Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Venus Project: Accusations of being a cult

For obvious reasons, the Venus Project cannot be defined as a cult. However, to preempt future accusations outright, I wonder whether that organization's followers could benefit from the following improvements:

1. Stop referring to themselves as a "movement" or "project." Technically, no one has to fill out a form or endure some initiation rite in order to "become" a "member," so the Venus Project is already not a true organization -- and I understand the benefits of creating names, logos, and other concrete symbols to motivate people -- but the resultant backlash is immense. Those who have knee-jerk reactions to the proposals may not be worth our time in the first place, but their insipid outbursts and archaic rhetoric can be preempted by simply discussing the ideas themselves "undercover," so to speak -- as yourself, and not as a "member" or "supporter" of anything. While this will do nothing to correct people's underlying biases and mental obstructions, it'll at least get them interested in reforming society in a manner less hostile to their generalized presumptions as regards human activity; once that occurs, then we can worry about correcting their thinking.

2. Get more contributors to take the reins. If hundreds of people put their faces on the ideas -- as opposed to just Jacque Fresco, Roxanne Meadows, and Peter Joseph -- then there will at least be a push toward labeling others as something-ists over referring to them as part of a more well-defined, physical group or organization.

Neither of these suggestions will eliminate dissenters, but they don't have to for the same reasons that upgrading your laptop's memory doesn't have to completely prevent runtime errors and memory dumps.

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