Social Interactions June 17, 2020


Slashdot is an example of richer communication

Michael @ Canada - community currencies

  • Clue train (?) manifesto (introduced what a conversation is on the internet)
    • Conversation are the “edges over nodes” - connecting
  • Twitter is…
    • A megaphone

Discussion platforms:

  • Anti-social — vs. not having discussion
    • Some people don’t want to discuss things
  • Discussion platform
    • Facilitate discussions
  • Tool vs. purpose of the platform
    • Tools by itself are neutral
      • [Grace] Tools in systems can be extractive, by (mechanism) design
        • (such as Twitter, money, etc.)

Jillian (from perma-culture, fellowship for intentional communities)

  • We have issues with intergenerational conversations

  • Often the same words will give people different understanding

    • We don’t know how to manage our ego, have good relationships
    • [Q] Were there some tools that helped?
      • Non-violent communication
      • Sociocracy
      • Circle sizes conductive of “small-scale consensus” and discussion
        • Group sizes small enough so everyone feels heard — usually it’s 2-4, possible with 4-7, but above requires more skills and facilitation
  • It’s about skills

    • That are NOT taught by our dominant culture

Tools that can help us with chat and discussion platforms?

— to behave better

  • [Grace] example of call centers, sensing emotion, and being upset and routing accordingly

Fully automated systems probably won’t work

  • Set additional rules
    • E.g. no replies 2-3 times for e-mail - pick up a phone
  • Create escalation mechanisms

Adult people have different ways to sort out abusive behaviors from schools

  • [Thomas] We have a lot of primitive wiring

[Grace] Small co-creation group to create tools, on the go

  • Some things:
    • “Positive behavioral enforcement”

Status-seeking games [Thomas]

  • [Grace] a way to implement on a platform?
    • There’s status-seeking but also many forms of signalling

Links shared:

[Grace] — is going down to “vanilla conversations” good enough?

“Connecting people, instead of just grabbing attention”

Design principles

  • Positive language (how to use positive signaling)?

  • Discourage minimizing others but encourage calling out negative behavior (so generally? n

  • co-creating environments to be in re-generative culture


  • Maybe think about what protocols would unite these platforms to provide more meaningful and deeper relationships and connections.


  • Encouraging behavior that goes towards collaboration rather than competition
  • Having people feel heard and that they make a contribution.
  • Allowing people to participate at a level that is comfortable (5 minutes a week if you want, 40 hours a week if you want)
  • Having people grow their communications toolkit and grow their ability to communicate constructively.
  • Be fun. Feel more like a game or entertaining platform. Although we might be talking about constructive and serious topics, not having it feel “heavy”
  • Encourage multiple perspectives
  • Provide abilities to understand and categorize conversations both by topic and by the qualities of the discussion threads and comments (insightful, controversial, intellectually integral, evidence-based, redundant, troll/offensive)
  • Is manageable for people to use-- filters most relevant and allows for different filters so you aren’t ovewhelmed with information, but also get a range of perspectives.

Martin’s scraps/thoughts

  • Look for evidence of success in healthy social systems tooling

** gather by invitation

** Buy/borrow vs build

** Avoid “not invented here”

  • Container size

  • How to listen

  • How to develop patterns for listening

  • “Tools” - perhaps a “toolbox” for acting in some sphere - an “instrument” (for “our music”)

  • Patterns
    ** What makes a pattern - of significance - more than soup of words
    ** Antipatterns

  • generation and regeneration

** lifetimes are inevitable

  • discovery - announcement - attestation

** social immune systems

** what does “disaster recovery” look like?
** conflict resolution

  • mix it up
    ** group health
    ** games, cf RSF
    ** taking roles - Lauren’s


  • Encourage positive language
  • Discourage shooting down
  • “Corrective behaviors”
    • (dis)couraging behaviors
    • Positive feedback loops (can be in negative directions!)


  • Not allowing kids to be too loud
    • Not have to adults tell them
    • Installed a noise sensor — it would blink, and you would get a signal to go to the “loud room”

“Most of our social incentives are negative incentives” [Grace] (e.g. don’t be a jerk)

“Maybe what we’re trying to create is more of a home for ourselves, rather than a tool” Robert

“Protocols might be analogous to tool boxes” Jonathan

[idea] Thomas

  • Subtitling language (e.g. You’re an idiot / subtitle: I’m having self-esteem issues, and have not been acknowledged today)

  • “We get distracted by the words people use” - not knowing the context


  • It would be great to have group knowing a lot of tools
    • [Grace] Inspiral could be that
      • dGov could be that
  • “People come to seek solutions (for better conversations, relationships, etc.) only when it’s too late” [Grace]
    • People have little self-awareness (to seek support before it’s needed)
    • Healthcare analogue — e.g. go to a doctor (when things go bad) vs. do prevention

There are some cultures where it’s obvious:

  • You need to train yourself (e.g. Israel, military + corporate)

  • Q: How to bake in the notion that you need to put in the effort to get the good things?

“Anti-fork conversation” ---- “Fork off” / “Fork you” — [Grace]

  • Before voting, etc.

“Everything can be weaponized” [Grace]

Q: How do we get signals which persist? [Michael]

[Thomas] —

  • 2-axis archetypes to self-diagnose
    • Masculine vs. feminine
    • Dynamic vs. static

Calling work play [Grace]


  • Oftentimes we use the language and tools of the systems which we want to go away from
    • Buckminster Fuller - you need to use something new to fix the old

“non-rivalrous incentives to participate”

“leading to non-rivalrous ends”