In Flancia we share clear goals

Flancia will be an entity1, perhaps established in Switzerland, with the following constitution2:

  1. Everybody can become part of the project driven by this foundation, henceforth “Flancia”. Upon enrolling, you can choose to get an account in our system to keep your core identity separate when you interact with others. Or you can just bring your own.
  2. Each member of Flancia, henceforth “Flancian” or “Flancish” (all silly names, nay, all silly concepts are optional), can choose to partake in the advancement of the goals of the entity as they see fit; whichever they agree with and care about enough to dedicate resources to (such as time and attention).
  3. The first goal of Flancia is to build an Agora.
    1. The first goal of the Agora is to enable optimal communication, collaboration and cooperation.
    2. The second goal of the Agora is to advance all other domains of knowledge.
    3. The ultimate goal of the Agora is to advance the rational will of its members, as expressed in the Agora through the best available tool set for rational discussion and decision making.
  4. The second goal of Flancia is to bring its members to the state of life they most prefer individually: happiness, ataraxia, eudaimonia, enlightenment, awakening or any other desirable and desired state.
  5. The third goal of Flancia is to bring all living entities to the their independently defined state, with each entity expressing their will within their capabilities. We start with our friends; our fellow humans. Think of The Expanding Circle: we keep our doors open.
  6. The fourth goal of Flancia is to keep itself current, adding and removing goals and entities as they most benefit its members and the best available set of rational tools: technology, philosophy and ethics. The constitution of Flancia, its Agora and any other of the foundation’s systems and entities can be amended when Flancians deem it necessary.

Flancia should be a tight module, designed to be a compatible add-on for as many people as possible out there. Everybody can be a Flancian as long as they are willing to potentially collaborate on the stated shared goals.

Our first step is to build and improve an Agora. We start with Twitter.

How I plan to dedicate my personal resources to the foundation

This section details how I plan to live my life at the time of writing, dedicating my free time and resources to the foundation. Consider it optional reading; every Flancian constructs their own path.

I have a specific savings threshold that is “enough” according to my definition: I can then retire and support myself and my family in the country of our choosing with a comfortable lifestyle.

As I get closer to my threshold, perhaps I’ll choose to work fewer hours on my day job to redirect that time to Flancia. Whether I retire fully, and when, probably depends on how many of Flancia’s objectives can be reached while I keep working for a company or other kind of organization that I can also identify with.

If I keep holding gainful employment, I’ll be in principle reasonably free to dedicate to Flancia all resources left over after paying for living expenses and our lifestyle plus savings, and my free time (if there’s some economic downturn that affects us, I might need to cut back). I estimate I can get to the point of having enough savings not to work again under reasonable economic conditions (not if the world heats up too much) in about seven years, at which point I could “retire” to Flancia. In any case I already can set aside time for Flancia; another consequence of my privilege again, as I don’t have to work two shifts, and we don’t have kids.

My current plan is to study, write, and research whatever I find interesting and most promising for the advancement of the foundation’s goals. The first is building an Agora: a platform for discussing humanity’s biggest problems and their possible solutions. I’d start with homelessness, hunger, climate change. Causes of human suffering.

Whatever of interest I do find while I research material and possible solutions, I’ll try to write down (it’s work, and I’m lazy, but I guess I have to if I’m to get anywhere interesting: my memory is not great, remember). I know fully well that most of what I will produce will be (initially?) close to trivial, given that I have a day job and I’m not an experienced researcher, but I hope to become better with practice. Some day cross the threshold in Sturgeon’s law. Even if I never get there I can hope to inspire others to best me. I’d be content with that life — some potential impact, albeit unlikely; some slight progress, once in a while. Life is a long game of probabilities.

Hey, I know this sounds crazy. But I think it’s perfectly rational to be fully honest and explicit about what I want to do. I don’t believe in irony that much anymore. Irony, I’ve come to believe, is a hindrance in human communication. So Flancia must be a place that is kept as honest as possible, and as its first member I must lead by example.

If Flancia fails, I can always go back to work and try to donate more to Effective Altruism directly, which I would probably be doing while working on Flancia anyway (Effective Altruism will be one of the first non-human nodes in the Agora, and the first with an edge meaning “resource dedication” in its graph).

By the way: you can save a life with around 3000 USD nowadays; I did not know that until recently. This is a mind boggling amount in a lot of the world, but not an overly significant sum for a lot of privileged people (like me) in a lot of developed countries. It’s the price of about six iPhones (on the cheaper side), and in 2018 Apple sold about 65 million of them overall. If you think it’s offensive that smartphones and human lives can even be discussed on the same basis in any dimension, I’m with you. But the numbers are there, and we don’t talk about them enough. So… yeah, consider donating if you can. There are charities that work and you can help them. You don’t even need to do the research yourself.

I live in Flancia until I die, pursuing in its confines some singular line of thinking, or form of art, or human activity, trying to make Flancia real. More than these lines you’re reading.

Except

When I die, Flancians inherit Flancia. Perhaps even get a stipend out of the foundation’s assets and returns on investments, for however long they last. By default as of 2020 I think it should go to fund a “basic income” of sorts, with a 90-10 proportional virality rule. That and making reality optimal for enacting constitution of Flancia: building an utopia for its members first and then for humanity.

We’ll start with my definition of utopia, but mine is only a draft.

I want to write it with you.

In my utopia, there is no privilege. That doesn’t mean we all revert to a painful level of living standards, but rather just that nobody has too much and nobody has too little; everybody has want they want, and they can defend what they want in a public court of law. In public rational, truthful, ethical discussion.

Flancia should be fair and thus its members should constantly dedicate some of the time of their research explicitly to the reduction of human suffering. That is: they need to help others. The percentage is publicly visible on an actual dashboard. You can set it to anything you want, even zero or a hundred. The important thing is not to have it higher than others but rather to be truthful about it, and commit to thinking hard about changing it once in a while. Or whatever your personal ethics tells you to do. You can think and do whatever you want, we don’t care as long as you also want to be a part of Flancia.

You can leave anytime if you think Flancia is no longer your thing. No hard feelings!

In Flancia there is an Agora.


  1. Perhaps a foundation of sorts; I am researching what the most appropriate entity would be. I hope it’s not too hard or expensive?

  2. You can comment inline and view translations (currently also available in Spanish) in the Google Docs version