Archive for the ‘more or less’ Category

Ideas from Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith has provided some interesting ideas for achieving geoist progress, and enumerated a bunch of them in a February 15 2018 email to many geoists with subject line “Re: LT: Re: Trump Infrastructure Plan Calls for Value Capture Financing“.  Previously and subsequently, Jeff has suggested that geoists should act in accordance therewith. Possibly because of the subject line, or the nature of internet discussions, some of us may have forgotten or never seen this message. Jeff’s text is reproduced below:

Never forget reading is part of the problem. Doing is part of the solution.
The fact that I’m the only Georgist with the curiosity to research what’s known about social change is a very telling fact. I should not be your gatekeeper to this world of fascinating information. Every or at least dozens of
people with the dream of changing society should want to know how society changes!
To not want to know is a constant reminder that I’m a member of a mad species — just like most people don’t want to know how to make economies work right.
Here are some efforts of others who know paradigm shifts follow principles:
Kuhn is the classic. “Old minds don’t change; they just die out, replaced by young open ones.” So appeal to the young. Learn to dance, you stiff fuddy-duddies. Our problem: Georgist elders attract youth exactly like themselves—conservative, conformist, obedient, not your classic profile for agents of change.
More recently, Reich’s 4 buttons: Rot at top, Barbarians at gate, Self-made, Group identity. Even though by a Dem (Clinton’s Labor Sec), only Trump was savvy enough to use them, unlike us and other ideologues:
Lakoff, one of my grad school contemporaries, is also ignored for urging do-gooders to learn how to frame: “Frame yourselves before others frame you.” You framed yourself as a taker (taxist), not a sharer, like basic income, which has far more innate appeal:
Use unique language, like “geonomics” not boring code like “LVT”:
World Bank: To measure progress, count (John Berger made the same point):
Develop empathy, lose British classism and academic snobbery: “Strong beliefs, loosely held.”
Harvard: Engagement, not rhetoric—interact with real people on their terms:
Leadership—suggestions for everyone, even non-alpha rats:
Source of millions of volunteers, an enormously valuable resource for Georgists to ignore:
But don’t limit yourself. Google. Yet balance mere reading with actual doing.
I have my own that worked to start several cutting-edge groups: How to Make a Movement in 5 Easy Steps:
1 Message
2 Members, including celebs
3 Money
4 Media, including star power
5 Maintenance—every other meeting should be a party. Seriously.
6 aMass the Multitudes—demonstrate—and Meet the Minions of the Moguls—i.e., lobby.
7 Make Merry your victory
Georgists fail at Step 1, so they can’t get out the gate. They must redo Step 1 and translate their message into the language of their intended audience. To know what to say, they’d have to use focus groups, polls, and surveys. But that’s too rational for ideologues, so far.
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”
You can’t reform by conforming. You just lose the respect of both reformers and conformists.
If there is a mistake to be made in shifting paradigms, Georgists have made all of them.
Thanks, Fred, the opportunity to feel nostalgic for old, ignored, powerful ideas. You did not offer to quit doing what does not work and devote that time to doing what does work. Hence, most likely, you asked me to waste my time. 
“The dog barks but the caravan moves on.” Into the desert.
I should stop barking now.

Jeffery J. Smith
Author, Perfect Timing. 503/568-5889
Co-founder, principal, DocTours. 707/355-3002