Anarchy as management style?

This article has a rather simplistic view of anarchy, but it relates some of the benefits of non-heirarchical organizational structure: Anarchy as management style?.

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Filed under Anarchy, Capitalism, Commercialism, Freedom

Inappropriate Ads Showing Up on this Blog

Has anyone noticed how counterproductive the Google ads on this blog are?

Under the post about UNH installing surveillance cameras, for instance, the site included an ad for a security service offering surveillance solutions.

On the page about Dismantiling the Patriarchy, it included an ad for a dating service or somesuch, complete with a picture of some woman in a bathing suit.

Why are we advertising for the things we’re opposing, on the very pages on which we’re opposing them?! What’s next, Coke ads on the Uncoke page?

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UNH police plans for more surveillance cameras on campus

A 2010-02-21 article in Foster’s Daily Democrat describes UNH police plans to install more surveillance cameras on campus. Here’s a short excerpt from the article:

Cameras also are used in some campus buildings on the University of New Hampshire. However, after the fall semester, which saw several assaults, campus police are wondering if more surveillance cameras on campus would’ve stopped some of these crimes.

Even before those crimes took place, the university charged campus police with developing a strategic plan for placing cameras around campus, according to Sgt. Steven Lee. Because the plan is still in the works, it’s unknown how many cameras the university would try to purchase, where they would be placed and who would monitor them.

It’s also unknown when the university would install the cameras.

“Obviously there’s an evidentiary value to using the cameras, but I think the deterrent effect is also notable,” Lee said. “It’s a tool, but not a cure-all by any stretch.”

Lee said any plan involving surveillance cameras on campus wouldn’t include cameras inside the dorms, but could include cameras at dorm entrances. Cameras could also be placed outside buildings and in parking lots.

“The privacy issues will weigh on us,” Lee said. “We want that balance of wanting the students to have privacy but ensuring safety.”

Lee suspects that privacy issues will be raised when discussions about the technology become more serious.

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Draft Some Group Handbook, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

Some Group Handbook, Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

Some Group Handbook


Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

About this Handbook

This handbook is intended as an outline of principles and practices that Some Group has adopted. As time goes on, and details get ironed out, this handbook will evolve. It is expected that, once the group has reached a state of maturity, this Some Group Handbook will have become developed enough to serve as a blueprint for replication of this group’s organization, activities, and efforts in other communities across the nation and around the world.

This Handbook is Fluid

This Some Group Handbook is fluid. All useful information is at most temporarily useful. While every attempt has been made to ensure that information in this handbook is current and accurate, it is expected that this handbook will change and evolve as time goes on. Change, adaptation, and inclusion of new information to this handbook is emphatically encouraged.

Name

Some Group does not yet have a final name. Originally (and currently) referred to simply as “Unschool,” Some Group is looking for a name that accurately reflects the nature of the group. As has been discovered “unschooling” is a term currently in use to describe a subschool of homeschooling, which promotes ideas quite different from those of Some Group. The name “Unschool” has also been criticized for its distinctly negative construction—being the negation of “school”—without offering any hint, in positive form, as to what Some Group might be. A number of alternative names have been proposed, including the possibility of having no name at all. Most of the names proposed, including having no name for the group, have been rejected for a number of practical and/or principled reasons.

Presently, it is understood that the name of Some Group is fluid and indeterminate. It is believed that a name should be chosen, but that an appropriate name will likely reveal itself as the group develops. At some point in the future, it is expected that a name for the group will be chosen. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group does not have a name should be removed, and replaced with a statement of the group’s name, along with an explanation of any meaning behind the name chosen.

Purpose

Some Group grew out of a sense of discontent with existing social structures and conventional systems of education. However, Some Group has not yet adopted any guiding principles. At present, Some Group is a space or forum where people can share, discuss, create, and explore with others a number of subjects. It is expected that, as Some Group progresses, a common set of principles will naturally emerge, and be adopted by the group. When that happens, this section of the Some Group Handbook should be updated. This description of how Some Group has not adopted principles should be removed, and replaced with a description and explanation of the group’s common principles.

Meetings

Some Group holds a number of different “types” of meetings. Presently, there are two types: regular meetings and organizational meetings. Regular meetings are where Some Group performs its primary activity of exploring various topics of interest. Organizational meetings are dedicated to discussing and selecting logistical details, such as topics for upcoming regular meetings, etc.

Organizational Meetings

Organizational meetings are Some Group meetings with the purpose of choosing details for future regular meetings, and other logistical and/or administrative matters. Any member of Some Group is free to attend and participate in any organizational meeting he/she wishes, and to whatever extent he/she wishes.

