Humane Community Contextualization exercise vs. Pyramids Model

Hi team, apologies I attached this to the wrong thread earlier. I think this is how it is to be posted.

Per our previous ZOOM conference today, creating a contextual categorization.

As discussed, I suggested that I create the first pass, defining the issues this community has raised as I understand them so far (which means this is likely incomplete). My goal was to gauge my own understanding by putting the pyramids and categories into my own language first to see where there is shared understanding, what I’m missing, and how we can make this simpler, fewer categories, etc, and I’ve attempted to encapsulate what I’ve gathered from everyone so far, but admittedly have not gathered everything.

Also I can create a meta mapping for this too, but probably not before the 24th.

The test here would be to see what is missing from the HC categories in the contextualization below, clean up language and simplify simplify simplify.

So for this exercise, I kept all the “meaning” and semantics but removed some verbiage and language that I thought may require to much work to understand the context, so this is highly stripped down.

As it is just an exercise, we can always scrap and start again.


Welcome to the Community for Humane Technology

What does it mean to have “humane” technology?

That’s one of the many issues we encourage discussion around on our community forum, so please come participate with us!

  • Humane technology, or #humantech, is any tech that is aware of any potential unintended consequences of its usages and intentionally seeks to lessen those consequences as an aspect of its native design and functionality.

  • #humantech is intentionally designed to create productive, rewarding, and even surprising environments for global users.

Humane technology by definition is, therefore, solutions-based technology; solutions that are mutually beneficial to all participants without disadvantaging any of them.

We represent a wide and very diverse background collectively.

Some of us are website publishers, others programmers and developers, entrepreneurs, marketing or advertising executives, data scientists, academics, psychologists, and content creators - others just concerned parents or individuals who feel adversely affected by technology and are seeking understanding.

Because our backgrounds are diverse, and the problems facing technology and society today are even more diverse, we’ve created a framework and map to explore each unique issue, explore solutions or engage in thoughtful, critical discussion with the intention of building a consensus, increase critical mass awareness, offer support to designers and developers to resources, and a library for researchers, bloggers, or any concerned individuals wanting to separate the hysteria from the science and speculation.

ONE: Technology and the Individual

  • Mental Well Being Mindfulness, Addiction
  • Parents, Children and teens: Unique issues, outreach, studies, therapies.
  • An Internet Citizens Bill of Rights? the right to privacy, the right to participation and access (inclusion and diversity), the right to fair exchange, the right to security, the right to a pathway to recourse.

TWO: Technology and Society

  • Social Media, Adtech, and other disappointments. (the big four, digital tracking,digital wildfires, fake news, dark collaboratives, harassment, propaganda, FOMO)
  • Openness and Resolution: Humane design principles, Centralization and Decentralization, New social platform design models, collaborative engagement, collaborative economic models, collective problem solving

THREE: #humantech Next Steps:

  • Regulation
  • Sustainable business and startups.
  • Ethics, Best practices, Standards
  • Come join the revolution, activism and participation.

Thank you, Rome!!

Your are making excellent points here, and truly valuable feedback!!

I will - as soon as I have time - create more structure for this, and lift this to public forum discussion. Currently we have a Milestone for the reorganization in 2 days, so we cannot afford to look into too many changes

The current forum structure might have much to be desired (‘make it simpler’, ‘make it different’), but right now it is the structure we will create. It is the result of more than 2 months of gathering feedback and refinement.

Note: Apart from the public discussion I just moved a lot of moderators discussion to the Vision & roadmap public category.

The problem is always: How to slice such vast, complicated field into manageable parts. Too little categories, and there will be long, long lists of topics in a single category. Too many categories and it becomes hard to choose the best category for your topic.

What were some of the goals. Well, most important:

  • We try to define a framework, a model for the field of knowledge that is largely undiscovered yet, and is called Humane Technology. We call this model The Pyramids of Humane Technology.

    • This model has just been defined in its first version by a bunch of volunteers hanging out on this forum. It will have numerous flaws and be very incomplete at places, maybe fully unworkable even.

I hereby propose:

  • The Pyramids of Humane Technology is the primary thing that the HTC produces. To stick with ‘pyramids-building storytelling’: we are the Pyramids Designers. The architects and experts crafting the drawings and geometric layouts that will make the build succeed.

That means that:

  • The forum and community hub structures are only the reflections of the Pyramids model in its current iteration
  • We will look at refinement of this structure in terms of strategic development of the Pyramids model itself
  • We are now in iteration zero: Presenting the structure to the outside world, where other pyramid-building teams (our own members, but also partners and anyone interested in HT) can see it, and provide feedback
  • As part of our Roadmap we plan all our activities such that they lead to refinements of our methodology and framework.
  • Then we follow with the next iteration of the model: a release. And then the next one.
  • In other words we do iterative development of The Pyramids of Humane Technology.

When thinking of the Pyramids model as our own Research project, we can give great purpose to this community:

  • We have a framework to which we can hang all our projects and activities to, like balls in a Christmas tree.
  • We create something that is increasingly more valuable top potential partners, who will be more willing to join the Partner program
  • In the (near?) future when universities start thinking of adding Humane Tech as standard part of their curriculum, they might adopt our methodology (if we did our homework well :wink:)
  • etcetera
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(PS. I’d like to move this later and with your permission to public discussion)

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I like the entire gist of the message you are conveying, @NSaikiwiki. The 1-2-3 step approach is a good one, and makes things easy to grasp. Before we come to a next iteration of the structure, maybe this is a good start for a blog post to be added to the new Community Hub as an intro for newcomers to get to know what we are all about.


There are different ways to drilldown into the Humane Technology fiedls. Your steps are sort of: Personal sphere —> Societal sphere —> Holistic sphere (ubiquitous HT).

These steps can still be mapped to consecutive pyramids (note that the pyramids have an ordering in their level of importance / pervasiveness)

  1. Personal —> Pyramid of Wellbeing
  2. Societal —> Pyramid of Society
  3. Holistic —> Pyramid of Freedom, which is the most important of the ‘single’ pyramids

Pyramid of Alignment is always there (it is the ‘grease’ for the gears), and when all single pyramids are there, together they form the holistic compound Pyramid of Human Flourishing (all conditions are set to allow that to happen).

PS. I will also provide a pointer to this, as it has a bit more elaboration: Github notes on the Pyramid model

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Hey Arnold! Okay glad this first pass is useful. This was presented to everyone on the community team, yes? or did it just go to your inbox? Just making sure. Of course feel free to republish on the public forum.

Here are some general notes and thoughts.

  1. I dig the design structure of the pyramid model, but concerned that introducing a new model on top of a very very complex landscape of media, technology and society at the beginning of user discovery may cloud what you are presenting? What I am suggesting is keep the pyramid model, but keep it as a design principle of the community (as a dedicated “timeless” page) and not as a map of discovery to the community.

  2. I did intentionally, however, keep “3” categories in honor of the three angles of a triangle :slight_smile:

  3. I like the new site, I think it is a good idea to have that as the landing page to current community.humanetech url. However i suggest that on the home page some form of “timely” media is also presented.

Here are some suggestions for timely media

  • Are discussion threads embeddable on Discourse? One idea is to embed a current or popular discussion on the landing page.

  • or of course just the classic blog. I didnt check what the MVP is running on, but I assume it wasnt wordpress, correct? thoughts on wordpress? it would at least be able to assign multiple permissions to various members for publishing.

Timeless Media for HTC

  • another suggestion, and I can’t believe I am saying this since I am notable for being a huge critic of MediaWiki software but this is a subject matter that could really use a wiki! I wish aiki wiki was ready but it is not, and although I do have a contextualized library that would be useful here, it also requires too much work to get ready.

  • a mediawiki would be a great way to point people for research and contribution, and naturally, each wiki entry would naturally come to reflect the consensus. and if lots of people are going to be coming in, that gives them something to do, help fill out the wiki.


Yes, this went to the entire CT. You can check that just below the first message in the thread.

Re: General thoughts:

  1. Yes, ‘timeless’ model for sure. How it relates to future community-building we have yet to determine. Important is to get the “solution-orientation” and the positioning that is in our Open Canvas

  2. Luckily we did not choose circles then :wink:

  3. Timely content is planned to be on the landing page. The Jekyll theme has several options for that (like an active Blogs section). We don’t have much “timely” content yet, but enough to provide some fillers for now.

Timely media

  • Yes, a Discourse integration is part of the minimal-mistakes theme actually. It allow comment threads below blogs and docs pages. Didn’t test how this looks like. Probably uses an <iframe>. Don’t know how well an embedded thread will look on the landing page, but we can check that. Good idea would be a “Congratulations on the new Community Hub” discussion.

  • It is running on Github Pages and uses Jekyll + Ruby and Minimal Mistakes theme. It has been an informed decision not to use Wordpress for the time being.

Timeless media

  • CHT used to have a ‘Time Well Spent’ wiki, which they have now taken offline. CHT decided early on not to have a separate wiki. It would be yet another tool to maintain. All our content will be standard web content, and we need to make the content structure as accessible as possible. The disadvantage of Mediawiki is that its content is findable via search, but I have yet to see the first wiki with a clear hierarchical (drilldown) navigation. We have the Wiki Reach campaign to add as much refs to our content to Wikipedia as we can.

  • We can reconsider the wikimedia decision at a later stage, but first we need to build up a nice content repository of our own on the community hub. Wiki Reach is currently what we will do with wiki’s.

Yeah, kinda like that, but I am simply following a tried and true formula - a dialectic of sorts.

There is a natural demarcation between individual and society, as well as problem and solution, as well as past/present and future. This is what I am suggesting may help guide the pyramid to a new user.

However, apologies I think I may have miscommunicated my intentions here, it was not to replace the pyramid building model, but the hierarchy of the categories that are in your pyramid model as forum menus.

So far the forum menu looks like this


  • Inclusion
  • Regulation
  • Enlightened corporate thinking & practices
  • Rights & duties


  • Health
  • Inter-personal
  • Children & teens
  • Mindfulness


  • Humane design
  • Ethics
  • Best-practices
  • Standards


  • Openness
  • Diversity
  • Security
  • Privacy

Harms of Technology

  • Harms to Wellbeing
  • Harms to Society
  • Harms to Freedom

(These are all ongoing ‘Programs’)

  • Awareness Program
  • Solutions Program
  • Education Program
  • Research Program
  • Partners Program


  • Vision & roadmap
  • Announcements
  • Events & meetups
  • Judge my app
  • I need help
  • Feedback

To an outside user, that hierarchy can appear contradictory and counter-intuitive.

The idea is to let the natural organization of easy to distinguish opposites create the ordering menu system, a structure that follows a dialectic of sorts so it is natural for discovery that way and will help avoid contradictions or misinterpretations that each new user may find.

I made a few tweaks. Also, I’m being a bit loose with the subcategory names because I’m just using my own language, but all subcategories represent the issues and topics that HTC covers, so the language can be altered but still nest this way.

I suggest this sort of organization because of this problem that the community is running into, you stated on another thread “There is now a problem in that the Pyramid of Freedom and Pyramid of Society levels do not match with the categorization anymore.”

That’s bound to continue to happen because there is no natural demarcation between “Freedom” and “society” in the same sense that there is a natural demarcation between “society” and “individual” in the eyes of outside and new user.

Make sense?

I’m thinking pure user discovery, users coming here for the first time, and having them seamlessly navigate the content and the forum. We are going to have different types of viewers, some will be parents, other educators, other entrepreneurs, etc. The language for the menu should readily attract specific types of viewers.

What would the word “alignment” mean to them? The word “freedom” is loaded with meaning, much of it is subjective. Unless that is defined inside of the discovery menu, it won’t mean to a new user what it means to this community, until that new user educates themselves on the site first…which requires time.

Each category or sub-category should naturally attract a specific type of viewer, for example, “parents and children” is obvious, “regulations” is clear for those interested in legal aspects, Mental Well Being attracts those interested in Tristan Harris and time well spent etc

Honestly, even for me having spent lots of time here, I am still confused about the pyramid structure in relationship to the forum, I still don’t understand why certain things are in one category and not another, or why they are not shared in other categories - meaning that I have more ‘work’ to do to learn more to “see” what HTC means, and that was what I was suggesting, new users have to learn about the pyramid building first before they can intuitively navigate the forum, and this may make us lose eyeballs and it may create misunderstanding about the Pyramids of Humane Technology.

So category three I titled “next steps” because that is a clearer call to action for those who want to get involved, and each category underneath next steps leads to appropriate areas.

Anyway, I hope this helps!

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Thank you so much for your thorough elaboration, Rome! Yes, this input is quite helpful, though it warrants a much deeper analysis by me and others, not only @CommunityTeam but the entire member base. Needs time that I currently do not have, unfortunately.

But we should not be afraid to give our community organization yet another overhaul or large update later on, especially after we know what plans the CHT are unrolling tomorrow.

For now we’ll have the current breakdown. Let’s see how members work with that, learn, and keep our eyes focused on improving our models.

I agree with Rome @NSaikiwiki. Though I also do really like the current structure. The issues he presented are reasonable, such as:

And as I also mentioned previously:

Still I like the idea of the pyramids as it provides “moral guidance”.

Regarding Rome’s proposal, like the greater focus on finding solutions. But think there are additional areas to mention, besides media and advertising. We also can consider the design of the OS and app environments, and services needed to build apps and websites, as there is a lot more software involved in the attention economy (attention, surveillance, misdirection).


Just a few more things to think about, applying critical thinking. @aschrijver Arnold I love your vision, so I hope you do not take these critiques too harshly, because so much of what you are doing is precious and people like you are rare in this world and I really am motivated to see this community have success.

So this is just further deconstruction, for the purposes of making things better.

Pyramid models are also top down, they don’t always represent collaboration, and in many cases, “pyramids” are models used for schemes too. Pyramids as a symbol invoke powerful psychological archetypes and projections, some will assume the pyramid is an illuminati plot, another a ponzi scheme.

Pyramids in their construction required slaves to build, requiring inhumane treatment, pyramids may symbolize many things that are indeed contrary to this vision. And Arnold does have a very beautiful vision here, no doubt, I share his same vision in many ways.

I’m only being critical here to help, and I think much of what Arnold is doing here is reflected perfectly as a geodesic structure, technically the union of the triangle, circle, and square, and the roadmap for that is all Bucky Fuller.

Much of the work Arnold is articulating is very much aligned with Bucky’s thinking - so I just thought considering this for the time being, not as a replacement for the Pyramids of Humane Technology, but as a way to conceptualize “total success for all without disadvantaging any” as not just a moral, humane, and ethical principle, but as the design principle for the geodesic dome itself and perhaps as a guide to assist Pyramids for Humane Technology. It is summarized in one simple sentence and one very complex structure.

On the dome, every “point” contributes strength to the whole structure, and every point receives strength from the whole structure in return. This is how the geodesic dome becomes stronger the bigger it is. And the “pyramid” is a supportive geometric feature of a dome, meaning a pyramid is essential to how it is constructed.

In terms of collaboration, nothing reflects the true force of nature of the strength of collaboration more than this structure, and I think there might be a way to have the pyramids of humane design work perhaps with the circles of humane technology and the squares at MIT WC3 labs, if you catch my drift :slight_smile:

EDIT: “Total success for all without disadvantaging any” is Bucky’s famous quote, and does it not simply reflect, perfectly, the totality of the mission here? Bucky already did most of the hard work for us, and I don’t think there has ever been a better time than now where his work is most essential.

Don’t worry about being critical. Good discussions are always welcome :slight_smile:

You say pyramid models are top-down… I disagree: did someone ever build a pyramid top-down? That will be quite unwieldy :wink:

No, the opposite applies here. Pyramids need solid foundations, or they are unstable. From the model perspective the pyramids are like Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs: You need to get the foundation right to allow the next level to be firmly defined.

In the case of Wellbeing (health, harmony, happiness) this entails personal mental + physical health, then inter-personal social interaction, which then leads to the top-level where you can work on being happy in the digital realm. For Society (access, protection, safety) there needs to be inclusion first with equality in access to online services, regulation to ensure that, and then you come to the top-level where you feel safe while interacting on the internet.

From the storytelling perspective it goes like this (I wrote this down somewhere before): Yes, the pyramids of old used to be built for powerful Faraoh’s who commandeered slaves to do the work. This time it is we - the people - who’ll build the pyarmids. These pyramids are works of humanity. We HTC are just one grassroots, bottom-up pyramid-building team that now help to lay the foundation. There are still Faraoh’s (tech billionaires), but we reject their help. It is a people’s effort. Our community is leaderless, because we are all leaders.

While built by Faraoh’s and slaves the Pyramids in Egypt are considered among the Wonders of the World. Ours ‘digital world’ pyramids will be too, and even more so, because no faraoh’s, no slaves, but concerted human effort and cooperation.

You can take the storytelling as far as you want (e.g. “the camp fires along the pyramids base, where the builder teams sing, make music and tell stories” —> face-to-face interation promoted). In my pyramid notes I also hinted there could be ‘Evil twins’ of each of the positive Pyramids. These pyramids are also built in parallel, just not by us. The evil twins will be realized if we do nothing, do not act to eradicate the Harms of Technology.

I don’t suggest we use all this storytelling. But we could. But is should be in measured ways, and always with evolution of the actual pyramid framework - the model and methodologies - in mind (hence ‘gamification’, which means ‘serious games’).

I really like the Bucky’s thinking. Thank you. The geodesic dome is a wonderful analogy. It is a dome of protection. We can work with that. And “Total success for all without disadvantaging any” is a great principle.

For now I suggest we stick with the serious, non-storytelling, design and eloboration of 1) first the current category breakdown and 2) the pyramids model itself. Then - as we planned to do after forum and website reorg - start to give body to some storytelling aspects as part of the Eventful campaign

Maybe inclusion and diversity were not the best choices for category names, because they imply separation, differences and a top-down approach. It’s an old-style way of thinking that doesn’t accurately reflect the reality, the fact, that all people are equally capable of good and bad. And that inequality and lack of democracy are the biggest problems, only a small portion of the world is truly democratic while much is authoritarian. And the tech world is certainly solidly authoritarian.

I propose we change these to:

  1. Democracy (or Equal representation)
  2. Economic equality
  3. Human equality

ha, I probably got my opposites confused, as a dyslexic sometimes that happens. I did mean “bottom to the top” but the top holds the “power” in pyramid models, pyramids are symbols of power, the base is what feeds the top, etc.

all good amigo this will continue to refine over time! thanks for initiating a community that can allow this type of deconstruction and critical thinking.

A tag line of my own creation, complimentary to Bucky’s - and in counter to the “We are the 99%” movement…"We are the 100%"

We need the pharaoh’s stockpiles of gold to help rebuild the world, and need to build a resolving consensus with them too :slight_smile:

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Hi, did you mean democracy purely in the government sense as in a democratic republic, or the principles of equal access to all, equal participation, etc?

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I’m just writing ideas here, but I meant both but a focus on the latter. They all fit together. Equal representation means that even if people have more money than others, everyone will have one voice which does not remotely happen right now. Equal access to quality living standards, equal communities, equal education (let’s get the rich out of their ghettos so they can actually meet some good people for a change).

The rich control us, businesses control politics in democracies and what we really see is a fake show between fake choices while the real things happening are often for the rich and their companies.

Ahh, gotcha. Does what you are ideating here resonate with this concept?

I do not think that Inclusion and Diversity are interchangeable with the proposed terms. They have different meanings. But there could be additions to the categorization.

I didn’t add democracy on purpose, because - while we are happy to have it - large parts of the world live without it (e.g. China). Not saying that that is good - I prefer democracy above the alternatives I know - but is it inclusive to have in our categorization?

I like your 100% slogan, @NSaikiwiki

No sorry. I was just thinking about people each having an equal voice, equal political power mainly. If that were to happen then people would naturally gravitate toward also having quality living standards, equal communities and equal education since that’s what they would probably choose for themselves if all people were given a fair democratic vote.

We are often taught that Western society is bad and other countries are good. But that is far from the truth. Just because people who are not like us far away are doing bad things doesn’t mean we should tolerate that any more than if your next door neighbor does bad things. Would we tolerate if Belgium were to become authoritarian, or even a semi-democracy? Of course not. We shouldn’t tolerate it anywhere else either.

We shouldn’t be inclusive to non-humane things. Isn’t that the idea here? Of course we can argue that all good and bad are subjective. Some would say that’s forcing our Western worldview on others, but that’s not true. There are and have been democracies all over the world. We have some evidence of some of the first primitive democracy 5000 years ago in Iraq. By my count in Asia there are now slightly more democracies than hybrid and authoritarian regimes combined.

People in non-democratic countries are scared. They are trapped by the government with no voice, often scared of being murdered by their own government. China has imprisoned 1 million of its own people at this moment, just to brainwash them. It’s not a good thing.

okay gotcha, open participation and hopefully decentralized management :slight_smile: