How to get the TZM up to steam again?

Too bad the train (pun intended) stopped moving. I guess it is rather difficult to accomplish anything worthwile with decentralized, loosely coupled decision making.

I saw PJ is actively working on ZG4 and the world didn’t exactly get easier the last 15 years. COVID, climate change, sustainability, war, inflation, hunger, polarisation, activism and in some cases revolutionary forces…

Lots of interesting developments as well though!

There is opportunity to put the train back on the tracks and get moving again, right?

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These are good questions. I think the decentralized structure of the movement keeps things simple and smooth. As long as people are informed about the #train-of-thought and the scope of the movement there isn’t really a central decision making or control needed. At least, not on a global level. Within #activism:projects and teams and chapters there can be a coordinator to keep things going and organized.

But I do wonder what kind of issues you see in TZM with its decentralized structure. TVP has a centralized structure, they lost momentum as well. Maybe even more than TZM, because in TVP people cannot just initiate their own projects at will. So the threshold for activity is lower at TZM. Of course the quality of the activity counts as well.

I think that social media also made things harder. People are less focused and a lot of people depend their online actions on the algorithms, which rather feeds the mind for maximum engagement. Which is often a lolcat/girl in bikini rather than a TZM video. Boredom has been cured by social media as well. Being bored is/was great, it gives you some time to reflect and work on personal ideas. Rather than focusing on getting those likes with short span attention posts. But that’s of course a generalized view. Extinction Rebellion is able to forge social media into a powerful tool and organized huge events. So it is possible.

This really depends on the supporters of TZM. If we do nothing, then nothing will happen. I personally have this general idea to restart the movement:

Get some chapters back in action by doing small but meaningful tasks such as meet face to face, network with like-minded organizations, develop a good website with good texts in their native language and then create media with those people and the #train-of-thought. TZM was most successful with this formula. And if we do the groundwork now already, we could surf on the momentum that Zeitgeist 4 may create for us.

Let me first state that I am not criticizing decentralized, loosely coupled decision making as it has tremendous strengths. In my field of work I am a huge proponent of Agile working and decentralized decision making. But, neverteless, decentralized decision making still needs continous reinforcement of goals towards which people want to move towards. If this is not done correctly, things usually degrade into chaos and demotivation. People like JF and PJ are exceptionally good at painting a future worth working for. I am all against one person deciding everything, but I think leadership is not necessarily a bad thing. Insofar as leadership is supporting the people, removing obstacles and showing the way.

I also think it should be easy to join a team, see what they are aiming for and continue working on where others left off.

Social media should be seen as a power I think. YouTube, TikTok, Insta, etc. brought us tremendous time wasters, but there is lots and lots of content that spurs us into action.

I think the right course of action is indeed finding the people left around the train, get them to help put the train back on the tracks and get moving again. People tend to join those endeavors which seem to progress and leave when there is no progression or progress is hard.

And I think there is nothing wrong with mimicing the behavior of other groups that seem to progress like Extinction Rebellion and others and suit it to our needs.

Also, I thinks it’s good to map out the activists journey from having the thought “something is not right”, to seeing a PJ movie, to first TZM contact, etc. Maybe even go so far as creating personas of those who come into contact with TZM.

In that effort, zooming out to see the whole picture, we could optimize where needed.

As I see it, the first experiences I have with ER feel more sophisticated and thought through.

What are your thoughts on this?

Even if you would, that’s really okay. Critical thought is welcome.

There is no rule against it, in fact the activist guide also suggests to appoint a coordinator for the chapters and teams. These roles are fluid, because it would be bad to depend on one person for motivation and structure. For example Jacque Fresco died, there was no one that replaced him. If Peter Joseph stops making content, then we have no one else with those skills and determination. We had a few though. But they left the movement a number of years ago. PJ is also not involved in the movement anymore. He creates content, but he’s hard to reach and doesn’t mingle that much.

Here on the forum we have an #activism:projects overview and people can easily join teams. And it’s necessary to have an owner of the project topics. The project owner also gets a monthly reminder of open and ongoing projects or if the project is unassigned, the person who created a topic in #activism:projects will get reminders to assign the project if the person didn’t so already. This is to make sure projects don’t last forever and should have a reasonable scope to finish the project in a reasonable time. So there is kind of such an infrastructure in place. But it hasn’t caught on yet. People also don’t have to use the forum for projects of course. But to tap into our community knowledge pool and finish projects faster I think it’s useful to use the forum for global projects. No other TZM platform so far is able to make it so easy to work together, assign tasks and manage their projects.

For sure! However, I have been using social media for 10 years to do TZM activism. At it’s height the TZM NL Facebook page had 10.000 followers. But a small forum we had with just a few dozen people was more active and productive. And by now the Facebook algorithm doesn’t work for us anymore. If we post something, we get basically zero likes, views and engagement. The Global TZM FB page has about 300.000 followers, but also gets minimal engagement. The TZM Facebook group has close to 6.000 members, but also there, minimal engagement. And it’s not because of a lack of trying. Good things are posted. I’m also not saying it’s impossible. But you really have to have the algorithms on your side, we clearly don’t reach the amount of people we should. If these people were on this forum, then we could send an email notification to highlight important posts. We already sent out automated monthly summaries of forum activity, if someone didn’t login for a month. The trends also point towards a future without Facebook. So again, if we had used a platform in our control, we wouldn’t have lost all those contacts.

Not saying that we should avoid social media. It indeed is a powerful tool to make things to viral. And without social media we wouldn’t be as big as we are now, especially in the early days we got a great momentum boost. But there are pitfalls we should take into account. We should always have the means to contact all those people that are interested in us and not depend on an algorithm that can “turn against us”.

This is why I started this forum. I saw the decline in my own chapter, but also realized it was happening all around the world. So we needed a platform where we could reorganize with the most active people and then restart those local chapters. For that I also created this map which uses data from the forum. I designed the forum in such a way that it will be easy to scale up, much is automated and community controlled. But yeah, how do we get people on board? I’ve been trying :nerd_face: But people stick to closed-source cloud solutions which they don’t really have the means to engage with their base (Reddit/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/TikTok). It’s all based on algorithms. Or a huge amount of notifications (Discord), which of course then creates notification fatigue and people just shut those things off or ignore them. My prediction is that we will die out because of that. Of course we can hop on to the next social media platform, but then we are just constantly trying to rebuild which will get harder and harder over time. We should build upon what we have so we can move forward :tm:.

The thing that makes XR so successful is the “us against them” mentality. People like that, because they can feel better about themselves. XR isn’t about exposing the underlying root core economic reasons behind climate change and provide possible solutions, it’s about pointing fingers to governments and corporations. TZM was also very popular in the early stages when people also thought TZM was such an organization. This misconception was likely brought about due to the first Zeitgeist movie. Once those people started to lose interest, the movement also started to decline. I guess we’re boring :stuck_out_tongue:

We can still adopt their strategy of course! Which is basically the chapter structure, so we can do local activism and work on face to face engagement. I’ve also mingled with XR many times in Amsterdam. Also a “system change” meetup, however they didn’t talk about system change. They talked more about being against the current system. No talks about meaningful alternatives :frowning:

But this is starting to become a very long reply, that’s not very nice.

This is a great initiative! Some people also started similar things. There was for example a survey, but no results have been published yet. Maybe you can start a topic in #activism:projects and shape up the scope and the idea? Then maybe we can get more people on board and make this initiative a thing. Because indeed, we do need some time to reflect.