Binding Chaos

Second edition is now live! Binding Chaos is available now at these locations:

Amazon: paperback or Kindle


Barnes and Noble

Google Play


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The world is long overdue for a completely new system of governance. cover kindle

If there was ever a need for political representation or a paternalistic and opaque authority it has been removed by technology. Every political system we have tried has proven incapable of protecting human rights and dignity. Every political system we have tried has devolved into oligarchy. To effect the change we require immediately, to give individuals control and responsibility, to bring regional systems under regional governance, allow global collaboration and protect the heritage of future generations, we need a new political model.

This book is the first in a series.

The Binding Chaos series

A look at the world – Binding Chaos

Self – The Creation of Me, Them and Us

Life – Abstracting Divinity

Reality – Shaping Reality

Will – Free Will and Seductive Coercion

Power – Great Men, Commoners, Witches and Wretches

Nation – The Fourth Age of Nations

Economy – The Approval Economy

Law – Law and Chaos

Governance – Autonomy Diversity Society

Architecture – Rethinking the Moats and Mountains

Technology – Code Will Rule


If you do anything interesting with the text, leave a link in the comments and I’ll link to translations, different file formats, etc.

In this interview I try to answer the most common questions people have about Binding Chaos.

And here is How to replace your democracy with governance by the people.

Glossary (Kind people have stigmergicly translated this article into French, and Spanish.).
From 2013:

Equality and the fraternity
News, analysis, action
Rule by celebrity die by infamy
Good-bye Wikipedia, hello something else
How to replace your democracy with governance by the people
Our right to communicate

From 2012:

The problems with democracy
Individuals In society
Society vs dissociation
Governance by user group
Privacy and anonymity
Idea and action driven systems
Stigmergy (Kind people have stigmergically translated this article into German, French, and Spanish.).
Concentric groups, knowledge bridges and epistemic communities
Our right to communicate
A world without a financial system (Kind people have stigmergically translated this article into Spanish.)
An economy for all

Earlier 2012:

A proposal for governance in the post 2011 world

Privacy and Transparency
Concentric User Groups and Epistemic Communities
Stigmergy, beyond competition and collaboration
Groups and individuals
The financial system
Needed now: A News Commons

From 2010:

A Stateless War
Logic and the Law
Farmgate Importing
The 30 IQ Point Bridge
Get Healthy Get Strong, Get Educated and Informed
Democracy is Coming … And It Looks Like Work.
The New Social Register
The Iraq War Logs – The Medium is the Message
Why I Don’t Care About Government Secrets
Drugs and Terrorists, Porn and Pirates
Media Watching
The Chrysalids
Transparency, Privacy and Democracy

78 thoughts on “Binding Chaos

  1. Pingback: Approval Economy: In Practice | GeorgieBC's Blog

  2. Don’t know if this will find you via the WordPress cc (versus posting an actual blog comment), but wanted to reiterate a reply I left a while back…

    Are you familiar with The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) and their draft manifesto:

    Wondering if that might appear in your Bibliography.

    I discovered your writings about the same time I discovered TZM. Seems like great mashup potential.

    Keep up the great work. Binding Chaos will have a prominent place on my iPad bookshelf (if there is such a place :-).



  3. Excellent work.

    I would recommend the inclusion of a constant unit of exchange by which all transactions can be valued. For example in a barter system how could you value a dozen egg’s from a bushel of wheat. How much energy has gone into production, transportation etc of a wide amount of human essentials.

    This ‘measure of equivalence’ could be a benchmark of exchange and a global static against which speculation could be mitigated, and an equation by which the most basic needs of all could be met.

    Also your cyber model of social arrangement is predicated upon the medium not being switched off, as in Syria, Arab Spring etc. and it’s future relevancy may not be linked to current software/social media/networking models.

    Shunning is preclusive to societal impetus, many paradigm shifts came from ‘outsiders’.
    This is apparent culturally, technologically and historically.

    All great theories are undone by human nature.

    Other than that, very perceptive and visionary, on many levels.


    • Thank you for the feedback.

