Getting Sh*t Done

progress

Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. Sometimes “going slow” looks like going backwards.

But slow is smooth and smooth is fast. It seems our progress is slow. It’s actually fast.

But it’s hard seeing that. Sometimes, someone frustrated with our pace leaves us. When they return, maybe after a year or many years, they’re shocked by our progress.

Progress when it’s happening, looks slow. But slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

A lot still must be done before Copiosis becomes a global reality. I encourage those in the fray with me with inspiration. It sounds like metaphysical mumbo jumbo, but taken to heart, its accuracy reveals itself. This inspiration undergirds our transition approach. It’s a Positively Focused approach.

It’s how we get sh*t done without us each turning to sh*t.

Many things get started, then stop. This year, 2020, we’ve started at least three potential, very large demonstration projects. But each met with intractable barriers for now. So we changed course.

That may look like going backwards, but so long as we keep trying, we win. It’s that simple. Besides, a lot happens in unseen areas humans can’t possibly control. More happens there, in fact, that is more important than anything we’re doing with our hands and minds. We have powerful allies with us doing most of the work. Which is why I say our “work” is play.

The real work happens behind the scenes and is mostly done.

I talked with a Copiosis funder recently who said, summarizing: “Perry, you told me several years ago that in the future you’d have a group of people helping you bring Copiosis into a reality. I see that now. Your press is amazing.”

It is amazing, unless you know how to create reality. I’ve said all along knowing how to create reality, I called that “creating luck” in previous posts, is our advantage. Knowing how to create realty, one isn’t amazed by how things happen. It’s just how it happens.

We’re going slow with a bias for getting things done. Sounds like a contradiction. In a way, it is.

Progress is sometimes a two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance. I go to bed with 10-20 things I could still do for Copiosis that are not getting done. It’s thrilling to think that there is always something interesting to do each day that can move Copiosis forward.

But we can only move as quickly as there are resources to play with.

I’ve always said what I’m doing is about Copiosis not me. Copiosis has attracted a number of people who are contributing extreme value. New people find us all the time and ask how they can contribute. Our newest initiative, the live stream Devil’s Advocate featuring Jill Dell, came together that way. It happened effortlessly and in a fun way.

There’s as much good stuff happening as there are things not getting done. The good news is, we don’t have to have all those things done in any particular time. It’s all happening in perfect timing.

We’re going slow with a bias for getting shit done. Sounds like a contradiction. It is in a way. But this is the paradox at the center of Copiosis’ transition plan.

 Looking at our results so far, I’d say it’s working pretty well.

When joining forces masks insecurity

everything is possibleWe are often asked these days to join forces, work together with others, help others with their work while expecting we’ll be helped with our work. The basis of these asks is we’ll all be stronger, better off, by working together.

Recently, someone urged me to sign an agreement he created that he affirms will make the world a better place. I told him I’m selective about supporting others’ work. He got very upset and said (via text) “Perry, you are truly small.”

I think that was an insult.

Obviously, I have different ideas on this whole collaboration thing. When people are making these asks, to join forces, for alliances and such, they are coming from a place of insecurity. I believe there’s an unconscious fear they don’t have the resources to make what they want to happen and that, somehow, by joining forces with another individual or group, that individual or group will bring what is missing, making their chances of success much better.

I don’t agree with this approach because I don’t believe anyone lacks any resources needed now or in the future. It sounds like what I’m saying is Copiosis has everything it needs at its fingertips, ready to be employed: all the money, all the computing power, all the people needed to make things happen.

This obviously isn’t the case. What we do know though is at that right time, the right resources, whether it be money, people or equipment will arrive. It’s been demonstrated time and time again since we began this work.

We’re not any different from any other individual or group. We’re not special. We have no lock on this ability to create opportunity. We just know it exists and we trust that it works. And so it does.

Making what seems impossible possible depends on this trust. It depends on knowing you have all you need within you to make something happen and, most importantly, you trust this knowing.

In that trust, everything is possible.

Every Revolutionary Should Know This

RevolutionI want to change society, the economic system, politics…I want to see everything improved. I think the best way that happens is stigmergy.

Social revolution is not going to happen through the old ways. It’s too easy manipulating through the media old ways previous generations mastered. New ways are needed, ones impervious to infiltration and disruption.

It’s great inspiration draws people to the streets. I’m for that, if that’s what you’re compelled to do.

Technology and the internet, however, create revolution’s new normal. They allow people to operate in independent yet coordinated ways then share their results. Doing so they create momentum faster and more potent than before. Without stigmergy, changes take a long time, get corrupted, and often fail.

What is stigmergy? From Wikipedia

Stigmergy is a mechanism of indirect coordination between agents or actions. The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a next action, by the same or a different agent. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous emergence of coherent, apparently systematic activity.

Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, seemingly intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even direct communication between the agents. As such it supports efficient collaboration between extremely simple agents [or complex ones like humans]….

Some common examples of stigmergy in action: A city will design a park with planners deciding where sidewalks will be. But users sometimes will carve better, more efficient pathways. Do the users hold a meeting, analyze the problem, come up with alternative design solutions, rank them, then pick the

A well-worn stigmergic creation.
A well-worn stigmergic creation.

best one? Of course not. Users choose the most efficient path on their own. In time, others do the same. Eventually, a clear, well-worn path results. This path is more efficient, and therefore more frequently used by those who follow.

Ant colonies operate on stigmergic principles. As do bees. Swarms of birds and schools of fish exhibit fast-moving stigmergic behavior. Even swarm drone technology exhibits such behavior: autonomous flying machines, operating independently, yet connected and as a whole, collect data about their surroundings while moving in a self-coordinated fashion.

