Changing the World: A Beginners Guide

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The world is made up of nearly seven billion people. In order to change it, you have to change the minds of those people. That’s a LOT of changing! Should we try to sit down and have a conversation seven billion times to change each individual mind? Obviously not. The travel expenses alone are prohibitive.

Margaret Mead said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

So how does this small group change the world? By indeed, the only method that has ever worked.

Propagating ideas.

If an idea is specific but not simplistic, but can still be stated relatively simply, and the truth behind it is potent enough, iow if it resonates with enough people…if it changes enough minds….it changes the world.

But there is a problem….or two…hundred.

The first problem is, distribution. In order for an idea to change the world, it first has to achieve momentum and critical mass. It has to go viral.

Second: The world is so complex ….and cynical….that a single idea, expressed simply, without sufficient context and education, is no longer effective. In todays world, the idea must be marketed.

Third: Competition. See marketing above. See my sig line….”Reality is the result of war between two rival groups of programmers.” Put differently, the world is a battlefield of ideas. Whichever idea has won the current battle is the one that “rules the world.” Right now that idea can be expressed VERY simply, in one word in fact……”mine”

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On this little website we seemed to have reached somewhat of a consensus that the idea we are marketing in competition to “mine” is ….”ours.” Cooperation instead of competition. The Greatest Good for all concerned.

This idea blankets just about every issue of the day that concern us. Peace over War. The defense of the Constitution, the document that codifies The Greater Good of the People over the good of the government or our rulers. Social Justice of all kinds, said social justice being predicated on the idea that we are all equals, that justice is “ours.” Go down the list of everything that is wrong with the world and you will find that everything we object to is based on the idea of “mine.”

Ideas are energy. The more people who agree that an idea is good, the more energy that idea has/contains. The more people work on refining, expressing and spreading that idea the more powerful that energy grows. The more that idea and it’s energy grows, the more like minded people that energy attracts. These people become a community, joining together so that (among the many other benefits)when one member of the community is tired, the momentum of the energy is not lost.  IF that momentum can be kept rolling, eventually it will join with and reinforce the efforts and energies of others around the world who have the same idea. It will become viral, it will achieve critical mass.

It will change the world.

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  1. Our foolishness…

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    and happiness….and occasional (ok nearly constant) outbursts of joy.

    • robodd on April 7, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Good ones and false ones.  So at the same time we simplify the message of the good ones, we must deconstruct the false ones.  

    The false ones are winning now, but their failure is becoming manifest despite all the ignorance that surrounds us.  How much more damage will they be allowed to do seems to be the question of the day.

  2. To change the world, you must depart from the capitalist path, get off of the money system, and create spaces outside of capitalist discipline for ecological discipline to invade.

  3. things would be FINE if everyone would just do everything MY way…

    how hard is that to understand???

    p.s….’yell louder’ is a wonderful strategy, but there just might be some who dont like being yelled at.  i think im going to also whisper louder, and, more importantly, more often.  and we’ll call that ‘my way’ for now….  😉

  4. …or “compassion”, or “lovingkindness”…this is imo the one constant truth of the universe. Empathy allows one to think in terms of “ours” instead of “mine”. Empathy allows one to ponder “what if I didn’t have healthcare?” or “what if my family lived in Tibet?”…

    …or what if that was my son or my husband hooded, ringed with electrical wires and being tortured by a US soldier?

    Empathy is the one universal truth, and every time progressives allow themselves to lose empathy they’ve given up a vital part of the struggle.

    Conversely, every time we lead with empathy we win the war of ideas.

    Empathy is still such a radical concept in the world, it can still shock us into doing the right thing.

  5. balance we have here.  So many horrors are being uncovered every day.  They

    have to be tempered with a bit of humor, if only to keep us sane.  I am so grateful that you understand the human heart can take only so much and that comic/musical

    relief are necessary.

    And although yelling louder is necessary I must agree with

    73rd that whispering louder is sometimes more effective.

    • Robyn on April 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    …before posting 7 minutes.  

    First line is:

    Have you got 7 minutes to think about the world being a better place?

    That was the email lure to this web page, my private attempt at being viral.

    Robyn  

    • Pluto on April 7, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    …if we listed the ideas that changed the world. And how they spread.

    Many viral ideas, in the past 30 years, have been connected with ways to communicate — from word processors to blackberries to the internet.

    The “virus” has become the “idea.”

    The “method” the “message.”

    We may have to accept the fact that we are in a content-free technology plateau. It has happened before in history. The intelligensia retreated and retrenched.

    I know that is not an uplifting idea — so I return to my original suggestion:

    Tell me some ideas whose time had come — and let’s work forward from that. If nothing else, we will be able to analyse our position in a realistic way.

    • Edger on April 7, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    fucking GO!

    Exactly! This is the best essay I’ve think I’ve ever seen from you, buhdy.

    It could get messy though, making ripples that big…

  6. Especially this part

    Ideas are energy. The more people who agree that an idea is good, the more energy that idea has/contains. The more people work on refining, expressing and spreading that idea the more powerful that energy grows. The more that idea and it’s energy grows, the more like minded people that energy attracts.

    But I have one thing I need to question. I like the simplicity and clarity of “mine” to “ours.” But “ours” still gets caught up in ownership for me – which I think is a problem.

    Nezua has done a series of diaries on “Lets Have Nexus.” In the first one he uses the ideas of entitlement to gratitude. I think those words are too vague and don’t stand alone without explanation. But for me, they have alot of power.

    Perhaps we can build on what grannyhelen said and talk about fear to empathy?

    Anyway, just playing with words. But I love the ideas.  

  7. There just aren’t enough of us.  So all we can do is watch it all disintegrate, is what I’ve concluded.

    We’re the ones who can step back and say WTF? in the face of overwhelming propaganda, nationalism, and zeal.  And still retain skepticism about ourselves as well.  It’s not just the instinct to go against the crowd because it’s a crowd.  That too is zeal of another kind.  What I’m talking about are the people who can question what they think as well as what they read.  This is us and there’s not enough of us and there’s not enough people who have the time/ability to sort it all out for themselves.  Ohhh, we’re so elitist!  Tough.  Suck it up.  You’re a tool, you’re being used, just buy in it’s so much easier and more comforting.

    It’s my belief that the idea behind the free press was to allow these ideas we find here in a few corners of the internet, to be propagated.  And by exposing these to the light of day, sanity would be restored.  Ah the faith of the founding fathers (anyone else watching John Adams?) how touching.

    But that’s not happening.  The propaganda overwhelms us.  So we are Cassandra and we can only moan to ourselves.  With this happy thought, I suggest you visit Fark for some humor today.

    • RiaD on April 8, 2008 at 1:21 am

    because it is just that simple….

    love/hate are different sides of the same coin…. that’s not what we’re needing to be fighting…. it IS fear that is the stultifying? factor…the one that has the sheeple quaking….

    i see so clearly that it is just the difference between selfish vs. selfless….  

    there CAN BE enough….of everything if we return to the idea of good for the many rather than profit for the few….

  8. Has there ever been a generation that felt the need to change the world?

    Haven’t most folks who worked on a cause limited their efforts either by issue or geography?

    Is geographic limitation of our effort unrealistic in todays globalization of the issues?

    As the world “grows smaller” through technology and the instant spread of information, have we overloaded our capacities to incorporate information and visualize meaningful impact for our own individual actions?

    Has some of this fed into a feeling of powerlessness that keeps us from knowing how to funnel our energies to have an impact?

    These are some of the questions that regularly roll around in my head and give me a headache. Hence, my sig line to keep me going.

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