The Crux

Instead of gathering and reacting to the symptoms, allways dig deeper and deeper into the crux.

What drives the technology of this trend? Engineers like Elon Musk can do this. So can You !!

I took the liberty of re-blogging the following story from the “Entrepreneurs Handbook”, see below.

jaap van till, The Connectivist



Elon Musk’s 2 Rules For Learning Anything Faster

A structure to help you take over entire industries

Jake Daghe

Image for post by Daniel Oberhaus

Learning is one of the overcommunicated but underleveraged tools of the common entrepreneur.

Everyone talks about methods of learning, but few people find realistic and authentic techniques that actually yield a net profit in the information and application categories.

Elon Musk has broken through that barrier with learning techniques that have proven successful not just once, but time and time again.

A good argument could be made that Musk has leveraged his learning by becoming a disruptor. He and his companies have shifted entire industries, including the transportation sector, the energy sector, and the space sector.

He recently announced at a press conference that his plans for his biotech company Neuralink are progressing quite nicely, hinting at yet another sector which his hands will likely shift in the coming years.

Yes, Musk is a once-in-a-lifetime genius. Likely on the same levels as Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton. He has a different way of viewing problems than the average entrepreneur.

Of course, he reads hundreds of books. He works with top-level thinkers. He has astronomical levels of funding to put towards his every whim. But that’s not what makes him a great learner.

His learning methods aren’t that regal. In fact, his two rules for how to learn anything faster can be implemented by anyone at any time. Including you.

You, too, can be a rocket scientist, if you wanted. Here’s how.

Identify the different parts of the tree

When it comes to learning, Musk is quick to note that he believes that most people can learn more than they currently know.

When it comes to the average entrepreneur, Musk claims that they often don’t break through their perceived limits and try to learn beyond their current capacity. Or, as he goes on to clarify, they don’t know how to outline their information in a way that leads to further revelation.

In a conversation on Reddit, Musk discussed his approach to learning and the structure he uses as such:

“One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”

From this, we begin to see Elon Musk’s first rule of learning:

Rule #1 — Make sure you’re building a tree of knowledge

What does this mean for you practically? It helps the common entrepreneur understand that not everything is weighed with equal gravitas or importance.

When it comes to learning, there is a difference between material that ends up hanging from a branch and the material that makes up the base of the trunk of your tree.

It’s the periphery vs. the central.

Musk is a master of understanding what is at the core of each of the sectors his entrepreneurial ventures sit in.

He starts there, ensuring that he has the best possible grasp on the “trunk” material before moving off into the minutiae of the branches and the leaves.

Many of us do the opposite. We load up on periphery facts while never fully understanding how or why they connect back to the trunk. This outward-facing-in method leaves many of our brains overcrowded with misidentified and, ultimately, unimportant knowledge.

That’s not learning. It’s cramming.

The result of our efforts is a tree with a toothpick trunk and an overload of teeming branches, threatening to snap off as we try to cram one more idea or thought within our brains.

If you want to learn anything faster, you need to start with the materials that make up the trunk. It might be a tad slower at the onset, but without a sturdy trunk, you won’t have the base to support any additional learning and skill.

Connections power your learning

The brilliance of Elon Musk’s learning strategy isn’t necessarily in his ability to understand core central concepts.

Many entrepreneurs over generations have had solids grasp on core tenets and principles.

Musk’s brilliance is found in his second rule of learning, which underlines his ability to build vast and towering trees of intellect across multiple sectors.

Rule #2 — You can’t remember what you can’t connect

This is how Musk was able to span sectors and shift entire industries seemingly overnight.

He started with solid roots and dense trunks, and then as he began to grow his knowledge upward, he began connecting branches and leaves together with other branches and leaves from other trees.

Musk never learns a piece of information at random. Everything he intakes, he connects back to some deeper, more solid base.

Most learners today are not master gardeners, but stick collectors. We walk around life, picking up tidbits here and tidbits there until our arms are full of sticks.

Once we have a good bunch of sticks, we do what comes naturally whenever there is a pile of sticks lying around. We burn them.

We think the size of our fires equals the size of our learning. But we are slow to realize what Elon Musk has built his entire learning structure on: that fires burn out.

