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Wednesday, June 4

Monday, June 2

  1. page The Higher Arcana edited The Higher Arcana, a term borrowed from Tarot card reading, comprises the most potent and confoundi…
    The Higher Arcana, a term borrowed from Tarot card reading, comprises the most potent and confounding cards in a deck. Please also see Magic: The Gathering, Illuminati Card Game and others of this ilk. It's a trading card game, y'all, it should be fun.
    ...
    that warfare game?)game?)* We started
    ...
    and RULES.
    *The so-called gathering is a gathering of power and skill; it's an imaginative game of self-mythification. The players gather their forces, some brutal and some elegant in the form of the magic cards themselves and wield them with wisdom. Our game could feature such a gathering of power and skill, as defined by revolutionary need given the ever-changing circumstances that govern the game's interaction at the time. That need should vary and brute force, for example, may be a useful strategy at one point, but may need to give way under alternate circumstances, perhaps requiring other skill sets and allies entirely. The matches of magic the gathering are rarely very lengthy.

    PROBLEM: 'Billionaires and Billions': we need easily remembered abbreviations or symbols to distinguish them. For now let R represent 'The Rich' and P 'the Poor' until we find better.
    CARDS:
    (view changes)
    5:43 pm
  2. page home edited ... in league With MrRankin, Penny Wonderful, Ianbooks and other dreamers and charming subv…

    ...
    in league With MrRankin, Penny Wonderful, Ianbooks and other dreamers and charming subversives.
    Our B&B (Billions And Billionaires) project has the modest goal of helping to save the world. We want to release an idea-virus that might inspire Billions of young people to rise up together and take back Mother Nature from the Billionaires who are despoiling her. Our first priority is to turn the The Backstory summarized below, into a Graphic Novel.
    The story starts with Collective Creation -- a dream about visionaries and artists like you and me pooling our knowledge and skills on a Wiki very much like this one. Intrigued? So this bunch of revolutionary artists and visionary nerds, using a Wiki like this one, design various projects including a free-ware game called B&B (Billions and Billionaires) which imitates the real world of capitalism. This project eventually goes viral and helps save the world. So might ours, why not? And if not us, who?
    (view changes)
    3:01 pm

Wednesday, November 27

Sunday, November 17

  1. page Collective Creation edited ... 6. The multi-player on-line computer game 1. The Dream of Collective Creation Here a 2013 u…
    ...
    6. The multi-player on-line computer game
    1. The Dream of Collective Creation
    Here a 2013 update 'Collective Creation' designed for a graphic novel presentation:
    Sketchpad for graphic novel based on ‘Billions versus Billionnaires’
    Characters:
    Penny Wonderful. She is the protagonist, will be the time traveler in the Dream of Utopias. Her character is active, positive, practical, with a good sense of humor. Think of ‘Beauty’ in the Disney ‘Beauty and the Beast’ movie. She is the graphic artist who will create ‘BvB’ (obviously based on you and my daughter Jenny)
    Professor (or ‘Papi Marx’ or Papi Max). Penny’s grandfather. Idealistic, imaginative, sometimes naïve, heart of gold. Think of Beauty’s mad inventor father in the same movie. He should be drawn to look exactly like Albert Einstein.
    Harry Hacker. Asian-American Internet genius. Tall and handsome. A bit older than Penny, who teases HH but secretly has a crush on him, while HH remains indifferent to PW’s charms. Is he lost in his work? or does he have a fastastic sex-life as he travels the world’s universities and centers? Might he be gay?
    Kid Nerd. Harry’s sidekick. He’s the gamester, the prototype of the ‘Fishies’ who get hooked on the game BvB and spread the internationalist web to every land. He’s in love with Penny, who treats him as a brother. Problem: would have liked more people of color, but the Game world is apparently mostly white.
    Scene I
    First panel shows Penny’s 11th (?) birthday party. Cake with candles etc. Papi Marx (like his illustrious namesake) is down on all fours, playing horsie with the younger children on his back. Young versions of HH and KN are presented in characteristic poses, for example the latter playing a video-game. The year is 2000 (or whatever date we chose).
    Next panels could show cake being cut or presents opened with group focused on Penny (maybe blowing out candles). Somehow the subject of global warming or climate change comes up (perhaps a joke about the candles’ heat) and suddenly a chill falls over the party.
    Teenage Harry says not to worry: ‘Science will find a solution to the problem.’ Penny, bright as a penny, is quick to retort: ‘Harry, Science is the problem.’
    Scene II (later that evening)
    Penny’s bedroom. Papi is tucking her in. Maybe shown with a book, having read her a story. Intimate conversation.
    ‘Papi, how old are you? What year will it be when I’m your age?. What will life be like in 2050? Won’t the oceans rise and bring huge floods? Won’t there be droughts and terrible storms and epidemics with homeless people everywhere? If all that happens, you know what I would do Papi? I’d find some painless exit to leave this world, I wouldn’t want to be around to see that.’ (Actual verbatim conversation with my daughter, Jenny, aged 10, concerning possible nuclear war in 1985) ‘Papi, is there any chance left to save the planet?’
    Papi replies: ‘I won’t lie to you my child. Maybe one chance in a hundred.’
    Scene III (still later) ‘Papi’s Archimedes Moment’
    The bathroom. A claw-foot tub. Papi is in tub with water running. He is mulling over in his head all the threats to the planet. All the questions from my litany of disasters on p. 1 of ‘Ecotopian Bet’ can be seen floating in the air over his head. For example:
    weapons of mass destruction proliferating?
    wars dragging on?
    armed conflicts erupting?
    refugees multiplying?
    religions fanaticizing?
    nationalists killing?
    women being degraded?
    famines and epidemics spreading? etc etc
    He imagines (in a baloon) today’s world as a ship (boil down the gist of this, or, alternately develop it visually in split panels or such, showing the men in suits, the ship, the passangers and crew locked below decks in separate watertight compartments marked ‘religion’ and ‘nationality,’ etc):
    “The men in suits who rule the world today have no plan for the future. Their main preoccupation is holding onto their power and wealth. Their perspectives are limited to inflating quarterly balance sheets and winning biennial election campaigns. If they don’t see any further into the future, it’s also because they unconsciously understand that there will be no future -- since they are busy murdering it. They are the officers of a ship drifting rudderless toward a rocky shore, busy looting the cargo, locking up the passengers and crew below decks and fighting among themselves for the booty. The name of that vessel is Starship Earth. Its only hope is that the passengers and crew can figure out a way to get organized and take over the bridge before it is too late. Even with the odds against us, it’s a bet we can’t refuse. Because like it or not, we are the all in the same boat, passengers and crew alike -- far out at sea and drifting toward shipwreck.”
    Papi thinks, determined, ‘but if there is one chance in a hundred to save the planet, I/we ought to be able to visualize it. If there were only some way of linking together the passangers and crew so they could connect with each other and swarm the bridge all together...
    Meanwhile, Papi has fallen asleep in the tub and the water is pouring out onto the floor. At this point Papi wakes up, sits up with his index finger point to the ceiling and shouts:
    ‘But wait a minute! There IS a way! EURIKA!’ Here maybe show your version of my crude visual representation of the Archimedes Hypothesis.
