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Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Subject:Walden Two website
Posted by:ultrabeavis.
Time:6:04 am.
Some of you might find the website www.waldentwo.org interesting. It seems to be looking at the idea of Walden Two as a blueprint.
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Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Posted by:v3g4n.
Time:10:49 pm.
I started buildcommunity for people interested in building, interested in talking about, who have lived in, or who currently live in an egalitarian community. I'm specifically referring to income sharing urban co-operatives, income sharing rural communes, and the like. Hopefully the community will be of use!

Apologies for crossposting (not that that makes it any better).
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Monday, September 19th, 2005

Subject:Tremendous Seasons
Posted by:in_a_dark_time.
Time:11:40 pm.
Mood: ambitious.
Grave apologies if this is off-topic or not allowed. Crossposted everydamnwhere.

I am interested in trying out a particular brand of discussion/conversation between two people. Anyone who's read Kerouac's On The Road and remembers Neal/Dean's and Allen/Carlo's "tremendous seasons" knows what I mean.

Basically, "tremendous seasons" (for I know no other term for them) are marathon discussions, tangents allowed, in which two people speak whatever is on their minds, constantly exchanging and modifying ideas.

For example--say we started talking about Russia. You mention Stalin; we talk on that for awhile. Stalin leads to Marx, which leads to The Communist Manifesto, which leads to political books in general, which leads to quotes from those books, etc.

That's not to say that each topic wouldn't be discussed at length. A topic could go as long as necessary, or be only a bridge to another topic. Cassady and Ginsberg typically got hopped up on benzedrine before attempting these "tremendous seasons," and would stay up all night yammering away. I don't necessarily think drugs or loss of sleep are necessary.

When/if I receive a reply, we can figure out a way to do this on LJ. What I'm thinking is this--we could start a diary or community to which we could both post, and the rules for a post would be:

1. No deleting except to fix spelling errors. (I'd go without that, too, but I'm an English major.)
2. Allow your mind to wander.
3. Speak truthfully, honestly, and wholeheartedly about what's on your mind.
4. Intelligent conversation is preferred, though I'm sure randomness and inside jokes will eventually creep in.
5. In this case, long posts and rambling are not looked down upon--in fact, you might say they're encouraged.
6. Possible beginning topics: society/sociology, trivia, belief systems, the nature of the soul, catharsis, life-changing books.


Is this making any sense? If someone would like to join in, or help me come up with ideas, please do so. If this works tremendously well (nice pun, eh?), maybe an open community could be started, with multiple people engaged in myriad "tremendous seasons."

Looking forward to getting started...

Peace.
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Friday, June 4th, 2004

Subject:Paradise engineering
Posted by:morality_play.
Time:8:27 am.
The second model I would like to submit for discussion is paradise engineering. To my knowledge, this idea originates within the writing of the philosopher David Pearce, since most references to it I have seen refer back to him. Pearce’s thesis is called the hedonistic imperative. It’s basic premise is that the biological origins of pain and distress through natural selection are morally repugnant and do not possess any intrinsic worth by virtue of being “natural.” Pearce is explicit about extending the sphere of his moral world to include the entire vertebrate genome. He is troubled (as am I) by the fact that the model of ecosystems that has emerged from nature is one where everyone needs to eat one another to survive. Since surely, if the creatures that fall under this heading possess intrinsic moral worth, then the model of self perpetuating pain and anguish which has emerged is an abominable situation.

Pearce makes the inquiry, “is this model even necessary?” It emerged by accident of being favored by natural selection. Could it be subjected to design intervention? To this end, he proposes an ambitious global technology project, which takes as it’s objective the redesigning of the vertebrate genome and the redesigning of the global ecosystem. One of the peripheral features of this model that I find so compelling is that it offers a prescription for how to invest the energies of the applied sciences. It submits a broad objective for human creative endeavor to be working towards. Right now that endeavor is dominated by an ideologically driven fantasy that market forces cause scientific innovation to excel.

I don’t submit these models to the exclusion of more obviously political strategies for intentional living, but I suspect that any model that does not include them will be incomplete. These strategies speak directly to the underlying conditions that propel the idea of Utopia. That injustices and the suppression of our potential are built into the existing system. Normally that system is treated as a political entity, but the fact that it could be a much more fundamental system (a natural or biological one) should not dissuade inquiry into an alternative model. Utopian thought should be about a strategy to achieve the best of all possible worlds.
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Subject:Transhumanism
Posted by:morality_play.
Time:8:21 am.
I’m glad that a community has emerged to discuss Utopian themes, not just as a subject of literature but as a model for society. Right now, the idea that we could have an agenda of improving the human condition has been supplanted in popular consciousness with some very dangerous ideas. Themes of social darwinism and market driven solutions to every problem have come to dominate the mythology of popular imagination. And I don’t think that these ideas entered popular consciousness unaided. They seem to serve an agenda of their own. One that is distinctly anti-utopian.

