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Forum - Core TZM member Matt Berkowitz leaves TZM! TZM Vancouver may be the next chapter to go from TZM!

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The Burger KingPosted: Jan 04, 2015 - 00:12

I can't stop posting pictures of poop, what the fuck is wrong with me?

Level: 5
CS Original
So I got this from my E-mail apparently Matt Berkowitz who is apart of the core team of TZM has left TZM because TZM or better yet Peter Joseph isn't going towards a direction towards science but more towards conspiracy theories. Essentially Matt says TZM is broken, it's administration is not right. Keep in mind Matt Berkowitz is a major editor to the new Zeitgiest Movement defined book that is pretty much the bible to TZM ( .

Matt Berkowitz is one of the Zeitgiest Movement defined authors.

TZM Letter: Expression of concern about TZM's infrastructure and public image: pseudoscience and grand conspiracy thinking abound

Expression of concern about TZM's infrastructure and public image: pseudoscience and grand conspiracy thinking abound

There has been growing concern within a significant portion of The Zeitgeist Movement's (TZM) membership about the lack of adherence to and understanding of the scientific process amongst many of the more vocal members within the organization. This includes the founder, Peter Joseph, himself.

While TZM proclaims to be about "the application of the scientific method for social concern", there is a significant prevalence of pseudoscientific views and conspiratorial thinking that are displayed by such prominent spokesmen for the movement.

While this problem has existed for some time within TZM - in no small part catalyzed by the first "Zeitgeist" film of the documentary trilogy, as well as similar but more muted problems with "Zeitgeist: Addendum" - the problem has become most apparent after now-former global lecture team member, Matt Berkowitz, released a lecture called "How to Know What's True: Assessing Scientific Research" ( The comments section of the video (now removed dictatorially by Peter, and subsequently uploaded to a different channel: displayed the general misunderstandings and projections of science of many TZM supporters.

Recent events have forced Matt Berkowitz to stop his activism under the TZM umbrella. It is clear that a rigorous standard of scientific evidence and understanding of the scientific process is not embraced by the administrative body of TZM. And despite constant efforts to improve and reconcile this situation both privately and publicly, no resolution has been reached.

This letter is simply being published to express the extreme concern that many current and now-formerly active TZM members share. The signatories below indicate such people who are no longer capable of or will have great difficulty in associating with TZM, not because of the general content it puts forward, but due to the infrastructural, administrative, and PR problems expressed here. We warn that if the administrative body of TZM continues to operate with such pseudoscientific / anti-scientific / conspiratorial overtones and associations that the movement will continue to not be taken seriously by any reputable person or organization. There is additionally the problem of alienating the more scientifically literate members and overall decreasing the quality of the membership base as a whole, which has already occurred.

What we recommend for TZM to reform itself (even though many of us feel this unlikely at this point):

1) There needs to be more quality control: both within the administrative body of TZM (for example, the Global Chapters Administration) and within public speakers for TZM. This may be accomplished by enforcing some sort of science competency / critical thinking test as a prerequisite for participation.

2) When supporting the "Natural Law Resource-Based Economy" (NLRBE), rely on the most robust, high-quality peer-reviewed evidence possible, embracing scientific consensus wherever it exists, and not avoiding issues that are socially contentious but not scientifically contentious, especially when they relate to the sustainability goals of an NLRBE.

