Re: reflections re/ cyberjournal


Richard Moore


From: “TK Wilson”
Date: March 31, 2009 1:44:16 AM IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: reflections re/ cyberjournal

• enough political understanding to realize that our governing institutions are in-their-roots tyrannical
All governance is, in its roots, tyrannical.  It aims to dictate human behavior whether the individual humans involved agree or not.
• enough economic understanding to realize that sustainability begins with localism
This used to be taken for granted. Now very few even understand the question.
• enough spiritual insight to realize that wisdom lies within each of us
I don’t know where else it would lie. It would be irrelevant to me if I didn’t have some to start with.
• enough cultural understanding to realize that strong community empowers the individual
That is only not the case in communities that consume their members.
• enough process understanding to realize that strong community is sustained by inclusive dialog
As in any functional family 

• enough understanding of right livelihood to commit to collaborative action in pursuit of transformation
I can only transform myself and this is something that can only happen in the process of contending consciously with this world on a daily basis and in the company of others similarly engaged, whether  near or far
     What did you have in mind?     TK

Hi TK,

Wow, what a well-formulated response! So concise, and so descriptive. I feel I already understand a lot about how you see things, and I’m looking forward to further dialog. Here’s what I have in mind…

…So far we have about five or six people who have responded as you have, with some words about themselves and how they see things. I’ve responded to each individually, opening up some lines of dialog. I’ll wait a few days to see if we get more responses, and then I’d like to set up an unmoderated email list for us to use. As the initial postings, I’ll forward the responses that people sent in, telling about themselves. 

I’ve been impressed by how positive these responses have been. It seems that we are all interested in talking about solutions, what we can do, and what we are doing. No need to debate the details of ‘the system’, as we are all interested in building a new one from the ground up, one way or another. I’m hoping that we see ourselves as collaborators, and talk about existing projects and potential projects, rather than just be a discussion group. But the group will decide it’s own direction, as we get to know one another better.

stay in touch,


From: Larry Tesler 
Date: March 30, 2009 5:11:01 AM IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal


I think your smaller list is a good idea. I am surprised you didn’t do it sooner. But I won’t be joining it.
My world view isn’t that far from your six bullet ‘minimal understanding’, as far as it goes. But I think I see events through a different lens than you. 
You raised the example of Obama in your email. He inherited a severe economic crisis, an unprecedented environmental crisis, a foreign policy mess including several wars, a media that is more corporate-controlled that ever, a filibuster-happy Senate, etc., and you have judged his agenda for change a failure after only nine weeks in office! If it took his entire first term just to get to a point where he could start on that agenda, it would be impressive. I doubt it will take that long.
Obama is a national/international leader now, not a local organizer as he used to be. He takes his responsibilities seriously, and strives to be a great President of a superpower, not a community organizer of a bigger neighborhood. But there are signs that he would encourage and support local initiatives for sustainability. His wife Michelle’s White House garden and her endorsement of locally sourced organic food are symbolic gestures, to be sure. But to me, they are indications of what he believes needs to change. 
While you might happily do away with large public and private institutions, I would not do so, and I assume Obama would not either. It sometimes takes size and power for government to stand up to corporations when they aren’t serving the people’s interest. How easy would it have been for local efforts to force the resignation of the CEO of GM? Obama asked the guy to step down and he is gone. I can’t be sure that this is the first step towards a serious rebalancing of power between government and multinational industry, but I consider it consistent with that shift and I am optimistic that it is the first step.

Hi Larry,

Many thanks for expressing yourself so clearly and forcefully. I owe much to you over a long period of time, as you know yourself, and I’ve learned many things from you over the years. You’re a good and valued friend. Currently, you’re acting as a kind of articulate gadfly here on cyberjournal, and I welcome that contribution. It keeps me from complacency, and I’m sure there are many subscribers who resonate with what you say, and appreciate that you express it with no holds barred.

I recall one conversation back in Xerox days, on a hike, when we were talking about how to manage scrolling and overlapping windows. I didn’t believe it was as difficult as you said it was, and you brought in a metaphor. You said you had already been to the top of the hill, and saw the valley on the other side. You suggested that I should pay more heed to your judgement, as you’d seen what I hadn’t seen. You were right of course, and I’ve always kept that metaphor in mind.

Actually, on that hike, you are the one who brought up, out of the blue, the topic of managing windows. Similarly, permit me to bring up out of the blue the topic of managing a self-governing society. It’s a similarly complex topic, and one I’ve put a lot of study into. I may not have been to the very top of the hill, but I think I’ve gotten a reasonable glimpse of the other side.

In the case of GUI, you copped on very early that only an object-oriented approach could deal with the complexity involved. In the case of a self-governing society, my observation is that only a non-hierarchical approach can avoid the usurpation of power by self-interested cliques. We don’t need centralized government to protect us if we don’t have corporations to exploit us. We need to do away with hierarchy altogether, and the whole notion of power over others.

This is not a radical principle at all if we think of how it operates in other domains, such as the Open Source Movement. Not only is the distributed work coordinated effectively, but the amount of creativity unleashed is awesome. There’s a parallelism at work that is fundamentally more productive than what can happen within a hierarchy like Microsoft. I see here a working model that we can take lessons from, and an existence proof that anarchism works.

As regards Obama, I’m reminded of those trick images, where when you stare at it, it turns into something else entirely, eg, an old lady turns into a young woman. The first psychological set fatigues, and a new set takes over. When you’re seeing the image for the first time, it’s hard to imagine that it could be anything else but what it first seems. All the pieces in the image play a role in both interpretations.

With Obama, people seem to see one of two things, and they are very different. Either he’s the most daring populist President we’ve ever had, playing a deep game with the established forces, or else he’s the greatest con artist we’ve ever had, able to keep us in a trance of hope while he sells out the nation to the international bankers. It’s pretty clear that he’s not somewhere in between; whatever he’s about, he’s intent in his purpose.

The big question before us, I suggest, is to figure out which is the real Obama. I don’t think that we need to wait for a year, or for any particular length of time, to begin looking at that question seriously. Only if you assume for sure that he’s the daring populist, would you need to be waiting for his deep game to pay off. If your mind is open to considering both possibilities, then it makes sense to examine the evidence that is available so far.


From: Harvey Jones
Date: March 30, 2009 5:22:14 AM IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal

I think that there are more and more people who are beginning to realise the problems.  Many are only beginning their learning and tend to strike out at what seems an overwhelming powerlessness.  Others just don’t want to know as the problem is too big for them to handle.
Many of us have been following these concepts and their background for many years.  Your cyberjournal releases and other alternative sites fill in the pieces of the jigsaw, support or alter the current thinking with the new updated information.  The more we learn, the more things look the same at the higher control levels of power.
The Transition Towns concept is growing and picks up on a number of your points but tries to drop the negative aspects of fighting the giant.  It is more of a groundswell which is now starting to grow in the States after its beginnings in the UK and expansion in NZ and other places.  Localisation and resilient communities are the key words of what seems to be a movement in some form or other.  Originally based on peak oil problems there is recognition that the time frame may have to come forward to cope with current economic woes.  Check out some of the sites near you to see how they are going.  It does provide some hope that if the economic system is derailed by intention or otherwise, that there are already schemes being put together to at least have some semblance of a plan in place to carry on with some form of living and a community spirit.
Carry on the good work
brothers in spirit

Hi Harvey,
Thanks for a very well thought-out response. I agree very much with you about the Transition Town movement; that seems to be the leading edge of transformational activism. Actually the first Transition Town was not in the UK, it was in Kinsale, Ireland. My own pet project, which I’ll be bringing up in the new group, is to seek to introduce some new elements into that movement, to make it even more transformational.
In terms of content-agenda, I see local currencies as being very complementary to the movement, essential to the development of a strong local economy. But more important is process…
     … enough process understanding to realize that strong community is sustained by inclusive dialog
I’ve been in discussions with various people involved in the localization movement, in different parts of the world. What seems to happen is that certain kinds of people are attracted to the movement, and others never get involved. You get those who were already environmentally minded, or community minded, or who are into organic agriculture or co-ops, and it’s difficult to expand the constituency much beyond that. You get the early-adopters, not the whole community.
I’ve also been in discussion with various people who are into facilitation and group process. We’ve been exploring how a variation of the Wisdom Council might be a way to introduce a kind of dialog into the community that might be able to expand the constituency, and expand the scope of the movement generally. 
thanks again,

Date: March 30, 2009 10:51:30 AM IST
To: “‘Richard Moore'” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: reflections re/ cyberjournal

  Very useful insights as usual, and I do hope you get a good response to the proposed new group.  Might you consider adding
     • enough historical understanding to realize that our knowledge of the past is based on deliberately created falsehood.
  I’m sorry to keep on about the huge importance of our understanding of what has gone before, but as Orwell said, ‘Who controls the present controls the past, who controls the past controls the future.’
  This, to me,  is of fundamental importance and if much greater efforts are not made to correct it, elite rule will indeed continue unchallenged.  My friends simply cannot grasp the reality of what’s going on today, because they believe the lies about yesterday.
  Kind regards,

Hi Jim,
Yes, history is so important in understanding the present. The image that comes to mind is a detective in a city police force. If he’s been around a while, and a crime occurs, he may be able to recognize the modus operandi of known perps. Clues that seem insignificant on their own become very significant when seen with historical perspective. 
In the case of the bankers, if you’ve been studying the history, you know that they have a little game they’ve played over and over again through the centuries. There’s a clear signature to it — boom, bust, crisis, ‘solution’ — always leading to a greater concentration of wealth and power into the hands of more or less the same few families, generation after generation. 
With that perspective, what is going on right now can be seen with crystal clarity for what it is. Particularly when you take into account the pro-active role taken by the Fed and Wall Street elites in intentionally engineering the bubble-collapse scenarios. And now we see the same crowd getting most of the bailout money while they run the Treasury and determine US economic policy generally. It’s highway robbery, pure and simple.
To the detectives, the case is open and shut. Convincing the jury is another matter, particularly when they’re not sequestered, but are under constant propaganda bombardment from the media that is owned by that same crowd.
As regards adding a point to the ‘minimal understandings’… that was not meant to be a draft manifesto, or to be complete. It was merely an ad hoc filter, aimed at identifying people that that are more or less in synch in their thinking. I’m pleased with the results so far, and I think those who have responded would agree with you about falsified history.

From: “Madeline Bruce” 
Date: March 30, 2009 8:18:28 AM IST
Subject: Re: reflections re/ cyberjournal
Those are intellectual concepts.  I like Shakespeare’s premise:  The truth lies in the individual.  Communication.  What is the process?  One person talking, or writing.  One person listening, or reading, or not.  Just words, if there is no response. And then what is the response to the response?  I like the name of that musical group, The Talking Heads.  Why does one group gel, and another doesn’t?  Why does one group become productive, and another group dispurses?  It is because trust is developed,  and mutual respect is displayed.  In that climate, people begin to care about each other.  Altruism can develop.  – Madeline Bruce, Nanaimo, B.C.

Hi Madeline,

What you say makes sense to me. I’m not looking for people who think like I do, just people who have reached a similar place on the path. I know you would never state those ‘minimal understandings’ the way I did, but do you take exception to the ideas they are trying to express?


From: “Janet Hicks King” 
Date: March 30, 2009 6:06:08 AM IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: reflections re/ cyberjournal

This sounds wise to me. I like your minimal understandings.
Although I don’t quite understand the last one yet, I feel transformation of the world is coming about – and will come about – through the creative envisioning of individual human beings and the realization of their visions…
Thank you,

Hi Janet,

I agree the transformation will emerge out of our creative envisioning. Most of my career I worked in companies where we were ‘inventing the future’, turning our creative visions into reality. Places like Apple and Xerox Research, where the personal computer came from. 

Every new idea did originate with some individual, but the real creative process was a collective activity. We’d have meetings, always with white boards available, and we’d kick ideas around. It was the sparking between different people’s ideas that led to the breakthroughs. And it was the open atmosphere in the corporate culture, mostly free of politics and hierarchy, that enabled the work to get done. The creative people weren’t managed, they were simply given the time and resources they needed to do their work. 

The last item is about action. I’d like to be discussing projects, and perhaps launch some new ones, not just having interesting discussions.
From: david moore 
Date: March 30, 2009 7:12:33 AM IST
To: richard moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FW: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal

nice statement, rich …

Hi bro, nice to hear from you. I’m so glad I sent out that posting! I feel like I’m getting a whole lot of very good energy in response. Your encouragement, as always, is appreciated.

From: Sally Moore
Date: March 30, 2009 9:15:54 AM IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal

Hey Rich,
Ver-r-r-ry Interesting, as they say. Reminds me of when the Bonsai Club here wanted to start another club that was premised on a higher level of knowledge and maturity in Bonsai  lore and accomplishment. Or when you realize that you are beyond bars and discos for dating. Or when you know that you can go beyond the shorebreak and challenge the huge break at Hanalei. You want to meet others that are in the same place or at least close to it. There is the frustration that every tour guide must feel answering the same questions over and over again. It’s a relief to relax with the O’hana and just be able to  discuss the day with people that have a similar background, belief system, and knowledge base.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
Your Sis

Hi Sis,

How nice to hear from you and dave both! And I love your imagery, bordering on the poetic, and making me homesick for Kauai, while being very relevant at the same time. I hope you Anini guys will make it to Ireland soon.


