Cosmos: At a Glance

(Caroline Savery) #1


is a platform

co-owned and co-created

by a devoted community of users

like a self-organizing systems game,

coordinated on a shared purpose/intent:

increased self-actualization for all wholes & parts thereof,

(with an eye to the residual effect on empowerment in the broader environment, too).


Cosmos is:

* a platform (technological systems)

* a cooperative (economic systems)

* a community (social-cultural-cognitive systems)

We serve ourselves, one another, & our common intent/purpose through developing the above three intersecting systems.

The big collective game involving the above three-fold system is animated by:

  • Certain core design ethics/principles (shared across all three main systems - see current Technological & Socio-Economic interpretations of core principles)
  • User-innovated algorithms & process templates

Algorithms are essentially formulas governing how energy flows in the system. Process templates are artifacts that, if activated, can become algorithms, but in the abstract, simply describe the steps and results in a particular process.

  • Informational (“how to do ___________”: articulated processes that individuals, groups and communities can choose to engage in & innovate on)
  • Social (“let’s do _________ together here”: standard & norms around communication, interactions, and power)
  • Technological ("now you can do _________ using this helpful tool that may result in greater outcomes…" includes utilities, tools & apps)

All process templates start out as informational (articulated in text or other media), and then may become activated when people engage them in praxis, resulting in embodied forms such as social/cultural activities or protocols, and/or technological products or workflows that enable vaster capacities, services, and possibilities for users.

The algorithms governing everything—user experience, system affordances, system configuration, etc.—fall under two types:

  • Constitutional algorithms (core code / codex; universal rules and terms for engagement)
  • Customizable/Playbook (optional user-configured parameters or “plays,” within the broad bounds set by Constitutional rules)

Users are members are owners are participants are co-creators.

They contribute to Cosmos’ overall development while also playing self-directed sub-games through their choices, interactions and goal pursuits on the platform and in community discourses & activities.
Different member types are defined by how they tend to interact with the platform (creatives, sustainers, and workers).

Cosmos’ primary array of intended platform-based products, services & benefits will center on the fundamental elements of any creative process:

  1. Conversation & Community (the “generative milieu”)
  2. Incubation
  3. Support-raising
  4. Production
  5. Publishing & Distribution
  6. Marketing & Promotion
  7. Ongoing Professional Development (education, skill-building, advocacy)

In each arena, various applications, tools, utilities, built-to-purpose spaces, conversations and other user-generated assets would be “in play” and made available to those who opt in (for an additional investment of some kind).

Users will be facilitated by system representatives (AI and/or human) to connect to suitable options and resources in Cosmos, based on the goals defined for themselves upon embarking in the platform. Users will also be encouraged to respond to opportunities or requests in their environment in which their unique offerings may serve others. Authentic reciprocity and mutual care “raises the power” in the overall system as a result. In this way, we endeavor to braid the fruits of system use to the intentions of each user and the intentions of the community—thus, in praxis, fulfilling the core purpose of the platform/co-op/community of holistic/fractal self-actualization.

Intended platform capacities & utilities of Cosmos include:

Through the cooperative model, members have an opportunity to directly benefit from their contributions and participation–both in terms of economic and governance responsibilities and benefits. Members customize their own menu of options for how they want to invest and benefit in and on the platform. The platform provides a gamified space where experimental economics becomes safer–where multiple forms of capital are acknowledged and circulated, and a polyculture of economic exchanges based on alternative terms of defining value (e.g. gifting, bartering, demurrage, etc.) become attainable.

Cosmos is founded on “collective genius” and trusts its members’ talent and ability to emerge satisficing new realities for themselves (and to influence others) through innovative dialogue, deliberation, collaborative visioning and co-creation. Perhaps the best way to imagine Cosmos metaphorically isike a self-produced, self-organized amusement praxis park. In our systems design, we draw on wisdom from various fields including philosophy, ethics, ecology, gamification, cooperative economics and governance, and, of course, systems thinking.

For more, see: About Cosmos

**Key Docs Table of Contents**
CoRealizing Cosmos: Making it Happen, aka Process Praxis Jam (Weekly Meeting) [10/4]
(Douglas Duff) #2

(…noting once again that I find difficulty providing constructive criticism; all the above is a “sounds great to me!” either because this is the first witnessing of such a system’s theory and have no ground upon which to base criticism or because we know this is a potential framework, modeling/building from material which is already present in the Cosmos Coop, Infinite Conversations, Metapsychosis while always making excursions to mine new materials necessary to fit the architecture. What is our story…what can be the story…what story will we tell our children and kin that encapsulates the story of our lives, their lives, the story that will travel with the collective’s thoughts; that will sit with us in silence; that will sing us dreamsongs as we sleep?)


