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Jen Wilding - Communicating RBE Concepts - Z-Day 2012 (Repository)

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A Practical Strategy for Communicating RBE Concepts by Jen Wilding Hi. OK. By a quick show of hands, how many people in this room have introduced somebody to the concept of a resource-based economic model and as a result you received a response of sincere gratitude from the person? You were told "Thank you for sharing this with me." OK, good. I don't know how many of you have actually shared. How many of you have shared this with other people? OK, so not everyone has received that response. Hopefully I'm going to help you out with that. How many people may have received feedback at all similar to this note of gratitude I'm going to read to you: "I just want to thank you for posting the facebook status: 'WAKE UP YOU IGNORANT SHEEPLES BEFORE WE ALL DIE' followed by eleven exclamation points because if you hadn't done that, myself, my wife and two children might not had watched the 14 YouTube links you posted in the two hours following that and thus discovered this new resource-based economic paradigm information that has been life-changing for us. I shudder to think that if your status had been typed in lower case letters instead of all caps we might still be in the dark today about solutions that offer encouraging possibilities to all mankind." I don't think any of you identify with that, fortunately. This is not a real post but unfortunately it was modeled after some people's real posts (no one here, I'm sure). I bring this up as an extreme example of how our strategy for communicating information has a direct impact on whether or not someone is open to considering the information you have to offer. I bring this up as an extreme example to illustrate that in particular. And what's... even though this is nothing new (that the way you communicate makes a difference) as a US coordinator one of the most frequent questions I'm asked by people is "How do I communicate this information in a way that my friends, relatives and coworkers will be more likely to receive it?" I've been invited to offer some advice to perhaps optimize your communication strategy which I offer to you in six parts. Part 1: Adjusting Your Expectations When trying to contribute to an evolution you have to consider a major component that has been prevalent in our own existing evolution up until now and that is a component that humans have a history of exhibiting symptoms of and that is neophobia. Actually not this kind, a different kind. By that I mean the fear of new things or experiences. As a related condition, there is a related condition also called the 'status quo bias' which is very similar to that. I'm sure you have experience with people who are exhibiting both neophobia and perhaps the status quo bias. Neophobia: the fear of new things or experiences; Status Quo Bias: a cognitive bias for the status quo; in other words, people tend not to change an already established behavior. They tend to go with default programming and traditionally this fear of new things is somewhat indigenous to our human limbic system which is related to our emotion and memory mind and has been helpful in keeping us in an evolutionary sense from an early demise as a result of eating unfamiliar berries that might be poisonous. Yet, as we are discovering it has been decidedly unhelpful when needing to update crippled socio-economic systems. And here are some potential causes of neophobia and status quo bias: risk aversion, regret avoidance, transactional costs and psychological commitment or learning curve. Here's an example of neophobia at its finest in history. It is from an article called 'Enhancing Humanity' written by a professor Raymond Tallis: "In Victorian times, it was anticipated that going through a dark tunnel in a train at high speed (30 mph or 48km/h) would be such a shocking experience that people would come out the other side irreversibly damaged." This was an actual fear of travel by rail. This is what you're working with and so when I say adjust your expectations just know that it's a natural part of humans a part of our evolution even to be skeptical of new things because they may not be good for us. Knowing this challenge, how can we enhance our communication strategy to be more effective? To answer this question we can look to other information about human behavior for clues so I'm going to ask you this: Can you guess the most addictive human behavior? No, it's not cigarette smoking. It's not eating sweets. Although breathing is a good one I don't think it made the list. Drinking coffee, no. - [from audience] Sex. - It came close. [laughing] We know Shar's vote. Being right! ... being right. OK, so there was no formal study per se. It was more an informal survey of a few close friends but I think the results have merit in this conversation and I'll actually dare you to prove me wrong. Stay with me because this is leading us into part two which is... Part 2: Adopt the Quality of 'Brilliant'. Didn't you know you could do this? As many of you know, this is something that is desirable: adopting the quality of 'brilliant'. Let's think about what that's actually comprised of. Maybe this is