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Welcome!

We want to make the world a better place: by talking with, listening to - and potentially working with - people who see the world differently.

We - the people on this site (and, we trust, you) - want to make the world a better place. The question is: how?  An important part of the answer is: with help from one another - we can't do this on our own.  If we want to make this happen, we will need to learn how to cooperate, really cooperate, with one another.

Right now, the challenges the world faces, but also the possibilities for real change, are greater than they have been in our lifetime.  So we want to do everything we can to understand the challenges and come up with the best possible responses, to enable us to work together and make the best changes happen.

What the human race does today, and in the next few years - how we live, the choices we make - will shape the world, and decide our future.

We need to understand the practical challenges we face.  But we also need to explore ideas and beliefs, hopes and fears, because these are the things which drive our choices and affect the way we live.  And we need to explore them with people who do not already agree with us, because we will need to cooperate with as many people as possible if we are going to beat these challenges.

We will not learn enough if we only talk to those who agree with us, and we will not be strong enough if we only cooperate with those we like.

So we want to attract a wide range of people with different ideas and opinions.  With a range of differing perspectives, we can test the evidence for our ideas and explore the alternatives, so that we have good reason to believe the actions we take are the best we are capable of.  And we always need to be open to the possibility of understanding more, and changing our strategy.

Alongside the challenges, we also want to share some good news about things which give us hope end encouragement: if we are to overcome these challenges, we will need joy and strength just as much as we need clear thinking and accurate information.

We need to act, and interact, as people, with all the benefits and struggles this brings; we cannot pretend to be impersonal dispensors of objective truth.

The problems of this world are caused by people, and they must be solved by people.  Facts really matter, but they rarely persuade people to make the changes which are needed: alongside the facts, we need the personal stories.  Issues need to be grounded in human experience, so we can relate to the story and be moved emotionally as well as intellectually.

We will aim to be as truthful and honest as possible, but nobody is entirely objective.  The best we can do is be open and honest about our preferences and prejudices, do our best to make allowances for them, and be open to other people questioning and challenging our assumptions.

What Next?

Fee free to browse.  All the content on the site is available for anyone to read.  If you wish to contribute in some way, or simply support our vision of people cooperating despite disagreement, you are very welcome to join us, but please read the material in the Introduction first, to understand how we try to do things and why we have a small monthly membership fee.

This site is currently under development - we are still copying content across from the original site.  But there is enough to give you an idea of what we are aiming to build.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

 

Activity

Richard Morris commented on Paul Hazelden's article Democracy: An Introduction
"Paul, thanks for your typically well argued article, and your response to my quick thought. 
Just thought I'd mention today's court ruling of a 5 year sentence for Just Stop Oil protestors. On the one hand we had the judge proclaiming that the defendants were subverting democracy by their actions. On the other, we hear outrage that the judge refused to consider the reasons why the defendants tried to stop traffic on the M25 (their sense of desperation about inadequate government action on…"
Friday
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Democracy: An Introduction
"Absolutely: democracy on its own does not solve all our problems.  But it does provide a good starting point for addressing the problems.  If we want a just society, we have to address the imbalance of power.
To put it another way, some people think that the problems we have are because we need to 'fix' democracy - it is not working because we still have injustice.  But we are not going to create a just society simply by changing the way we do democracy.
Imagine you want to learn the piano, and…"
Thursday
Richard Morris commented on Paul Hazelden's article Democracy: An Introduction
"In our democracy at present, the criteria you list are present but may be amenable to being skewed towards groups with most power. For example, there may well exist a free press but media backed with most financial clout, perhaps by a small number of extremely wealthy magnates , will have the power to make their message more visible. Political parties may have to modify their manifestos for fear of the influence of these magnates. "
Thursday
Paul Hazelden published an article
 [Back to Social Challenges: Politics]
Introduction
The term ‘democracy’ appeared in the 5th century BC, in the Greek city-states, most notably in Athens. ‘Democracy’ referred to a ‘rule of the people’ (δημοκρατία: dēmokratía – dēmos ‘people’ and kratos ‘rule’) as opposed to the traditional system of aristocracy, or ‘rule of an elite’ (ἀριστοκρατία: aristokratía – aristos ‘elite’).  This Greek system was not what we think of as democracy - apart from anything else, the majority of the…
Thursday
Brian Monahan published an article
[Back to Money - An Overview]
Executive Summary Money is something we all need and cannot do without; it is a necessary part of modern society. The bald truth of it is that the financial system that governs how money works is generally a product of human endeavour and invention. This construct has been moulded to serve various human objectives and purposes, with few necessary constraints on how it works. And yet, we all think of this system as a factual given, set in stone, and one that cannot…
Jul 10
Brian Monahan published an article
[Back to Money - An Overview]
Executive Summary Money is something we all need and cannot do without; it is a necessary part of modern society. The bald truth of it is that the financial system that governs how money works is generally a product of human endeavour and invention. This construct has been moulded to serve various human objectives and purposes, with few necessary constraints on how it works. And yet, we all think of this system as a factual given, set in stone, and one that cannot…
Jul 10
Paul Hazelden posted an event