What I can glean about the themes of this particular forum are very encouraging. There seems to be a somewhat comprehensive anticipation of what Utopia would follow from. That is, there does not seem to be an exclusive preoccupation with ideal political models. The themes listed as interests in the “about” page borrow features from Skinner’s Walden and psychology that invite speculation upon the improvement of our subjective abilities. Can the faculties of our minds be improved? The theme of the rights of animals is also encouraging. It seems to imply there is a moral status to the predicament of being an animal in the natural world that deserves to be redressed.

It is in the spirit of these two themes that I would like to submit two models of utopian strategy that I suspect are overlooked by people interested in intentional communities. The first is transhumanism, a body of thinking which advances the idea that the human condition is something imposed upon us by nature, and that the capabilities nature has endowed us with do not represent the best of all possible worlds. For instance, many of the mental faculties that we possess are not products of design to optimize our mental acumen or acuity. They are an inheritance from our primitive hunter-gatherer ancestors. Our capacities for understanding spatial relationships, mathematical concepts, logic, pattern recognition, etc, are all dictated by an architecture of tissue which emerged from natural selection along the slow-witted path of least resistance. That natural selection has favored this model does not mean that it serves our interests. It merely serves the interests of our genes ability to propagate themselves. Most of our biological endowment is geared towards reproducing instead of something of intellectual merit or moral worth.

Transhumanists identify themselves as reluctant humans, and the object of their inquiry is how we can engineer a superior biological situation for ourselves. Since so much of our human condition is predicated upon our inheritance of primate physiology, and it’s attendant limitations, it could be profitable for a group of utopian strategists to speculate about how we might fundamentally redesign ourselves for ideal living
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Saturday, February 7th, 2004

Posted by:phaeriedust8403.
Time:3:59 am.
i just thought i might mention that there is a community in louisa, virginia that was founded on the ideas of walden two. it was founded in the late 60's or early 70's and has been very successful, although in my own personal experience there i found it to be kind of fucked up. then again most of the communities that i have visited or lived in have had a lot of problems. utopias are a great idea, to bad they don't seem to work out very well in reality.

oh yeah, and i have heard of a community in mexico that is actually called walden two, but have never been there nor do i know anyone who has.
Comments: Read 5 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Subject:Go ahead, shut up and MOVE.
Posted by:ude7.
Time:11:14 pm.
title or description

A community where people can bitch and moan about idiots who do nothing but bitch and moan about things like the weather.

Well, it has been created: shutupandmove

Now, if you want to whine about where you live, there's a place. And, if you want to whine about people whining about where they live, you can do that too.

Maybe this community can help us do some traveling. Meet some people who want to go somewhere, but don't have all the means financially. We could swap ourselves!

Please join, it will be great sarcastic fun. DO IT BITCH!
Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Thursday, October 17th, 2002

Subject:College life and communal living.
Posted by:pinrad.
Time:8:07 pm.
Mood:interested.
While waiting on the elevator in the dorms one morning, it occurred to me that so-called "college life" (dorm living) is a widely accepted, widely experienced mainstream form of communal living. The college operates the housing, and in some cases enforces very small ground rules, but overall it is communal living without government.

In my own experience, the lack of privacy and sufficient relaxation is absolute hell. Even still, I continue to live here because of the unintentional lessons in regards to communal living. I think it is almost essential for anyone interested in founding a community to experience life in the residence halls of any university around the world.

Generally, the residents are unwilling to compensate one another's personal preferences in regards to quiet hours and bedtimes, but overall (at least at my school) there is a high level of awareness of community. The university charges every person in the entire building if any public furniture is stolen or defaced. This is definitely an effective way to form a sense of community. My only problem with this approach is it capitalises on negative consequences. But so far it has worked in preventing the destruction of public property.

The best thing about dorm living is the "umbrella of diversity" under which we all live. People from all parts of the world, from very different backgrounds.

Even still, there is a sense of isolation (at least for me) because of the lack of people with whom I identify. I have a roommate and I know my neighbours on each side (and most of the floor), but there are essential bonds missing in the formation of a complete sense of community. I suppose the housing department assumes students will form those bonds. Not in most cases, apparently.

I think the essential missing link is a desire to actually form a sense of community. Most students are probably unaware of the fact that they are essentially living a commune.
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Monday, September 9th, 2002

Subject:Found this.
Posted by:pinrad.
Time:4:15 pm.
Mood: accomplished.
Exordium

This document identifies the structure and format of every Request Modification (RM) and specifically states the original purpose for the dictation of what began as an idealist's dream and ended as a series of documents identical to this one, all of which are fit to govern a mass population without either the use of force or the use of mind control.