Adam Lucas, TZM UK
Adam Moloney, TZM Maidstone, UK Coordinator
Ahnaf Habib, TZM Toronto
Alessio Campus, TZM UK
Alfonso Basulto, ex-TZM Tijuana, Mexico Coordinator
Andrew Lenberg, ex-TZM ASU University Chapter Coordinator
Andrew Ponton, ex-TZM Brisbane, Australia Coordinator
Andy Keel, TZM UK
Axel Cantón, TZM Argentina
Carlos M. Arias Moreno, TZM Spain Coordinator
Casey Davidson, TZM Australia National Coordinator
Christopher Gray, ex-TZM Louisiana Coordinator
Christopher S. Jannette, ex-TZM Global Moderator
Ciarán Ó Floinn, TZM Ireland
Cuauhtemoc "Nick" Flores, ex-TZM Dallas
Dan Smith, TZM UK
Dany Ehrenbrink, TZM Ireland Co-Coordinator
Dave Thawley, TZM UK Coordinator
David Tonner, ex-TZM Edmonton Coordinator
David Zwolski, ex-TZM Australia National Coordinator
Dean Langley, ex-TZM London, UK
Dean Kearns, TZM Ireland National Coordinator
Derek Patrick, [ex-]TZM Malaysia
Drayton Brown, TZM UK
Elad Amir, TZM UK
Exel Zeitgeister, TZM Argentina
Gabriel Sebastián López, TZM Argentina
Garry Aird, TZM UK
Glen Miles, TZM Michigan
Gustavo Garay, TZM Argentina
Ian Massey, TZM UK
Isabel Cristina, TZM Colombia National Coordinator
James Hill, TZM Australia Coordinator
João Carreira, TZM Portugal
James Costello, ex-TZM Ottawa, ON
James Exarcopoulos, TZM UK
Jamison Small, TZM Arizona Coordinator
Jared Wright, TZM Wisconsin
Jason Lloyd, ex-TZM France National Coordinator
Javier Rodriguez, TZM Argentina National Coordinator
Jeremy Butts, TZM Texas
Jim Hammell, TZM London, ON Coordinator
Joaquín Aramendía, TZM Argentina
Jonny Queen, TZM UK
José Llanes, TZM Argentina
Josh Hanchar, TZM Indiana
Josh Tewell, TZM Texas
Joshua Lossner, TZM Iowa
Kari McGregor, ex-TZM Australia National Coordinator, ex-TZM GCA
Karri Ojala, TZM Finland
Leo Eddie Riveron, TZM Illinois
Leonardo Falaschini, ex-TZM Argentina
Mads Tofthøj Rasmussen, TZM Denmark
Marc Rice, TZM UK
Marío Coss, ex-TZM Arizona
Markus Nylund ex-TZM Finland
Matias Castro, TZM Argentina
Matt Berkowitz, ex-TZM Global Lecture Team and ex-TZM Vancouver Coordinator
Matthew Szczublewski, TZM San Diego
Miguel Oliveira, TZM GCA (currently inactive)
Miles Ransaw, TZM Edmonton
Niels Böge Nothdurft, [maybe ex-]TZM Denmark
Noah Herbst-Aylesworth, TZM Calgary
Nole Mailey, ex-TZM GCA
Olivia Tarasewicz, TZM Calgary Coordinator
Oskar Gonzalez, ex-TZM Texas Coordinator
Paul Fenley III ex-TZM Oklahoma Coordinator
Pete Cullen, TZM Northern Ireland Coordinator
Pieter de Beer, ex-TZM South Africa
Philip Blair, TZM UK and Northern Ireland Coordinator
Rachel Yapp, ex-TZM Vancouver Coordinator
Rasmus S. Rydstrøm-Poulsen, TZM Calgary Coordinator
Richard Mergler, TZM Austin
Rodrigo Alcocer, TZM Bolivia National Coordinator
Ron Joniak, TZM Illinois
Rony Macarone TZM, Cornwall, Ontario
Ryan Salisbury, ex-TZM Research Team
Saget Agrawal, TZM India
Samora Tomás, TZM Azores
Sérgio Fontinhas, ex-TZM Portugal
Steve McGarry, TZM UK
Victor Lara, TZM Argentina
Victor Liste, TZM Argentina
William Griffin, ex-TZM San Diego Coordinator
William Liddell, TZM UK

If your name is not on here and you would like it to be, please e-mail: mattb(at)zeitgeistvancouver(dot)com.

More background on this whole affair (questions by Teemu K of TZM Finland, answers by Matt B)

Update (Nov. 4): "Due to recent events and the letter of concern about TZM's infrastructure and public image, the GCA (Global Chapters Administration) is inviting all concerned members to come to the next GCA meeting this next Tuesday (Nov 11) on Team Speak at 21 UTC (GCA room) to discuss solutions to the issues raised by the letter.

We advise everyone to come prepared in order to keep the meeting short, civil & effective."