When choosing details for an upcoming regular meeting, the following four details will be identified:

  • One or more people who will lead the meeting.
  • The topic or activity for the meeting.
  • The format that will be used for the meeting.
  • The date, time, and location of the meeting.

The activity planned for a regular meeting can be anything, and need not be topic-oriented. Meeting activities may include presentations, group discussions, creative projects, or group activities of any sort. The format of a regular meeting is also flexible. It could consist of a short presentation, followed by each participant having five minutes to express their own view, opinion, or perspective. It could be a lecture format, or a lecture followed by discussion. It could take any format the leaders of the meeting believe appropriate for the topic or activity. Whatever meeting details are proposed, all these details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) should be proposed to the entire group, at the next regular meeting, for approval.

All decisions made at organizational meetings, including selection of meeting details, will be made by a hybrid consensus/voting mechanism. A consensus process will be used whenever possible, encouraging input and participation from all present. If the consensus process ever stalls to the extent that it threatens the very purpose of Some Group, a majority vote will be used to decide the matter. If the consensus process degenerates to voting on a frequent or regular basis, this would indicate an underlying organizational problem which would need to be addressed.

For the sake of convenience, Some Group currently plans to hold organizational meetings immediately prior to, and in the same place as, Some Group’s regular meetings.

Regular Meetings

It is important that all members of Some Group be included in organization of the group. Because people have exhibited a tendency to leave during the course of regular meetings, each regular meeting will start with a brief organizational message consisting, at a minimum, of following:

  • A summary of what was discussed at the previous organizational meeting, if an organizational meeting was held since the last regular meeting.
  • All proposed details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) for the next regular meeting.
  • Proposed details (date, time, and location) for the next organizational meeting.
  • A request that the whole group accept, reject, or modify the proposed meeting details.
  • An explicit invitation for anyone in the group to come to, and participate in, every organizational meeting.

The remainder of any regular meeting can take many forms, lead by one or more people, on a specific topic or activity, and in a specific format. Each regular meeting’s details (leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location) will be as agreed upon by the group during a previous regular meeting.

Communications

Some Group will have a number of means of communicating with its members. Potential means of distributing information include having a blog, an e-mail list, a web forum, a newsletter, etc. In order to maintain Some Group’s inclusiveness and neutrality, any Some Group publications, such as newsletters, blogs, etc., should be open to publish contributions from any and all Some Group members.

Each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be announced, in advance, to all members of the group. Each such announcement should include all meeting details: leader(s), topic, format, date, time, and location. The location of the meeting place should be described in specific enough terms that the meeting can be found by someone who has never attended a previous Some Group meeting.

A digest of each Some Group meeting (regular, organizational, or otherwise) should be published to the group. Each digest should be comprehensive enough to give people who did not attend a good overview of the subject and results of each meeting, but should not be specific enough to constitute meeting minutes. Due to the potential of minutes to violate privacy rights and breed controversy, detailed meeting minutes should not be published. The digests for each meeting, whether posted to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, or anywhere else, should be posted as separate posts, one for each meeting. Keeping the digests for each meeting separate makes them easier to identify, organize, comment on, etc.

When posting messages to Some Group’s blog, e-mail list, forum, etc., the following guidelines are recommended, but not required:

  • POSTING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED YELLING.
  • The title or subject of a post or comment should reflect its content.
  • Top-posting (“toilet paper quoting”) is considered poor netiquette.
  • Posting well-organized thoughts, in grammatical sentences, makes posts easy to read, understand, and respond to.

Draft, Original Variant, Version 0.1, April 15, 2010

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Meeting Minutes.

Meeting minutes summaries will now be posted weekly, for people that couldn’t show up. We’ve got many weeks that we’ve met, and I’m finally posting the meeting minutes for them. Whew.

First meeting (awhile ago)

The topic was reform vs. revolution. It was discussion-based.

  • We went around in a circle and proposed our personal ideas of what is needed to fix deep systemic problems, whether it was reform or revolution based (not violent revolution!)
  • Proposed that we be more open, more creative with art, coffeehouses, speakouts, etc
  • Emphasized that change of self is very important to whatever movement is going on
  • Vigorous application of your ideal self and your potential everyday is a good idea
  • For true revolution, EVERYONE needs to be supporters
  • Ran into questions of communes working with medicine, supplies, etc (get into that at a later meeting)
  • “Things that work, Survive”.
  • Talked about the name, unschool, being too abrasive to people.
  • Talked about all-one concept: everything is part of the whole
  • Discussed the concept of change: People both need to be educated and also empowered to take action
  • Art as displaying the beauty and the scale of trying to help everything
  • No definitions. No standards.