  • Yes. This will be an ever-evolving project. I can jive with Cosmos: At a Glance. Can others? (trying to see this with new eyes :eyes:)
  • Visually, choice words immediately stand out: “co-created” “devoted” “systems game” “shared purpose/intent” and “(with an eye…)”:eye:…looks nice. What does it all mean? Devoted platform players reaching self-actualization for all? A spiritual co-op? Shouldn’t they just start a religion? What makes it a co-op? If one replaces “platform” with “meetinghouse” or “church” and does not add God, this could be a Quaker or Methodist group.
  • scroll past the cosmic emojis and a few questions are answered: the three systems (platform, co-op, community) work together to achieve shared intents/purposes via some sort of collective game work. The links provide more information on the three systems, core principles
  • Personally, I become confused by the algorithmic speak. At first glance, a tech. novice might perceive this as a game that they would not understand how to play. This perspective may be lost on more aged generations unfamiliar with such tech-speak, or on someone who takes their self-actualization and shared purposes seriously, or even on a young chap like me whose “gaming days” are over (video games always come to the forefront for me). It is one thing to realize our potential in person…how can we do this online? How can an online cafe, forum and process template affect my actions and my local kin-group’s actions offline? The description of process templates and algorithms makes sense once one reads into it more. Maybe I am searching for a different metaphor outside of the box, the square, one that immediately includes the world and other cosmic entities; away from the screen and into the world. This is a personal problem, i know…
  • To be updated…


  • these pages are able to be edited by all. Is there a preferred editing process? For example, I feel comfortable adding in links to existing pages as I did on this page but I would not wish to disturb your type, your thought process, let alone a years worth of heart and soul. What would be your ideal process @care_save?

(Caroline Savery) #3

Thanks for the great reflection, Doug!

Such a good question, and one I don’t have a good answer for, but here goes.

First of all, when it comes to adding in links, that is actually a big help to me, if you see opportunities to do so! Because these docs were produced out of order, some of the earlier ones are missing lots of links to their counterpart docs, since those docs hadn’t been created yet. I’m all for adding in links and fixing typos, that kind of thing.

When it comes to editing for content, I’d prefer to keep that process happening in the comments for now–not modifying the original text. The reason for this is I want everyone to be able to see the full extent of the forum discussion on this theme or topic–to see for themselves. Then, I or another designated person in a Key Docs Steward role would initiate (and publicize) a “re-write” event on a given doc to incorporate feedback and improve the doc. This would be a somewhat formal process, as we’d like to be able to track Key Docs version 1.1, 1.2, etc. and note authorship of each. Eventually, only the latest version of a key doc would be publicly visible (as a wiki, so members could click into it and follow the trail of past versions, if one so chooses), and these would woven into a web, possibly using multiple syntax or journeys through the text, that members can navigate like a game. That’s the ideal, anyway… I forget where we talked about how we manage versions then weave & present the Key Docs originally, but if I find it, I’ll link it.

I feel you on this. I’m a nerd for the word “algorithm” because I’m a big fan of “good rules.” Fun story: as an anarchist I used to think I was fond of dismantling rules or having “no rules,” then I quickly fell onto a Buddhist path and became immersed in studying cooperative organizations’ best practices, and realized that what I REALLY like is really good rules, rules (or limits & protocols of operations) that enable optimal outcomes for the people using them. Why I’m so obsessed with what the world looks like if enacted through a specific ethical frame that’s co-developed… :drooling_face: OK, enough about that!

This is a great case study of how I use words that have numerous beloved implications for me, but that do not have nearly the appeal in conventional use. It’d be great to have an “unpacking” or definition page for all such terms like this that pop up in the Key Docs. In general.

Maybe there’s synonyms that do a better job… “co-evolved protocol” has a nice rhyming lilt to it. Maybe “game norm.” Or maybe a different frame altogether should receive emphasis here. Can you think of a way to talk about the importance of this factor to the systems design that is maybe more approachable than the term “algorithm”, @Douggins?

Actually, I totally agree with this. I mean, isn’t it true that any group that agrees to play a socially-constructed game on mutually-approved rules/ethics–especially with an eye towards realizing the highest potential of the people or group–constitutes a religious group? :candle:

On that note, I love a co-op as a secular, humanist form of the same. By definition, co-ops are constituted by people coming together (activating power-with) on common needs or aspirations. The organization and its economic flows all orbit around better meeting members’ needs than is possible through other available means. You might say that co-ops are all about the self-actualization of a community of common interest (or a mutual circumstance society), and that they accomplish this through leveraging “power-with” (aka the “barn-raising” power). Stripped to its basic structure–it sure seems religious, indeed!

I’d say a (hopefully) distinguishing factor is the autonomy of the member. Membership in a co-op is voluntary and open, meaning: a member chooses to join (is not forced to), and anybody with the shared need that the co-op meets CAN join. Also, although members are obliged to economically participate in the co-op, they get to choose how much they do so. You could spend $0.01 at the co-op in a year, whereas I’m spending $1,000. In that scenario, the only thing affected is our respective portions of the profits rebated to us; regardless of the disparity in economic participation, we each in perpetuity have equal voting rights, because of that community-of-shared-circumstance principle (and the quasi-spiritual principle of the equity and dignity of each being).

What do you think? Can Cosmos keep the spiritual exploration while maintaining the autonomy/agent-centric design that allows for dialogue? Can we develop strong norms that limit undesirable behavior and amplify desirable outcomes, without becoming too exclusive (i.e. an “in-group” or cult)?? I guess it comes down to: what is the optimal dynamic tension between affiliation with a community of solidarity, and independence of mind body and soul?

Some more food for thought! Look forward to continuing this conversation. :slight_smile: