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Ron Scroggin
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Ron Scroggin

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Crystal ball Nepal: How do we design the future?

Nepal's extremes in many dimensions make it a highly readable barometer of life's conditions. The people, divided by caste, religion, ethnicity, and politics are stitched together in a social quilt which mirrors the country's radically exaggerated terrain, weather, and ecosystem.

Nepal is therefore a crystal ball into which we can project the world's social, organizational and political conditions, and see the jobs, pains and potential gains they entail, reflected in exaggerated relief.

Conditions of flow vs bureaucracy, lack of generative review, and reliance on threats and penalties in business culture, thwart realization of gains in Nepal and the world. All of this is set in a backstory of old emotions, grievances, loves and beliefs.

Backstory and current news:

The Nepal Blogs - Composed in the Immersion Lab at in virtuereal Nepal (2-7-16):

Wonders of high Nepal

Sherpa guides of Nepal

Flatlands of Nepal: the Terai

The nomadic Raute people of Nepal

Nepal business: a tough road

Nepal trekking: Onward and upward

Crystal ball Nepal: How do we design the future?
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Nepal Business
Nepal is landlocked between China and India. World demand for the country’s exports is growing. Most goods going overseas have to be shipped to the port of Kolkata in India, a land journey of 1-3 weeks. The road from Kathmandu to Kolkata is long and hard.

Nepal’s agrarian economy employs 75% of people who are working. The Terai, is the most fertile region in the country.

Ancient crossroads of human cultures, Nepal attracts the world to explore its terrain.

Nepal is the world, in extreme microcosm.

In a virtual Nepal, a few of us met, and built a human-oriented psychological workbench for learning, meeting and creating: the Knowledge Expeditions.
Knowledge Expeditions are an immersive collaborative sensemaking experience, happening in an online environment, using a shared story with an unknown outcome to co-create a dynamic learning, meeting and creative space.
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Ways of flocking: Refugee, Tribe, Institution, Market, Network, Scenius
21C Transition Magazine: Murmuration
Issue 81 - Sep 21, 2015

"Inside of a network, a catgif is a man's best friend. Outside of a network, it's time for a coffee."

Murmuration. Human beings have six basic sets of boid rules available.

Scrambling, moment to moment, keeping yourself and close significant others, alive any which way works.

Optimizing for close coherent group-think and effective hunting in packs, or skillfully avoiding any which kind of possible threat, if identifying with prey.

Adhering to all rules ensuring a safe clearing in the forest. Building concrete as well as abstract walls around enclosures inside of  which activities reinforcing a sense of control.

Optimizing for win. Devil take the hindmost. A first beginning glimpse of

"The nature of reality is transactional."
-- Alan Watts

Bootstrapping ourselves one degree of freedom beyond markets. Eventually also an anchoring down, including institutional and tribal and refugee modes, thereby transforming these patterns, through non-polarizing discourse and practices.

There's also a sixth set of boid rules. Me +John Kellden , +Joachim Stroh +Joe Raimondo and +Ron Scroggin - we've built a Transmedia Company, and developed a Virtuereality engine, with which participants can explore Virtuereality.

-  Who are you?

(Sagarmatha virtuereality expedition participant)
-  [insert your response to her question, here]

This includes becoming part of your own unfolding storyline, together with other participants, inside a Virtuereal, Immersive, Enactive environment. The company is called Sceenius, 
since it provides an environment, a scene for scenius, scenius being the performing vector out of the collective intelligence of the participants.

Enjoy your continued murmuration together with all other living beings - you are at all times, welcome to share a Virtuereal Coffee at our place, one click away.

21C Transition Magazine
Once a week, a curation often including Conversation Community member posts:

21C Transition Magazine and Monday Magazine  Previous Issues
Issues 1 - 80

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Nature's peace sign, 👍
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Happiness is the truth

- beautifully arranged and executed
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There is not much field work to do during the dry season in rural Nepal. Weavers, mostly women, weave Dhaka cloth in their homes from October to March. Friends and relatives gather together to weave and commiserate.

With its hyper-imaginative geometrical patterns and colors, Dhaka fabric is part of the traditional heritage of Nepal, along with the old houses, temples and art scattered across the country, all reflecting its unique historical confluence of cultures.

The Dhaka topi (men's cap) is emblematic of Nepal. A uniquely Nepali shawl is the Dhaka ko Khasto. The fabric is also used in other items like handbags, and is showing up in international fashion designs.

Although much of the cloth is now factory produced (as in Kathmandu), home-production still continues. Hand-loomed thread by thread, a meter of Dhaka fabric takes three days to weave. One of the traditional centers of Dhaka cloth weaving is Terhathum, in the middle mountains, hard to reach until recently.  

A weaver might know 100 basic patterns -- diamonds, florals, zigzags, temple outlines -- including some that are a thousand years old. Dhaka weavers will often improvise, changing the pattern every 70 cm, so that each piece is uniquely hand-chosen from an infinite range of design possibilities.  

SEE HOW IT IS (BEAUTIFULLY) DONE, by mother and daughter in a workshop behind their house (video 1m05s):


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Thank you +TRIVIAL DA' TRUTH and +Becky Coleman. +Amelia Hoskins, think I saw some examples of fair market trends in fabric sourcing per Nepal, or at least above-market. I remember the Bangladesh collapse. Thank you for the follow up. I did not know how the prosecution was going.
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Himalayan skies

Ngozumpa Glacier - largest in Nepal Himalayas

Sagarmatha (Everest), Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu - neighboring mountains

Cho Oyu - Gyachung Ice Ridge - tremendous ice ridge between mountains

Gokyo - one of the highest settlements in the world, a small group of stone homes at the base of Gokyo Ri

Lakes Gokyo, Thonak, Gyazumpa, Tanjung, Ngojumba - highest freshwater lake system in the world

Remote mountain monasteries

Dudh River - falling in a wild torrent from the highest peaks

Namche Bazaar - Sherpa "capital" of Nepal -- prosperous village in a horseshoe valley facing  the peak of Kongde Ri

Phortse Village, Machhermo - spectacular mountain panoramas

Gokyo Ri ascent - most exquisite view of the Himalayas, and of the snow peaks of the Sagarmatha family of mountains

Many photos of life in rural Nepal at:

h/t International Sherpa Adventure ℗. LTD

image: h/t +Bhuwan subba
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That one up there is for Ron, ok? Don't snatch it. Not cool, ok?
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Ron Scroggin

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Oenfi, who had waited in the cave for 3 billion turns around the Sun, since before Sagarmatha (Chomolungma, Mt Everest), before Gondwana, before Pangaea, Pannotia, Rodinia, and other great landmasses -- who had since the time of Ur, waited -- Oenfi, waited..
Mysteries of the Ç®¥§†åÏ Çå√∑
Oenfi, who had waited in the cave for 3 billion turns around the Sun, since before Sagarmatha (Chomolungma, Mt Everest), before Gondwana, before Pangaea, Pannotia, Rodinia, and other great landmasses -- who had since the time of Ur, waited -- Oenfi.. waited.

It was necessary to wait because that is how long it takes to get the work done. Oenfi had all the time in the world -- all the time in the world and no more.

Crystal Cave theme mp3

"Ok, there it is!" said +Joachim Stroh, leading the Sagarmatha virtuereal climbing party deeper into the metaphorical mountain cave system.

+Elwin Green felt a type of fear. Not terror… But definitely a feeling that requires… trust. At the end of the cave corridor a bluish light emanated from the sanctum of the crystal cave.

"Onward!" said Elwin.

The travelers edged down the icy corridor toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

Oenfi felt a thought unfold, experienced it for a while, then another thought unfolded. Each thought was connected by threads to other thoughts and ideational forces in Oenfi's mind, and in neighboring and far distant minds, and interacted with external surroundings near and far.

