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Robert Dedomenico

Jun 7, 2014
12:11

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I received a comment on my proposal, CargoFish Physical Internet, thus: ----------------------------------------------------------------------- "Hi, You asked for feedback - just being constructive. I strongly suggest re-writing from scratch. You need to answer, rather than ask, the question about what this is and how it will be implemented. Your pitch statement is abstract and a question. Doesn't tell anything about what you'll do. I stopped reading shortly after that. I think you can (and have to) re-write it. Best if you do this as an interview with a friend. Try to tell them, __in as few words as possible__, what you'll actually do. (not what the problem is) best" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I found no actual substantive criticism in the above comment, other than the individual is perhaps no fan of "Jeopardy" (a TV show in which the contestants phrase their answers in the form of a question.) I think it is far more useful if we each openly express our rationale, and carry on a dialogue, instead of refusing to talk. I offer this quote from a news story I visited today at http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/05/opinion/urry-big-bang/index.html?hpt=hp_t4 "This kind of controversy is completely normal in science. It's the way science progresses. You put an idea out there and your colleagues -- many of them good friends and scientific collaborators -- try to shoot it down. A scientist's first reaction to a new idea is often: 'That's wrong because....' To which the proponent replies, 'No, you are wrong because...' And so the debate begins. No matter how much a scientist might hope to be right, nature holds the answer. One theory may be more beautiful than another, or more complicated, or more elegant, but nature doesn't know or care. The job of a scientist is to find out what the real answer is, not to advocate for any one point of view." Any thoughts on this discussion are welcome. -Robert DeDomenico

Robert Dedomenico

Jun 11, 2014
09:32

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Hello again everyone, (Or anyone who is reading!) Has anybody else here noticed that there is a strong pattern among membership(s) and proposal support voting? Last year, when I submitted a proposal as soon as I discovered this opportunity, I contributed to this pattern, too, by recruiting family, friends, neighbors, etc., to join and vote for my proposal. For my proposal that year, these were essentially all of my votes. For many other proposals, this is true as well. This year, I have reached out to many people who have no prior knowledge of me, or my proposal. People who hold no obligation to me, filial or otherwise. I invite them to read my proposal. I read their proposal, if they have one, or any proposal that they are supporting or commenting on. I vote support for any proposal that I find deserving of at least more attention, from more people, because that at least is one thing that any proposal in here can get out of being here. How much cooperation is really going on in here? A lot? A little? I would say that even if only a little... that is more than none at all, and so I do not criticize for this attempt at generating cooperation. I do hope to see more cooperation though, as from my point of view, there could be more. Any thoughts?

John Wood

Jun 14, 2014
06:44

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This is not a criticism of you, or your idea, but you raise an important question that relates to the individualistic nature of our society. In the West we evolved the myth of the genius, within which 'great' ideas are sited. Having lived in Seoul for a while it dawned on me that, whereas westerners are educated to 'live' (think from/act from) their individual selves, Koreans (i.e. in the Korean culture/language) are more able to 'live' in the relations among many people. There are benefits and disadvantages of both approaches. But maybe we all need to learn how to 'live' in the synergistic relations, because this is where ideas live. The outcome of the Western approach is characterised by debate, competition, choice and 'talent'. Where we all need to live in the future is a world that welcomes difference, but that sees it (i.e. diversity) as the source of unforeseen synergies. Sorry if this sounds unhelpful and overly philosophical. What I am saying with regard to your proposal is that you are right to seek support from people outside your circle of friends etc. However, maybe we need something more than 'cooperation'. You might like our notion of 'sympoiesis' ( http://metadesigners.org/Sympoiesis-Glossary ) as it is relevant. Problem is, it is meant to build goodwill, rather than focusing on the transferrable residues (ideas) of cooperation....ideas?

Robert Dedomenico

Jun 14, 2014
06:31

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John, Thanks for the reply. You don't have to worry about couching things softly enough for me. I think debate is healthy, especially when deciding how to expend limited resources. Your response reminds me of what I learned when I read "The House of Lim - The Study of a Taiwanese Farm Family", by Margaret Meade. There is a significant cultural emphasis, in the East, on being part of a healthy group, and more of a focus on being an individual in the West. One might sound more politically correct than the other, depending on time and circumstance. Depending on what is being decided though, I have to think that outcome matters more than method. Imagine the unfortunate business of war were in progress, and we were part of a fighting unit. Imagine also, that the enemy is closing in and attempting to surround us. We might try a fighting retreat to safer ground, or, if reinforcements or other effective support were available, calling in those resources could be an option. Perhaps though, one of the decision makers might suggest that we all play dead, and let the enemy overrun our position, see that we are already all dead, and leave. Regardless how much it may hurt that man's feelings, I would have to persuade any person responsible for choosing the course of action, to choose the most feasible and advantageous one. And if my opinion were that to play dead would result in death or capture, then I should say so. This was just a hypothetical example. The real problem we are addressing in the Colab is not even universally accepted, and even if it were, solving it runs counter to many other individual and group goals. After all, doesn't Al Gore jet around, whenever and wherever he wants to? (I know he has never asked me if he should take a particular trip, or conserve the fuel instead!) So I think I wind up coming across as harsh, but in reality this depends to a great degree on the predisposition of the listener (whether they will admit to that or not.) At the end of the day, how many participants would even be here, if there were no $10,000 lure? And since there is a $10,000 lure, how many are really interested in seeing the most effective idea(s) possibly outshine their own? How many emphatic arguments in favor of any given proposal by its own author(s) could possibly be purely altruistic? If a particular proposal really is significantly differentiated in its greater effect of the stated goals, feasibility of approach, and cost of implementation, then are its proponents simply advancing their own goals? I think it is only when individual goals are aligned with group goals, that real cooperation happens. I suspect there are many different ways these circumstances can arise, and that the Eastern legacy of ethics is certainly worth consideration in trying to achieve this, even though I am obviously primarily entrenched in Western thought. Thanks again for your reply, John. It got me thinking.

Robert Dedomenico

Jun 16, 2014
12:59

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What do you think about the idea that the best chance for any success in achieving a common goal comes from something that aligns with as many individual goals as possible. There could be any number of individual goals that might preclude any particular individual from subscribing to something that would advance the common good. For instance... imagine that some animosity had been generated. Then would either party involved in the affair have any personal reward or incentive to set aside hard feelings in favor of the common good, if that meant supporting a proposal put forth by the other? I bring this up not to shine light on any recent events, but then again, to use recent examples as a spotlight on our shared human traits. Taking such traits into consideration... proposals that impose upon individual wills do face an uphill battle in becoming followed or accepted, much less embraced. On the other hand, proposals aligning individual goals with common goals should eventually receive almost universal support. Any thoughts?

Mark Johnson

Jun 16, 2014
07:00

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Robert - Very well said. Your message is about garnering project support and pooling intellect to achieve high levels of universal support, knowledge discovery and teamwork. Mark

Robert Dedomenico

Jun 25, 2014
09:08

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I received this message from another proposal author: "I did look over your proposal and it is one worth supporting. Let me know what you think of mine. (proposal name was here), I suppose we could do a mutual support if you like." This is another recent event that I point out not to disparage the individual(s) involved, but to shine a light on the kind of politics that can stand in the way of progress. How useful is it, when people who see that a thing is worth supporting, and brand themselves as green, etc., withhold their support based on reciprocal support? There are a few cases where I support other proposals, and part of the reason for that support is that I noticed them because they supported mine, but the real reason was because I recognize that there is merit in their proposal. There is also a proposal or two that I support, where the author has not supported mine, and in these cases as well, I may not have noticed them had we not exchanged a few private messages. I still hope they may vote support for my proposal, but I will not retract support for them just because they have not supported me. If they do not feel comfortable supporting my proposal, what does that have to do with my objective evaluation of theirs? I think it is impossible to completely remove individual motives and goals from being a factor in the selection of courses of action for us all as a group, and I think it is necessary that we be mindful of that. As always... any thought?

