GHDR Boot Day 12/12: Two Quotes and a Newsletter

Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2024 by Sri. Tagged GHDR
Rather than make an infographic poster to help focus, I started a collage that I will continue to decorate throughout the yearA half-finished collage of 'The Colony' and related ideasA half-finished collage of 'The Colony' and related ideas (full size image)

Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

(full size image)
GHDR Goal Setting Poster from 2016 (note ironic reference to 2024 goals)

Today is the 12th day of my "Groundhog Day Bootstrap". I started this on February 2nd, not being quite ready, and since 12 days falls right on Valentine's Day it seemed like a nice way to start things off. Another thing that I like about Valentine's Day is that it feels like the unofficial beginning of Spring! But I digress...the point of doing my 12-day bootstrap was to have a definitive directon by which to guide the rest of the year. Which I totally didn't do as I have in the past with an enormous poster like this one from 2016 (right).

This year I'm tired of laying everything out, so I'm going to try continuing to build the focus throughout the year with a collage that I made at the local library this evening. It's not complete and still in pieces, but it captures the big ideas of The Colony. Lemme go over them quickly:

Listing Collage Elements: Colony Areas

The collage has several labels on it corresponding to the ideas of The Colony:

  • The idea of a Welcome Center where people will wander into and become acquainted with what's here.
  • An Expedition Headquarters where people can form parties and go creative adventuring.
  • A Public Square and Bazaar where people can be deluged with sites and engage in market activities.
  • A Colony Headquarters which is the de-facto seat of governance.

This is at odds, I know, with yesterday's downgrading of scope to a mere Sri's Outpost. However, I think the main ideas still hold in smaller form:

  • The "Welcome Center" is just my website home page.
  • The "Expedition Headquarters" is the informal list of projects I publicize.
  • The "Public Square" and "Bazaar" are my goods and services page with links to others.
  • The "Colony Headquarters" is the set of pages on my website that collects the work related to establishing a working community.

Since a working community is my end game, I think it's OK to continue to use the older nomenclature.

Listing Collage Elements: Artifacts of Exchange

The collage also lists the objects that have value in my eyes, and would serve as alternative currencies when it comes to fruitful transactions:

  • Pebbles are the offerings that visitors bring with them, special interests/skills that they are eager to show and share with others.
  • Seeds are the ideas for projects and activities that just needs people that care to grow something empowering.
  • Kits are ready-to-deploy tools and materials that can be used by another to add new machinery to their production process.
  • Primers are packaged experiences that help people learn a new skill.
  • Rings are the networks of creative adventurers that have been formed and shared publicly, inspired by webrings of the 1990s.

The idea is that these are tangible in the sense that they can be seen and used, therefore are of direct value to people using them in addition to regular goods and services. Perhaps another way of framing them is as artifacts of imbued with practical magic that people attuned to The Colony's values can readily appreciate.

Should I Design a Points System for Tracking?

So the above is nice and everything, but it's extremely short on the WHAT-WHEN-HOW aspects of making change in my life. I know from past Groundhog Day Resolution shortcomings that I have problems with:

  • remembering my strategic goals in the first place so I do them
  • getting pulled into other work or stress and forgetting to allocate time
  • suffering from low motivation and depression from working solo too long
  • finding the energy to push through the lonely difficult stuff that I find tedious and stupid
  • pushing past the frustration of how slow things are, losing momementum, then changing tack

All of these are what The Colony is designed to mitigate by providing a daily context and source of creative energy that keeps me engaged and focused. I have learned that I need to be constantly talking to people about our goals and aspirations, getting into the details and sharing our enthusiasm. Without that, I am a frail shadow of myself. But until I can gather that critical mass where The Colony (or even Sri's Outpost) can generate that energy on its own, I'll have to tough it out solo again.

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You can read more about The Concrete Goals Tracker at my old website.

For the remainder of this month, I think I could reuse an old system called The Concrete Goals Tracker (CGT) which uses a weighted point system to help determine what's worth doing. It's good for targeted goals like this one with infrequent big wins; more frequent support tasks are worth less points but doing a lot of them adds up quickly. The trick is designing the point system well to reward actual positive acrual of resources. If you are producing a resource or directly contributing to the acquisition of a resource, you're not doing useful work toward your goal. I call these concrete resources - they are both TANGIBLE with the sense and SHOWABLE to people. They are only concrete--and therefore have value--once they are delivered and shown directly to someone else. If you don't show someone what you're doing, after all, there is zero change that your action will effect any change for yourself.