Update (Nov. 11): The meeting occurred and while there was initial agreement that the problems identified in this letter are legitimate, there was little indication that the GCA is willing to make the necessary broad structural changes. Time will tell if they will.

Teemu K's Response to TZM Letter from Matt Berkowitz - And his reply

Teemu K's Response to "TZM Letter" from Matt Berkowitz
- And his reply

Note: Matt's writing in color!
(For proof, see Matt's note at the bottom of TZM letter.)

By Teemu Koskimäki, coordinator of the Finnish chapter. (3.11.2014)

I hope Matt, or others who support the letters agenda, could shed light on some of these issues. I myself am a biology student and in full support of increasing scientific literacy.

I present my response in the form of questions. I mean no offence nor judgement, I'm only after information on this troubling subject that I see to be important for the future of the movement. I would very much appreciate any answers or feedback you might be willing to give.

The movement advocates for rational consensus as its main method for reaching conclusions and arriving at decisions in the movement.
Assuming this process was used when discussing these topics with other core members of the movement, how is it, that consensus was not reached and the situation has led to the point where at least one core member has stopped supporting the movement? What is the rationality in this outcome?

Matt's response: As discussed briefly in the letter and on my FB wall, I've attempted to sort out this issue with Peter for the past 4-5 months privately through e-mail. He was rather dismissive (and in denial?) to me about the problem of science illiteracy within the movement, as I tried to bring the problem up to him numerous times. Since he essentially has dictatorial control over what is considered TZM material, this is an issue that could not be solved without him. Therefore, I have decided to go public with these concerns.

The movement has very clearly stated that the only constant is change, and that it strives to be an "anti-establishment", constantly evolving and developing when new information arises.
Given this principle, if a member finds a problem in the movement, isn't it their responsibility to bring it to the fore and try to find solutions to it? To make the movement better? For in this way the movement can learn, adapt and develop, as it clearly seeks to do.
Matt's response: As mentioned in 1.1, I tried ad nauseam to sort this issue out through private e-mail. I tried to correct the problems of science literacy and conspiracy thinking with the video I created. And I dealt with excessive backlash from many of the membership who had a problem with it, often calling me a "big pharma / Monsanto shill" in the process. This was one of my key efforts in trying to better the movement so to speak.
And shouldn't the core people in the movement be thankful if someone finds a flaw that can then be corrected? At least PJ has said that he'd be glad if someone showed him wrong. So where is the problem, really?
Matt's response: One would think so. I would certainly be happy if someone provided me good quality evidence to rebut any of the points in my talk. As mentioned, I would announce my errors publicly and seek to correct them. Some people cannot take criticism or are closed to it.
Why stop striving towards consensus and making the movement better? What is stopping progress? Why is the conclusion made that the best solution is to leave the movement? Why is it hard to create change with regards to the problems presented?
Matt's response: Peter's latest e-mail to me indicated that he is done with the issue and doesn't want to discuss it -- he hurled many insults at me about my distorted motives, egomaniacal behaviour, and arrogance in association with my goal of wanting to promote science literacy / scientific accuracy as representative of TZM, which is certainly far from the way TZM's image is in the mainstream. In removing all of my global admin privileges in emotional behest, Peter made it clear he doesn't want me to participate in TZM affairs anymore. So my natural response is to announce that I can no longer participate under the umbrella of TZM and find a new platform, where I am uninhibited, to promote science / skepticism.

