WikiVanning Mind Dump

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Back to the Longest Night Festival



WikiVanning originated in a van going down to San Diego to the first professional Wiki conference

  • Put stickers on the dashboard with conversation topics
  • Took one and put in special location when wanted to discuss

Beard in a Suit

  • Metaphor for one person who is both engineer and businessman/woman
  • Keith: Cory Doctorow's new book Makers
  • Who are role models? Resources to become an effective beard in a suit?
    • Steve Morris and OTBC ... go to some of the events
    • Sam Deskin ... boss in internship at The Learning Center, engineered charter school, lots of projects going ... Ben could introduce if Brandon is interested

Keith's reticence to take government contracts

  • Connecting with customers/audience/collaborators/participants
  • Money is light ... a sheet of white paper conveys the most light but least information
    • What you really need are patterns that relate to the future of what you are doing
    • Yes you can get money (ex. from SBIR grants) ... have talked about this with John Sechrest ... but do you have the information about what you're actually going to develop?
    • An awful lot of companies are living on SBIRs (grantmanship) ... the companies I'm thinking of that didn't go that way are eBays, Microsofts, Googles, Amazons
  • Another metaphor: Building a lifeform that can survive in the future means it has to be able to find food
    • What you get from SBIR is the ability to suck up to certain kinds of Bureaucrats ... useful but not core ... and not where Keith expects to make his contribution ... "I expect someone else will take care of that space while I'm doing the other work"
    • Eric Schmidt (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Meg Whitman (eBay) are role models for Keith
  • Connection to actually satisfying customers may be lost if we don't have to fight for our money source?
    • Goal: find projects that are "both what we want and what they want"
    • Keith wants to be able to walk to anyone's house and find out what he can do for them that they want and that is related to space
  • Ben: perhaps a mix of risk and security ... rather than starting from scratch funding yourself ... maybe a middle route is best ... I don't know how soul sapping SBIRs might be
    • Satisfying customers
    • Satisfying bureaucrats with money to give

Prisoners ... what inspires them?

  • D'Andre Moore was a true believer in Earthseed, contacted us, now believes in SolSeed
    • There's something that people need and want more than stuff
      • Possible label: "a vital life"
      • Connection to something bigger than yourself
      • Generativity
    • Religion tends to provide or at least promise that
      • But religion tends not to age very well
      • Still, it seems to be the right way to "poke at" this higher level of needs
    • Even people who don't have their basic needs met will often pursue things much higher on Maslow's hierarchy of needs
      • On the other hand, prisoners often have more time to spend not worrying about basic needs than free people
      • But this may be a red herring argument
  • Usually what lands a person in prison is misunderstanding of the potential of the world
    • "Zero or negative sum gaming" as opposed to generating new possibility
    • The "greater movement"/kindred is about respecting everyone's possibilities and potentials, but not to the extent of neglecting to restrain criminal/destructive behavior
  • Brandon envisions a festival where people come together to find others who resonate with their potentials

Optimism and possibility vs. pessimistic cynicism

  • Can focus on negative aspects and "why I don't want to do SolSeed," or on what ex. Keith can gain by being a friend of SolSeed
  • Brandon: an optimist believes in everything, while a cynic believes only in "believing in nothing"
    • Skeptics are better; they can help narrow down the plausible ideas and find the really good ones
    • Brandon says SolSeed doesn't have to succeed, but the work of trying to make it successful is worthy of us


  • Brandon: Book learnin' and intelligence are both different from wisdom
    • Wisdom is based on experience, and allows you to intuitively model "if this happens then that will happen"
    • Wisdom helps us decide where to invest our time and energy
  • Keith: Figuring out your trajectory toward being an old person
    • Some people never learn wisdom or even come close
    • Also, sometimes experiential learning leads you to just doing things that haven't killed you yet, like an unhealthy diet
  • hedgehog and fox ... what is wise for one is not necessarily wise for another

Unused Discussion Topics

  • The power of being okay with what is
  • Inspiration and Opportunity
  • Myths: tools vs genuine imagination
  • What happens if at some point Brandon is no longer able to lead the group?
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