討論逐字稿 for Becoming Workshop 1: The Market Society

This is the transcript and notes to our first Hands-on Philosphy workshop at Becoming, 'The Market Society'.

The transcript below actually starts at the end with the Concluding Statements, which was where after a brief pause, all the participants in the discussion made a statement on something they understood during the class, or a statement answering one or some of the questions provided for focus.

After the concluding statments are the notes from the first part of the class and a partial transcript from the second part.


Concluding Statements:
Questions to consider while concluding:
What is money for?
What is community for?
What is community?
What's the difference between professional relationships and friendships?

-I think actually there's no right and wrong for any of this discussion. What I think is mainly….as long as the person is content of what he needs, material or emotionally, money can buy something you want which is an object. And community is something you need emotionally, something that drives these people together. These are the needs of that person, if the person is content, that's what money is for, that's what community is for, it means what it means to that person. As friendship and relationships, if the person needs professional advice, then you go to one person, and if you need friendship or emotional outlets, that's what you get form a friend. It's all what you need at that moment.
-Totally agree. I think it's how we view humans. It's one way, people are a set of needs. Or have a set.

-It just occurred to me that I want to ask if family is a community?
-Yeah we never mentioned family. Yes.. Definitely.
-It's kind of a community you don't choose.
-Yes, and they're obligated to hang out with you.
-Not!
-Yes they are, if you showed up destitute at their door
-Not the experience of everyone!
-The people you have to tolerate, no matter what.
-It's kind of like destiny. You're put here with these people, in this financial situation.
-That's what is the difference between boyfriend-girlfriend and married, because when they're family, you're obligated to hang out with them and take care of them. You're stuck with them, just like with your original family
-Nobody likes to credit , your trust in that person, you're not sure if you get it reciprocated
-But is there something the community can do for you, and your family can not do for you, and vice versa?
-It depends on the kind of community . I think there's different levels of community.
-I think there's different kinds of families as well, but what most have in common, is you grew up with them
-Yes! There's common history, they know what you were like when you were two.
-They have that history, but if that's the only thing, it's not enough
-You're emotionally bound in a deeper way, almost too bound.
-Different family systems and how people work and get attached.
-If something happens to your family, it's something that happened to you.
-That's how I view certain of my friends.
-So your friends are your family
-Yes
-That's probably why people stay in Taiwan, they've found their family

