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Building the Grand Scheme?

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

You know... freedom.. that's what I have and that's what I claim. You know what it means? It means that every next step is mine. Every next decision is mine. I am FREE to do anything with the context that I am in.

Everything is just a matter of connecting the dots.

Since I've become a bit more emotional and cynical about some things - fed up with the state of things, risen my expectations higher I am with increased frequency bumping into obstacles which, this time, I just don't want to tolerate and admit their existence as something that cannot be changed.

All of this sometimes leads me to a thought that again occurred in my head. I need a Grand Scheme. If I say to myself "this must stop, damn it this must change", but then have that disempowering, disarming feeling of being too weak to stand any chance, too small to make a difference, too poor... well it has only two ways to end: eventually forget these thoughts and get back to "normal life" or jolt a thought towards building The Grand Scheme of my own.

So you are weak? Get stronger! So you are small? Get bigger! You are poor? Get richer! Climb up that freaking ladder and go kick some freaking ass - yes those ones - the ones that you know deserve kicking. Go change something now that you're up there!

The Grand Scheme - it's a plan that I might be getting motivated enough to start putting together, little by little, towards becoming more powerful - powerful enough to make a difference. Yes, this is in line of what I said here, but this time I'm thinking of it as more than just getting more financially successful so I can donate or invest more money into potentially world-changing projects. It is about using more variables than just that one. It is about playing chess with the evil in the world - and plotting my way towards a personal victory.

Yes, of course, I am willing to share some of this plot or at least a journey to which it may put me through, with you, but the unique thing about "Grand Schemes" is that you have to be careful about giving everything away and selecting whom to cooperate with. Trust is the only currency.

I still have doubts about whether I'm capable of pulling anything of the sort though - I also realized I am too much of a "disclosed" person.. There is little in or about myself that I can effectively keep a secret... I guess that's where a lot of these rants are coming from.. Sticking out tongue

We'll see. But man.. do I sometimes start thinking... of a Grand Scheme of my own, that will beat it all. Do you?


Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
I wrestled with exactly that

I wrestled with exactly that question through the nineties, accept the world for what it is, play the game craftily and feather my own nest, or fight for change. Two people inspired me to fight, Richard Stallman and Ricardo Semler. In both cases they stubbornly refused to accept the status quo and proved that there is a better way. So instead of wussing out with the standard coping strategy as encouraged to do by those closest to me, I connected with my backbone, and it made me feel complete, true to myself.

But on seeing the ills of the world, who cares hurts. So upsetting are the outrages of the elite and despots, so blind and resigned the masses, and so desperate the plight of the suffering and oppressed that for years I had a knot in my stomach. I studied and thought and tried to put together a grand scheme. It became an obsession, all other considerations were subordinated and finally at the turn of the millennium I published a paper with my analysis of the most pressing issues facing humanity and solutions that could work and the people and entities who could come together to make it happen. I emailed it to over one hundred 'key' people worldwide. The one and only reply I got was from the International Criminal Court instructing me to remove them from my mailing list! I realised immediately what a naive fool I had been in entertaining great expectations that the notions of a nobody would be acknowledged by those in power positions. Wikipeida have since partly implemented one aspect of that scheme.

History is littered with people who came up with great solutions but didn't see these implemented as expected, from Nicoli Tesla's power transmission at Wardenclyffe rejected by JP Morgan as un-billable altruism, to John Maynard Keynes international clearing bank and world settlement currency proposals at Bretton Woods rejected by Harry Dexter White on behalf of the USA for being a fair arrangement, to the Xerox research group at Palo Alto who invented WIMP, LAN and WYSIWYG only for Xerox management to completely miss the potential, so much to the advantage of Apple and Microsoft.

I am not so arrogant as to assume equivalence with genius or brilliance, but sometimes I've hit the nail on the head independently in predicting the confluence of trends. One example from the early 90's was my idea for putting the yellow pages online with geographic meta-data (I worked for a telco) and hosting of customer websites, but taken further, charge extra for ads at the top of search results - seemed plausible to me anyway. But further than that I wrote in my hopeful paper to my bosses, telcos could co-operate internationally to the extent that you could find any business anywhere on the globe with ease, with telcos divvying ad-revenue in the reverse of call completion tarriffs - just as many websites now pay for incoming eyeballs. I even branded it as Platinum Pages - the find engine. Well we've all got weak points.

It went nowhere and I was thoroughly depressed at their apparent blindness. In fairness I then got transferred from my mainframe systems analyst position to a dot-com era project which was in hindsight a dead-end from day 1, but they meant well. Despite the trials in which I had the starring role in creating for myself, as I look back over the decades at that company I count a lot on the positive side of the scales of fortune.

