Don't invest many people's lifes and much money by fighting war against terror. The war Iraq war caused 4500 US soldiers and ten thousands of Iraqi to die, and did cost 480 billion USD. That's wastefulness. And in addition, personal rights of of the people have been sacrificed to a state that assumes that general surveillance would be a good anti-terror measure.

Instead, build up special forces like the Israeli Sajeret Matkal. They'd operate behind foreign lines and in secrecy. They'd arrest commanders of terror groups, execute strikes to hinder assassinations and hijacking etc..

They'd also operate on foreign ground. There should be a UN agreement that allows such forces to mutually operate on foreign ground, if necessary.Even better: a UN anti-terror organization, made from professional soldiers that are contributed by the member nations according to their population and financial means.

Start date: 2009-01-10
Post date: 2009-01-19
Version date: 2009-10-19 (for last meaningful change)

If I’ve learned something from the current financial crisis, then it is that big systems may result in big disasters. So durability in times of crisis needs small, flexible systems with a good degree of autarky. If this is the case, recession should not really harm anybody: in Germany, the GDP may drop in 2009 by 0,5%, and with full flexibility of the economic system that should result in a 0,5% drop of income for everybody. Which does not harm. Now of course we don’t have such a flexible system, I cannot change it into one, and the unflexibility will result in a good amount of unemployedness. And we will have to deal with that: feeding unemployed people increases the drop of income well beyond that 0,5%, even in a fully flexible economy.

But, here’s a somewhat crazy idea how to deal with unemployed people immediately. Probably that idea is too crazy to try it out, but perhaps it’s crazy enough to inspire somebody for something more practical.

Here’s the idea: we need technology and ingenious organization to jump-start companies as “flash companies”: collect unemployed people on the street in any place of the world, give a smartphone to each of them, and press “start”. The system starts to coordinate, build task forces, analyse competence, educate etc.. If there’s enough money generated to keep the system running, it’s all ok. Slowly growing companies are not what we need in times of recession. After large companies went out of business and there are millions unemployed, we need rapid reconfiguration.

Such flash companies can build on the vast excess of material that’s available in people’s private households (at least in industrial nations). This is waste of resources and therefore a reason for recession (how can we argue that unnecessary buys would improve the economy, while it harms companies?).

Salary should be paid on a daily basis, to act as a motivation. The only precondition is that the employee did what he / she was told to do via the smartphone. Even better and more practical than paying salary is to give people what they need: food, medical treatment, places to rest. Whenever they need it (telling via the smartphone). Of course, people in industrial nations would want more, wherefore this kind of company mightnot work there (or it might, if people are allowed to enter personal wishes in specified amounts, like, “I want my bathroom renovated.”).

These flash companies should be organized as grassroots movements, without explicit organization structure, and with the software based coordination guaranteeing that no such explicit organization (and with it, exploitation of power) can arise.

The smartphone app should display realtime statistics about the flash companies daily income, in parallel to Wikipedia’s donation target.

The idea is that everybody has a bunch of contacts, competences and capabilities. And that just combining these can instantly lead to synergistic effects that are strong enough to uphold a company, earning money for every participant (it is not even necessary to select which people to add to the company, just to sort evil people out or to educate them). For example, somebody will know a possibility for a paid job, and others will contribute necessary competence and material. Precondition is extreme flexibility (working with other people every day, being called in the middle of the night by the smartphone etc.).

It is argued here that most companies don’t flourish because of bad leadership: wherefore the flash companies are led by software, which is far more consequent (i.e. forcing people to anonymously criticize each other).

This idea is one of a series of ideas that I posted to Google’s Project 10100 (it’s just before their deadline now, so I need to hurry up somewhat …). The other ideas were the psycho hygiene system and Natural Scientific Theology. In this project, Google collects ideas and will honor the five ideas that help the most people by sponsoring their realization with 2 million USD each. You’ll notice that this idea is a derivative of my community concepts … I think that’s adequate because the style of community I intend is also meant to help a lot of people while starting with very little starting capital.

Now, I’m jus’ going to copy the answers to Google’s central questions for idea proposals here.

10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)

One powerful, self-sustained 10-people community can help the world by founding a social company, and similar communities by divide-and-multiply.

