March 18th, 2019 18:39


Richard D. Bartlett
Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 166

I'm going to use language in a specific way throughout this work. You can see the full context in my original microsolidarity proposal, but for reference, here's what I have in mind when I use some key words:

  • Crew: a group small enough to fit around a dinner table (about 3-8 people); doing some kind of mutual aid (i.e. sharing emotions or sharing money). Within Enspiral these are also known as a pod ("care pods" are more focussed on emotion, "livelihood pods" are more focussed on money). In Scuttlebutt these are called "faerie rings".
  • Caller: the person who sparks the formation of a new crew. No necessarily the same person as the host.
  • Host: the person who facilitates a specific conversation, e.g. they may guide people through a structured reflection process, or keep time.
  • Congregation: a network or community that is small enough for most people to know each other (less than ~200 people); they are mostly focussed on mutual aid and meaningful work; the peer-support is mostly delivered through crews.

If you notice any other unfamiliar words, any of the definitions feel wrong, maybe we can work it out together.

Rashid Owoyele

Rashid Owoyele March 22nd, 2019 09:15

I'm not sure why the word Congregation doesn't suit my taste. I'm not entirely secular, but still my mind seems to place less confidence in that direction of conceptualization. The nice thing about the rest of the language is that it isn't overwhelmingly academic in tone... I guess similarly something that felt less religious in tone might hang better in the lexicon as I conceive the larger concepts you've been putting forth.

I'm not even sure - does that make sense?

Simon Grant

Simon Grant March 22nd, 2019 09:26

I've been wondering about that word as well. I find it quite helpful, in the sense that people congregate, into some kind of flock. Would flock be a word? The problem with flock may be that natural flocks don't really have subgroups. In the end, if congregation may not be the best word, the challenge is to suggest a better one! Tribe? (Overused? Wrong connotations?) Company? (Bias towards business) etc. Etc.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett March 22nd, 2019 11:45

I chose congregation for a lot of reasons:

  • It's a verby noun. This is a community that is most real and alive and meaningful when it is congregating. Congregating is the main activity.
  • It is distinctive.
  • It reminds people of church. I like this because microsolidarity is basically heading in a religion 2.0 direction.
Simon Grant

Simon Grant March 22nd, 2019 11:50

I like the reasons. I do quite like the word, too, but if anyone wants to propose one or more synonyms, well, that might work as well?

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett March 22nd, 2019 13:45

I'm feeling my way to discover the boundaries of my role. I'm inhabiting a kind of leadership that is neither individualistic, nor consensus-seeking.

People tell me I'm good at explaining complex things in simple terms. Writing is the work that makes me feel most alive. So my role is a wording one.

I use language and relationship to cast spells. I am attempting a kind of magic that maps consciousness into the material realm. If I'm doing it right, the consciousness is not mine, but the local relationships and the particular word choices are.

I'm not confident that I'll walk this individual-voice/collective-intelligence tightrope without stumbling. I trust my intuition. So far it says I'm basically on the right track, my feedback mechanism are okay, but could be improved with the right structure.

So yes, I like synonyms. I say "crew". @natilombardo says "pod". My Scuttlebutt friends say "faerie ring". Very good! I'll maintain the list of synonyms, alongside my preferred choices.

Simon Grant

Simon Grant March 22nd, 2019 14:03

I like that a lot, @richarddbartlett - a set of synonyms means that we can move away from favouring one particular social or linguistic group. As being against single grand narratives, if is post-modern in the best sense I know.

Simon Grant

Simon Grant March 22nd, 2019 14:05

Oh, and could we reach out to other Europeans (to begin with, as you're doing Europe at present - others in due course - I'm not a European supremacist!) to contribute and maintain a commons of good translations?