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  Ishmael Community Guestbook

Ishmael Community Guestbook

Add an entry · Guestbook Home Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

Carlos Carrera    #16123
Atlanta    GA USA     Posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 18:49:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

The words to my thoughts, the examples to my passionate discourses with friends. Feel free to get together if you are in the area.

Mychal Sims    #16120
Chico    CA USA     Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 19:13:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I am halfway through the book "Ishmael" and I think it is absolultely brilliant! I can't wait to finish it so I can read it again!

Brian Setzler    #16119
Portland    OR USA     Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 20:21:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I want to let Ishmael fans know about an MBA program outside of Seattle that offering an MBA in Sustainable Business.

The school is the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (

I got my degree there and have used my skills to launch a tribal business (

The school is full of change agents working to shift the paradigm.

Sam    #16118
   USA     Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 16:20:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

FYI from Q and A:

The Question (ID Number 515)...

I have a suggestion for an addition to the website... How about a general discussion threaded message board to stimulate more productive conversation instead of just the guestbook? ...and the response:

There is a long history behind the decision to not have a threaded message board on the Ishmael website...(we used to have one, two in fact...) Dan once called the threaded message board a "Drowning Pool." He found that people would go in there and, with the best of intentions but little understanding of some issue, and they would start to confuse others and lead them down paths that he never intended and sometimes totally disagreed with! He and I both found ourselves (with more and more frequency as time went by) diving into the discussion to straighten people out. For example, some people with a rudimentary understanding of evolution would start to talk about the need for people to evolve beyond their current state (sometimes ala James Redfield...vibrational states...but sometimes they were talking in the biological sense) -- well this is fine if someone else is there to remind them that individuals don't evolve, populations do...single organisms don't evolve, species do. In the absence of that clarification (and often much assistance to grasp this) people with even less knowledge of natural selection and evolution would be dragged under by the first person...leading to a massive drowning that would only be rectified in one of two ways: get more lifeguards and train them; close the pool. Dan opted for the latter because he saw the entire forum as a losing battle. Open 24/7 the bboard collects drowners, and there will never be enough lifeguards to keep everyone's head above the water -- imagine a teacher's classroom filled with questioning students 24/7 -- the teacher could not be expected to be there every moment to help students into a better understanding of the topic. Any yet, this is exactly what people demand on a bboard. Bottom line, he didn't want the responsibility to watch the pool 24/7 -- he wanted to write his next book and have a life. And, the Ishmael Website Volunteers too, have a life beyond the website. ;)

The way it is currently set up it is more like a treadmill...only those close to you can drag you down, but they get shoved off the end quickly and so don't do too much damage! We do have lifeguards, and you should see their ever-presence as reassuring that things will never get TOO out of control. (If you watch, someone will chime in when someone is sinking below the edge of the pool, just to pull them to the edge.)

Anyway, check out this active discussion board: IshThink.

Note: This question answered by the webmaster.

Daniel Carusi    #16117
Atlanta    GA USA     Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 16:17:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Great book. Thanks Quinn.

Sam    #16116
   USA     Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 15:55:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi All--This is, indeed, a Guest Book, by format and intent. People regularly suggest that it be changed to a forum. The answer is always the same, thanks, but no. The reasons for not making a post public are: vandalism, sales pitches, spam, and extreme length. It is best to post lengthy observations elsewhere. Thanks

destry    #16115
flag    az USA     Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 14:10:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

there's, in my opinion, an interesting complex of realities co-mingling here on this "not a discussion board" --- here on the guestbook.

i think i'm beginning to understand, a little better, the balance that is being achieved here. plenty of us advertise our ideas here, and the ideas of others. plenty of people interact, to. and yes, i dare say, plenty of people discuss things. i don't think anyone who's been here more than once would need to confirm that, empirically, this IS a discussion board.

but of course it's SUPPOSED to be a guestbook, and probably the only way to keep it even FUNCTIONING, as a relatively "pure space" where you enter your name, rank, and serial number, say thanks, and sign off), is to make sure and ASSERT that it is a guestbook only.

argument and debate are not appropriate here.

which is what makes it a good thing i'm not debating or arguing anything. just observing.

and if i succeed, if you're reading this, then that means the moderator finds my ramblings as "appropriate" for inclusion as the signatures of others: if you're reading these words of observation proclamation, then you know i'm learning, at least a little bit, about the subtle art of tact.

i hope.

wow: did that even make any sense to anybody?


ten years ago i discovered Dan Quinn, which lead to Dave D., and then to....

