PeopleCount probably won’t ever launch without backing. My current cold-letter to potential funders is below. You’re welcome to forward it to anyone who’d like to help fix American democracy.
On Facebook, there was a different sort of discussion. In it, I saw that we so easily slip back into the win/lose/fight paradigm. Continue reading
What would a new paradigm in politics be? Would you even know one if you saw it? Chance are: No.
You can’t see a new paradigm from the old one
You can’t see a new paradigm from the old paradigm. Mostly, when people look at PeopleCount from the old paradigm, they have criticisms. And we’re almost always looking at life from old paradigms. For most of us, we even limit our dreams to what’s possible in the old paradigms!. Most of us need to be dragged into a new paradigm by a book or movie to begin to see it.
From the old paradigm, PeopleCount can’t work.
From the old paradigm, PeopleCount can’t work. It, by design, produces a result that simply does not fit the way our culture understands the world.
I welcome criticisms. I’ve worked on them and have answers for them. Most people want to go around and around the old paradigm looking from their criticisms. They can only half-listen to my replies because my answers, while logical and reasonable, damage some of the threads in their view of the fabric of the world. They grudgingly concede a point, then they go on to the next criticism. In the background, their mind re-knits the threads that keep their old world-view, that is, the old paradigm, together. Often they’ll repeat an old criticism in the same conversation. Most see glimpses of the new possibility at times. But their minds quickly re-knit together their old worldview and lose the new possibility.
It’s never your fault
People say this situation is my fault. Most people blame me for not being more convincing. Or they blame PeopleCount for being flawed (even though the “flaws” aren’t real.)
There’s a third possibility, that most people can perform a paradigm shift by thinking new thoughts. Actually, none of us can without at least a lot of work. Few put effort into it. Why? Because it feels like you get two rewards: The new knowledge that you’re wrong, and a new frustration that a much better way of life is possible.
Of course, it’s my fault that I failed at writing a book and don’t have the funds or connections to make a movie (or hire a team). And it’s certainly my fault that I haven’t finished the website so you can walk into this new paradigm and learn about it by experiencing it.
I don’t mean to complain. I’m just blogging about how I see things. Who knows, maybe it’ll help me find a way to say it more simply, or in a way that isn’t at odds with the current paradigm. In the next post, I’ll discuss funding.
Like the Moody Blues said, “We’re all looking for someone.” I’m looking for a team and funding. The funding is just another way to create a team. Continue reading
Someone who’s into political transformation linked to me on LinkedIn. I called him, hoping. He was just linking to interesting names he had collected… If you’re like him, here’s my message to you:
PeopleCount is different
There have been a lot of projects to change politics. As far as I’ve seen, PeopleCount is different- designed to have a large, immediate impact. Others intended to, but were never designed to.
Many efforts started small and tried to prove themselves. They haven’t thought out their marketing, their value to people, the desirability of their offering, or their distribution and growth plans. When they couldn’t must a real solution, they followed the “best practice” of winging it and hoping that copying others’ best practices would suffice.
I apologize for my apparent arrogance. I’ve heard very few solid criticisms of PeopleCount. But I did hear them, and then I addressed them.
Would you know a solution if it slapped you in the face? No.
If you saw a project that could REALLY transform politics in wonderful ways, would you drop everything and join it? Or at least take initiative and support it energetically? If not, never mind. Just tell me and we can disconnect on LinkedIn.
If you saw a project that could REALLY transform politics, would you recognize it? Of course not, at least at first. If it was that obvious, it would have been thought of and built years ago.
If there was a project that could REALLY transform politics, what kind of effort would you put into recognizing it? Most people give it 2-3 minutes. If it doesn’t get through their thick skull and the even thicker mists of cultural myths in 2-3 minutes, they figure it’ll never work.
PeopleCount is what you don’t even know how to listen for.
This is that project. I try to simplify it, because no one wants to read the details. I try to simplify it, because people don’t get the gist of it, due to cynicism, cultural myths, lack of imagination and lack of thinking skills.
A few people finally get the simple gist of it, and are interested. And then they dismiss it for being too simple. When they start thinking about complexities, it seems too daunting, so they go back to thinking it can’t work.
I’m pretty brilliant. In my free time, I often do math and logic puzzles. Those are exercises in seeing what’s really going on. Only a tiny fraction of the population can solve them. I can spend a full day or two with a difficult one- much more thinking than most people put into anything. It’s very disappointing, but not too surprising, that people can’t understand PeopleCount.
The good news is that users won’t have to. They’ll appreciate it naturally by using it.
I need help
The bad news is that people who can fund it need to understand it first. And that takes the kind of thinking that few people are able to do, and few of them employ often.
I need some help to finish building it. Sure, I’m bright. But not bright enough to launch a startup alone- that’s very, very rare and takes more than brains. It takes a lot of work and teamwork. I need funding to work on it myself full time. I need a team, just like every other decent project. I need money for a few months for a small team to finish building it and launch it. I’ll need a bigger team to grow it the first year till we reach sustainability.
Please keep reading, the conclusion is in the next post.
Real political transformation
PeopleCount is the real deal. It’s a real solution to our worst political problems and empowers citizens to make Congress fix the rest. It empowers not just citizens and incumbents, but hugely empowers challengers. They add ideas, keep incumbents honest, and pressure them to perform.
And PeopleCount doesn’t just empower challengers to win. It empowers whoever wins to rise above party politics and serve the people.
Our political system is in bad SHAPE
Right now, our political system has the PERFECT shape to deliver the results we’re seeing. Our current system is ineffective and invites corruption and dishonesty.
