Good News, Bad News, Support Not Crush


The Good News
I think I’ve invented a better way to organize civilization, or at least parts of it, in a networked world. It’s called the sustainable proximities approach. I’ve distilled it down to a short “how-to” guide, which you’ll find here:
How to Create a Sustainable Proximity

The Bad News
Doing so is ruining me financially. 

Support (Instead of Crush) an Innovator
So far, I’ve found, innovators sometimes get crushed. Bring back some of my faith in humanity. Please make a financial contribution here.
Send Money to David Loughry and ProxThink

Thank you!

Flow of Life


Ultimately, perhaps there is no reason to get up in the morning, or to start, stop or continue doing anything, or to enjoy anything, other than this reason: to be in the flow of life.

Being in the flow of life is another way of saying being related to life. Being is about relating, which is one of the foundations of ProxThink.

Many organizations, systems and processes, or parts thereof, from philosophy, religion and books, to businesses, markets and governments, to friends, networks, associations and family relationships, exist at least in part to keep us in the flow of life, or encourage us in the flow of life.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

Three Paragraphs on ProxThink


[Note: This is a new short form press release I’m working on. – David]

Thanks to scientists and philosophers, we know that “it’s all relative” and that “being is about relating.” However, we don’t have a useful, shared framework for thinking and talking about, and making use of, these insights. “I’ve tried to develop something with that potential,” says David Loughry, creator of ProxThink. The developments include some new language, concepts, systems, models and tools that form a framework. The new language and concepts are designed to be general and simple enough for conversation, yet also present diverse possibilities. The perhaps surprising upshot is that this framework for relating helps us relate to and with contexts, networks and proximities. This is timely since social and technological networks, which are growing more common, shift some of the emphasis to contexts and proximities. Further, rather than only being theoretical, this framework can engender enjoyment and the arts; support science, engineering and design; promote sustainability; acknowledge and work with complexity; as well as be highly useful and practical in situations ranging from everyday life to business and markets. Loughry says, “I call this framework ProxThink, short for proximity thinking and relating.”

ProxThink, with a focus on proximities, consists of the following three elements: 1) a new structure for thinking and relating, paired with 2) a creativity and innovation system. These were then used as building blocks for 3) a new kind of growth model. The new thinking structure consists of two foundational elements, four terms and two tools. The creativity and innovation system consists of 16 related proximity patterns, and tools which leverage them. The growth model consists of four related processes that are suggested as new standards. The growth model can be combined with some existing technologies, networks, and emerging participatory aspects of the Internet to create a new sustainable proximities approach. This sustainable proximities approach creates a wide variety of possibilities. Some of these include: 1) new ways to collaborate to deal with climate change, 2) alternatives to markets, 3) new ways to solve the intellectual property challenges of a networked world, and 4) sustainable proximity approaches which can complement markets, governments and democracies.

“It’s impossible to convey how these ideas and practices work with each other in a few paragraphs. It took a website and a blog to explain them, and provide tools based on them. I believe the framework and the sustainable proximities approach have potential, and should be explored, tested, and grown,” says Loughry. For a more thorough introduction to ProxThink, see this longer press release. For some practical takeaways and some proposed new standards in each related area, see the following links: 1) Boost innovation and creativity at 2) Use and learn about a different model for downloadable digital content at 3) Become part of a new way to approach climate change which leverages social media at 4) Discover more about the sustainable proximities approach at 5) Explore the ProxThink growth model, and consider how you might adapt or adopt it for some of your proximities here:

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

Grow the Basic and Broad



Together and individually, we face many challenges. For more viable options, read on.

Given the basic, broad and unprecedented nature of some of our challenges, we need integrated, practical, enjoyable and human approaches, which also support creativity and innovation. That’s why I created ProxThink. Below, you can see links to such approaches I developed by applying the ideas, tool, models and standards of ProxThink.

What I’m working on is basic and broad. It can be used by diverse people, businesses, organizations and regions. I’m asking you to join to support the work. As a bonus, you’ll get some new options for your own creativity and innovation.

