Framing Proposal for Cosmos Cafe, Year 2019

@ccafe: This will be my attempt at a proposal for framing the Cafe for next year. I have ideas, some great, some decent, and some not so great, some bad ideas. Help me in the tweaking process. Identify what will work, what won’t and what I might be missing.

I do note the statements of concern about framing, topics, etc. The Cafe does need a better frame. And for this, I apologize. I had started to take initiative and create Cafe pages (as no topics arose/no one created a Cafe page for the week’s discussion), mainly gleaning our recent thoughts and conversations onto the Cafe page. The ideas were coming from our threads or the past Cafe discussions and I expected a frame formation to ensue. Now, I see the need for alternative methods.

Framing Attempt

Step 1: Cafe Proposals - send me your proposals (through Infinite Conversations email, private email (not so private now! -, or even call me at 865.661.8280…do what you must to get your idea out onto the page! If you feel confident, post it yourself…see here.

  • Ideally, we would have a list of “Proposal Threads” at our disposal, without a set date, posted to Infinite Commons.

Step 2: Setting the Cafe Schedule: When it feels right to discuss the topic via Zoom, we will set the date. If we do not have consensus/a decision, I will take initiative and post as I see fit.

  • I am expecting to have all dates filled each month. Again, if others do not come forth with a proposal directly to me or no threads seem to be concretizing, I will select from a list of growing topics (here or from my personal list) and post in advance. I have below one open Cafe and three pre-formed Cafes to start us off.

A temporary calendar (until @madrush unleashes the Cosmos Calendar in the future):

January 1: Open Frame (others have stated they will be traveling, unavailable, or in recovery) - please feel free to take initiative and create your own Cafe. I will begin with my proposed Cafe planning on Jan.8th
January 8: Communication: Reading John Durham Peter’s Introduction from Speaking into the Air - A History of the Idea of Communication
January 15: “The Roots of Psychological Conflict” from The Ending of Time, a series of dialogues between David Bohm and Jiddu Krisnamurti…I would like to tie this into @madrush’s exploration of Cosmic Time:
January 22: Reading "Anger and the Road to Hell" from @Mark_Jabbour’s latest book “Election 2016” (on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019!!)
  • As proposed above, Cosmos Cafe will be planned, framed and pre-set, pre-dated; there may be gaps which lead to an open frame, but don’t expect a gap.

Other Notes
  • If we really wish to continue the conversation after a Cafe, if the topic needs to continue, we can select a date or choose a time, outside of the Cafe frame. Some of us really like to carry the momentum from the conversation. Or we can try to set it up for the next weeks Cafe if a spot is open. If we have prescheduled Cafes, meaning there will typically not be the space for a Cafe to be open the following week, then the momentum would best continue in another space/time. I would love to see more one-on-ones, IC conversations/video responses…we need to understand the reserved space of Cosmos Cafe…and understand the opportunity to continue the conversation.
  • @madrush working on making the Zoom process more efficient. Until then, if you wish to continue a conversation or set-up your own conversation, come to me and we will make it happen. Really all it takes is a click on this Zoom link, do your thing, and let me know if you’d like to post it to Infinite Conversations or just have for personal reference.

Feedback appreciated.


Clean Feedback

I don’t think an apology is needed, Doug. I appreciate the quality of your attention, the inspired choices you have made, the sensitivity to the inclusion of everyone. This is what I like about your performances here.

I could make a long list of what I like about your contributions here, such as your playful poems, your sponsor ship skills, your deep respect for elders, even if I believe, that the elder generation, is not as smart as you imagine them to be.

I fear that the elders are becoming stuck in the status quo and are not evolving particularly well. We both are interested in changing that. So we share a strong value that the transmission of culture can’t happen without the elders.

And what kind of elder is that?

I think the baby boomers that are retiring now in large numbers have a rare demand placed upon them. Our cultural capacities are already starting to emerge, slowly and painfully. To enlarge and expand our interegenerational communications, as you have so passionately advocated for, may be crucial. These are, I believe, values that we share.

