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Welcome to – Cooperation Nation Station –

Web Version
“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people
themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise this
control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them,
but to inform their discretion by education.” (Thomas Jefferson).

The Cooperation Nation Station would like to thank you. We intend to


construct an information web site designed for organizations of
independent people who advocate to promote social responsibility within
political, social, religious, and economic areas of local communities
through the use of simple pragmatic, intellectual, and emotional
standards of judgement that express personal, political, and community
values. This sample site represents part of the idea and includes, the
purpose of the site, the standards and goals of the Cooperation Nation
Station, a rational for the information, the framework for the intellectual
ideas behind the site, the beginnings of a philosophy database, and the
beginnings of proactive advocacy database. Any and all contributions to
the project on behalf of an organization are welcome but not yet tax
deductible. If you are interested in supporting or making a contribution
you may contact Cooperation Nation Station at returncc@gmail.com.

Message from the Cooperation Nation Station


The Cooperation Nation Station intends to help people who
want to organize simple advocacy and provide those seeking self-help
resources some educational material that increases communication and
advocacy skills for the benefit of local or regional public government
services or institutions who adhere to operational principles or policies
that can be gauged by standards that incorporate simple acts of
judgment that are universally agreeable to all persons who share
autonomy and dignity of the person. The motivation of the articulation of
these standards is an idealistic attempt to hasten the end of institutional
behaviours that fail to adhere to standards of social responsibility and
advocacy despite the presence of those who seek to provide the means of
an independent standard of living in favour of family and community in
democratic Countries.

The Intention of this page site is to communicate ideas that


engage creative thinking and personal initiative so as to achieve
cooperation, learning, and agreements between people who support and
promote ideas of social responsibility and advocacy as well as the
representation of community standards within political, social, religious,
and economic spheres of influence.

The Cooperation Nation Station would like to build and


collect material that can be used to support, organize and help
independent people who share a common interest in local, regional,
national, and/or international community groups and adhere to
standards on the basis that they promote advocacy, cooperation,
learning, and agreements on behalf of the standards of peace, order and
good government, accessible and accountable public institutions, the
reduction of pollution, poverty, and prejudice, as well as a true legally
agreed standard.

The Cooperation Nation Station is dedicated to grow a web


site project that secures first person ethical standards of respect in the
form of independent thinking and material equality, to ensure the dignity
of the person, liberty, equality, and minimum living conditions for
persons within communities that already use and share standards of
free-thinking and well-being to secure autonomy and dignity of the
person in surrounding large or small urban or rural populations.

The Co-operation Nation Station would like to share and


publish information that supports respect for autonomy and dignity of
the person to help others understand pragmatic, intellectual, and/or
emotional contributions and preventions of other people that are used to
organize standards of advocacy approved by all because they relate to
projects that enhance public community standards of liberty, public law,
environment, health, education, and communication.

Cooperation Nation Station – Standards and


Intention
Standards and Goals

The C.N.S. are politically and socially dedicated to,

• Gather people together who support standards of respect for


autonomy and dignity;
• Assemble information about self-government and local
accountability;
• Advocate, support, and increase standards that reduce pollution,
poverty, and prejudice;
• Share and publish information about local, regional, national, and
international government services and supports;
• Communicate and improve access to political, social, religious, and
economic public goods and services through the construction and
direction of a cooperation web site project.

The C.N.S. site would like to support, organize, and help,

• Local community groups and projects;


• Self-government and local accountability;
• Application and learning of anti-pollution, anti-poverty, and anti-
prejudice standards;
• Accessible formats for local government services and supports;
• Communications advocacy and the collection of web site content.

The C.N.S. help, understand, and talk,

• Liberty
• Public Law
• Health
• Education
• Environment
• Communication

The Cooperation Nation Station: “Responsible


people joined together, who gather resources and
teach through demonstration in order to begin
planning a better future.” Whether you organize where you
work, live, or at places you socialize, or whether you dwell on
interpersonal relationships or political discourse - a duty attaches to
represent yourself well in the public arena through the adherence of do-
it-yourself principles that represent standards of respect and
responsibility. Responsibility that is the source of legitimacy and the
origin of the right of self-determination and the call for progress toward
self-governance.