Musk plants trees, in rich soil, that grow to be thick and abundant centers of learning.

You can do the same. You just need to embrace his two rules. Build the trunk first, then work tirelessly on making connections.

Exponential growth

Like any new system, it might take you a bit to get the hang of it. You might actually feel like you are learning slower than you did previously. That’s okay. What you’re actually doing is building the foundation for exponential growth.

Henry Ford once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

If you want to learn anything faster, try the Elon Musk approach, but be warned. You may end up becoming a rocket scientist far faster than you previously thought possible.


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The state of Internet connections in the world, April 2020

Please take a look at the fantastic charts, graphs and overviews that Pew Research made in April

Highly recommended.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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Blogger Coordinates Protests in Belarus

Lady Liberty : Maria Kolesnikova at Luka’s fence

1. Anne Applebaum wrote a very important article The Atlantic, where she is a staff writer.

A young blogger coordinates non-violent actions in #Belorus with Telegram channels. Unstoppable, and in dialogue since he is fed with news and videos from the streets all over White Russia, which is having a re-birthfrom the repression of Lukashenka.

2 It took me a while to grasp what is at the core of this Belarus REVOLUTION, and similar ones in Hong Kong, Ukraine, Baltic Nations, Libanon, Taiwan and Siberia.And soon USA, Russian Federation and China too.

The crux is a transition (paradigm shift) from:

Autoritarian Hierarchies ====> P2P Swarms with concensus, highly interconnected people. Behaving like water, no single leader or center.

The puzzling thing is that the media and former dictator and his court + secret service enforcers can not find a leader or successor for young turks to detain , kill or poison. BECAUSE THERE IS NONE.

3. The ghosts will not be be back in the bottle now they are out. Which means that a military intervention of Russia in Belorus to re-establish a hierarchy of repression and fear with “tourists” (Russian special forces) will not work. It would only kill and destroy Belorus, like it did in East Ukraine and Crimea.

Even if he has the support of Lukashenka and the visiting tea party of Russian cabinet ministers in Minsk, Putin should not try to piss against the wind.

Helping one silly old man against the will of 8 million civilians ?

A sad spectacle.

4. #DigitalDemocracy is unstoppable.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

Ps. Maria Kolesnikova is the only one of the power lady trio that is still in Belarus. She is fearless.

Ps2: Der Spiegel has a similar story (but partly behind paywall)

Ps3: ICT workers quit Belarus, stating “do not want to live in a North Korea inside Europe”.

NEXTA = Belarus’s largest “Telegram Channel”

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Breakthrough By Stephen Wolfram

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This project of Stephen and his team is a really important breaktrough to establish a new fundamental way to construct Physics as a way to interconnect all math and physics constructs into one new framework. His new book describes this historical move. “A Project to Find The Fundamental Theory of Physics” , Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Media; illustrated edition; June 29 , 2020. I did recieve this book today, and when I started reading it, it took my breath away. The ‘Computational Universe’ as a basis for Physics , including Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. At last Information processing is part of the new Physics…….

Desciption of the publisher: The Wolfram Physics Project is a bold new effort to find the fundamental theory of physics. It combines new ideas with the latest research in physics, mathematics and computation in the push to achieve this ultimate goal of science. Written with Stephen Wolfram’s characteristic expository flair, this book provides a unique opportunity to learn about a historic initiative in science right as it is happening. A Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics includes an accessible introduction to the project as well as core technical exposition and rich, never-before-seen visualizations.

Stephen presented these new ideas at the virtual (Zoom) recent conference ICCS 2020 of the New England Institute for Complexity Research (NECSI). I will post the link to the  video recording of his speech as soon as possible on this blog page.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

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They’re coming for you Lukashenko ;)

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 08.11.50

Brilliant creative work,

jaap van till, TheConnectivist


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After the Digital Tornado


Book about major recent technology trends for Internet Policy. Update for politicians and career-makers. I am not so sure about it, but I trust Kevin Werbach to have made a nice compilation as a tutorial. Bit expensive for me though.

Here is what the publishers say at the announcement of the book on Amazon:

“Networks powered by algorithms are pervasive. Major contemporary technology trends – Internet of Things, Big Data, Digital Platform Power, Blockchain, and the Algorithmic Society – are manifestations of this phenomenon. The internet, which once seemed an unambiguous benefit to society, is now the basis for invasions of privacy, massive concentrations of power, and wide-scale manipulation. The algorithmic networked world poses deep questions about power, freedom, fairness, and human agency. The influential 1997 Federal Communications Commission whitepaper “Digital Tornado” hailed the “endless spiral of connectivity” that would transform society, and today, little remains untouched by digital connectivity. Yet fundamental questions remain unresolved, and even more serious challenges have emerged. This important collection, which offers a reckoning and a foretelling, features leading technology scholars who explain the legal, business, ethical, technical, and public policy challenges of building pervasive networks and algorithms for the benefit of humanity.”

This is the result of a conference in November 2017, which was announced as follows:

Many of the contemporary technology trends with the greatest significance for the economy and for public policy—Internet of Things, Big Data, Platform Economy, Blockchain, and Algorithmic Society—should be seen as manifestations of this larger phenomenon. Growing tensions around governance, innovation, surveillance, competition, consumer/worker protection, privacy, and discrimination are best understood within a broader frame. The algorithmic networked world poses deep questions about power, freedom, fairness, and human agency.

Ubiquitous networking means the transformation of every form of economic activity, and a large chunk of non-economic activity, along the same lines as the internet. Algorithmic control means that increasingly dynamic software will manage not just transactions and communication, but also human systems. Our cultures and institutions are not well-adapted to this new environment. Equally important, systems engineered for a distinct and limited digital world can be ill-suited for the complexities of the “real” world. Already, a number of controversies have arisen, many of which are difficult to address under established legal rules.

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ((FCC)) issued Kevin Werbach’s working paper, Digital Tornado, one of the first examinations by a government agency of the transformative potential of the internet. Today we find ourselves in a world where little remains untouched by the wave of digital connectivity. Yet fundamental questions remain unresolved, and even more serious new questions have emerged.

In November 2017, the Wharton School will host a major academic conference on this topic, organized by Professor Werbach. An edited volume of essays based on the presentations will be published by Cambridge University Press.

I am writing a chapter for a book and concentrate on every thing but the issues in this book. I doubt that Trump has read it or the present FCC.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist 

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Calling Young Women to Interconnect and Cooperate, basis 12 for Synthecracy

Schermafbeelding 2020-08-06 om 22.10.46

This is the second time Katarzyna Gajewska PhD , a fearless young scientist, can post a guest blog here. See the first: 

Schermafbeelding 2020-08-06 om 22.25.49

Please forward her call through your own network !!!

jaap van till, The Connectivist

=== Reblogged from   =====


July 29 , 2020

We recently received this from Katarzyna Gajewska who has written for Commune Life before. This is about a book that she is publishing in conjunction with Cambia, one of the Virginia communes.

On crowdfunding with Cambia community to complete a feminine utopia and boycotting Amazon 

Katarzyna Gajewska, PhD, has been working on the manuscript of “Imagine a Sane Society” since 2013. She is now at the stage to engage other co-creators to complete this book. Her feminine utopia is a call for creativity and imagination. Her conceptualization has been influenced by interviews in egalitarian communities and other prefigurative forms of organizing work and life. If 60 people contribute $20 each, we will be able to pay for the first stage of production to be done by egalitarian community Cambia.

By contributing to crowdfunding campaign, you also support Cambia, a commune living prefigurative future in the now. Cambia Community is a small egalitarian intentional community in central Virginia, USA. Their mission is to serve as a model for a sustainable, fulfilling, and connected way of living. They have formed an educational non-profit called Rustling Roots, which teaches how to respond to the global ecological crisis locally, stimulating discussion and changing habits in local communities by hosting workshops, events, and tours.

Cambia has known Katarzyna for several years and has appreciated her academic work and dedication to justice and sustainability.