I would like it if we could model your excellent sponsor ship skills, Doug, so that we could make a template, a template not of idiosyncratic moves by an isolated individual constrained by grumpy old people who want to slow down. What if we could create conditions so that we were swimming in a sea of silver haired sponsors? What would we be hearing, seeing, feeling, knowing, when we have learned how to listen, to listen with the Third Ear?

I feel that you, and your generation, deserve better than this. If I had a baton, which I don’t, I would be glad to pass it on to you.

Let me make it clear. I want to coordinate different styles, with different kinds of tempo-rhythms so that 'we ’ can modulate the mind/body in this often inhospitable on line environment. What I have labeled ‘chunk down and chunk slow’ is not what I intended to happen here. I want to chunk down and chunk slow when we are in need of coordination with slow, strong rhythms to help us innovate and change more quicky.

Privileging the slow over the fast is not wise. We need to be able to think fast and think slow and know how to do that, and when to do that.

Having said all of the above, ( I am trying to be a gentle critic!) I find that some of the choices that you advocate, I need a little priming for. With so many brilliant new thinkers ( both old and young) who are active on the scene today, why are you drawn to Bohm and Krishnamurti, who are a blast from the past and who were fighting battles that over?

Why not Giuseppe Longo? He is a brilliant mathematician, who has written some very easy to follow texts, and has plenty of Youtube videos.

I would like to model how we make decisions. When making a decision, at your best, that’s like what? Perhaps this is not best done in the Cafe. This kind of activity is not what the Cafe crowd seems to want to do. And I hope to increase the range of choice for everyone here. Not everyone is drawn to innovation.

We could start with you, Doug, and perhaps we can meet on a one to one zoom meetup? I can ask a few clean questions and we can create a self reflexive loop between the ’ I’ and the ’ we’.

Then we could perhaps learn how we learn, as a group!!!

I sense that we already know how we can deconstruct ourselves as a group. That is where the Frame crisis comes from.

So I hope you and all of us, Doug, can hear the beat of a different drummer, and bring that different drummer to the rhythm section of this big band we are trying to set in motion.

This would be an opportunity for us to chunk down and chunk slow so that we can think fast and with power from multiple dimensions. I imagine we could work with multiple frameworks. I have yet to share with you the framework. It is a whole new way of working with collective imaginations.

Are we there yet? I hope you will be open to this kind of intervention as we move out of a First Order to a Second Order Culture.

What skills and abilities do we need to make these volatile virtual environments sing and dance?

What I want more of ? I praise your efforts to find a better frame. However, this is a solution, not a desired outcome.

Solutions usually works to maintain the status quo.

I hope this is useful feedback for you, Doug, and thanks for your brilliant contributions And please feel free to revise what I have offered here to suit your own purposes.

I hope ( as a critic and an elder) that I can learn how to name properly and give a blessing.

I never had an old man give me a blessing. If I had, I would have had a much more creative life than the one I ended up with. But I seek your blessing instead. If we had an outbreak of this kind of potential, rather than fight and freeze, we could make something interesting happen.


Michael has brought my attention to this film, which for me, is splendid evidence, that we are moving towards a Second Order Culture. I saw it five times! And it broke my heart each time I saw it. Unless we have enough men who can hold the tensions within the heart space, we are doomed to extinction. But the masculine heart, when it is sponsored, has an amazing power. A compliment to the power of the Goddess!



Some reflections upon the Crisis of the Frame. It is after midnight. I make a list of questions to an Imaginal Friend from the future who listens with the Third Ear. I go to sleep. I asked my Imaginal Friend some questions in the lucid dream that I had rehearsed before bed. I leave responses blank upon awakening because the Imaginal Friend does not speak English but communicates though what I call the Under-Song. It can’t be said, but it can be moved with, touched, bi-resonant, sort of like what happens between musicians as they warm up before the audience. The Imaginal Friend has access to many more frames of reference than I do so our communiques are very wierd, sometimes frightening. They said they want to study my brain…I am puzzled…but I give permission…and that happened many decades ago…they used a blue light… a light blue light…and the light moves through our my sensorium and in patterned intelligent movement…it is very hard to talk about…it is beyond the one way mirror…it is on the other side of the mirror…

These are some of the questions I posed as I tried to extract patterns that are human scaled from the Chaos…

How do we resolve the crisis of the Frame?

