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Andrius Kulikauskas Self Learners Network. Directory of ways of figuring things out. Chicago Street Artist Blog. Video summary of knowledge of everything. Notes on Gamestorming. Living by Truth working group. Twitter: @selflearners Email: ms @ ms.lt
Edward Cherlin Earth Treasury
Kennedy Owino Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
Ben de Vries
Samwel Kongere Mendenyo
George Christian Jeyaraj
Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
Christine Ax, Steve Bonzak, James Ferguson, Maria Agnese Giraudo, Marcin Jakubowski, Ed Jonas, Rick Nelson, Hannington Onyango, Linas Plankis, Proscoviour Vunyiwa
Andrius helps with the following websites:
We all think, but do we care about thinking? An independent thinker is anybody who returns to their thoughts to develop them further. Even a few such thoughts a day leads to a personal world of thousands of ideas. We hope to bring out the independent thinker in everybody.
Thinkers Wake Us Up!
AndriusKulikauskas: My own passion is knowing everything about life, and doing useful things with that knowledge. A summary of my notes is here. In general, I look for deep questions about life, accumulate subjective answers, and then structure their interpretation.
In particular, I've noticed how conversations often deadlock. Academic philosophy is notorious for this. For example, you'll have two sides, one that argues for "free will", and another that argues for "fate". And you'll find this at the bottom of very sophisticated discussion, under many layers of sophistication, it can boil down to just these attitudes. But the fact is that we can't get rid of either one of these concepts. So why would we try to argue it away? Instead, my experience is that they indicate a structure within the mind, a division of everything into two parts: one perspective where opposites coexist, and one perspective where everything is the same. This kind of dual perspective is very important whenever we take up the issue of existence: to say that a chair exists, we have to 1) be able to raise the question, consider that it may or may not 2) be able to conclude, that it does if it does, (or does not if it does not).
So I noticed that these deadlocked conversations reveal fundamental structures within the mind. For example, there is a division of everything into three perspectives (taking a stand, following through, reflecting) that the issue of "participation" depends on, is defined by. There is a division of everything into four perspectives (whether? what? how? why?) that the issue of "knowledge" depends on. Over twenty years I've catalogued a large part of the structures of life.
However, a tremendous amount of energy is used to try to argue away one or more perspectives within such a structure. It's a crazy thing to do, and my conclusion is that people do it because they don't want to have anything better to do. That's why I keep looking for people who want to get things done (or I focus my energies with them on that). I think that's the point at which we people gain that extra awareness that lets us say: why are we arguing to eliminate points of view? Why not acknowledge the ones that are real, and do something with the very real structure that we've documented. Also, this lets us separate the real from the contrived, because if we're not getting anything done then it's possible to claim all kinds of absurd, contrived things. But they fall away when we try to get something done.
In my life, I've seen enormous amounts of completely thoughtless conversation which may seem very smart but simply reenforces the social world that we live in, doesn't open us up for genuine conversation. And in my personal life I've managed to avoid that and stick with very intense conversation that keeps looking to build on what we have. And I've found that there's some kind of merit to that, people do find that attractive, though a lot to swallow. I think of Jesus Christ that way, he was intense.
Also, I think that a healthy social space depends on having individuals who are stronger than it, otherwise everything degenerates, we end up with a weird kind of speaking which is what we have in the corporate world, that doesn't look for the truth, doesn't start with the truth, and often looks away from the truth.
If you look at my notes, http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html then you'll see that this is the kind of murky but deep thinking that comes from an independent thinker, somebody like Socrates or Kant or Christ. It doesn't happen through a group, although of course it helps to have a lot of interaction. There is no acknowledgement or support for working from scratch. It's not the kind of thing that anybody can reward. But this is how revolutionary progress is made, or at least it's the way that I want to live my life. So the purpose of the lab, http://www.ms.lt , is to serve such independent thinkers. And they need tools for thinking simply for working by themselves.
Change comes from a minority, and a minority starts with one person. The corporate world, and the vendors for it, don't like to think about this. I think it's the truth, though, and one more instance where the world sets itself up to overlook things.
However, in order to do something practical, in order to have social impact, and in order to think about one's own ideas more clearly, it becomes crucial to establish a social workspace, a cultural framework, especially to have social impact. The truths of life are bigger than any single mind can hold at one time, so that's also an important reason to extend our mental workspace into a social space.
So a lot of work needs to be done to awaken other people that we might all work to keep heightening our awareness. And also, conversely, great ideas need to be made ever more relevant, engaging more people, so that's always a challenge. But I think the deeply meaningful thinking involves this kind of persistent deliberateness, commitment and this search for other independent thinkers who have also come to such existential conclusions.
I think we live mostly asleep, most of the time, and we don't like to admit this. We choose death over life, we tune ourselves out. We don't want to live on the edge, on the cusp, flexible - giving away everything we have, turning the other cheek, engaging and loving our enemy. We don't want to be wakened, or told that we're asleep.
SteveBonzak, July 22, 2001: Andrius- I am sorry it took me so long to read this post. I have to say it reveals some of the most clear "meta"-thinking about your philosophy and mission in the lab that I ever seen you put down in one place or in one continuous statement (and you and I have talked a lot over the years). I hope this statement in some modified form makes it to a prominent place on the website and into the conversations you have with people when they scratch their heads and wonder at what you and the rest of minciu sodas are up to. Needless to say, I liked this very much.
This is layer 1 of the PatternLanguage for independent thinkers.
1) Independent thinker.
We have a lot of experience supporting independent thinkers at our Minciu Sodas laboratory and the OpenLeader network. When I consider the One Village mandala (six aspects that their unity centers bring together: economy, culture, education, wellness, governance, ecology) I think that "economy" is the one that has mattered most for our work at this level (or perhaps it has for me personally in relation to the non-independent-thinking world). I suppose that an "independent thinker" needs to be "independently wealthy", even if they are quite poor and live day-to-day and with help from others. We also need to be able to "give everything away". This is important so that we can truly think freely despite the anxieties of wealth and poverty.
I look forward to working with our investigators so that we are bold in openly clarifying our personal core concepts. I hope with your help to develop such a program of open learning. I also look forward to growing and leveraging our Open Leader network in ways that support our many efforts.
We will develop ways to acknowledge our independent thinkers so that we can harness our network on their behalf. We will also develop our team-building services so that those who "give everything away" are able to find "part-time-work-on-tap" so they can meet their needs as they develop their projects.
SteveBosserman, September 18, 2007
The issues raised by Surya and the rationale for why those issues exist offered by Sasha are gaining in recognition with every passing day. Of course, the real problem is one of how to address them. It is this nagging question of what to do differently that keeps many people in a preferred state of ignorance. If they do act, it is to donate money to highly visible initiatives led by well-known personalities in the misguided belief that because of the personality leading the campaign, the outcome must be good. Many remain disengaged from the political process and pass responsibility for appropriate governance to politicians whose legislative acts allocate funds to programs that knowingly don't work. We know what happens with these three--status quo.
And, of course, we know the "answer": become informed, think independently, know what is truly important in one's life, act on that knowledge within the context of the village where one lives, work openly, share one's learning and experience in a global network of peers and associates, apply learning gained elsewhere in one's local circumstances as it makes sense to do so, and encourage the development of educational and training forums online and onsite whereby "survive and thrive" skills can be quickly exchanged, adopted, and adapted. That is the purpose of Mincui Sodas, Global Villages, Social Agriculture, and other forums--to live the answer as one sees it and invite others to find their answers rather than resigning to or accepting the status quo as immutable. It comes down to simply getting on with it however one can from wherever one is and know that there are thousands, if not millions, who share the same principles.