The following quote is from core ZS member The Engineer:
Zero State was recently rebooted, and some 3,000 Facebook “members” removed because of an informal “No Passengers” rule. That is, everyone who wants to be a member must contribute in some clear way. Up until now, we have had no metrics or guidelines concerning this. My suggestions are as follows:
Everyone should expect to put in at least half an hour per day or three hours per week, unless their contribution is manifestly in some other form. This does not include time posting on FB or dealing with emails.
Each House should list what projects they are working on, the aims of the project, who is involved and the expected timescale to completion. Finally, what are the explicit real-world goals for ZS in the short and medium term? Do you have a plan?
This is important. There are a few points to briefly consider, but active participation is the fundamental rule in the Zero State. The quote above definitely expresses informal ZS policy, but the following three points should be considered formal expectations:
1. Work Smart, Not Hard…
A critical (but easy to miss) phrase above is “…unless their contribution is manifestly in some other form.” It has always been part of the ZS ethos to say that people should contribute as and when they can, in ways and at a level that works for them. At the same time however, we have become increasingly and justifiably intolerant of people using that attitude as an excuse to not contribute at all.
Long story short, we require that all our members find ways to best apply themselves to the goals of ZS and their House, in whatever ways work best for them. The basic time requirement suggested above is a good general rule, though it may not work for you personally. That’s ok, but you need to find something that works for you if you want to remain a member.
2. …but Work all the same!
The policy outlined above is liberal, with a minimum standard. Left as it is, realistically, it would only lead to a sizeable proportion of would-be ZS members attempting to “game” the rule (Oh the Irony, given that ZS is an ARG). In other words, some people would actually adhere to the spirit of the rule, but most would simply try to use it to mask inactivity on their part. The simple answer to this problem is to have a mechanism by which the active retain valid ZS membership, and the inactive are removed.
3. The Auditors Will See You Now
Imagine a class of agents we might call Auditors. These entities act as a kind of feedback loop, monitoring ZS activity and highlighting areas where adjustment is needed. In short, an increasingly automated system of standards, carrots, and sticks… just like the feedback systems which keep all biological organisms alive. Expect an Auditor in your neighbourhood, soon.
Finally, let’s address the question of plans. As is implied in the Engineer’s statement, activity is only helpful insofar as it progresses us toward goals. ZS Houses and the teams within them should assign and adjust their own goals over time, with particular care to ensure that those goals are in line with those of the Zero State as a whole, and its Social Futurist Principles.
At the highest level, the ZS “plan” is a kind of trajectory from now to the future, known as The Path. The Path starts with media releases and events, moving on to the coordination of large events and political interventions by the early 2020s, and establishment of a Social Futurist sphere of influence by 2025. Obviously these steps are intended to be completely integrated with the latest technological developments and the disruption they cause to traditional socio-political-economic systems. Each House derives its goals and plans from a nexus of its own culture and ideals, and ZS’ overall strategic requirements at any given point along the Path.