KEYSTONE DAY [27-12-17]

PAST IS PROLOGUE

This blog post follows up “Foundation Day [7-11-17]”, fifty days ago. The end of the fifty day period between “Foundation” and “Keystone” is a kind of secular Pentecost or Shavuot, marking the completed drawing together of ZS’ 144 Founding Members.

The other important date in the early ZS calendar is May Day (May 1st), marking a combination of ancient equinox spirituality, worker & community solidarity, and the initial ZS establishment / publication of the Principles of Social Futurism on 1st May 2011 (235 years to the day after the establishment of the Order of Perfectibilists, AKA the Illuminati).


Each year going forward, Keystone Day celebrates the founding of the Zero State, and another year’s achievements. This year specifically, we celebrate the allocation of all founder-member positions, meaning that the work proper can now begin.

ZS is defined by that work – by a commitment to concrete action by all members – and before describing the work itself I would first like to make a note on idle chat and those who would treat ZS as a spectator sport:

You may have been given the link to this page after attempting to start a discussion with a ZSer about non-personal issues such as technology, science, society, politics, economics, Transhumanism, art, music… or just about anything else. Without meaning to cause offense, we – the most committed citizens of the Zero State – must make clear that we treat our time and energy as a resource, and owe that resource primarily to our fellow ZSers as a matter of Principle. We do not owe answers, time or energy to those who will not reciprocate.

Join us, and that resource will be owed to you, as part of our movement. In other words, we would very much prefer to hold such conversations in ZS forums where others might benefit from, and/or contribute to the exchange of views. If you have a good reason for not wanting to do that then that’s fair enough, but if you don’t have a good reason, then you are effectively asking for special treatment, and we cannot afford to offer that by default.

This is not some arbitrary or frivolous policy decision on our part, but a simple and necessary matter of survival: We must assign our resources where they will serve us best, and time is perhaps the most important resource of all. To be frank, we are busy people, so if you want to chat – as many do – then you need to show that the investment of time and energy is worth our while. The simplest way to do that is to join ZS.

In short, if you wish to discuss such matters with us – especially with any kind of priority – then you should join ZS. If you are part of an organization with similar concerns and have a proposal for any or all of us to consider, then again you should join as an ambassador for your group. Once you have done so, we will take your proposal seriously, as we would that of any ZSer. If you cannot make such a small commitment to the idea of community, then naturally we must ask why our community should make any commitment to you and/or your ideas? Don’t bother answering; it’s a rhetorical question.

An earlier blog post (“What is the Zero State?”) summed up a few key facts about ZS. This post follows up with (±0) a concise expression of ZS’ core, defining idea, and (±1) the fundamental mechanism upon which all ZS activity is based.

±0 ANNIHILATION [philosophy]


Don’t place faith in human beings
Human beings are unreliable things

Machines of Loving Grace, “Butterfly Wings”

Have faith in Annihilation, and Automation;
The only things that are certain.

Null-A, “Null-A”

The logic of our priorities:

“Annihilation” means to be reduced to nothing: A complete absence of all characteristics, including existence. ZS’ philosophical foundation is known as SAPNA, an acronym in which the first letter stands for the Buddhist concept of Śūnyatā (emptiness, hollowness, voidness or nothingness).

The idea is that there is no such thing as any entity with intrinsic, unchangeable character in the universe. There is no “centre” full of radiant eternal meaning, but rather a hollowness (Śūnyatā) where you might look for any such thing. Meaning and joy are found in the processes of life and existence, not beyond them in an objective magical eternity. Everything comes into existence, changes with time and process, and eventually changes so much that it can no longer be said to still exist as the same thing. There are no eternal, unchanging souls. There is no eternal, unchanging God. There is no Ding-an-sich or Thing-in-itself, and even Plato‘s forms tend toward an unattainable apex beyond existence itself, not unlike the Tao.

To claim that anything but nothingness itself can be unchanging and eternal is beyond all human experience, and is thus an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence. There is no such evidence.

As a great man once said, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero”. In other words, without constant work to maintain one’s own existence, entropy will eventually reduce all elements constituting any given entity to thermodynamic equilibrium, and that entity will no longer exist at that point in time.


The conclusion to be drawn from such observations is that

everyone has a choice to make:

Get busy living, or get busy dying. Work to maintain and develop your existence – your life – or accept the natural process of being eroded by entropy. Knowing that the choice exists is not enough. Talking about the choice is not enough, and there is no third way. Either you work to live, or you die.

