Noise

Signal-to-noise ratio (often abbreviated SNR or S/N) is a measure used in engineering to quantify how much a signal has been corrupted by noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power corrupting the signal.

In less technical terms, signal-to-noise ratio compares the level of a desired signal (such as music) to the level of background noise. The higher the ratio, the less obtrusive the background noise is.

"Signal-to-noise ratio" is sometimes used informally to refer to the ratio of useful information to false or irrelevant data in a conversation or exchange. For example, in online discussion forums and other online communities, off-topic posts and spam are regarded as "noise" that interferes with the "signal" of appropriate discussion.

Thank you Wikipiedia.

The last part of that definition is very relevant to how I see the communication/chapter structure of the movement.  There is a lot of noise out there.  Many beliefs, ideas, dogmas, fears, etc..

I've taken this concept and applied it to the chapters I help coordinate.  Simply put - an official TZM chapter is a place to go that has the highest signal-to-noise ratio about the movement, its tenets and the solutions proposed therein.  We are in a global awareness phase.  So maintaining a minimal noise level is a challenge that coordinators are going to have to deal with on an ongoing basis.

Individuals and orginizations have already started the process of trying to piggy-back on the Movement's momentum in size and it's ability to communicate to members around the world via the chapter structure.  Outside agenda's are projected onto the movement (ie. we should be doing "X" )  or (we are not doing anything).  Those are general starting points for a coming manipulation.

There are literally 1000's of places to go, groups to join and organizations to donate to that are doing their own thing.  As of yet I have found nothing that addresses the root causes of our social, monetary and environmental problems as TZM does, or provide a basis for sustainable human affairs on a global level.  In that I am gaining the ability to stay focused on the information surrounding the tenets of an RBE, the social therapy required to make trasition possible and keep THIS converstaion as "noise-free" as best I can.  If people bring in their outside agendas, attacks, criticism, etc. that's fine.  There is probably already a group, cause or political party in existence for pursing those ideas.  I encourage participation in those other groups based on one's interests.   But as far as an official chapter is concerned, that's not what we are here for which makes it important to keep it separate.  So don't be surprised to hear a NO if we don't fund your intentional community, support your NPO, provide resources for your idea, fight for your causes, or side with your political party.  We're not here for that. 

And it's not personal, it's just that here, it's noise.

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Q&A - the most adventurous part of any screening

Technical failures aside, the most adventurous part of any event I've attended in regards to TZM is a Q&A (Question & Answer session).

I was part of a Q&A this past week after a screening of Zeitgeist Addendum.  It was well attended.  The organizer found himself surprised that the room was just big enough for the crowd that attended.  Which is always a great problem to have!

There were several observations on my part from listening to th questions asked, but first the phenomena that is common to all Q&A's I've seen done or attended myself.

The customary "Does anyone have any questions?" is of course humorous to me in retrospect since we're asking the audience a yes or no question at the start.  But of course raised hands signify the uniquivocal YES. 

Then the phenomena happens: The 'empassioned' need to express everything they know, object to, or believes at the mic

And this is part of every Q&A.  I was annoyed at this outcome at first, since without any moderation it will ruin the experience for everyone. Because once open permission is given by unlimited time for the person to go on and on and on, a Q&A will devolve quickly because the free-for-all starts.  And the degree to which this will happen depends on the number of agitated viewers and how strongly they were triggered by the film.  So moderation of a Q&A is necessary to actually get to a question to answer.  I finally stopped one person that was expressing her feelings in a constant stream of missing punctuation and interjected "What's your question?"  She responded "I don't have one" and the room laughed, thank goodness!  That broke the tension and was the agreement of the audience to move on.

My realization was to re-classified this phenomena as a good problem to have.  And this leads me to my observations of Q&A's in general.