-I found today really interesting. Thinking about the kinds of communities that we have. Especially that discussion about difference between Meetup, Redroom and Becoming, what is community… It just strikes me how emotionally starved we are these days. It doesn’t mean we're all really unhappy or anything, just humanity as a race, why is it that poor people are sometimes happier, this discussion is very clear. As human beings, maybe at the core, we just really want to just be with a group of people that get us, that we get, that are there for us, and we're there for, and that's really all we want, at the very core. But because the world has become so complicated, it's no longer easy to find sb who gets you, who you get, because there's such incredible diversity. But then, it goes back to the question, the people in the village might be happier, but what makes the people content. It might not be the same happiness as the people exploring the world and meeting all these new people it might be the same happiness level
-But maybe a different kind of happens?
-It could happen at different phases in people's lives.
-You see that couples who travel around together. I guess it's about that network, that community, so you're freed to do a lot of other things. But I guess the point is there's a lot of displacement. So that's why the burgeoning of the professional services, and the paying for them, because there's a real need, and in order to provide that well, you need training, you need to get past your own vulnerabilities. You need to be able to see yourself clearly before you can don this well for other people, and that needs time and training and practice, and time is scarce, so in order to provide for these needs, and also live, and also have the same set of needs, and limited 24 hours, the givers, so they need money. The only thing that, they need it to survive so they can spend their time ensuring that the giving they do is high-quality, and it’s enough for them to live on, or they can't even do it. And without the paying, there would be no high quality givers, and the needs would be there and it would be worse.
-You're paying to be a part of becoming, does that mean it's not authentic?
-Does paying decrease the value?
-I don't think it does?
-If you're paying on a lower level, it doesn't seem that, emotions people's needs. But paying on a higher level, like relationships, it decreases the value of what it is. Pay for food, shelter, medical relationships, it's okay, but pay for something higher level, it's not as valuable as it should be.
-It isn't viewed as valuable.
-So money intrinsically cheapens something
-Cheapens things that are supposed to be on the higher end.
-But there's another thing, if you don't pay for it, it feels unlimited. The scarcity thing. If you don't pay for it ,it’s unlimited. It's voluntary. But if it's limited…
-It's more likely to be quality?
-The reality is that it's not unlimited. The reality is that it's limited. The quality of meetups is not as high, because they’re not charging money, it's a hobby, just on the side, so the quality is not that much.
-So becoming is professionally a community? We do quality community professionally?
-I don't know!!!
-Paying for the service, it's the opposite of what I’m saying, but paying for higher value decreases the value, but we're paying for it, and it's not decreasing it
-I mean, you could be charging by the hour, but this is a paid community, but it's survival money, venues, paying for expertise. It's like friend at the party, people put money in the pot to pay for things
-Thank you!
-But when he starts to make a profit…
-But he's not doing the content...
-But he's creating the place for the content to happen...
-But he's paying for the lower level so the higher level can happen.
-But within the party, however they act with each other, within that broader space that the shred business man set up, it's just like running a...
-Like running tumblr
-If the person paying for the service is happy, and getting what they need. And if they're getting the money value out of it.
-And I think what is interesting, the people are not paying for being happy. They’re paying for the service, but the happiness comes with the service.
-If they weren’t happy, they would not come back, and the service would be gone.
-So who decides what the money value is, it's the people paying.
-But if I’m paying for the friendship for 100, it's different. I'm buying the service, but I got the friendship.
-Maybe using the term friendship is the problem
-Or any -ship, relationship
-Because we just enjoy it!

-It's been a wonderful two hours, lots of great ideas from everyone, everything’s still gestating in my mind. I'm thinking about everything, but especially the idea of community, how community has changed over time, but it is what people think it is, it's whatever interactions you have with people to fulfill the basic need for human connection, the midlevels of the pyramid basically. And a long time ago when people were … early civilizations where there was more conflict, communities were smaller, but once people had more free time after the industrial revolution there was more time to sit around in salons and talk to each other. And the past few decades with the pace of economy becoming entirely market-driven, and post industrial in the advanced countries, and with the rise of the internet, where everything’s driven really quickly, and there's a need for instant content and as long as you meet the requirement, just typing on the internet for a few seconds, or a brief conversation at a bar, is there to fill a need that one instant. I think that certainly the market economy wall street at its heart is just manipulating other people and speculation, and the herd and leading the herd around, and presenting the best image of yourself, but I feel it's like a lot of social interactions these days. I'm recently out of college, people are always people, but there's that level of just like one or two minutes to make that razzle dazzle first impression and make your social capital, and that's it. Community is always there from time immemorial to now, but it's hard to find profundity in communities, it's basic interactions to relationships and instantaneous and whatever you get at the moment, and for convenience.
-Virtual communities are convenient communities,
-You don't even have to get dressed!
-And yet…they're somehow also not enough.
-But my generations, the internet has changed the structure of our brains, with the instant gratification, the instant signal receiving, almost an addiction really.


Notes to the first part of the discussion:
"What is money for?" was easy for people to answer at the open house
"What is community for? Turned out to be much harder for people to answer. Does this mean we know more about money than community?

These tend to go together:
Cash, central government, armies

And these tend to go together:
Community, credit, cultural organization of community administration tasks rather than formal government


Credit systems are more like guanxi systems. I Give you what you need now, and you remember that, and give me something later that I need

What kinds of communities do you belong to?
Coaching community
Website discussions communities
Professional field community-websites and forums
Social networking groups
Multiplayer games
Reddit
Mobile01
Ppt
Workplace

Grey area between physical and virtual
-You know the people but mostly interact with them thru virtual means
-Virtual community that physicalizes sometimes, like a conference happens 4x a year


Community is about
-having fun with, enjoying people
-liking the people you're with
-doing something you're interested in doing together
-values are similar
-feeling like you belong
-feeling like you can learn or grow from the experience together
-anything you do with the 'right' people is fun to do. You could just stand on the street corner and enjoy it.

What's the difference between random meetups and 'this'? (our group and the discussion we're having)

Community is not this: just touring, not taking things seriously, transience, no investment in the group, here to escape, no continuity, no interest in getting to know each other as people, seeing people as instrumental means and not just who they are, not getting into any thing beyond what we're doing
A community is this: it has more understanding amongst each other, share the same values

Coaching or Counseling or Art therapy: What's the difference between a coach and a friend?
How do you attach a money value to these services?


Transcript/Notes to the second part of the discussion:
Okay, let's consider these questions:
Is a bought friend the same thing as a friend made the normal way?   Why would or wouldn’t it work?
Is there anything you think money SHOULDN’T buy?

- think it's all related to exchange of money and time as a commodity. Because time is scarce. -Let's say coach and friend: a friend can support you, but it's on a voluntary basis, and they have to have time to do that, and they also have to…what is the service that the coach provides? There's a neutrality there, and helps you explore. The friend would be biased. The friend would give you opinions and their answer. And on the flip side, a friend who knows how to listen, might be really drained.
-So coaching is a professional service, it's a set of knowledge about guiding you.
-It's a set time, it's a neutral kind wise space for *you*.
-So a coach is not a friend.
-It's not equal, the hour is completely for you...
-So I’m giving you money for an hour of your time and your expertise
-So why is that not a friendship?
-This happens all the time, when people tell me, when they find out I'm an art therapist, they say, give me therapy! Help me with my art, and I say, I'm already exposing my emotions to you, I'm not being professional now. We cannot have a professional relationship, I cannot be professional and objective when I hear your problems, because you know my issue.
-Boundary!!
-It's the same as friendship and coaching. If you pay...
-The payment is the boundary,
-…and the structure of your sessions is the boundary.
-And the mindset, the person who receives that on the other end, the mindset of that person. If he or she feels they're accepting is professional, they might value it more, rather than if it's just a friend. There's too much personal things about how you receive that information.
-It's the personal thing, like you said, it's how much of your own person are you offering? Are you offering your person, or you're offering your expertise?
-The mindset, it has to match
-It's the giver and the receiver, it's not a good friendship mode
-Friendship is about exchange, it's a personal exchange, both are giving and receiving, personal.
-In professional, the receiver pays the giver, and the giver is higher quality.
-And also what the person gives you is cognitive advice. You're not receiving something emotionally from the person, it's not touching your feelings about that person. It's all about the idea that sb is giving to you. The person is paying for that.
-I don't go into a friendship thinking, "it's all about you!" but if it's a client, it IS all about them.
-I think it's one way giving, with money returned, the other is two way giving.
-The problem is most people don't understand this.
-It's murky, people still see it as a personal relationship.

-So, a bought friend isn't a real friend?
-It's a deal, you pay the money and the deal is closed
-It could be, initially. It isn't a real friend initially
-It could become one~
-When you're emotionally attached, there is real friendship
-Then you might decide not to exchange monetary relationships
-Like that movie Pretty Woman. Initially she just wanted to make a deal...
-She got emotionally involved
-They both did
-Like dating
-Why is dating a transaction?

-Why is there such a confusion about this (paying for human services)?
-These software kind of professions are monetized now, and only recently so. But seriously, we think of them as not having to be paid for, that's why the confusion
-If we baseline could eat, I would walk around doing it for free
-See we used to have an all encompassing community, and your religion and your support were all bound up in this, but now the world is, we all know, it's globalization, it's transient, and we need virtual communities, because we don't
-It's monetization of relationships that destroyed community.
-We lost community so we rely on money
-We started using money, so we lost community
-Two factors in a vicious cycle?
-We substitute money for relationships
-On the one hand, this is a good thing, it allowed people to move people around. On the other hand it introduced shocks into the community, we could no longer rely on relationships being there. It's scary when the source of your attachment is no longer there. It's the flip side of diversity and people going out to explore
-Even for yourself, you're changing, the village is changing, people come and go

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