With PeopleCount, the shape of the system will naturally pull for accountability. It’ll naturally improve our political system. Plus the PeopleCount organization will work hard to serve people. We’ll keep molding it to serve people, not parties or philosophies, and support finding great solutions.
And we’ll deliver breakthrough accountability for an organization. We will be accountable to you. We’re not in it for profit, but I’ve spent my savings on this. We’ll set up a bonus system that will only pay out with citizen approval.
Currently, America has NO system for finding, developing and delivering improvements to politics. No system for delivering accountability. PeopleCount is committed to being that system.
Sports in the woods, or in an arena?
It’s sort of like an arena for sports. When sports were played in tilled fields, it was natural to be wild and playful. There were limits to what was possible and players often got hurt. An arena, with its stands and referees and lines and scoreboards invites scrutiny, fairness and real rules. It’s an environment that pulls for better sports.
PeopleCount creates an environment that pulls for accountability, honesty, transparency and serving the public good.
I’ve done 99% of the planning and 75% of the work. In a very real sense, its success depends on the next 99% of the planning and work. I’ve prepared for launch and created plans that will grow it quickly. The work involved in that growth is daunting. PeopleCount needs a team.
Please put some real time into considering this. Please read some more and suggest some ways you can help. I’m an engineer- I’m not a marketer or a writer. I’ve done a fair job at those, but not enough to even run a crowdfunding campaign, much less launch. Please help.
If you saw a real political solution you wouldn’t know it without doing some homework, some challenging thinking. Please do that. Please read my Nuts and Bolts article, and a few others of note on on my blog.
Then tell me how you’ll help. To start with, please put your name on our mailing list and make a donation. Let’s make real transformation happen.
Recognizing heroism always helps a speech. But I object to Trump’s exploitation of the death of Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens. And I object to Trump’s lie- the mission returned no actionable intelligence.
Was Owens a hero? Yes. He prepared tirelessly and plunged into a dangerous mission and gave his life. His parents are heroically dealing with his loss and their grief.
Truly heroic Americans
Plus the heroism of the millions in the Middle East in countries that have been destabilized and had many of their own killed or injured by the violence. They, too, struggle with heartache and PTSD, but without our Veterans Administration and hospitals. Many have no haven of a peaceful homeland in which to heal.
For many, it began when their husbands, brothers and fathers were thrust into unemployment when the US dismissed the Iraqi police and army. And then it exploded in the civil war that rash act unleashed. Many were tortured by Americans and humiliated as well. Some of those created Isis as their last hope. Since then, many saw their sons and daughters lured into Isis, only to have them abused and enslaved and lure others.
Heroic and generous hosts
The sin of pride
And this is Trump’s mistake. Unlike Bush, Trump has an excuse. His cognitive deficits, his narcissism, prevent him both from being truthful, humble or even realizing how prideful he is.
And it’s the Republican mistake. Instead of working with Obama for 8 years, they vilified and opposed him. They sacrificed ethics for a chance at power. And now they have it, on the coattails of a disabled, unaccountable ogre in a position that’s far, far above him.
One thing is certain. This incompetent leadership will make our lives replete with opportunities for heroism.
A friend of mine saw a man lying on the cold sidewalk in Seattle, without even a blanket. She gave him one, bought two mocha’s and muffins and sat with him for a few minutes, eating and talking. She wondered about all the people who were ignoring him. She hoped it didn’t mean too much.
Cognitive dissonance hurts
We often naturally invent that people deserve their circumstances. It’s one of many ways we avoid cognitive dissonance. Life is unfair. We don’t like thinking things are wrong, God’s wrong. We don’t like thinking “I should do something” outside of our planned budget and schedule- that feels wrong, too. We don’t like feeling guilt.
And there are so many millions (even billions!) of people hurting. We can’t empathize with them all, we think. We have to ignore almost all of them, most of the time. And in that effort to ignore, often we’re ignoring the pain as we walk down the street and pass someone lying down.
Kindness and connection
At times, almost all of us do acts of kindness. Our empathy gets the better of our inner fearful curmudgeon.
Some people seem to have an easier time connecting with love. Many of them have worked hard to tame the fears, insecurities and selfishness that separate us from love. Some of them simply keep putting in the effort.
The first challenge of life- reaching love
Perhaps that’s most of the work of the first part of life- mastering reaching out to love. Most of our parents try to teach us this, as do most religions and philosophies. But few parents have truly mastered the lessons. They teach as best they can.
I like to think I’ve mastered it. But it’s not true. I hope by now, nearing age 60, I’ve developed at least some mastery. Being committed to truth, I must admit that I, too, am merely a work in progress.
What’s next? Making a difference
Some people have told me they’re proud of me for my current efforts. It took a fair amount of courage to give up my job and work on PeopleCount full time. At the same time, I had to quell the fears of my wife and kids. Lots of people told me not to, to play it safe. Even my parents said that. But love won out.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. I did manage to put together a team for a short while. Then circumstances took away a key person. I didn’t quite have the skills to compensate. So I’m still trying. I’m trying to finish building the software, write the blog, connect with people and find funding. Probably I’m still making the same mistake- tackling too much at once…
This is an introduction to PeopleCount and myself. It’s one (860 word) article, and points to a 2-part series about The Nuts and Bolts of PeopleCount, and a 6-part series about how Political Accountability is in our Blind Spot. PeopleCount is about a new paradigm for politics, one that can start in a few months, if I can get some support… Continue reading
In the last post, we looked at the nuts and bolts of the first version of PeopleCount. Now comes the hard part: Will the nuts and bolts matter? Continue reading