September 9, 2012: Online Work Bee

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  • Check In
  • Weekly Events Logistics
  • Review WWWs
  • Review Agenda
  • Space Elevator Conference
  • Equinox
  • Solstice Finances
  • OnePagePlan
  • Evaluation

Check In

  • Eric ... Sleepy because I went out with friends last night and got home after midnight.
  • Shelley ... I'm OK; "what is the purpose of life?" (plan-free today). I worked in the garden and had a really nice time. Watering the garden after planting brand new plants
  • Brandon ... I read 2312 on Ben's recommendation and enjoyed it. Miserably sick, but feeling better because I took a long nap.
  • Sequoia ... Sequoia worked on building a playground for children out of bamboo and had some help from Mom
  • Ren ... pleastttvffphphph! one sock on and one sock off; just went out in garden and mommy watered him.
  • Ben ... sleepy. Went and saw a good documentary today: To the Arctic.

WWWs from last time

  • Ben ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Ben ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Ben ... call Aidan back ... today
  • Ben ... upload pictures from Space Elevator Conference ... by next call
  • Ben ... send a check to the Sanders ... by next call
  • Brandon ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Brandon ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Brandon ... reach out to A and R ... today
  • Brandon ... create a Meetup event for the equinox ... by next call
  • Shelley ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Shelley ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Shelley ... call the apple orchard (Kiyokawa) re picking ... today
  • Eric ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Eric ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Eric ... two good hours on the book ... by call next
  • Eric ... Call Dekok and AppleHill re picking ... by Wednesday
  • Eric ... Change Solseed-Ottawa meetup to include apple picking ... by next call


  • Ben ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Ben ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Ben ... call Aidan back ... today
  • Ben ... upload pictures from Space Elevator Conference ... by next call
  • Ben ... send a check to the Sanders ... by next call
  • Brandon ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Brandon ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Brandon ... reach out to A and R ... today
  • Brandon ... create a Meetup event for the equinox ... by next call
  • Shelley ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Shelley ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Eric ... follow your topical community protocol for this week ... ongoing
  • Eric ... meditate and keep track of which days ... ongoing
  • Eric ... one good hour on the book ... by call after next

Weekly Events Logistics

Service Saturday Sept 15, 9:00 am PDT ... (Brandon?)
Rotation: Brandon, Eric, Jerry?, Shelley, Ben

Work-Bee Sunday Sept 9, 6:00 pm PDT

In-person service with Vliets: Saturday 10am
Ottawa Seeing Nature Excursion: Saturday Sept 15 1400 EDT (11 am PDT)

Space Elevator Conference

  • Ben's talk was on Monday and was well received because he spoke animatedly and answered questions (including questions about SolSeed and our long term vision) well.
  • The International Space Elevator Consortium has positions open (including wiki and web coordinators)
  • Couple opportunities for launching small satellites (e.g., Planetary Resources is talking about backing others efforts to launch small sats piggy backing on their space telescope launches)
  • Learned from someone at Tethers Unlimited that it is possible to do really useful things with tiny satelites like capture space debris.
  • New contact who was interested enough in SolSeed to call this morning and leave a message ... seems generally very professional and interested in environmental stuff ... on the other hand someone said he lead a shotgun science session on the evidence for UFOs
  • Ended on sour note in debate with Global Warming Skeptic


Saturday September 22nd, 7:49 PM PDT

  • Eric is doing a space-themed dinner in Ottawa
    • Two years ago it involved velcro for "zero-G" and all prepackaged food
    • Autumn is the last season of the year, since "the new Sun is born" at the winter solstice
    • If I incorporate apple picking also, there are two farms in Ottawa where we could do it: AppleHill and Dekok Berry Farm.
  • Shelley proposes a Seeing Nature breakfast in Portland
    • Brandon suggests it should be vegan, maybe a picnic on Mt. Taber
    • Theme: Unbroken thread from us to post-humanity?
    • Invite Aaron from the Seeing Nature Meetups to participate in planning?
    • Picking apples, counting blessings, telling timeless stories
      • Maybe go to Hood River
    • Incorporate some ideas from Eric's cycle ... envisioning the future
    • Brandon, Shelley, Ben, and we'll invite four people from the Portland Meetups

One Page Plan


  • Where do we want to be in 20 yrs? In 10 yrs? In 5 yrs?
  • Read through values, beliefs etc of the OnePagePlan
  • What are the projects that we want to do soon?
  • What are the first 3-4 projects?
  • Consider order and overlap of projects first and ask (how long is it going to take?)