Is there a crisis or an opportunity?

How do we chunk down?

How far down when chunk down?

How do we chunk slow?

And how slow is slow when chunk slow?

And then what happens?

Is there a relationship between chunk down and chunk slow?

And Cosmic Time…

And what was Time before Cosmic Time?

And when theory at it’s best, that theory is like what?

And where does theory come from?

And does it have a size or a shape?

And I asked the Body of Knowledge that is shaped as I ask…a body of Knowledge that is always moving… as an embryo…as a brain…as a para-brain…

How would you like theory at it’s best to develop in the future Cafe?

Daytime…after noon…I have been sitting for a couple of hours at my desk looking at the steam that rises from the rooftops of the forlorn city beyond the windows…it is a gray, wet, day…chilly and city traffic…honks and hums of appliances at a great distance… a constant background humming…from my ears or from the outside I am not sure…both and maybe neither…the clatter of the radiator comes from the corner of the room…and over there…,out side the grimy window…I pay attention to the heavy drops of water which shimmer, tremble at the edge of the naked branches of the tree I love and upon the fire escape, too, the ladder of the fire escape with the peeling green paint…drops of water in a row,trembling, like a silver beaded necklace…I can sit here for hours and get lost in the slow music of a lost time…must go out for a walk…restore my contact with my umvelt…how do I establish again a sense of human scale? I look around my rooms for my umbrella…and try to create a sequence of events and find a tempo that works with the sounds of the traffic and the curiosity I feel somewhere in the back of my mind…


Beautiful. I see the educational threads (our Gidley discussions; the need for alternate educations) as requesting similar dynamic. Each of us (grouped by age-wavelengths, as seen with Welch and her EEG mappings or grouped by cultural status/placement, such as NYC vs KY existence) can benefit from an intermeshing of the rhythmic strands, forming a deep web of shared understandings.

Bohn and Krishnamurti are fighting a timeless battle in these dialogues (literally attempting to discover “the ending of time”) and I saw parallels with @madrush’s Cosmic Time (an attempt to end “standard” times that may be obsolete and replace with a time that balances our body, mind and soul, perhaps). I believe we could add in Longo to the mix, a mathematician that, as you stated elsewhere, “considers the Computational Metaphor as a violation when applied to Biological Systems.”

I would come back to you and state: these Cafes listed above are proposed ideas. Anyone can propose an idea, as you have done with Longo. So now what do we do with Longo? Do you want Longo to be a separate Cafe? An additional menu item for the proposed Cosmic Time Cafe? Just an additional name to think about? Would you like for me to set up a Cafe proposal page? A one-on-one session? The possibilities are endless. (just using this as an example and not requesting that we do something about it now. I only wish to clarify that if one wishes to make something happen, then let’s do it. I should not be the one to decide whether Longo is allowed into the discussion).

I greatly appreciate your feedback and want to say, for me, this proposal is more of a desired outcome. I never desire to set things in stone. My proposal is as malleable as those involved wish it to be. All Cafes will be Wikis, able to be edited by all. All proposals thus far are just that. Anyone can create a proposal. Much of this ties in with @care_save’s work in the KeyDocs and Marco and others’ visions of how flexible the co-op’s philosophy can be. For the Cafe, a small but crucial aspect of the Cosmos, one of the few places in which we continually meet online, this “structure” I have proposed is as loose of a framework I could imagine, and if it seems to be too tight we can loosen again. I will not be taking charge of the actual Cafe discussions, nor necessarily leading the discussions in any particular direction. I am still the old man on the porch wishing to see my loved ones at play; it takes much effort for me to articulate myself, so I prefer others to do the talking. I’ll speak when I damn well please!