Jul 25, 2024 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Online

Jul 7
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Searching for Truth]
Introduction
Andy Pettman recently wrote an article entitled, "Two sorts of knowledge" and I think he is half right, or maybe two-thirds.  He says:
In English, the word “know” can be used for both a fact and a person.  You can know that the Battle of Hastings was in 1066, and you can also know your best friend.  Both types of knowledge are genuine knowledge, but they are not the same type of thing.  Knowing a fact is very different from knowing a person.  Spanish…
Jun 14
Brian Monahan commented on Paul Hazelden's article Artificial Intelligence
"A slight diversion to a related topic to AI, which perhaps underlies the craziness - an approach I hadn't heard of before: Accelerationism.   Hint: You won't like it one little bit.   I have a word for this, but it's not a nice one.

Why Some Billionaires Are Actively Trying To Destroy The World
Accelerationism, The Dark Enlightenment & The Strange Life of N...

The connection here is that AI is the latest social disrupter from - you guessed it - Silicon Valley.   What better way to…"
May 28
Brian Monahan commented on Paul Hazelden's article Artificial Intelligence
"Hi Paul,
Exactly - AI = Stochastic Parrot
AI will inevitably reinforce, amplify and reflect the pre-existing biases that exist in its training data.
The patterns that AI responds to can generalise existing solutions - and it is simply quite extraordinary what can be done in this way. But is it truly extraordinary, and original? Perhaps not. The AI approach to art is the big giveaway to what it does - it treats creativity as a form of directed randomness, throwing stuff out there.
Here are some…"
May 28
Paul Hazelden posted an event

Jun 13, 2024 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Online

May 27
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Computing and IT]
Introduction
Artificial Intelligence is not intelligent, but it is changing the world.  It certainly poses a risk to some - perhaps many - jobs, but does it pose a risk to the human race, as some have claimed?
One of the significant risks is that AI models need to be trained on large amounts of data - so they will reliably reproduce any bias and injustice which is recorded in the data.
Another significant risk is that people will learn to trust AI, so when it fails -…
May 27
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Social Challenges]
Introduction
There is general agreement that the current economic system is broken - but no agreement on how we ought to fix it.
One of the difficulties of talking about this area is that (like religion) everyone thinks they understand the subject and are qualified to give their opinion; also (and also like religion) many experts disagree fundamentally with each other.  So we need to tread carefully here

Money - An Overview

Also of interest...

Decoupling - How to…
May 13
Paul Hazelden published an article
 [Back to Money - An Overview]
Introduction
Money has financial value, but so too do many other things.
The value of things in society is constantly increasing, and (in general) we want to be able to trade these things, so too the supply of money within the society needs to be constantly increasing, to remain in step.
Price and Value
We tend to confuse price and value: the price is the amount asked for (or paid) for an item, the value is what the item is worth to the people involved.  In normal…
May 11
Paul Hazelden published an article
 [Back to Money - An Overview]
Introduction
The modern world requires an efficient and reliable financial system. We need to be able to pay for things – to move money around, both within nation states and between them. And we need a way to provide capital to people who want to start or grow a business. Beyond this, we (as in 99% of the world’s population) don’t actually need many financial services.
Most ‘financial services’ are services only in the sense that they are things you pay for: they…
May 10
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Economic Reform]
Introduction
Almost every issue and challenge we face is tied up with money - who has it, and how they (we!) choose to spend it.

Financial Services
Money
Money and Value
Universal Basic Income
Money, The Financial System and Human Welfare

You may also want to visit these informative and helpful external sources.

Positive Money: "We campaign for a money and banking system that enables a fair, sustainable and democratic economy."
Neoliberal Economics: "The road to…
May 10
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