There very much IS a group - though it is true that there hasn't been much activity in the "Towards Democracy" group for quite some time.
That was mainly because YahooGroups lacks the interactive facilities needed to develop or promote an ambitious Mission like 'working towards democracy' anywhere.
Meanwhile, I have sent a post to the members of the "Towards Democracy" YahooGroup, requesting them to list the Missions they may be interested to work on, which we shall take up as examples on which we would apply OPMS. (See attachment herewith for an early copy of that message).
The OPMS Website, to be launched later this year, will have the kind of interactive facilities needed to pursue actively such an ambitious Mission as "working towards true democracy" - using the good ideas of stakeholders to create Action Planning so as to enable progress towards that distant destination of 'democracy'. The OPMS process enables, without a great deal of futile argumentation ('round and 'round the mulberry bush, so to speak), enables stakeholders to *integrate* their good ideas, remove their bad ideas so that progress can be made towards the 'Mission' under consideration.
Removing/ rejecting the bad ideas that are always floating around in a society or a community is a major and VERY difficult undertaking - as we have seen right here at Math-teach.
I have from time to time commented quite severely about a few truly bad ideas in the form of foolish 'slogans' that have been espoused/ proposed/ promoted by some members of Math-teach - the underlying reasons why I've done that may have been misunderstood on occasion.
Do please believe me that it was never just to "poke someone with a stick", as has been alleged: it was always with a view to demonstrate just how very bad AND dangerous those ideas are. (Please do let me know if you wish to see any of these bad ideas once again along with an explanation of exactly WHY they are very bad ideas).
Reverting to 'the idea of democracy':
Until some real changes occur in the way we look at ourselves and the societies within which we live, all that would ever happen with 'democracy' is the conventional pattern of 'voting and hoping and FUTILE waiting' - which we've seen in many nations and which we all know works very poorly indeed (from experience around the world, from India to the USA and elsewhere - no real democracy has EVER been installed anywhere!!)
We should observe and duly acknowledge that the conventional pattern of 'electoral democracy' does work much better in some nations than in others; further, in some nations people may well be satisfied with the workings of their 'democracy', to whatever extent they have got it going
In India, for example, we're right now in the midst of a general election to our Parliament.
This is a truly awe-inspiring societal exercise, which is handled pretty well by the 'instruments' we have developed for it: our 'Election Commission' along with a whole number of 'sub-systems' we have in place to *try* and ensure 'free and fair voting' and the like. By and large, this huge societal enterprise of operating our enormous elections has been and IS handled pretty well by our Election Commission and other societal instruments for the purpose, as anyone should certify (even the most 'anti-Indian' of commentators).
HOWEVER: despite all of the above, I still claim that we do NOT have an adequate democracy in India by any means!
In more than 65 years of independent existence as a nation, I claim that we have not been able to bring about anything like a real democracy in India.
But I must acknowledge and accept that most Indians will not understand why I claim that we do not have an 'operating democracy' in India - I often face severe flak here when I make this claim, which I do quite regularly.
About possible Missions for OPMS:
ANY kind of Mission is acceptable, including the ambitious Mission of "To bring about true democracy in India" (as against the oligarchy/plutocracy we have in place).
The guarantee can be given that the individual/ group 'stakeholders' in the Mission will definitely come to better understand the 'systems' within his/ her/ their Mission is embedded and he/ she/ they will swiftly come to understand the feasibility of the chosen Mission. In brief, the OPMS process simply shows the 'stakeholders' how OPMS can help them *integrate* their own good ideas to accomplish their chosen Missions (while, most importantly, helping them get rid of the bad ideas that are always floating around).
This particular Mission ("Towards Democracy") is likely to become one major area of the OPMS website, where people would, I expect, learn how to develop Action Planning to help accomplish 'democracy' in their own various and specific situations. The above is what I'd expect.
As the prime promoter of OPMS, I should explain that - even with OPMS - it is entirely possible to *fail* with some ambitious Missions. Above, I've noted the kind of 'guarantee' that could be provided to users: I note that ANY group Mission would definitely demand sizable effort by all involved - along with a good bit of 'out-of-the-box thinking' from a number of the stakeholders.
Also, we should be aware that, by and large, we humans do not handle 'group dynamics' very well. It's the group dynamics that generally defeats us in most ambitious societal projects. Plenty of evidence is available right here at Math-teach, on practically every major issue discussed. The OPMS can help bring about 'significantly improved' group dynamics for worthy purposes in most situations. > > There have been 12 posts > in the last 5 years, probably all by you. > It IS indeed true that I had let this group lie in limbo for quite a while now. That was definitely a serious lapse on my part - but it's one that should only concern the members of that group, not Robert Hansen. At least some of them appear to have forgiven my lapse: A few members of the "Towards Democracy" group - a couple of ex-members of my ILW s/w team, along with some others - have already responded directly to my personal email address with some ideas and suggestions.
The above-noted neglect occurred mainly because I didn't really know how to progress the Mission in any effective way, i.e.:
-- demonstrate, from stakeholder ideas, how to progress towards 'democracy';
-- how to get an appropriate group together;
-- how to communicate effectively to members of the "Towards Democracy" group - help maintain their enthusiasm over time;
-- how, in the absence of adequate finance, to set up a Company (a PLC) to continue development of the OPMS software and continue promotion of OPMS;
-- how to do needed marketing; etc, etc, etc.
At this point, I have managed more or less to figure out I believe most of the above desiderata - and how to overcome those deficiencies in practice. It's taken a while (MUCH longer than it should have, had I been using OPMS effectively enough) - but there IS a plan now, and that is now slowly but surely moving forward.
