but covertly what it does is surface the "assholes" i.e. the psychopaths and the sociopaths who serve them.
Also rabid dogs, of course.
see my +Protension 
Ideas and information in action
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+Dan Durrant - Plan for the winter it to re-vitalize this page. "Page" in Gplus is kind of bizarre; have never gotten any traction.
Something I though might interest you; do you know LiveJournal? Because it was designed so well fundamentally, their development has always been a real dream.
I used <gnodal.livejournal.com> to keep track of discussion systems and sites, roughly speaking. But I think this is neat: I was able to run a little utility that actually harvest all the links from all those posts over all those years!

Not as pretty as bookmarks or spreadsheet, but a real cornucopia!
<bentrem.sycks.net/links>

cheers
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It's as though folk like you and Michael set out to be depressing. Cuz that's what it's like to deal with you ... really discouraging.
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Protension

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Bottom line: summer of 1976 (still scorched by knowing that in the case of Chile we had handed a democratic country over to fascist military) me and mine produced a series of workshops on foreign policy and social justice in general, "living wage for cocoa and coffee farmers" in particular.

In the end ... I can recall the very moment ... I realized that most of what we'd done resulted in folk with superficial understandings having a slightly broader / more complete set of superficial understandings, and with confidence.
There was nothing like "realization" ... certainly nothing close to "paradigm shift" or "metanoia" ... just self-serving blather with even brighter yuppie smiles.

SO: if I wanted to colonize others' brains? that was the way to go about that very conventional project. If I wanted better?
And that's what took me about 8yrs to clarify as a "system requirement" and then fully 20yrs to set out as a "detailed design document". Key component? discourse. Not debate or discussion. Discourse. (see Jurgen Habermas on this) Just that? nope. Rigour. Forensic quality propositional analysis ("Since most think-tanks are liberal, then X Y Z ... and most think-tanks are not in fact liberal ... and so therefore M N O.") ... sylogistic logic. Hammer&Tongs ... Nuts&Bolts.

"Discourse-based decision support" in the domain of #DeliberativePolitics. Public discourse on policy decisions. PD^2 /grin/

see this from Herman Hesse's "Magister Ludi" (The Glass Bead GameMaster") http://soup.groundplane.org/post/126605253/Each-countrys-Commission-possesses-its-Archive-of
 
Disagreements
This is a very helpful interview on how we think /should deal with talking to people with whom we disagree. It addresses fully informed, rational people. I realize sock puppets are a special case since they are likely compensated or mentally ill.

Changing one's mind when presented with evidence should be seen as a good thing. Not doing it should be a metacognitive alarm siren. What is wrong with me? Is my attachment to something irrational messing with my ability to think about my own behavior?

Let me give an example. My friend told me liberal think tanks outnumber conservative think tanks as part of an argument about climate change. I subsequently counted them and found conservative think tanks outnumber liberal roughly two to one. This did not affect his opinion. In general he possesses awesome grasp of historic events and he has often persuaded me.
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+Tim Elkins This here is the project I've had stalled since 2003.
see <gnodal.protension.com>
#DeliberativePolitics #ParticipatoryDeliberation  

You know Big Bang Theory? you know Stuart who owns the comic book store? I'm just about as successful as him when it comes to the social schmooze dynamics of "startup". I do fine in military and academe, but I'm pretty much allergic to yuppie culture. (Am I joking? about 1/6th just kidding.)
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“Freedom vs control: For a democratic response”
"Submit lab ideas now for the World Forum for Democracy 2015."
What we're really talking about here is obligation and freedom, the tension.
It's that type of tension that gave me my company name: Protension. There's an energy in contention that can be very enabling. Sort of like how Bucky Fuller used the notion of tensegrity.
Homepage of the website on the World forum for democracy
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This also connects with  "decision-making as a self-documenting process" in <plus.google.com/u/0/b/110093549387595974648/+BernardTremblay/posts/CFcThewzrNZ>

"Wouldn't it be nice if policy decision making also produced an easily accessible "paper trail" of what went into making that particular sausage?
 
I talk about "bumper sticker slogans and fortune cookie wisdom" ... and you just blow me off for that.
BUT:
"The argument economy: When ideas trump information journalism veers into propaganda."
--The Atlantic (via @TheAtlantic 9 minutes ago)
'Hot takes' can light the world on fire—and also prevent people from seeing things as they are.
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Poorly formatted and poorly constituted argument: about validity of ideals and philosophical principles and less about the choices to be made.

The various aspects of the issue that are existential become, in effect, proxy for aspects of ideology i.e. how to interpret reality. It's the latter that citizens need to grapple with.

There will never be a clearly obvious resolution of the question left VS right. But there's no good reason that this eternal tension should derail governance and ham-string the legislative process.

Arguments on the issues need to be more based on the facts, our best information, and less on then ideological principles and philosophical ideals that form our interpretations of those facts, the factors by which each individual forms his or her opinion.