I just finished a rereading of Gilead and love the deep sad beauty of the blessing near the end of the novel, from an old man to a younger man. As an undercover agent, I give you my blessing in disguise :revolving_hearts::male_detective:


Good luck, Secret Agent Man, and may the force go with you. I am trying here (with little success) to birth a concept. Like don’t ask, don’t tell. I wonder where such a concept arose from? And how do we drop concepts and move beyond them? The slower and faster aspects of our minds are in motion. And we are in a techo fast forward which is re-doing what is objective and subjective. I am aware that a concept arises in a various disguises, in bits and pieces, in the between of the periphery and center, speech and gesture. I have focused a lot of attention on the fabric of felt sense as it touches the obscurities of the Others.

So without more ado ( and this may be much ado about nothing) I am ready to drop all of it and forget about this conversation and hope that next year may be a better place, than this one is, to try to think out loud. And so the curtain descends upon our little comedy.


(Pre-comment comment: First allow me to “own” explicitly that my attention, mind body and heart have been much distant from the Cafes, and thus how they have evolved is quite opaque to me. Therefore, my comment may be a rather generalized toss of a dart that falls far from the mark, something that I leave up to be discerned by more Cafe-involved folks. Yet here I am with thoughts and feelings on this thread, at least!)

@johnnydavis54 I deeply appreciate your initial comment on this thread. I resonate strongly with what I believe you may be getting at, which I might put into words as: how do we bring our multiplicitous, multirhythmic and mind-expansion-loving culture into the consideration of how we establish structures and norms, in our rituals and in our “workflows” surrounding Cafes?

Doug has been encouraged by Marco, and has accepted and stepped up, to be a steward of the Cafes in 2019. How exactly to perform that role, how to even define the “work” to be done therein, seems to be the emergent challenge now! I like Johnny’s idea of considering whether multiple frameworks could be employed for how the Cafes are and are engaged in the world, and thus, how a steward or caretaker or “elder” such as Doug in this capacity, could best interact with the Cafes.

Perhaps we might inquire: How are the Cafes understood? How are Cafes engaged with? What joys are they a container for, what substance are they a container of? What does their ritual incidence offer to those who partake? What kinds of patterns, embedded in the emergent behavior of participants in & around the Cafes thus far, are we aware of? Might those patterns possibly illuminate some semi-conscious or even totally unconscious “desire lines” of users of the Cafes? Might the patterns of “life” around the Cafes so far tell us something about what meaning the Cafes may provide in people’s intellectual, social, spiritual and cultural lives?

From this understanding of the character (personality) and function (life-giving aspect) of Cafes, perhaps how Doug can best steward their continued existence and growth becomes clearer. Perhaps Doug’s role is to filter potentials; perhaps it is to facilitate users to formalize, schedule and implement their own initiatives as Cafes; perhaps it is to maintain a set of tools (and indeed, a “Cafe framework”) that anyone can autonomously plug into, innovate on, and build off or spin off of; perhaps it is a blend of any of these things. Perhaps, if we knew of a shared community goal, like “continued care and production of Cafes in 2019,” and knew how many members feel a commitment to that goal, then we could know both how to resource this role AND how to articulate the role’s tasks and function?

This, like anything else in our co-created virtual universe, is just another thing to be felt out and understood, perhaps in the same types of ways as we inquire about, investigate, and gain understanding of ourselves and our realities. I have a natural love for that process of self-clarifying and I also love @johnnydavis54’s consistent emphasis on our having options to take colorful, slow, deep, thoughtful, clean, titillating, outrageous paths to get there. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@Douggins I, like @johnnydavis54 did, would be happy to offer a one-on-one to talk through how you are thinking about and preparing to implement the role and function of Cafe steward. Perhaps I can be of some help in thinking about how to approach and also how to manage the technical aspects of the role in a way that fulfills community needs and YOUR needs and style, too. Community organizing is never easy nor simple nor flawless, and I embrace your embracing of its messiness! When the mess is beautiful and vibrating, then you know that it’s liable to be an organism, if a blobby one, yet one that’s mystically inclined to self-understand and self-complexify–even while it continues to only reach ever higher orders of chaos… AND of beauty. :earth_asia: :sun_with_face:


I have re-read this beautiful entry @care_save and appreciate your skill with words and phrasing. I have much to learn from you.