The Zero State works to live. It is a cybernetic organism, whose citizens and constituent parts are cybernetic organisms embedded within it. It acknowledges Śūnyatā as fundamental, but works toward life, light, growth, and joy. All things pass, but we can enjoy the game while it lasts, and if you play it well enough the game may well last longer.

The bottom line here is that ZS encourages fun, and can be thought of as a game, but it is defined by the necessity of work. If you are interested in the things that ZS stands for, and you want to talk with us, then you need to be ready to do your part. One implication of that is outlined at the top of this page (i.e. that we treat our time and energy as a precious resource), but the essential conclusion is that ZS is defined by commitment to the process described in the next section, below.

±1 AUTOMATION [practical application]

What we do:

The fundamental ZS action-mechanism is a simple cybernetic feedback loop, which is to say a process where the output is piped back to become the input of the next iteration, influencing the next phase of activity. Specifically, the sum of each House‘s recorded levels of achievement from the previous two months’ Events becomes the next month’s target/goal. This basic arithmetic function is the foundation of fractal mathematics, the Fibonacci sequence (which tends toward Φ), Mycelial networks, and much more besides.

Our core metric is known as Dharma. Dharma might be considered a kind of “scaffold” or temporary structure which initiates our economic explorations (e.g. into the realms of cryptocurrency and resource-based economy), not to mention being a prime motivational engine on every front of early ZS activity. Taking these things together, one may envisage a kind of organic system or network, which grows in an exponential manner; branching, colonizing, and intelligently exploring resource opportunities as it does so. Within ZS, the resultant network is known as the Golden Tesseract.

The basic mechanism (“The Hook”):

Each month (i.e. the sum of events throughout that month, around the world and online) serves as the Showcase Event of the ZS House associated with that month. All Houses participate in every event, but one House is responsible for planning, executing, and hosting everything that happens within a single assigned month of the year (the same month every year). A House’s reputation depends primarily upon two things: [1] Its running level of achievement across all events on a month-by-month basis, and [2] the scope and success of its own hosted events.

Each House’s degree of influence within the Array – i.e. within ZS governance – is strongly correlated with its reputation… which is in turn strongly correlated with its ability to gather resources, and get things done. Just as at the level of individuals and smaller groups, the rule among Houses is “No Passengers”.

The core ZS action-mechanism is known as “The Hook” (because anyone enacting it is Hooking on or into the ZS system), and is comprised of two basic elements as follows:

  1. Each House must maintain a (bare) minimum of three “channels”, which are its primary mode of connecting with an audience of increasingly reliable activists. Channels can take any form, but are defined by the following common features: [A] they are developed, maintained, and reliably controlled by the House, and [B] they must be comprised of at least one hundred reliable people or agents of some sort.
  2. Aside from the channels of communication we must establish to spread our message, each event or broadcast has a particular information “payload”. This month, the payload is the message in the section below (“Last Call”), but it will vary from event to event. The bottom line is that a House earns Dharma in the following ways:
  • Achieve event goals on their own terms, as stated in the event wiki page. All such goals will be stated in terms of units, and each unit achieved = (a fixed amount of) Dharma earned.
  • Alternative courses of action may be pursued in agreement with core members of either the event-organizing House, or of one’s own House (who will in turn make suitable arrangements with the organizing House). Such alternative contributions must each have their own negotiated rate of Dharma-per-unit, along with a clear understanding of what constitutes one unit of work in such alternate arrangements.
  • It is understood that different ZSers have different ease of access to different resources. A third avenue is to make a donation to ZS in lieu of any other action. The standard rate is £10 = 1 Dharma, and donations may be made via the PayPal buttons at the bottom of every page on the ZS website.




LAST CALL

More complete details will be posted elsewhere shortly, but the culmination of the December 12017 Event is a Last Call for Founding Members (as described here & here).

Full, founding membership will be open as advertised until midnight 31st December, UTC. Any given person, group or organization may purchase claims on as many of the remaining positions as they wish.

On 1st January, after the deadline has passed, any remaining founder positions – along with commensurate voting power and other privileges – will be distributed proportionately among established founder-members. In other words, the more founder-member slots you control now, the more you will be assigned from what remains. ZS favours those who actually step up and do something beyond offering opinions. Step up and claim one place now, and you may get more than that assigned to you come Monday 1st.

One unit in this month’s event is equivalent to one founding membership. On January 1st each full, founding membership position will be credited with 5 (or more) Dharma.

About Ámon Ásentir

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