Why was Matt's video about Assessing Scientific Research hidden from the official youtube channel? It is absolutely critical for a movement advocating science to understand the difference between well executed science and bad science, between trustworthy sources and those that aren't.
Matt's response: It appears to be back up there, though listed as "private" (meaning you must have the URL to view it) for now (for how long, I don't know). It was removed and restored countless times (I assume by Peter, since I don't think anyone else has access) during our private e-mail back-and-forths, in which I rather assertively defended the need for the video to remain up (which Peter at times misinterpreted as a disrespectful, arrogant position, for some reason). I agree with you about the video's critical nature, of course. Furthermore, there was a huge backlash from many of the more scientifically illiterate members across TZM, many of whom even called for its removal (such as Jen Wilding in a FB post of hers -- who by the way never bothered to contact me about it).
Matt clearly pointed out (just like all other core members almost always do in their talks) that people should think critically about the things he says in the video, and to check the sources. He brings up an important subject and at the very least gets people thinking about it. Why does the movement (and the core people) feel this as a threat?
Matt's response: My guess is that because much of the current membership is here due to the pseudoscience / conspiracy thinking origins of TZM, which inevitably traces back to Zeitgeist: The Movie. This is compounded by the fact that, despite being called "leaderless", Peter essentially operates as a de facto leader for the organization, and thus people use him as a benchmark for what to believe (rather than good skepticism). Despite his attempts to separate the "films and the movement", this image has not been achieved in practice and there is still a lot of confusion about what TZM stands for and what Peter's personal views are. While he certainly is entitled to his views, the way TZM is structured and the origins of TZM make the distinction very difficult to perceive to outsiders. As a result, many TZM members promote all sorts of pseudoscience, appeal to grand conspiracy thinking, and simply have no good understanding of how the scientific process works (including Peter, as evidenced by the recent FB post of his) -- simply consult the comments section of my video lecture to witness the overall confusion.

What are these "pseudoscientific / anti-scientific / conspiratorial overtones and associations" of the "more vocal members" of the movement? What, and who, is the letter referring to more specifically? Can you give examples?
Matt's response: This is more relegated to the problem of TZM's structure / the lack of proper distinction between Peter and TZM's views, and how what he says outside of official TZM channels gets transferred over to the perception that TZM is about these things. I really don't want to beat up on the guy, but your question doesn't allow much other way to answer it -- for example, Peter has advocated for "9/11 truth", suppressed cancer cures (Burzynski, laetrile) and thus by extension big pharma conspiracy theories, anti-vaxx (mentioned in a TZM podcast a few years back, in recommending an infamous anti-vaxx book), anti-GMO, etc. Other chapters (including my own against my better judgment and wishes back in the day) worldwide have teamed up with the 9/11 truth movement for joint events. Many members, due to their lack of understanding of how the scientific process works, peddle big pharma conspiracy theories implicitly by stating (the system wants you to be ill, so therefore there is no incentive to find a cure for cancer -- I'm sure you have heard this).
Are the lecture team members at fault or is the main problem in the coordinators across the membership?
Matt's response: The main problem, as I see it, as the lack of organizational structure across TZM -- the near-zero filter policy when it comes to chapters functioning and putting out material.
Do you have links to concrete materials that you find conspiratorial or pseudoscientific, so we could evaluate them ourselves?
Matt's response: I don't off-hand. I would have to dig them up. Again, the main problem is in the lack of structure that assumes Peter as director, so his positions (which he's certainly entitled to) that he expresses in non-official TZM domains get conflated with TZM's.
Can the overtones be explained by misunderstandings of the other persons position? Do the accusing people have a strong certainty about how and what the accused people think? Do the accused agree with this analysis?
Matt's response: No, definitely not. It is explicitly obvious. Peter stands by the blatant claims of Z1, such as the "9/11 was an inside job" conspiracy theory. He promotes alternative cancer treatments that support the classic big pharma conspiracy theory (of wanting to suppress cures for the sake of profit), etc. This is toxic to TZM's image because there is an inextricable link of Peter as founder (and thus director) of TZM. I doubt he, and other people who hold such views, would accept the "conspiracy theorist" label, since the psychology of such a mindset usually resists labels as such. But for all intents and purposes, this is the best label to describe the position -- it's something studied extensively by psychologists and there are many good peer-reviewed studies about this social phenomenon.
Isn't it so, that not all ignorance is pseudoscientific? Sometimes people haven't had enough time to, or just by accident haven't yet applied the same amount of scrutiny to every topic they discuss. Therefore they might seem pseudoscientific about a topic, but it doesn't mean that the person overall has a pseudoscientific viewpoint on everything, right?
Matt's response: You're absolutely right -- not all ignorance necessitates the promotion of pseudoscience. In fact, if you're a skeptic, then ignorance doesn't ever have to entail that. But without a proper understanding of how the scientific process works, this ignorance often morphs into bizarre ideological narratives to supercede evidence. This is the basis for pseudoscience / denialism / conspiracy thinking. Admitting ignorance is admirable -- as we know, the most humble position is "I don't know", and no one could be blamed for such a position.

Did Matt decide to "resign" himself, or was he driven out / removed from the core team?
Matt's response: My global admin privileges were removed by Peter. This was the final straw in what were previously private e-mail exchanges between us two (and a couple of others). His last two insulting e-mails to me, which were full of projection and accusation, indicated that the issue was not going to be resolved and that he is closed to the conversation. I decided that enough is enough -- that the structure was broken and [nearly] beyond repair, that the problem of pseudoscience / conspiracy thinking was not going to get resolved any time soon, and that the PR problems of TZM thus were not going to be fixed. With all of this mind, I concluded that it's best to end my association with TZM, and to continue on in another platform. I am still open to discussion (as the letter denotes), but doubt that any adequate solution will be reached, as there is far too much that's broken. TZM was set up inadequately and managed poorly since day 1, and these blow-outs (such as splitting with TVP, other prominent coordinators leaving back in 2012, and now this recent one are a testament to this).

Is TZM valuable as it is now, even if its supporters aren't completely scientific, as the underlying values and principles nonetheless are? Aren't we going to the right direction? Isn't the message becoming more clear all the time, and isn't the membership slowly changing?
Matt's response: For all the reasons described here, It is the position of many of us that TZM is not a viable platform to continue conducting activism through -- not without tremendous effort to correct these changes. I'm not sure if the message is becoming more clear all the time. TZM's activity has continually diminished worldwide for the past few years, with only a tiny handful of local chapters still active (mine in Vancouver being one). The number of members who are active has likewise dwindled. The popularity of TZM, by one measure, has also diminished:

Some personal remarks from Teemu:

I myself am not sure whether I should sign the letter or not. Getting answers to these questions might help me (and possibly others) to decide.

There has been a lot of good comments on Matt's facebook page. I see no need to repeat them all here, but I did quote some of the best ones in this document if you want a sample:
I think this is an opportunity for the movement to grow, and I hope something constructive comes out of these discussions.

A personal thought: Maybe we shouldn't stump on the pseudoscientific masses, since that is a part of the process of turning from superstition to science. Most of us have gone through that phase. Therefore we should help them, not degrade them and debunk them (and I think Matt's video was both helpful and unhelpful in this respect, as James Phillips also pointed out in the response video). Should there be a place for the "embarrassing", a sandbox of thought that is very clearly separated from the official message? A place to share ideas and evolve, and where more informed movement members and admins can help by giving the movements official point of view on things.

Maybe we should have both a way to help people become more scientifically oriented AND ways to filter the more scientific people into coordination and PR positions.


(2.11.2014 -- After the "TZM letter".)

"Ahnaf Habib:
Folks; it's pretty simple:
1) TZM claims to be a promoter of the scientific method for social concern
2) TZM wishes to promote this to a mainstream audience, since it views such a tactic as being one very necessary tactic, in order to reach an NLRBE in the not too distant future
3) If (1) and (2) are true, TZM is obliged to be rigorous in its selection protocol in order to get the necessary advocates and members who can best accomplish (1) and (2). [The point of the letter]
4) But if (3) is true, then a zero filter policy for getting advocates and members on board is untenable [Our position]
5) Thus, (4) leads to a case where an informed, apt and scientifically literate minority is better than the converse.
C - TZM is obliged to re-examine and if necessary revise, its zero-filter policy and other administrative benchmarks, in order to better achieving its goals mentioned above."

"Tony Toto:
1. It's a mindset first and foremost. There needs to be a global understanding of it before it will be implemented.

2. I agree the movement is about getting people 'interested'
in a RBE. The majority of the people worldwide are not scientifically literate to the point of what is needed to
have a global NLRBE. I am one of the scientific illiterates but do understand alternatives can be put in place that are sustainable and will move humanity forward in an optimal direction.

3. For the majority who are scientifically illiterate - they should gain a basic understanding of the mindset of a RBE and focus on the possibilities that can come from it, i.e. ET3, alternative energy sources (geothermal, solar, etc.) food sources (CFS, vertical farms, hydroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, etc. and so on and so forth.

4. I STRONGLY agree with Douglas Mallette's insight
about it NOT being a dictatorial group, but 100% needing a quality control mechanism. His reference to "making sure your car doesn't explode" is the key. It needs structure in a non-dictatorial manner. I'm a team building facilitator and I stand in awe when I watch programs on NASA about how well they work together. It is structured and organized. This is what is needed inside this movement.

5. A free-for-all structure will not cut it. Being a volunteer is noble and admirable and there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer, but structure is needed.

6. I agree with Christopher Jannette's remark about needing a Board of Director's or something similar and it should be led by people with technical merit. I expressed this years ago. I think part of the problem is people don't have the scientific literacy needed so they "speak of what they know" and this is not always the best way because it may have a negative impact / connotation.

7. TZM is a science and sustainability movement. For those with no science background - get a basic understanding of a RBE, see the big picture (cities, transportation, energy, food, etc., break it down to your understanding and talk to others on
their level - not the level of being a scientist or so called expert.

8. "Lead people to the experts." Don't answer questions that you have no knowledge of and don't try to wing it. Say - I'm still learning all of this myself and suggest books to read - any
and all Bucky Fuller books, The Best That Money Can't Buy, The Empathic Civilization, etc.

9. Finally, I could be wrong and maybe I'm just blowing smoke out of my arse.

10. Peace and love to you all! "

"Andrew Osagie:
I think "TZM" needs people like you. You can do what you want and I know much of this stuff is energy consuming but if you just go ahead and make another org where everyone is scientific literate what are you working on then if you want to make people more literate? All these crazy folks come and go but with the core members even if they dislike each other or whatever there seems to be an agreement on most of the stuff without TZM having any hard controll mechanisms I think we're pretty much on the same page concerning core topics.

Not everyone can be as scientifically literate as you, I know I'm not, I was one of those people in the past before I came here and learned from all the other people and discussions and reflecting upon it. You could have sold me the hollow earth theory before and I've became a pretty solid skeptic.

It's your decision but maybe this is the right "place" for you I really appreciated all of your input to the movement so far. But you know best for yourself what you can and can't put up with there's probably alot of personal stuff I can't relate to. I don't wanna make you discuss, you should just know that you are changing people's perspective and that what you have been doing isn't for nothing and you should consider going on with it."

"Matt Berkowitz:
I appreciate the kind comments, Andrew. It's not been an easy decision for me. I've met tons of fantastic people through this organization and had undeniably great experiences through it. But I feel like it's time to move on, at least with the explicit association. I will certainly keep doing what I'm doing, just through another platform -- unless of course things drastically change as per the letter's recommendations. Thanks again!"

"David Tonner:
Well said, Andrew, Matt has certainly helped me get a few things straight in my worldview"

Javier Rodriguez:
I'll repost my comment from the other thread, as I think it is relevant to this one too:

I'm coordinator of TZM Argentina. I've given lots of lectures, been to
radio shows, built up websites and held endless meetings not only for my chapter, but also for others, since late 2009. Me and others in TZM Argentina and its sub chapters, continue to do so, at great efforts, without much support from the rest of the "TZM world", given the progressive disconnection between the chapters (loss of the international forums, decay of sub meta structures such as TZM Latin America, decrease of the frequency of int meetings which could replace the forums, decrease of participation at the international organizational scheme, and other etceteras not worth mentioning.)

I've seen chapter after chapter getting completely overrun by new age beliefs, pseudoscience and conspiracies to be eventually torn apart in ridiculous disputes for control. Mostly, all those chapters that used to exist, that don't exist anymore, went through more or less that path, having to withstand the social group distress generated by people trying to use the "marketing structure" of the movement to inflate their personal goals, usually relating to some weird spiritual/political/economic world view, eventually crunching its
organizational core.

Only very few chapters have managed to "stay alive", doing what a chapter is supposed to do, at its basic stage at least, at a decent level.

Anyway, after some healthy and long before contained rant-like statements, I completely relate to what you have stated in your letter, so please, add my "signature" at the bottom.