    Scenes IV, V, VII, V all represent different venues where Papi attempts to present his revolutionary discovery, the Modern Archimedes Hypothesis. We see him being laughed at, people falling asleep, publishers refusing to publish his books and pamphlets, leftists squabbling over sectarian fine-points (‘what about the necessity of building a disciplined vanguard party to lead the masses?’) etc. In each of these panels, he is lecturing or writing. So as we follow Papi’s increasingly frustrating attempts to convince people, the whole Archimedes Hypothesis gets laid out, step by step, panel after panel. Obviously, you can edit down and improve the formulations for GraphicNovel format. I realize these are a lot of words. What about visualizing his lecture(s) and writings in the manner of Larry Gornicks Comic History of the Universe?
    PAPI: They say that in ancient times, that bold philosopher and inventor Archimedes boasted: “Give me a lever long enough, a fulcrum, a place to stand, and I will raise the Earth!” Of course, we know Archimedes’ amazing feat was only a hypothesis -- a ‘thought experiment’ that could take place only in the mind. But Archimedes’s discovery was no less powerful for being a mere idea dreamed up by a philosopher. Long after Archimedes, inventions based on his hypothesis vastly multiplied the puny strength of human beings so that they were able to circumnavigate the globe and eventually to dominate it – for better or for worse. Can anyone then doubt the ability of an idea – a thought experiment -- to multiply human power?
    PAPI: Our problem is to think up a similar hypothetical formula for multiplying human power so that our passengers and crew can “lift the Earth” before it is shipwrecked. Our mutineers will need a lot of leverage to overpower the officers who are fighting among themselves, looting the ship, and steering it toward disaster. How to imagine such a lever, platform, and fulcrum? History seems to indicate that whenever people are ready to pose new questions, the answers are already present -- if only as possibilities for science fiction.
    PAPI: In the case of Starship Earth, the three elements are already on board, ready to be configured into a new power strong enough to halt the onrush of planetary self-destruction and release the human energy to build a new society. These elements are: the social lever, the electronic platform, and the philosophical fulcrum.
    The lever of planetary solidarity
    {file://localhost/Users/richardgreeman/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg} {file://localhost/Users/richardgreeman/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip1/01/clip_image005.png}
    The planetary platform of the web
    The fulcrum of planetary consciousness
    PAPI: The Social Lever is the vast untapped power of planetary solidarity. Once the billions of passengers and crewmembers aboard Spaceship Earth unite and act together, no force can stop them. Divided, they are pitiful and weak. United, their power is irresistible. (NB Each of the following scenes could be depicted in split panels) Ever since the revolt of Spartacus and the Roman slaves, the poor, the downtrodden, the exploited have shown their power to unite and use their numbers to win concessions from their wealthy, powerful oppressors -- even to overthrow them. This power of the people united has been demonstrated down through the ages -- from the vast peasant uprisings in Feudal times to the mass revolutions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It follows that only by joining together can the passengers and crew of Spaceship Earth -- locked below decks in separate compartments and divided by language and religion -- ever hope to take over the bridge from the well-guarded, power-drunk, money-crazed officers?
    PAPI: The Philosophical Fulcrum is Planetary Consciousness, the child of the 20th Century, when thanks to capitalism’s global wars, the majority of humanity first learned that the earth is round and inhabited many different peoples. (Image: mostly naked indigines staring and laughing at GI’s in a jeep) At the same time, thanks to Hiroshima, came the awareness that civilizations as well as species are mortal (Image). Today rapidly increasing climate chaos makes it obvious that time is short, that the destruction of nature, our common home, must cease. Planetary Consciousness means placing the survival of Starship Earth and its inhabitants first. People over profits. Life over Death. Love over Violence. It is common spiritual and practical basis which permits the Billions to unite in resisting the will of the Billionnaires. (What a mural this would make!)
    PAPI : The Electronic Platform is the World Wide Web. Its emergent technology is tentacular, infinite in its connections, interactive, and indestructible because its center is everywhere and nowhere. As accessible tomorrow as the telephone is today, the Internet provides a place to stand large enough for billions to interact. The Web is a planetary platform where each can speak for her/himself on equal footing, where billions of passengers and crew-members can connect, unite, empower themselves and take initiatives on a planetary scale -- the only scale on which it makes sense to confront the power-mad officers of predatory global capitalism.
    PAPI: The Internet, although beseigned by capitalist media and governments, has since its inception proven itself a powerful new weapon in the hands of rebels, from hackers and open-sourcers to Zapatistas, Liverpool dockers, anti-globalization protesters, global anti-war demonsrators (15 million in 2003), World Social Forums, and most recently by millions of demonstrators during the Arab Spring, indignados and Occupy movements. Mass appropriation of the Internet as a platform for self-organization in an age of increasing Plantary Consciousness could support the emergence of 21st century humanity as a conscious self-actuating subject, hence the emergence of the new society from the shell of the old.
    The next scenes are less clear in my mind. Here’s the summary of where I’m going.
