In Cosmos, we recognize our participants’ attention as a sacred life energy. We foster structures and channels to support our members’ attention to be distributed in optimally nourishing ways. Through “amplifying” the likelihood of positive outcomes resulting from each moment of attention spent, Cosmos fosters intrinsic value generation on the platform—and is a beneficiary of its own autopoeitic structures, through feedback loops.
Your dashboard is your local portal to the infinitely expanding ecosystem of Cosmos.
Through your dials (which function like filters and settings), you can create the “frame” embodied by your dashboard, and thus, define or shape the edges of your experience in Cosmos. You can customize it to reflect your purposes, desires and tastes.
Your dashboard is your home page—the “gateway” through which you enter “Praxis Park.” From it, however, you can pass through other doorways into any number of spaces in Cosmos. It is your home base—where you start from, and where you return to, to regain orientation.
Extremely crude rendering of a dashboard, depicting some possible modules on display on a user’s dashboard. I envision users being afforded highly customizable display configuration options.
Initiating the Primary Game: Self-Actualization for the Member
(See also: Member Joining - User Story at the bottom of this page.)
Though a user may already have an account, once a user registers to become a member (see: New member intake process, elsewhere), the dashboard becomes accessible, and perhaps it starts with an initiation question (a question framed to initiate relationship between a member and Cosmos).
From a member’s response, the mindfulAI immediately sets about to suggesting connections to opportunities, tools, conversations, and people that associate with the member’s goals (or at least, intentions). The more intentional a member becomes with defining their desired outcomes or path, the more specific mindfulAI can become in offering suggestions. (Of course, if you’re just here for open-ended curious play, that’s a mode mindfulAI is happy to accommodate as well.)
Members can set a large number of personal goals, and arrange their filters so the system is emphasizing one, some or many of their own goals in their “view”. MindfulAI would have a variety of ways it would “invite” a member to bring awareness to or focus on that person’s goals. This kind of prompt to reflect on goal progress is part of the value provided by Cosmos, in service to each member’s unique journey to self-actualization. When goals are attained, they are celebrated, and appreciated in individual-scale growth leaderboards.
A standard set-up dashboard may contain:
- You personal leaderboard (goal setting and striving, progress bars, various suggestions for how to configure use of Cosmos to those purposes)
- Your wallets (of internal currency, spendable in Cosmos)
- Your favorite spaces & conversations (to interact in/with)
- Your current top projects & proposals (to engage with, to further)
- Your favorite media (to experience & to “show love” through Litcoin)
- Any utilities, tools, products or services you’ve “opted into” (to help further progress on your goals)
- Configured in whatever way is optimal/desirable for you. Customizations include option to mute or hide any of the above; to amplify the prominence (salience) of any of the above; and to mindfully limit or deliberately grow the time and attention one spends in/on any of the above.
In your Dashboard, you can:
- Interact with your goals & your progress leaderboard or status bar
- Modify your goals
- Prioritize objectives and tasks (e.g. you can “dial down” all other goals to zero if you want to focus on just one until it’s done).
- Configure your portals & plug-ins
- Smoothly add and remove “plug-in” programs (and accept the LC costs or refunds from/to your wallet)
- This will likely involve updating a member’s costs each time a change is made. For instance, opting into a new paid app/feature may add $5 more dollars to your regular monthly member dues. This event may be smoothed out by the system accepting Litcoin for payment, which is a somewhat more fluid currency. Still, the system should be constructed such that members are never in the dark and can easily turn off and on various features and immediately see their adjusted price reflected. Cosmos should securely store member credit card information to enable convenient and “seamless” upgrading/downgrading at will.
- Smoothly add and remove “plug-in” programs (and accept the LC costs or refunds from/to your wallet)
- Receive & respond to relevant notifications
- Offers/opportunities from around the Cosmosphere, including ways to earn more LC or C>, and even semi-exclusive or limited time opportunities based on an individual’s personal goals, their badges, C>, history of interactions, etc.
- Engage in project & collaborative spaces
- Representing a kind of “sub-dashboard” or nesting of the same functionality, potentially.
- Create & engage with proposals
- Create & engage in themed conversational spaces
- Engage with collaborators on media production and planning
- Partake in an enjoyable media feed
- “Worthy of your attention!” by definition (users can tweak algorithm governing the feed)
- Manage your “wallets”
- Find & easily spend your excess LC on peers & projects in the ecosystem
- Manage your “recurring subscriptions” (if you patronize an artist, space or tool on a recurring “subscription” basis).
