Networking 2019

The Alberta election is over.

During the election, Zain Velji asked us to be the “Campaign Manager” of our own social media.  I was going to write a blog post asking for more from people, but it kinda wasn’t really the time to revive a blog I haven’t used for over a year.

But now I am asking for more.  I have to face that this is my passion.

I’ve already posted in a couple facebook groups, and I’m scheduled to meet some people over the next few days, and I hope I can get more and more going.

Here’s one thing I posted to Alberta’s NDP Members Hub:

I don’t want to leave the future to chance. We can’t expect better outcomes if we stay the same, and just “wing it” with whatever we’ve got.

I want to build values-based community, with fundamental values that can unify people. Build structure and sustainable social networks that are valuable in every way possible to the members. Building skill, gaining knowledge and resources. Contending with the deeper reasons for this defeat, and even reaching for more than electoral victory.

And the first step is to connect directly with individuals who are interested. Let me know what you think.

Dream Humanism Goals

Here’s some of the things I’d like to work on bringing to my local area.  Also, I might start a Facebook Group for that soon.  For now I guess this is a rough copy, perhaps I will edit it later with more detail etc.

Better People

Making people more reasonable:

  • Improving people’s thinking skills
  • Perhaps popularizing Carrier’s “think something through every day” method, could compare it to the much more popular practice of regular physical exercise
  • Spreading Humanistic ideology
  • thus preventing bad political parties from even standing a chance, among other things

Better Democracy, Organization, and Community

Better Living Conditions

Make lives more free from economic worries, bad jobs, etc.

Epic Humanism For Calgary

My mind is starting to frequently wander into dreamer territory again.  So I might as well write it all down!

Keep in mind these are daydreams that aren’t yet totally well informed (especially the more extravagant parts).  As such they are filed into a subset of my “Art” category.

So I’ve been thinking that I really want to focus on improving my local city.  There’s a lot of reasons for that.  It’s an important city in the world, it’s where I live and thus have the most access to and influence over, I suspect it would be easier and more effective than focusing on a wider area, and if my efforts are successful, people should be able to copy them into a different city, like a sort of movement.

I’m really annoyed that the people who should already be doing this are not doing it.  The University of Calgary Freethinkers and CFI Calgary don’t seem to care much about issues in Calgary or Alberta.  Why the hell isn’t the local Freethinkers club dedicated to thinking through local problems?  I scroll through their twitter and don’t see anything that identifies them as Albertan or Calgarian or Canadian except for the name.  It’s all a bunch of talk about Trump and ISIS and Gamergate, all this really far away stuff.  They are totally generic.  What is the point of their existence?  Everyone can follow Pharyngula and get all of that stuff already.

While trying to find more like-minded people, I recently found Resolve, which is a thing in Calgary that aims to eliminate homelessness completely.  It takes donations from rich people and makes affordable housing for poorer people, and I’m sure that helps a lot but I don’t think it’s complete enough.  I think completely eliminating homelessness would require an economically self-sustaining system (which means requiring basically no charity at all once it gets started.  This could involve worker owned businesses,  an organized community, and might require lots of other stuff).  Still, I’d like to learn more about them and get involved with them.

Also Calgary as a whole needs an infusion of critical thinking skills, Humanist values, and stuff like that (this is another bare-minimum thing you’d think the local Humanist groups should be doing.  The U of C freethinkers twitter could maybe be categorized as a small dose of this, but I don’t see any effort directed to change Calgarians, they’re lucky if any locals outside their bubble even know they exist).  Instead of just trying to be the “most affordable” city in the world or the “nicest place to live” in the world, how about we try to be the wisest place in the world?  And the most well organized, socially connected, and civically engaged?


Collection of ideas for improving Democracy.

(Feel free to offer feedback or suggest more!)

My list of ideas so far, that I’ve either been told about or dreamed up:

  • Enable voting for more than one option, so that votes are not split between two similar positions, but can be given to both.
  • Vote only for individual laws (and policies?), never for people.
    • If some people think this is too much work, then perhaps they could choose (yes, choose, not vote for) a representative (which could be an individual or a group) who will vote for them.  This representative’s vote would count for as many people as they represent.
  • Proportional Representation, so that everyone’s vote counts regardless of who their neighbors vote for.  I think the NDP in Canada are currently pushing for this ^^
  • Draw one (or a small odd number, like 13) ballots from all ballots cast.  Use this draw to pick a winner.  I forget what benefits this was supposed to have, but it gives close ties a more even chance of winning.  Voter supression, and other methods of manipulating close ties, would be less effective.  Over time, all closely tied parties would have won about an equal number of times.

Thinking about various efforts, and their weaknesses:

  • Reason Rally type things:  clubs for self designated like minded people.  Largely defined by unpopular views, does not appeal to common people or outsiders.
  • the local “Secular” Church:  imitates Christian churches in form and terminology.  Weird group creed recitations.

What I’d like to see (or, failing that:  do) is a group that welcomes the masses to rational discourse, without pre-emptively proclaiming my views to be the only rational ones.  Something appealing enough for a wide variety of people to mingle and learn from each other.  I want it to function in a productive way, to actually make the population more reasonable over time, through direct participation.

This was written in a hurry, and I won’t be defending my accusatory impression of Reason Rally.  RR was probably good for rallying a certain in-group, but probably not good for creating the lasting, and well rooted change I want.  Especially since I want people of (nearly) all views to feel welcome in the intellectual dialogue.

There is merit to people gathering with like-minded people.  But I want to see my local community center hosting intellectual discussion nights that anyone is welcome to.  Something like that.  And a wide variety of “intellectual” topics, relevant to the people of the community, parenting would probably be an important topic, for instance.

That’s all I can think of to write for now, but this is something I think I’ll write more about, and research more.

The project adopts a social media structure that invites users, upon entering the site, to summarise their vision for changing the world. The site then instantly displays a range of suggested “action platforms”- similar visions already instigated by other users- which are conveniently broken down into “micro-actions”- 132-character propositions reminiscent of Tweets- that would assist this vision. The user can elect to take on a micro-action and complete one, or alternatively can plug in his or her own micro-action and distribute it to other like-minded users for completion.

I’ve thought of similar ideas.  The above article was written December 2011, and I’ve never heard of this website until now.  After briefly looking at the website, it’s still active even in the past few days, though I’m not sure how much.


I feel the need to add a category titled “daydreams”.  These are something I have frequently, and I don’t just want to label them to inform others of their nature, but to remind myself about where most of them fit in.  One of my fears in life is to become a babbling crank, like some of the specimens in my playlist here.  This fear may have psychological origins from my unease with my older brother, who would fit right in that playlist beside the Spirit Science videos claiming martians lived on earth (in atlantis!) and the guy claiming to have telekinetic powers.

Anyways, these daydreams can be inspiring to me, and perhaps others, to produce more realistic ideas.  So I suppose this category can be a subcategory of art, seems sensible enough.

It would be cool if I worked some of the ideas into longer sci-fi stories, but I’m usually not that productive.  Short stories maybe?  Who knows.