Eng. Javier Rodriguez - TZM Argentina

Douglas Mallette:
After a nice 6 hour nap, I'd like to make one personal point...

For me this has nothing to do with individual people. This is an organizational issue. It's a structural issue. I have always disliked the notion of a "leaderless" entity, as if somehow that philosophy actually exists. Even hippie communes have people who have particular expertise on certain subjects and take a "lead" role to that end.

Scientific research teams have PI's...Principal Investigators. Engineering teams have Principal Leads.

They don't act as dictators, but as quality control valves, and help facilitate communication between the team. They also are typically subject matter experts for the research being done.

It is a fallacy to assert that leadership roles must automatically be authoritative figures that control things and people.

All of us are leaders in various ways, but that does not mean that we can get away with a complete lack of organizational structure and accountability. So for me, this has nothing to do with specific people, and it has everything to do with enabling the proper and proven structure, as used in science and engineering protocols, to get things done in a more fluid and coherent manner.

That is all.

Philip Blair: TZM Ireland

"When people take this kind of reaction to the subjects Matt talked about in his video e.g. GM Food, Vaccines and the like... I think they are pretty much missing the point entirely, as first and foremost the video was not really trying to convert people over to his opinions -- it was teaching how to increase science-literacy and make people become public intellectuals. In other words essentially giving people the intellectual tools and knowledge in order to understand whats credible and what is bollocks. I think the vast majority of people were just so butt-hurt over the topics discussed that they didn't really get the point. As far as I am concerned, this "each to their own, as long as everyone knows what an RBE is" is really sort of stupid and detrimental to their cause. Plenty of movements past and present have had social theories of a better world that looked good on paper, but the lack of organization and ability to improve individual persons often compromises the ability for it to have any success in the real world. Creating a better world is not just about giving people a documentary to watch, a book to read or an expert to listen to -- its about empowering people enough so they can arrive at the best possible decisions with the evidence that's available. If you read into the likes on The Spanish Civil War during the 1930s and the anarcho-syndicalist systems that came into place, this didn't just happen spontaneously -- great stress was put on educating people to think independently and organize decades in advance. Mass social change requires the participation of the masses and therefore, we have to have faith in the ability of people to decide things for themselves, to come to correct conclusions and ultimately to change the world. Having a methodology (science) and giving people the ability of people to be able to think for themselves is what separates a successful movement from an irrational mob-rule of the politically disillusioned"

Comments to this document:

Carlos M. Arias (Spain)
I just wish we could all have an unconditional basic income so we can become more literate in science. Main problem today is this lack of time and high focus on finding any bullshit job.
I can agree that a quality control it's needed, as well as an organizational structure. Some organizations are so horizontal they are flat. That is not operative. I agree that we shouldn't have leaders in the traditional sense, but we need some leader skill that organize and coordinate the movement. We also need IT software to have a full communication flow, top-down and bottom-up. We are using appgree in Podemos. It's far from perfect, but it's quite useful to have a real sense on what TZM can agree. Regards

An idea from Teemu:
I've been thinking about a modification to the CDS (Collaborative Design System), an idea that is presented in TZM Defined. If the same idea is applied to activism, it could be called CAS (Collaborative Activism System). With just a few words changed to the original text we get this:

"TZM is not centrally planned. It uses a Collaborative Activism System (CAS). CAS is based entirely upon public interaction, facilitated by programmed, open-access systems, that enable a constant, dynamic feedback exchange that can literally allow for the input of the public on any given activism matter, whether personal or social.
Moreover, the actual programming utilized by this interactive system would be available in an open source platform for public input and review. In fact, the system is predicated entirely upon the intelligence of the "group mind" and the open source/open access sharing virtue will help bring all viable interests to the surface for public consideration, in an absolutely transparent manner."

"Collaborative Activism Interface
The starting point for interaction for TZM activists is the CAI, or collaborative activism interface."

"Activism is the first step in any productive interest and this interface can be engaged by a single person; it can be engaged by a team; it can be engaged by everyone. It is open source and open access and it would come in the form of an online web interface.
"Moreover, all submitted ideas, in creation or deemed complete, are stored in an open access, searchable database. This database makes all activism ideas/projects available for others to use or build upon."

