[CC] Core Concepts: Overview & Contents

[CC] = Cosmos Cooperative


This is the first in a series of posts articulating the core concepts of Cosmos Cooperative. This entry contains a list of these concepts, along with relevant questions and related topics. It is also intended to serve as a To-Do list for ideas requiring further elucidation.

The purpose of this “core” series is to develop a practical and poetic scaffolding for a “1.0” version of the co-op constitution—which we might think of as our organizational “source code.” In legal terms, it will consitute our By-laws.

The intent is to fashion our co-op structure in a style similar to how open-source software is created, which is to say, transparently and collaboratively, enabling diverse contributions from a distributed network, while making the underlying conceptual framework available to members of the network (and the public) to use and build upon. The cooperative conception adds the ideals of inclusive ownership and democratic governance to anchor the project in an integral organizational architecture and social design.

The goal is to encode a set of values, functions, and objectives within a common set of generative namespaces in a way that honors the vision of the original poetic act, while making possible many more such acts (other projects, other metaphors), i.e., creative participation.

##Leadership & Community

As founding poet and co-op organizer, @madrush [Marco V Morelli] serves as “lead developer” for the Cosmos Co-op project.

Core contributors include:

  • @Carmen_Leilani [Carmen Leilani De Jesus] – (co-)operations
  • @Jeremy [Jeremy Johnson] – editorial vision
  • @kayla [Kayla Morelli] – visual design
  • @charles [Charles Gammil] – podcast network, audio production

@natalie [Natalie Bantz] and @Oliver_Rabinovitch have led and contributed to various conversations and projects including #metapsychosis and #litgeeks, and are also part our founding community.

@JimT [Jim Trattner] is the first member of our Wisdom Council.

@jasonwiener [Jason Wiener] is our Legal Council.

Various others have contributed creative work, or participated in discussions and live events; a list of all forum members is available here; all Metapsychosis authors are listed here.

There will be many opportunities to get involved. Once you’ve become acquainted with the concepts below, please feel free to join the conversation.

A live co-op development meeting takes place every Tuesday at 1 pm Mountain Time via Zoom video conference. [REGISTER HERE.]

Thoughtful, creative, critical, imaginative, and open dialogue is welcome in the forum anytime. We aim to cultivate the free play of thought, while abiding by the principles “civilized discussion.” Please refer to our guidelines/FAQs to learn more.

##The Core Concepts

  • Creative Democracy [mission / vision / values]
  • Organization, Platform, Projects
  • A Theory of Everybody
  • Metapsychosis
    • Cycles
    • E-Zone [curation]
  • Infinite Conversations [podcast network]
  • Infinite Conversations [forum]
  • LitGeeks Book Club > The Untimely: readers underground
  • Creative Studio
  • Membership Structure [Multi-Stakeholder Cooperative]
    • Worker Members
  • Creative Members
  • Sustaining Members [“Friends of…”]
  • Member Benefits
  • Equity Investment
  • Fees
  • Profits & Dividends
  • Artists In Residence
  • Benefactors & Investors
  • Syndicates
  • Syndicate of Inception
  • Syndicate of Production
  • Syndicate of Co-operation
  • Meta-Syndicate
  • Wisdom Council
  • Organizational API [partner orgs]
  • Gift Economy
  • Litcoin [+ Dimcoin, Darkcoin]
  • EQcoin [equity shares]
  • 70/30 Ratio
  • Co-op Marketplace
  • Proof of Concept (Infinite Possibilities)
  • Co-op Constitution [“org source code”]
  • Ethics (& Aesthetics)
  • Best Practices
  • Road Map

##Meta-Concepts

  • Platform Cooperativism
  • Open Participatory Organization [OPO]
  • Peer-to-Peer [P2P]
  • Creative Commons
  • Social Poetics
  • Social Organism / Meta-Ecosystem
  • Planetary Thought
  • Integral/Aperspectival Structure
  • Cosmos Consortium

##Legal Terms

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Authorized Capital
    • Common stock
    • Preferred stock
  • Board of Directors
    • Voting & Consent
  • Organizational Consents
  • Bylaws

##Questions

  • Why a co-op?
  • Who owns it?
  • Who decides? [paradox of founding]
1 Like

I’m available if there is a meeting tomorrow.

I think I need a week to flesh out some of these concepts before we get started with the meetings. Also should talk w/ Carmen first. Updated the post accordingly.

##Weekly Co-op Development Meeting:

Mindful AI is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Cosmos Co-op: Development Meeting
Time: Tuesday at 1pm Mountain time (Denver, USA), weekly [time zone converter]

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/573718689

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,573718689# or +14086380968,573718689#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 573 718 689
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=m9sAn5pA6eaITagdSGMdephGPxDFBn_u

Video from our first co-op meeting is up.

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Count me in as a “friend of” , great start.

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I’m going to suggest something on the order of Roles, Tasks, Projects, and Needs - that is, discussion of what people do, or can do, to be involved with the project overall. What these things are, roles, needs, etc, are basically job descriptions.

There is something of an art to figuring out these kinds of things. As anyone who has ever managed an intern knows, it’s fairly rare to get volunteer help that ends up actually being a significant help, and it’s almost a certainty that with a volunteer or intern, the first hours or days or weeks of their presence means a double workload for whoever is tasked with teaching and managing them.

You will want to create positions of small responsibility and low expectations, and let people prove themselves.

Also, many volunteers want to do something like this - help out for a half day on something, then a month later another half day. People are busy, everyone is swamped. If there are no tasks of that type planned by the major admin folks, earnest people who want to help will feel there is no place for them, no way to help.

That’s why I included projects. Something like filling a database with entries, reviewing books, mailing things, researching topics - good things to have planned for mission organizations.