something you've heard or perhaps said about someone an author or speaker that you have thought was brilliant: "This guy (or gal) is saying some of the same things I've been telling people for years! He (or she) puts it all together so well; he (or she) is therefore brilliant!" Do you see the connection? Right? If you were to go to that in your mind you might had even said that about Peter Joseph as I know many of you are perhaps here as a result of watching his movies. I hear this said about him all the time. I had this thought about him at the time. Basically it comes down to this: It really feels good to be right and we tend to listen to people who make us right basically who validate an aspect of our existing view of the world. I want to talk about belief systems, our view of the world: belief systems as a worldview. This is sort of a map and note: "The map is not the territory" ... famously [Korzybski]. Since we are born, we begin developing our worldview: how the world works, what our relationship to the world is. In order for us to first learn something new we need to have some orientation of the new idea to our current worldview or reference. A wise friend once told me that he'd heard that the ultimate sign of intelligence in a person was having the ability to honestly try on another person's worldview a different opposing view, temporarily, without any fear of an obligation to take it on as his own just trying it on and seeing how that person thinks. I want you to imagine how the effort of trying on the worldview of others can contribute to your communication. How can you adopt this quality of 'brilliant'? You can set out to make someone 'right' instead of make them 'wrong' and try to start out with agreement. You do this by finding and acknowledging shared values within their existing worldview. Why does this work? Because it gives us those good feelings. It gives that person a sense of "Wow, this person does have some good points on this particular aspect." Some keys to natural 'brilliance' are that you really need to be a good listener in a conversation with someone so that you can learn what their worldview is; find out what's important to them. You want to find areas of authentic agreement and then contribute authentic agreement to the conversation. Basically it means that [the] 'authentic' piece of it is important because I know when someone is being fake with me just as much as I'm sure you do: if somebody is just trying to be manipulative. There's not need to in this case. We're talking about things that people have shared values in regard to. There is common ground to be found. All you have to do is find where the authentic common ground is. I want to review some shared values that you will find (this is in our resource-based economic model what we are advocating, what we desire) and also, if you listen to a lot of other people and what they are looking for it's basically the same thing in one form or another and if not all of these things, some of these things. Human equality, efficiency or sustainability scientific proof or evidence, health and well-being and freedom for personal contribution. Let's see. Just as a reminder or refresher, let's quickly review the characteristics of a resource-based economic model, which are: no money or market system the automation of labor technological unification of Earth via a systems approach access over property (so basically having access to resources vs. having to own them) self-contained or localized city and production systems and science as the methodology for governance. That's, basically, you know what you would be leading to in a communication after you start with an agreement from a shared value. We're going to move to part 3 and then I'm going to give some examples of how all this fits into a conversation. [Part 3:] Comparing a Resource Based Economy Concept to an existing or familiar concept. This is challenging because it is hard to find where in our current system there are things to tap into that people can relate to. I'll give you a few examples. The reason that the fish or sea animals don't eat each other at the New England Aquarium... This aquarium is a four-story coral reef exhibit that includes over 600 sea animals (I was there visiting a little over a year ago) and a child asked this question of the aquarium staff: "Why don't the fish and sea animals that would normally be eating each other in the ocean do this in the tank? and how do you maintain your stock for this (the fish)?" The answer was that the reason they have modified their behavior is because the aquarium staff is diligent to ensure that all of the species are well-fed food that they are satisfied with and since they are already taken care of in this way there's no need for them to feed on each other. They can now swim side by side without a problem. Do you think fish are smarter than humans would be in a similar scenario? Just something to think about. That was the human nature argument. Or this one: "I personally find more freedom in NOT owning my own shopping cart than I would trying to lug it to the store with every trip." We can start to realize that we already accept sharing property as a 'freedom' in certain present-day contexts. That makes it easier to consider that an idea could be expanded upon with an improved outcome. Then you might think: Well, are there other ways in which this might be useful that we would be sharing resources where we need them and not needing to own them that there is actually more freedom in that concept? And we embrace it. I don't know anybody that would say "No, I have to have my own shopping cart, this is ridiculous!" [Audience laughter] You know...food for thought. Children offer a great example of how humans might behave when they aren't required to have jobs. Notice they don't usually have much paperwork represented in their play. There is probably no call to the insurance company to check coverage details (we can learn so much from little people). They do play to be helpful with each other and it is a sense of work, except it's work that they're enjoying. They would love to be doing that for real. It's an adult thing to do but it's not something, you know... their kids aren't... They're playing! I don't know how many people's kids just sit around and watch football all day long and they never leave the house at this age (although maybe that would be more convenient for some parents). No, they're pretty active, so I think they offer a good example when people say "Isn't everybody going to be lazy if there aren't any jobs?" Part 4 is to make use of the Socratic Method a.k.a., otherwise known as Ask Questions and really listen for the answers. Asking questions encourages critical thinking on the part of both parties. But in order to really be effective you need to actively listen for the answers to questions and then formulate a new response based on those answers instead of just waiting for your turn to speak. In order to illustrate these I'm going to give you some examples of communication exchanges based on real things that have come up of people who, after you introduced the concept of a Resource-Based Economy or maybe they just watched one of Peter's films they have different kinds of reactions to them. I'll give you some examples: "Won't everyone be just as lazy in a Resource-Based Economy?" Ask yourself "What are the shared values or concerns behind this response?" That's really what you want to look for. Human Equality: It would be unfair for some people to be doing work or not contributing and just benefiting. I think that's kind of the view so that human equality, and also that plays into sustainability. If everybody was just lazy in an RBE what would really get done? What would really happen? Would that be any place I'd want to live? Of course, you here are people that already get this but this is just trying to tap into how you might respond to this in a way that's tapping into those shared values. Again, I suggest a response that includes the shared value acknowledged and starting with agreement: "I agree. In order for this new system to sustain itself you can't have one group benefiting over another group. It has to be a fair system where everyone is reaping equal benefits. What I actually like about an RBE model is that the issue of equality is addressed in the design. The idea is to reduce human labor using an efficient system of design and technology so that the necessary jobs that no one enjoys become completely automated. This leaves jobs that people enjoy like teaching creating art, creating music, developing technology, gardening work that most would not require a rigid, stressful schedule or that could be shared in shifts perhaps with others to allow for family and social time." Then I would pose a question: "Do you feel that in that scenario people would still choose to lay around instead of making a pleasurable contribution?" That's just one example of how to approach that particular person to open up the conversation. Another one is "But technology hasn't improved life. It's made things worse." I like to think: What might be the shared concerns or values behind this kind of a response? [It's] well-being, because we know technology today replaces jobs which are tied to income, which causes people to have a lower standard of living. There is a concern for well-being underlying that statement and making a personal contribution. Also it may be when they say it's made things worse the evils that technology is used for such as in warfare. Our response might be "I agree there is a lot of technology in existence today that does more harm than good. Military weapons are a prime example, in addition to machines stealing jobs from humans, and thus taking away needed income. However, in a Resource-Based Economic Model the need for weapons to secure land or resources becomes obsolete. Technology for these purposes would be obsolete and since humans would no longer need to work to earn money in order to live comfortably I think in those circumstances we'd welcome the machines to do the labor that we don't enjoy or that isn't safe." Imagine what good things could be done by machines if money wasn't in existence, or money is no object." To give a current example, if you're tying it into an example of where technology can be used for really amazing things: "Technicians are already in the process of perfecting technology that allows for the 'printing' of vital human organs such as kidneys." That's just one example but it took a tremendous advancement to get there, in