Spaces of Exchange

(Caroline Savery) #1

As discussed elsewhere, Cosmos is intended to be an as-flexible, as-responsive as possible membrane for its members’ self-directed initiatives. Therefore, “spaces” or zones in Cosmos may be defined as designated places where certain types of (desired) activities happen. Just as member types are defined by the pattern of behavior of members (and not necessarily formal categories), so too are Cosmos spaces defined by the purposive processes and patterns they contain.

This document represents our best attempt, as-of-now, to define the needed and intended spaces for the Cosmos platform, while remaining open-minded as to what specific forms these needs will take. (In other words: I’m trying to be as specific as possible for where we are now, and not too prescriptive at the same time.)

Because conversation is at the root of any value-generating activity in Cosmos, we center conversation in our definition of spaces–that is: what kind of conversation is being facilitated here?

Spaces for Exchange

A conversation is all about exchange, interchange, co-creation, the gleaning of inspiration/insight, and the development of the “grounds” on which to build and innovate new creations. It is the fundamental medium, or interface, through which sentient beings combine energies and co-determine realities. You could think of any flow in nature as “conversation”–the body in conversation with its environment, proteins in conversations with cells, etc.

Conversations are sacred containers because they channel our attention (which is our life-energy), the results of which can not only transform consciousness, but alter the future by changing conditions and raising potentials. In this text, I’m using “conversation” liberally to mean: any means of interaction in which value exchange occurs.

Below are three different frameworks for interpreting the spaces Cosmos is called to produce, relative to how it serves “conversations”:

1) What is the purpose and pattern (aka fundamental structure/shape) of the essential conversations & activities in Cosmos?
(in light of the overarching “self-actualization game journey” processes)

2) What spaces are needed to accommodate these essential conversations to serve our members’ purposes?

3) What (do we anticipate) are the generalized needs shared by many/most Cosmos members, and the spaces that serve as responses to those needs?
(organized by sustainer, creative, and worker member)


(1) Fundamental Conversations

Here are some fundamental types of activities that agents in Cosmos would be engaged in—you might consider these “meta behaviors.” You can see the distinct conversational templates/structures contained in each phase, and notice that the overall flow of what’s outlined below is one of iterating self-actualization. Different spaces & utilities would need to be built into Cosmos to enable these processes to self-fulfill and link with one another.

Type of Conversation Trigger Manner Result
Getting acquainted (friendly inquiry) When a new member joins, or after this process is completed and cycle begins again Cosmos* prompts: “What would you like to have happen?” User responds to prompt by defining their goals and aspirations. Cosmos would ask clarifying questions about the stages each goal is in, to better provide adaptive results (e.g. “I have a book that’s finished, but needs wider distribution” vs. “I have an idea for a screenplay but haven’t written anything yet.”) Would also deepen understanding of what the member brings of value into Cosmos. Member is set on a conscious path to proceed in the direction of their goals. Cosmos is also now cognizant of their goals, their capital and capacities, and can then initiate a co-creative relationship (see below).
Matching (responding) Having knowledge of members’ goals (see above) and members’ capacities, across the platform Cosmos would then deliver recommendations to the member, on the basis of the previously collected information. E.g. “How about you check out this conversational group?” Or “maybe this need would be served by partnering with this member who has complementary skills?” The member then can respond in turn, by ranking how helpful the suggestion was, which feedback helps Cosmos tailor its understanding of the members’ needs and tastes. Cosmos and member are in a collaborative, iterative relationship, each contributing feedback and choosing what the next step will be.
Wandering (exploration) User embarks, in a self-directed way, to explore the spaces, discourses, and offerings available on Cosmos. User “surfs” around the forum, blogs, profiles, etc., following his/her/their fancy, popping in and out, and contributing (incl. making comments, “tipping” Litcoin, etc.) as the spirit moves them. “Discovery mode” - Members are engaged in a type of play in Cosmos that is intrinsically rewarding.
Praxis (creating) Noticing or “pulling out” something from a discourse and choosing to focus attention & generate action on that thing Members to members: The choice to develop any latent creative potential, resulting in a product or outcome (e.g. co-producing a book, co-managing a book club, etc.) [see: The Five Pillars, aka the Creative Process template.] Members to Cosmos: Choosing to focus on a “sensed bit” and turn that into a proposal for action, resource that proposal, and implement the proposal to result in new means for addressing the “sensed bit.” Also includes: governance discourses & processes. [see Praxis Process]. A creative product emerges or result (“yield,” permaculturally speaking, or “fruit,” karmically speaking :wink: ) is obtained.
Reflecting (evaluating) Completing any of the above processes. The member pauses to reflect on “the big picture”: one’s goals, one’s place in the community, the “balance” of needs & yields one is experiencing, and the state of overall progress towards one’s goals. Contemplative: “letting go,” reframing, and redefining goals may occur. This can be solo, in trusted/intimate group dialogue, and/or with the help of data from Cosmos reflecting on user patterns. New goals are defined–so the process can start over again (iterate)!

*Note: “Cosmos” in this context means any person, process or application that is acting in accord with the organization’s objective. So, individual human members can act as “agents” of Cosmos when they participate in processes that model the above purposive flows. Or, the processes described could be facilitated by the platform AI (through a user’s Dashboard & user interface, more broadly). Until the latter capacity is developed, we’d likely aim to leverage our social configurations in terms of these consensual games as much as possible, because not only do they serve the system’s development, but they also serve the simple yet essential purpose of building our social/community bonds to each other and enriching our relationships.

