Toward a Third Attractor

Those of us who are discontent with the current progress and direction of the world envision more positive possibilities for our future. Collectively this is known as the “Third Attractor”, not catastrophe, not dystopia, but something more promising. Although this third attractor is not yet defined, it does have to meet several criteria. These include: 1) The ability to prevent all human-induced catastrophes, 2)  Coherent, collective, wise, and rapid choice-making, 3) Social operating systems that foster collective well-being, and 4) Integration at the levels of infrastructure, social structure, and super structure.

The future is in our hands!

This research project invites participants to describe and progress toward that better future. This space is organized as a virtual, dynamic, task list. It can be thought of as a virtual job jar, where participants are invited to describe work to be done, and to seize tasks and work toward their completion.

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Individual Work


Tasks that anyone can undertake alone are listed here. Completing tasks on this list will help you progress toward a third attractor.

  1. Live Wisely.
    1. Draw from the wise living toolkit.
    2. Encourage others to live wisely.
  2. Read books from this reading list on “how it can be”.
    1. Improve the reading list.
  3. Use the grand challenges to establish your priorities.
  4. Prepare yourself.
  5. Become an intentional evolutionary.

Collective Work


Tasks that that require collaboration with others, or that will require some level of agreement, consensus, discussion, or engagement with the larger community are described here. Feel free to make individual or collaborative contributions here, and expect engagement, comments, and alternative viewpoints to be shared by others.

  1. Begin with the end in mind. Describe ultimate possibilities.
    1. Study the course Envisioning our Future.
    2. Add your essay to this list of examples, or to the collections below.
    3. Study and contribute to this gallery of future possibilities.
      1. Toward Compassion—Fully embracing the power of compassion can draw us toward a bright future.
  2. Describe our guiding principles.
    1. Study this list of pro-social values.
    2. Study the course Clarifying Values.
    3. Complete the course Finding shared values
    4. Propose a set of values that will guide the third attractor.
  3. Name the third attractor—Being clear about what we value, rather than what we reject, can help us see the future more clearly. For example, the complex and lengthy women’s suffrage movement was guided by the simple phrase “women vote”. Here are various specific names proposed for the third attractor:
    1. Compassion
    2. Wisdom
    3. Good Governance
  4. Describe overlaps, integrations, and differences among GameB, Third Attractor, the fifth joint point,  and others.
    1. This is the beginning of a world-wide social movement that will develop and evolve as it gains visibility and support. Eventually ideas and proponents of the various aligned efforts will meld into a single coherent movement.
  5. Describe the network structure, our rules of engagement with each other.
    1. Consequence-capture
  6. Describe the governance systems.
    1. Read the essay Good Government.
    2. Study the Coming Together curriculum.
    3. Use the best governance model for each situation.
    4. Evolve governments.
    5. Qualities and attributes of 3rd attractor Governance may include:
      1. Those listed in the Selection Criteria section of the Evolving Governments course.
      2. Those that achieve excellent outcomes, as described in the essay Good Government.
      3. Governance systems that emerge from the will of the governed. All citizens should be able to engage if they choose to.
      4. Concentrate expertise onto the challenges our societies and organizations face. This means easy delegation by members to other members who they trust regarding expertise and values.
      5. Resistance to gaming the system and corruption.
      6. Effective use of technologies that allow the best ideas to emerge, such as
        1. Ranked choice voting,
        2. Sensemaking technologies such as:
          1. prioritization of reasons for and against a proposal,
          2. filters to allow us to see the opinions of experts or specific interest groups,
          3. Real time distributed communications and discussion system with discussions focused on topics.
          4. The ability to set design constraints on any challenge.
          5. Explicit discussion about values and the ability to poll and prioritize the values a community wants to maintain in considering a proposal.
      7. Work on various scales, from local to global.
        1. Local governments manage local issues.
        2. The entire world must be engaged in the challenges that affect us all.
        3. Verticals like "all farmers" or all "public health officials" or "all climate scientists" can have publicly viewable deliberation channels to solve the problems relevant to their vertical.
      8. Work on the speed that is appropriate to the challenge.
        1. Some challenges require timely intervention, such as emergencies or the emergence of AI
        2. Some challenges require longer deliberation.
      9. Allows for long term thinking (no terms and campaigns)
    6. Candidate Governance Models:
      1. Liquid Democracy allows citizens to vote on topics directly, without having to rely on elected representatives, or citizens can dynamically delegate their proxy to an expert on the issue at hand.
    7. Describe a governance model for:
      1. This working group, and
      2. The future you envision.
  7. Describe the economic systems. Economic concerns are so pervasive, so influential, and our economic systems contain so many faults that perhaps an economic transformation can ignite a broader transformation toward wisdom.
    1. The book Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, by Charles Eisenstein, presents a plan for a bold economic transformation. My review of the book mentions several of the key ideas.
    2. Economic Faults
    3. Genesis of Debt
    4. Dividend Money: An Alternative to Central Banker Managed Fractional Reserve Banking Money
    5. Free Money
    6. Post-scarcity economy
    7. Circular economy
    8. Doughnut economy
    9. Universal basic income
    10. Who owns the Productivity dividend?
  8. Describe the healthcare systems.
    1. Universal health care
  9. Expand and purify our knowledge pool. Shared knowledge is a public good, we must work to keep our knowledge pool accurate.
    1. Keep your BS out of our Knowledge Pool
    2. Improve our sensemaking skills.
  10. Describe the learning systems. Education is a valuable pubic good because learning promotes civic engagement, cultural understanding, social mobility, and economic progress.
    1. The future of education is learning.
  11. Describe the transportation systems.
  12. Describe the manufacturing systems.
  13. Describe the security systems.
  14. Describe the judicial systems.
    1. Restorative justice
  15. Describe subjective experiences.
    1. Finding Equanimity
    2. Guided Meditations
  16. Describe transcendent possibilities.
    1. Reality is awesome!
    2. The overview effect
    3. An Awesome History of Religion
  17. Describe venues, land ownership, and infrastructure.
    1. Virtual Nations
  18. Describe resource management: water, food, housing, land, energy, sanitation, ...
    1. Global Land Trust
    2. Renewable energy
    3. Fusion power
    4. Cultured meat
  19. Describe essential services.
  20. Describe GameA (national and international) relationships.
  21. Describe recruiting, vetting, preparing, assigning, monitoring, and dismissing members.
  22. Describe how to lead a social movement.
    1. How to start a movement
    2. Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis,” by Dave Snowden and others
  23. Build each of the systems described above.

Early Prototypes


Various other efforts are underway to create a better future. Some of these are listed here for your study, engagement, and inspiration.

  1. GameB
  2. Not Game A
  3. Level 5 Research Center
  4. The Wisdom and the Future Research Center
  5. Envisioning our Future
  6. Consilience Project
  7. Civium
  8. Rebuilding Meaning
  9. The Long Now Foundation
  10. The liminal web
  11. This inventory of aligned work.

  Educational level: this is a research resource.