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Chris Parkerson
04-28-2008, 08:30 AM
In the 1980’s at Princeton Seminary, I chose to become part of the ecumenical movement. I went out of my way, as stated before, to study with feminist, Afro-American, Latin American, Mexican American theologians as well as the mainline folks. South African theologians in the midst of Apartheid were perhaps the greatest challenge - Zulu, Colored and Indian; all afraid of going to jail for being in the wrong place or saying the wrong thing. What a quandary of distrust between them.

One thing that I learned very quickly was that each group had a specific experience, specific orientation to the rest of the world, and a specific source of pain. Liberation Theology was, for me, quite liberating. I learned that if I listened the voice of “the other”, without fear of allowing my findings to change me, great understanding occurred, and great friends were made.

Today, we are faced with a crossroads in the martial arts. Through the Aikiweb, we can come together and engage in wikinomics; the science of collaboration, innovation and value creation. Today, masses of people outside the boundaries of traditional hierarchies can innovate to produce content, goods and services for the betterment of all.

The biggest question is in whom should we trust. The bottom line in my opinion is that established leaders in a field must form a “round table” and regulate content. But the first principles that the leadership must begin with in order for wikinomics to attain the greatest common value are these:

(1) Listen to the voice of the other with an open mind

(2) Be humble about our training and experiences knowing that there is a big world with a big variety of capable folks.

(3) Be kind to those whom you may not understand until such time as the “round table” can effectively determine the value of their content.

(4) Avoid inner-circle power broking and tunnel visioned approaches. Inner circle dynamics normally reveals that there is one very dogmatic, lonely and paranoid person within the innermost concentric circle.

Forecast:

We in the martial arts are confront the challenge of wikinomics just as corporate America is. Businesses that are conforming to this new dynamic are finding that collaboration is ultimately profitable to all that participate. It is my ecumenical prayer that we can do the same.

RonRagusa
04-28-2008, 01:35 PM
...Today, we are faced with a crossroads in the martial arts. Through the Aikiweb, we can come together and engage in wikinomics; the science of collaboration, innovation and value creation. Today, masses of people outside the boundaries of traditional hierarchies can innovate to produce content, goods and services for the betterment of all.

The biggest question is in whom should we trust. The bottom line in my opinion is that established leaders in a field must form a "round table" and regulate content.

Aikiweb, and other forums, are already providing platforms for a wide cross section of practitioners from both Aikido and other martial arts to voice their views on any number of subjects. It seems as though you are hinting at a formalizing a structure that is currently more or less open source in its nature. I dunno Chris, these thing look good on paper but paper has no personality, no ego.

I prefer to let the individual regulate his or her own content both as a submitter and as a reader. The type of peer review you are talking about will ultimately be used to stifle voices that don't cater to the party line that will surely evolve. Wikinomics will become Wikidogma. What has made Aikiweb so successful is the fact that all opinions are given a space to be rendered and that rules about what is or is not acceptable are few in number. Aikiweb is unregulated collaboration. And, yes, sometimes it's messy, contentious and cranky. But what you are proposing, regulated collaboration governed by a "round table" of "established leaders" (who decides who they are, by the way?), will become another bureaucracy with all the attendant baggage all bureaucracies possess. And who will regulate the regulators? How do you prevent your round table of leaders from becoming a round table of missionaries who may feel called upon to spread the word and "convert" the non-expert masses out here in the hinterland?

Ron

Chris Parkerson
04-28-2008, 01:51 PM
Aikiweb, and other forums, are already providing platforms for a wide cross section of practitioners from both Aikido and other martial arts to voice their views on any number of subjects. It seems as though you are hinting at a formalizing a structure that is currently more or less open source in its nature. I dunno Chris, these thing look good on paper but paper has no personality, no ego.

I prefer to let the individual regulate his or her own content both as a submitter and as a reader. The type of peer review you are talking about will ultimately be used to stifle voices that don't cater to the party line that will surely evolve. Wikinomics will become Wikidogma. What has made Aikiweb so successful is the fact that all opinions are given a space to be rendered and that rules about what is or is not acceptable are few in number. Aikiweb is unregulated collaboration. And, yes, sometimes it's messy, contentious and cranky. But what you are proposing, regulated collaboration governed by a "round table" of "established leaders" (who decides who they are, by the way?), will become another bureaucracy with all the attendant baggage all bureaucracies possess. And who will regulate the regulators? How do you prevent your round table of leaders from becoming a round table of missionaries who may feel called upon to spread the word and "convert" the non-expert masses out here in the hinterland?