      A measure of equivalence implies that an exchange needs to be equivalent, so I disagree as discussed above. I don’t consider stigmergy etc to be cyber models, I think we have always had these methods. It is the global communication and the control of our communication and collaboration tools that are crucial as you say. Our number one task as I see it is to ensure these as our first and most essential human right. Shunning, agreed, outsiders as thinkers must be accommodated (hence stigmergy) but outsiders as destructive sociopaths are another matter.

      “All great theories are undone by human nature.” Very true, but I have a lot of interest in sociopaths and deviant behaviour and I do not see these patterns as either natural or unavoidable. There is much current research that I think might change what we think of as ‘human nature’ dramatically. My vision of human nature is naturally creative, not destructive. If I am wrong, no system on earth will save us, an inherently self-destructive species will undo itself. I prefer to work with my assumption instead. ;-.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on KnowledgEvolution and commented:
    An economy for all!
    – Binding Chaos by Heather Marsh

    It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world. – Mary Wollstonecraft

    It was once considered inconceivable that the world could run without slavery for the exact same reasons
    people are now putting forward for retaining wages, our modern slavery.

    All of society’s problems which could be solved by money were caused by money.


  5. This is the clearest statement of what is wrong with the world. Economy and shared wealth are critical to maintain peace and to produce the happiness for the greatest numbers. Theories, like supply-side economics are immoral precisely because the promote pain and do harm to the most people. The Bush supply-side tax-cuts did not result in jobs or higher wages according to the CRS report of last Summer. I would say most of the extra money went to overseas accounts to avoid taxes. Further, consumers are business. When business is slow there is very little hiring.


  6. Democracy works only as well and the education of the electorate. Why do so many vote Republican when doing so is not in their best interest? The greatest general prosperity has been from Democrats and/or higher wealthy tax rate. The world must also cooperate on tax rates to not allow countries like Ireland to be a haven for tax avoidance. A higher corporate tax rate must be agreed on by all countries.


  7. Pingback: Binding Chaos, a Systems of Mass Collaboration, by Heather Marsh |

  8. Pingback: How to replace your democracy with governance by the people | GeorgieBC's Blog

  9. Pingback: P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » Binding Chaos – Society vs Dissociation

  10. Pingback: Binding Chaos – Society vs Dissociation | PDX Currency Corporation

  11. Pingback: P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » Binding Chaos – An Economy for All

  12. Pingback: P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » Binding Chaos – Stigmergy

  13. Pingback: Equality and the fraternity | GeorgieBC's Blog

  14. Pingback: &#8212 The Value of the Stratfor Leak

  15. Heather, I have read your book twice now, and am again blown away on the second reading by the scope of what you cover, and the validity of your arguments. My lingering thought is: Okay, what now? What would it take to turn stigmergy into a common reality?

    I see a confluence of several ideas in your book which link to ideas I have been interested in, and which propose structures to help implement some of these ideas.

    On one hand, Sociocracy – an organizational structure based on the respect for individual choice, the wisdom of teams, consent-based decision making and collaborating self-managed circles – attributes I believe are consistent with stigmergy.

    On the other hand, Copiosis – a wholly new and different approach to social organization where debt-based money is replaced by a new kind of currency-free system which rewards positive contribution, penalizes negative impacts, and ensures basic necessities for everyone are met in a compassionate society which upholds individual choice, eliminates compulsory work and thus enables the pursuit of new ideas.

    The challenge we have before us is what would it take to turn stigmergy into a common reality?


    • I’m with Jean-Daniel. Stigmergy sounds much like how things get done in a Copiosis Economy. So I’m on board. While people still vehemently argue for democracy, we are emerging into a post-democracy age. Stigmergy is an attractive alternative for making things happen. Making it a common reality requires an assent from people at large.

      I believe Copiosis Economies paint a vision people can buy-into en-masse (as well as help shape further) as an alternative to what we currently tolerate. Seems the two – stigmergy & Copiosis – could create a planet-wide shift. What do you think it would take to make it more real than it is already?