First: I generally hear the same questions from new viewers of Addendum everytime. It comes as no surprise that the reactions and objections follow a few main themes: Transition, "Cannot be done", Conspiracy (ie. NWO), and Ownership/Property

The theme of reactions show up in statements like the Q&A I recently attended:

  • It's impossible, the people who own the means to produce will never do it for free, you're dreaming!
  • I can't see how you would get there (transition) from here, so how would you do it?
  • What about this (other idea I heard about that I like) are you partnered up with them? (thinks TZM is an npo)
  • How can this be done?
  • God will hate you if he exists.
  • What's with all the bells in the movie, is he trying to hypnotise me into believing the film?
  • computers will run our lives! / technology is evil

 

Second:

There were reactions!  It would speak volumes for these films if the audience was bored and had nothing to say and went home after the credits rolled.

But there was a range of reaction in the audience at the end of Addendum.  Some people related very well to the film.  They felt their heads full, and that's because Addendum does pack a lot of stuff in.  I could see how it would overwhelm someone with all the info contained.  But they saw the merit in what Peter said.

  • some people were angry or confronted
  • some people think it's imposssible
  • some were completely excited about the film and solutions proposed
  • some agreed with the problems and solutions but couldn't see how we'd ever get to a different social structure
  • some commented on artistic issues with the film itself (I love this one since it is a way of expressing that they get the film, understand the ideas and that the subject matter is so important, the film should be edited differently to reach more people)

Someone pointed out to me, after the evening was done, the value of the reactions people had.  Because the reactions existed was a sign that these ideas where making people think and confronting their belief systems.  I thought that was very insightful and put me in the mode of viewing objections and reactions as a positive outcome from now on.

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Collaboration

I sat in on a Linguistics Team meeting and heard a great quote  "Collaboration trumps doing everything yourself".  And as we evolve into interdiciplinary teams to solve problems (Systems Theory Approach) the merit of this kind of organization around "how" we do things will become more & more self-evident.

 

As a coordinator this becomes a very useful tool.  Then we don't get burned out doing it all alone, which shows up as being 'at odds' with participation in a social movement!

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Always Changing

Right when I think I might be able to move on to the next project things change.  I really want to get to a place where I can speak personally to each sub chapter coordinator monthly.  I'm not there yet. Free website widgets getting pulled offline, page updates, website security updates, egos, chapters coordinators changing.  It all adds up.

I put together a Coordinator-only meeting last week and it was the most productive meeting we've had.  Concerns, resources and ideas where all shared or created.  Committments established.  Better than I could have hoped for.  It made me wonder if we need the ongoing ZMCA meetings at all?  Maybe still for a little while yet.  But as subchapters develop I can see the regular ZMCA meetings becoming fewer.  For anyone with a "I like TZM meetings" itch to scratch, the US Chapter and International meetings are also public and open for anyone to attend.  They're great to listen in on.

Efficiency is always on my mind.  I really want to focus on the communication and coordination of the subchapters themselves (and more with just the coordinators) so our time is spent more effectively vs having meetings for meeting sake.

 

Cheers.

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Terms

As a coordinator, a whole new set of terms have become part of my vocabulary over the past year. Such as: facilitate, moderate, coordinate, Resource Based Economy, Scarcity, Bio-Social Pressure, and many others.

As far as an education goes it's more than I took on in college.  Jacque's reading list is pretty extensive and the books Peter has mentioned in almost every radio address he's done has added up fast.  The pile grows faster than I get to it.

The new terms are becoming 2nd nature to me now.  I've read them, written them, and have spoken them so much over the past year that it's now normal for me to think in these terms.  Thinking in a new language has certainly changed how I see the world.  I can now see the outcomes of differential advantage and debt and the social stratification that results.  I understand the problem of profit and cyclical consumption and the waste, and the devastation it wreaks on the environment because of the decoupling effect it has on our relationship to the resources necessary for our survival.

I can only imagine what another year will bring.  With the next film coming out in that time I'm sure my book list is going to explode and more new terms come flowing in.

 

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