Second Meeting : Venus project and Zeitgeist movement

  • Where do we go from here? Possibilities of technology
  • Our current state of affairs is mostly unintentional. Noone wanted war, poverty, etc
  • “Spaceship Earth” Concept covered: Earth and all creatures as one, no seperation of nations, people, material, etc
  • The idea of competing ideas, not people.
  • Technology replacing processes that are menial tasks, more autonomous, more freedom
  • Went over social conditioning, false lessons, “Right and Wrong”
  • Reforming our world starts with ourselves
  • Means need to equal the ends
  • Idea of memetics: spreading ideas exponentially
  • Voluntary society

Third Meeting: Social Construction. Heated conversation.

  • 2 groups: Oppressed and Privileged.
  • Privileged group: perpetuated by oppressed, norms, media, power, etc
  • Oppressed group internalized message that they should be “normal”
  • “Duties” and how that buys into the system, filling “roles”
  • Colonization of the mind: Oppressed group is so oppressed they think what they are doing is acceptable and not questionable
  • Advocate model: actively resisting norms and standards
  • Patriarchy: System run by men for men.
  • To be an active resistor, you must learn of your privilege compared to others
  • Did pie charts to see how privileged we were. If it was full, you were the most privileged. Mine was full!
  • To be “privileged” means the ability to ignore oppression or the ability to recognize it and resist
  • If we had a society with no categorization of people, social equity would be reached
  • Recognize the imperfection of language
  • See people for how they choose to be seen

More meeting minutes coming up next week. Cheers.

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Filed under Anarchy, Art, Love, Meeting Minutes

Why Property isn’t the Problem

I would agree that every human being has a right to their life and liberty. Property, I disagree with. I think that the problem is not that the government doesn’t respect life, liberty or property- its that people don’t. Human beings don’t respect each other. We dehumanize and objectify. The government is only an extension of these same human beings.

I would argue that there is no such thing as private property. Ultimately, we are all stewards of the things we have. We have borrowed them from the earth. Even our lives are extensions of others, and, I would argue, that the solution is not our autonomy, but our mutual respect and dependence. Interdependence.

I would argue that the solution isn’t as simple as abolishing the government- as long as people still believe that they need the government, they will rebuild it. We must first prove to people that they can be valued as equals vital to our own lives. We have to first recognize and reject the power constructs that our society places on us (racism, sexism, heterosexism ect).

The first step in creating a society that is equitable and just is not abolishing the government, it is learning to live without it. The government, while flawed, forceful and ultimately irrelevant to anyone who refuses to give it legitimacy,  acts as a power enforcing the morals that we can define for ourselves. Yes, I would agree that this is wrong, to have a government force that imposes moral beliefs.

However, in order to have a free society in which all people are respected, we must first respect all people. Capitalism is not the only problem here. The legal system is not the only monster. In order to have a society in which all people can voluntarily do anything, we must also deconstruct the oppressive systems by which we have been socialized.

It’s not enough to dismantle the government- we must first get rid of systems of oppression like racism, heterosexism, sexism, abilism, classism- in short- we must get people to see each other as equals in order for them to treat each other as equals without the force of the government.

But first we must recognize the inequity. It SHOULDN’T matter what color your skin is, your ability, age, expression or sexual history- but in our society, right now, it DOES.

We have to first change this- by recognizing what we share, how we differ, and by respecting each others stories and lives.

The first step towards an anarchist world isn’t getting rid of the government- its recognizing our interdependence without the government telling us to.

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Un-open your coke.

Coca-Cola is everywhere at UNH. I’m fairly certain they fund the sustainability program.. :(

Why don’t we do something about it? What’s so bad about Coke, you ask?

1) Coke is NOT a local business, obviously. That means the majority of the money spent on coke products DOESN’T go back into the community.

2) Homogenized, “standard” products, as opposed to a unique product offered by a business in the seacoast area

3) Overexploitation and Pollution of Water Sources in India (indiaresource.org), Mexico (ciepac.org), Ghana and elsewhere  (polarisinstitute.org)

4)Aggressive Marketing to Children of Nutritionally Worthless and Damaging Products (commercialexploitation.org and schoolpouringrights.com)

5) “Coca Cola has contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilize extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders”- (Killercoke.org)

Anyways, the answer is pretty simple. I believe we should eliminate vending machines completely, because they waste tons of energy and promote a wasteful lifestyle (eating packaged food shipped from faraway places is NOT green). BUT a step in that direction would be something like…eliminating COKE from UNH! Tons of other colleges have done it, so lets roll!

For more info, check out killercoke.org.

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Filed under Capitalism, Corporate UNH, Environment, Love, National Movement