Conscious Collaboration

By Robert Thomas Drury


I realized the Yelp website is serving us well in the USA to find and learn about local businesses. Yelp provides much of what I am looking for when I go to the internet to look into local businesses. This is after decades of observation of large corporations developing such solutions to problems, and wondering if we really need large corporations for this. Not only am I sure we don't need large corporations for this, I'm also sure we can accomplish this and all other tasks much more efficiently and reliably doing them cooperatively rather than relying on large corporations.

As I observe what Yelp is providing that was not available to me before, I thought there must be some magic visionary talent working at corporations that doesn't exist elsewhere, and that big buck were required to attract that talent. I thought this because it is conventional wisdom echoed endlessly and believed passionately by almost everyone around me. Now I think I see more parameters to the relevant reality and I'm confident I can, along with all of humanity, complete all the puzzle pieces to all the relevant reality for all of us to reach our true potential, implementing processes/practices that maximize universal wellbeing, including collectively maximizing and balancing equality + autonomy, i.e. anarchism. Spectacular benefits await us, I know, from sensing our unrealized potential.

I noticed Yelp provided things I didn't realize would be helpful before I started using it, such as restaurant photos. But I also noticed that things I needed were missing that could easily have been provided, e.g. relevant text such as business name, address, & phone, easily selectable for copy/paste. I've also been waiting years for mapping websites to allow marking a number of different businesses on a map for comparing the relative convenience of their locations and facilitating a route strategy for my errands. I have long imagined people working cooperatively so that, as the months and years go by, such internet tools, and everything else, are refined and sculpted to more completely meet our needs. This is common sense.

But conventional wisdom is to shudder in reaction to this proposal of mine, shudder in fear, I think, not for any rational reason but because we have been systematically deprived of knowledge of alternatives, taught to fear alternatives, and subjected to regular triggering of this fear to keep us pinned to an authoritarian design like capitalism as the only solution to any problem. As time goes on I realize, more and more, how we can change our thinking processes so that new processes become more and more comfortable and routine. Anarchism is about taking responsibility, first and foremost, so our transition from old thinking processes to new ones comes with our ensuring we reap greater benefits/costs (i.e. value) from the new ones.

New, old, anarchian, authoritarian? Labels don't matter, because labels may be misapplied at any time. What matters is that any strategy to meet our needs be subject to our systematic scrutiny toward minimizing work/cost/harm, not by competition but by consensus, cooperation, and compassion, or to be complete, by all positive things together in what I sometimes call the holistic sphere of positivity. I've cited the process of constructing a Yelp-like service here as an example human endeavor, thinking each and every human endeavor may follow a similar process, but I've realized recently there's more to such a process than I previously thought and I intend to make another step toward fully understanding this as I write this article.

I sensed something behind my thought process in my evaluating Yelp, something significant that I haven't previously identified mainly, I think, because our environment influences and then obscures what lies behind our endeavors to explore, learn, and solve problems. And this significant something applies not only to grand schemes to build frameworks of strategies to meet all human needs, but also in our everyday personal routines, which are importantly part of any over-arching framework of strategies. Behind our endeavors to solve problems is a vision or perception of benefits, plus an estimation that costs will be lower than the benefits, and a confidence that we may succeed in these endeavors. Beyond these is a logical problem-solving procedure, that continues to require conscious awareness of many things, including procedures that worked in the past, probabilities of success in repeated usage, untested alternatives and variations. The procedure also requires both our applying toward it and our conscious awareness of our energy, creativity, focus, motivation, moods, feelings, hopes and concerns which so inevitably impact our performance.

Our conscious awareness of these thoughts in our minds is a consciously-guided subconscious exercise we can schedule as training to increase our capabilities of self-determination, across our lifespans, but especially at our youth, with parental guidance. This is important because if we do not consciously manage our thought processes toward minimizing work/cost/harm, someone or something else may very well do it for us, through indoctrination of one sort or another. What is behind my thoughts when I evaluate Yelp and all the rest? I want to be the one to report the answer to this question to you, as we meet in a town hall to go over our collective problem solving strategies, to meet human needs with least work/cost/harm. All together, we'll build a better Yelp. We'll build the best of everything. Without rulers. We'll solve all problems, systematically, orderly. We'll reach our collective potential, far beyond our current position. Monumental benefits await us there.