And, alongside that discussion above, roles, tasks, etc, should be some practical planning. What I mean by this is - how do you actually manage, control, quality check, and pass-to and pass-from the various positions or jobs. This part gets to be a real hassle if it doesn’t have a decent protocol.

Then you also need what I call Kudos. These are basically schwag and titles and honors. Membership cards, names on a webpage, unique gifts for jobs well done.

I would put defining principles in the important but not urgent box of an eisnhower matrix, and put job plannning in the important and urgent box.

2 Likes

Thanks for these suggestions, Bill.

One thought I’ve had, for when we have the staffing and protocols you mention for handling it, is that we could create a wish list of small tasks needing to be done, with some reward or recognition offered, like a mini bounty, in exchange for the help.

For example, we might have a sub-channel here on the forum (perhaps occasionally publicized via newsletter) listing needful tasks and offering small rewards of our fictional currency (Litcoin) for taking these on. We’d then just need some “proof of work” mechanism (most likely, from the one posting the task) verifying that the work has been done satisfactorily, which triggers a release of the promised Litcoin.

The Litcoin can then be recirculated for new tasks (“hey, who’s willing to review this draft of my essay for 5 LTC?”)—or redeemed for USD.

The org would budget a certain amount of Litcoin available for these tasks from its “dispensation.” Or again, individuals could post these tasks themselves—which eventually forms a kind of internal economy for small tasks, rewards, and exchanges.

Do you think something like that could work (assuming a smooth and intuitive UI) for what you are describing? I.e., the more sporadic, non-commital (yet still wanting to be connected) level of participation where many people will hang out?


PS. One could also imagine listing not only one-off Tasks but also Roles (recurring Tasks) in this way, particularly when such Roles don’t rise to the level of a Job.

I want to make a quick comment here about the overall content of this page, and how I’m approaching the work of developing this organization. This comes off the tail of having just had my first intensive “co-op dev” session with Marco… I am in the process of going through my notes and fitting them into various “containers” for our continuing work, and this one overall comment didn’t aptly fit anywhere else but this page.

I identify as a visionary thinker, too, so this comes with knowing my own inner terrain and how it’s gotten me into trouble in the past… I am concerned that there is too much emphasis on attractive forms to suit certain philosophical/ideal concepts here. Are we putting the cart before the horse by selecting specific, attractive forms too early on in the design process? Rather than create weeds for ourselves to get into, by emphasizing forms–like “syndicates” “gift economy cryptocurrencies” “investors”, etc.–I think we need to be asking ourselves “What do we want this co-op to DO in the world? Whom will this co-op SERVE? What is the current situation in which we find ourselves, and why is that no longer a tolerable situation?” etc.

My point of view is influenced by the permaculture design process, which constantly urges permaculturalists not to jump to conclusions about specific forms like “a greenhouse” or “a pathway” but instead to spend time observing and reflecting on “how energy flows through the space” currently, in terms of weather, beings, interactions, and the relationships and intersections of those energy flows.

My overall approach to co-op dev here is one of boiling away all extraneous stuff that might just be “nice to have,” and getting to the core of: what the simplest, most effectual, most flexible organizational container that could possibly meet the greatest of needs for this particular space/community. This is an ecological approach because–whether in work-life or in Life-life–energy is precious, and shouldn’t be wasted! How unfortunate it would be to invest a ton of energy into the wrong form or strategy, due to ideological attachment early on? Ecosystems cycle energy naturally and if you “did nothing” (or didn’t interact or intervene in anyway)–what would the energy do?

I am onboard with COSMOS seeking to “capture” and redistribute the energy currently lost in the macro-social-system, which could be diverted to genuinely support artists and thinkers who are envisioning a better world (and indeed, might be our bridge there). But we won’t do that by overbuilding it… we’ll do it by building so enticing, elegant and inspirational a structure that artists couldn’t dream of life without it!

<3

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Good points, Caroline. I’m basically with you on not overbuilding and not wasting energy trying to direct imaginary flows into pre-conceived forms. I needed to get these ideas into a list because I’ve been asking myself for the past year: How can this work? So the concepts are meant to paint a picture of possibility, which is not necessarily actuality, I know :slight_smile:

Of the various concepts and terms, the ones to my mind that are most essential are the ones we’ve already developed to some extent, mainly the specific projects we’ve already launched and “proven” to some degree.

  • Metapsychosis
  • Infinite Conversations [podcast network]
  • Infinite Conversations [forum]
  • Untimely Books and “readers underground” (evolution of our book club concept, LitGeeks)

To this I would add the Creative Studio (incubator) idea, which I see as a core offering to experiment with, which I think has been semi-proven by some of the collaborations already engendered.

As well, I think the co-op marketplace and gift economy concepts are essential, since these are means of economic sustenance that seem the most obvious to pursue.

On a philosophical level, the ideas of “a theory of everybody” and “creative democracy” are also super-important, to me at least, as these define the ethics, and a sense of the poetics, at the heart and origin of the project.

However, some of the other ideas might not manifest, or could wait, such as the “syndicates,” LitCoin, and basically all the details of the organizational structure, which we’re only beginning to discuss.

I hope that trims the list to a more manageable size!

In answer to these questions…

My take:

  1. DO: Support the making of high-calibre, spiritually potent, world-altering art.
  2. SERVE: Artist-realizers and their communities who want to see this creative culture exist and participate in it.
  3. INTOLERABLE: Not having a values-resonant community / platform / means to sustain ourselves in making our art. Struggling. It used to be that you could find a publisher and make a career, or go to grad school and get a good job as a writer/artist/scholar. Not anymore. Not without incurring massive debt in many cases. That’s why we must focus on a developing new economic models (e.g., cooperative, gift, integrative…) for our ilk.
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