technology so do we really want to all lump it into evil and bad? These are some things you can bring up in that conversation. [Next:] "As a Christian, I think we need to take into account God's Will." as a response. So [what are] the shared values or concepts behind this response? It could be human equality. It could be well-being. As you're talking to the person you can kind of get what that means to them. Here's one way that you might approach it. "Jesus is a great example of an advocate for a Resource-Based Economic Model, per scriptures. For example "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink I was a stranger and you invited me in." - Matthew 25:35 Note that he doesn't say you gave me a great competitive discount on these things." So it is within. "He also multiplied the fishes and the loaves at that one event which sort of makes me think he'd dig the whole post-scarcity aspect of it. Eliminating poverty and allowing multitudes of people to have free access to food, shelter and healthcare. In fact, the only time he really gets angry that I recall is when he kicks the money changers out of the temple." [Applause] And then you pose a question: "So what do you think he would say about it?" in that framework. I think you'd be surprised that they may be a little bit more open to further discussion on it. Next: "We need to embrace a true free market and individual sovereignty and things will improve." (if we do this) Some shared values and concerns behind this response... If someone is saying "No, we really need to see what the true market has to offer and focus on that this is more the anarcho-capitalist or libertarian response and I know it well, because I used to be in that vein. Human equality is definitely in there as an underlying attribute that they are seeking. Freedom of personal contribution is definitely something that they're seeking in this response and it's something that is a shared value of a resource-based economy. Response: "I also greatly value individual freedom and also agree that a well-designed system will negate the need for laws that unnecessarily restrict freedom. These are actually among the very reasons I support moving to a global resource-based economic model. We are technically capable of moving to a system that would remove the reward for crime and bump everyone up to a high quality of living allowing for more freedom than most have in a monetary system where we have to have money in order to make money and we become enslaved to labor through debt to survive. I'd be thrilled to have only natural laws to answer to and an inherent freedom to pursue my passions in tandem with contributing to an overall healthy environment." Those values are definitely there and represented. The very thing that they are concerned about is acknowledged in the design of what we advocate. [Part 5:] OK here's the other piece of it: We have to know when to walk away. Walk away when the person (and this is what they look like to us when they are acting this way, anyway, I think) is not asking any questions. They are just making statements. They're asking questions but they don't appear interested in sincere responses. In other words they really aren't interested in what you have to say or they're attempting to insult you. There's no need to continue the conversation at that point. We're not trying to be evangelists. In fact, the best that you can do with what we're trying to do as a movement is to sow seeds. As you're sowing seeds, and all that is is just introducing it not even seeking agreement from that person but just getting the information to them having them to think about it for a second or two and as bio-social pressures rise and more and more people look for a different solution a more comprehensive solution to today's problems interest in this train of thought is likely to grow and grow. Part 6: Always maintain a sense of humor. I wanted to end on this example because it's one that always gives me a chuckle. "I can't support this RBE model until I see the hard evidence that it works. Where are the peer-reviewed papers?" I've actually gotten this one and I know of a few other people that have. The shared values or concerns behind this response seem to be pretty obvious: the scientific proof. In response I may say: "I am also a huge fan of the scientific method. In fact, if you were to create a movement advocating a socio-economic paradigm where the scientific method is the very methodology that determines what ideas and innovations are implemented immediately to produce the desired outcome and which ones go back to the drawing board for reworking and revision what might you call that socio-economic movement?" We happen to call it: The Zeitgeist Movement. Thank you. [Applause] The Zeitgeist Movement Working for change in the dominant intellectual, moral and cultural climate of the time.

Video Details

Duration: 26 minutes and 18 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: TZM Los Angeles
Director: TZM Los Angeles
Views: 95
Posted by: ltiofficial on Mar 25, 2012

The speaker is Jen Wilding, at Zeitgeist Day 2012 Los Angeles. Addresses style of communication and offers examples of ways to respond to some common questions/objections.
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