"In this new, open source type activism approach, the entire global community has the option of presenting ideas for everyone to see, weighing in on and building upon projects/ideas, harnessing the power of collective experience and global knowledge.

And maybe even this could be possible in the long run:
The mechanism of the CAI would come in the form of an interactive interface, such as we see commonly today with computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided engineering (CAE) software. In short, these programs are able to digitally create and represent any given project idea, containing all information as to how it should be put into action and represented to the public as a final, actual activism effort."


On vradio FB comments on Matt Berkowitz/TZM split

Tine Grošelj

Anyone having any opinion on the Matt Berkowitz/TZM split? December 30, 2014 at 10:14am

Neil Kiernan

I only just learned about it. Haven't really formed an opinion. I know that I never wanted anything to do with being a coordinator, and was very happy that the Michigan Coordinator is awesome.
December 30, 2014 at 5:18pm

Andrew Corner

Best thing that ever happened. He was a terrible representative of TZM. He barely even understands the concept imo. December 30, 2014 at 7:56pm

Neil Kiernan

What makes you say that? December 30, 2014 at 10:26pm

Fancy Katt

I just herad of it what is up? December 31, 2014 at 12:02am

Tine Grošelj
TZM Letter: Expression of concern about TZM's infrastructure and public image: pseudoscience and...
December 31, 2014 at 1:10am

Noel Hunter

A lot of people are what I call "science zealots." These people think that the current state of "science," maintained by "credentialed scientists" is the only form of truth. They go by a lot of names, including "sceptics," and they are not much different than the people who opposed Copernicus. You find them in the AMA, universities, scientific journal editors, etc. Experts almost always want to defend the status quo, in science as much as anywhere else. They tend to label anything that does not fit into their worldview as "pseudo science." They are are much the enemies of knowledge as are the religious zealots. True seekers of knowledge will look beyond the conventional wisdom to the next paradigm.
December 31, 2014 at 11:41am

Tine Grošelj

oh hi zeitgeist man!
are you still at time square confiusigly looking at billboards?
December 31, 2014 at 11:47am

Tine Grošelj

joke aside, this controversy gives me headaches, cause it's hard to know which side is "correct".
As of TZM/TVP split, tvp people were speaking a lot of BS, but that was still hard to find out ....
December 31, 2014 at 11:50am

Noel Hunter

I hope all the geniuses figure out which ones have the right kind of science before we are all starving, under water, as the dead, plastic filled radioactive oceans wash over the scorched continents
December 31, 2014 at 12:18pm

Tine Grošelj

My point being is that it is hard to find out which side uses bad arguments to support their actions.

About science zealots, I completly agree with you. Did you get from me that I don't agree with you?
December 31, 2014 at 12:39pm

Noel Hunter

No, I was just commenting in general December 31, 2014 at 4:51pm

David Fields

December 31, 2014 at 11:49pm

Fancy Katt

I ignore such infighting. All groups do this and why I stand outside of them to think for myself.
January 1 at 10:39pm
#1 [ Top | Reply to Topic ]
JimJesusPosted: Jan 05, 2015 - 19:03

Bacon Pancakes! Making Bacon Pancakes, take some Bacon and I'll put it in a Pancake! Bacon Pancakes that's what it's gonna make...Bacon Pancaaaaaake!! ♪

Level: 3
Isn't every one of the problems Matt cited what we've been saying for almost 7 years now and been getting called a troll for?
#2 [ Top | Reply to Topic ]
CyborgJesusPosted: Jan 07, 2015 - 21:26

Level: 6
CS Original
Can't help but feel that there's no real endgame to this.

If you're in TZM, you're essentially making bets on outliers, i.e., people who can reach an extraordinarily large audience at low/no cost, exceptional scientists and academics, and people who have made or will make enough money on their own to simply throw cash at complex problems. Raising baseline sanity will surely improve your PR, but when >99% of your movement doesn't matter all that much (it's not like conspiratards are any worse at handing out flyers), it's not gonna significantly affect your chance of success.
#3 [ Top | Reply to Topic ]