Emotional Engagement

It was recently asked by a coordinator: "What kinds of tools, educational platforms, methods of teaching and activities  (aside from  changing our own values and leading by example, and calling attention to and educating about the faults of our society and the dysfunctional humanity that has and continues to be the result of a corrupt by design socioeconomic paradigm) would you suggest that can inspire people to embrace new values?"


I read it a few times and noticed from the way it's phrased that it implies "outside of everything TZM does now", which is a lot!  And left me thinking what does the asker think "enough" is?  And what are the expectations at play that would imply glossing over the dominant social value system and education?  There's too much to skip over when considering communication for me to jump to "what else is there?".  The short (non-answer) in my mind is that there are many kinds of "tools, platforms & methods" that can be utilized. 

I will say there is a grander scheme at play, that TZM is just a part of.  But the larger picture does include global understandings that cross borders, cultures and language barriers. Which the movement IS accomplishing.  The ZMF premier of 2011 is a good example.  Along with the upcoming 2012 Zday events around the world, crossing those boundaries.

A short answer that comes to mind for the above question is this: Emotional engagement.  To elaborate: Peter's films engaged people on an emotional level, which is part of why they've inspired a movement.  Many people can "check-out" at the intellectual expressions (aka educational materials) since many of us never developed much mental capacity past being a "consumer of goods", or a "specialization-blinded professional", or you may have been subjugated to fixed world-views that inhibit new information..  Not on-purpose of course (as the word "lazy" would imply in our culture) but as an outcome of social stratification.  Which now can be measured as a product of the socioeconomic system (or "agreement") that is in place.

Biosocial Pressure is going to play a large role in what happens, and that's outside anyone's control.  When those pressures cross their thresholds of tolerance (and they will) where will people turn?..  To political personalities?, religion? the military? A scientific methodology via a system's approach that acknowledges our connection to the environment, with the intelligent management of our finite resources, minimizing waste and applying efficiency as best as our abilities can produce, to create an access abundance for all the world's people??
Nature won't care what we do.  But as a manifestation of the Social Immune System (which is what the Zeitgeist Movement is) I would suggest this:  Find ways to create that emotional spark in people so they want to "know" the information for themselves.  Just as happened with you.  Perhaps through artistic expression?  Peter's films are an artistic expression.  My townhall presentation on a System's Approach is my version of artistic expression.  A radio interview, a Chapter event, a song, a book, etc..  I think the above question can be put on the list with "What is the meaning of life?"...  Stuart Chase has a useful way of dealing with such questions in the Tyranny of Words...

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Regarding "Reform"

As part of understanding the train-fo-thought the Zeigeist Movement puts forth, there's often a block for people around the idea of "monetary reform".  Many feel this is the avenue to take in order to "fix" the system. 

TZM expresses that 'reform efforts' will do little-to-nothing to halt the continued blockade of increases to the life-ground of human well-being, or stop the waste and pollution of our finite environment, or avoid the displacement of human labor via automation. 

It is the logic of our current socioeconomic system to retard our advacement as human beings and inhibit our ability to solve problems via the methods of scientific unfolding.  It delays or destroys the progress of helpful technology & cures since to have free-abundant clean water, or to eradicate cancer would collapse whole industries.

Our current economic system exacerbates stratification and negative impacts on education, healthcare, pollution (or evironmental integrity), crime, etc...  You can see the lecture on this phenomena: Click Here

These effects are built-in so we don't see it as implicit to the monetary system itself and is why it is often missed.  While this system continues these effects will continue their trends of getting worse overall.  This can be seen in the work of Wilkinson & Pickett pulished in The Spirit Level.

At the end of the day, as long as you have to defend your position in society with monetary gains, everyone collectively loses.

Our focus in TZM is 1. Root-cause understanding of these continued outcomes, 2. Identifying "what matters?" in regards to our ability to thrive and advance, and  3. Impact human-values on a global scale via activism, education and collective actions.  It's observable from statistics that our window-of-opportunity to move towards a sustainable social-model shrinks every year as we past peak of our planetary resources.

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Waiting on No One

My phone rang a few days ago and I enjoyed a conversation with an old friend.  After catching up he asked me "What is the Zeitgeist Movement doing about Occupy Wall Street?”, to which I replied "What are your expectations?"
He offered, "Wouldn't it be a great opportunity for the Movement to engage people in an educational capacity regarding what the problems are and a resource-based economy?"  Of course I agreed with him!!

This brings up a point that I wanted to make with him.  I asked him why he was waiting and expecting this to be done for him? What are YOU waiting for?!?  And why?
Psychological complacency I can now understand as a by-product of the system we live in.  We are so decoupled from the life-ground* that we've been reduced to dropping pocket-change at the checkout of the grocery store, or hoping, or praying to the supernatural, voting for a "leader" to do it, or buying girlscout cookies (even though those peanut butter ones are pretty awesome)..