    • @Jean-Daniel; Be careful about any reliance on punishment or “penalizing”. It is possible to “reward positive contribution” without directly punishing, what we at this moment perceive as a negative. Humans are not capable of judging future outcomes very well. Stigmergy may not be the ultimate best solution. It may be a dead end or just an evolutionary step. Would you punish experimentation?
      I see this work as a step towards global liberty, not the creation of a new political doctrine.
      Our entire system of justice has always tended more towards punishment than enabling. Though punishment provides more entertainment value, I think it is past the best before date.


      • @Paul – my use in context of the word “penalizing” was referring to the notion of total life cycle impact which would include the reparations that would be needed to people and to the environment to neutralize the harmful impact of producing a good or service. For instance, what would be the currency cost of a liter or gallon of gas if all was factored in? What about a ton of coal? A Big Mac?

        Experimentation inherently is good, because it seeks to augment the variety of options available to society. There is always a price. We just need to be clear about what it is, and not just ignore it for the sake of rose colored glasses.

        Global liberty – yes. But that cannot come without some form of governance, which implies by definition that a new, albeit very different, political doctrine is indeed needed.

        I agree that punishment is non-productive – I wasn’t making reference to punishment.


  16. This is a curious read. I’m impressed with the insight to the topics. Clearly Heather has had enough experience with the systems she critiques such that she knows what she’s talking about. Understanding the need to be thorough, the critique gets wearisome. I would have put the book down had it not been for the clear writing and pithy pace.

    What excites me most about the work, beyond the critique is the nature of concentric organization of knowledge, stigmergy, as I had mentioned before and the method by which elitism and power are controlled by the User Group. This structure has remarkable similarities to the Copiosis model of the Payer Organization, how Producers mitigate the power of the Payer Organization as a User Group, and how radical transparency as well as open source creative collaboration contributes to an efficient and effective flat economy enabling people access to all they need without working compulsorily.

    What I’m eager to discover is how – if at all – what’s described in this book can help move forward what I believe to be the best hope for mankind. Strong statement, but I believe it’s accurate.


    • >What I’m eager to discover is how – if at all – what’s described in this book can help move forward what I believe to be the best hope for mankind.

      What do you mean exactly, it seems like you’re missing a word.

      Anyway, in my opinion there’s not a real need to “move foward” or “grow” per se, as long as you are happy, and not making anyone unhappy, what more do you need?


  17. No word missing Charlie, what I mean is the content provided in Heather’s book speaks directly (in my opinion) to the economic model I call Copiosis. I’d like to see how what she has written can help move it forward.

    While I’m happy and (mostly) not making others unhappy, I subscribe to the quote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I may feel my path is one of justice, but I know for a fact that others are treated (by many things about the status quo) unjustly. And so, I can not rest.


  18. @Copiosis; We cannot, “Make anything happen.”!
    Even dictatorial forces have difficulty “making” things happen on a large scale. And we don’t enjoy the power or the resources of dictators.
    The best any of this crowd can do, is throw ideas at Humanity’s Wall, to see if they stick long enough for more than a few people to notice. Current forms of Global Governance are rule bound and structured. Our technologies have outpaced our social and spiritual development. We need social ideas that are fluid and evolving. This obsession with security and personal continuation is a dead end for Mankind. If we don’t evolve, we will go the way of the dinosaurs. Perhaps Heather’s article could have been titled, “Embracing Chaos”. Certainly, her proposals have little in common with the status quo.


    • @Paul – Margaret Mead wrote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

      I think she was right. The power of dictators have is the power of oppression, and in actual fact, we give them the power to do that. We have every other power, including the power of thought and collaborative action, hope and a proclivity to do good. And the power of growing unity.

      I don’t know if Heather’s vision or Copiosis are scalable downward to work within a small community as a proof of concept, and as an example of what is possible. Or whether a community of practice can be built so individuals virtually connected via the Internet can go ahead with it, a bit like Bitcoin, which is just making its way.

      Heather invited us here to comment, which we have. We’d like to do more than just “talk about”, and perhaps start planning next steps. The journey may well be long, so it ought to start soon. There is surely much to think about.

      I’m hoping that Heather will join the conversation, otherwise, what’s the point?


    • Paul, you remind me that I need to write an article to clarify exactly what I meant by that title. I didn’t think to at the time because I always think you all can read my mind. ;-.) But yes, it means creating meaningful packets from chaos as our brains do with chaotic input. I agree with everything else you’ve said there too.

      e- What is the point in a conversation I am not constantly in? Why would I need to be? My opinions are already more dominant in this conversation than anyone else, I am waiting for someone else to have a go.


  19. Heather, Fair enough. You indeed have done a huge amount of thinking and reflecting, and systematically hitting on all the issues which I felt are dysfunctional about the current paradigm. You have done this way better than I could ever have. So, is this the final word? Nothing left to say or do – just hope it sticks to the “Wall of Humanity” – or at least, the few that will by happenstance fall upon your site and take the time to read your book? and then somehow be induced to change their lives and outlooks?

    Your last paragraph reads:
    “Everything we need for a natural fulfilling society exists now, we only need to release it.
    If we refuse the bindings that have been placed on us, we will create a vacuum. If we allow that
    vacuum to be filled with the same system under a different name, we will be repeating the
    pattern of endless tyrannies we have repeated throughout history. To have governance by the
    people we need to have faith in each other within chaos. A natural order or many natural orders
    can evolve and adapt and meet all of our challenges far more quickly than current repression
    and restraint. If we begin to look for and use the natural methods we already have and ignore
    the apparatus of dissociation, the former will grow and the latter will become obsolete. Chaotic
    methods do work to create social infrastructure if we are aware of what we are trying to build. It
    is certain that not all solutions we create will be good. We have the power to reject those that are

    It’s long on vision, and very short on concrete next steps. I would be very interested in your thoughts about concrete next steps to nurture the seeds of stigmergy that you say are everywhere, but evidently are not in bloom. Now that we agree on what’s dysfunctional, how do we build a different one?

    None of this is meant to be confrontational, au contraire!.



  20. Asking for “concrete next steps” is a challenge. Chaos is so foreign to our 10,000 years of civilization, that we will need either a long period of adjustment of a catastophic event. To make Stigmergy work will require extensive rewiring of our brains. The “Herd mentality” would not suffice.
    Sorry, but promoting other systems on “Binding Chaos” is confrontational in itself.


  21. Yes, rewiring seems indeed necessary here: this is not about promoting “other systems” – its about celebrating kindred spirits and seeking collaboration.

    I’m not convinced that the rewiring you talk about is so extensive. Heather makes the point that Stigmergy is way more natural than the impositions we see in the world today at high cost and effort. I believe that people are fundamentally good and they want to get along with others.

    If the journey is long, all the more reason to start somewhere.


    • By discussing this, we have already begun. By sending “Binding Chaos” to other sites and people, we further the effort. Since the dawn of civilization humanity has sought to distance itself from the “Natural World” as if the two are incompatible. Certainly, a Global population of only a few millions might have made this a binding force. Now, with Seven Billions, we are “nature”. It is no longer necessary to view ourselves as distinct from cyclic influences, or as having special exemptions from the “Natural order”.

      I find one factor incredibly funny in this: I find the ham fisted impositions of societal regulation and restrictions so contrary, and so illogical, that they actually promote the cause we are discussing.


  22. Ah, thank you for clarification e-! Yes, I do have much more to say, I estimate two more books worth. Binding Chaos is indeed a very skeletal framework, I was trying to write something that people would read. For the people who actually did, I of course have more to say.

    Unfortunately, I know what I mean and exactly what I want to say but it takes me a long time to figure out how to phrase topics that some find quite confrontational in a way that will be heard and understood. I can’t do it in comments or in pieces because I am worried if I just say one sentence without the proper framework people will simply not listen as they would not if I tried to say in 2011 assemblies that neither democracy nor consensus would work.

    I am working as fast as I can but it is part time, unpaid and along with other volunteer work. I would love to have two more books done by next summer, one about who we are in our current societies and what change we need to consider and the other what we would need to establish as practical framework. I am sorry to be frustrating, please bear with me. Will write as fast as I can and post anything here that I think can be understood on its own (not much for a while, the next one really is a big block).

    There is some rather extensive rewiring that needs to happen and that is what I am trying to formulate right now. Any support I get in the meantime to get my stuff read and discussed so I don’t have to is a great help and frees me to write. And if anyone knows anyone who wants to donate so I can write that is also a help.


  23. @Heather, Understood.

    I have an idea that I think is aligned with the principles of Stigmergy to relax the constraints you talk about in your last paragraph – getting the word out and funding to advance the work. I suggest setting up a crowdfunding project.

    Allowing lots of other people to be exposed to this project via a crowdfunding site would disseminate essential information about Stigmergy as a real possibility to replace extant governance systems – the wording needs to be crafted in such a way as to redirect cynicism energy into hope and anticipation.

    Then people would have the possibility of easily contributing to the remaining effort. There are several crowdfunding sites that cater to the “social cause” space, which I presume are visited by persons who are already keyed to the need for change. Here is an article that presents several:

    In a crowdfunding project, there are usually “gifts” associated with the level of contribution. These can range from having one’s name being listed as a donor on a website, to being listed was a Sponsor, to becoming a Co-Editor for a really sizable gift, for instance. Since we are talking about creating books, for example, if someone drops $125, they would get an autographed paperback of Binding Chaos and an electronic pre-release of the next one. For $250 they’d get get that plus a paperback copy when the next book comes out. For $300 the second one would be autographed as well. For $500 they can be included in part of a small group of people who will be polled for comments and advice based on the pre-release version. Just brainstorming here, but that’s the idea.

    You’d want to set that up yourself, to ensure the funds naturally & easily flow to you. The IndieGoGo crowdfunding site has the option to release the funds even if a stated monetary goal has not been achieved, which kinda makes sense when the funds are not needed up front to start the work. I suggest getting funding for a first book, so the project is not overwhelming in size and in cost. A second project, if needed, can be set up for a second book.

    Now, having said all that, I’m wondering if we really need 2 more books to answer the question “What’s next?” It’s an interesting aspect of stigmergy that the rule set that needs to be followed does not need to be very complex to allow stigmergy-based self-organization to manifest. What are the essential behaviours or actions that foster stigmergy in individual and societal environments?

    On another note, to create a societal memory of the traces left by stigmergistic action, maybe we can dream up a social media site where people can share what they are doing, creating high variety models of behaviour that others can learn from and emulate. Maybe that’s just one or several FB page(s) with Twitter high 5s. Again, just brainstorming.

    From a “change management” perspective, I do believe that society in general is arriving at a tipping point followed by a moment of truth: with what shall we replace the old? More of the same, or something better? So time is of the essence.



  24. Hi Jean-Daniel,

    Re “getting the word out and funding to advance the work”. I wrote this because of how I feel about our current methods of handling this. tl;dr, I am completely exhausted, swamped and unpaid for years of work. I don’t need advice on how I should also be spending more of my time and energy marketing my ideas and begging people to support my work (both jobs I loathe). I think people who agree with or appreciate my ideas should be amplifiers and supporters if they want my work or any more like it. They should also reach up to the top right and click on any of the donation links and encourage others to do the same, without advertising gimmicks or promised insider access. I also don’t like the idea of pitching for promised work, I prefer the idea of appreciation for work already received. That is not how things are done right now, much to the detriment of the end product imo. If we want things to change it is not enough to write about it, we have to also change the way we work together. I have done my part by working with no restrictions on use, no self-promotion and no third parties. If no one picks up from there I can assume that none of you wants the world to go in this direction. The world is an action driven system, writing about approval economy and developing tools for it is nice, but useless if no one is going to do it.

    I expect we need a lot more than two more books, but I personally have two that I need to write, I think they are essential for a full explanation of what I mean and why. Anyone can of course create Facebook, reddit or any other kind of sites to discuss BC and related things, many have. Here is an FB page related which you may like to use. It also has an associated Twitter that can disseminate from the FB page.