Where do you want us to be in 20 yrs? Ben ... in 20 yrs I want us to have built an institution that perpetuates our goals, (whether it's an ecovillage or a company, etc), particular the unique aspect of being interested in Life both on Earth and in space Eric ... in 20 yrs I would like to have a climate-controlled greenhouse project in the North growing trees that we've bred that are able to withstand really harsh environments, and making money to support itself by growing food for people in the North. The third thing it would be doing is Biosphere 2 type closed-ecosystem-life-support testing. And we would have a network of groups across the continent (maybe around the world) who are inspired by this work and who are supporting it.

  • Shelley ... we should be living in communities, and we should have a really solid spiritual or religious practice that makes it inconceivable to the group that it would ever splinter or fall apart (this is the direction of their whole life) ... the communities could be doing various projects like biospheres, organic gardening, etc, but in any case the work is grounded in a larger spiritual context/vision
  • Brandon ... in 20 yrs I'd like to see a second generation of SolSeed contributors, meaning children of members who joined, who found the practice meaningful and voluntarily continued their involvement as they became adults ... I would like to see the Kindred network being very much aware of itself and having a wide onramp in society, specifically at least 3 strong intentional societies, one of which is SolSeed, and several other fledglings, all of which meet in person once a year for a big celebration, and communicate regularly online and through an exchange program ... these societies would be characterized by people who have shining eyes when they talk about their life's work and who have found the support they need to pursue that life's work

Where do you want us to be in 10 yrs?

  • Eric ... I would like to see us have the network of groups already in place, even if they aren't maybe big enough yet to support the greenhouse project, but they are working toward helping us ... they will be working toward greening their own communities, building ecovillages, building green cities
  • Shelley ... in 10 years there are two nodes of communities that may or may not be living together, but have a shared spiritual practice and shared goals
  • Ben ... Critical mass of people who are ready to start building at least one organized institution, as described in my 20-years statement, whether they are in the same place or not; a lot of them would probably have to be, but virtual technology may allow multi-location groups to be more powerful.
  • Brandon ... what you all said, plus we're strong: we have momentum that we can point to in terms of committed members, religious traditions that give shape and meaning to our lives, and we've collected and are nurturing several other groups as they are building the same for themselves ... we've identified our spiritual ancestors and our past and present teachers, and are deeply plugged into our entire narrative (past, present, and future)

Where do you want us to be in 5 yrs? Ben ... in 5 yrs I would like us to 10 members that are actively working on things, and some degree of people in the relevant topical communities knowing about us ... i.e. we've joined the communities that are working in the general directions we're working. Eric ... in 5 years I would like us to have 50 contributing members and many more members that are on and off taking part in thing. Like Ben said, I'd like us to have made alliances with other groups that have similar goals and I would see them being environmental groups a lot of times (in addition to space groups).

  • Shelley ... One community as described above
  • Brandon ... I'd like us to be almost entirely about practice (digging in the soil, building things, having celebrations etc) rather than ideation (figuring out who we are and where we're going), whatever size we are