It is the disposition of "expecting someone else to do it for you" that is, most likely, what makes social movements "not work".  I said to 'wait on no-one' and perhaps go look up a chapter in your area and say 'Hello' (there is one btw, I know the coordinators).  I'm sure they'd love to meet someone articulate on these subjects and able to communicate it to others. I encourage him to just go and do it.  Wait on no "one" to tell you to do it.

Automatons make poor initiators from what I've seen.  Some of the best coordinators I've met are those that do not need to wait on instruction.  Add in being relevant to the subject matter, then you will find; The necessity to transition out of the growth/consumption (aka market) model, move beyond politics and faith-based belief systems, and the need for science, problem-solving and collaboration - is already upon us.  And if necessity is the mother of invention, once you recognize the necessity, wait on no one..
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Efficiency is key

A text message I received recently eloquently stated the need to get out of  "The Black Hole of Other Shit."  Referring to a seemingly endless "to-do list" of projects, creative output (videos/lectures), administrative tasks and emails..  As a creative person and a chapter coordinator, I can empathize with this sentiment...

I have yet to meet anyone with the time-management and productivity skills that exceeds the founder of this movement.  Something I've learned as chapter's grow is that efficiency is as important as being relevant to the information.   Things like consistent web-platform.  Automated updates on information (ie RSS feeds), finding a core team, fielding volunteers for other tasks (ie meeting notes, or video postings, etc..) This all allows for an increase in efficiency as far a things getting done, which allows for more creative time.

The pending chapter sites issue will be a time suck.  The loss of the groupsite platform as a free platform is a technical setback, but like others, will be solved.  Designing a platform that will be similar in function will have the result of being efficient.  Since you don't "build" efficiency, it's an outcome.

Chapters, as organized, are part of increased efficiency.  No one person is "at the top" holding the keys to the educational imperatives. They're out in world, everywhere you go.  The network of sites & groups advocating the same imperatives: ecological sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, systems approach, natural law, reason, environmental influence on behavior, etc.  This creates the "hologram", if you will, of information without people depending on, say, just Peter or just a coordinator for instructions and information.

When I get caught in the Black Hole of Other Shit, it shows up as a bunch of incomplete tasks facing me and tasks not getting done well. This is when I stop and re-evaluate what I "want to do" versus "what I am doing".  And then either postpone or drop tasks, re-prioritize commitments and start again..

This is always something I give thought to.  How to make things more automated with the website, or easy-to-grasp presentations, or productive meetings, etc.. As I come up with workable applications to these questions things become more efficient for me, and hence, I enjoy more creative output.

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"Occupy Wall Street" - Being an Ambassador for a Sane Society

I see a lot of dialogue flying around the internet on these events and I wish to re-emphasize a couple of things for the benefit of all.

The Zeitgeist Movement is not about confronting the system in a head-on us versus them way.  TZM is not a 'left' or 'right' movement. These old labels don't apply except in the minds of those who think in those terms.  And when this happens that person (most-likely) will not understand the Movement. You can observe this at play when such accusations are tossed out, such as “TZM doesn’t do anything” or “When are we going to do something?”

We are not a political movement and do not condone the use of chapters as a vehicle for traditional protest. To allege that TZM needs to engage in such activities is an irresponsible statement, for it is a gross misunderstanding of what the Chapters are and it puts everyone at risk through an association we do NOT want.  For many, after seeing the insanity of the market system a common conclusion one may jump to is to fight it.  Acts of violence, force or angry protest, on the part of the public, will mainly justify the use of more real force by establishment power.  When is the last time you changed someone’s mind, or an institution (i.e Wall Street) through force?  Fortunately, there are alternative courses of action to affect change.

So then what are we doing?  To over-simplify; we are engaged in an unprecedented attempt of global, critical mass in support of a resource-based economic model.  Enough people have to understand the “problems” of the current system as “outcomes” of the current system.  Said another way, it’s what the monetary/market system produces (i.e. stratification, scarcity, waste, corruption, greed, poverty etc.)   We are not looking for people to just get pissed off, feel powerless or robbed, and then run out to “fight the system” or rally for more security and additional laws.  Our goal is for people to see the necessity for a logical, sustainable social model, one that has the carrying capacity of the environment at its core, and applies the best methods of science and technology to the task of peak efficiency, conservation and an access-abundance for the world’s population - unrestricted by monetary economics.

If you are attending any of the Occupy events, please keep this in mind.  Go to observe and inform.  See it as an opportunity to educate people about WHY this is happening and HOW we can accomplish all that is necessary for the world’s population absent money.  In this way, you get to be an Ambassador for a sane society.

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