Listing Concrete Resources of The Colony

I'll start by listing all the concrete resources that matter in a system like The Colony. In no particular order:

  • Pebbles and Webrings - packaged and ready to be seen by people who have yet to meet
  • Seeds and Kits - packaged and ready to share for barter or group activity
  • Primers - packaged as a nice document and ready to share in a library
  • Goods - your bread-and-butter products for sale, listed and ready to buy in a storefront
  • Services - your time-for-money work, neatly outlined and listed with pricing and examples in a document that can be emailed
  • Portfolio - examples of your work, packaged and documented with context, viewable available on art portals, git repositories, galleries
  • Collaborators - people who know you from working with you directly, having completed a project with you.
  • Acquaintances - people who know you by reputation mostly, but have been helped in some way by you indirectly.
  • References - positive mentions on podcasts, reviews, media, word of mouth, references on LinkedIn, etc
  • Manifestos - personal statements of something you believe and stand for, and are willing to champion. Or meme.

All of these have one thing in common: THEY ARE SEEN by the subset of people who are already interested in what you've offered, and have chosen to interact further based on their reaction to your works.

But Really...What Do I Want to Do?

The change I want to see in my life is something like this:

To have joyful people around me, actively building a supportive culture of adventurous creativity together.

The prerequisite actions for this are something like:

  1. Talk to people about what you are doing
  2. Ask people what they are doing
  3. Tell other people about what people are doing
  4. Create efficient and fun ways for people to indirectly learn about 1-3
  5. Be the example of supportive adventurous creativity whenever you can
  6. Join other groups and learn about them, possibly tell them about what I'm doing
  7. Be the envoy of this culture as it develops, maintaining diplomatic distance but also emanating genuine warmth toward friendly cultures.

And because we live in 2024, we have to keep our eye on our bank accounts. I'd phrase it something like this:

To develop methods that achieve financial security without compromising the ideals of our supportive culture.

This is a huge economic challenge that I can't solve by myself, but in the meantime I can certainly do some work on improving my own financial security by:

  1. Producing concrete goods the are examples of Pebbles, Seeds, Kits, Primers, etc
  2. Packaging my existing work into forms that speak to my values, special interests, etc in a way that is viewable and sharable
  3. Packaging my existing research that has helped me into forms that other people can view, share, and comment on

Simplifying Further

Now I could create a new version of The Concrete Goals Tracker...but let's try something simpler by picking a singular goal that embodies all these ideas into a single artifact:

Publish a bi-weekly newsletter of about people sharing their creative adventures with you.

In support of Joyful People / Supportive Culture of Adventurous Creativity

Show a packaged item every two weeks that can be described in a 'deliverables' or 'classified' section of the newsletter.

In support of Financial Security / Supportive Culture of Adventurous Creativity

While the idea of "making a newsletter" may not seem very epic, it serves the important role as an anchoring thought for the dozens of things that I've outlined over the past 12 days. The newsletter is a vehicle for achieving that. Editorial focus and content is already determined. I already have the skills to make and distribute a newsletter. This simple newsletter idea combines the necessary communication with people with the need for me to produce tangible goods so I have something that I want to share with people as an example of what I'm doing and the level of commitment that I'm investing. It may not seem like much, but it is the first push and will yield useful experimental data no matter what happens. Let's see where that data leads me.

With that, I think it's time for me to declare that Groundhog Day Resolutions Bootstrap is complete! With the new interim Newsletter Goal in place, I will continue to write daily reports like this one to maintain momentum even if my daily progress is really tiny. It will be too easy for me to forget to look at it if I don't commit to this action.

Ok, let's do this! RAWR!


INDEX of GHDR 2024 POSTS

This year's single goal is Building The Colony!

Made a simple "functional area" diagram using Whimsical to help gather my thoughts.

I converted the Whimsical doc from yesterday to Affinity Designer.

Created new subsite at /the-colony/

Wrote stream-of-consciousness "vision statement" for later cleanup

Convert stream-of-consciousness into a "phrase cloud" for further deconstruction

Artifacts of The Colony: Pebbles, Seeds, and Rings

Created a "refined phrase cloud" grouped into five categories, based on boot 05's work.

Extracted "foundational" statements from yesterday, but they didn't leave a strong impression. Punt "why" to tomorrow's post.

Created a "Selfishly Sri" printable assessment to gauge outside interest.

Reducing scope from Colony to Outpost.

Desired results are distilled down to two main ideas, which will cover the next couple of months.

A slow start to the year, as I focused on paying work for most of the month. Set four directives to achieve this mont

The set of analysis notes that I authored with ChatGPT4 to refine my understanding of "prosocial motivation"

New goal is to start connecting with future chatty collaborators, as my brain runs on "prosocial motivation" and meaningful human connections.

May 5

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Jun 6

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Jul 7

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Aug 8

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Sep 9

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Oct 10

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Nov 11

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Dec 12

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