Stigmergy in Copiosis

Stigmergy is working for Copiosis. For example, our Net Benefit Algorithm emerged in the same way a path gets created through a field. I threw down an admittedly crappy version. Then, one by one, people gave input, making the formula more and more fit. We’re still refining it, even today, but I’m amazed how quickly – just a matter of weeks, we went from nothing, to a nearly-workable formula, to now, a robust, working product.

Our current developing Action Group is forming the same way. Our current developing Action Group is forming the same way. Thanks to people like Simone and Justin, TC and KJ, Shannon and so many more, we’re amplifying out messages across social media. I couldn’t do that alone. But with little trail blazing by me, we now have several picking that trail up where I left off. And the results are promising.

Our core team has gone from just me to a small group of people from around the world with outstanding credentials and expertise. We are moving forward on all cylinders. I’m eager to see how things unfold from here.

The more tangible results we produce, the more team members get active, helping produce more results. As the team grows, better ideas emerge. More team members feel empowered by others’ acts. For example, today I see other team members answering questions about Copiosis in ways that rival in quality answers I give. This is stigmergy in action.

A field criss-crossed with stigmergic paths
A field criss-crossed with stigmergic paths

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violence is so 19th Century

Direct and often violent revolution is what our forefathers used to create social change. Revolutions start well-meaning. A few or even one leading actor can start them. As such movements grow. But if the leadership doesn’t foster fresh perspectives, adopting instead traditional structures, strategies and tactics, such movements weaken or stop moving forward. Those who would dismantle such movements can do so easily: they remove the leader, or infiltrate the organization and create chaos or indecision. These subversive tactics destroy movements from the inside when the movement relies on the old ways.

Violence is a non-starter if the opposition has more guns than you.

Stigmergy benefits from passion, interest and individual focus requiring loose cooperation. You want to create an event to raise money? Go for it. Interested in joining that guy organizing that fundraiser? Have at it! You think you can create a better way to raise funds? Try it out and let’s see.

The 80-20 rule.

Initially, 20 percent of the team often ends up doing most of the early work. However, as those actors achieve more and more tangible results, they gain more and more attention while generating more momentum. Other team members see the successes. They get excited as they are drawn to the pull success creates: everyone wants to be part of something that’s winning. In short order, you have a fully-engaged, active team, rallying around well-worn pathways that began as the small acts of one or two or five people.

In the end, the 80-20 rule works in the organization’s favor. And the bigger the follower numbers get, it’s logical expecting that the 20 percent group gets bigger too, meaning more work gets done.

I want improvement, something I call fundamental change. Sometimes I’m daunted by the task. Stigmergy helps lighten that load. It’s worked so far. I’m happy sticking with that plan.

Finding Joy in dispersed work teams

Capitalism flagI was just thinking how cutting edge the NLRBE movement is. That Copiosis is a vibrant part of that work is thrilling most of the time. What can possibly be more challenging, thrilling and engaging than creating a whole new future?  I think that’s one reason why when I tell fellow entrepreneurs what I’m doing, they are rapt in attention.

It’s not often you hear someone is making headway towards making capitalism obsolete.

There are less glamorous, but no less important aspects to this movement that make it pretty cool. One is finding our way through challenges working in dispersed, volunteer teams brings. There are dozens of people around the world, operating on the principle of Stigmergy, to make Copiosis a reality.  There are millions doing the same thing for the NLRBE.  At Copiosis, we’re in talks to include the lovely people of Brisbane, Australia to our ranks now making it an accurate statement that people on almost every continent are doing whatever they can to make Copiosis – and by extension the NLRBE – a reality. Casey is the National Coordinator for TZM in Australia. That she is interested in our work is pretty cool. I think her group and Copiosis can help each other greatly. She sees something intriguing in Copiosis. Maybe that’s why she has invited Copiosis to present for the second time at the Global Z-Day event, being held in Australia in 2017.

When you meet people of the same mindset, focused on the same big hairy ass goal (BHAG) that you’re focused on, it’s fun, joyful even, thinking about the possibilities.

I’m familiar with working in and leading disbursed teams.  As a Marine journalist, I worked as part of a dispersed team of reporters in California and Okinawa. My last tour in Japan saw me working as the editor of the Marine Corps newspaper there. Part of my role included managing a team of reporters spread up and down the Japanese island. Having people who are independent self-starters goes a long way to making coordinating and leading easier. Discipline, an integral component of Marine Corps training, helped a lot too. Since the Marines I worked with were self-leading, I was left to focus more on coordinating their work output than actually “leading” them.

Much later, while working at Intel, I lead a small team of people around the world working together to find ways to use Intel technology to make the world a better place. Team members were self starters working in a highly ambiguous environment (what we were doing was brand new). Facilitating their success wasn’t always easy. For some, having what I call a “blue sky” role (i.e. you’re free to do whatever you want to be successful, so long as it’s legal and fits our mission) was unnerving. Some folks prefer the familiarity and certainty of clearly-defined roles nestled in a clear, straightforward and traditional mission. I don’t think that’s going to change, even when capitalism’s cubicle farms are history.

Copiosis is decidedly not straightforward or traditional. Talking with Casey and Zac on Skype, I can tell they aren’t up for the traditional and straightforward. They are right at home with what Copiosis is doing.  And that’s what makes what we’re all doing so thrilling. When you meet people of the same mindset, focused on the same big hairy ass goal (BHAG) that you’re focused on, it’s fun, joyful even, thinking about the possibilities.

And while you’re focused on the joy and fun, the challenges recede into the background.