Very useful questions. If I was to “claim” the Cafes as my own, as under my “management,” then I would like to introduce the line of thinking that you turned me on to Caroline…Samantha Slade and Horizontal Management. I purchased a copy of her book Going Horizontal and have taken a few insights from her processes.

From the book blurb: Hierarchy in organizations is obsolete. There is a better way: one that increases the engagement of employees and managers alike, reduces micromanaging and other limiting approaches, and promotes organizational and individual success.

Currently, I am managing the Cafes in a semi-vertical fashion. In January 2019, the topics for the Cafe have been “what I say goes” … I decided on the topics, as mentioned above, to get the ball rolling. What I desire is for horizontal management…this will take time…the subtitle of her book is Creating a Non-Hierarchical Organization, One Practice at a Time…obviously we have no "employees and I think the site “managers” would hardly describe themselves with such a term, but we can learn from her business modeling.

A bit of in-sight to the thinking behind proposals (as the Cafe project rolls along); aka Horizontal Snow Reflections on January 2019 & Future Cafes:

Proposals intend to garner a life of their own. These little balls began as a tuft of snow, carefully formed with two tiny hands (and one tiny mind), patiently placed upon the platform (Infinite Conversations), slowly rolled about in our snowy conversations. The tiny hands have formed a few of these little frosty (frothy) spheres and will continue to produce them slowly, with care. The tiny mind has imagined that the balls will take a life of their own, rolling about the grounds, gaining more substance and girth (a few head-nodding likes/hearts; a modest thread of discussion). Other interested minds begin their trek towards the topics.

As a collection of the little balls appear, the tiny little hands would like help to keep the ball rolling. An extra pair of tiny hands producing more tiny balls. A couple of bigger bodies to begin rolling around the bigger balls as they take on more snow, take on a like of their own. Soon, the snowy ground, previously a blank white sheet, becomes a fun factory of tiny minds taking tiny thought-balls into thine hands, forming new thought-spheres as new minds take new ideas (and old) in new directions.

Proposals can be formed by anyone. It only takes a thought. If we go back and observe some of Caroline’s language, we see that a proposal is a sensed bit that has priority, something that holds one’s interest and may hold interest for others, hence the proposal. An article read; a book chapter; a simple thought around a theme of current culture.

The proposal process gauges interest, that which gains steam or that which may melt in our hands. Proposals that others find interesting (either by a comment or a simple heart …which can always be improved…how do we show that we are interested?) If the thought-sphere garners no interest at this time, no matter. Don’t take it personally. Seasons change. Snow —> water may find its flowering flow in a warmer climate as it seeps into the cracks of our collective.

One last thought: the time of the Cafe is not available to all, such as our international participants and those with work or other commitments. Also, having the Cafe set in a specific time, as @johnnydavis54 and I have discussed in other conversations, halts the momentum of keeping the snowballs rolling and forming into beautiful, vibrating snow art.

Thus another proposal (or reminder!): the Cafe may be set in stone, but the Cafe is open at all hours. The zoom link is available to anyone at any time. I do not mind managing the logistics for this, even if I cannot attend. A great example right now is the Pattern Language Cafe Proposal. At least two individuals have difficulty with the Cafe time. Once we all decide on a set time…we can make that Cafe happen!

PS: just a reminder, too, that I am some dude with a little extra time to arrange snow balls and process the recordings of our snow castles built with love. Anyone, with a little extra time, can do this too. If we do produce snow-spheres that roll out of control, and, if you have a little extra time and interest…give learning the process a shot. That is part of how “going horizontal” works…this is a co-op, right?! My reminder is really a call out to any snow creatures who would like to participate. I hardly have any money to give to keep the co-op flowing smoothly as the masteminds continue their background work, so I coin-tribute with time…can you?


The frappuccino frothing of yours words, Doug, gives me the occult feeling that your tiny snow spheres swirling in the winter wind could be seeding the formation of an avalanche!

Regarding this proposal:

I would just request that get whatever is scheduled on a common calendar, so we don’t overbook the Zoom line(s) and can also properly archive or publish (or otherwise make available to the participants) any recordings. We now have both public and private calendars, so anything is possible. However, I need to invite people onto the calendars!

We’re getting there…