Originally published at teslasexual. You can comment here or there.
The following document should be considered a work in progress. That said, we think it does a fair job for the moment.
Tesla: unit of magnetic flux / prolific, eccentric inventor
Sexual: dealing with the process of generation, union, arousal / passion born of synthesis
Teslasexual: Replicating one’s power (autonomous, power as in “to”, i.e. information, not power “over”) in others. Bringing together diverse people and ideas to form a novel, dynamic whole. The Science inherent in Passion, and the Passion that fuels Science. Seeking out the opportunities to set things alight with our ideas and our passion when most would prefer to sit in the dark. Breathing sparks to life, and tending the resulting fires, not just cackling as they crackle.
Teslasexual aims to be a repository of contagious wisdom, a group-organized effort to focus the resources, passion, creativity and intellect of our readers and contributors into more functional and enjoyable futures. The perspectives presented here should serve as a lens – to focus, to view…but also to set aflame.
The goal for individuals is in developing response-ability; the ability to respond creatively to the unknown. Over time, everyone develops (consciously or not) strategies that allow them to cope with and interact in the world. Often, our own learned behaviors stand in the way of what we want to accomplish. If the rules you’re living by aren’t getting you where you want to be, why don’t you revise your rules? Some learned behaviors and skills can be remarkably resistant to change – if they’re no longer serving their purpose, or serving it at too high a cost, they need to go. The “rational” strategy adapts to the others players’ strategies, it does not depend on the other players being rational. If a rational agent believes the other players are irrational then it takes that expectation into account in maximizing expected utility.
You might say that scientists – at least some scientists – are those folk who are in principle capable of enjoying life in the real universe. One of the first steps is owning the responsibility: taking charge of what you allow to influence you, while still being open to change. Part of why we’re here is to provide both the catalyst and the crucible; both the stimulus to change and the environment that allows and supports change. We support meaningful personal development (again, moving away from “quick-fix” solutions that end up doing more harm than good) through interaction with and assimilation of novelty. “Display some adaptability, son”
An online presence is not enough. We aim to develop communities able to reproduce our mutual successes, learn from our failures, and interact in a way that encourages a high standard of communication, self-improvement and fun. People are what’s important, and part of what’s essential to our mutual success is building personal social groups based on shared affinity, goals and strategies.
Simultaneously, we’re also about teaching ourselves and others self-reliance and holding each other to a high personal standard – a general set of behavior modalities in line with both the concept of the traditional “class-act” and taking into consideration the opportunities afforded by technological advancement. The litany against over-seriousness presented here does a fine job of grasping part of this. We encourage each other to be open to constantly learning, tweaking assumptions, being open to being wrong, etc. “I want to become stronger“, is to always keep improving – to do better than your previous failures, not just humbly confess them.
Additionally, we encourage not only the sharing new ideas, artifacts, technologies and creative endeavors, but the re-purposing and recycling of the old. Contrast this with the prevailing desire to be the first to have something, and to have dropped it, forgetting not only the shared creative process that goes into any idea, but also the metaphorical (or in some cases very real) piles of waste left by those who will discard anything not seen to be on the bleeding edge. Good ideas are timeless.
Linguist / cyberneticist Gregory Bateson defined information as “a difference which makes a difference.” To that end, we’ll try to keep fluff to a minimum (though there’s nothing necessarily wrong with fluff recognized as such). No wasted words, no empty thought, no killing time. Replace the symbol with substance. Our curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer. The more answers we get, the more complex our curiosity can become. Curiosity in this sense appears to always be remaking Itself.
Better solutions and more interesting problems! Better stories through developing / transcending old characters! It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries. To get a sense of the goal, think in terms of clearing out low-quality drudgery and disconnecting diversion to make way for high-quality challenge and participatory enjoyment.