“The opportunity to help with editing Katarzyna’s book would allow us to invest in our business and our community, and collaborate with a project that supports our mission. With funding from this work, we would be able to plant more fruit trees, invest in solar infrastructure, and hire people with specialized knowledge in ecology or engineering for specific projects.” – Gil Benmoshe of Cambia Community

The author writes on the subject of the forthcoming book and crowdfunding campaign to prepare online version in Creative Commons, available for free.

Why Commune Life Blog readers may be interested in your book project?

You may have wondered what a post-capitalist system would look like. We know quite well what we do not like but it is difficult to say what we want. The book discusses various directions of change and proposes a vision for a health-oriented system. It shows examples of alternative ways of organizing production. The main part deals with understanding the cultural change that a new system would require of us. Culture is a set of ideas, automatic assumptions, habits in shaping human relations. It is invisible, yet so powerful. If we cannot imagine something else, we automatically submit to the shiny but destructive offer of the dominant elites. One of the reasons why I call it a feminine utopia is because I focus on inner work and not engineering another design for hollow structures which would be filled with the dysfunctions of the dominant system if not addressed. This is where communes come in. They have decided to live under different regime within a group and then they need to deal with all the psychological and cultural imprint that wants us to not even come up with such an idea. The cultural work they had to engage in is preparing for the time of crisis when cooperation will not be an option anymore. I have conducted many interviews and observations in Acorn, a commune in Virginia and in Niederkaufungen, a commune in Germany and they inspire my reflection on the culture for a new mode of production. One chapter portrays also Tamera, a political ashram in Portugal.

Whom is this book for?

If you are experiencing existential crisis or skillfully numbing it with shopping, substances, and busyness, this book can help you stop for a moment and reflect on your life’s choices that add up to the unbearable reality. Activists or people who think of becoming involved may find an aid to inquire what kind of actions to focus on. We need a broader picture to translate it into small steps leading to it.

Why do you call your book a feminine utopia?

First of all, I do not mean gender and women by this. The “feminine” in my utopia is a logic of action, a way of thinking, values, and the mode of operating. Ursula K. Le Guin used Chinese words yin and yang, probably, to avoid these confusions with gender stereotypes. We still need a lot of work to empower the feminine. My book wants to empower the feminine logic as something defining the shape of the system. I see this proposal as an advancement in comparison to the lean-in feminism. Feminism should be about systemic change. By the way, Kommune Niederkaufungen was considering these issues from the very beginning and may have been a response to the position of women in the 1980s. I believe that also men are tired with the masculine utopias pursued nowadays and the unbalanced ideas they fall prey to. At least, many men have supported me during the writing process and the final stage.

Why people being part of commune movement may be interested in promoting the campaign?

If you are part of communes’ movement, you will meet your friends on the pages of my book. You may want it to be available to your family and friends from previous life to help them understand your choices. Now that more and more people start to perceive the limits of the system, it is time for deeper discussions and questioning it all. I embed communal life in the reflection on a broader vision. I see communities as an inspiration without preaching that everyone should move to one of them. But this can be a side effect. One of my interviewees in Acorn community mentioned the book “The power of Now” as one of the steps on her journey of self-inquiry that led her to move to the commune. Maybe my book will have a similar effect on some readers.

Bringing this book to the masses without a publisher is also a political statement. Many people who live in communities want to escape corporation world. I do not want my ideas to be censored by corporate gate keepers. Instead, I rely on the wisdom of crowds, who have other interests than selling simplistic books. I also do not want to be bound by contracts and my books be sold on Amazon. Of course, this implies a different strategy in the entire process. I cannot expect a publisher to invest in book production and then compromise its sells. Therefore, we need to invest together in making this book happen and have it accessible for free. Instead of benefiting Amazon, you give money directly to a group of people who work on change.

Do you live in a commune? – The question that many people have asked

I do not. Education is my passion. I would not feel fulfilled not pursuing it. I want to combine my professional goals in the field of alternative education and communal living in one project.

What to do if one wants to help completing your book?

You can send the crowdfunding campaign calls to your friends or post on social media. Letting people know is a big help! The book will be available for free (digital text and audio) so if many people give $10-30, it will be like buying the book for yourself and your friends and strangers. This is a good deal!

If you want my book ‘Imagine a Sane Society” to be published and available for free, please, donate HERE!

