#2: Energising Conversations, Books, Practices & Podcasts

Democracy, trauma, social process, Buddhism, psychology

Looking back over my calendar, I’ve had some amazing conversations so far in January. Here’s a sample:

  • Connecting with super clever, courageous, warm people in the XR Future Democracy Hub. My highest hope for XR is that it might cement the link in the public imagination, between the ecological crisis and the democracy crisis.

  • I met one of the founders of Recipes for Wellbeing - they are really cool, focussed on support young changemakers to look after themselves and each other. That website is a huge open source toolkit of practices.

  • Months of talking and working culminated in €70k of funding for me to develop the microsolidarity methodology with my pals! I published a major update: How to Weave Social Fabric.

  • I helped my buddy clean up their finances with this spreadsheet magic.

  • Nati and I caught up with Jonny from Stir To Action, a fabulous magazine/community at the intersection of grassroots politics and economics. They’ve going to the next level, with a new residential training centre in the UK (they’re hiring), and the second iteration of their excellent festival.

  • I’m having so much fun on Twitter! Here’s a list of my recent tweets that have struck a chord.

  • And I got permission to stay in Italy for 5 years!


Nati and I have been busy filming our online course Patterns for Decentralised Organising. If you want to be notified when it launches, subscribe here.


What I’m Reading

  • Sandtalk by Indigenous author Tyson Yunkaporta. My strongest impression: this is a masterful demonstration of how to bend the written form to contain some of the nonlinear richness and depth of oral culture. Impressive book, one to return to.

  • Focussing by Eugene Gendlin is a very credible answer to the question “what are people doing inside of themselves, such that therapy works for them?”

  • In The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler evaluates human history on a polarity from “domination” to “partnership” societies. This is very close to how I see the world. I wish someone told me about this book sooner because it is 32 years old and I had to work it out for myself! 😂

  • The Enspiral Impact Report by Rebellious Data is interesting because it doesn't try to fight the complexity of an emergent, self-organising “ecosystem of purposes”, and yet it still manages to tell a simple and useful story.

  • Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson is a totally elegant little speculative novel about what happens when the Chinese Communist Party goes to space.


Resources

I collect social processes that enable people to move out of “domination” culture, and into “partnership” culture. I usually curate them into this epic list of self-management resources, or into the microsolidarity site.

Here are some of the recent additions to the library:

  • Pods and Pod Mapping by Mia Mingus for the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. Your “pod” is the people that you would call on for support if harm had been done to you, or you’d done harm. I love this article because the author shares my assumption that simple precise language can make vague ideas like “organise your community” immediate and accessible.

  • 36 Qs for increasing closeness, an example from Recipes for Wellbeing.

  • Turtles Rule!: one of many games in the Future Togetherness Handbook. I like it because it is an extremely simple way for people to notice the different roles they can play in a group.

  • Death Over Dinner: an app that supports you to host a dinner party conversation about death. It’s extraordinarily well designed, check it out. See also Drugs Over Dinner.

  • Re-evaluation Counseling is a simple and powerful method for peer-to-peer therapy.

  • Memetic mediator Peter Limberg is curating a juicy list of conversational methodologies.


Podcasts

  • I enjoyed Jason Brennan (voting is irrational), Joe Edelman (Future Togetherness Handbook), Hanzi Frienacht (metamodernism), and Melanie Mitchel (AI) on the Jim Rutt Show.

  • Can also recommend Bessel van der Kolk (trauma) and Brené Brown (courage & vulnerability) on the On Being podcast.

  • Nati introduced me to Tara Brach, clinical psychology PhD and Buddhist teacher. Tune in to her podcast if you ever feel like some Zen wisdom, guided meditation, self-reflection, contemplative, low-key funny, secular sermon type stuff. High insight, low "woo woo".


Thanks for joining me for another episode of What I’m Paying Attention To!

If you’re feeling enthusiastic you can give me money on Patreon, or pass this newsletter on to someone who would appreciate it.

Happy new moon!

xo Rich