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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cooperation on my loony forum

This morning I am totally cheating. On my last comment below, I said it was the last time I would comment, so... in order to avoid cheating I am writing a post, lol...
In December we will celebrate the second year of our loony forum.
It has about 20 members in it, some of whom come and go, is private, and accessible on invitation only.
Participation is variable, but at this time, it is really stunning, as almost everybody is at least connecting once a day to say how they're doing, and what they're up to.
Why am I talking to you about this ?
Because... my loony forum is an EXCELLENT example of sheer democratic cooperation at work, and what "tissu social" is. There is no really good translation of "tissu social" in English, but you might say "social network". I personally DO NOT LIKE social network, because it privileges a.. computer, mechanistic metaphor, whereas "tissu social" uses a... textile metaphor.
For me a textile metaphor (a piece of fabric is made by interweaving, sometimes in an exceptionally complicated fashion, separate threads to make a... collective work that is THEN used to create something else) is a LIVING, vital metaphor, whereas a machine metaphor, well, that is .. DEAD. That's my prejudice, I suppose.
My loony forum is NOT facebook, for example, and many people on it have their own facebook pages.
WE created this forum TOGETHER, and it has several, separate areas where any member can write a post : some chapters : psychological subjects, spirituality, I'm mad and I spout off, I'm not doing so well, and here's why, good morning, astrology, social themes, animals,etc. (There are others, but you get the idea.) Anybody can post anywhere.
There were about half as many chapters when we started up, but YOURS TRULY suggested that we create others as our needs evolved, and that's how... spirituality got added, for example (yours truly again).
Although there are two administrators who oversee the forum's technical functioning, and sometimes issue invitations for new members, I insisted, and continue to exist that... NOBODY BE EXCLUDED, and that the forum function in TRULY DEMOCRATIC FASHION.
Which it has done... since the beginning.
I think that the founding fathers would have been REALLY proud, you know.
Getting 20+ people who are extremely marginal, most of whom are not working, and surviving with handicap allowances to... cooperate, and give mutual support, is a BIG CHALLENGE.
And.. after two years of continuous BELIEF, and encouragment from yours truly, this challenge is panning out, and I can safely say that the anima, the spirit of the forum is exceptional in the way that it is supporting people to take risks, to dare to develop their underrated talents.
The forum is ONE of the most important factors helping them to emerge from a sense of despair, and feel that, although marginal, THEY have something to contribute to society.
And... this from people who have, for the most part, received psychiatric diagnoses (with which I am not necessarily in agreement, moreover...).
Now.. they are not running out to "contribute" to society by smoothly transitioning into "productive" 9-5 jobs, but then... maybe society needs other ways to occupy its members than those proverbial 9-5 jobs at this point ?? Maybe society can benefit from OTHER OCCUPATIONS than SALARIED work ? It takes all kinds to make up a world, right ?
By the way... I forgot to mention possibly THE MOST IMPORTANT function of the forum at this time : it is a place of continuing POPULAR education, as everybody contributes by posting his/her knowledge/expertise.
Continuing, popular education. This is the BIGGEST challenge that our societies are facing at this time, and WILL face in the future.
And... last but not least : FOR FREE


Thai said...


You know better than that.

And has your forum considered using Google Wave?

Debra said...

Thai, was that supposed to be.. EDUCATIONAL ??
I said free, and I'm sticking with free.
The worst thing about the U.S.'s Bible culture is that it dates way back to Calvin,and beyond, all that excitement, and chest thumping about vengeance.
It is so.. BORING.

Thai said...

Depends what you mean.

Wave it is a technology platform and that is their marketing video.

I have thought of using it for our blog but it has not been seamlessly integrated yet.

I suspect it will one day however.

Dink said...

For continuity's sake, I'm commenting for this post and last post together. And actually it fits together pretty well.

I was going to fill Edwardo in on a past conversation where we discussed Deb's lit degree. Though it is beneficial to the individual, its not really a skill that can be "whored". Though I can't recall exactly where the conversation went from there, I imagine Deb hissed at me for thinking the purpose of education was filthy lucre vs. personal development.

Anyhoo (nod to my Canadian grandmother), the whore-able skills had to be things that people didn't want to (or could not) do themselves. Things others would pay for. College provided training into the various guilds and could charge heavily for it.

And then, like so many things, the internet has liberated us from tyranny or screwed up the foundation of society (depending on your point of view).

Because technology is able to do so much of the whoring we used to pay for. And people who love their field of expertise will go on YouTube and give out the guild secrets for free.

Well, I'm kind of rambling at this point. Its the weekend, right? Yes, its Saturday (I had to check). I believe this is why Hell banished us from non-financial topics, Edwardo. Send me an e-mail if you'd like to post ;)

Debra said...

Speaking of specialization and whorable skills, dinky, I have spent two sessions at my cultural association donating my... analytical/writing skills to help the structure get back on its feet a little bit.
A little foray into the jungle will tell you just how many people now have those analytical reading skills that are so obsolete and underrated that nobody wants to remunerate them any more.
This is really TOO BAD for society, but... nobody said that the social body has EVER been.. SANE, RATIONAL, at least, any more sane or rational than the individuals that comprise it...

Thai said...

Dink, I think you hit the nail on the head.

Deb, I ask you to do the following: please look at how your own household spends its money (and even include all your time and give this some value that others would pay you for) and then let us know whether you spend it the same as society itself does?

It seems a little harsh to criticize that which we do ourselves.

Thai said...

My bad, I mis-read you. Agreed

Debra said...

Yeah, well Thai, I'm not very sympathetic on this one.
Go over to the jungle and take a look at all them people who THINK they know how to think/write, and need remunerate no one to do it, and then come back here to tell me about it.
Not thinking, Thai, is bad business in my (shrink) book.
Look where it gets... Marcus, Thai.
And a bunch of the other anonymi who are posting in the jungle.
You don't want to know how I spend our money, Thai.
We COULD be considered to be social worker cases, but we have too much money for anybody to really bat an eye (those prejudices again, tsss tsss) and besides, it's too late, the kids are already grown up. (My daughter more than me, moreover...)
We are not really average Joe blow, Thai.
No.. cleaning lady (now, THAT'S an example of a job that EVERYBODY CAN DO (almost..), takes no special skills or training (well, a little bit, but it can be picked up on the Internet as dinky says) AND THAT NOBODY WANTS TO DO.)
And.. not only does nobody want to do it, nobody wants to... PAY to have it done either.
Hell has a book reference over there on how the market is not rational, Thai. You need to check it out.
One of my friend's husband is a graphist. She says he spends all day on the computer.
No more... hand drawing. All done on the computer. He misses... using his hands in a graceful, skillfull manner, because the computer is basically not fulfilling this need.
A big problem in my book.
And... an idiot can be trained to do graphism on the computer. But... not hand drawing. You have to have talent to do it.
I just spent mucho euros on my new piano, and spend mucho time ALONE playing it for my own pleasure. That way I am spending less money elsewhere, right ?

Thai said...


... I think it is the element of society that the religious amongst us rightfully criticize as the consequence of "godless atheism".

Or what you tend to criticize as the loss of wholism in our endless quest to reduce things; the element of science you rightfully complain about, and I say this remaining a full believer in atheism, science and reductionism.

This is where I can get nihilistic, and easily fall back to my absolutes leading to "vorpal rabbit". I am trying to work on this.

My only final thought is that bloggers are not a representative sample of all society. Further, if you have been following the current implosion of the media empires (I do not know if it is the same in France but I would bet money the same thing is happening), newspaper readers and TV viewers are moving to the internet and partitioning into their respective moral matrices/camps. Readers are mostly looking for what reinforces what they already know, not what others have to say.