COSMOS DASHBOARD - ADDITIONAL FEATURE IDEAS
Perhaps next to your avatar is a little bit of gray text indicating the duration of time since your last activity or log-in to the site. This would be helpful in letting others know when you’re not around, at-a-glance, so nobody is let to “worry” about what your silence “could mean” on a thread you were previously engaged in. Perhaps members could choose to turn this off or on.
Could there also be a way to show which conversations a member is deliberately “opted into” and which she refuses to look at or participate in? Maybe like invitation notification - ability to respond with a rejection of the invitation…? At some point of complexity, knowing (or somehow being able to measure/gauge) what people have and have not seen [I.e. given their attention to] may become important!
Dials represent a “hands-on” way for users to control the positive and negative feedback loops (algorithms) governing their user experience. (See: Playbook: Generative and Limiting Loops.) As discussed there, though some loops would be governed and handled at the collective-scale (Cosmos - Constitutional), many loops are configurable by each individual user at the portal of their dashboard. This section explains how that would look & work.
Dials represent an organizationally-constrained range of options that a user can select from in customizing their experience. Users are afforded the power and autonomy to customize their experience (in terms of what they give their attention to on the platform) in a variety of ways.
In familiar terms of reference regarding gamification, “dials” parallel a user adjusting their gameplay experience by going into the settings menu to alter various “frames” for their experience, such as modifying the overall difficulty level of the game, turning game music on or off, switching to a different character, etc. Dials reflect meta-settings that modify the shape and possibilities of what can subsequently happen in one’s gameplay experience.
The dashboard and dials (algorithms affecting the “frame” of a user’s experience) invite these awarenesses:
What are you putting your focus on? How is that reflective of your needs and moving towards your goals?
Customizable vs. Constitutional Algorithms & MindfulAI-provided "Guardrails"
Such freedom to customize must be built atop a relatively-stable structure of constitutional algorithms—so users can creatively mark-up their personal games without “breaking” the system for everyone. That is to say: Cosmos’ game is on some “rails,” though the rails are intentionally designed to feel “wide open” while not allowing undue infringement upon another members’ journey to self-actualization. While it will offer more customization options than virtually any other platform, the system, through MindfulAI, will also offer “guardrails” of reflexive, data-informed suggestions, limiting (but perhaps blessedly so) a user’s experience according to their self-reported inputs.
In some cases, the “guardrails”-suggestions will be set up as a default, and the user must take some action to change it. For example, when getting started on the platform, all of a new member’s dashboard dials may be set to what the system has determined is generally “optimal” attunement (or, lacking relevant information distilled from other user’s patterns, putting it in the very “middle” of the range of choices.) Perhaps even ability to change certain algorithms grows as demonstrated mastery grows—e.g., a member has to take a class to learn about the _________ dial before she can mess with her own __________ dial or formally advise others on how to mess with theirs. Generally, though, the results would be rendered to the user’s experience, and so participants are free as children in a roomful of toys to “make or break” their own experience.
The mindfulAI would support the user in “narrowing down” choices in the ecosystem according to the context/frame of the users’ self-actualization path. For instance, if a user expressed that they were looking for skilled help in marketing their latest album, the system could offer “top suggestions” (while also allowing the user to see the entire search results, if she so chose). Like in the way Google effectively filters global information to its humans queriers via page ranking: what it shows on the first page receives enormous salience/prominence to the user. (Unlike Google, Cosmos is genuinely programmed to try to be of utmost service to the member’s self-actualization, and so it would try hard to ensure results were salient to that user uniquely.)
Users could tweak their dial for how system-dependent versus self-sufficient they wish to be in navigating the platform. In a high-trust, system-dependent scenario, a user could let the system calculate the best available option and just plug it in automatically (optimized for user convenience, potentially at the expense of the “best” choice). In a more self-sufficient model, a user would seek out, add-on, and configure their system autonomously (optimized for user choice and deliberation, potentially at the cost of efficient use of attention). Users get to and are encouraged to flexibly interact on vectors of Goals, Litcoin/Marketplace, Conversations/Spaces, and Tools/Apps. At the meta level, a user retains the choice of how much choice (how open, vs. how “on rails”) she wants her experience to be.
Once a decision is made, the system responds to that decision as best it can—both parties (system and user) are learning all the while. It is this dance of interaction, looping feedback loops between user and system, that creates the whole constellation of Cosmos. Cosmos’ path through space and time is thus entirely dependent on stakeholder participation—interaction shapes the whole: what it is and what it can become.
