Tom Atlee: Making Wise Decisions on Public Issues

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Tom Atlee

Dear friends,

I have worked for several months to develop the ideas in this article and to articulate them in an accessible way.  They are fundamental understandings underlying the co-intelligence vision of a wiser democracy.

If the ideas intrigue you, you can find a longer version with more detailed guidelines and references online.  I wrote the abstract below to make it easier for you to see the whole pattern at once.  I hope you find both versions interesting and useful.




by Tom Atlee

As a civilization we have tremendous collective power, but we don't always use it wisely.  We can make good decisions, but we face messy, entangled, rapidly growing problems with complex, debatable causes.  Efforts to solve one problem often generate new ones.  We need more than problem-solving smarts here.  We need wisdom.

A good definition for wisdom here is

the capacity to take into account
what needs to be taken into account
to produce long term, inclusive benefits.

To the extent we fail to take something important into account, it will come back to haunt us.  But often we only realize we overlooked something long after our decision has been implemented.  Certain practices – because they lead us to include more of what's important – can help us meet this challenge.  Here are eight complementary ways to do this.  The more of them we do, and the better we do them, the wiser our collective decisions will be.
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Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

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Open Source Ecology — 50 Open Source Tools for Resilience

Industrial productivity can be achieved on a small scale….it just requires open source design.  A single DVD is a civilization starter kit.

Interactive Transcript

About The Speaker

About This Talk

Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).

Seven Promises to America–Who Will Do This?

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Robert David STEELE Vivas

UPDATED 26 Oct 2011 to add YouTube overview

Seven Promises to America – Raising the Bar for 2012

UPDATED 20 June 2011 after talking to Cynthia McKinney.  Changes 7th promise to subsume End of Empire to Start of Green Non-Zero World that works for all.

Over the course of the past decade, as I have turned to non-fiction reading and reflections on integrity and intelligence, I have come to realize just how corrupt the US Government is at the political level, and how compliant the good people are that are trapped within a very bad system.

Below are the 7 promises I would demand of anyone who aspires to be President of the United States of America.  I know of no one else who can credibly commit to these 7 promises.

1.  Electoral Reform (9 points, 1 page)

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MUST READ CAPSTONE WORK: Noosphere — The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, A Testimony by Jose Arguelles

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Phi Beta Iota: We reproduce the excerpt in order to add links to all of the books and individuals mentioned.  Tip of the Hat to Reality Sandwich for this offering, and to Evolver Editions (North Atlantic/Random House) for their new Manifesto series in support of human consciousness and planetary synthesis.

Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, A Testimony

Amazon Page

To mark the recent passing of José Argüelles, we offer an excerpt from his upcoming book Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, available from Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books in October 2011.


We must enlarge our approach to encompass the formation taking place before our eyes … of a particular biological entity such as has never existed on earth-the growth, outside and above the biosphere, of an added planetary layer, an envelope of thinking substance, to which, for the sake of convenience and symmetry, I have given the name of the Noosphere. –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man

Amazon Page

Manifesto for the Noosphere is the result of forty years of study, contemplation, investigation, and synthesis. While the noosphere may be beyond the grasp of conventional science, it is a deep and pervasive intuition that has gripped the minds of scientists, philosophers, poets, and artists since the concept first emerged in 1926. It is an evolutionary concept posited by studies in both biogeochemistry and paleontology. It is a whole-systems paradigm that melds prophecy and analysis of current world trends. It is a perception that the transformation of the biosphere is inevitably leading to a new geological epoch and evolutionary cycle, and it is due to the impact of human thought on the environment that this new era — the Noosphere — is dawning.

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Reference: Emergent Democracy

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Jon Lebkowsky Bio

EXTRACT from Google Group Next Net:

That made me think of the Emergent Democracy paper that Joi Ito authored collaboratively (2001-2003) with several other folks (including Ross Mayfield and I) a few years ago. Digging into my files I found the attached marked up version…  it aligns pretty well with some of the discussions here.

There's been a lot of interesting thought about the Internet and the web as platform for enhanced social activity. That idea of “finding our tribes and ourselves” was a core aspect of FringeWare, the company/community that Paco Nathan and I started in 1991. We realized that like-minded fringe thinkers and doers were scattered everywhere, and the Internet gave us a platform where they could find each other and form community.  All it took was an email list and a compelling concept (“fringeware”) to catalyze that community.

“Declaration of Interdependence” sounded familiar… I did some searching… – Barlow wrote this, and I think he referred to it (earlier or later, not sure which) as a declaration of interdependence). – This notes that the Whole Foods mission statement is called “declaration of interdependence” – This also refers to the Barlow document and our 2008 EFF-Austin party.

Interestingly, Will Durant made a “declaration of interdependence” in 1945.

See Also:

Journal: Politics & Intelligence–Partners Only When Integrity is Central to Both

Review: Evolutionary Activism by Tom Atlee

Review: Philosophy and the Social Problem–The Annotated Edition

Kickstart the Freedom Box–Micro-Giving Rocks!

07 Other Atrocities, About the Idea, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Internet, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, Key Players, Peace Intelligence
Click Here to See & Be

As of today, 29 February 2011:




pledged of $60,000 goal


days to go

Phi Beta Iota: Along with OpenBTS, SolarOne, VECTOR, and “Buy This Satellite,” Freedom Box joins the vanguard of the global revolution.  “Connected, We Are One.”  [Connexum Sumus Unum–scholarly check welcomed].  Please give as generously as you can, this is the non-violent equivalent of Bunker Hill in the global war against corruption and the many attrocities associated with repression of diversity and dissent.

Public Intelligence Mind-Set

About the Idea, Analysis, Collective Intelligence, IO Multinational
Seth Godin Home

The simple two-step process

Step one: Open all doors. Learn a little about a lot. Consider as many options as possible, then add more.

Step two: Relentlessly dismiss, prune and eliminate. Choose. Ship.

The problem most people run into is that they mix the steps and confuse them. During step one, they aren't open enough, aren't willing enough to consider the impossible. And then, in step two, fear of shipping kicks in and they stay open too long, hold on to too many options and hesitate.

Simple doesn't always mean easy.