....Tom Peters?

what the heck? isn't that, like, a business guy?

here's a quote, from the 80's:

"...traditional VERTICAL integration is fast being replaced: subcontracting of anything and everything is now becoming the norm."

very loosely, what he's saying is that the hierarchy is actually disappearing as a functional social organization --- even when the purpose of the social organization is to sell products and make money.

the quote is from a book-on-tape called Thriving on Chaos, which is not even close to being about anything remotely resembling environmentalism or conservation (let alone tribalism).

let me provide a bit of context. tom is basically talking about how to make more money. he's talking about how to be a better manager. he's talking about how to run, start, form, shape, mold, whathaveyou... a better BUSINESS.

and he's talking about it in an era when, as far as i know, running a big business and making a bunch of money was not yet considered anything like a shameful act. i might be stretching when i say that. but just from my gut, at that time in us history, i'm guessing it was still considered man's god-given duty to develop and use the earth's resources, and build better and better businesses for the job of making those important developments.

of course, now these notions are coming under question, partly in thanks to Daniel.

so no: tom peterson was not talking about "saving the earth." not even close. but in a subtle way, i believe that actually underscores my point.

all you have to do is squint and look at it, listen carefully, and what tom's talking about is things going tribal: he's just doing it without saying the word.

literally and figuratively, he states again and again, in several different ways, that something uncannily close to approaching the circus model quinn presents in Beyond Civilization is the IDEAL for business, and something toward which we should be striving. in his book, comparisons are often made between American businesses and those of the Japanese, with the explicit instruction to emulate the successful.

Remember how we're not looking to make gurus of tribal peoples but instead to emulate their success? Well, i hope that makes sense, to fellow long-time readers.

I remember being taught, back in school, that the Japanese beat us out of a big portion of the auto market because they have what basically amounts to a slightly more tribal organization for their businesses: we were told that their companies have a tendency to hire employees for life (cradle-to-the-grave security), and that their workers more so than ours --- for some mysterious reason --- have more of a tendency toward a team mentality (throwing in your lot with the group).

We were told that they'd stay late, work extra hard, take the success or failure of the company personally, bla bla bla.

And somehow, of course, this was all spun as a negative. Like those Japanese are just robots. Like they're idiots for working hard. Like, duh: of course the American model is better.

In school, of course, i was taught that civilization --- especially western civilization --- must be pursued to the utmost degree, and utterly and forever in the face of any evidence of the costs in terms of the quality of life to the people of which it is made.

Tom: a renowned inspirational business-management make-more-money leader/guru -guy, actually literally advises that we "flatten the pyramid."

And he said it before 1989.

I know i'm not the first to say that what Daniel has done has largely been to put words to --- and describe explicitly --- something we've been groping for for a long, long, looooooooooong time.

I recently read here on this site a quip of a fable in which Mr. Quinn compares himself to a crowbar: a tool to be used. Daniel's crowbar character says "I can be put to use in all sorts of ways, but how can I possibly know which of those ways will be helpful to you? Even you will find new ways to use me as time goes on. As for me, I'm easily satisfied. All I need is to be put into as many hands as possible. The more widely I'm used, the happier I am!"

Well, i genuinely hope this gets posted. I hope Mr. Quinn is happy his ideas are being used in this way, on this site, in these hands of mine.

I'll be back soon. But don't worry. Not that soon.

In due time.


Zot Lynn Szurgot    #16114
living on    stolen lands     Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 13:14:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Faces of our ancestors Photos of attempts to accurately depict players in our story. How did things get to be this way?

Mobile Condo    #16113
   MI USA     Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 9:59:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I read Ishmael a few days ago and I've been having trouble sleeping because I want to finish all of the other books as soon as I can. This is one of the most life-altering experiences I've had in many years.
Thank you.
Anne Bentham

john Stollmeyer    #16112
   USA     Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010 at 18:59:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


A sustainable activity/lifestyle is one that will be viable for the life of the planet, one that does not threaten biodiversity. Development is a natural process that every living organism undergoes which involves increased complexity and adaptability and requires no human intervention only celebration. Birth, initiation, confirmation, reproduction, responsibility, death and return to earth to become a part of another’s birth.

Some of the dictionary meanings of the word, “develop” are: To free from that which infolds or envelops; to unfold; to lay open by degrees or in detail; to make visible or known; to disclose; to produce or give forth; To unfold gradually, to bring through a succession of states or stages, each of which is a preparation for the next; to form or expand by a process of growth; to cause to change gradually from an embryo, or a lower state, to a higher state or form of being. To advance; to further; to prefect; to cause to increase; to promote the growth of. To go through a process of natural evolution or growth, by successive changes from a less perfect to a more perfect or more highly organized state; to advance from a simpler form of existence to one more complex either in structure or function.

Etymologists are divided on how the word came into the vocabulary. It is related to envelop which at first does not appear helpful. One suggestion sees “develop” having its root in the French, d['e]veloper (the suffix, d['e]- coming from the Latin: dis-) + Old French: voluper, voleper, to envelop also from the Latin: volup meaning: agreeably, delightfully, and hence originally to make agreeable or comfortable by embracing, hugging. This is related to Voluptuous from the French, voluptueux, from the Latin., voluptuosus, from, voluptas meaning: Full of delight or pleasure, especially that of the senses; ministering to sensuous or sensual gratification; exciting sensual desires; luxurious; sensual. Given to the enjoyments of luxury and pleasure; indulging to excess in sensual gratifications.

Following this train of thought the modern usage of the word, “Development” would sensibly mean “less pleasure”.

Another likelihood is that it comes from the Old French des volopper. Volopper, the root of the word translates as to unravel or to unfold. Its meaning becomes obvious when we look further back to its Latin origin: vellum; i.e., the coat on the back of a sheep. A tangled mass of wool is, in other words, the inspiration for a number of words in at least three languages. In Italian the word, vellum is the root for avviluppare and sviluppare, which mean to envelop and to develop. The French and the English words are very similar and etymologically we are correct in saying the word “develop” has to do with an act of finding what is already there by unraveling and opening up.

This interpretation presents a great challenge to those among us involved in community and economic development. It obliges us to reconsider our role from the position where we develop by researching and implementing projects, which we believe will benefit the community, to a position, which says that the focus of development is within the human heart, head and hands. The only thing we can possibly do to foster real development is to create an environment conducive to the transformation of good ideas into viable and sustainable ventures. A shift from proactive to responsive can only occur, however, if we are capable of believing that people are intrinsically good and that the diversity, variety and apparent randomness of their passions is like the superficially, chaotic, yet ecologically sound life manifestations that can be found in an old growth forest.

To use a metaphor, “develop” means “removing the husk”. The husk is an envelope that needs to crack open in order for the seed to germinate. To develop is more akin to gardening than creating from nothing. Certainly it is a more nurturing activity than a creative one. To develop implies a feminine, maternal, gardening activity aimed at creating the pre-conditions for germination and growth to occur. (Ernesto Sirolli)

Where the development model is tied to a concept of progress from backward, rural “primitive” to urban industrial “civilized,” sustainability is a snare and a delusion. If six billion humans are to have paved roads, pipe born water and electricity the planet is doomed. If the goal is to emulate the “standard of living” of the consumer culture it will only be achieved at the expense of quality of life: fresh air, fresh water, soil integrity, local, diverse, chemical free food, safe clean energy, leisure and time in nature.

“Sustainable development” is only possible with downward mobility, “the owning class joining with the working class to set the world to rights.” (Harvey Jakins) Downward mobility defined as, "The decline in the value of formerly status-laden items and simultaneous growth in the status value of just being satisfied. Self-affirmation will come by underspending incomes and exercising independence as consumers and workers, not by depending upon objects to establish worth”


destry    #16111
flaggers    az USA     Posted: Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 7:17:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

"The most creative people are REALLY the most creative swipers."

-Tom Peters

Simon    #16109
leeds    uk     Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 11:12:0 CST (GMT -6:00)


Thanks for allowing me to contribute to your website.

With regards to the use of renewable energy i.e. the sun. In the UK, if you have solar panels install at your home you can get money from the government every year. So you can be green and also make a profit from using solar panels.

trinda,    #16108
Waco    TX USA     Posted: Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 18:13:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

Glad to be hear. Can't wait to see more of what this is all about.

Spencer Wilhelm, 284 Church Street    #16107
Keene    NH USA     Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 at 17:52:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

I literally finished reading Ishmael 5 minutes ago. Upon putting it down a feeling of emptiness, similar to that of the narrator, consumed me. It feels as though Ishmael was my teacher and the books inspired thoughts in my own mind. Thank you for writing this book and for sharing it with the rest of us.

Gwagwagwe    #16106
OKC    OK USA     Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 at 7:54:0 CST (GMT -6:00)

The Scissortail is a collective unschooling, art and library, bike DIY space located in the Paseo Arts District in OKC. Quinn is always on the recommended shelf. Come enjoy a non-commercial, free to B space here where global warming is still a myth and the earth remains flat. The New Tribal Revolution sobbing at the gravestone of the state here in Indian Country. Scissortail Social Space A small part of the New Tribal Revolution.


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