There are three membership levels ($4.95/year, $9.95/year, $19.95/year). You get a 30-day free trial, or a special offer for immediate payment. There are also opportunities to relate and contribute in more engaged ways.

For yourself and others, if would be great if you join here now.

——– ( optional links to explore below ) —————

MAIN SITE: Main site for the ProxThink ideas, tools, models and standards.

PRESS RELEASE: A good introduction and overview.

CLIMATE CHANGE: A climate change project, including what you can do.

BUSINESS/GROWTH MODEL: A new growth model.


SUSTAINABILITY: Ways to create more sustainable proximities and resources.

FINANCIAL TURMOIL AND MARKETS: Also includes coordination, collaboration and resource management (two links).

INTERNET AND NETWORKS: New ways to leverage them (three links).

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT: New ways to share downloadable content (music, movies, video, art, books, software, etc.).

MY BACKGROUND: A little about me.

SHORT HISTORY OF PROXTHINK: A bit about the evolution.

——– ( end of optional links to explore ) —————

Thanks for your interest. As you can see, what I’m working on is basic and broad. It can be used by diverse people, businesses, organizations and regions. The integrated ideas, tools, models and standards can address some of our major challenges, as well as provide you with some new options for your own creativity and innovation.

For questions, contact me via the ProxThink site. I’m also available via phone and webcam. Plus, I’m available to speak, consult, generate ideas with you, and collaborate on your projects. Further, I’m looking for funders, sponsors, investors, collaborators and partners.

For yourself and others, if would be great if you join here now.

Thanks much,
David Loughry
Los Angeles

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

Some ProxThink History


Did it ever strike you as odd that there isn’t a conceptual framework that encompasses most of what we know and do? It did to me. At least, I hadn’t come across one yet. And I’d been through quite a bit of school at that point. And encountered quite a few different domains of life and thought.

The ProxThink set of ideas is an attempt to integrate the most disparate ideas, influences, people and experiences I’ve come across so far in life. As a conceptual framework, it perhaps contains some insights into most of what we know and do. It may also contain some clues about how we might proceed, as individuals and in groups. Here is some of how it evolved.

ProxThink grew out of adventure. Adventures in thinking that relates to getting things done, as well as enjoying life.

Adventures in widely diverse areas suggested a need for a thinking system for almost any situation, including very ordinary moments. We often get stuck. We often need clues. I began looking for patterns.

I’ve always been curious about practically everything. Yet often each group of people have their own way of talking about their special area. I wanted the biggest, most encompassing patterns possible.

Common sense works in many situations. But common sense is not a cohesive system. Something more than common sense was needed.

As I scoped further and further out, looking at things in more abstract and philosophical ways, I came across a wonderful book. That book was “Many Dimensional Man” by James Ogilvy. In it, he presented this idea from information theory. The idea was “to be is to be related.” It seemed about as general as you could get. I decided to take that idea, try to build upon it, and see where it would go.

I found I needed to add the concept of proximity. The proximity is a useful concept since the meaning of proximity includes nearness in relationship, allowing consideration of any elements related to a situation.

Through many steps, I developed a set of ideas involving some basic terms and sets of patterns.

When I found patterns, I tested them against diverse situations in thought experiments. It has been a very iterative process, and continues to evolve.

In a search for patterns, you run up against limits. So different types of limits need to be included in order to be realistic. On top of that, many things are contradictory. So contradictions must be allowed.

I also wanted the thinking system to be used by diverse people. This meant making complexity accessible. And it meant using everyday words wherever possible.

ProxThink was developed during explorations through everyday life, the hard and soft sciences, the arts, design, engineering, business, culture and a wide variety of people and groups. I’ve been preparing for and working on ProxThink, in one way or another, for over thirty years.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

Letter of Introduction for ProxThink


Consider climate change, conflict, innovation, creativity, problem-solving, financial turmoil, the recession and other challenges. Further, consider the challenges of coordinating, collaborating, managing resources and dealing with change.

For the above challenges, on personal to global scales, more breakthrough solutions, innovations and creations are possible.

They can and do spring from ProxThink.