    PAPI is getting discouraged after years of trying to convince people: the scientists, the publishers, the conservationists, the left, whoever. By now years have passed and the young people we met at PENNY’s birthday party are now grown-up.
    PENNY may be an artist like you or a theater person like Jenny. She is quite aware politically, but not a militant, although she occasionally goes to demos. She lives in the here and now, totally involved in her art – which does reflect her social conscience.
    HARRY has now become a top flight IT scientist, commuting between NY Paris Rome etc. for a living, staunch public defender of internet freedom, but privately involved in anti-globalization protests and collectives of hackers and such.
    KID NERD after ‘wasting his time’ for years playing Dungeons and Dragons with his nerdy friends (OK he can be the one Black kid in his HS group) has made a huge succession out in California as designer of multi-player on-line games, only to be cheated by evil capitalists and lawyers out of his share of the huge fortune when they sold the game he designed that went viral. So he’s back living with his parents and mooning over PENNY. And, boy is he MAD at capitalism!
    Some event – another birthday, a protest, a meeting – brings them together and we learn their stories as they catch up with each other. They now turn to PAPI, who tells of his frustration. Let’s say they have all read and admired his book, HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD. Each comes up with an idea, which they will now put in practice.
    PENNY will turn PAPI’s ideas into a Graphic Novel.
    KID NERD will design a revolutionary one-line game based on the novel
    HARRY will spread the word among hackers. PAPI lectures them on his Archimedes Hypothesis and concludes as follows:
    PAPI: For this mass emergence to realize itself, connectivity must be maximized. IT workers can play a crucial vanguard role in this revolutionary process. First by defending tooth and nail the freedom of the Internet, which the capitalists and their minions (is there a better word ?) are doing their best to monopolize and police. Second, and here I appeal to today’s group, by imagining and constructing the kind of global electronic platfrom that will best promote and facilitate the kind of international exchanges, cooperation and organizing initiatives that could, in some future world crisis, serve as catalysts for a planetary uprising to go viral, swarming the centers of power, occuping the means of production ; a platform that could also serve as the embryonic infrstructure for a future planetary federation of self-managed regional economies.
    A significant number IT workers and innovators have been from the beginning embued with the communist spirit expressed in open sourcing, hacking, information sharing and ‘Anonymous’ type activity. They stand at the vanguard of a new (often over-exploited) international proletariat brought into being by this new technology, which remains a contested terrain however much appropriated by capitalism. As they become socially conscious, some will choose to devote their energies to the essential task of revolutionary organizers : creating connectivity among the masses.
    As a result of PAPI’s appeal and with the enthusiastic leadership of HARRY, various IT workers in various locations begin to design a global network and construct a kind of Google-map of the globe including the location of the planet’s resources, the location and ownership of various industries around the world, and most importantly of sites of struggle. This is a great feat of collective creation. This infrastructure is designed to facilitate, for example, direct communication among workers employed or sub-contracted by a single multi-national like Daewoo or Apple in sites around the globe. It also gives them access to information about their corporate opponants. And about potential allies in the Human Rights or other movements. (This is an actual project the real-life Harry and I are working on, and he has access to a big grant).
    Meanwhile, KID NERD is designing the game ‘BILLIONS versus BILLIONAIRES’
    We cut to the Rules of the Game, which should be easy to illustrate. From then on, it’s a straightforward adaptation of my WIKI story about a game that goes viral and the Revolution that develops with the help of the Fishies.
    Except now we can work the two strands together. The Game-Globe of BvB is based on HARRY’s Google-globe. Later, perhaps the World Police will shut down or attack the workers’ Google-GLOBE, but the day will be saved by the BvB project, which is parallel to it. Or maybe BvB can serve as a cover for the persecuted militants among the workers in struggle.
    The RULES are the essence: a rapid lesson in Marxism in the guise of a game. I have observed that teen of apparently minimal IQ routinely learn complicated games that phase me utterly. Where we need to innovate is that each of the Opponants in the game, the capitalists, their lawyers and so on must be symbolized by a character, in fact a monster. Please go to your local game store and for 10$ buy a pack of MAGIC THE GATHERING cards and model yourself on the monsters therin depicted. Also how each card shows the moves the monster can make as well as his vulnerabilities. If you like the idea, buy a few more decks (they’re all different) and play the game with some of your friends or kids you know.
    A left-wing take-off on this monster-card formula would be a great way to present our lesson in Marxism. And if we succeed, we might actually produce such a game, print up the cards, even sell them! Spin-offs or prequels to the novel.
    I’m signing off here for today. This should give you lots of ideas and a place to start thinking of panels and such. I’m all excited by your collaboration, and it has already inspired me to improve my concept vastly.
    Very best, Richard
    Old version of Collective Creation