I
The structure and format of a Request Modification (RM)

The idea of a Request Modification, referred to henceforth as RM, is loosely based on the already functioning Internet Request For Comments (RFC) memos created and initially written by the late Jon Postel. The organizational structure and purpose of the RFC memos was (and still is) very appropriate and fitting to the task accomplished by the RM documents. In both cases, a series of man-made text documents are used as a basis for the operation of a large network that requires interoperability, stability, and reliable delivery of promised services. In the case of the RFC memos, the network is a mechanical assortment of computerized internetworking devices of various age and specification, linked by common logical standards. In the case of the RM documents, the network is that of humanity itself. The human network requires the same ideal conditions as that of the mechnical network, though the human network is prone to necessary diversion in the course of its execution.

All RM documents should follow the same identical layout. That layout consists of stating the RM document number at the top of the document, as well as spelling the RM document number in traditional alphabetical phrasing on the second line of the document. There should be one blank line between the number statement and the declaration of the introduction, which shall be called an exordium. The exordium should contain a very brief statement of purpose or summary in regards to the document that follows. The remaining document should be divided into sections as the content topic evolves or shifts. The sections should each be labeled by ancient Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, V, etc.) On the line of text directly following the Roman numeral declaration of section, there should exist an italic title appropriate to the content of the section. Then, a blank line. The remaining portion of the section should contain content appropriate to the title of the section, divided by one blank line between paragraphs. This arrangement allows for a slight altering of topic without the need for the creation of an entirely new section.

The data format of all RM documents should be in the form of the universal Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and should contain no graphical images, animation, audio or video content, or server-generated data. Each RM document should be HTML text alone, with no enhancements or additions. Despite the rather versatile nature of HTML, RM documents aim to remain less complex for both technical and aesthetical reasons. Text places less of a load on most networked equipment and transportation lines in terms of speed of content delivery and disk storage space. These factors were considered when initially designing the RM document format.

II
The purpose of RM document creation

When the forefathers of the United States of America originally dictated their structure for a new society based on the idea that each citizen should participate in the election of governmental officials to positions of power, they wrote with the best knowledge of the era, using the best dictation tools of the era. Needless to say, humanity has evolved beyond merely the pen and parchment method of dictation. Today, data can be seemlessly transferred and copied with only a keystroke and a moment's wait. This allows information to propagate much more quickly and with more accuracy than ever before. In virtually all cases, no information on the copy status of any one document can be determined from simply viewing the document itself. In theory, the digital data becomes priceless and loses the ability to weather or age.

The Constitution of the United States of America is an aging and weathered document which should be destroyed and replaced with a more appropriate medium of government based not on paper, but on theory and ideal. Since brain-to-brain communication is not yet feasible, the most effective means of eternalizing an idea in the form of tangible data is in the digital realm.

The RM documents were created not with idea of forever governing a population, but with the idea to organize and structure a population such that the future is secure, regardless of what government holds power at any given time in future conditions. While it is hopeful that many ideals and "customs" (if they can loosely be called as such) will be transferred from digital data to habitual living, it is undoubtedly certain one or more groups of persons living under the influence of the RM documents will see it necessary to cease such living arrangements and immediately foster their own arrangement, regardless of how contrary that arrangement is to the structure and organization outlined in the RM documents. Whether the change of arrangement is for the advancement of society as needed to accommodate new technology and idea, or whether the change signals the reorganization of society into more feudal and capitalistic forms such as that of the conditions under which the RM documents were written, really is of no consequence. The important issue at hand is whether the RM documents should survive the new structure. Most likely, the RM documents would inevitably survive the new structure simply because of the nature of the medium, but the new structure must be analyzed to allow possible accommodation of RM document ideals into that new structure. Inevitably, the idea of the RM documents will fall. It can only be hoped the influence of these documents will be felt and heard in the structure which shall replace us.
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Monday, June 17th, 2002

Posted by:robotcharlie.
Time:12:17 am.
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Sunday, May 19th, 2002

Posted by:robotcharlie.
Time:5:52 am.
i almost forgot about this community. but yes, i am interested in it as well as what you believe is utopia.

i acutally have come across quite a few things in a few books i have been reading that i would like to post soon.
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Thursday, May 9th, 2002

Subject:First Post
Posted by:stereo99.
Time:8:17 am.
Wow. Looks like I get the first post. I have been thinking a lot about the faults of current society lately which sort of coincides with thoughts about "utopian" society. First off, to set the record, I don't think a utopian society necessarily should mean without worry or progression, nor do I think a a utopian society in the purest use of the word could exist outside of heaven (I am Christian). I have not yet read Walden Two though I have developed an interest in human behavior and Skinner's work. "On Freedom and Dignity" by Skinner is quite interesting so far. Before I can go any further, I should make a definition of what I mean by utopian society. I am quite tired right now though and I'm not sure anyone else even has an interest in this community, so before I go any further and define what I mean by utopia(n) I would like to know if anyone else is out there who is interested in communicating ideas on the subject. :)
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LiveJournal for formulating utopia.

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