Ron

Great post Ron and I am in agreement that the tendency is for any government (by vote, fiat or delegation) to corrupt that which it wants to govern. (Thomas Jefferson paraphrased).

Leaders and groups do emerge by hook or crook or simply out of necessity. We may be seeing such a development that comes of necessity.... I do not know.

Regulation by simple populist democracy works best with small groups. I saw Ortega's Nicaragua (a country of only 6,000,000 people) develop out of necessity for instance. They key paradigm was found in the term "praxis". They had little idea of what was really needed, only that they had kicked out a despot.

They decided to take a direction, evaluate it, correct it, and try again, continually until they had some successes....and always willing to audit, evaluate and reconstruct again.

Timing and a little luck allows groups to capitalize on the best effect when opportunities arise. Does it necessitate a centralized group at tis point. Perhaps not. Do we need humility, respect, and open mindedness to eachother.... definitely - if we want to obtain the best and most efficient results.

Dewey
04-28-2008, 02:17 PM
Hmmmm. I don't know, either. Especially when we are talking about Aikido.

First, the politics in Aikido (be it: internationally, nationally, regionally or even locally) is nothing short of a Byzantine court intrigue that is not likely go away anytime soon...considering Aikido still operates under an only slightly modernized "ryu-ha" concept of complex alliances & loyalties.

Aikido did have a "roundtable of experts"...the uchi deshi of O'Sensei. However, that didn't seem to work out too well, either. Also, now that most are dead or else in retirement, how one will define "expert" will be the new challenge. Since its founding, the Aikido world defined it by relationship to O'Sensei. We have always given more weight to the opinions of uchi deshi. The "apostles of Aikido" if you will.

When the remaining uchi-deshi are gone, Aikido will then finally leave its "apostolic age" and move into a new era. Who knows what will happen to the art?

dps
04-28-2008, 02:50 PM
The bottom line in my opinion is that established leaders in a field must form a "round table" and regulate content.

I would like to see you Chris and Mike Sigman on this round table to regulate content.

David

Chris Parkerson
04-28-2008, 02:53 PM
Hmmmm. I don't know, either. Especially when we are talking about Aikido.

First, the politics in Aikido (be it: internationally, nationally, regionally or even locally) is nothing short of a Byzantine court intrigue that is not likely go away anytime soon...considering Aikido still operates under an only slightly modernized "ryu-ha" concept of complex alliances & loyalties.

Aikido did have a "roundtable of experts"...the uchi deshi of O'Sensei. However, that didn't seem to work out too well, either. Also, now that most are dead or else in retirement, how one will define "expert" will be the new challenge. Since its founding, the Aikido world defined it by relationship to O'Sensei. We have always given more weight to the opinions of uchi deshi. The "apostles of Aikido" if you will.

When the remaining uchi-deshi are gone, Aikido will then finally leave its "apostolic age" and move into a new era. Who knows what will happen to the art?

If history is cyclical, or more specifically moving in the form of a helix, we might expect a return of the dark ages...

But rest assured that a few "desert fathers" will remain in their caves and keep practising, questioning, and honing their skills.

Erick Mead
04-28-2008, 05:04 PM
So-called "Wikinomics" is not new. It simply replicates a much older process of collaborative developing, preserving and enforcing reasoned principles ordered by practical experience. The English called it the "common law."

That process and an institutional framework predated them in the Celtic world. The English model probably derives from a British precursor not unlike the much older Irish Brehon law. The common law then wiped that out in Ireland, (as to its legal rules) -- but they were close cousins in their processes of development.

For martial arts, like common law, is a study of practical conflict. You could do worse in terms of applicability to development/governance with a historical model like the common law.

Chris Parkerson
04-28-2008, 10:55 PM
Ron, Brian, David and Eric,

It dawned on me that I must still have a lot of old school thinking in me. I only recently "came out" of my cave - that is....
before I tried to stay away from the neon light of the Internet so old school thinking is still in me.

But I'd Linux can be so successful by using a 100,000 person wiki system, I should just trust the process. Still, we would all be better off by following the "first principles" I mentioned. Me thinks.