Core Values/Beliefs

  • All life is precious. This is the root of our value system. Respecting and cherishing life is the reason for everything we do.
    • More possibilities are good? Life creates an upward spiral of possibility. This is one of the reasons we value life so much.
    • We ALL are precious SolSeed. SolSeed (which contains Gaia) is defined as "the body of all life on Earth," encompassing every human culture and belief system as well as all other species. This is a statement of belief in the Gaia hypothesis, at least as a valid metaphor. This connects particularly to the "Openness/welcoming differences" practice below.
      • Body of All Solar Life, SolSeed/Gaia, and "ecosystem/biosphere" have very different visceral content ... having a name gives it a kind of personhood (with a name, it brings it to life ... not just a corpse)
      • The finger is the body (as it is expressed in that portion of itself), so saying "I am Life itself" is a valid and true way of looking at the world (though not the only one) ... further, there is power in that perspective ... it is a perspective that is inaccessible to most of the world
      • SolSeed is the most precious thing we know?
      • We all belong to the Body of All Solar Life?
      • Consider whether to keep the word "Solar" in the main text or relegate it to a commentary
    • Living and working in community? (We don't do this yet, but it's on our business cards and banner) ... could relate to the more universal ethic through conferences bringing communities together in a network
      • Elucidate with Captain Planet language, "By our powers combined"? God is a metaphor for the immense power of society to do things that its individual members could not.
        • By living and working together in community the SolSeed Movement can achieve more than its individual members could ever achieve. The goal of fulfilling The Destiny is only possible throught this mechanism.
        • By living together in 'community', the species that make up SolSeed can achieve much more than each individual species could achieve on their own. In fact without the diversity of the biosphere, most species (trying to survive alone) would die off.
        • Living in a community of practice, where there is an established practice of carving out time for living according to our aspirations, makes those activities effortless and joyful rather than a slog. If your friends and family and social activities are all in support of your aspirations ... then just hanging out is moving toward your aspirations (your activities naturally support the aspirations) ... there isn't the need to "add them to your life" ... your life already has them built in
    • The Destiny of SolSeed is to take root amongst the stars. To protect the future of life, we must help it grow beyond Earth and even beyond the Solar system, so it can never be wiped out. More importantly, our belief in this audaciously optimistic goal, and in the epic story of a future with life thriving on many worlds, is central to defining the SolSeed Movement.
      • This is the one value that makes us unique among movements whose core value is respect for all life.
      • Stuff about being worthy
        • Steve: We should tread lightly and not use universalizing rhetoric, e.g. "bring terrestrial life to as many worlds as possible," which could lead to running over other biospheres
        • Brandon: Even if there is an increase in wars, hunger, and systemic injustice, life will still be precious
        • Shelley: We should be gentle
        • Brandon: TheDestiny as a term is not necessarily gentle ... it's not a "shy violet" term
      • We're not necessarily the only biosphere expanding out into the galaxy, so worries about us taking over everything may not be required. We won't know until we go and see. But we can't go look without establishing ourselves along the way.
  • Science as the way to know truth. We believe in the scientific worldview, the principle that observing the world is a far better route to knowledge than religious texts and magical thinking. We talk about Gaia, a controversial scientific concept, and about a Destiny that sounds like a prophecy, but we admit that these are stories, not knowledge. We believe in the Destiny as a worthy and inspiring goal and Gaia as a useful and inspiring metaphor, but what we believe to be true (or rather, as close to the truth as we can presently get) is based around mainstream science.
    • We don't try to answer scientific questions through our religion; we accept the answers from science and then base our religion on them
  • Care, Loyalty, Liberty, Authority, Fairness, Sanctity
    • Care is easy: we care about all life
    • Sanctity is easy: pollution, habitat destruction, etc are forms of violation of sanctity
    • Fairness is harder: how do we accept proportionality if it extends to letting people starve if they can't or won't work? are those people not worthy of being cared for?
    • Loyalty (to the SolSeed Movement) is okay as long as we don't have to be in harmful competition with other groups
    • Authority is hard because we (the SolSeed Movement) are a kind of rebel. We are being creative in a realm (religion) that is generally conservative. Oddly, many would assume that we're starting a new religion so the founder can aggrandize himself and have authority over cult followers (as many recent "new religions" have done), but this is the opposite of true. And so we reject authority within SolSeed partly because we don't want to be like that and partly because we hold strong democratic/open-source values.
      • Eric: Imagine a forest spanning different climates, where trees in cloudy, rainy areas could send water to trees in sunny, dry areas and get sugar in return ... the trees could establish a "tyranny"
      • Ben: Environmental regulators, and police and courts enforcing laws that protect people from harm, are authorities that we could respect. May exert authority as long as it's in directions approved by a majority of the citizenry?
      • Brandon: I value having an identity that is more about membership in a group than about me as an individual, and I see "religions controlling people" as a good thing if translated as "helping me control myself," even if not always in ways I would choose on my own
    • Liberty is pretty easy: freedom to follow our religion and others' freedom to follow theirs? Also, science requires freedom from oppressive ideology that tells people certain things can't be true. Also, creativity and making beauty and possibility happen seem to require freedom if you're intelligent (or millions of years of evolutionary time otherwise). On the other hand, we support limiting people's freedom to "desecrate the sanctity of nature" and harm other living beings.


  • Be starfarer now. The goal of spreading life across the Galaxy, or even bringing one other world to life, is still a dream for the future, but that shouldn't stop us from embracing its implications in the present. "Starfarer" is a way of life, not a job description. It involves optimism, openness to audacious possibilities, and cultivating virtues that will serve us well when we carry life to the stars. It also involves presence and mindfulness of the now, because only by taking action in the present can we build the future we seek.
    • Begin the work. Don't let your current understanding block your power. ... (from Seeing Nature)
  • Nurture body, mind and spirit. The virtue of Self-Love leads to the practices of staying healthy, stimulating our minds, and maintaining a fulfilling spiritual practice (daily meditation, weekly services, quarterly celebrations of the changing seasons). If we don't look after ourselves, we will be in no condition to pursue any of our goals.
    • Don't commit to too much for the sake of the future and neglect our present needs ... Eric's metaphor: this is the brake pedal and "Be Starfarer now" is the gas pedal
  • Openness/welcoming differences. To build a community of starfarers with strong ties to other groups that value life, we need to understand that shared values and/or purpose doesn't mean we will all think alike. Because we are all precious SolSeed, we welcome people regardless of these differences. Also, as our scientific worldview requires, we acknowledge that anything we believe could be wrong. We believe in practicing the welcoming of those with different ideas and beliefs with Empathy and respectful discussion and debate.
    • And yet almost everybody who has participated in any SolSeed activity has been white and affluent ... maybe we should think about eventually starting a SolSeed affirmative-action program?
  • Acting upstream. Wisdom says that a small group like ours should not seek large-scale change by a direct route. Instead, we look for small actions that are well-positioned to set off a cascade of larger changes in the future. The "upstream" metaphor comes from Paul Krafel's film The Upward Spiral, in which he describes redirecting tiny rivulets of rainwater so they soak into the soil and promote life, rather than forming fast-flowing streams that cut the land into steep, lifeless gullies.
  • Finish what we start? We haven't lived up to this, and it could become a negative practice (continuing work that we no longer value), but it would help us avoid taking on too many projects with no clear way to persist with all of them.
    • Alternately, Choose things to finish ... don't just let the first item on the list take over if it's not the most valuable thing to work on
  • "Functional" practices
    • Taking notes ... recording what we've done and where we've been
    • Open Space ... self-organized un-conferences
    • Evaluating our pratices ... self-criticism leads to improvement
  • Generosity to members and friends. We help people who want to attend our events, and don't ask for money in return for attendance.
  • Charity and Advocacy. We donate some of our time and money to help people in need and support worthy causes, separate from our work with friends and members.

