It's worth a look.
InterMix is community software designed to promote a gentle human solidarity. We are now open source at github under the AGPL license. The intention is to progress to a collective intelligence capability, but we begin with the more doable collective communication function. Sometime down the line, probably in 2013, InterMix will be integrated with the Individual Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament (ii4nd) website and facebook page. We are also aiming to integrate InterMix with the Wiser Community Nuclear Disarmament group.
Independent Initiatives for
Outreach on the
Web using InterMix Voices of Humanity Software
We will reach out via Facebook to build an InterMix email list for nuclear disarmament using the "Smile/Scowl" motif of ii4nd to get us started. We will be targeting university students though of course open to all. Our email list will have two notable features. First, there will be an online forum connected directly with the email list. That is, if you write a message to the email list, it will also be accessible online in the forum, and the other way about, if you post a message in the forum, it goes out via the email list.
Second, in the online forum, participants will be able to rate each other's messages, and to specify that they want to receive only messages that have been highly rated by the other members of the list. In other words, the email list can be filtered so only messages that are considered to be interesting and highly approved by the group show up in your email. These highly rated messages become doubly important - for themselves and because these are the messages that the entire group is likely to have read, so they are shared and as such become part of the group's consciousness.
The next step is to set up an ii4nd Twitter account. Short and highly approved messages from the email list will be automatically tweeted through the group account. People who sign up to follow us on Twitter will be invited to join the email list and participate. The Twitter account will be the "collective voice" of the group. Similarly, we will automatically post our highly rated messages on our Facebook page and blog, and we will attract even more participants there.
The online partnership between the Individual Initiatives network and other groups that we might persuade to join us will take the form of a collective voice of all participating organizations combined into one. A notable property of groups is that they can be combined and divided. Once we get the ball rolling, all the nuclear disarmament groups will want to participate - with one huge proviso: they will not want to upload their email rosters onto someone else's system. Therefore InterMix will have to be recoded as a peer-to-peer (p2p) network, which is not easy but doable. With a p2p InterMix, large nuclear disarmament groups will each run their own "instance" of InterMix and all the instances will cooperate with each other over the net. The end result will be the same as if we had a single centralized system except the emails will not be massively shared. Each nuclear disarmament group will have its own individual voice and there will also be a common global voice for nuclear disarmament. If we just get this far we will be hugely ahead of where we are now.
The next step will be to enable individual participants to self-organize into groups first by gender and breaking out youth, and then by metropolitan area, faith tradition, political party, state or province, nation and interest. This emergence of wider collective identities from the organizational email lists is, as they say, fraught. What makes the exercise worthwhile is that there will always be the collective voice of all the participants together to represent their common humanity. This inclusive umbrella voice can evolve to become a credible bottom up collective voice of humanity. I don't see why not.
A New Route to
The Big Picture
The world has to wake up to both its peril and its promise. This is a cliche, but not less true for that. We love our nations but there has to be a new "we" that includes everyone. It is not enough that billions of us already recognize our common humanity. There must be the recognition of the recognition of that recognition. Knowing that we know that we know that we are all in the same boat -- that is the global consciousness which will underpin the transcendence of the nation-state system. That plus a heartfelt sense of solidarity. One thing we have going for us is that we are in fact in the same boat. Necessity is our ally.
The Voice of Humanity
In such a system of collective voices, the national and religious hard-liners will be marginalized. Their choice will be to avoid participation and not be heard at all, or to participate in a system that includes the voice of humanity, but in this case they will be implicitly giving their assent to the notion of humanity as a whole rising above all the other powers. We will use the energy of those hardliners who choose to participate to bolster our common human identity -- nonviolent jujitsu! This is what I mean when I say "tricking" the nations and religions.
The gender divide cross-cuts the national and religious identities. Any Voice of Women will be global to begin with and will have already transcended the nations and faiths. When women organize, they are naturally global and hence interfaith, intercultural and international. A collective Voice of Women will therefore not simply promote Women's Issues, though that will be a welcome outcome, but also foster the global perspective generally and ease the transition from an international community to a global community.
On a global scale, with millions of participants, we will need something beyond the bottom up Facebook page, blog or email list. Even if the Voice of Humanity posts only a single message per day to its blog, that is far too much information for most people to keep up with. To really make an impact, we need to have a formal annual election of a message from humanity. The content of this message will not be controlled by the principalities of the nation-state system, so it will be a big wild card in the considerations of those powers, and its publication will be a dramatic moment each year. This message will be important not just for itself, but because everyone will know that everyone knows that everyone has read it. The voice of humanity will create the global consciousness that we need, and the good news doesn't stop there. Year after year, humanity will have something intelligent and kindly to say. Wit and love are what people everywhere appreciate, and therefore we will elect messages of wit and love over and over again. Experiments with small groups have borne out this thesis so far. A Jewish-Muslim dialog in 2005 had a particularly wonderful result. As people realize, one by one, the good nature of their brothers and sisters planet-wide, they will be shocked and energized. The result will be a heart felt solidarity, just what the doctor ordered.