From“Lincoln Justice”
Date: March 31, 2009 6:41:29 AM IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: reflections re/ cyberjournal
[message condensed -rkm]

Your journey and insights shared with us in “Escaping the Matrix” and the cyberjournal have stretched my mind and help me to understand the futility of expecting government — any government to solve for us the major problems of human society.   Your journey parallels mine to some extent, especially the disappointment when government leaders ignored the people’s voice and chose to listen to those with the most money.

  I too am seeking a group of people who share the minimal understanding that you outline and are willing to help build a strong local community.
I am having a lot of fun working with a growing number of people who share the minimal understanding.   It began with a Discovery Group we started in February 2007.  We started exploring subjects that were a little far out for most institutions — topics like paranormal and UFOs.   But we soon shifted our focus to “expanding consciousness and human potential and improving the quality of life.
  Last September 2008 we watched the documentary film “Money as Debt”.   They we wondered what we might do with this information.   One friend, Galen Chadwick began to research the subject and ran across the “Transition Handbook” by Rob Hopkins.   At our next meeting in October we explored how we might start a Transition Movement in Springfield Missouri.  
  On January 3rd we held a Transition ’09 Movement dinner in the tallest building in the city of Springfield with 100 adults and 11 children attending.   We set a goal to create 1000 new vegetable gardens by Earth Day and launch an Alternative Energy Network and involve 100,000 people by Thanksgiving 2009.   The movement is growing so fast that it is hard to keep up with it.   Groups are being formed in communities around Springfield with gardening workshops and plans to start producing alternative energy equipment.
  This is not a political movement and we are not seeking any money or help from the government.    Our understanding is “Our best security in hard times is a Well Fed Neighbor.”
  Tomorrow evening we are showing “The Future of Money” at the Gillioz Theater as a fund raising event.   We are promoting —

Regional Food Security

Right now we do not grow enough food in Southwest Missouri to feed ourselves and our neighbors. If the fragile food supply line was to breakdown, we would experience famine!

Immediate Emergency Action is needed to produce adequate reserves of open-pollinated foods entrusted to the sovereign possession of Missouri’s farmers and consumers.

We are seeking to avoid being associated with any fringe group or idea, but to center on clear community needs that are obvious to everyone.   However, in personal conversations I find that a majority of the active volunteers share almost all of these minimal understandings.   We don’t need to spend time preaching to the choir.

I don’t know how this transition movement will work out, but it is sure a lot of fun working with these people and visualizing the kind of world we want for ourselves and our children to the 7th generation.

Lincoln B. Justice

Hi Lincoln,

Thanks for this very inspiring report. I’m very impressed by what your group has managed to accomplish. How big is your Discovery Group? How do you run your meetings and make decisions? 

I’m looking forward to our ongoing dialog as the new group gets going.


From: RadicalPress 
Date: March 30, 2009 6:00:58 AM IST
To: Richard K Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal

Your first two minimal understandings would need to include serious discussions on political Zionism Richard and from all of your previous arguments I don’t think you’ve arrived at the minimal understanding of that crucial factor to take on what you’re proposing here. Maybe I’m wrong. People do change and evolve and transform.
     Peace bro,
Arthur Topham

Hi Arthur,
Whether or not an analysis of Zionism is needed depends on what you envision as a path toward a solution. Perhaps you can let us know what your path is, and we can see if it looks like a viable one, and understand why Zionism is so relevant. As you can tell from the preceding discussion, the path that beckons to me has to do with localism and the development of vital communities. That path may or may not be viable as a solution, but Zionism doesn’t seem to be particularly relevant to it.
From: Stefan Ladstätter
Date: March 30, 2009 11:30:00 AM IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: reflections re/ cyberjournal

your postings have helped me understand or deepen my understanding of the points you mention, especially the idea about localism (which was new to me), constructive dialogue (instead of psychotherapy), and loss of respect towards the elites.
As much as the idea that the elites govern our lives frightens me, I am at the same time optimistic as I do see that they only have power because we give it to them, and change on a local level can annul this power.
What does “enough understanding of right livelihood to commit to collaborative action in pursuit of transformation” mean? My mind blanked when I read that, so I still must have some kind of inner barrier in place. And reflecting on it I realize that it might be connected to my reluctance to actively participate (rather than just reading and thinking about it all).

Hi Stefan,
Yes, it is connected to such reluctance. As I’ve said earlier, I’m hoping for a collaborative discussion, aimed at doing or encouraging activities that have transformational potential.