Purpose/North Star

To bring life to ourselves, each other, our communities, our planet, and even unto the galaxy.


Path 1: Articulate our detailed vision for a SolSeed way of life (book) > Build Movement (Recruit and use practice(e.g. events and services)/good work(e.g. seeing nature excursions) to attract members) > Build Cottage Space/Forest Industries > Grow Villages around Industries Path 2: Articulate our detailed vision for a SolSeed way of life (book) > Adopt and refine practice (build our lives) ... includes building one anchor part of one Village > Recruit second anchor part of that same Village > Repeat Path 3: Skip the book and jump straight to building a movement (Come back to the book when we have more members to keep the movement going while some of us work on the book) > (use path 1 or 2 to build movement) Path 4: We can try to reach the overall goal by gathering the resources we need in any order but some resources will make it easier to get others and some are easier to get first so that defines our path.

Resources Needed

  • People Can be attracted with our current resources through topical community protocols; easier to attract if we have money (advertising), a place (gathering place), achievements that we can point at and say 'join our group and you can help achieve more like that.' We can't really have community without people (at least we can't have more community than we alreay have without more people (unless we move together to achieve a village). People are also easier to get with good works that we can point at (good wor
  • Money
  • Place
  • Achievements
  • Community
  • Good Works
  • Documentation


  • Build a SolSeed village/society
  • Become a player in the space industry
    • Does this go against the value of "acting upstream"? ... not if we go the open-source "space hacking" route
    • In particular, engineering organisms adapted to life beyond Earth?
  • Incorporate the SolSeed Society nonprofit to do or contribute to charitable work
  • Promulgate our ideas through various media
    • Does this include our events that include friends/kindred?
  • Spiritual practice
    • This includes our events for just ourselves

Targets (3 Years)

Year Ending: 12/31/2012

  • Resources: Yearly budget is $1 million.
  • Industry: We are making money from something core to launching life to another world, eventually another star system.
  • Vision: Our vision is clearly articulated in all core media (this website, the Facebook page, books, videos, events, and perhaps a blog and/or other Web presence).

2012 1 Year Goals

  • Media: Finish what we're working on for the big book (possibly as two books/parts) and publish it
  • Outreach: Maintain and develop our topical community protocols all year
  • Spiritual practice: Maintain and develop the spiritual practice (daily practice, weekly services, and big celebrations for the solstices and equinoxes)
  • Village: Core membership all lives in same neighborhood

Draft 2012 3rd Quarter Goals, due 9/30/2012

  • Book
    • Yellow:
      • Brandon ... 6 good hours
      • Ben ... 6.5 good hours (breaks down to .5 hrs/week)
    • Green:
      • Brandon ... 12 good hours
      • Shelley ... editing for 2 good hours
      • Ben ... 13 good hours (breaks down to 1 hr/week)
    • Super Green: Finish a draft of the book and get a hard copy
      • Brandon ... spend at least 1 hr every week of the quarter
      • Shelley ... editing for 4 good hours
      • Ben ... add an image for every chapter
  • One-Page Plan development
    • Yellow ... One page descriptions of the resource needs, outcomes and impact of at least four projects.
    • Green ... All 5s from Shelley, Eric, Ben, and Brandon on a plan that includes at least 20 years in its arc
    • Super Green ... we have a beautiful graphical presentation of the plan suitable for printing and prominently displaying in our living spaces


  • Spiritual Practice
    • Equinox
  • Workbees
  • Topical Communities
    • Space Elevator
    • Religious Method
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