11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)

It’s sad that one day of an industrial nation does not really help the world, though it encompasses hundreds of millions of man-days. That’s because nearly every resource is used up for private lives, to gain “fun” and “meaning”. But these can be by-effects of helping the world to live. Therefore, here’s how to make helping the world an interesting and rewarding experience (and hopefully a mass phenomenon). It’s all about carefully orchestrating an environment where it’s fun and rewarding (flow-state like) to serve the world in. This needs:

  • Social integration. Therefore we propose founding organizations that are small enough to consist of just friends (10 people).
  • Synergy. It’s fun to be part of a team and see the synergistic effects of team work. Therefore, helping the world “alone” makes no sense. A synergistic group is needed, here 10 people, carefully selected and orchestrated
    personalities, with appropriate technologies, to be as effective as possible.
  • The feeling of really making a difference. Therefore, the organization must be small (10 people) and flexible enough to not waste the manpower to just steer it.
  • Time to rest. Helping the world is no fun if it causes burnouts. Therefore, the group must be able to provide a family atmosphere of rest.
  • Scaleablility. The success of the service must grow linearly with the group’s size, as it’s too frustrating for humans to see it grow slower. Therefore, the whole is modularized into 10-people communities, and every one can see it’s own success in service grow. Which helps to not be frustrated about a possibly slowly growing total number of communities.

12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

Current ideas to help the world on its way suffer not from their quality, but from poor organizational structure, which makes funding philantropic activities the most difficult part of them. NPOs are commonly either central, government funded ones (which cannot do their work in countries with poor governments, and suffer greatly when the government must cut its expenses) or small ones, funded from a circle of private supporters (these cannot grow as private funding cannot grow fast). As the alternative, a type of organization is proposed here which: (1) needs no external funding, (2) grows by divide-and-multiply, so that there is redundancy that makes the project survive even if some 10-people communities decay.

13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

The people benefited by this idea are foremost the employees of the companies that the communities will found, each around 1000 employees. They will be able to lead a self-sustained life, and will profit form the internal education system in the company, which fosters higher life quality. Additionally, as these companies are social, a lot of people will benefit from the products of these companies. The kind of product is limited by the requirement that the company must make profit to nourish the founding community and its employees, but possibilities (here, in development countries) include: micro-credits, construction of public infrastructure like bridges and streets, teacher seminary, elementary school / high school, university, water processing unit, hospital, private security service (esp. for areas with corrupt policemen).

14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

The first of these power communities needs to be created (it will multiply itself after that). It’s mainly about defining the intended “social system” to be created (after some research what would provide the “fun and meaning in serving” experience) and carefully selecting the 10 desired people to implement it, giving them the technology they desire (and some money), and let them start to do their job of serving the world. Their first steps as a community will probably be internal communication trainings, decision structure negotiation, getting money for their running expenses, finding the idea for the social company to found, then founding it.

15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)

The optimal outcome is if the first community finally results in a mass movement, by the divide-and-multiply principle, so that finally several hundreds of millions of people benefit either from the products of the social companies, being an employee of these companies, or even being a community member. This outcome might need some hundred years to develop.

Indicators to measure the current result are: number of communities, number of community companys, number of employees. This should bear some correlation to the effects on the human development indices of the impacted societies, which are too difficult to measure themselves. Indicators to measure the progress are the speed by which the before mentioned numbers change.

Start date: 2008-10-19
Post date: 2008-10-19
Version date: 2008-10-19 (for last meaningful change)

The financial crisis, its concrete and deeper causes

The financial markets are currently in an uproar, and independently of if and how these problems will be solved, we should ask what their deeper cause is, and how to protect economy from that. First, regarding the concrete causes, I found the following material to be a good introduction:

Now regarding the deeper causes of the crisis, there are way less people who at least think about that, and way less articles to read about that. I found two ones that seem to be recommendable:

  • “Der Kapitalismus ist zum Spielcasino verkommen”, Spiegel Online, 2008-10-09. An interview with Muhammad Yunus, who got the 2006 Nobel Peace Price together with his Grameen Bank for micro credits as development aid in rural regions of Bangla Desh. He suggests that businessmen turn away from earning money for its own purpose and out of pure profit-maximizing greed, and instead use it for social purposes as a “social company”. His Gremeen Bank seems to be the paradigm he has in mind. The “social company” as a company that helps people and earns money at the same time is, in his eyes, preferrable to “blindly giving” philantropy, because the invested money is not just used up, instead it is “help for self help”, it is used as a catalysator for own economic activity. He says that Adam Smith’s theory of the “invisible hand” (self-regulation of the market) is invalid, and that the current financial crisis shows just that (it’s a “crass market malfunction”).
  • Jürgen Werner: Die wahren Hintergründe der Finanzkrise, WirtschaftsWoche, 2008-10-12. The German philosopher Jürgen Werner thinks that short-visioned desire for more efficiency (in my words: greed for money) is the foe of long-term efficiency, which is provided at best by mutual trust and correct behavior towards each other.

The problem financial markets and the real economy

A financial crisis in itself would not be that bad, but it can have immense effects on the real economy and on politics. During the Great Depression (1929 and onwards), people in the USA even became fugitives, and in Germany it led to the rise of the NSDAP and the Third Reich. The financial crisis of 2007/2008 starts to have effects on the real economy, also (BMW announced that it lost 14% of new car sells in 2008-09).