These experiences taught me the difference between ideas and capacity to execute, so I started learning to program. The grand scheme is still there, nothing less than the transfer of production and legislative power to the people in a new world order. To replace elitism with the common good. To do so will take more than one person, but I am not alone, I am in good company and the internet keeps the good word alive. Each one of us makes the difference every day in what we do and how we relate to others. For a perfect world doing good and being friendly is all it takes, but it takes us all. We can't achieve heaven on earth but we can do a damn sight better than this pervasive oneupmanship where competition has overstepped it's optimum role and spreads it's tentacles consuming everything like a malignant tumor.

I've also learned to separate my life from the work. No one person can or should take such great weights upon themselves, to do so is like creating a singularity within, it drags every piece of your existence into it's black core until you are so consumed you no longer recognise yourself.

We must see these great schemes as the multi-generational mass movements they are, do our bit when we do our bit, with passion and relentless determination, but the rest of the time we should enjoy normality, even diversions and trivial abandon. This allows us to maintain balance, to remain human, and to go beyond tolerable to welcome and positive in our relationships. Whatever the future holds, whether or not I play a role in great progress, I will always put my family first, so in the final analysis I cannot fail, of that I am certain.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
The advice which you

The advice which you conclude with is spot on. We have to have that bit of redundancy, a plan B for our lives. But that can be quite a challenge when the primary drive consumes all senses for most, if not all of the time on our hands... I am not getting any closer to having a family of my own, for example. Still too busy growing, being a bit of a geek, exploring and sometimes just dabbling in my own little chaotic world...


What my idea of a grand scheme was is not so much about building a scheme of how could a world be changed, depicting the steps in that process. It is a scheme that describes a process of getting yourself in a position from which you can speak and actually be heard by those who matter - a scheme by which you would climb to the top, or one of the tops at least, from which you can do more. Get rich so you can invest more money into good causes. Get famous so more people are willing to listen to what you have to say. Get all around more powerful so that more people are compelled to take what you say seriously and act on it.

The problem with such a grand scheme is, of course, the risk of it becoming an end to itself. Say I decide to build a scheme by which I will become a very powerful person. Heck, just that sentence alone has a potential sound of an ego maniac, doesn't it? But what if I wasn't and if it were just a part of a bigger plan with a goal that is beyond just becoming more powerful, which is, contributing more positives for world change?

Well, the risk of going astray and forgetting that real end goal still exists.

Perhaps this is all a little bit off course though. As you aptly emphasized near the end of your post, we are not alone nor should we assume to be. The grand scheme should be engineered in such a way not to feed the personal egoism while building the power of the persona in question, but to, while building the power of that particular person simultaneously build the power of the social network of this persona - the community he or she is interacting with and cooperating with on doing good things.

So the answer could simply be: the process of personal empowerment should be entirely parallel the the process of empowering others. This is basically "get rick by making others richer" kind of approach. What it essentially ends up with is not just one very powerful person who gets to have the world changing influence, but a number of powerful people with the similar kind of influence.

Perhaps that device should be used in our grand scheme engines. Smiling

And of course, "the others" should include anyone from your family to communities you are involved with (including all the people interacting with Libervis Network or being involved in a cause relevant to it, in my case Smiling ).

Thank you


Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
Yes, exactly. These themes

Yes, exactly. These themes of of wealth and power come up repeatedly. While the end goal I for one pursue is to attenuate todays elitist distribution, power and wealth provide a means to effect change, a similar paradox to fighting for peace.

Providing for a family began the day we started school. That's when we started to lay the groundwork for getting into a position to earn a living. For me that level marks the end of my ambition for wealth. For some goals far beyond raising a family, I believe the exercise of wealth and power beyond a normal living are required. That puts me at odds with those in the freedom movement who want a barter society, or those who insist free software workers should be volunteers. What about their (future) families?

The most accessible source I am aware of is to operate a business. However, beyond a normal paycheck, the wealth of the business does not need to be extracted to my private accounts, the wealth and power are not for personal use but for the grand scheme and so should reside in the business accounts.

I've started off as a sole trader, once the code is up to scratch and enough support contracts signed, I'll either form a company and commence employment, or ideally if the right team is available go straight to a democratic co-operative. The goal of incubating more co-operatives as circumstances permit will be enshrined in its charter, this can be replication like a franchise, organic expansion into related areas, and in time outright take-overs of bargain traditional businesses for conversion.

Over time the amount of people working to concentrate wealth will reduce and the amount in a fair workplace will increase. That'll take years and I'll remain toiling in obscurity for a few years yet. While I may not see much of the big changes in my lifetime, a human lifespan may bear no relevance to the project lifespan, but so what, life's a journey and so long as we're on the right road we can be content.

So the business is both the means and part of the end in my grand scheme, and yes, it depends at every step on personal empowerment, without that we're little more than livestock in someone else's system!

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