Robert Dedomenico

Jul 16, 2014
01:11

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I very pleased to have just received this in my email today: Thank you for your submission to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program’s Request for Information on novel surface transportation modes. I hope you will be able to participate in an upcoming workshop, to be held on November 18th and 19th, concurrently at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean, VA, and at U.S. Department of Transportation offices in San Francisco, CA. There also will be remote access via the web for those who are not able to attend in person. We hope that the workshop will facilitate interaction between the RFI respondents and experts in the transportation and innovation fields. The goal is to promote information exchange and discuss factors that may help bring novel concepts to greater maturity, both in a technical sense and with regard to factors such as business and institutional issues. We are still refining the agenda, but anticipate participation from USDOT executives, academics, private sector representatives, and local and state governments. The workshop will have a mix of in-person and webinar components. RFI respondents will have the opportunity to give a brief “pitch” on their concepts and a variety of subject matter experts will present on transportation trends and public and private sector approaches to technological innovation in transportation. Please note that presentation time will be limited and guidance for RFI respondents who wish to present will be provided by my colleagues at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. We will open a registration website during the month of August. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but participation is by invitation only and advance registration will be required. In the meantime, please e-mail Kirsten by August 15, 2014, with a preliminary indication of your interest in attending and presenting your concept. Sincerely, David Kuehn

Delton Chen

Jul 19, 2014
08:13

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Hello Robert, I feel its is good to take a position on principles, but keeping a realistic and open heart. When I am a bit harsh on something, I hope that it is with compassion (i.e. tough love). The popular vote system deserves a comment and analysis. This is a popular vote. Democracy is also a popular voting system. Democracy is also quite a flawed system because it is abused and the good intentions in the design are gamed and manipulated. But that's not really the issue. The issue for humanity is whether we should be taking advice from a popular vote or from 'experts'? My view is that (globally) we should be taking advice from a broad range of technical experts and leaving out the wider popular vote. I think we should allow people the freedom to work and make of use of their time productively, as they see fit. This is different to making decisions that affect our economic system and climate. Also, we assume that the majority know best. I doubt that this is actually the case. We have a complex problem (climate change) and I think that existing political systems are inadequate and are part of the problem. At this time in human history, we need more trained scientists in government influencing policy and decisions. Within the domain of CoLab, the voting system becomes somewhat a political tool to boost the chances of achieving a goal. The goal is somewhat different for each member. I actually don't like the popular vote system because it is very unscientific. If you look at the contest entrants under "Price on Carbon" for example, it is obvious that one of them is part of a political campaign that extends outside the CoLab and into lobbying in Washington. What have they contributed that is new? This is no reflection of the entry, it is just a fact. The other popular entry offers a system of personalised carbon allowances that would be voluntary. Given that we are in a climate 'crisis' it suggests that people have a social preference for certain concepts and ideas, even if they make no economic sense. So at the end of the day, we are just human and we go by what we believe (at the time). My intention here is to gain some media attention and to find a sponsor. This is pretty much in line with the CoLab mission statement. After the popular vote, we then rely on the quality of the judges and their personal biases. So I did take note and at least try to answer their questions. I think with most things in life, if you do a good job and you have a clear heart, then you can walk away. There's no need to get hung up on winning or losing. Climate Change has a special dynamics in this respect, because it will be the ultimate judge. If civilisation doesn't get its house in order pretty darn quickly, she will take over. Entropic decay is our destiny and we are racing straight into this disaster without a breaking system and even without a clear understanding of why civilisation is taking this suicidal pathway. If any body reads this and would like to understand why this is happening, I am confident that the reasons are explained by Garrett (2012) with his systems analysis of the economy; and then consider the nature of human 'self interest' as explained by Plato-Socrates. Putting aside Garrett's work, I am still hesitant to believe that carbon taxes are enough to solve this problem. The rates of decarbonisation we now need seem way too high for just taxation. Best of Luck Delton

Jan Kunnas

Jul 19, 2014
11:28

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I would not put to much weight at the amount of support a proposal gets. Its nice that someone shows appreciating your proposal, but even more important is eventual comments, even the critical ones. They provide a chance to develop your proposal further. Even a comment showing a complete misunderstanding of your proposal can be very helpful, not that I have received anyone, as it shows the issues where your proposal might be unclear.