    Once I dreamed that some individuals decided to accept the challenge to dream up Roads to Ecotopia for our time. The dreamers in my dreams were seeking to invent likely scenarios whereby human inhabitants of a dying planet could establish societies capable of saving the world before it was too late. They created a website to attract other dreamers. They lived on different continents and belonged to different cultures, but the Web permitted them to collaborate at a distance, holding discussions and eventually writing collaborative texts on a Wiki like this one.
    Among the people who got together in order to make these visions of possible Roads to Ecotopia more accessible and more popular were manga artists, sci-fi writers, visionaries, revolutionaries, computer freaks, creators of games. In my dream, their collective creations were so successful that they went viral, and visions of a possible Better World and of Roads leading to it inspired a whole generation of gamer and nerds who joined with social movements already fighting capitalism and helped spark a planetary General Strike Revolutionary Emergence in time to save the planet.
    (view changes)
    10:03 am

Tuesday, August 28

  1. page home edited ... Our B&B (Billions And Billionaires) project has the modest goal of helping to save the wor…
    ...
    Our B&B (Billions And Billionaires) project has the modest goal of helping to save the world. We want to release an idea-virus that might inspire Billions of young people to rise up together and take back Mother Nature from the Billionaires who are despoiling her. Our first priority is to turn the The Backstory summarized below, into a Graphic Novel.
    The story starts with Collective Creation -- a dream about visionaries and artists like you and me pooling our knowledge and skills on a Wiki very much like this one. Intrigued? So this bunch of revolutionary artists and visionary nerds, using a Wiki like this one, design various projects including a free-ware game called B&B (Billions and Billionaires) which imitates the real world of capitalism. This project eventually goes viral and helps save the world. So might ours, why not? And if not us, who?
    ...
    the Game B&B TheB&BThe game rules
    ...
    Billions of Mothers, Care-givers, Peasant Farmers,
    ...
    Indigenous Peoples, Mothers, Care-givers, Blue-collar and office Workers and onWorkers. On the other
    ...
    Billionaires : BankersBankers, Rulers and Corporate
    ...
    Strengths and WeakntessWeaknesses of the
    ...
    spin-off would not be too difficult to realize, andrealize at this point, but it is definitely
    ...
    Revolutionary Emergence, In this dream, B&B takes
    ...
    success of the graphic novel,and its spin-off, the Magic-the-Gathering format card game and eventually morphs intogame, stimulate the development of a hugely
    In the final chapter, A Dream of Ecotopias, we visit the world of the future, created out of the social movements of the Emergence. A new human society based on cooperation, mutual aid and respect for Mother Earth has emerged from the shell of the old competitive money society. It has taken generations to heal and roll back the ecological damage wrought by predatory capitalism in its death throes, but by 2100 the earth is green again, human-scaled cities are flourishing and humans are living in harmony with nature, producing and exchange to satisfy needs, not for profit. A Trip to Ecotopia is an example of a more personalized approach to present the subject of the future society.
    The Backstory is the basic narrative which provides the framework for collective improvisation. Additions and editing would have to be more or less consistent with it. The scenario has a definite bias. For example, Divine Intervention and Extra-terrestials aren't part of this particular narrative of human self-liberation. Nor do we wish to depict top-down, bureaucratic, hegemonic 'revolutionary' parties with charismatic leaders, militias, armies as the roads to Ecotopia etc.. History has shown that although such parties are useful for taking state power in a revolutionary situation, their leaders end up establishing dictatorships over the masses, giving themselves privileges, stifling democracy and they eventually end up working with the Billionaires and Corporations against the Billions (as in "Communist" China). The depiction of our global revolution will suffice to dramatize this, as the Chinese workers take the lead in class struggle.
    ...
    Modern Archimedes HypathesisHypothesis explains how
    If you are willing to accept this scenario or to 'suspend disbelief' for the sake of creating an inspiring story, please join us and bring your own dreams and artistic, digital, communications, narrative and analytical skills to help us build this Revolutionary Flying Object (RFO) and get it off the ground.
    (view changes)
    4:43 am
  2. 4:32 am
  3. 4:29 am
  4. comment home comment added not so modest!
    comment added
    not so modest!
    4:29 am

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