What defines a meme? -Smithsonian 

A new thought unfolded, along threads connecting with the minds of the tunnel travelers:

"If it is scenius I see no reason it couldn't turn out to be a big deal," said @ +Michael Josefowicz. "If there is any way my team can help, just let us know. The time is always Now. As we say on the team -- onward, ever onward!"

Methodology, part 5: Situational Leadership -John Kellden 

"Some of the ice blocks are very loose" said Joachim.

"Easy does it.." said +Ron Scroggin 

"Oops!" said Elwin.

"You ok?" said Joachim.

"Yeah, I'm good, thanks!"

"This way," said Joachim. "Walk slowly here, very icy. Clip on the ropes along the wall."

"Right behind you" said +John Kellden 

"Plenty of crystals around here" said Joachim.

"Wow" said Elwin.

"We discovered the cave on one of our first trips to Base Camp."

"I could almost find my way blindfolded by now" said John.

"We're almost there, right?" said Elwin.

Like Dharan in Eastern Nepal, a channel and hub of trade and tourism which sits where the mountains meet the plains, the Cave is a natural transfer point along the virtual/actual spectrum, where everyday ground level experience, and extraordinary peak experience exert equal pull. It is effectively the Cave Between the Worlds.

The House Between the Worlds -Marion Zimmer Bradley  ]

Flatlands of Nepal: The Terai

Oenfi experienced the jubilant thought of the exploring team: "We found the Crystal Cave!"

"Yay!" Said Joachim.

"Oh. My. God." said Elwin.

Blue light shone through the billowing crystal roof of the cavernous underground auditorium. The roof was distantly high and the other end of the cave was undiscernable.

There was a blue crystal on the floor.

Elwin turned, and drew near to John. "Dude… thanks for not keeping this to yourself."

Some time later, or was it? Time is hard to pin down in the Cave. It is right on the virtuereal fulcrum of time and timelessness. Sometimes days go by in an hour. Sometimes nothing happens for weeks:

"Hi Esteban. I am rambling around these story points collecting meaning for a post," said Ron.

"I have an open link to this place" said @Esteban Trev. "I like the music."

"Glad you like it.."

"I'm about to post something regarding value proposition format in the FB post in which @ +Finn Jackson presented a 7 point co-evolution…" said Esteban.

"Cool. If it is convenient you could tag me so I check it out"

Oenfi breathed..

Value proposition…
_____ (the initiative product/service/act)
helps (who)
to do (what)
by fixing _____
and enabling _____" said Esteban.

tag Ron Scroggin

"Yes, I am sure that could be part of it" said Finn.

"A living story, outcome unknown, provides a compass for wayfinders by tapping into the roots of ancient human neuroevolution, and creating an enaction space for empathic transformation," said Ron.

"I really like this part about 'an enaction space for empathic transformation'!" said @Trudy Martinez. "I am an empath and new to facebook. I am coming to realize that empathy is quite possible in digital space and does not require in-person contact or ever even meeting a person. A group like ‪John Kellden‬'s Conversation can establish empathy connections between people who have never met.

"And, actually, it seems to me, (@Mark Larkento‬ ) that these connections augment and reinforce the potential problem solving capabilities of the group if the individuals involved can allow curiosity and inclusivity as pertains to this empathy connection."

21C Enaction: Social Presence -John Kellden

"What is driving all the nodal flows, decisions and actions is the nature of the edges" -John Kellden

Oenfi felt the streams of meaning and their interactions, flowing inward, the inbreath of awareness, and joy.

This is what I was born for, Mother Sagarmatha.

Oenfi breathed out.

And waited.

Everest facts for kids

Indian plate


image and music - +Ron Scroggin 
Knowledge Expeditions are an immersive collaborative sensemaking experience, happening in an online environment, using a shared story with an unknown outcome to co-create a dynamic learning, meeting and creative space.
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Good to be back in high country
Knowledge Expedition: First night on Sagarmatha
• Highlights from the first (virtual) KE trek to Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) since last summer's quake •

• AFTER GATHERING on the Holodeck, KE trekkers clicked over to the Sagarmatha Café for trip planning, platform familiarization, coffee and tea:

"Hmmm! No coffee for me. Herbal tea?" said +Nadia Korths.