The Purpose of this site is to anticipate simple all-good institutional


standards of a consensus building project for those who advocate within
public groups and to enhance cooperative thinking and being that aims
for greater social realization of community potential and worth. This
serves to improve the person who intends to support people who make a
meaningful contribution to the lives of other people, to organize people
who have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of
other people, and to help those who never had the chance to make a
meaningful contribution to help the lives of other people.

Under Construction as of November 2007…

This site will be periodically updated. Search this site and decide whether
you can afford a charitable donation to finance the construction of a web
site that aims to share and publish information about your local,
regional, national, and/or international groups that contribute to the
political and social well-being of other people. The intention is to support
pragmatic, intellectual, and/or emotional projects that enhance public
community standards of anti-violence, anti-incompetency, anti-pollution,
anti-poverty, anti-prejudice, and anti-false communication.

You can make a difference,

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden
patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has
breathed easier because you have lived that is to have succeeded.” (Ralph
Waldo Emerson, The Bride of San Luis Rey)

To arrange for a non-refundable Canadian taxable donation email:


returncc@gmail.com

Reflection on Emancipation
As individuals we move and breath through life, acquiring and
spending money in order to maintain our standard of living. Counting
the total amount of money acquired and disposed of by a person during
their lifetime might, at least theoretically, be an accurate reflection of
their economic condition in the world. There are two broad categories of
people in relation to economic conditions: Those who have minimum
resources enough to cover their basic living expenses over a lifetime, and
those who do not.

From this perspective, who would disagree with the proposition


that a person’s economic condition could be improved by a timely gift of
money. Although other elements of life add value to our lives, such as the
relationships we share and the understandings we create, bean counting
quid pro quo might be relevant to the insights of emancipation. Economic
emancipation can be imagined of as a project that relates to the ability of
a person to acquire goods, services, and capital, or as a minimum
standard provided to all of each thing.
Cooperation Nation Station Mission
Statement – Summary of Standards
C.N.S. are dedicated to achieve political, and social standards of action.

The term “standard” has different meanings in different contexts.


In the present sense, I intend my use of the term to refer to the notion of
“value.” As such, standards are intangible concepts that are grounded in
the choice or consent of human beings. They are ordinarily expressed in
the grammatical form of prescriptive statements that vary in degrees of
generality or specificity. Standards are a product of the mind and as
such they have no tangible or physical substance; they impact on the
world only insofar as they are expressed and exist within the intentional
behaviour of other people.

In our daily lives, we use standards to judge the acceptability of


past, present, or future behaviour and policies of organizations that
conform to or are in breach of general or specific standards. We
commonly appeal to a standard when confronted with questions of
conduct that determine behaviours, we rarely question or explain
precisely and clarify the grounds upon which these standards rest.
Widely accepted standards have the ability to become shared
conventions of a society, or an international or continental organization.
The standards of the Cooperation Nation Station are one such example.

Once we have accepted a standard or value, we can argue for the


consistency or continuity of derivate standards, which I shall refer to as
“principles.” Underlying these derivative constructions is an intention to
be consistent in body and action with a presupposed standard. For
example, in our society we commonly uphold the value of “equality”
which subsequently manifests itself in various contexts such as, “equal
under the law,” or “equal dignity of the person.” The role of the judiciary
in our society is to apply standards and principles to factual disputes in
the world, and as such, legal reasoning provides a solid model for
decision making grounded in principles and standards.

The C.N.S. Mission Statement,

• The C.N.S. are dedicated to financing an organization that


prioritizes work on the basis of applying simple, easy to
understand values and standards.

• The C.N.S. advocate for public institutional purposes to conform to


standards of respect for autonomy and dignity of the person and
support personal initiative and creative thinking in the delivery of
open public government administration and services.

• The C.N.S. members are dedicated to learn and listen from


organizations and persons who enhance peace order and good
government, accessible and accountable public institutions, and
legal advocacy, as well as make a safe contribution to community
standards of lowering pollution, poverty, and prejudice.

• The C.N.S. would like to facilitate liberty and material well-being


for persons, organizations, and groups who adhere to standards of
respect for autonomy and dignity of the person in daily, political,
social, religious, or economic life.

• The C.N.S. are committed to support the basic minimum standard


of respect for autonomy and dignity of the person, and understand
conditions that address pragmatic, intellectual, and emotional
contributions and preventions of other people within working
democratic organizations.

• The C.N.S. would like to build a document database dedicated and


committed to understanding historically significant forms of
thinking that are directed toward identifying and changing systems
of inequality within our local communities on the basis of
discrimination due to age, gender, race, class, physical or mental
disability.

• The C.N.S. would like to support public action that achieves


respect for sustainable dwelling conditions within our environment
as well as responsible waste management, collection, disposal, and
recycling.

• The C.N.S. would like to assemble information that supports


access to local, regional, national, and international government
and public law resources and supports.

• The C.N.S. are dedicated and committed growing a community of


independent people who share a common interest in local
community improvement and support through the construction of
a web site project.

Cooperation Nation Station: Standard


Rationale
Participation and Self-Government
Prologue
From a young age my generation has witnessed the consistent and
persistent degradation of our global environment with the potential for a
permanent environmental catastrophe. Whether it be acid rain in the
70’s, loss of the ozone layer in the 80’s, the smog belt of the 90’s, or our
current polar ice cap melt, the sensitive members of my generation have
grown accustom to nothing less than the apparent total and inevitable
collapse of our global environment to support life as it has existed on this
planet since the last ice age. As a result, the next generation is serious
about issues of pollution, unlimited consumption, production and
distribution. Such a generation is willing to accept a wider sense of social
responsibility than has been the norm in the post-war “me” generation
unable to halt the current destruction.

For this generation, the political belief in unlimited growth and


technical progress does not provide a warm feeling of security but rather
a general distrust of language that does not disclose an accurate picture
of the world. If such is the case, the average audience member is well
advised to develop a critical distrust of language that fails to disclose an
accurate or inclusive picture of the world. This new seriousness takes the
shape of a willingness to know about changes occurring in our
environment as a result of overpopulation and methods of mass
production. The climate of the planet has changed dramatically during
our lifetime and some scientists are predicting a six degree global
increase in temperature from the last century into the next. In the words
of social advocate Paulo Freire, we must “be prepared to condemn the
fabrication of illusions in which the unprepared become trapped and the
weak destroyed.” Goals of acceptable pollution and exclusive forms of
private development that are worthy of sustainable public standards and
avoid environmental degradation are necessary to see beyond the
“necessary illusions” created by the social domination of the greedy,
arrogant, violent and the well-organized that represent a significant
portion of the current status quo and arguments that exclusively rely on
market rules in a semi-democratic capitalist world system.

I believe that a real ethic of respect for the dignity and autonomy of
all people can best be realized in a public duty to organize responsibly
around a communications, production and distribution network
designed to address the well being of individuals and collectives. What
follows is an attempt to envision an alternative to the current liberal
manifestation of organization, a praxis that typically ignores and at times
promotes conditions of pollution, poverty, and prejudice and the loss of
human potential that such entails.

The Need for a Standard


To paraphrase Martin Sheen from the television series The West
Wing, the modern constitutional state is not a democracy but rather a
republic. For most of us, our participation and authority over political
decisions is generally limited to the election of people who govern us,
rather than any participation in government. This paper attempts to
extend common expectations relating to politics and education in favour
of a particular construction of democratic self-government.

Although many professionals argue that our current political


organization and policies already satisfy the needs of the community, I
disagree. The following educational thesis argues in favour of uniting
people around a specific conception of ethics that promotes respect for
the autonomy and dignity of all people and as such it stands in
opposition to the claim that liberal democracies are impartial and
ethically neutral. I advocate in favour of recognizing a public duty to
create independent, open and formal communication networks within
our political institutions designed to respond to individual and collective
interests within our communities organized around simple to understand
production and distribution standards that respect the autonomy and
dignity of the person.

I perceive the need to revisit the basis of our constitutional norms


in light of the application of neo-liberal economic assumptions that have
aligned governments with the exclusive interests of capital investment
and private exploitation over public resources in a time of increasing
global debt. As such this paper is an ethical challenge for public
institutions to adopt policies that contradict traditional notions of
representational democracy and exclusive economic dependence on
private corporations without consideration of larger social interests and
norms and the potential of our community. It is an argument in favour of
creating and maintaining independent and inclusive public citizen
organizations that advocate for six minimum advocacy standards that
can design our local environment and aim to capture the greater
potential for grassroots projects within our community.

Cooperation Nation Station – Standards of


Organization
Standard Liberty
Peace, Order, and Good Government

o C.N.S. are dedicated to respect free-thinking and dignity of the


person;
o C.N.S. are dedicated to limit and prevent public action on the basis
of understanding standards of respect for autonomy and dignity of
the person;

o C.N.S. are committed to facilitate liberty and material equality for


persons, organizations, and groups that adhere to standards of
respect for autonomy and dignity within political, social, religious,
or economic spheres of influence.

Standard Public Law


Accessible and Accountable Public Administration
o C.N.S. are dedicated to promoting self-government and local
accountability;

o C.N.S. are committed to advocate for accountable and accessible


public administration and institutional standards that
demonstrate respect for autonomy and dignity of the person as
concerns the reception and delivery of services offered by local,
regional, national and/or international government services and
supports;

o C.N.S. are committed to assemble information that can be used to


organize, and help independent people access local, regional,
national, and/or international public or private resources and
supports.

Standard Health
Anti-Poverty Philosophy

o C.N.S. support helping others with health care, well-being, and


advocate for accessible medical treatment if and when necessary.

o C.N.S. are dedicated to enhancing basic minimum standards of


political, personal, and/or community groups who make a
pragmatic, intellectual, and/or emotional contribution to lives of
other people and conform to standards of long-term respect for
autonomy and dignity of the person.
o C.N.S. are dedicated to publish and share information about
cooking, cleaning, exercise and rest for the person.

Standard Education
Anti-Prejudice Religion

o C.N.S. are dedicated to assisting others in self-directed learning


through the publication of information and necessary supports for
an excellent education.

o C.N.S. are committed to teach and understand historically


significant forms of thinking that are directed toward identifying
and changing systems of inequality within our local communities.

o C.N.S. are committed to creative and resourceful ways to reduce


the effects of discrimination for people experiencing prejudice
because of age, colour, gender, class, or disability.

Standard Environment
Anti-Pollution Economics

o C.N.S. are dedicated to inform and support the construction of


better kinds of living space for everyone.

o C.N.S. are dedicated to support the search for cost-effective models


of alternative fuel and energy consumption within a sustainable
and responsible resource management framework that reduces
non-renewable energy consumption and waste.

o C.N.S. advocate to reduce encroachment on natural habitats and


support the protection of wilderness areas from development.

Standard Communication
Legal Ethics and Advocacy
o C.N.S. are dedicated to communication standards of cooperation
and agreement;

o C.N.S. are committed to the construction of a web site project that


supports the use of public community standards to enhance public
action directed toward peace order and good government,
accessible and accountable public institutions, legal advocacy,
and/or the reduction of pollution, poverty, and/or prejudice within
our community.
o C.N.S. advocate and support communication with clear and
precise meaning that aims to reject false information, improve, and
measure cooperation and agreement between equal and
independent people.

Cooperation Nation Station Philosophy


C.N.S. Primary Standards
Respect and the Person
Copyright: July 10, 2007.
Original Document written August 22, 2002: (title) Ethics and
Educational Purposes.

Frameworks for a Standard

Conservative, liberal, and democratic social purposes represent


particular worldviews that differ mostly in their understanding of the
“self” and the nature of our connection to others. Each perspective
advocates for a different set of dominant institutional purposes, whether
those purposes direct activity toward the promotion of market skills,
autonomous individuals, or citizens capable of democratic
transformation.

In western society, social purposes have traditionally been


articulated within a liberal democratic framework that claims to be
guided by respect for liberty and equality. This paper attempts to
construct a set of core ethical concepts capable of guiding individual and
institutional action within our de facto legal and political system in the
form of clearly articulated policy purposes derived from principles of
respect.

In the style of a moral entrepreneur, respect and the person


challenges the reader to consider hastening the “end of violence” by
implementing ethical community reasoning and standards in our daily
relations and within public institutions that intervene and act in our
community. In moral theory the standard is expressed as a distinction
between limits that account or discount the preferences and/or interests
of others. In behavioural terms, it is the difference characterized by an
attitude of humility or emotional superiority. This principle is in effect a
command to respect others on the basis of the belief that all people are of
equal worth.

Equal Worth
Building on the work of Immanuel Kant, the proposition that all
individuals are of “equal worth” ensures that each person deserves
respect. What is “of worth” in each person deserving respect, according to
Kant, is the recognition of universal human potential, rather than what a
person may have made of it. Kant’s construction of “equal worth”
includes a presumption in favour of the autonomy of each person insofar
as they experience the laws of freedom within a liberal framework that
supports individuality. The idea is that all human beings deserve respect
due to their human potential, whether they actualize it or not.

Many modern ideologies, ancient religions, and spiritual


perspectives contain a similar foundation. Liberal ideology is not the only
group to have created a system based on the idea of respect for the equal
worth of people. The early writings of Eastern Hindu and Buddhist
cultures contain spiritual perspectives relating to life and death, love and
violence, and in particular ethical conceptions relating to relationships
and action. Early Greek and Roman texts are concerned with articulating
the foundations of ethical behaviour in laws that justify punishment and
exile. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition is primarily constructed
around ethical imperatives within the context of a monotheistic
“absolute” religion, while native American spiritualism also insists on
equal claims of respect for all of creation.

The main variation of the principle of respect within these various


worldviews is the extent to which respect is granted to others. Some
people limit recognition of equal worth to a particular in-group based on
relations of kin, gender, race, class, or nation. Recently many have
argued in favour of extending the principle to all living things, such as
animals and biospheres, as a response to environmental deterioration. It
is possible that acceptance of abstract respect for all people is the first
psychological step toward developing a perspective of humility. It is also
possible that to not respect a group of people makes one generally
indifferent to the application of violence toward that excluded group. The
principle of equal worth and a presumption in favour of autonomy can
lead one to universal forms of self-limitation and allow for inclusion
within non-violent environments and living spaces.

Respect for Potential


It is only in reference to the idea of “potential” that we gain further
insight into the nature of persons or living spaces that accept the
concept of “respect.” The concept of potential appears to be a
consequence of our experience of the world, and in particular the
experiences of growth and decay. We observe that physical conditions
can limit or expand the growth or decay of living beings whose being
reflects the conditions that support it. The possibility of changing
conditions generates our understanding of the concept of “potential.”

Theory of the Self

The idea of a “self” in the form of a body in space and time capable
of perception and reflection discloses what I believe to be a minimal
conception of the “self” that is relatively uncontroversial. Our bodies are
located in a specific time and a specific place and we experience what is
located within our environment. Such a conception relies on
assumptions concerning space and time as well as assumptions
concerning perception and reflection.

There is however, controversy concerning an expanded view of the


“self” that includes content relating to the non-physical attributes of the
“self” and the nature of our personal and political relations with others.
Such a debate is important because the content of an expanded
conception of the “self” is capable of influencing many political and
philosophical issues.

Applied in a personal context, we are confronted with the


knowledge that certain conditions in the world are better or worse in
relation to our personal growth as well as the growth of others. If we
decide to value our personal growth, physical or mental, then we are
additionally confronted with the need to determine whether to value and
respect the growth of others or not. A presumption in favour of personal
autonomy would further assert that individuals are best situated to
determine which conditions are desirable in relation to their own
potential.

Autonomy and Dignity of the Person


If one chooses to adopt the ethical position that all people are of
“equal worth” one is likely to consent to institutional policies that
discourage trends of violence, such as discounting the interests of
others, and encourage trends of respect for all people. If one intends to
avoid contradiction with the proposition of equal worth then, toward this
end, one must both respect “the autonomy of the person” and “the
dignity of the person” in relation to other people. These two co-original
secondary principles, constructed by inference from the principle of
equal worth, give expression to the idea of respect for potential as applied
within an existential framework recognizing both tangible and intangible
being and nothingness, or a material/mental duality of mind and body.
In other words, to respect “the autonomy of others” requires
addressing conditions for independent thinking, and dependencies of an
intangible nature, while to respect “the dignity of others” requires
addressing the actual material conditions or physical dependencies of
people.

The imperative to promote autonomy within a public or


administrative context suggests to me, a duty to promote independent
thinking and argumentation on issues relating to forms of pollution,
poverty, and/or prejudice. At some point intervention is necessary due to
the behaviour of others who encroach on the natural liberties of
environmental health, personal physical care costs, or educational
services, that over time serve to reduce freedom and autonomy rather
than increase it.

The imperative to promote dignity of the person within a public or


administrative context suggests to me that ethical democratic
institutions of a public or private nature have a duty to establish
minimum housing conditions for people who are unable or incapable of
providing themselves with basic material conditions in a sustainable and
independent manner.

Independently, to respect “the autonomy of others” is to be


committed to ensuring conditions of independent thinking and to
challenge ideas that would limit self-government or autonomy, while to
respect “the dignity of others” requires that one address physical and
material dependencies of the world in relation to each individual and
take them seriously.

Cooperation Nation Station


C.N.S. Primary Standards
Standard Information
C.N.S. Database: Philosophy
The ground of the matter herein purports to construct a favourable
design for a new political organization, a new polity. This task happens to
coincide with the definition of a pragmatic viewpoint, within the context
of an absurdists understanding of the world, toward a philosophy and
religion that will undertake to celebrate life and uncover and use old
truths and values while setting to order our interpersonal conduct. The
following philosophical inquiry is undertaken within a conceptual
framework that includes many theoretical assumptions. The articulation
of these assumptions shall serve as the foundation for the political,
social, religious, and economic theory.

Standard Database: Democracy and Freedom


Democracy and Freedom
Copyright: July 10, 2007.
Original Document written July 12, 1999: (title) Choice, Reality,
Relationships.

Democracy and Freedom


A mental choice is an act of the will.
At some time in our life, as a result of our interaction, we consider
whether we intend to be responsible to others for our actions. It is almost
unavoidable that as we grow older, confrontation will lead us to
contemplate whether we ought to be responsible for our actions or not. I
find it significant that without exception, each person inclined toward
moral reflection will at some point dwell on this proposition, and possibly
undertake to be responsible for their actions that pollute, make poor, or
unfairly prejudice others. This solitary internal debate is an event of
some importance. Error, calculation, mistake, intent, are all variables to
help weigh the various elements of a decision. We learn to discriminate
between situations and actions the results of which we do or do not
intend to be responsible through forms of constructive confrontation.

The nature of existence is that each person is self-legislating. Each


person alone is the judge of their decisions. Autonomy is an aspect of our
very existence. It is inherit in our nature, our existence implies it. Even
the act of surrendering autonomy contemplate it. The alternative to
making a decision is not to decide, have others decide for you, or submit
to the command of another without making any attempt to determine
whether it is good or wise in your opinion. The acceptance of
responsibility implies decision making and actions on your own behalf. It
is a source of legitimacy and the origin of the right of self-determination
in the call for progress toward self-governance. If, it was determined, or
confirmed through communication, that a person did intend to be
responsible for most of their actions, the most reasonable thing to do
would be to invite them to enter into a dialogue designed to improve our
collective quality of life. The intended dialogue ought to propose a
process of decision making, with the intention of addressing immediate
and long-term issues of significance within local, regional, national, or
international communities.
Choice, Realism, and Relationships
The divided loyalty of social being contained in the expression
“being determines consciousness” demonstrates an understanding that
everyone will see the world differently and act on the basis of
understanding their “position.” In the context of change theory it is
important to understand that everyone occupies a different position in
the world. Each social position represents a separate vantage point and a
unique perspective motivated by historical and daily living conditions.
The various “positions” are linked to an experiential origin that may or
may not bias an individual in favour of particular interests. The
“worldview” that can be described is the sum total of a persons mental
reproductions. It connotes a difference between a person’s perception of
the world and the world itself. A worldview is the result of perception,
position, and individual interpretation. It is the lens through which we
view ongoing experience and theory of praxis. Of interest is the
observation that worldviews of diverse people who occupy a similar
position within an organization will tend to converge over time.

Conflict presupposes a process of argumentation that accepts the


standards of respect for autonomy and dignity of the person or rejects it.
Democratic communities generally promote the resolution of conflict
through the force of strategic communication rather than the acceptance
of respect. Clear, open, and stable rules relating to the protection of free
speech and the presence of debate within democratic institutions can
support a system of argumentation which in turn must be capable of
assessing evidence and providing reasons for public decisions.

C.N.S. Database: Internet


Standard Database: Permanence in the Digital Age
The use of language is such that the acts of information storage and
retrieval as are found within your brain are mimic’d by technology and
seen anew as writing and electronics. The internet is a permanent
repository of information. This piece of technology has the potential to
outlast the sun itself. Within its circuits a seemingly endless amount of
space is built to last and could endure for basically a seemingly endless
amount of time. It has the power to project a voice, instantly around the
world, or almost permanently extend it, frozen in expression, into an
indefinite future.
Permanence in the Digital Age
Copyright: July 10, 2007.
Original Document written November 2, 1998: (title) Choice, Reality,
Relationships.
Permanence in the Digital Age
Information is a By-Product of Language.

