First published Feb. 2, 2017
In Buddhism, the Buddha offered “The three proofs”, a standard by which anyone could judge a teaching’s validity. The three proofs are:
- Documentary proof means the teaching accords with the Sutras.
- Theoretical proof means the doctrine of a teaching accords with reason and logic.
- Actual proof means that the content of a doctrine is borne out by actual result when put into practice.
The Buddha writes:
“In judging the relative merit of Buddhist doctrines, I, Nichiren, believe that the best standards are those of reason and documentary proof. And even more valuable than reason and documentary proof is the proof of actual fact.”
I believe this evidence hierarchy is applicable to making a betterworld reality. Actual proof – proof people can see with their eyes, interact with their bodies and experience personally – is the best proof for convincing them a betterworld is possible.
Although Copiosis is not a religion, and certainly is not Buddhism, I am running Copiosis in part based on The Buddha’s three proofs doctrine. It is this focus, among other things, which separates Copiosis from other betterworld ideas.
The most compelling thing about Copiosis is our focus on producing actual, real-world results showing real-world progress towards our stated goal. We’re not interested in convincing people to believe a certain way or exploring technological theories or future city designs. We’re instead focused on making the transition happen world-wide in the physical world, today.
That makes for a lot of tasks many organizations are not equipped to tackle. Tackling these tasks are at the core of our transition plan. And core among those tasks is our demonstration project strategy. This post provides an update on our demonstration projects.
TL/DR: We’re making progress INITIALLY at the pace of molasses. But that progress is important for future rapid developments.
Demonstration Project Design
We have four distinct types of demonstration projects. The first three we have discontinued in favor of more promising design concepts. The four types of projects are:
Type I – A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach organized around a participating for-profit business. The business offers a discount on high-demand products or services designating this discount as a luxury. The majority of participants are business customers, making the discount highly desirable. The Portland/Kenton project was an example of this project.
Type II – An MVP approach organized around a community or group of people wanting to demonstrate Copiosis amongst themselves. There is no central business. Pure interest motivates participation. The Chico project was a Type II project.
Type III – A full-blown approach organized as a live simulation. Type III projects are designed to take place over several hours on a Saturday exposing participants to a full-spectrum Copiosis simulation. We have not yet launched a Type III project. More on this project type below.
Type IV – A full-blown approach in real life where a community is designed specifically to demonstrate Copiosis. Obviously these are the more ambitious project designs. We have two Type IV projects in development. More on those below.
Learning informs project design
Each successive Type is informed by the previous design. I closed projects in Portland and Chico after it was clear (to me) further progress would not be possible with those design types. I made this decision based on the following growing evidence:
- Flattening participation numbers
- Flattening transaction results
- Increasing software challenges complicating participation
- Increasing need for support resources we didn’t have
I have reported other reasons for closing these projects before. After many other projects had been declared around the world, it was obvious those other projects were going to create even more of the four results above potentially tarnishing our work. What’s more, project leaders declaring said projects needed support they were not going to get due to resource limitations.
Type III projects will have similar problems, but because all Type III projects are the same and are run the same, time and resource demands are lower. Given enough resources, all these needs can be met once, with a single guide covering all the details. Every Type I and Type II project can be unique, with its own unique problems, leading to more resource needs with each new project added. I hope you can see the obvious advantage of running multiple Type III projects over many Type I and II projects.
Type III project design and launch are pending operational funding.
The epitome project: Type IV
Type IV projects are promising for these reasons:
- They are organized around a potentially large for-profit company, number of companies, or high net worth individuals. These entities are willing to carve out significant portions of their profits to grow the project.
- Because they are centered around a for-profit company or high net worth individual, these projects can be self funding after perhaps some initial investment.
- Support needs for such projects are minimal (beyond funding) since core-team members are highly skilled and highly educated. The teams usually are self-starting, extremely motivated and committed for the long-term.
Type IV projects demand slow, deliberate approaches but they offer best in class demonstrations of what Copiosis can do. Large investment is needed to fund pretty much all significant Copiosis plans from here forward, which is another reason for our slow forward progress. There still is progress though. And the more progress we make, the closer we get to the funding we need.
Physical results substantiating real world, physical progress towards a better world is the most convincing type of proof around. We are building our evidence body based on real world results, results we can point to, results that will put us far on the path towards making Copiosis and the better world it represents, a reality.