"Sure thing, Nadia" said +Joachim Stroh.

"Peppermint. Cool!" said Nadia. "Water is hot!!!"

"So how many have read the FAQ?" said Esteban Trev.

"I read all 3 pages" said Nadia. "Went by quick."

+John Kellden put some cinnamon buns on the coffee table.

"Here's the plan for today" said Joachim. "The virtual Feynman Airstream will carry us to Lukla Airport. From there we will board the bus that drops us off near Sagarmatha Base Camp."


Nadia:  "Each mean something a tiny bit different yet manifest into a greater whole."

Esteban:  "The bacteria halo around us involves physical/emotional/ideological creatures… in a unique blend that we can identified long past moving through some place…"

Nadia:  "So enaction/scenius is a practice of everyone contributing to become a whole that could not have been otherwise. ongoing process. Like event communication, a term I have found in Native American language and participative inquiry narrative which is a description of how to get everyone involved in something of benefit to them all."

John:  "Nadia, participative narrative inquiry is at the very heart of it. Part of the narrative is inside ourselves, part is between us, eg unfolding in the chat, part is in the immersion in the episodes to follow…"

• ABOARD THE FEYNMAN AIRSTREAM virtual transport vehicle

Joachim on the intercom: "Good evening, folks. Hope you are all enjoying the flight so far. Quantum engines are humming nicely, altitude and speed are according to flight-plan. Please make yourself comfortable and enjoy our in-flight entertainment system."

infinite zoom: the inner universe

"Good video" said +Ron Scroggin.

"Good to know you like the video Ron," said John. "I believe it helps all participants being (on the same page) (in the same immersive sensemaking space)."

"Estimated flight time to quantum jump: 8 minutes," said intercom Joachim.

Hoppipola - Sigur Ros

"Hoppipolla is Icelandic for 'jumping in puddles' which is exactly the disposition required for optimal Knowledge Expedition participation. :)" said John.

"Childlike joy of jumping in puddles over and over," said Nadia.

"A whole new demension, it's good to be away from home, great conversation and an awesome expedition," said +Mike Daniels .

"Exiting quantum space" said Joachim.


NADIA BROUGHT SOUTH AMERICAN LEAVES for the travelers to chew on for altitude acclimatization

THE BUS GOT STUCK ON A MOUNTAIN ROAD and the KE team had to get out and pull (successfully, amid cheers and high fives)

Out of the many thousands who make it to base camp, only about 4.000 reached the summit. Many are happy to make base camp their goal, and some come back year after year to enjoy the camaraderie.

"Beautiful sky today" said Joachim.

"Awesome sky, this is great, I hear the sounds of nature, she's definitely on our side," said Mike.

"Mike, true, she is" said John.

Geologically speaking, the gray rock colors dominating the landscape are metamorphosed gneisses, schists and marbles, interspersed with granite dikes and sills.

There is a large yellow tent.

"We'll stay at Base Camp for a day or 2 to acclimatize," said Joachim. "Tomorrow we'll visit the Ice Cave nearby, weather permitting."

"Like the drawings depictions" said Esteban.

"Ron if John has the compass in order I'd like to walk about and see what I can find," said Mike.

"You can walk around in sight of Base Camp. Watch out for changes in weather though. Could lead to blowing snow and whiteouts," said Ron.

"Understood and heading out, bundled up and I do have my radio with me," said Mike.

The stars are coming out, they are particularly bright at this high altitude. Some travelers are still awake in their tents.

Someone is playing a recording of "Misty Mountains."

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

"I'm heading into the tent," said Mike. "Going to do a little reading and warming up some tea, see ya'll in the morning and bundle up, stay warm tonight, goodnight."
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In western Nepal, a group of the Raute people still follow an ancient nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life, staying in one place for a few weeks, then moving on. The trek through monsoon forests at altitudes of 2,000-8,000ft may take 12 years, to cover the full 12,000 square mile territory of the Karnali and Kali river drainages.

+ Raute culture, arts, work, lifestyle:
Knowledge Expeditions are an immersive collaborative sensemaking experience, happening in an online environment, using a shared story with an unknown outcome to co-create a dynamic learning, meeting and creative space.
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My guess is that most people are sincere and want to do good.
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Dharan, second largest city in eastern Nepal, channel of trade and hub of tourism, sits where the mountains meet the plains, gateway between Mountain and Village.

South of Dharan, the Mahabharat foothills flatten out into the lowlands, and become hot, humid alluvial flats. Here is the most fertile agricultural region in Nepal, the Terai.

Amid the rich deposits of the rivers Kosi, Narayani and Karnali, the land is cultivated for rice, jute, sugar, mustard, tobacco, herbs and spices.

More than half of Nepal’s people live here. Dense population and intense cultivation is diminishing the old tropical forests.

Chitwan National Park on the Terai floodplains, home to Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinoceroses, and Asian elephants, is Nepal’s “Heart of the Jungle,” and a World Heritage site.

Janakpur, birthplace of Janaki, Lord Rama’s consort, is    (more at link)
Knowledge Expeditions are an immersive collaborative sensemaking experience, happening in an online environment, using a shared story with an unknown outcome to co-create a dynamic learning, meeting and creative space.
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30,000 years ago a genetic adaptation to high altitude emerged in ancestors of today’s Sherpa people.

1300 years ago the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism emerged as part of Sherpa culture.

These two elements, the physical adaptation and the practice of awareness, incubating in the mystical environment of the Himalayas in Nepal, set up the conditions for the still-unfolding story of Sherpa guides in Nepal.

Genetic high altitude adaptation:

The practical life of a Sherpa trekking guide is hard — physically, mentally and emotionally, setting up conditions, analyzing logistics, and deploying equipment for the success of climbers and explorers. In the photo a Sherpa guide returns to his wife and children after months in the mountains, guiding, and carrying much of the physical and psychic load of intrepid clients.

For all that, Sherpa guides have a reputation for lightness of spirit, and for instigating a familial esprit among teams, even in the face of deadly risk.
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Of 30 million people in Nepal, 55% live in poverty, 37% in severe poverty. Half a million work in tourism, more than half of them women. Tourism fell by 90% after the earthquake. The tourism industry could shrink by 40% this year. If not enough travelers return, people will have to look for work elsewhere, including Qatar, where migrant workers have been abused.

Underlying issues of ethnic and regional equity continue to be politically divisive in Nepal. They were not resolved by the negotiations ending the Nepalese Civil War, which resulted in the abdication of King Gyanendra in 2008, and which were expected to lead to the new constitution.

Nepal's long-awaited draft constitution is supposed to be finalized by July 15 but has been a source of confusion and political division, and has not resolved the question of federalism. If it is completed it will set the boundaries of the eight provinces.

Although bookings are slow now, experienced travelers to Nepal are looking to return, and outfitters are gearing up for the autumn adventure trekking season. Travel warnings have been reduced. Some places like Langtang and Rolwaling are doubtful for trekking, but only 14 of 75 districts are damaged. National parks and wildlife sanctuaries are mostly functioning normally.

Top image:
Boudhanath stupa, Kathmandu Buddhist monks participate in a candlelight vigil and offer prayers in memory of earthquake victims

Bottom image:
The [draft constitution] agreement was signed by leaders of the four main political parties after hours of negotiations at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's residence

Read more:
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BEAUTIFUL picture.
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  • Howard Roberts
  • Illinois Teachers College
Basic Information
Guitar Friends Studio / Affective Immersion Project
I play and teach guitar

I collaborate with people in the areas of music, performance, immersive learning, and in the psychology of spatial location and pattern recognition

I work and play in Rogers Park, hotbed of the arts in Chicago
  • Guitar Friends Studio / Affective Immersion Project
    Director, 2007 - present
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