    • Mr. Cusin falls into the common trap. I too have drooled over the potentials of “crowd funded” projects.
      I say, “trap”, because assuming that buckets of money will solve problems, and bigger buckets will solve bigger problems faster, is an abdication to the status quo.
      For a long time, I’ve been an advocate for a “Guaranteed Minimum Income”. This idea was tried in Dauphin, Manitoba during the 1970’s. For minimal expenditure, the program was wildly successful. (Sadly human nature caused it’s cancellation. Not from the greed of the recipients as some will infer, but from the loss of power suffered by the Authoritarian structure during the term of the project.)
      Creative and dedicated people like Ms. Marsh do not need to be showered with endless funding. What is needed is the removal of the debt monkey from their backs, and paying the rent. I’ve gotten very little traction promoting Guaranteed Incomes. There are many reasons, which won’t be addressed here. However, I believe that such a program would unlock an untapped torrent of creative potential. If people were allowed to be creative rather than being compelled to spend their days at nonproductive make-work, then Humanity would experience a new Renaissance.


      • “Creative and dedicated people like Ms. Marsh do not need to be showered with endless funding.” Amazing description of the $0 funding I have received in all these years. Believe it or not, creative people still do need to eat, have dependents and can’t actually wait for a new system to provide for them. If people would support anything they profess so loudly to believe in “Humanity would experience a new Renaissance”. It gets more than a little wearing listening to endless advice and demands that I do more, faster from people I know very well have contributed no support of any kind. Actions speak.


  25. Guilty as charged!
    I will send a small amount of money, as I have done with other deserving people.
    The work Heather Marsh has done and the projects she has worked endlessly to promote, deserve more than I could ever give. But, if each of us gave what we could, in the places where it is deserved (rather than chasing tax credits and recognition) we would certainly make a difference.
    I do not want recognition for any contribution. I do wish that there was a more direct way to contribute so that the ‘Middle Men Enterprises’ did not get a percentage of everything. Sadly, we can’t do anything about that. Accept it and move on.


  26. Excuse my directness please.

    I understand the desire to disassociate from the status quo (forgive me if I misrepresent opinions stated here) and try to make something happen from a position of “purity”. But too many I believe have proven that attempting to do so ends such attempts pretty quickly in modern society. Maintaining your purity while fighting this “stateless war” is not enough. That’s number one.

    Number two: expecting people subjected to the very forces you aptly describe in your book Heather to spare enough money to give you donations isn’t IMHO an effective way to make happen what you, me, e- or anyone else would like to see happen. Arguing for “guaranteed incomes” isn’t likely going to happen in the short-term Paul. At least not in my or Heather’s or even e-‘s lifetime. Again IMHO. There’s too much inertia going in the other way.

    Number three: I’ve seen a few people struggle with working outside the system to try to make something happen. It’s just not sustainable work. Rather, what may work is to use the system as best one can against itself to make something happen. That’s the route I’m attempting to take. We’ll see if it works. I think the very same things Heather that you say you’re unwilling to do is EXACTLY WHAT YOU MUST if you’re going to make your ideas real. All your “I don’t wants” you write about in ( beg the question: Just how far are you willing to commit yourself to see your ideas happen? That’s my question to you and to everyone else here. I think e- is willing. I know I’m willing (I’m doing it). If you’re not fully committed, then why are you even trying?

    Not trying to be preachy or critical. But for chrissakes the human race is at stake here. The planet will take care of herself. You have to be willing to give it your all. Even if that means giving your life.


    • You don’t seem to disagree with the goals, your directness aims at Heather’s choice of how she intends to promote those.

      The available spectrum when it comes to ways of promoting such goals could be described as reaching from preaching as a hermit to, well–arguably, “venture philanthropy™”.

      Heather resides at neither of the ends. She apparently uses a corporation-built computer which excludes the hermit; via her ranty “I don’t wants” she also clearly distances herself from the other end. Positioning in that spectrum is her choice, a choice hopefully sustainable for her.

      I do agree that asking for voluntary donations can not be sustainable for all, thus not arbitrarily scalable. I also ascertain that the same applies to many other niches people inhabit, division of labour allows for it. The title “Approval Economy: In Practice” might not have been the best choice though, as it is–especially in the context of discussing a future economy–easily interpreted as implying scalability. This discrepancy did strike me back when reading it, then I chose just to not take the title too literally.

      To me, that occasional tweet and a single blog post feels far far less obtrusive than the means most other donation-based organisations’ peddling. Those who feel their funds are insufficient for donating just won’t donate.


