Andrius Kulikauskas

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The Orchard of Thoughts: An Alternative Culture of Growing in Not Knowing

Post-Truth makes sense in a culture which focuses on what we know. An alternative is to focus on what we don't know. Minciu Sodas was an online laboratory for independent thinkers which from 1998 to 2010 developed such an alternative culture. (Minciu Sodas means "The Orchard of Thoughts" in Lithuanian.)

Main idea: Alternative culture based on not knowing.

Minciu Sodas was an example of such a culture. Based on independent thinkers.

  • Post-Truth is based on knowing. Consider an alternative based on not-knowing.
  • What was Minciu Sodas? My attempt, as an independent thinker, to make a living in Lithuania through the Internet, serving other independent thinkers. Business model meant I should invest myself in organizing independent thinkers.
  • Will discuss three aspects of not-knowing. Related to learning - can think of learning in terms of what we know (accomodating others) or what we don't know (accomodating individuals) - the latter is fruitful. List and then consider in detail.
  • General growth of the independent thinker - Not knowing (as an adjustment of one's deepest value) as a focus on personal growth by living through questions and by appreciating other perspectives.
  • A supportive culture that coexists with the mainstream - pattern language - Not knowing (as an ever richer world of deepest values) - as a network with a growing capacity to adapt to any circumstances.
  • My own personal situation as an origin - the dynamics of independent thinking - successes and failures and future attempts - Not knowing as a growing collaboration with Not-Knowing (as the Not Knowing which deepest values seek to model).
    • Genesis
    • Development and successes of Minciu Sodas
    • Failures of Minciu Sodas
    • New attempts

Not Knowing of One's Self: Growth As an Independent Thinker

Learning to live in terms of not knowing

Growth in learning, not knowing

  • Learning to think out loud.
  • Learning about oneself by doing projects.
  • Integrating oneself, being well rounded, resolving one's tensions, "knowing oneself" by clarifying one's own deepest value. Leading a working group. Linking of social and individual.
  • Leading by what we don't know rather than what we know. Investigating.
  • Wishing for others to challenge us to grow.

Inviting others likewise. Checking one's selfish influence with a vantage point (one's God) that's greater than one's self. Fostering a sensitivity to that vantage point.

  • ...learning to grow and live forever...

We grow bigger because of spirit because it is bigger than the self. To consciously support one's growth we must consider our potential which is greater than our self. Spirit is relevant as a projection onto our potential. Layers of culture are what we're projecting: What you believe is what happens.

Not Knowing of All Selves: Investing in a network for a culture - supportive of growth

Dynamics of independent thinkers - generalizing my case.

  • Those who accommodate end up in the center, independent thinkers are slow to agree, and want to agree deeply. Thus they are dense everywhere in the periphery. Focus on the independent thinkers, thus foster a network.
  • They have their own perspective, but the concept of "independent thinker" helps them to consider other perspectives as well, to distinguish authentic perspectives, to hold themselves and others accountable for their personal growth.

Benefits (and services)

  • Moral support
  • More minds - variety of points of view - and fleshing out different parts
  • Social framework for making one's dreams real - including an inclusive society
  • Developing shared resources for one's investigations
  • Discovering resources for making a living and one's projects
  • Personal growth
  • Friendships and contacts - opportunities

Investing in outreach, the growth of the independent thinker, and their leadership.


  • People aren't willing to pay for services - they are cheap
  • Need to start by offering free services
  • Want to support people even if they don't have money

The business model of Minciu Sodas was to encourage independent thinkers to think out loud, to work openly on their own projects, and to help others, all in the Public Domain, and thereby be ready to work as teams for paid work as it arose.

Practical Rules for the sake of inclusiveness (not knowing what wisdom people will bring)

  • Venues are Public Domain by default.
  • Money can bring people together, but you can't pay people to care.
  • We want all individuals to succeed. Groups are not substitute for individuals.

Need to make a living

  • Be compatible with mainstream culture.
  • Challenge of why private interests might support a public commons.
  • Working for free and for pay
  • Meeting each other halfway
  • Being careful with the poor

Practical matters

  • Discourage debate
  • Encourage investigations, projects
  • Encourage interests and outreach based on that
  • Almost no staff (Sasha...)

Focus on serving the leaders - the most mature independent thinkers (for free) - and also those who pay.

  • Leadership was organized around personal growth. Twenty working groups were organized around the most active participants' deepest values in life. They were encouraged to lead their groups by investigating questions they didn't know the answer to, but wished to answer.
  • Investing myself in their projects - recruiting participants
  • Distributed leadership - leadership of working groups based on deepest values.
  • Grow by empathizing more broadly.
  • We allow that everyone is the same, and that everyone grows, so it's natural that we are at various levels of maturity.People may think that things happen on their own, but as we mature we become more aware of the leadership involved.
  • We accept each person growing by their own will at their own pace.
  • We grow along with each person who grows.
  • Everybody has a capacity for independent thinking, but not everbody has to exercise that, and we all have the same rights as human beings regardless.
  • Everybody thinks, but not everybody cares about thinking.
  • We support people by fostering their leadership at the stage of growth they identify with.

Summarize the elements of the culture.

  • Outreach mirrored the growth of the independent thinker.
  • A pattern language in the form of 12 Questions which document the growth of the independent thinker.
  • The levels of civilization in the Worknets Charter.

Not knowing of Reality beyond Selves: a growing collaboration with reality.