Listen to an exerpt from this book HERE!

For updates on my publications: Katarzyna Gajewska – Independent Scholar

My publication list (selection):

My recent publications:

The Cultural Preparation for Crisis

Naming the Alternatives

So you want to leave it all and create a community?


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Be More Pirate, basis 11 for Synthecracy

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Here is a rebelious book I would have liked to have written: Be More Pirate (2008) by Sam Coniff Allende, German born living in the UK. He is a profesional rulebreaker who started a global movement.

Reader impression:


5,0 van 5 sterren Learn to become a warrior for your own cause. Read Be More Pirate!

8 mei 2020 – Gepubliceerd op

Geverifieerde aankoop
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Fantastic speech of Yaneer about the handling of COVID-19 in the world

Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 16.38.17Very inspiring video !!!

  1. Yaneer Bar-Yam on Coronavirus at ICCS 2020 – on YouTube :

Posted with permission.

2. Yaneer and his team of smarties in Cambridge MA. USA helped to coordinate the WHO actions to stop the spreading of Ebola in Africa and is now coordinating effective actions in a number of countries to stop de spreading of Covid-19 illness (Corona virus). I guess that he helped to save hundreds of thousands of human lifes.

3. This speech was in fact the Opening Address to the community of several hundred Zoom-attendees at the 10th Complexity Conference, monday July 27 – Friday July 31; normally held about every two years in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Prof. dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam on monday morning welcomed, on behalf of the Excecutive Committee, the scientific conference crowd, from many countries and many different sectors;  and the very clever support crew of young mathematicians, physicists and biologists. Also people from the DoD and Financial sector where present. And could learn practical things from eachother. This part was not recorded on the video, but I summarized it here.

PS The wonderful story of ” the Holy Man allowed to visit Hell before he did enter Heaven” was introduced in the Middle Ages and still is a forceful image of what Empathy can DO. As it is a core driver for righteous people, doing the right thing to others at the right time and the right place in many religions.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist 



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The Human Swarm, basis for Synthecracy 10

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This book by the brilliant boundary spanner Mark W. Moffett is highly recommended. It came to my attention at the spectacular ICCS 2020  Complexity Conference (virtual this year) last week in July 2020, where Mark Moffett gave a wonderful lecture about what he has discovered in Nature and in human swarms. It is full of new insights and magic ! (counter-intuitive and unexpected).

I will post the video of Mark’s lecture here as soon as it is released to the general public by the organizers of the conference.

Here are reviews and impression of  readers:

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

“Fascinating… a delightfully accessible and ingenious series of lessons on humans and our societies.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[Moffett] intrigues by setting human societies in the context of those of the animal kingdom. This fine work should have broad appeal to anyone curious about human societies, which is basically everyone.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A well-researched and richly detailed account of why societies have been a fundamental part of the human experience since our earliest ancestors. Highly recommended for fans of Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed and Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.”―Library Journal, starred review

“[An] enticing whirlwind tour of the fascinating patterns of behaviour and structures of societies revealed through the varied lives of people and animals across the globe.”―Nature

“Our times are filled with garage start-ups that become Silicon Valley behemoths overnight. Such scaling-up pales in comparison to humans going from hunter-gatherer bands to our globalized world in the blink of an evolutionary eye — and thus now, a stranger a continent away can be killed when we press a button operating a drone, or rescued when we press a button marked ‘Donate now.’ In The Human Swarm, Mark Moffett charts the science of this scaling up of human societies, and its unlikely evolutionary consequences. This highly readable book is ambitious in its interdisciplinary breadth, rigorous in its science, and deeply thought-provoking in its implications.”―Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave

The Human Swarm is surely the most accurate, most comprehensive, most original explanation of our social existence that we’re ever likely to see, one jaw-dropping revelation after another, most of them astonishing, all of them fascinating. It’s true without question, which seems obvious as you’re reading, and it’s very well written — a joy to read.”―Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Harmless People

So it is about human societies in the context of societies in the animal kingdom (NATURE). And it may show the way how to RE-connect to Nature and eachother using Synergy from #Synthecracy !

jaap van till, TheConnectivist



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