      • 🙂
        Nicely said Abu! While I’m often guilty of absorbing intellectual offerings on the Internet for free, I do recognize the ‘wrongness’ of doing so.
        Morally, we should try to reward talent and effort. There are very few who own a computer, who also cannot afford to send at least a few dollars as a thank you or reward for promotion of ideas we believe in. We commonly tip waiters and paperboys (who already draw pay) for much less effort than Heather Marsh has expended on an effort to help all of humanity.
        The majority of the Alternative websites are plastered with advertising. We don’t see that on this WordPress blog, nor are we plagued with cookies and other garbage. That in itself is worth something.


      • I don’t think I’m against the goals, but I may be. I also may be confused 🙂

        I think – and I could be wrong – that the approach Heather is taking is demonstrating in one’s own actions the approval economy and expecting that to cause something to happen. The challenge I see with that approach is the rest of the world is not and will not follow her there….yet. As for the sustainability of her choice: it seems clear to me from some of her writings that it’s not sustainable for her.

        I don’t begrudge her freedom to choose how to approach the goal. It’s just not clear to me how the approach it appears she is taking will work. Even Charles Eisenstein, I think, now is using the tools of the current system to get his messages out. His gift economy (sacred economics) ideas are lofty and implementable in a post-capitalist system for sure. I can see how it could work. But we’re just not in a place yet where acting as if the gift economy already is here and expecting to generate sustaining funding for an organizations promoting such messages from that economy will work.

        Criticizing her her and her approach is not the intention of my posts. Her insights are spot on and her methods of communication are clearly well-developed. The realm in which she’s playing (the same realm I’m playing) has demonstrated time after time that the story that “wins” is the story that is backed by exactly the tactical methods she says she’s unwilling to take on. That’s too bad. Because I think her message merits such methods.

        Agree with your spectrum, but would add “lean startup activism,” which would be using current-system tools and stories in an iterative fashion to drive a revenue base that allows for sustained action in the market. That sustained action is focused on promoting the social change desired.


      • Why this huge digression from the essential message of “Binding Chaoss”? The personal economic situation was an aside, and has nothing to do with the core of Stigmergy.
        Stigmergy as I see it, is a social system, unlike Capitalism, Communism. and Copiosism, which are basically economic models seeking control through distribution.
        btw. You should learn more about your hostess before critiquing..”..but would add “lean startup activism,”


  27. “Everything we need for a natural fulfilling society exists now, we only need to release it.”

    Allow me to rephrase this. There is nothing wrong with the world. It is you that needs to change. The reason I know that approval economy can work (and scale, it is trade economy that can’t do either) is because I was raised in an extremely isolated community that practiced it. The US also practiced it as celebrated in your Thanksgiving ritual, a story once about the apparent shock of Europeans encountering a sharing culture and now (as then) used as an excuse for mass gluttony.

    There are many things I have said in that book you all say you agree with which you don’t seem to be comprehending.

    1. Stigmergy is action based. The only actions you can control are your own. Support for ideas is shown by using those ideas.

    I have no idea how this becomes: Stigmergy is something to be preached and marketed but not practiced. I need to convince you that the two books I say I still need to write are necessary. The work that I choose to do is not the work I ought to be doing. I ought to be doing marketing which I hate.

    2. Concentric circles mean people form knowledge bridges from ideas they like to the main user group. Marketing is not to be done by the idea originator unless they choose to.

    3. Approval economy does not work in isolation. In the society I was raised in, no matter what time of day or night you showed up at someone’s house the closest meal was heated up and put in front of you, no questions. There was no advertising or begging needed, they used the common sense they were born with to understand that all mammals need to eat. They didn’t ‘hope it was sustainable’ they understood that they were part of the approval economy and it wouldn’t exist without their actions.

    Yes, I understand that revolution is now a trendy thing to market. We are creating a group of completely homogeneous Thought Leaders who travel the world preaching that Facebook is Bad™ and assorted other sound bites that don’t cause too much trouble or disagree with the other Thought Leaders. The revolution is being packaged by British Petroleum executives and sold as a marketing gimmick for the status quo. Everything is far worse for the people who needed change but there are new messiahs to look at and distract everyone. Everyone tweets #freeweev without acknowledging that he went to prison early because he was too broke to live outside. Everyone mourns Aaron while ignoring his partner’s statement that he was too broke to pay his legal fees and couldn’t bear to ask for help.

    You are allowing all of this to happen because you refuse to change the way you work. A society is not one person. If you are concerned about the sustainability of my work, if you think the ideas ought to be spread, it is very easy to do. Start a reddit to discuss it. Use the Global Square Facebook which already has many people that would love to start talking. If you think crowd funding would produce results there is absolutely nothing stopping you from setting one up to support Binding Chaos and further writing and direct the funding to me (as was done for RiseUp and others). It’s fairly obvious I don’t have time. A society involves dependencies. A horizontal society does not require leaders. I do not need to tell you again that I need support, I already told you. Once should be sufficient.


  28. Pingback: ‘Binding Chaos’: a compassionate vision for a future society | ROAR Magazine

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  32. Hi Heather,
    I’ve created an ePub format e-book of your original PDF file. I can send it to you, if you like.
    Please let me know how and I’ll get it on to you asap.

    Thanks for creating such an inspirational piece of work,


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  34. Heather, this is what I was working on since 2010:
    It is about building a stigmergic or p2p (since I always thought or what find interestign in p2p idea also tried to build things around was what you describe with stigmercy) mesh network for all the working and hacking man and women (and also unfortunately children)? I was reading your book and wondering if you would have any critics, suggestions or interested in collaborating building the concept?


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  36. Pingback: ‘Binding Chaos’: a vision for a compassionate society | Social Network Unionism

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  38. Hello, Heather, I am beginning to translate your work in french, with a couple of friends. Its a huge work for us, but really exciting. It will take a long time. Sometimes, we are not sure about the precise sense of some sentences. If you wish to look at our work on progress, and maybe give us some clarification when needed, that would be great and useful.

    If you know other french people who would accept to share the work with us, they are very welcome.

    Here the link to see our work :


    • Thank you very much Philippe! I will look at it and pass to some friends who are better than I am with French. I really appreciate it, if you want to drop the link here when it is done I will add it above.


    • Hi Philippe,

      Here is a person who has done quite a bit of the translation to French but he does not use google, if you wouldn’t mind emailing him? If you could let me know when you receive this I will delete his email then. hellekin [at] or @hellekin on Twitter.


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  41. Hi! Thanks for your work 🙂 I finished reading it and I will donate something as soon as I can. I also want to translate it into Italian with the help of some friends. Can you please let me know if someone else is working on it so we can work together?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi F,
      Thank you very much for the feedback! I do not know of anyone working on an Italian translation and it would be very appreciated. Let me know if it is completed and I will add it above.


  42. Reblogged this on corporatepoliticalcriminalcorruption and commented:


  43. Just trying to engage. Seriously. Overstepped. Screwed up. Pushed too far. As is my way sometimes. Genetic fault. Fine. Understand. I get it. You don’t approve. I apologise yet again. Not what you think I am but. And think you misconstrued some of that last post. And maybe my own thoughts are ridiculous and useless. But all of them? Really? All? Shunning of sorts? I don’t know who you are, just your ideas, and sometimes they’re hard to understand or to know, with confidence, whether they are, well, on the money. If I engaged wrongly then just say it. Get pissed off, tell me, and I’ll piss off. End. But all of them? Jesus! Still reading your books and thinking about your ideas tho.

    “Failure to learn how to tolerate in a reasonable fashion the foolishness of others leads to bitterness, disillusionment, and misanthropy.” You bet it does!

    No more. Won’t play music with those I don’t get along with, but that’s just music, not changing the world. Have donated and willing to continue. And my first acquaintance with your ideas was at the failed, dysfunctional and now defunct International Organisation for a Participatory Society, a few years ago, where they were quite openly and willingly well accepted. Among others.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Salam,
    It is remarkable. Rather it takes courage to think beyond the power, its institutions, and henchmen. We say bravo. Keep it up, we are with you. As we are a the people of mountain beyond mountain.

    Liked by 1 person

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