It definitely feels uncomfortable to be part of an economy that you cannot steer, being doomed to share its fate, be it success, depression or chaos. This has to be avoided, definitely. The fate of a human being should not depend on the fate of his society. So how to achieve that?

Theoretical basics: indirection, complex systems, modularity, centralization …

Here are some basic perceptions of mine (though not formally verified by studies) that I will use later to build my own flavor of economic system on:

  • Money is an indirection: it’s a substitute for material value. As any indirection, it is more flexible (easier to transfer, easier to divide, can be saved up). And as any indirection, it comes with its own rules: it can be traded, exchanged between currencies, it can be creates out of nothing (fiat money), it can lose its worth independent of the underlying material worth, it depends on trust (as the money material is worth nothing), it enables “market rules” as an indirection of money trading, and “market trend” as an indirection of market rules, again with it’s own rules set. All these rules differ widely from the rules applyable to material goods, and as every set of rules, they come with their own set of problems. The current financial crisis shows that we don’t know the rules and how to use them correctly. Therefore, we should search for a more robust economic system.
  • A complex system is one that uses its own result as input (feedback principle). Good architectural guidelines for complex systems are set up by agile system architecture. The best work on this that’s available online is: Dove, Rick K.: Design Principles for Highly Adaptable Business Systems, With Tangible Manufacturing Examples. In: Maynard’s Industrial Engineering Handbook. Ed.: Zandin, Kjell B.; Maynard, Harold B.. 5. edition. New York, NY, USA; et al.. 2001. pp. 9.3-9.26. Here, systems are made up of “self-contained units”, with “plug compatibility”, “facilitated re-use”, “non-herarchical interaction”, “flexible capacity”, “unit redundancy” and “evolving standards”. These principlses seem to be a perfect basic idea for an efficient economic system (even more efficient than current high-tech financial management), and as stable (through reconfigureability, multi-redundancy etc.) that it is, as a worldwide system, undestroyable.
  • As to the morals. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” might have been present in the past, but it vanished into thin air (or worse) nowadays. Why? In my opinion, because, less decisions are based upon personal values (desire for quality, desire to do something for the money you get, desire to spend money only on what you can afford etc.), and more decisons on pure greed. There seems to be a critical threshold of value-based decisions, below which the economy starts to malfunction.
  • Centralization is immensely positive for the development of efficiency, but for robust economies and societies, centralization is negative. Because, where there is only one or a few large things of one type, a defective one will have dramatical effects on the whole society. Therefore, for the sake of world’s stability and on the cost of technical efficiency, I suggest to decentralize everything, from power supply to state laws. By using the agile deisgn principles, the loss of efficiency can be minimized, so that it is bearable even for a technology freak like I am.

Practical proposal: community-based world economy

The following proposal may seem somewhat strange, but propose to me a less strange one that is both capable of being a personal and world-wide alternative to the current greed-based economy (which we call still “market economy”). A central thought is, that in modern Western societies, the “social net” has only very small and very large meshes (the family and the society), and that’s a fault. But let’s see:

The proposed economic system consists of modularized modules (in five layers), each with a special task and the promise of solidarity (in level-specific areas) to its members. Solidarity decreases in intensity from smallest to greatest level, but increases in extensity (that is, higher levels are for the rare, really bad cases in life, while the everyday cases need higher personal commitment of time). Economically, the modules of each level are autarchic, and the degree of autarchy increases from smallest to highest level, while a level of autarchy sufficient for survival shall be available from level 3 on (i.e. groups of 1000 people).

The levels are:

  1. the individuum
  2. the community (10 individuums)
  3. the thousand (100 communities, resp. 1000 individuums)
  4. the million (1000 thousands)
  5. the world community (6000 millions, i.e. all people of the world)

Each module (i.e. each group in the size as described by a level) is able to select its members. For example, a thousand may decide that it wants to include (or educate) two physicians, but no more theologicans. By applying such careful orchestration, te groups become organisms, not just societies which are cobbled together by some laws. And, most importantly: through their autarchy, groups (from the “thousand” size on) can live on themselves, including education and medical care. To do so efficiently, all information must be free by default, shared between all the groups (by using the Internet). Because, if you have all the CAD data on the net, manufacturing your own products is possible in a community of 1000 in an efficient way; and where it is not, the following is possible without sacrificing autarchy: every group uses 10% of its time for a group specific special service or special product, wherewhich it serves other groups. This can be applied to all levels, and resembles the “community service” principle in African societies.

If this proposal is used to create a “personal economy system” as a working alternative to the fragile global economy system, I suppose to found a powerful community of 10 friends, and with them, the “thousand” community. As goods and services are exchanged within the community without any need for money, in direct exchance or with an internal registration system, this “thousand” community is functional right from the start, even when it would consist of unemployed people only.

And of course, as there is only direct marketing of goods and services, and as larger enterprises are enabled through the collection of people as a community instead of the colloection of capital, no financial market with all its drawbacks will be available in this new economic system … .

A jailhouse is probably one of the worst places to be, as an inmate, and one of the least positive places, for the society. The more interesting is an example of what can be made out of such a calamity. Here’s a documentary video of Mr. Garcia, manager of the CPDRC prison in the Philippines, and what he made out of his prison.

Just wanted to share this as a motivating example of an ingenious idea what can be done for society even if the starting situation is one of the worst possible ones. I’d like to see such ideas in more men of this world, in men of our country, and in me 🙂

If you liked to watch the dancing prisoners in the clip above, here are all the videos from Mr. Garcias official YouTube account.

In addition to my recent article on Amy
resp. her YouTube videos on “emo”
I wondered how an authentic life
with Jesus could be made known to people like the emos, in a way that
would make them take Jesus seriously. Invitations to any Christian
events are useless if there is not already a personal connection. So
what? Here’s a radically different approach to try out. It is an idea
that’s enabled by the rise of the Internet, esp. web 2.0 social
platforms like YouTube.

The basic idea is: come into individual people’s life without any
invitation. Help them where they need help, and call them to Christ.

The practical approach would be kind of the following, and I am
currently inclinded to try that out once my
expedition mobile
is ready:

  1. Get a community of ~4 authentic Christians who are able to deal
    with conflicts quite well, have good social skills and have sympathy
    for every other kind of freaky people.
  2. Get a community truck, e.g. the expedtion mobile I mentioned.
    This will be the permanent living place of the community.
  3. Search and select interesting, freaky people on web 2.0 platforms
    like YouTube. They should be selected if the community judged that they
    might accept Jesus if they just get to know him really and experience
    that he’s truly God and saviour.
  4. Contact these people and await their invitation to meet in
    person. For example, send links to video clips to them with a stylish
    self introduction of this freaky, nomadic community. This steps might
    also be left out … .
  5. Meet in person. Therefore, visit them with the community truck.
    Stay some days with them, placing the truck near the place where they
  6. Invite them to travel with the community for some time. This will
    give good opportunity to introduce Jesus to them in a way that they are
    able to take seriously.
  7. If they finally want to know Jesus personally as their saviour
    and stay with the community, that’s fine. Perhaps they stay for 3
    years, which is a fine time for character education and transformation
    (also called sanctification). Then they start perhaps their own
    invitational transformational community, and the network grows 😉

Does anybody note the similarity to the way Jesus called his
disciples? They were called and had the chance to come at that very
point of time in their life – that’s different from the “permanent but
shy invitation to Jesus” nowadays, that does nothing but get on
people’s nerves. Also note that Jesus started his worldwide kingdom
with 12 (well, 11) well-educated disciples, not with a multitude of
non-transformed churchgoers who had nothing but heard about Jesus.

Start date: 2008-05-25
Post date: 2008-05-25
Version date: 2008-05-25 (for last meaningful change)

That’s, live an alternative. Let’s critically rethink the way we perceive and live life. I will list alternatives with equal costs, i.e. between one can choose.

Dwelling. My dwelling currently consists of a small room (14m² incl. bathroom) in a multi-party house on the border of a midsize town. I might just as well join an intentional community (large size and urban as JPUSA, or small size and rural as Baba’s White Stone / Mount of Oakes). Or I might move to a 4×4 truck motorhome. Or found a mobile community with a 4×4 truck motorhome. Or drive the world for 40+ years by bike like Heinz Stucke. Or live for 150 EUR/month in Manila, like a brother of mine. Or travel without possessions for three years, like Jesus.

Working. I might do some programming, web design and IT admin stuff like I do now. But I might just as well become a philosopher, a researcher in parapsychology and / or a historian who specializes in contemporary divine miracles.

Community. I might be content with community as “people coming together in one place, engaging in some common activity”. Or I might search for community as “unity in activities, goods and responsibilities and purposes, covering a good part of one’s life”.

Meals. I might live from bread alone (ok, and water). Not that I do, but sometimes it gets near to that ’cause the inefficient one-person buy-cook-eat process sucks. I might just as well join with neighbors and / or other people to prepare the meals together. Canteen food is no alternative, I think. And restaurants are no alternatives (monetarily).

Job. I might go to work, or just as well work self-emplyed, even when on the road.

Faith. I might have, or just as well not accept a usual mediocre level of Christian community and practical life and search for a hundredfold of this.

Miracles. I might just be annoyed by the people who use God’s name for their counterfeit miracles, or search the real ones.

Start date: 2008-02-10
Post date: 2008-02-11
Version date: 2008-02-11 (for last meaningful change)