What I’d Really Like to Do

(r] proxthink.com

Although there are many Ways to Use the ProxThink Innovations, and I’ve made a list of the Top Ten Things ProxThink Makes Possible, in my opinion the biggest innovation is the process of Combining the ProxThink Growth Model and the Internet, which leads to what I’d really like to do. If things we can do in the Top Ten list with this big innovation related to climate change, sustainability, downloadable content or fresh art don’t get your attention, perhaps our current financial turmoil might cause you to keep reading.

Markets solve some problems, but it’s clear there are limits to markets. There are limits to pretty much any element. There are also limits to what governments and nonprofits and churches and other groups can do to solve problems in the proximity. I’ve developed a new process for coordinating, managing resources and collaborating, which can complement and enhance markets, governments and other processes. I believe it makes better use of the Internet in our networked, sped up, decentralized, overlapping and participatory world.

This new process combines the Internet with the ProxThink growth model. It helps focus attention on the proximity, which is needed, since our focus is often on elements such as ourselves, our businesses, organizations, regions and countries. Clearly, with challenges like climate change, terrorism, financial turmoil, international conflicts, poverty, health threats and other tough challenges, we need sets of ideas and processes which serve our efforts to relate to the proximity of such situations.

Given what we’ve learned about the benefits of sustainability, we need ideas and processes that encourage and support sustainable proximities, which is what combining the Internet and the ProxThink growth model can do. I believe, with this approach, we can also have more variety in our lives if we want it. We owe it to ourselves to try it, experiment with it and improve it. That’s what I want to collaborate with others to do — to start building more sustainable proximities by combining the Internet with the ProxThink growth model. This is in addition to the sustainable proximity projects I’ve already started, which include ProxThink, artdown, downloadable content standards and proxEarth.

I’m also encouraging others to adopt and adapt the ProxThink growth model, and can collaborate with them as well.

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

Five Areas with Potential for Growth

(r] proxthink.com

ProxThink makes possible five areas with potential for growth. These are just some ideas, to be added to and expanded later. What ties these together is how each one relates to sustainable proximities.

1) ProxThink as innovation and creativity tool

To do: Increase number of users. Make site more Web 2.0 (ways for people to contribute examples and ideas, more decentralized distribution, etc.). Improve site with collaboration. Market to businesses, designers, innovators, and others. See if scientists, philosophers and others can benefit from the ProxThink Basics thinking structure. Engage in more outreach with teaching, talks, seminars, consulting, and collaboration with individuals, groups, businesses, organizations and governments. On the site, there is also a big list on the Site Possibilities page in the About section.

2) Combining the Internet and ProxThink Growth Model (PTGM)

To do: Encourage others to adopt it. Further develop the legal structure. Test and improve processes. Demonstrate success in some proximities. Develop separate website as portal to people, places and sites using PTGM, including hosting of pages for people, organizations and groups which implement the process. Develop some ongoing local, regional and global projects for some proximities that move them closer to sustainable proximities, which many people can relate to, and which complement, enhance or replace markets as appropriate (with transitions which are engaging and lively).

3) Further develop the
proxEarth.org climate change project

To do: Provide a place people can post their ClimateProxri. Set up areas for ProxMonitors, RelatePoints and Vadi Agreement development. Promote the suggested standard tags and text markers. Show feeds of the tags and text markers which update as people use them worldwide. Collaborate on and develop other projects based on the general proxEarth proposal.

4) Promote the downloadable digital content standards proposed on

To do: Reach out to standards groups. Contact industry players in music, video/film, books, art, photography, software and others. Develop infrastructure, legal standards and logistical standards, possibly in combination with number 2 above. Possibly combine some efforts with the site portal mentioned in 2 above.

5) Develop artdown.com as resource for fresh art experiences

To do: Further develop the site as both a resource for downloadable fresh art, as well as a portal to others using the PTGM standards for art, or the arts more broadly (I also own artsdown.com, artsdown.org and artdown.org). Further refine the legal and logistical standards as part of 4 above. Expand downloadable digital art offerings to include image files in various resolutions, printable PDFs, printable greeting cards, screensavers, computer backgrounds/wallpaper, and offerings for display on large flat screen TVs and even digital billboards and sports stadium size displays.

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

Top Ten Things ProxThink Makes Possible

(r] proxthink.com

Here are the top ten things ProxThink makes possible, with links to explore.

Would you be curious about new ways humanity could use the Internet that not only apply to major problems and help us better coordinate, manage resources and collaborate, but also allow us to have more fun and variety?
See Upside of Combining the ProxThink Growth Model and the Internet and Networks, Nature and New Possibilities

Do you care about climate change? Want to do something about it, either alone or in coordination and collaboration with others locally, regionally or globally?
See proxEarth – What You Can Do

Do you want to increase creativity, innovation and problem-solving abilities for yourself, your group or your organization?
See Innovation, Problem-Solving, Creativity

Do you care about sustainability? Want to find out how we can have more sustainability in more ways?
See Sustainability and ProxThink

Are you interested in business or growth models, including models for websites and blogs? Interested in a new one that is more sustainable, flexible, healthy, fun and efficient?
See Introduction – ProxThink Growth Model

Are you concerned about our economy and financial turmoil? Interested in some better options?
See Networks, Nature and New Possibilities and
Financial Turmoil is Avoidable and Financial Turmoil

Do you like having ways to structure your thinking, actions and relationships for clarity, creativity and decision-making? Want to see an integrated new structure?
See Structure for Thinking

Do you download, legally or illegally, music, movies, video, art, photography, books, software or other content on the web? Would you like to know how we could solve some of the legal, financial and logistical problems of downloadable content?
See A New Approach to Downloadable Content

Like variety? Do you wish your life had more variety and balance?
See Life Balance and Variety

Do you like, make or buy art? Interested in something which could change art, the art world, and how we share and view art?
See the artdown site

If any of the above interest you, please see Dear Visitor for needed actions, people and money, to give these ideas and practices the best chance to survive and thrive. Thanks!

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

ProxThink Makes Possible Different Ways of Life

(r] proxthink.com

ProxThink is a general yet also structured way to think about and relate to situations, and can complement network theory, contextual considerations, systems thinking and scenario planning, as well as science, philosophy, creativity, governments, markets and other processes.

ProxThink leverages emerging phenomena such as networked participation and Internet-enabled proximity awareness by using a new growth model. It can complement and enhance existing social structures, such as democracy and capitalism. It applies to major challenges like climate change, the economy, financial turmoil, the need for innovation, and political, social and health conditions, as well as more routine concerns. It is a systemic new way for people to innovate, coordinate, collaborate, and manage resources. It can boost thinking, creativity, growth and sustainability.

Even though this new set of ideas and processes can complement existing social structures, it is a paradigm shift. It is a different way to think and relate. It allows us to think different things and solve problems in different ways. It makes possible new kinds of growth. It makes possible different ways of life that are more stable over the long term, yet also more dynamic, diverse and lively over the short term.

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

Proximity Focus Bears Fruit

(r] proxthink.com


A few paragraphs down is our first press release. It’s also a great introduction to ProxThink.

In this press release, I introduce a proximity point of view as well as some new proximity-related practices for thinking, creativity, sustainability and growth. The release starts with the proximity and creativity, and ends with new perspectives and more sustainable approaches related to climate change, financial turmoil, websites, blogs and downloadable digital content such as music, movies, video, art, books and software.

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.



Proximity Focus Bears Fruit:
Proximity Focus Sparks New Ideas, Tools, Models and Standards which can Boost Thinking, Creativity, Growth and Sustainability, and which Relate to a Wide Variety of Challenges and Situations

Los Angeles, CA, November 10, 2008, 2:40 PM – “Whether you want to meet a challenge or have fun, or both, the proximity usually matters. From climate change to financial turmoil to business to conversations to parties, relating to the proximity usually makes a difference. It can boost creativity, enhance growth, and improve sustainability. Situations like climate change and financial turmoil may be telling us we need to relate better to proximities. Then add networks to the mix. Communication networks and the Internet are increasing our connections and relationships such that relating better to proximities may be less optional, since so many people and other elements may be part of our proximity via these networks. Yet networks present many opportunities too,” says ProxThink creator David Loughry. “The proximity is a useful way to think about connections, relationships, challenges and situations, since the meaning of proximity includes nearness in relationship. 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. I’ve created an integrated set of ideas, tools, models and standards for relating to the proximity of situations. It’s called ProxThink, short for proximity thinking. ProxThink can boost thinking, creativity, growth and sustainability. It lets you start quickly and advance as you go. ProxThink can be used by individuals, friends, teams, neighborhoods, communities, businesses, organizations, governments, regions and people generally, since many proximities overlap. It relates to a wide variety of challenges and situations. You can use ProxThink online, as well as use the ideas and concepts wherever you are. The site allows free sign-up as part of your proxri-based membership, which is based on a new sustainable growth model for proximities that works especially well with the Internet.”

ProxThink relates to many different challenges, proximities and situations. In addition to relating to climate change, financial turmoil, business, conversations and parties, here are a few other examples: innovation, problem-solving, strategy, science, design, the arts, social relationships, collaboration, conflict resolution, resource management, growing community, writing, downloadable content (music, movies, video, art, books, software, etc.), intellectual property, business models, the evolutions of markets, and growth models for websites, web applications and blogs.

Loughry created ProxThink using his diverse background in the arts, science, design, philosophy, creativity and business. ProxThink began as an effort to capture something of what creativity and life are about, to help him relate to a wide range of situations. This led to an integrated group of sixteen patterns (ProxPatterns) for creatively and sustainably relating to situations, including ways to consider how the patterns relate to each other. In creating the patterns, he developed a structure (ProxThink Basics) for thinking about, describing, and relating to the proximity of situations, which includes a foundation, terms and tools. He then used the patterns and structure to create a growth model for putting them on the Internet in a sustainable way. The site includes concepts and definitions, explanations, tips, questions, examples, tools, background, and a start area with a variety of different ways to begin. ProxThink in general has aspects of a model or system, and while the word “framework” is a decent description, it is better considered as an integrated set of ideas, tools, models and standards.

Of particular interest is the interactive ProxThink Hints. This tool combines ProxPatterns with your answer to the question “What are you considering?” to create hint questions. These hint questions can generate ideas, possibilities, options, consideration and action. There are main hints using the sixteen ProxPatterns, sixteen followup hints expansions with further discussion and questions, a VIU Hint tool (which focuses on the interplay and synergy between the Relate a Variety, Honor Integrity and Allow Uncertainty ProxPatterns), a ProxThink Core Idea hint, pairs tools (which allow you to consider thirteen kinds of relationships between pairs of ProxPatterns), a three random hints generator (one from each ProxPattern group), ways to consider how your hints synergistically relate to each other, and links to related ProxPatterns, definitions, explanations, examples and further questions. The site also allows you to save ideas the Hints stimulate, and track your familiarity with the Basics and the ProxPatterns.

The growth model Loughry developed to sustainably put ProxThink online was used to develop a proxri-based membership approach for the site, featuring a Proxri Deal. How do you proxri? “Proxri,” pronounced prox’ree, is short for “ProxReward,” a reward of your choice, money or otherwise, which relates elements in the proximity. In usage, “proxri” can be both singular and plural. Allowing free sign-up for the site, the essence of the Proxri Deal is this: “As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.” The use of proxri allows many kinds of rewards, from money to thanks, referrals, links, resources, products, services, advice, suggestions, support, relationships, connections, collaboration, opportunities and so on. Proxri let you relate to the proximity, which includes your perspective as well as the perspective of the proximity more generally, including elements of the Proxri Deal such as Our Relationship, Your Rewards, and the ProxMonitor. Proxri suggestions are included if you want them or you don’t have time to explore the proximity of the Proxri Deal. Also supporting diversity, you have the ability to turn advertising on the site off and on with membership levels two and three. The Proxri Deal doesn’t require you to do anything, but you are asked to relate to the proximity. The growth model approach, and the proxri-based membership developed with it, 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. This may sound idealistic, but given the connected nature of the web, it can be highly practical, efficient, flexible and even fun.

How does ProxThink support sustainability? Loughry believes the meaning of sustainability supports the possibility that diversity and complexity can persist, adapt and change as needed. He says, in this sense, you might also think of sustainable as meaning lively. ProxPatterns, and ProxThink Hints built with them, stimulate creativity, innovation and liveliness partly by how they work together and play off each other. Further, much like the way emergence works, individual ProxPatterns are patterns for relatively simple interactions, yet when combined can generate complex behavior and order from a more general viewpoint. This enhances sustainability by supporting diversity and complexity. The four processes of the ProxThink growth model build on the sustainable qualities of the ProxPatterns, and the processes are proposed standards. The growth model has processes for connecting with people (RelatePoints), proximity awareness (ProxMonitors), sustainable agreements (Vadi Agreements) and rewards which relate elements in the proximity (proxri). By focusing on proximities, the growth model is an integrated way to more sustainably coordinate, collaborate and manage resources for proximities, and supports engaging and lively transitions to the approach. Regarding a strength of proxri, he notes that as we worry about avoiding monocultures and ensuring biodiversity for greater sustainability, we should probably also encourage many kinds of rewards related to proximities, such as proxri.

“The Internet and related technologies, combined with the ProxThink growth model, present new opportunities to relate more directly to proximities, especially when we need to coordinate, manage resources and collaborate,” says Loughry. “Sustainability, diversity, and liveliness seem to be enhanced when elements, relationships and proximities can each relate to each other. With the connections and proximity awareness the web can provide, we have the potential to relate to some proximities more fully and directly than before the web existed. The ProxThink growth model provides processes for using the web to do so. This can help us coordinate, manage resources and collaborate more effectively, and presents other opportunities as well. Resources can range from materials and environments to efforts and information, and the approach can also solve some intellectual property and copyright problems the Internet helped create. This presents opportunities for people, from websites and blogs to projects for larger proximities. It may also create opportunities for some proximities to become sustainable resources or system services, much like ecosystem services such as air and water. I invite people to adopt and adapt the ProxThink growth model. I’m also looking for partners to further develop logistical, legal and technological systems and standards which support easy use and adoption of the growth model on the web.”

Almost any situation involving some combination of coordination, collaboration and resource management is a likely candidate for using a combination of the ProxThink growth model and the Internet, Loughry believes. This range covers many situations, from the serious to the enjoyable. After he used the growth model to create proxri-based membership for the ProxThink site, he began to explore other such opportunities. First he added Proxri Deals to both his art website and personal blog, and then he developed a downloadable content proposal, started a climate change project, and considered how the growth model relates to our financial turmoil. The proposal for downloadable digital content (music, movies, video, art, books, software, etc.) includes a Proxri Deal and standards for creators as well as fans and users of downloadable content, and can be found at artdown.com (http://artdown.com). The climate change project, called Proxearth, lays out a proposal for using the ProxThink growth model to address what are perhaps some of our greatest areas of need regarding climate change, which may be coordination and collaboration at local, regional and global scales. The project can be found at Proxearth.com (http://proxearth.com), and includes things you can do right now if you have a website, blog, or use social software sites. Regarding our financial turmoil, Loughry thinks that financial markets benefit from the strengths of diversity in some ways but not in others, which may increase turmoil and decrease sustainability. This relates to aspects of financial decisions, financial relationships, and the proximities of financial markets. It turns out the challenges and possible solutions for financial markets also relate to other kinds of markets. He thinks that for proximities in which it is appropriate, the growth model and web combination may be more stable over time than markets, and also more dynamic, since diversity, complexity, sustainability and liveliness are enhanced and encouraged by the growth model. A longer discussion of financial turmoil and markets can be found on the ProxThink River blog (http://proxthink.com/blog/2008/10/31/financial-turmoil/).

Loughry says it would be great if people proxri for his 30-plus years of evolving ProxThink, and to support further efforts. He has over $70,000 of startup debt due to ProxThink development, which you can see on the site ProxMonitor. He says: “I’ve had this urgency to get ProxThink ready to show and try in various situations. I believe it can play roles in situations in which creatively and sustainably relating to the proximity is critical, and there are many such situations. Further, I’m working on some of our common challenges, such as climate change and basic ways we coordinate, collaborate and manage resources. These efforts could help you, your kids and grandkids if you have them, and other people as well. It would be great if you could help out with my expenses or debt, or with some other kind of proxri, as well as tell others about ProxThink. There is much more I plan to do, and I’m also looking for people who want to get involved, whether related to ProxThink, or to artdown or Proxearth. We’ve got to find better ways of working and playing together. I believe I have found some. I’m putting them into action and hope you’ll join me.” On the ProxThink Dear Visitor page, he seeks support and lists needed actions, people and money. He is available to assist with the site and ideas, to introduce ProxThink, to consult and to collaborate. To use ProxThink and for more information, visit ProxThink.com (http://proxthink.com).

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

Relationship Concepts and the Real World

(r] proxthink.com

Part of the Core Idea of ProxThink is the notion that to be is to be related. If to be is to be related, how do you operationalize that in the real world? If things are defined by their relationships, and also define other things and relationships, how do you know what anything is?

Alan Watts says the Hindus say you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Well, an element and a proximity both draw a line, since they define, in a relational way, what you are considering. A relationship can also draw a line.

Yet in real life, things aren’t fixed forever, so we need flexibility in what we consider elements, relationships and proximities. The lines we draw can’t stay drawn forever. So we wind up with a somewhat fluid, somewhat stable situation in which we are continuously defining and redefining, consciously or unconsciously, elements, relationships and proximities.

And this seems to work. It’s just that we don’t think of it this way usually. However, I’ve found it useful to do so sometimes. It helps, or can help, one stay in the loose/tight somewhat neutral position from which we can be creative, react appropriately, and exert influence.

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