In the beginning information was kept by people simply sitting


around a campfire and talking about the things around them in the
world. The beginning of what can be called an eternal conversation thus
began over two hundred thousand years ago. This day we can contribute
to posterity a permanent record of our thoughts on whatever topic we
choose. The eternal conversation was made possible by the development
of speech and memory and is witnessed by the Upandisha’s and
Bhuddist texts written from memory. The conversation was expanded
and extended when put on paper in print and media by Guttenburg et.
al. Today we talk about the TV, and things that media suggest. The
eternal conversation that began with memory and improved through
media has now evolved into permanence in the digital age.

Any record you make can be permanently stored at least until the
end of our civilization, if not beyond. Whether you are speaking or
listening, writing or reading, your participation in the digital age has the
potential to transcend time. As such, it is a digital origin for an eternal
conversation.

We would need to establish a dialogue using clear and distinct


ideas in order to debate the merit and principles relied on to settle
conflicts. If we choose to participate in this dialogue, we are immediately
confronted with certain ideas that are perceived to be relevant to the
process of decision-making. Ideas such that, we ought to attempt to gain
knowledge, reflect on our motives, predict outcomes, criticize principles,
etc. We ought to ask everyone if they are actively engaged in a continuing
process of reflection, investigation, and deliberations about how they
ought to act or how we collectively ought to act, and if not, would they
like to be.

Freedom itself (the noun) is an idea, it does not exist in the world,
it is composed of nothing and therefore indestructible, it appears to our
minds anytime everywhere a body is being moved by a mind. Freedom
demonstrates its sphere of influence in determinations of the mind.
These decisions force us to become aware of ourselves and leave an
indelible footprint on space and time, a mark from which our generation
or the next generation can reconstruct our history, and write our story
for future generations. If the information has any currency, any lasting
legacy for our generation will only be the result of direct personal
choices.
Over an infinitely long time, everything around you, everything you
see, will disappear back into the illusion of shifting impermanence that is
our experience. The only thing that won’t change will be the choice that
you make. Every time you make a choice, you ‘literally’ have impacted on
the world and the people in it, you have changed it forever. The choice
made, is the only fact that will remain in the distant dusty future, good
or bad, right or wrong. These choices will remain in perpetuity in place of
your name, witnessed by God, recorded by man. These choices will be
facts, constant and unchangeable; completely the opposite of our
perpetual Sansgara experience of consistent change over time. Undertake
to be responsible for a decision on a daily, weekly, or a one-time basis
and achieve agreement and cooperation from others depending on your
relationships with other people.
Cooperation Nation Station Database
C.N.S. Theory and Policy Database: Advocacy
The Cooperation Station Nation would like to create a database of
pages that succinctly express as many relevant ideas as possible that
link to standards of judgement for advocates in political, social, religious,
or economic groups and post them on this site. The idea is to collect and
support the availability of articles like the following on Institutional
Advocacy.

The following rework is original and a conventional document that


explains two different approaches toward policy change for advocates.

Standard Database: Model for Policy Standards


Model for Policy Standards
Copyright: July 10, 2007.
Original Document written December 5, 2002: (title) Models for Policy
Standards: The Experience of Harrisement.

Model for Policy Standards


The Experience of Harrisment.

The advocacy approach is modeled on a blend of two theorist


whose source publication is referenced. The first article is titled
“Backward Mapping”1 and was written by Richard Elmore in 1977. In
this article, Elmore distinguishes between two implementation models
and their intended and actual effects. The two models are “Forward
Mapping” and “Backward Mapping.”
“Forward mapping” is similar to conventional policy
implementation. It begins with an objective, then sets out specific steps
to achieve that objective, and it then lists intended outcomes, against
which its success or failure is measured. “Backward mapping,” is the
opposite of forward mapping, and it challenges the assumption that
policymakers ought to, or do, control policy implementation.

Elmore argues that one must understand the reciprocal nature of


authority relations in order to capitalize on delegated discretion. This
understanding relies on a formal top-down and an informal bottom-up
dichotomy used to identify the best institutional actor to make a timely
decision. For example, responsibilities that require special expertise and
proximity to a problem are delegated to those with those attributes, while
more generalized responsibilities are left for the top.

Elmore points out that research supports a framework that


acknowledges reciprocity between actors in organizations, the lack of
control available to top level domains in complex institutions, the
adaptive advantages of discretion, and the consideration of local interests
in the bargaining process.