Anyway, this issue is causing the media empires to collapse as the whole fractures into parts that become larger than the original whole. Lots and lots of journalists are loosing their jobs right now; I know this because a lot of journalists and TV news broadcasters live in my neighborhood- and I mean a lot. Anyway their anxiety is so palpable you can cut it with a knife so I do think this anxiety is influencing their coverage.

All this is a long way of saying I still think things are actually getting better for the majority of people.

The anger on the blogs is the viewpoint of those that cannot shift gears.

Some of the bankers may have gotten away with murder (and will continue to do so unless the Hell's of the world point them out individually since you and I can never understand the complexities of these issues from their viewpoint), but the corollary is we are not doing as much stupid stuff with our money as we were before either.

I do think things are getting better.

Debra said...

Yesterday I walked into the Salon Saloon for a half hour or so, and looked at what was being said about consumer Christmas shopping.
The school of fish has now massively taken off in a different direction, it seems (this may be a wrong assumption on my part...) and as usual, I am still in it, as YOU probably are too, Thai.
What you are saying about writing is part of the much larger reaction against a confiscation form of specialization, that rabid disease that is eating away at our society, and that you can get an acute glimpse of when you have to hand your tax return over to that accountant (well, I do, at any rate, but that may be due to SOME laziness).
I watched the movie trailer, and will try to go.
And... you cried through it ? Great news, Thai. You MUST be making some woman REALLY happy...
The effects of Godless atheism are much more subtle than most of the Bushies and the Republican right depict them. It takes acuity like... Nietzsche to pick them up.
Not many Bushies have that kind of acuity, but some of them do, probably...
I will do a post on this, one day.
The demise of the media empires is not making me lose sleep either.
But... the demise of "thinking", in some other form than "miam miam, good, I eat", or "yuccky, bad, I spit" is still a BIG problem with the decline of analytic thought, in my book.
And this I see on my loony blog every day.
To a certain extent, it is the direct result of
(- education), (-trust), and can be remedied with patience and love. Good news, huh ?

Debra said...

Can you tell me more about WAVE, Thai ?

Thai said...

What is your email. I will invite you and you can play with it.

It may be a while before the invite reaches you however as Google says they are not releasing all of them right away.

Dink, do you want an Wave invite?

If so, what is your email?

Debra said...

How do I send you my e-mail Thai, without having it go all over the Internet ???

Thai said...

email Dink and he will email me since his scifidink email is public

Debra said...

scifidink is PUBLIC or private, Thai ?

Dink said...

There is some stuff I'd love to comment on now, but I have a headache and the Sudafed hasn't kicked in yet. I was functional enough to send Cat's e-mail to Rabbit.

And here is my impression of short lived fights in the SRC Saloon ;)

Dink said...

Oh, and scifidink is public. It is referred to as a "sock puppet" (i.e. a creature that you speak through). Which your "frenchy" e-mail address is as well (so be sure to check that e-mail account for Thai's message).

Debra said...

Hey, fantastic mr fox looks great !!
Too bad it will inevitably be.. DUBBED in French as I presume it is for children...
That's why I get all Disney movies dubbed (!!!!) and the last Harry Potter didn't even make it to Grenoble in English...
I'm too much of a purist to go see English/American movies that are dubbed, even if they are for children (although I am sympathetic. Having little Jean trying to follow subtitles when he can't even read yet is a bit of a problem that I am sensitive to).
I prefer to... NOT see them.

Thai said...

I loved the vid! Agree this is how most of the disputes tend to work out on SRC.

Save the vorpal blade for the jungle! ;-)

Debra said...

Hmm... DISPUTES on SRC ??
I have mentioned on several occasions that I have never unsheathed my claws here.
When I unsheathe my claws, I write succint, assassinating letters to shrink number 2, "homme d'├ęglise" not even connected to the church, but you guys may like to know that church men are all of the same type, and the church may or may not be their elected chapel.
That will be the subject of a future post.
I wonder what posts Street Dog is sniffing, and lifting a leg around these days ???

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits