Category Archives: Allgemein

Homework – done.

homework done - the paradise papers - we are all under the same sky
homework done – the paradise papers – we are all under the same sky

In the last days of june 2020 FamiliaFeliz was invited to partizipate in a video postcast about intentional communities. Jubilee Creates Something Amazing by meandering through life is one of the emerging video-potcast channels on social media. The host Jubilee is interested in Game B and other projects and initiatives to develop a better life for all of us.

This article is about some of our community activities in the first 100 days of spanish lock down, about the challenge to develop a social community project between community twins, about the daily reality in the house of the dragon and the intention of the community founders to set up a basic rule set – our BIOS – of how it might be to live inside of our community and a link between all of them.

Before we go into details lets discover some main keywords like intentional communities, ecovillages, self-policing and self-fulfilling rules.

Bill Metcalf’s definition of intentional communities in his book “Utopian Struggle: Preconceptions and Realities of Intentional Communities” doesn’t really help. For him traveling 40 years and co-existing in 100 community projects wordwide leads – for us – only to white swan narratives rejecting everything else, especially black swans.

FamiliaFeliz is an alternative living community with shared economy. Every member had already a good life, there was no reason to escape from something or somewhere or to reject, to limit or to fight (against or for) something or somebody. Our intention to gather was basically motivated by our knowledge that we could enjoy more our personal happiness if it would be embedded in a group. And the process of founding it was more a late result of a long term closed friendship between all of us.

In the environement of spanish language the word ecoaldea is often used as a substitution for comunidad (community). It might transport for some the idea of an ecological driven location but for locals its more to seperate it from ancient ideas about the meaning of the word comunidad.

Communities are an inherent feature of human social capacities. Communities as a phenomena are emerging, if a core group of two or more people develop a relation because it makes sense for them. The source for the initial motivation to do this could be indentified by an external reason (violence, forces, pressure, leak of sense…) or by an internal reason (lift personal peace, freedom, joy, fear…). Both types could be linked: imagine a submarine, in which the marines become a team over time after leaving the harbour, has a failing engine and starts to sink. In the first place the relation was designed by externals. At the end there is a strong personal inner will to survive which brings the crew much more together.

Sometimes these constellations of people are invited to define their inner constitution. In case of FamiliaFeliz we where asked again and again: “What really is this FamiliaFeliz?”. Not willing to get tired about explaining again and again we invited our friends to create and verify our basic ruleset, our charter.

When FamiliaFeliz – in this case the crew living in the home unit in Spain in spring 2020 – experienced the first days of lock down, we had a running gag in every dinner at 10pm. Instead of counting the days of lock down we cheered ourselves up with “day hundred minus something of the survival of the fittest”. Nobody was really thinking that it could be our cheers for more than 100 days.

Two years ago we created a prototype of a compost toilet. This was – in terms of our charter – a temporary working unit. The members of this unit donated time and energy to set up a first terra preta compost toilet close to our vegetable garden. The group of contributers where not stable over the time and it was finally finished by a german couple and their son.

The most important content of our basic ruleset is the missing part.

Juan Petry

When we came together to start to think about a basic ruleset it was motivated by many talks about our community life, hidden rules, team buildung, and core values. Again and again we where asked about it and again and again we explained it, and everybody in her or his best intention – but surely different. We decided to create a charter. We decided also to create it in an unpresidential way, by inviting everybody online to participate. Finally we where surrounded by more or less 50 people (everybody had some experience with us and most of them where asking before about such a basic paper).

Self-policing is the ability of each member to follow the rule and to experience the consequences of not following them without any intervention of others. It finally empower each member and gives a very smart design pattern for rule sets.

Self-fullfining rules are amazing because they do not need protection.

1.3 Membership
To FamiliaFeliz belongs only, who accepts the charter of its group and is member of at least one working unit.

Definition of a Member in FamiliaFeliz – final draft of our Charter

In July 2016 we started to write a first draft and in August 2016 we published the first version. Lateron it became a smart process based on swarm intelligence to figure out the best way of what and how to express our basic inner rules. Again and again we published new versions and the discussion emerged again. In the 9st of January 2017 we published the final draft and here you can find the history of its creation.

The challenge was for sure, how to write such a paper to explain truthfully and honest the reality of our community, to define core values and to be as much as possible flexible for future members and their ideas and needs. We defined some meta rules on the way, rules how to create rules:

  • Less is more.
  • Reduce as much as possible expectations.
  • Define only the core values and procedures.
  • Define the way in and define the way out of the community.
  • Make it impossible to break a rule.

Even the last might be a tricky thing. But – thanks to our forcing swarm intelligence – we made progress even in this. Finally we see the ruleset more like a blue print – it was already copied by other initiatives – and as a useful tool to explore the mindset of somebody with interest in our community life. It helps every member to reject false expectations and reduce the guidelines to a smart minimum. In fact after agreeing in the ruleset we never experienced a feeling or need to change it (in the last years). The only thing which didn’t apply was a reduction of explaining our community life, it only added the phrase As we wrote… sometimes many times. :=)

homework done - making a lot of jam in the lock down period
homework done – making a lot of jam in the lock down period

In our community – and in our basic ruleset – we have no reglementation about food and kitchen responsibility. Everything related to a living home has to be organized by the members of this – we call it – home unit. The community is created by it’s members. But we are living in a decentralized community and we have more than one home. We do not think it makes sense to rule out the content of a plate in a dinner session in a house where we are not part of on a daily basis.

The house of the dragon – our first home unit in spain – is an extrem sample of this way of thinking. The artist residence and think tank is visitied by 50 to 200 guests per year (before corona) and the crew on bord decides again and again new about ingredients (vegan, vegetarian…).

homework done - Dilans vegan fish
homework done – Dilans mostly vegan fish

People are not equal, and to force them to be equal and declare this as a right goals to achieve is not in the favor and advantage of an individual. Dilan (10 years) like to cook and design but is very lazy in wiping the dust in his room.

The GEN network started in the global lock down period a project to add value to the movement of communities. It asked related communities for twin projects. As a decentraized community in Germany and Spain we applied and we get into contact with Nuestra Finca Sagrada in Nicaragua. Finally we agreed in a knowledge transfer from our project to them, including documentation of the process to send, receive, transform, adapt and realize a project of terra preta based dry toilets. In a first video session we discussed the steps of implementation and we will continue this in the summer of 2020.

In the lock down we started also another knowledge transfer with some friends in Belgium.

homework done - a urban gardening prototype
homework done – a urban gardening prototype

We invented a terrace garden and refurbished and upcycled material to produce some food like salad, tomato and beans. We published some posts and chatted with Belgium about strategical and technical solutions.

Whether a person is defined member of our community or not, whether this person is living with us in the same home unit or not, whether the person is part of our community or is on the way to set up his own in another continent, we treat this person in the same way. The unique difference between a member of FamiliaFeliz and somebody else is, that somebody outside of our community has no voting rights to decide on the admission of a new member.

We want a better life, and it doesn’t mapper if we rise the happiness inside or outside our community, because in both cases we experience that we rise it finally on both sides (because in our construction of “we” there is no outside really.

Somebody may be grandkid, kid, mother, couple, family member, car driver, teacher, inhabitant, citizen, activist… but these are only roles, given by societies to manipulate people by sticking responsabilities to each of them.

Inside of Familiafeliz, a social space for personal happiness, all these roles are fading out. We like to see the human, and we do not expect anything from her or him.

Publishing our charter with the name DRAFT is an expression of our humility in the view of the diversity of nature and people. Maybe there is something like GAME B, but – for now – there is only Planet A.

A good question about evaluating a community is: what kind of world would it be if everyone did it in the same way? It might be also a good goal, if diversity blooms and the goal of the community is, to make the members as independent of their community as possible.

Coding SOS or fooling AI

coding SOS - the paradise papers
coding SOS – the paradise papers

However you have stumbled over a deep link to this article , you might see SOS as a distinctive Morse code sequence associated with phrases such as “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship”. When it became a standard after prevailing over CQD it was used by any case of maritim accident, first reported by the sinking of the Cunard liner RMS Slavonia on 10 June 1909.

Happy about it’s ambiguity i will use it here also as an abbreviation for Social Operating System. If you keep your attention and curiosity you will read about the intention of our community to publish it’s charter, embedded in the long history of coded social operation systems, the challenge to mitigate the impact of AIArtificial Intelligence and about the infinite game to establish a location to invent some Game B spin-off.

<humor>By the way, you do not need to wear a mask by reading this post.</humor> But be aware about that it might change your view on your life – in society and in community.

Coding is a process of using something to deliver something else sometime in the future expecting the capacity of decoding by somebody someway. The meaning had shifted to IT and software over the last years but it make sense to recognize the roots of the word coding. Showing a grime, pointing in a direction, putting stones together as a landmark, painting cave walls – all these are coding activities. Coding goes far beyond humanity as most of us discovered in spring 2020 by learning about RNA and DNA and virus mutations. Likewise it seems beyond our horizon of understanding to find something which is not coded itself. Just as the approach of science your reading of this article is purely decoding. The medium – here a flat screen with pixels – represented as a blog post and created, hosted and delivered by software plays a important role in this process of decoding. I will come back to this later.

Expecting the capacity to decode something implies the presence of something else, the learned ability to return the code into the original, to benefit from the understanding, promised by giving attention to the code. In other words: You can learn only what you already know. The difference between education (in German Bildung) and training (in German Ausbildung) is more clearly coded in the German language because the second is an extension of the first. It is for sure another story to tell about education, here i like to continue with learn equals decoding.

From a more scientific point every decoding leads to an inherent process of coding in the field of the receiver, because processing and storing information again is a process of using something to deliver something else sometime in the future expecting the capacity of decoding by somebody someway.

I shorten Social Operating System by using SOS. To explore the term lets start with Operating System. In case of a simple computer model it means an intermediate between hardware and application software. The transition between the operating system and hardware looks easier than it is – you might think in a Central Processing Unit (CPU) in which coded software defines moves of electrons along cable ways. But even the boot sequence of an Operating System itself is coded in software which has to be loaded into a physical system. All this is done by BIOS, the fundamental Basic Input Output System. And this layer itself is implemented partly hard wired and partly software based. The transition between the operating system and applications – like the browser you actually use to display this article – is smarter and depends on design patterns. It could be, that the operation system provides basic functionality like to open a basic window or to handle requests for CPU-time in multitasking systems. Beside IT we could think of an Operation System as an intermediate between hardware like rain water, and software like taking a shower at home. The lake as a storage, the pump, the pipe and the water infrastructure in a town and inside a building are more related to the hardware, the contracts between storage investors, suppliers and town hall and the land lord of the building are more software related. All these contracts are based on language, culture, habits and embedded in a very complex environment we called society. Therefor we could use the terminology of computer science to re-view society. And this is, what i like to name Social Operating System or SOS.

Before i went straight to a contemporary living community and its implementation of SOS i like to frame you a bit by walking around and play with these ideas of social basic input output systems and some different types of social operating system technologies.

If you see an Operating System as an assembly of definitions, parameters, functions, logical implementations you will find similar parts in social operating systems. Some of this social operating systems might boot which one god, some other with many, in some cases you should contribute time to him once a week, in others many times a day. Some other social operating systems are booting with a ruleset for monogamy or polygamy, some others are booting with a certified certificate of business partners to form a new company. Some are more related to politics, to food, to food production or to health.

In IT we have single user single task operating systems as well as multi-task and multi-user operating systems. Society – like an intranet – is a multi-user multi-task and multi-operation-system assembly. The world as a location of multiple societies would be the multi-intranet of multi-user multi-task and multi-operation-systems, lets call it Internet.

The main reason for any implementation of any of these operating systems is to balance efficiency and innovation by lowest possible costs. This leads to the Yin & Yang of everything. You are also motivated to update your operating system, if the hardware has changed to adept better to your new environment and if you might take advantage out of a more advanced handling of this hardware.

The cost factor in natural environments is based on bio feedback loops of mutation and selection, sometimes crossing dramatically tipping points.

In this set of ideas a social operation system therefore is based on a process of using something to deliver something else sometime in the future expecting the capacity of decoding by somebody someway.

The final draft of our charter is according to these definitions our BIOS – Basic Input Output System which allows to set up SOS – Social Operating Systems on top. Before we finally move to the details i like to define AI and the possibility to fool it.

Tesler’s theorem “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.” might be a weak introduction into AI and jet we have no exact definition. But we could handle this for a moment by looking at the promises of companies promoting AI as a cheap effective problem solving technology and a breakthrough in modern eGovernment.

Nearly 40 years ago i was coding a party planer simulation to predict the movement of the guests at my next party. The desired distance between one guest and all the other – given for all guests – was the data equals food for the simple algorithm, which calculated in every sequence for every guest avatar the possible best move. I would not go so far to define my 2000 line turbo pascal coded software as AI but i experienced in this private programming exercise what companies are promising today: efficient handling of big data, stunning un-expected results and at some level success in prediction.

But i experienced more. By magnitude the outcome became different if i played around with some parameters (like the rotation angle of the calculation of possible direction of movement, or the starting position of each guest at the beginning of the simulation).

Some constellations where attracted by a static final pattern of occupied places for all guest avatars, some other entered a never ending loop of movements.

In the process of understanding the capacity of my simulation i added some features like “furniture”, a chair to sit, a bar to have a drink, a table with tasty food (which want to be close to everybody but can not move by itself). I experienced that some data to start the simulation was easy to collect before, some other was more a guess and some unpredictable.

In fact i invited some friends to some parties and i wanted to proof and verify the simulation. The feedback was stimulating my effort to redesign the software again.

If we compare my little program with modern AI the Intelligence part was completely outsourced (into me) and a static code was running again and again. Now we focus in AI on a self programing algorithm able to learn and proof the output to optimize it’s predictability or problem solving capacity.

In 2020 the mainstream media is talking about a new feature coming out of silicon valley and they named it Artificial Intelligence. This narrative implies something arriving soon. But imho (in my humble opinion) its already here.

When search engines started to harvest the online available data and processed the content they started to use self optimization. At this time it was more based on handling and interpreting the raw data and less in changing the code but AI already started to play a major role in Big Data. At this time i designed a self organized online gallery for artworks, represented by photo and description. The gallery learned the favorite taste of its viewers and reconfigured dynamically the order of displayed artworks. I also discovered that most viewed art works correlated with most sold artworks. A lot of social media users are not aware about the huge benefit for companies when they click the like button. Even this article is delivered by AI algorithm predicting the Internet content you might prefer. If you follow my blog via social media you are the lucky one, to whom was shown the link to this article, decided by AI.

To bring all together we have to discover a little the meaning of “fooling” in this case. If you play poker it is a skill and you lift you social status by fooling better than your competitors. If you fool in your tax declaration depending on your social status you might loose or win social prestige. If you fool your kid for a short-term advantage you might get into deep trouble later on and loose forever. As a fly showing yellow stripes could be fooling your predator, very healthy.

In case of AI you could have a client that finances an implementation, a service provider that implements it and a targeted party to which results are applied. Many ways of fooling are thinkable. A right-wing party could order in a false-flag operation a left-wing service provider to implement an self-optimizing algorithm to discover strategies of left-wing parties to win the next election. The provider could manipulate data or hiding part of the result or deliver a misinterpretation of the result knowing that i was a false flag operation. Fooling AI in these cases could be manipulating the input data, manipulating the set of rules under with the AI system should discover a possible outcome or manipulating the output.

FamiliaFeliz is a decentralized living community with shared economy. It developed several social operating systems to define the interaction between its entities and the outside. It developed also several applications (named working units) to use the foundation of its SOS.

The charter is in this picture the basic input output system and defines the basic ruleset to interact with resources.

The initial motivation to publish the charter was driven by our friends and guests who wanted a clearly structured text – in the sense of a treaty or a statute – in order to better understand FamiliaFeliz and the rules we had given ourselves to achieve coexisting.

We – the three co-founder – decided to write a draft and to discuss it in public with our friends. One co-founder put it in this words:”We think and hope to make the real life situation easier when it occurs.” In fact we invited all our friends and nearly 50 people from different color, social background, nationality and profession contributed to the final draft.

On the way to formulate the basic procedures and rules we discovered that we implemented automatically our own values and visions in this paper. Also we experienced that it became more a protection for the members against wishes and dreams of candidates and people interested to join the community than a handout what and how to do for these new members. In one version i expressed it in an initial phrase: “This charter sets out how we have lived so far and does not describe how we will live together with you.” Later we erased this because we felt it was maybe to confusing for people to read this on their way to understand how we interact between each other. But nevertheless there is a deep meaning behind this sentence. Our goal was to describe our reality knowing that every new member might change this reality on his way to join us. And it was our explizite intention to welcome this new member and open this unknown space for him to develop beside and with us.

Some time before writing this article i discovered some folks in social media involved in deep discussions about communication, sense-making, and modern government. Some of them where involved inside the Game B – community. By listening these folks i realized that our approach to find a compelling SOS for our community was nothing else than finding a real manifestation of a Basic Input Output System to test Game B compatible Social Operating Systems.

In the first years of running our BIOS – without any reboot at all – we experienced another great output. Some research was made about our alternative living community because of it’s numerous unique selling points. Some visitors also used our charter as a blue print to redesign their own basic commitment.

In late August 2020 we will welcome some founders and co-founders to gather in a first edition of a festival (CFF2020). The main intention is to bring people together who really are on the way to found a community. One aspect will be to discover the different BIOS and SOS variations and to explore similarities, variations and differences.

Some people on the way to search for an alternative lifestyle are arguing that to fool the old system (armed by AI) Game A is ok. The end justifies the means. We disagree. We see our BIOS in an open infinite game with all competitors based on given resources.

Social StreetWork – Via Augusta – from Rome to Cadiz

Nearly 2030 years ago a mix of military and economic considerations had led to planning and realization of the Via Herculanea, later re-named to Via Augusta, an ancient public street of the Roman Empire to connect Cadiz, Sevilla, Alicante, Valencia, Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona with the extisting network of main streets, all connected to the eternal city of Rome.

Here I will explore a narrative about a spanish youth playing in the streets of Italica, a Roman consul founding a city for war veterans, a Gypsy woman walking barefood on the Via Augusta in Rome and the project of rebuilding a ramp in the color garden of our community FamiliaFeliz in Cervera del Maestre, which will be part of the upcomming community founder festival in 2020. Also i will shed a bit of light upon myth and reality of community founders on the way to work for an idea and enlighten the link between all of this.

social streetwork - Dilan is moving recycled construction material
social streetwork – Dilan is moving recycled construction material

As many politics truely believe a street is a tool to explore a region, to develop a new industrial area and to organize people on their way from A to B. And as we are all dealing most of the times with narratives of belief systems (like religion, science, common sense, the law of nature…) most of these times we are failing.

social streetwork - the broken ramp
social streetwork – the broken ramp

But there is a reason for a street as a tool for transportation, and human mankind mobalize much energy to set up a public street, if there are needs for a logistic solution.

On my journey to discover Spain in the 1980th i was living a month in Granada and joined a trip to an ancient Roman city named Italica, not far from Sevilla. On a very sunny day in May (we enjoyed +47 degrees later at 7pm in the evening in Sevilla) i was walking in the streets of this amazing ancient Roman city. During the Second Punic War in 206 BC Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus had moved a Turdetan settlement, after the battle of Ilipa, into a camp for wounded Roman soldiers and expanded it later into a military post. When i was so far away from the forum romanum in Rome i felt the power of this ancient empire, to be able to connect these places with a network of public highways. I imagined, what the boy Aeluis might have thought about the Roman Empire and his own career later on.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - a ancient roman recipe
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – a ancient roman recipe

Nearly 15 years before i was sitting on a big marble block and drawing a Gypsy woman moving over a ancient street. I was not knowing at that time, to which destination this road – Via Augusta – could lead me. And – maybe as well as Aeluis – i was not aware that we both would take this street in our life, but in the opposite direction.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - filled with natural stones at the border
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – filled with natural stones at the border

When the craftsmen began excavating the base of today’s Cologne Cathedral, the builders at that time thought that a building would only stand securely if the weight of the foundations corresponded to that of the building above it. It took them 40 years to excavate all soil and ground and to fill it with stones mixed with roman concrete, an ancient well-known buildung material. And as the Romans 1000 years before, they also used and recycled material from the old church at the same place.

Imagine what you would think, if you start your career as a freemason in your 20th to be part of a team to build a cathedral. And 40 years later you get retired and the last piece of stone you move is still part of the foundation. In the same way we see FamiliaFeliz as a long term project, much longer than our working lifetime and – for sure – longer than our life at all.

Only three years ago we accomplished our mission to expand the land for our community project by adding the last of first three plots to the collection. We named this area art camp and later it became a host for the first visit of german high school alumnos.

To reach this location everybody has to pass a old concrete ramp, created by the previous owner of the plot. This ramp was already broken and heavy weather events in the last years damaged this building more and more.

social streetwork - new concrete mixed with gravel - 2000 kg in 4 days moved without electricity
social streetwork – new concrete mixed with gravel – 2000 kg in 4 days moved without electricity

After 100 (!) days of lock down in Spain we hope to welcome people from near and far to our Community Founder Festival CFF in August 2020. So we thought it was a good idea to renovate and repair the ramp before all these guests will use this main entrance to the art camp, which will be the host for tends and trailors and vans and cars.

social streetwork - Dilan is preparing the left border
social streetwork – Dilan is preparing the left border

Two times in my life i was the guest in the villa of Aeluis near Rome. He made the way from Italica to the eternal city and became emperor and leader under this name Caesar Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus. His house – Villa Adriano – was more likely a municipal district than an ordanary house. On the way from his parents home to the villa on the hills of Rome he changed the carob seeds for diamonds.

On my visit in his house i realized the power of civil rights. Aeluis, as a spanish boy, was a defeated Iberian in the Punic Wars, who, with his defeat under the Roman empire, at the same time obtained all civil rights, including active and passive voting rights.

What a difference, if you compare this with manifestations in streets of contemporary empires, in which ordinary citizens complain that their civil rights have not been granted yet, after more than 250 years of beeing citizen of these empires!

Aeluis for sure traveled on the ancient Roman public street Via Augusta, he passed the little village of Benlloch in Castellon as well as Roman metropoles like Tarragona, Barcelona and Girona on his way to Rome.

Aeluis also passed on the Via Augusta a city founded and organized by Decimus Iunius Brutus Callaicus. This Roman conqueror had developed an little island in the Turia river, 4 km far from the coast. This city was designed as a retreatment area for soldiers. Later under the Caliphate of Córdoba it became a well developed commercial and administrative city named Valencia.

The Gypsy woman walking on the hot stones of the Via Augusta in Rome was a symbol of commerce for me and highlighted the meaningfulness of this network of public streets all over Europe.

social streetwork - amplify the ramp border
social streetwork – amplify the ramp border

Aeluis had not experienced any border control nor passed any check points on his way to Italy. It was one country at that time. And till the lock down began, i was a European citizen with the right of free movement and could followed him in the same way. Many years after his travel, with the spanish flue, countries in Europe invented border controlls for ordanary citizens, and, what coincidence, in these times again the free movement in Europe is falling apart.

Streets are used by military, by commercial dealers as well as by humans looking for new challenges in their lives in discovering new territories and remote places. Streets are links between centers of power. Streets are following ideas. Streets are places for the manifestation of human dreams and values. Sometimes, like the Roman empire, part of the idea disappers. But if we meet a street, we can meet the history, which leads to the ideas.

The ramp in the color garden of FamiliaFeliz in Cervera del Maestre, Castellon, located in Pais Valenciano, not far from the Via Augusta, might be used in the future also by travelers discovering their new lifes. As a main entrance to the art camp it is a kind of private street but also an invitation to peace, a link to the tribe of humans without fear.

social streetwork - Francesca working on the ramp foundation
social streetwork – Francesca working on the ramp foundation

Like the young freemanson digging the foundation of the Chatedral of Cologne, who in his imagination may hear the praises of the parish around the shrine of the three wise men, Dilan, Francisca, and Jens and many other are working on the ramp in the color garden, to invite guests, they might never see with their own eyes.

The myth of community building is sitting in a circle and singing, the reality is digging the foundation to set up a place to make that gathering happen. I took the Via Augusta to the south east of Spain. Aeluis went to Italy. He changed the peace of Italica for the violence in Rome, as part of the elite. I left the violence of neliberal capitalism in the north and I changed the diamonds for carob seeds. You might see the trees, if you walk the ramp.

social media equals social distancing

#SOCIALMEDIA was seen as as a computer-based layer over network connections to be used as an information exchange opportunity for their users. In the wild west hype of Internet emerged a lot of so-called funcionality on screen to tickle the human neurons.

no social distancing - harvesting olives in the color garden
no social distancing – harvesting olives in the color garden

This story is about social media, social distancing, real community life, final goals, military tools and about selecting useful information out of spam and the link between all of them. You are 1 out of 7 out of 23.000 if you read this story down to the end.

When i gave my first lectures in IT-Networking on a glimp of the beginning of remote data transmission i was asked by a elderly student: “What will be a fundamental consequence of using this network on a daily basis?” My answer was simple as that: “The information will loose its value.” Now – looking back – i would likely clarify “the flat-screen-based information…”.

We – as humans – are evaluating the relative truth of information by calculating the distance between the sender (to us) and the source of this information itself. Embedded in never ending story telling we see self-experienced information – sender equals receiver – as likely true, if it is told us by somebody else maybe true and if the person giving us third party information we become more and more unsure.

Based on OSI we experience the information offered in our perception. But finally we are looking on a kind of a black box because we – as an application to receive this information – are not able to decode the underlaying protocols. So like in the last 200.000 years of human mankind we invented strategies to evaluate this black box by using assumptions, prejudices and validations.

Originally created as a military weapon additive the former ARPA-NET, all this ingreediences in this black box became more and more commerialized. In the beginning it was only the access to this black box which was invoiced. Later the bill expanded to include individual functions and access to content inside or behind the black box.

Whenever humans inventing tools they imagine an advantage. They calculate this advantage in comparing tools to achieve their goals. So my second prediction as a reply to the question of my student was: “And the sender will invent more and more sofisticated tools to present their information as true.”

At the same time the black box was growing a lot. As a point in the FIDO-NET fourty years ago i was reading maybe 10 posts in newsgroups and happy about one personal mail a day. The effort to wrap information in a way to send it, was high – like stepping into a little yellow or red iron cabine in the corner of a street to make a remote call – and therefore the average of daily received messages was low.

Based on my career and the capacity of internet functionality our community FamiliaFeliz used a website and social media to spread its information as well. By using this black box we where trapped in the same way as the others and even knowing the conditions from a professional point we experienced the same difficulties “to get our message to the receiver”.

Making research on the possibilities of these new tool social media we where focused on two issues: hidden features and emergent values, in naive speech: “Contemporary communities should have a look at contemporary tools to reach contemporary goals.”

Social media, as a product of private companies, is for sale. You might pay with money – which is another currency for quality life time – or you pay by giving attention, anyway, you pay. Refering to the evaluation of the tool we have to look on advantage and disadvantage of using this tool.

To messure this value we should think about the real goal. For many social media users we see a shift from infinite / final goals to milestones as goals. Lets give a sample: If your final goal is to buy a car you might have a look at some online shops and blogs and vlogs about cars you are interested in. You will compare the received information with your assumptions and prejudices and maybe you will validate it in a test drive at the nearest car dealer. But finally you might buy a car and you stop to make research about it. All research and surfing the internet could be seen as temporary goals to reach the final goal to buy the next car. In this case the information out of the black box is used to reach this defined goal by surfing from milestone to milestone.

But it is not as easy as this. You are not alone using the internet. Some machine learning algorythmns are following you and learning what you like and how you act in front of all this competitive information sources. By tracking your way online – and offline – the sender as an intermediate is learning how to show a given product in the best way to you. As a ROI probably he will try to sell this knowledge to the car dealer.

The message the car dealer is learning from this might be, that it makes a lot of sense to postpone the bio feedback – the test drive – to the latest possible moment in with you made up your mind already about which car you are likely to buy. Therefore you might see less and less opportunities for test drives in the future.

no social distancing - creating mosaics in the house of the dragon
no social distancing – creating mosaics in the house of the dragon

As an international decentralized community FamiliaFeliz doesn’t want to sell a car or any other product. Many other communities – struggling with money to survive – are inventing products like workshops (spirituality, health, community buildung, permaculture, bio construction) for so-called living community tourists.

We do not want to judge about the communities, neither about these clients. It seems to be normal to invent a fitting product for a potential customer. Many of these users are spending hours and hours of screen time to feed the dream of a community life and social media offer a lot of groups where these customers can exchange their dreams and visions about living in a community. No wonder that a lot of communities try to meet their potential clients inside these social media networks surfing for content to feed their dreams.

However, both sides seem to be trapped. The community which try to gather clients will run in a never ending competition about attention and a “LIKE” doesn’t solve any economical challenge for them. The surfer and social media user introduces himself as somebody who search for the final goal to join or invent a community project, but more likely he stick on his chair in front of the screen and return to exactly this surfing mode to feed his desires.

There are other communities – without any business plan for social media – like FamiliaFeliz. These projects are just posting time by time something about their real activities and daily life.

no social distancing - exploring the new land of hope
no social distancing – exploring the new land of hope

In a social media group called “Projecto de Ecoaldeas en España” we found 63.4% of the posts initiated by the sender as a share of external information not direct related to himself or to an existing project of an ecoaldea (research 2020-05-31 – 6pm). The sender was just sharing information about videos, howto’s and external articles about topics like useful tools, bio construction or spirituality. We can assume that each sender was a) aware about the topic of this group (eco village projects) and b) that each sender expected a value to share this posts in this group. We might assume also that the sender would like to see more of similar postings in this place from other group members. Non of these posts leed to a real eco village project or gives information about a real activity of any existing eco village project.

In the same research we identified 13.3% of the posts as direct advertising with deep links to products, like workshops or webinars. Only half of them where related to existing communities as the provider of such trainings. The other half was posted by individuals, who probably expect to be able to win customers among the visitors of this group.

Only 10% where shared posts from individual members of other groups about real activities of communities and 13.3% where direct posts from community members about activities of their own community. If you count the 10% and these last 13.3% as posts and content really related to the topic of the social media group, it should be noted that more than 75% of the information has nothing or very little to do with the real life of communities.

But nevertheless more than 23.000 members are enjoying this group. So whatever might be posted, this people get what they want.

On the other hand less than 15% of this information is delivered throughout this black box from a sender who might be a real member of a real community.

The word of the year 2020 could be #SOCIALDISTANCING and we don’t know yet how big the impact for future generations will be. But it looks like, that the effect of postings in social media support more the following AI and the companies running the networks and selling the user (behaviour) data than it leads to finite goals of users really willing to enter a community or communities looking for new members to join.

no social distancing - all about love - a performance in Tortosa
no social distancing – all about love – a performance in Tortosa

Many years ago i started to develop a social media group called work of art. This group was introduced as “to discover how we could transform virtual attention into real benefit and value for all members”. I wrote: ” Social networks are full of spam and redundant information and it will be a survival of the fittest and a soft skill to use such virtual environments in a human and useful way.”

35 years after using my FIDO-NET server as a host for the first online-based training in collaboration with the public highschool of Cologne i found myself in the year 2020 in Spain in a lock down with kids in the house, neglected by their schools and confronted with inexperienced teachers who desperately practice sending PDF files and video links of social media platforms to their scholar.

In the early years of the internet i was responsible for train-the-trainer seminars. As the elderly student asked me about the future impact in my first online based training in these teacher trainings it was important to me to bring new generations of pedagogues closer to the consequences for their own profession in times of internet. Social media flodding out of the black box was promoted as a social tool, but it kept the distance between sender and receiver and as a product its inherent feature was and is to hold the receiver as long as possible in the loop of surfing: screen time versus quality life time.

35 years ago in my first online based seminar i experienced how important real presence time was for my students. Even receiving information is a social act and useless if not compagnioned by other sense experience than listening and looking.

no social distancing - all about love - lecture in the MLU Halle in Germany - biology
no social distancing – participative strategies in education – lecture in the MLU Halle in Germany – biology

You have to put your hands in the clay to understand what bio-construction means. You have to wash all the plates for the group to understand what it means to live in a community. You have to donate your last money to another member without fear to understand what shared economy means.

The ongoing fragmentation of societies was initiated by media and politics and the myth of western individualism. We can denote internat and social media as milestones. AI – artificial intelligence – driven algorithms personalize what we see. The information is wrapped and selected like convenient food to hold us in our mental and physical comfort zone.

Flat screen – flat life, when surfing in social media becomes a loop and receiving information becomes the ultimate goal, you will not arrive in the color garden of FamiliaFeliz. Keep in mind: Social media equals social distancing.

Like freedom fighters communicating between each other by sticking short paper messages on tanks we send this message in a bottle throughout this black box of social media.

no social distancing - lectures on our UNIIE campus in Spain
no social distancing – lectures on our UNIIE campus in Spain

No workshop, no car, no hidden agenda, our message is simple: just leave the screen and go for your dream. Expand your quality lifetime, in nature, with other like-minded people.

You are 1 out of 7 out of 23.000 members of a social media network group. We calculate 20% active members in this group of 23000. We calculate 15% of them are posting information related to the topic and 1% of them are highly motivated to found or co-found a community (real entrepreneurs). So we wrote this article for nearly 7 people – by posting it into that group, and you are one of them. Maybe you will make it to the color garden.

A story of love and passion

This is a story of love and it is a story of a man, his advise, my sculpture, our tragedy, your world and the passion to donate a whole life to peace and freedom.

Corona-the story of love and passion - the world as a working space
Corona-the story of love and passion – the world as a working space

The man’s name is Eitan, he’s living in South France with his wife and a son. I met him years ago in an art space called Saint Henri in the Aude region. He was part of an artist group and he co-organized a big art festival every year. In these days of lock down and limited human rights i was thinking about Eitan, his journey through life, his passion and energy and his advice to me years ago when i was working on a new sculpture for the house of the dragon.

In the first five month of 2020 the common narrative is cruising around Corona and the political and the economical implications. Even in Spain we experienced a kind of worst case scenario.

My art is – if it is related to architecture and sculpturing – often driven by simple needs to solve a challenge. In case of this sculpture the heavy weather events with a lot of rain in spring 2020 in our region in Spain (Maestrazgo) reminded to an unsolved problem in our terrace.

Corona-the story of love and passion - food for future
Corona-the story of love and passion – food for future

In one corner we created a very tiny wall and with low budget we where not able to close the gap between wall and terrace floor properly. So heavy rains let water pass the construction and we have a wet wall inside of the lower room. The problem is know for 30 years but never was money and time (at the same moment !) available to solve it.

Corona-the story of love and passion - Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture - new raised bed in the color garden
Corona-the story of love and passion – Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture – new raised bed in the color garden

Now in times of Corona – as in many family homes the people check all these abandoned tasks – we started to finish this job. Inspired by another project in the last time – a terrace garden – we designed a structure like a very little raised bed. This bed is also a link to our big color garden project which we expanded a lot with the help of Dilan and Francesca from Manresa and other friends of Familiafeliz in the village of Cervera del Maestre.

We see ourselves as very privileged to stay in a little peaceful village in the first line of mountains in province of Castellon in these times of lock down. Nevertheless we are affected and we will be affected much more in the next years. This is a kind of civil war, the weapons are narratives, drugs, media and decrees. The target is global human mankind. The parties involved are highly motivated or as always as a majority silent and docile.

Corona-the story of love and passion - Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture - informal learning at its best
Corona-the story of love and passion – Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture – informal learning at its best

My art is social sculpturing and i am focused on the people i meet and their needs, dreams and wishes. A piece of art is an creative expression as a reaction of my surroundings and it cover a narrative as well. It becomes common sense – and therefore culture on a long term – if it is substanzial and clear like a lighthouse and if it is able to give orientation and vision to cover the challenge of life.

Corona-the story of love and passion - Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture - message in the bottle
Corona-the story of love and passion – Dilan is cutting ceramics for the sculpture – message in the bottle

Eitan was born in Israel. As many young men he was part of military and served in various conflicts and in a big local war. Later in his life he moved to the United States and worked as a cook in the United States military. In this position he served in another war. He was part of a very little community in which he meet is wife Jessica. Later they both went to France and rebuild a very old stone house in a little village in the Pyrenees . Both are highly creative people and they are surrounded by a lot of other artists and friends. But – as always if somebody is powerful and driven by values and vision – the life is challenging them a lot.

Familiafeliz, as a social sculpture, is itself a piece of art and a reflection and reaction to this world. In the core team we think, that collaboration and cooperation leads to more peace, freedom and happiness. We share the idea of living individually embedded in a sustainable family clan based on values of humanity. This world, as we experience now, is passing a tipping point and – like nature ever – falling from one relative balance into another. Based in the second law of thermodynamics i use the word falling with intention.

If you are still reading this post and if you ask yourself what is the link between Eitan, a sculpture on top of a Spanish house in the mountains of el maestrazgo, the tragedy of corona and the downfall of our old world order you are just framed in the right way, to receive the advise, Eitan gave to me years ago in a little café in the region of Aude in France.

I moved years ago to France because i was looking for community life and tired about the same stories they told me in existing communities i visited. Most of them are starting full of illusion, initiated by powerful people and driven by those who want to escape from the system and organizing community life by inventing rules and more rules and more rules. I was not sure what i should do, because i experienced that all these community designs lead to the same, a tragic copy of the overall societies in western worlds. And with Corona we see now the implications of these design. I was sure, that there might be an alternative design available, which might be driven by “less is more”. And when Eitan asked me what i would like to do really, i answered him: “My intention is to create a space in which this new pattern of community life can occur, as a result of less is more. I see myself as a facilitator, not the creator, and finally i will be not part of it because i want to limit my influence.”

The snake in the terrace is protecting the plants in the raised bed. It is turning the head in the direction of Madrid as the source of political power in Spain and its eyes are connecting the people moving in the streets of the village and the sky above all of us. Its cock is pointing to another older sculpture of this artist residence and familiafeliz guest house, the dragon on top of the highest wall.

Corona-the story of love and passion - the dragon on the wall
Corona-the story of love and passion – the dragon on the wall

The key qualifications of the 21st century are: growing and defending food.

Juan Petry

Like the healing snake i see this animal in a positive way. Its ability to skin brings him the reputation of immortality. In times of Corona people get confused by loosing the contact to nature and full of fear the death becomes an unhuman enemy and intolerant exception.

We are part of the nature and we borrowed our body from its bio mass. By leaving the paradise we where able to experience the world and its beauty but we loosed the immortality. So my inherent message of this sculpture is as simple as this: grow your food and protect it from those who want to steal it and share it which those who decide to life with you in a space to develop a new pattern of living together in communty.

The snake is now part of the CASAdelDRAGON, the artist residence and think tank of new social ideas, the guest house for our community and the playground for gatherings, performance and projects. Less is more. Make it simple. The snake has no arms and legs. It doesn’t carry weapons. It use its body to perform. The body of the idea of Familiafeliz is our charter, a simple basic text about our principals (pdf, englisch version | other languages available here) . We are embedded into this world, we have no second one. We are moving in our bio mass for a couple of years inside of this world. We should be smart and bright in our temporal easy going. We should be motivated by creativity and the desire to discover, not by fear.

Eitans advise to me was simple as this: No backup! Go! Whatever you want to do in your life. Start now, do not wait and do not waste your time by maintaining a backup. Losing is not an option. Only when you route all the energy in achieving your goal, you will succeed.

The immortal snake construction was finished yesterday. Today we will place some plants in its raised bed. This plants are for your future and we will prepare them in the kitchen of the house of the dragon. This little sculpture will be linked to a wise man and his advise for us, not to limit our power in thinking in backups.

Eitan was born in 1943-05-27. He will celebrate his 77st birthday today. Happy birthday Eitan!

Corona-the story of love and passion - go for your mission without backup
Corona-the story of love and passion – go for your mission without backup

Jam for #POPAs

jam for #POPAs - experimental cooking
jam for #POPAs – experimental cooking

In spring 2020 Familiafeliz – like many other living community projects – was passing a very special time. We where happy to harvest the last oranges (naranjas) and medlar (nispero) in our home unit in Spain in the color garden.

jam for #POPAs - the freedom of expression
jam for #POPAs – the freedom of expression

The artist residence CASAdelDRAGON hosted between 50 and 200 visitors per year. We where not sure about the future but we decided to prepare some jam for the coming guests in later 2020.

Because of lock down and many restrictions in Spain some shelfs in the super markets are empty and we could not buy aga-aga or pectine. So we decided to look for alternative ways to cook the jam by using not so many sugar.

jam for #POPAs - new label - new order
jam for #POPAs – new label – new order

We combined strawberry with orange, medlar with grapes and we added pieces of eggplants to the raw mix of fruits and sugar (250g eggplants per 1000g fruits and 500g sugar). It worked very well and gave the mix a good volume and absorbed a lot of liquid.

After Generation Y / Millennials we are now thinking of the next era of youth, we call them #POPAs = POst PAndemics, Most of the jars we donated to our local friends with kids and some we stored for new visitors. Actually we are planning for the CFF (Community Founder Festival) in late August (21.08. – 31.08.) and we get nearly every day a mail or call from a couple or single with kids looking for a new life and an alternative livings space and some kind of community life.

We are not sure how life will be in the future but it might be different from what we had before.

Some people did something before CORONA, they are doing it still in the lock down and they might continuing in doing it after. Others had done something, they are not doing anything in the lock down and they might need to find something different to do after CORONA.

Juan Petry, Artist
jam for #POPAs - new label - international jam session
jam for #POPAs – new label – international jam session

At the same time we prepared the first jam in our home unit in Germany. Happy to imagine the taste of all this different fruits from different countries. We hope to exchange a lot in this summer.

Urban gardening in times of reconstruction

urban gardening
urban gardening in times of reconstruction

In early 2020 our community – like many other in the world – experienced a serious time of reconstruction. Limited in access and free movement we focused on solutions to survive and to initiate peace and hope around us. We collected plants and seeds and started to prepare a urban garden on the terrace. We published news around this theme to guide some friends far away asking for urban gardening solutions and we documented the progress.

urban gardening - new beans
urban gardening – new beans

We shared and donated plants in the village and we prepared some seeds for having more plants in the future.

urban gardening - extensive use of limited space
urban gardening – extensive use of limited space

We created some frames out of pallet wood. We tried plants in different locations of the terrace, in different pots, compagnioned by different other plants.

So far after 4 weeks we experienced this:

  • Potatos – even out-cutted piezes with buds – are growing well.
  • Salad is growing fast in some pots, very slowly in others.
  • Bigger frame constructions containing more soil are working better than little once.
  • Replanted onions are buildung flowers. Leek doesn´t look good.
  • Tomatos in bigger plastic bottles (including a bigger deposite of water) are growing better.
  • Watercress is growing fast and better in protected areas with some shadow over the day.
  • The mix of garden soil, compost and starter soil makes a big difference.

We decided to continue the project and to expand the production of new plants with donated seeds from friends. We will replant some in our big garden.

CFF – community founder festival 2020 in Spain

willing workers on organic farms - the circle of alimentation
CFF 2020 | community founder festival 2020-08-21 – 2020-08-31 | Spain

Many people are on their journey to find the right community. At the same time many communities are looking for candidates and new members. There are some gatherings on national level, sometimes limited to one language or with an approach somewhat remote. We feel it’s time to think about an international gathering.

If you are a (co-)founder of an existing or soon in 2020 upcoming community and you like to invite others to join your project, you are very welcome. In a first step we have published this message, we have defined the location and date and we have opened an application form to gather a core group for design and administration of such a gathering.

Something starts when one person says NOW, not when everybody is ready.

Juan Petry

In times of Covid-19 we are not able to predict if a physical gathering will be possible in Europe at this time (in late August) but we want to open this dialogue with you NOW to prepare it and to focus on that time line.

Familiafeliz as a host for this gathering is willing to share its resources, especially the art camp and the color garden, but it will need your active participation to create and perform a successful event.

CFF 2020 - festival map
CFF 2020 – festival map

Therefore this post and its content is an invitation to come together and to identify you as somebody looking for an alternative way of life and willing to donate your energy for such an outcome.

Join the core team now. | Read more about this event (regulary updated PDF).

new hot spot in the terrace garden

new hotspot in the terrace garden
new hotspot in the terrace garden

In these times (March / April 2020) we used our terrace garden as a home office and added a new segment including a dry cabinet.

The lower part again contains a box for plants and gives the structure weight and strength. With two bars in the middle we used the given space for plants in little pots. The dry cabinet contains two refurbished windows. The whole structure is made with wood from two palets.

new hotspot in the terrace garden - experiments
new hotspot in the terrace garden – experiments

In one corner we planted the lower part of leeks. According to some online tips they should grow and create some new little eatable plants. We will document the progress later here.

new hotspot in the terrace garden - the new segment in place
new hotspot in the terrace garden – the new segment in place

The dry cabinet is painted black to reflect less energy. Inside we used milk carton pieces. The temperature reached nearly 34 degree at 4pm with cloudy sunshine.

With this segment we added space for nearly 40 new plants on less than 1 square meter. In the next days we will optimize the energy management to reach higher temperatures inside the cabinet. And we will start to collect – and later publish – some recipies for drying snacks, fruits and vegetables.

terrace gardening – cradle 2 cradle

cradle2cradle - upcycling
cradle2cradle – upcycling

In a more holistic way of thinking and doing we like to upcycle whatever is possible. We get sometimes donations of wood pallets and we store them in our color garden. As part of the terrace gardening project – which is growing as well – we used two pallets to create a new structure for tomato and some other plants.

cradle2cradle - recycling
cradle2cradle – recycling

The truth of upcycling is that – like every other action – it creates other types of waste. We collected the left overs form wood for heating. The ash will be re-used for our chicken stable (mixed with sand it reduce flies and tricks) and become later with the animal shit and add-on for our compost. The nails – separated in the heating process – we will use for natural ink production.

cradle2cradle - vertical garden segment
cradle2cradle – vertical garden segment

The vertical terrace garden segments contains three layer. At the bottom we created a box for planting to give stable weight to the segment. In the middle we are able to use the structure as a intermediate place for plants. The upper layer is designed for bottles to hold the soil for the tomato plants.

cradle2cradle - water storage
cradle2cradle – water storage

We filled the bottom of the box with wood pieces. These pieces are waste of orange box production and – because of its use to transport unwrapped fruits – not contaminated with poison. They will store water and manage humidity in the soil on top of them. Over the year they will be composted as well and therefore we create new organic material at the same time in the same place.

cradle2cradle - plants and hay
cradle2cradle – plants and hay

Like in our bigger raised beds in the color garden of CASAdelDRAGON we use hay to cover the soil between the plants.

cradle2cradle - preparing for a new challenge
cradle2cradle – preparing for a new challenge

To be able to route the tomato plant through the tiny spout of the plastic bottle we cut lower bigger leafs of the plant and prepare a soft fabric to hold the soil.

cradle2cradle - inventing tools
cradle2cradle – inventing tools

In the creative process of solving problems on the way we invented a little tool to help us to pass the spouts.

cradle2cradle - mounting preparating
cradle2cradle – mounting preparating

Every bottle is prepared with 5 wholes. Two of them are for later mounting in the structure. The other are used as a drainage of excess rainwater.

cradle 2 cradle - the first tomato plants bottled
cradle 2 cradle – the first tomato plants bottled

The first four bottles are in place. Now we are looking in the neighborhood for more plastic bottles.

These post, like others before about our terrace gardening project, like to inspire you for your own solutions (we will enjoy feedback and your ideas about other nice solutions to use the terrace as a vegetable garden).

We saw some videos about tomato plants inside of bottles. We like to discover this design and its pros and cons. We will keep you updated about the progress.

In working out these little vertical gardening segment we already get some more inspirations of new designs.

You can ever develop a bit more….

cradle 2 cradle - space for more - onions on top
cradle 2 cradle – space for more – onions on top