Within this context, Elmore relates the process of policy


implementation he describes as “Backward Mapping.” This process
begins by describing the behaviour that has generated a need for the
policy at the local level. The next step is to describe the organizational
operations that can be expected to affect that behaviour, (i.e.
institutional objectives), and then describe the expected effect of those
operations, (i.e. a list of intended outcomes). After selecting behaviour as
a target, the idea is to search the various levels of institutional structures
to identify direct institutional interventions and the accompanying
resources required, if any, to implement the change.

Elmore emphasizes that the crucial difference between the two


mapping models is that forward mapping relies on formal devices of
command and control that centralize authority while backward mapping
relies on informal devices of delegation and discretion to disperse
authority. This distinction is important to recognize because the two
methodologies are quietly identical, except that backward mapping is
more explicit in its requirements of policymakers. In general, backward
mapping tries to isolate the one or two critical points in an organization
with proximity to the problem and then attempts to describe what needs
to happen at those points to solve the problem.

The second article written in 1987 by Milbrey McLaughlin is titled


“Learning From Experience.”2 In this article, McLaughlin sets for herself
the task of encouraging a “third generation” of implementation analysts
designed to improve effective implementation of policies by uncovering
the connections between policymakers and the individual implementers.
Both Elmore and McLaughlin are working from the same basic set of
research studies, insights, and perspectives.

In “Learning from Experience,” McLaughlin pinpoints the current


state of implementation research by revealing that policy-directed change
is a problem of the smallest unit. In other words, policymakers and
researchers ought to know what matters to the individual implementers
and incorporate this knowledge into the design of the policy if they want
to be effective.

McLaughlin’s assessment of policy implementation research


reveals that individual implementers have opinions and beliefs that
ought to be dealt with in a policy system. In her article, she summarizes
policy implementation research and indicates that success depends on
two things, local capacity and will. In other words, resources and
individual incentives and/or beliefs. This research demonstrates,
according to McLaughlin, that external policy features have a limited
influence on outcomes and that effective implementation requires a
combination of pressure and support from policy.

Based on these research findings McLaughlin conceives of


implementation as a process of bargaining and transformation. To
negotiating with individual implementers is a way of taking into account
their ability to influence policy outcomes. Like Elmore she acknowledges
the need to intervene at the lowest level of the implementation system.
That intervention, according to McLaughlin, ought to in the form of
negotiation or bargaining with implementers. Only in this way can the
ground for effective policy implementation be sustained in the long run.

Implicit in McLaughlin’s analysis is the proposition that


implementation is vulnerable to subversive opportunities by
policymakers and local actors. Her advise is to bargain with proximate
individuals based on an analysis designed to increase the effectiveness of
implementation. For this reason, policy implementation that highlights
individuals involved in the process rather than institutions and aims at
marginal, incremental responses may make for a more effective and long-
lasting policy.

McLaughlin’s research indicates that negotiated or feedback


models take more time but they produce incremental and adaptive
responses more beneficial in the long run. As she puts it, policymakers
must move away from “a positivistic model to a model of social learning
and policy analysis that stresses reflection and assistance to on-going
decision-making.” This requires the integration of micro and macro levels
of analysis. The end result is a self-conscious process, that is multi-
staged, developmental, and iterative. The process requires keying
questions and methodologies to the point in the process under study, to
the needs of key decision-makers, and establishing a regularized system
of feedback to actors at all levels of the system.

Advocacy of policy standards based on this research suggest a


process wherein one identifies a target behaviour, creates institutional
objectives, lists expected outcomes and then pinpoints the best
institutional interventions and resources available to address issues in a
direct and efficient manner. I would add that the idea is to pinpoint
which institutional actors have proximity, expertise, and resources
available to address the behaviour in a direct and efficient manner.

Conclusion

Both Elmore and McLaughlin see benefits in encouraging a new


approach to policy implementation. Elmore states that delegated
discretion leads to diversity in performance of the implementation
process and that this diversity is an important source of knowledge
about how to improve a system. McLaughlin repeats the same idea by
saying that local responses generate data on a “vast natural experiment –
combinations and permutations of practice that highlight niches for
intervention and promising solutions,” data that should be exploited by
researchers and policymakers to make wise decisions for the public good.

Footnote #1: Elmore, R. (1977). Backward Mapping: Implementation


Research and Policy Decisions. Political Science Quarterly 94(4), 601-
616.

Footnote #2: McLaughlin, M. (1987). Learning from Experience: Lessons


from Policy Implementation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
9(2), 171-178.
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