Expressing my profound gratitude for the grandfatherly wisdom and leadership gently proffered by @Douggins I want to see us play and weaving our insights, interpersonally, intersectionally, intergenerationally.
@AndrewField81 I share your desire to explore how our platform and services can better serve women, and I would add, can better serve people and communities of color, indigenous communities, queer folk, and more young folk.
Listening to the recording (I was unable to attend live due to travel/family stuff)…
@16:00-17:15 I love Michael’s beautiful commentary on the need of extending our aesthetics and ethics, our minds and senses, into these new dimensions of our existences, even “heavy machinery” of a platform like Cosmos. Let us grow into our utmost potentials…
Strategy is something I am growing my awareness in and practice of, @achronon, and I have a sense for a kind of “fractal strategy” that would serve Cosmos here, where we begin embodying our ultimate vision in our immediate/local vision… at least “infusing” “flecks” of the ultimate praxis with today’s praxis. What I see that looking like is immediately, at least as it concerns “Cosmos’” “leadership’s” “main activities” (apologies for all these quotation marks… there is so much necessarily in flux and morphing!) would be that we focus on taking various appealing choices and “next level” steps in areas of:
- Relationships (intimacy and cooperative capacity growth amongst ourselves, our member community and our audiences)
- Storytelling About Cosmos
This could take shape as simply as asking ourselves questions like:
“How could we use what we have, right now, to better amplify our members’ authentic desires?”
“Who needs to be at this table that isn’t?”
“What would we want our community to know that they don’t know yet?”
“How are we showing up? What are our standards, values and ethics in action?”
Probably autonomous and integrated Cosmopods made up of random sets of “members” here are the best method for starting these self-held wonderings!
I do feel that the business and technological structures will emerge once our resource flows are more vibrant, smooth/consistent, interconnected and robust. I also believe that Cosmos’/our true “proof of concept”–which might allow more substantial resources to flow to our organization and business development–emerges from the integrity of our community bonds, the quality of our relationships and richness of our delight and edification from our interactions in Cosmos spaces, with Cosmos resident people.
This is my new and latest clarity about strategy: do what we’re good at and do them in earnest until the outcomes are achingly beautiful, and making communication and relationship central, shelving any other concerns but our community development. This clarity emerged from creative and reflective time and process on my part. Which only supports my accompanying emergent notion, that certain modes of being together–like reflecting, collective visioning, collaborative illustrating and writing, etc.–are paramount to who we become. So it doesn’t serve, truly, for a couple of us in isolation to try to just “cram” and do a bunch of tasks and make things structured or normed, for the sake of doing so. Out of some worried compulsion. I’m more interested in what @johnnydavis54 describes as “catching the groove.” It is kind of about how we steep ourselves in these discourses, and how doing so causes us to develop (perhaps like a mutant) new or stronger limbs of our being (including rapport/dream/trance state practice), and let us and the whole system change as our awarenesses and intentions grow.
@34:30 I appreciate Johnny’s comment about “having grown up, I want a beautiful death.” Perhaps the most beautiful and evocative evidence I could possibly imagine for our community to demonstrate its own resilience and integrity, is to embody graceful, luscious composting of beloved projects, groups, hopes and dreams, breaking them down, decaying them and redistributing their resources back to the network in raw form.
I also love the emphasis on “letting us be weird” and ambiguous, and not forcing clarity, as an overall community or cultural standard. And that if we sponsor one another for our desires and talents, all will be well, if not formally structured. (And I’ll take “well” anyday!! IMO formal structure often obscures the quality of relationship underpinning collective movements/momentum.)
Regarding the practical concerns, Cosmos is yet at a small enough scale that I believe @madrush and @Douggins and I could do a better job of explaining and delineating all that it takes to put on the capacities that we have now (and what it will take to add more capacities based on community requests), and could make it more accessible to those who want to support, to do so. I’d love for us to just be able to see our gaps, in human or financial or other resources, and see what we’re up to, and what we’re planning to be up to… The “clarity” that I’d hope for in the next period is simply transparency, and encouraging a sense of community (personal and collective) responsibility for our gaps and for supporting “what’s good” here. These feel like elegant and accessible changes that would allow Cosmos as a whole to feel more supported and supportive, all the way around.
@johnnydavis54 “The skill to enter into rapport.” Very interesting! I’d agree that this is something one must develop, the ability to quickly and fully slip into rapport or trance states, and harvest from those those states the holistic insights that tend to float there. Love it, and love the idea that Cosmos as a “milieu” could help us cultivate these dimensions of human beingness. Appreciate the “catching the rhythm” distinction against the “cracking the code” vibes. I really do conceive of Cosmos as a very living organic space… which requires strangeness, excess, LOTS of mistakes and failing (as Doug noted too), and innovation.
circa 1:07:00 @madrush I agree! Let’s invite in the people who are called to be here anyway, and engage them on some “surplus” they may hold of knowledge or experience to contribute to us (like the “systems administrator” example you give.)
Circa 1:18 @johnnydavis54 Speaking for myself, before I would jump to assuming that “the men” here have to change anything at all, I’d approach the inquiry proactively by asking women for their insights and inputs on how the community and platform can better include them and their interests/concerns. I appreciate your commitment to inclusivity and note that it’s usually not a personal behavior issue (although those of course may emerge and we should all strive to address oppressive behaviors that we may notice in one another), but a systemic ambient condition limiting participation. Beginning with a concern for evident gaps in inclusivity is a good place to start… Probably fertile grounds for a study group in our community? It sounds like many folks expressed shared concern about the low levels of participation (or low levels of sustained participation) of women and also a bewilderment about how to begin meaningfully addressing that concern or adapting.
The curious thing about discerning whether the space we are generating is accessible or not, is that it is not very effectively judged by the experiences of people with existing privileges–such experiences tend not to be a measuring stick that provides very much or useful information. Inviting and sponsoring people into deeper dialogue is one of the things we do best, yes? Why not extend that consciously to those who we notice may be underrepresented–such as, yes, @KPr2204, @Ariadne, @sororbrigid, not to mention international members, members of color, members of ethnic or cultural minorities, etc. Let’s model that here. Let’s find out what wants to happen, because I do not hold the idea that Cosmos isn’t meant for some people. All people have a creative aspect, all people deserve to self-actualize which includes giving and receiving their greatest creative fruits/fruitions in community. And so I don’t suppose Cosmos wouldn’t or couldn’t be a spacious enough frame for anyone, though I do surmise that in the immediate incubational term Cosmos will tend to attract intellectual, artistic and social activist types generally.
Let’s invite us, in the model @Douggins laid out in his comment above, to ask of one another: “What would you like to have happen?” What would you like to do with us, and with these spaces and tools? There’s simple ways we can treat everyone here in ways that will encourage them to grow, to play, and to stay. We can do this as an organization, through deliberate efforts, and we can, as individuals, take steps to ensure we’re all asking of one another “Hello, who are you? What are you seeking or doing here?” is a universal good start. Thanks @johnnydavis54 for your encouragement of the Clean Start in much of our spaces and discourses here, and for your reminders of the importance of mutual sponsorship across intergenerational lines too.
One last thought on this theme… wanting to do or to become something is an important stage in a creative process, but DOING it is always way more complex and messy. But it doesn’t become real until it becomes real, until theory transmutes into action and becomes praxis… until art becomes worked, an artwork, so that other sentient beings can interface with it… and only then, in real-ization, can one’s thoughts shape the world. One of my biggest desires is that this community distinguish itself in the world by its praxis, its capacity for well-doing.
@1:34 @patanswer , thank you for your thoughtful question. I sense this discussion on our values and strategies of inclusivity is part of the conversation about “what is the cost to continuing with things as they are now.”
I also think the “what’s next” should and must come from our community interests. We can deliberately practice being OK with letting things emerge, like the collective “dream production” to reiterate @Michael_Stumpf.
circa @1:40 When you said the word “event” it lead to an insight that may link to the “catching the rhythm” idea… that we treat anything we want to do as a kind of event, that is inherently an experimentation. It is not a project, or a milestone, it’s simply the initiative towards an event. “In the event of” us accomplishing some of our aspirations, too.
To your concern about groups growing too large, I think the natural “right size” of a discourse group is around 5-12 people. With flexibility of course. I don’t presume every participant in Cosmos would or should be aware of everyone or everything else going on… so long as we have strong ethics, good culture and good moderation standards, I believe our speech will continue to thrive, but it will diversify too, because it’s thriving. We will diversify into multiple niches and modes that may not be able to split their attention and listen to all of one another, and that’s just fine. Communities and subgroups and identity layers of many kinds can form and dissolve at will on mutual interest in my future “dream” Cosmos. And also, cross-fertilizations across culture or subgroup lines would be a kind of norm here, and would be sponsored into existence… oftentimes by the overture of a titillating dialogue at the intersection of mutual concerns.
circa @1:53 @madrush love the makerspace analogy, and we can use that to organize how we approach the packaging of “tools.” I especially like the intersection of the metaphor “makerspace” with “social (or solidarity) co-op.” Let’s keep defining ourselves by how we collaborate to co-create our opportunities. @Geoffrey_Edwards thank you for your offer to sponsor (through hosting) a group podcast conversation! I love this idea and look forward to it coming to fruition.
On the whole (all participants): thanks for offering your stories, concerns, encouragements, questions, answers, responses, and consciousnesses… Thanks especially for your intentionality. I am a beneficiary, and I believe our whole community is, however indirectly, too. I look forward to more together!
Finally: there was no video link, so I listened to the audio only. I quite like the audio only. It puts me in a different state of consciousness than the video chats. I endorse the experimentation with audio only productions. Thanks again.