**Further note: The Wandering & Praxis behavior patterns are already available & people on Cosmos are doing them—whether consciously or unconsciously (organically). Structured interactions that facilitate the other phases (Reflection, Inquiry [with an eye toward Self-actualization], and Matching) are not yet capacities that we’ve developed in-platform—socially, technologically, or otherwise.


(2) Essential Spaces for Exchange

Cosmos is concerned with facilitating the circulation of multiple types of capital, including:

  • Intellectual
  • Financial
  • Cultural
  • Social
  • Spiritual
    Etc.

First, the mere circulation of such forms of capital constitutes a “generative milieu.” Second, when these forms of capital coordinate and coalesce around actualizing a specific potential, this marks the transition from pure discourse to praxis–the intersection of theory and action–where transformational changes to our shared reality become realized. Spaces of exchange are needed to foster the circulation of multiple forms of capital, and circulate them vigorously, so as to enrich ALL through amplifying/multiplier effects.

Let’s look at the spaces that support these two modes of circulation:

Purpose: BUILDING COMMUNITY & FELLOWSHIP aka Dialogue
(The Messy, Abundant Generative Milieu)

The focus is on: exchange of intellectual, cultural and social capital in various forms, for the sake of increased understanding (insight/inspiration) and strengthened relationships/communion with peers.

MEANS:
Discourse/media:

  • Infinite Conversations
    • Cosmic Atrium
    • Commons
    • Etc.
    • Cosmopods

Economic interactions:

  • Gift Economy
  • Litcoin
  • Marketplace

Purpose: COLLABORATION, CO-CREATION & DEVELOPMENT aka Praxis

MEANS:
Co-creation (members to members)

  • Projects & Plug-ins
  • Dedicated channels for teams to plan, incubate, prototype, iterate, produce, and develop publishing and marketing plans for a jointly-created project or product
  • Holocircles (dedicated spaces & teams coming together on an issue or opportunity)
    • E.g. Writing clubs
  • Any application of capital toward the realization of a project
    • Fundraising (see Criteria, Praxis Process) for the realization of a proposal
    • Buying/selling services and tools (see: Marketplace) that support the production of a creative product (e.g. hiring peers as coaches, technicians, marketers, etc.; buying a peer’s product/tool that helps one finish one’s own product; targeted sponsorship, e.g. pre-purchasing copies of a book that’s not yet completed, etc.)

Reflexive cooperative processes (i.e., where Cosmos.coop becomes the subject of the development processes):


(3) Generalized Member Needs & Supportive Spaces (by Member Type)

Let’s get more specific–understanding that we will have sustainer, creative, and worker members (and combinations of all three–as the member types are defined by norms of behavior, not by formal category), what can we expect we will need in terms of having spaces that serve them?

Sustainer members
Primary objective: To support creatives while benefitting directly from the relationship, art, and inspiring discourses produced by the creatives, and generally available in Cosmos.
Supportive Spaces:

  • TBD sustainers’ communities, circles & social spaces
  • Dashboard-integration feeds of artist communications & new works
  • Litcoin and other economic mechanisms
  • Searchable database of creative projects & people to support

Creative members
Primary objective: To create, and enhance the results from creative processes, through Cosmos. (The Creation process–see The Five Pillars–include stages of incubation, planning, support-raising, production, publishing, marketing, distribution, etc.)

  • Communities and cohorts of various types incl. co-creating projects, co-incubating ideas, skill-sharing, etc.
  • Dashboard-integration goal & project tracking frame(s)
  • Incubation: focused/dedicated forum spaces (e.g. Creative Studio, Writers Underground) & social templates for this purpose
  • Support-raising: searchable database of sustainer members to reach out to; sustainer & creative “mingling” spaces; project spaces with ability to promote “campaign” & capture funds in a streamlined way (e.g. with Open Collective)
  • Production: Theory of Everybody (blogging & podcasting), etc.
  • Publishing: Metapsychosis, Untimely Books, etc.
  • Marketing: TBD (capacities to outwardly promote and publicize members’ works through collectivized branding/promotions)
  • Distribution: Marketplace, etc.

Worker members
Primary objective: To work on behalf of Cosmos (and be duly compensated) in an integrated way on the platform.
Supportive spaces:

  • TBD workers’ communities, circles & social spaces incl. Co-working spaces
  • Dashboard-integrated income & work opportunities frame
  • Litcoin & other economic mechanisms
  • Searchable database of opportunities

Cosmos members in general
Primary objective: Participate in Cosmos fulfilling its potential (so as to better serve/fulfill each members’ goals). AND to remain informed about potentials in Cosmos that could help meet their needs.

Supportive spaces:

  • Open Collective - transparent finances
  • Cointribute & Litcoin
  • Searchable database of issues, opportunities, proposals, campaigns & decisions (see Praxis Process)
  • Dashboard-integrated voting & participation opportunities, “pushed” by Cosmos
  • Dashboard-based goal-setting and goal-tracking (see: leaderboards, etc.) frames, and “responsive” recommendations of potential spaces, tools, people, etc. to check out in Cosmos that may help the member attain his/her/their goals.
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**Key Docs Table of Contents**
Le Guin Dreams
Operational Strategy
Cosmos: At a Glance