Robert Dedomenico

Jul 19, 2014
01:05

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Hi Delton, It is good that you brought up that topic of the carbon tax proposal backed by the 7+ year lobby of 200+ chapters having 6000+ members. To rack up a few hundred votes from an organization like that is actually pretty weak. This is not surprising though, considering that the whole category takes for granted that by simply making fuel more expensive, we will burn less of it. While this has some truth to it, history has shown us that fuel demand is almost completely inelastic to price shock. Motor vehicle fuel in the US has essentially tripled over just a few years. We do not yet drive significantly less. We still have to get to work. We still have to provision our homes with goods. There is already ample pressure to develop effective solutions. Taking money from the public in order to give it back to the public is perverse. Touting a study that "proves" this will boost the economy is like reading the tarot cards. On the subject of experts, I agree, but there is a caviat... how exactly is it determined who are the experts? History is full of examples of cutting edge discoveries vigorously rejected by the prevailing experts, such as Cassini's conclusions on the speed of light based on observations of the moons of Jupiter, or John Harrison's development of the marine chronographer in response to the British Longitude Prize. There are numerous others. I would like to point out that among the supporters of CargoFish, there are several dozen who have never met me, or heard of this concept until June. Another couple dozen learned of it from me at a conference in Quebec in late May. Still over dozen more are people I approached as I went about my everyday business: cashiers at Walmart, lifeguards at pools, umpires at little league games, etc., whom I explain my concept to in under a minute, and convince them to help by voting support. There are of course dozens of friends, family, and coworkers who have been aware for some time of my endeavor, have shared my rejection time and time again from government agencies, private contests, auditions for Shark Tank, and of course... last year's Climate Colab. With only the exception of those not wanting to register their email in yet another site, they support CargoFish universally. They have had time to consider its costs and benefits, and ask questions to their heart's content. Most, if not all, of the strongest critics have come to embrace the concept over time. In fact, I can only at the moment think of one who is still sure that it will simply be too expensive, and that person was introduced to the concept only just last night! Getting over 200 votes of support is no small feat, and is at least for those of us not already sponsored by a lobby and having personal relations with some of the judges in our category, an indicator that a concept does at least have popular appeal. The wisdom of the crowd is not always right, but it is not always wrong, and in either case it says that this is something that people appreciated knowing more about. In closing, I would like to point out that in this and all of my other commments, I am not looking up any historical examples or scientific arguments to include in my prose. I am typing as in a conversation, from what I have become very familiar with, and do not even proofread before hitting send. Ben Franklin said long ago that the substance of a conversation was far more important that the spelling of the words. (Though once, he and a friend simply could not determine what a particular word even was, or meant, and went to his wife to ask, "What is this 'yf'?" Without hesitation, she answered, "That says 'wife'." Thank you for supporting CargoFish, Robert

Tim Guldentops

Jul 29, 2014
06:21

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Hi all, I just recently found out about this place and very trilled with joining up. I'm a bit with Jan on this one, I have seen public voting before on other platforms and it makes no sense whatsoever. The one with the most contacts wins, period. It's a great way to give this initiative in general more exposure though. I'm looking for content wise results, and constructive feedback that can help you go further with an idea, to get it more and more refined towards maybe a concrete plan. I was a bit hoping that there would be more spontaneous constructive interaction going on inhere really. Or is it because the deadline of most projects just ended?
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