It's early days yet, so let's see how it goes: in a couple of weeks I should be able to figure out what I need to do with/for the members of the "Towards Democracy" YahooGroup - as well as to progress OPMS in a number of aspects.
Robert Hansen may (or more likely may not) be happy to know that his attitudes and negativity consistently displayed (see below) have had a fair bit to do with the development of the Action Planning of how to move OPMS forward in the present circumstances, even in the absence of needed resources of various kinds.
At least some of the strengths that the OPMS project is likely to show now and in the future should be attributed to the effects of the 'Robert Hansen characteristics' noted above. > > Yet another > dead end as a possible source of just ONE living > person that can describe an in-depth and successful > experience with OPMS. > Entirely untrue, as Robert Hansen knows full well. If he doesn't know now, he will see the results during 2014. (Should we perhaps characterise this as "just another untruth from Robert Hansen"?) > > Since the group appears to have moved on to another > To-Do app, > Untrue (yet again). > > how about putting us in contact with the > alleged investor that was going to invest $500,000 > USD, > I'm not about to jump to your command, Robert Hansen. You may well consider yourself one of the "MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!" - but you really should try to become aware that you are certainly not my "MASTER".
Any investor that I may have found is not for the purpose of providing 'evidence' to Robert Hansen. > > yet you turned them down, because you wanted to > hire part-time students for free instead. > Entirely untrue (yet again!): the people currently engaged on OPMS-related tasks (currently various tasks towards website development) are high-level professionals involved in website design.
They are helping out with OPMS because of their interest in the OPMS approach, and they would like to be associated with the project. They happen to be around 45 years of age (I guess), and they are earning very well indeed - though surely they're not in the bracket of US $ 200K that Robert Hansen claims. > >I would suspect at least that he would have many positive > things to say about OPMS if he wanted to invest that > kind of money in it. Lord only knows why we will > never hear from him. > > By chance, was this investor from Nigeria? > > Bob Hansen > No, the investor was not from Nigeria (there were actually two separate investors, neither from that hallowed place): any investor from Nigeria would not be acceptable at all.
The investor was not Robert Hansen either.
A suggestion for Robert Hansen or for anyone else who may on occasion be looking in on the exchanges between Robert Hansen and GSC, or between Robert Hansen and Richard Strausz.
Examine, if you will, the relentless negativity displayed by Robert Hansen in his postings here. Examine also the falsehoods that Robert Hansen has consistently come up with, especially those to the effect that "OPMS is just list-making and nothing else!". He knows it is false; he knows we know it is false: and yet he continues with the very same falsehoods!
Some achievements, those! Such feats really take some doing!
By the way, Robert Hansen: is there any chance of you putting us in touch with your son, who according to some of your postings here has performed some quite wondrous feats of learning of math. We presume they were based on your famous 'educational philosophy' paraphrased as follows:
"Children must be PUSHED (or GOADED) to learn math!" (and presumably everything else). [A]
This remarkable 'educational philosophy' goes counter to everything we may have learned from Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori and other pioneers in education. It may perhaps be described as the 'medieval' - or perhaps 'Dickensian' - approach to education. It is not quite that famous philosophy of "Spare the rod and spoil the child!" - but it certainly seems to be a step towards that. [By 'Dickensian', we mean of course 'as described by Dickens' and not 'as prescribed by Dickens']. In any case, those wondrous feats of learning may well be worth investigating with a view to 'reject' Piaget and other such 'softy reformers' once and for all if that is what is needed to put education back on track to medieval times.
(To judge by the triumphalist slogans floating around Math-teach [in particular Robert Hansen's 'A' above-noted], it's clear we haven't yet really learned much from Piaget et al. This lack of learning probably accounts for much of the woeful state of education today: we are not really too far from those medieval, or let us rather say 'Dickensian', attitudes to education. Robert Hansen has been reconfirming this to us from time to time).
It's my claim - that if Robert Hansen's son ever learned anything useful in math at all - that learning by him would have been mainly by reason of the 'ENCOURAGEMENT to learn' that Robert Hansen must have provided to the boy, and not by way of the PUSHING and GOADING in which Mr Hansen takes such pride. PUSHING and GOADING if any could only have "HINDERED" or "PREVENTED" learning from taking place. Or, maybe, we should just accept it as a 'miraculous occurrence' and 'beyond question'.
I reiterate here what is (in GSC's view) a 'healthier', more 'natural' educational philosophy than Robert Hansen's 'A' above-noted. Let's identify this newfangled 'educational philosophy' as 'B', below:
A 'healthy' philosophy of education (B):
"Children (and learners in general) should be ENCOURAGED to learn (math; or anything else that's needed). If needed ENCOURAGEMENT is provided effectively, then the learners will learn how to PUSH and even to GOAD themselves to overcome the many difficulties and barriers that they will surely encounter in their journey towards learning".
Addendum: The greatest barrier to learning is 'a closed mind' ? the real barrier is NOT the difficulty of the concept(s) to be learned.
Alternatively, Mr Hansen, would you put up for our reference some evidence about the US $ 200k p.a. income that you have claimed? Would you like to show us verified tax certificates? Or post some photographs (with other needed evidence) of your "lovely house" that you've claimed? Or of your two cars? Or evidence about those fine meals that you go out for every week". What about a certificate about the tips you may have given the waiters? You may, of course, rightly tell me to get lost and to take these ridiculous 'demands' with me.
GSC ("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!! Not GOADING!!!")