Ranges or Spectra within the Dials
Cosmos may, at the Constitutional algorithm level, dictate acceptable ranges for any customizable setting affecting the users’ gaming experience. For instance, perhaps a user controls a filter for affinity v. divergence in his/her media feed, and the allowable range set by Cosmos is 1%-99%. A user would be forbidden, effectively, from going to 100% affinity of feed, because Cosmos (at the collective constraining scale) has determined that doing so would or could critically destabilize the whole. So, it is a risk that it does not permit its users to take (at least not without changing the constitution, which requires heavier investments of time, energy and collective willpower to change.)
Still, the range of choice afforded users through dials would be substantial enough to allow for broad differences in creative expression of how users experience Cosmos. Users are encouraged to “peek under the hood” and tweak any algorithms personally affecting their dashboard experience (at least). This is, after all, a creative playscape, intended to draw out the creative potential in everybody!
The creative affordances to users would be above and beyond any other platform—in part, because to offer this means to invite unfathomable complexity. Fortunately, complexity is desirable when you’re intending to generate an ecosystem of interactions between creative beings. The result is a multiplicitous, multi-dimensional, “infinite” platform, where the whole is not knowable by the part (a user), except to know that the part (a user) is an integral, fractal phenomenon of the whole experiencing itself . In Cosmos, member-users are recognized and witnessed in multiple modes and as multiple wholes, themselves.
Users naming their needs and offers to mindfulAI and to one another opens up a dynamic spectrum of possible interactions. Encountering one another and encountering specific “opportunities” or “requests” in this system is a result of intelligent guidance and sheer random proximity/luck/chance. (We must keep a little chaos in the mix if we want maximal elegance and creative proliferation!)
Potential Dials —>
In Settings, you could update:
Enoughness or “Seeking” criteria/details (I.e. “Needs”).
Definition: User-defined “needs” that the community & platform (as extensions of the cooperative enterprise) attempts to help address. Note: Defining “enoughness” terms for any tangible or intangible “need” is crucial to attaining self-actualization, and so the system should ask and check in often about what “enough” looks like and how close the user has gotten to enough regarding any particular need. (More about Enoughness elsewhere.)
Capacities or “Offering” criteria/details (I.e. “Offers” or “Yields”)
Definition: User-defined latent potentials & capacity in the system, or multiplicitous “capital” brought into the system. Naming needs and offers (as well as inputting other related criteria, like skills & interests) is how other users can find you and send appropriate offers or requests to your dashboard through direct contact/messaging; it is also how Cosmos/MindfulAI can search for relevant, appropriate/“matching” items located throughout the network, and then promote them to your awareness.
Look & configuration of dashboard
What personal leaderboards (progression goals), spaces, modes, conversations, or media are you interested in seeing on your homepage? How prominent are different items, different goals?
Tastes (or Interests/Appetites for what kinds of media/interactions to show you)
Based on your interactions (in discourses and through “liking,” favoriting, or tipping LitCoin to other members for their contributions), mindfulAI learns what media & relationships in the network most appeal to you. It learns what media you find most resonant and most personally fruitful to encounter. You can “mix it up” by allowing more “divergence” into your attentional or media feeds, thus exposing yourself to new, stimulating, different media.
Noise (chaos) vs. signal (interest-adherence)
Aka “wild to tame.” A user can set how consonant they want their feeds to be with their stated interests or past expression. Some users will have a taste for more variety and surprise, and divergent exposures to their established tastes; whereas others may prefer more “protected,” affinity-based exposures.
Note: a user cannot avoid or totally shut off certain crucial messages or media pushed by Cosmos under duress/in extreme circumstances. Cosmos retains the power to “push” certain mass-scale/urgent/crucial notifications to users and to enforce even a tiny aspect of the “surprise” (divergence) factor in presenting media. The latter (Chaos) factor may be algorithmic or manual, but it essentially introduces some quotient of randomness into the media a user is exposed to.
Visibility v. Invisiblity
Aka “personalized v. anonymized.” How visible are your offers and needs to other members? To Cosmos/mindfulAI?
How much data do you allow Cosmos to use regarding your use of the platform to improve your user experience and that would inform its collective leaderboard, etc?
Note: We intended to structure Cosmos in such a way that a user owns/controls all sovereign data generated by his/her usage. That data is then licensed to Cosmos for the aim of improving experiences and to factor into the collective leaderboard. Cosmos in some way may acknowledge or otherwise reward members who do choose to share their data with the platform, because it does overall help create a more accurate picture of Cosmos’ development. And Cosmos would create systems—including cultural ones, at the level of staff—that always put members’ priorities as the number one interest. So sharing your data with Cosmos should feel like divulging your struggles to a trusted friend: it’s there to help you: holistically there are no ulterior motives. So trust it.