They can even be more fun.

We’re not missing some solutions, innovations and creations because we don’t want them. But we may be missing them because of our conceptual frameworks. Different concepts can lead to different outcomes.

For years, I’ve focused on the hardest problem I could tackle: to develop new ideas and processes for these and other tough challenges, ranging from the personal to the global. The result is some integrated approaches that make sense from conceptual soundness to practical feasibility. It turns out these general ideas and processes apply to a wide range of situations, from climate change to financial turmoil to business to conversations to parties. Further, I believe some of the approaches are real breakthroughs, and potential paradigm shifts.

Together, the new ideas, tools, models and standards are called ProxThink, short for proximity thinking. They boost thinking, creativity, growth and sustainability in the proximity of situations. You can start using ProxThink quickly and advance as you go. The three primary ProxThink innovations include: 1) a new thinking structure, 2) new patterns and tools for innovation and creativity, and 3) a new sustainable growth model.

The thinking structure provides new conceptual frameworks for dealing with challenges, situations and opportunities. The patterns and tools for innovation and creativity use the new thinking structure, and are actually a huge and useful part of the ProxThink website. Taken together, the patterns and tools provide ways of generating and evaluating ideas for very diverse proximities and situations. Areas to apply the patterns and tools range from ordinary to social, to business, to community, to creative, to theoretical and to physical situations. ProxThink Hints are a group of interactive tools which leverage the patterns and work with words and phrases you enter to generate hint questions that can generate ideas, possibilities, options, consideration and action. The growth model, built with a focus on the proximity, has the potential to be sustainable, flexible, healthy, fun and efficient. “Sustainable,” in addition to the green meaning, includes the idea that diversity and complexity can persist, adapt and change as needed, and in this sense, sustainable also means lively. The growth model has four proximity-focused processes for connecting people, proximity awareness, sustainable agreements, and rewards called “proxri” which relate elements in the proximity.

Why a proximity focus? The proximity is a useful concept since the meaning of proximity includes nearness in relationship, allowing consideration of any elements related to a situation. So the proximity may include people and other elements related to a situation in physical, mental, emotional, temporal, intuitive, technological, historical, social and many other ways.

Our new reality is that we live in an increasingly networked, participatory and transparent world, and that presents both positive and negative possibilities. ProxThink provides ways to think about, relate to, and make more of this new reality. The ProxThink growth model in particular, and the open standards it proposes, provides opportunities to solve, in an evolutionary way, some of the problems that can trip us in this historical transition. Networks shift the focus from elements, such as objects, people, businesses and governments, to proximities. The ProxThink growth model was designed with networks and proximities in mind. The growth model presents opportunities for greater stability as well as greater variety and vitality, leading at the same time to greater sustainability. The growth model allows for the growth of proximities and people by allowing more direct relationships between individuals and proximities, a strategy used successfully by democracy, markets, and other processes. In essence, the idea is that proximities become things people can have relationships with by means of democracy and markets. The growth model provides new more sustainable and integrated, yet flexible, processes by which proximities become things people can have relationships with, and these processes are greatly enhanced by networks. The next two paragraphs go further into this line of thinking, and provide several examples.

The biggest breakthrough ProxThink makes possible is the creation of more sustainable proximities, by combining the Internet (and related technologies) with the ProxThink growth model. Specifically, this combination provides new ways to deal with climate change and evolve democracies, legal systems and market economies. More generally, it can help us coordinate, collaborate, create, innovate, solve problems and manage resources at many different scales. It leverages fundamental opportunities the Internet presents which we are largely failing to exploit. It is well known that we have trouble recognizing large, slow-changing patterns, and our failure to recognize these opportunities is a case in point. Creating sustainable proximities is a key to decreasing conflict, dealing with change, boosting variety and enjoying life. The approach is similar to the give and take of a neighborhood, relationship, friendship or perhaps being a considerate traveler — you want the neighborhood, relationship, friendship or location you’re visiting to survive, thrive, and take care of you as you take care of it. I believe we need to aggressively move in this direction to create many more sustainable proximities, and specifically to deal with climate change. Competition and markets work for many situations, but for big challenges we face together, such as climate change, and other challenges such as those brought about by our greater connections due to networks, we need some better ways to coordinate and collaborate. Fortunately, networks are part of the solution as well, and the ProxThink growth model can help us leverage the opportunities presented by networks.