Let's create a shared knowledge base; where we cannot form an ideological consensus let's at least agree on the facts of the case.
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Some folk make everything about ideology; it's always conservatives VS liberals, left VS right, crackers and limp-wristed liberals. That's a lousy way of handling things. or mishandling things.

And guess what ... other folk do basically the same thing, but with religion.
Those folk shouldn't be driving the bus. They shouldn't be dominating the arguments and they sure as hell shouldn't be setting our agenda!

But we seem to get sucked into it. And that's ... timeless.

What makes "hot button issues" hot button?
What makes for the "dog whistle politics" has on individuals?
Ideological principles and philosophical ideals.

My idea? that we should already have a knowledge base, a shared collection of our best information, of facts that we can agree on.
Otherwise? we have incoherent arguments where aspects of the issues are blurred and twisted so they act as though proxies for the ideological struggle between left and right ... as though we need to resolve the timeless and eternal tension between those two in order to take care of sewers, school systems, and climate catastrophe.

Only the psychopaths benefit from the present incoherence.
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I had a thought: apply the fanciest idea I ever read in a book; glasperlenspiel from Herman Hesse's "Glass Bead Game" (also known as "Magister Ludi" meaning game master. The "trick" is to hook those many many details and ideas together. A sort of network ... something like a social graph ... just the stuff we're good at!

In his book, Hesse is spot on the problem we're working on:
"Each country's Commission possesses its Archive of the Game, that is the register of all hitherto examined and accepted symbols and decipherments, whose number long ago by far exceeded the number of the ancient Chinese ideographs."

He really does nail it; think of how many different conversations can be had on the face of the planet!
"Theoretically this instrument is capable of reproducing in the Game the entire intellectual content of the universe. ...On the other hand, within this fixed structure, or to abide by our image, within the complicated mechanism of this giant organ, a whole universe of possibilities and combinations is available to the individual player. For even two out of a thousand stringently played games to resemble each other more than superficially is hardly possible. Even if it should so happen that two players by chance were to choose precisely the same small assortment of themes for the content of their Game, those two Games could present an entirely different appearance and run an entirely different course, depending on the qualities of mind, character, mood, and virtuosity of the players."

What he ends up with ... what we end up with ... it's a way of handling all our knowledge.
"The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual values -- on all this immense body of intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number."
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At the moment there is no such agglomeration; there is no such heap of information. +NB:* "information" because the data would consist of, for example, number and distribution of comments across the knowledge domain. We are not here dealing with #BiogData; we here are dealing with #BigInformation  ... and the reason that sounds so foreign and bizarre (A pivotal realization!) is ... as above ... that there has never been such a thing. A  *library* serves well as an example of indexing in action, but it's no way a heap of unstructured information. And it's that this information is unstructured that comprises the problematic. It's wrangling that heap of unstructured information that motivated the development of _Exhibitum.

"What if they game a forum and everybody showed up?! :-)

And here's where the stone in the shoe bites into the flesh: because there is no such agglomeration, the problematic is not surfaced, and the need is not felt i.e. no requirement perceived. So: no Work To Be Done and therefore no contract, no funding.

#OneBigCallinShow  creates the RFP ... that frames the SRS (System Requirement Specification).

cc: +Andy Williamson 
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I've worked with communications technology my whole life. And for 40+ years I've had 1 project: using ICT to grapple with the wicked problems facing civil society. Why #ParticipatoryDeliberation and #DeliberativePolitics? because public policy, IMNSHO, turns on individuals' all too human appreciation of issues. That, for far as I've worked out, is the nut of the matter. If ICT is a lever, human factors (UX? #CognitiveErgonomics?) is the fulcrum.
See:

"The genius of conspiracy theories is that you can’t prove them wrong, and this is true for two reasons.
The first is that most conspiracy theorists base their beliefs on values other than science, and sometimes on fear. They are motivated to believe what they do, and unless those motivations change, it is unlikely they will be swayed by rational argument.
The second reason is that their logic is self-sealing, designed to be impermeable to external reasoning."

"But there is a strategy that may change people’s minds (or at least expose faulty thinking) when dealing with conspiracy theories in science; one loose scale in the logical armour that can be worked free."

So: my software has no traction simply because there is no perceived need for discourse. Back-room discussion is hermetic and the public space is saturated with chat. In a sense I'm ahead of the curve!
As the United Nations warns of the dire consequences of global warming, the commitment of the current Australian government to the reality of climate change remains unclear, with a history of disturbingly…
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Story
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Ideas and information in action
Introduction
We live in tension. There's the is, and then there's the ought ... the way we think things should be.
Information links us to all of that, even as we displace ourselves (through our thinking) in space and time.

"Protension" is my play on the concept of "tensegrity".

"The word 'tensegrity' is an invention: a contraction of 'tensional integrity.' Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guarenteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compressional member behaviors. Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder" --Richard Buckminster Fuller (exerpt from Synergetics, p. 372.)


+Bernard ben Tremblay