Assist-mode v. Autonomous mode
How much do you want Cosmos to advocate on your behalf (for fulfilling your needs or for promoting your offers), versus autonomous, deliberate searching and interactions? E.g., Do not disturb vs. Suggest to me often!
In each dial setting, you can
Entirely MUTE options (e.g. NO incubation offers)
Turn up or down the prominence of that information on your dash, tuning the specific algorithms that feed what you see in the dashboard
The dashboard should enable users to enter into focused “modes.” For example, turning “off” (or just “down”) interruptions or attention-grabbing media when one intends to focus diligently on just writing for a duration. Or, only allowing navigation in the context of a specific collaborative project work—pages falling outside of that would be “blocked” while in this mode. Modes enable users to quickly shift into focus on just one goal. A user could set guidelines for the modes, too—such as duration (activate this mode for the next 24 hours), terms (only allow emergency-grade messages into the mode bubble), etc. In this way, Cosmos further supports user self-actualization by allowing the user, and not the system (generally speaking), to define what best use(s) the platform has for them . Of course, Cosmos/MindfulAI would appreciate opportunities to learn about its users so it could better design and configure tools and options for the members in the future.
MEMBER JOINING - USER STORY
When a new member is born in the Cosmos universe (metaphorically speaking, of course), the dashboard interface prompts with queries such as these, perhaps in this order:
- Name + contact info
- Tell us about yourself
- How do you most identify? (Relevant identities) A, B, C, D, E, F, G (or ranking 1-3)
- What do you hope to accomplish on this platform? Or, what would you like to have happen? (Salient aims) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc.
Based on your answers, here are some suggestions of utilities + spaces + communities/people + discussions that might be of interest to you! If you have questions, encounter barriers or feel stuck, speak to your community guide, [Insert assigned guide name here] .
Picture a dashboard that said: “What would you like to have happen (for yourself, personally?)” You typed your freeform answers, which became, essentially, user stories for your personal advancement. Then the next frame asked the same thing, but it was more constrained, like:
To be complete, I need : (example answers follow)
- Paid work
- New clients
- To meaningfully support artists
- To sponsor artists
- To be involved in an artist’s community
- To improve my practice
- To scale up my business
- To create more (things, types of things, often, etc.)
With my whole self, I have to offer:
- Skills: ___
- Time (work or volunteer on projects)
- Knowledge: _____
- Attention (willing to review others’ works and give feedback)
- Presence (willing to meet new people and form mutually supportive connections)
- Please select the following items in order of important they are for you to give or to receive through Cosmos.
From these data inputs (which, members are instructed about how to get back in and change any time they wish, just like adjusting their dials), the system configures a suggested dashboard for them. It also provides a walkthrough tutorial, explaining how to edit & configure the dashboard upfront. The more data a user provides, the more accurate/effective the system can be in its suggestions.
Also this doesn’t all have to be frontloaded (as it could be a lot to process)… the system might prompt only a couple things at first (especially if the user indicates low needs/interests and instead an inclination to just explore/play) to produce a basic dashboard for light starter use, and then bake in some more queries to prompt a user over the course of time and interaction.
User inputs fundamentally affect the ways in which the platform (MindfulAI) responds. For instance, say you have financial need for an additional $1,000 of income per month, so you fill out your “Enoughness” terms to reflect this personal financial goal. That data input would be factored into MindfulAI sorting out the appropriate kinds of content to show the user, and the kinds of games the user might be encouraged to enter into (e.g., work opportunities within Cosmos [in combination with data inputted about skills, interests/desire-to-learn skills, etc.], open calls or other opportunities to promote your creative productions to garner you more Litcoin, invitations to meet arts patrons who are interested in the kind of work you do, invitations to play a competitive game for a prized high-paying job opportunity or coveted badge with high return-on-value in Cosmos, etc.)
Say you don’t have financial need, but rather you want to GIVE a certain goal amount of money away per month through Cosmos. The system would respond in alignment with your interests and invite you to connect you with $-seeking artists that intersect with your tastes, opportunities to fund important “buckets” for feature or proposal development in Cosmos, networking conversations with other similar patrons, etc.
Point is, progression is the game users know they’re playing from the very first screen. (See also: Unified Progression Game.) Progression is the intrinsically valuable, self-actualization input: that alignment of platform functions with authentic individual aspirations.