History and successes

Opportunistic business model - based on the people we have, the opportunities that arise, the people who pay


  • Import/export standard - technologists
  • Wider discussion - women - interface for online communities
  • Franz Nahrada - deepest values
  • Africa "real" - Includer
  • $100 projects
  • My Food Story - Kenya, Palestine - half of money went to team - but typical "vanity project" problems
  • Pyramid of Peace - and metaphysical success
  • Mornflake
  • Barcamp unconference movement - economic ideas success

The resulting culture of integrity made it possible for participants in the West to sponsor small research projects in Africa of typically 100 euros, and ultimately, for Minciu Sodas's global team to create the My Food Story wiki for a Silicon Valley client.

Most spectacularly, Minciu Sodas organized the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008. 100 online assistants helped 100 on-the-ground peacemakers to constructively engage hostile youth by "looking at everything from their point of view". Seven practical principles (such as "be vulnerable") leveraged not-knowing by way of theoretical counterquestions (such as "Would it make any difference?") Such empathetic principles would be effective with Putin or Trump.

Sketch of the characteristics and potential of the culture

Principle of not knowing:

  • Socrates
  • Divine not knowing vs. human knowing - behavior.
  • Jesus? counterquestions

Kingdom of heaven - principles

  • What you believe is what happens - poverty of human imagination
  • Scepticism - have as little faith as possible - "poor-in-spirit"
  • Persecuted for the sake of righteousness - God doesn't have to be good, life doesn't have to be fair

Limits to a culture of independent thinkers:

  • Formula 1/3 of people who work for free.
  • a healthy organization has a wider movement

A culture of about 100,000 active and 1,000,000 supportive. Like movements such as the Scouts, AlcoholicsAnonymous, Sarvodaya... An ethos of about 100,000,000 active and 1,000,000,000 supportive like Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Science, etc.

Expansion of culture: Levels of unity for "we".

  • God ­ who is alone ­ as an independent thinker. Accepting that our universe is supportive of independent thinking.
  • Independent thinkers ­
  • Global village centers
  • Self­learner thematic paths
  • Festivals
  • Interest groups
  • Concords

Distinctiveness of culture

  • Remake our lives and the world - foster an alternative culture
  • Each person can serve as the center - because there is the same basic path of growth
  • We want everybody to use their own best judgment.
  • Kicked out of many places: "Freedom to organize" (rather than "self-organized") - can have all people equal but of different maturity

Failure and Adjustment

Facts that would Convince

  • Could make a living
  • Personal growth, personal soundness - problematic in a dysfunctional world based on psychological weakness
  • Reality - "being real" - "real personal growth" - "real brotherhood" - is not fashionable, people want easy, nonobligating technological solutions - Ushahidi, Munnecke
  • The truth made tangible - problematic in a world that doesn't want the truth


  • Not willing to work superficially - get it right and God will scale
  • Culture was too weak
  • Understanding money in terms of phase transitions
  • People didn't share work opportunities
  • People expected "competence" - not principle of who the job would be best challenge for their growth
  • Counter to the mindset of the European Union.
  • Alternate: Facebook
  • Alternate: Creative Commons
  • Cultures, organizations don't want to merge, overlap
  • Lack of "reality" (poseurs)
  • Blacklisted - obstacles of Self-organized vs. freedom-to-organize

Not Knowing of God beyond self: Growing collaboration with God

Context: Ambiguities: Personal Challenge and Business Model: Learning from and with others. Living Ambiguously in Conflict of Values.

Personal origin of Minciu Sodas - resolving personal

  • Not knowing needs: how to make a living
    • Not knowing an alternative to the world.
    • My need to make a living.
    • Honest work.
    • My wish to work part-time and focus on my philosophy.
    • In a rich country, could work part-time, but in a poor country, need to start a business.
  • Not knowing doubts: having a basis for truth, not knowing the absolute truth - wanting to learn
    • My wish to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully.
    • Rejection of philosophy as an unsuccessful science.
    • My willingness to relate work on my philosophy to absolutely everything.
  • Not knowing expectations: why to be attached
    • Wanting to apply my emotions to make me a dedicated person.
    • My wish to live in Lithuania - easier to be Lithuanian, have a chance to raise a family.
  • Not knowing values: what others experience
    • Seeking deep agreement with others
    • Aspiration that we are fundamentally the same, deep inside.
    • Reaching out to include, champion and celebrate the marginalized.
  • Lithuania became a wealthier country


  • Engaging God
  • Caring about thinking - controlling my mind to think in Lithuanian
  • Everything - absolute concept
  • Divisions of everything - threesome - not debate but integrate - independent viewpoints
  • Divisions of everything - foursome - levels of knowledge - questions vs. answers - Why?

Relevance of God

  • We are open to where God is relevant, both as a concept and as a participant.
  • God is ultimately relevant as a shared reference point for all of the potential of all for conscious growth.

God may or may not exist.

  • Caring about God is ok
    • Loving one's enemy
    • Checking one's self
    • Reaching out to the hard to reach
    • the hope that God is everyone
    • God wants us to live forever

Looking ahead

  • Need to focus on the culture
  • Need to write up a shared conceptual language
  • Need to focus on questions, investigations, ways of figuring things out
  • Need to focus on families and children
  • Need to work intensely with God
  • Need to build on faith in God

Individuals in mainstream culture can thus invest themselves in an alternative, distributed culture by investigating their own questions, working with friends to foster a shared culture of not knowing, and engaging enemies by imagining their point of view.

Naujausi pakeitimai

Introduction E9F5FC

Understandable FFFFFF

Questions FFFFC0


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Puslapis paskutinį kartą pakeistas 2017 gegužės 11 d., 10:43