I’ve started several sustainable proximities projects which combine the growth model and the Internet. I’m encouraging other people to adopt and adapt the open standards of this approach. The projects I’ve begun include: 1) new proxri-based growth models for websites and blogs; 2) the artdown downloadable content proposal for digital content such as music, movies, video, art, books and software; 3) consideration of how this approach relates to financial turmoil and markets and how for some proximities financial turmoil is avoidable; and 4) the proxEarth climate change project, which includes a general proposal and also things you can do right now if you have a website, blog, or use social software sites, allowing us to collaborate globally across different sites and services via some global collaboration standards related to climate change. Each of these four are potential game-changers. I want to keep growing each of them, and have many other projects for sustainable proximities in mind. Next up, we should: 1) start some sustainable proximities related to renewable energy, and 2) continue development of the legal and technological infrastructure needed for growth model processes. Not every proximity may be appropriate for this approach. But for those which are, I believe it can be a win/win strategy for people involved, allowing a fuller range of voluntary and enjoyable engagement, while meeting needs at the same time. If you would like to be involved in some projects and trials which use the sustainable proximities approach, join ProxThink, as we will be updating members on opportunities and progress.

With the links after the end of this letter, you can discover ways to use and explore ProxThink, many examples, different perspectives on ProxThink, and the potential of ProxThink. Join ProxThink and try it out. With our proxri-based membership, it is free to sign-up.

I want as many people as possible to take advantage of ProxThink, which is designed to be a sustainable resource. I’m raising funds for marketing and outreach, to pay off some startup debt, and to continue building more sustainable proximities. My fundraising goal is $250,000, and I have ongoing needs of about $5,000 a month on average. I need $4,500 by late December to cover January expenses, from some combination of fundraising, services and the ProxThink website. See our service offerings here, and please let others know about them as appropriate. I may also be eligible for some grants, but those will take time, and I have some immediate needs now. Over the course of more than 30 years, I’ve invested over $2 million in terms of foregone opportunities, and currently have over $71,000 in startup debt because of ProxThink. To develop practical new approaches to tough global problems, these numbers are trivial, but to continue I need partners, collaborators, funders and contributors.

If you are asking why did I build up that much startup debt, consider that future generations will be asking why did we wait so long to do anything serious about climate change? My passionate, urgent priority has been to develop integrated new approaches for challenges like climate change and other major problems.

I’d like you to consider and then make a contribution which relates elements in our combined proximity (yours, mine, the world at large and the future). Non-financial contributions, rewards, resources, services, connections, referrals, opportunities, links, telling others and so on can also make a big difference. In the ProxThink growth model, a “proxri” is a reward which relates elements in the proximity, so you will be rewarding with a proxri. In a sense, you are not making a donation or an investment, but rather helping grow, in a neighborly way, the proximity of a sustainable resource. Let’s build many more sustainable proximities together. It could even be a lot of fun. The ProxThink site has Proxri Now links for online contributions via PayPal. Although I need some large proxri to survive and thrive, if you’re unsure what to do, reward with the suggested minimum proxri for your anticipated use and benefits, plus some bonus for what I’ve already done so far. Consider the many challenging global situations we face. The ProxThink ideas, tools, models and standards can move mountains, but only if they become more widely used. The next critical steps are marketing, outreach and getting the word out. These are going to take more proxri than I have now. If you think ProxThink has potential, whatever you can do to keep it alive and thriving would be great. You can proxri here now. Thanks!

If you know someone who might be interested in ProxThink, please let them know. Tell them about this page with the bookmark button below. Here’s a list of people we want to reach. According to an old African proverb: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I’m open to your comments or questions. You might find some answers in the links below. Otherwise, please contact me.

Thank you very much,
David Loughry

Key Links for Exploration

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.