Re: DSM: Un Nothing Non Anti No Huh-uh Not

From: Don Yates (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 18:36:57 EDT

Yes, I am on this list.

Don Yates

At 06:15 PM 4/7/01 -0400, you wrote:
>An interesting thread.
>I don't know most of the references that Bill Richardson makes in his
>post quoted below, but I do find his introductory point on the topic
>of the distinction between the Sudbury model and alternative that come
>up for comparison, very appropriate and insightful.
>Several additional references come to mind:
>Ricardo Semler whose book "Maverick" describes his conversion of his
>business in brazil from a privately owned and managed operation to a
>worker owned democratically run organization. Semler is well aware of
>the Sudbury model now, and is, i believe, supporting the establishment
>of a Sudbury model school in Brazil.
>Dee Hock, founder of VISA, writes about the process of creation of
>VISA in his book, Birth of the Chaordic Age. he is now active in an
>organization called The Chaordic Alliance, which describes itself as
>working "to develop, disseminate and implement new concepts of
>organization which more equitably distribute power and wealth ..."
>The Vermont Papers (Recreating Democracy on a Human Scale) by Frank
>Bryan and John McClaughry, a prescription for restoring individual
>power in government.
>Don Yates (who may be on this list) and Mark Davis have written "YOUR
>COMPANY DOES NOT EXIST (Notes on the Extraordinary Organization)" an
>article that will appear in a forthcoming Sudbury Valley Journal
>issue. Watch for it.
>All of these speak with some focus on Bill's point. I am certain
>there are many more.
>To Laura's point about trying to find interest in Sudbury model
>schools among people who have associated for another purpose, I offer
>a note of caution. It is a difficult task for institutions that need
>to work diligently at their principle purpose to adopt a secondary
>aim. That carries the risk of diluting the focus, the effort and
>energy required, and bringing down the primary role, which in the
>examples cited, appears to be common faith and its practice. Further,
>should there exist interest in the secondary purpose (schooling
>children), an association with an organized "faith" no matter how that
>might be defined, will have the effect of keeping away others who
>might be interested. This does not detract from the idea of searching
>for like minded parents or others among those one meets during daily
>On Sat, 07 Apr 2001 13:08:04 -0500, you wrote:
> >Dear Bill,
> >
> >It's interesting that you mention Unity and CWG material. This is the first
> >time anyone else has mentioned them in connection to Sudbury to me. That is
> >how I came to learn about the Sudbury model. I even lived in Massachusetts
> >for 4 years and I never heard of it in all the time I lived there.
> >
> >I've enjoyed the Unity concepts very much - and JUST RECENTLY joined the
> >Unity church I've been attending, so it pleases me to hear it mentioned in a
> >positive way on this list. I approached our senior minister at the new
> >member reception last Sunday and asked him about the Oregon Heartlight
> >School and he seemed to think things were going rough out there getting
> >started. (not sure why ?) Does anyone know any more details?
> >
> >In the back of my mind I thought it might be neat to partner with the church
> >in this endeavor but he explained that they don't typically endorse anything
> >like that but I was free to post info on the community bulletin board. -
> >(oooh boy! Big help....) I'm going to hang in there though. I think the
> >type of people drawn to Unity would be very open to this kind of school.
> >They are just the kind of people I need to reach. I just wish there was
> >more than a community bulletin board to work with. Any thoughts??
> >
> >
> >
> >Laura
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:
> >[]On Behalf Of
> >
> >Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2001 10:25 AM
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: DSM: Un Nothing Non Anti No Huh-uh Not
> >
> >Dear Alan,
> >
> >Thank you very much, you write:
> >
> >> It's like compiling performance data for skeptics: the term "school"
> >reaches
> >> backwards to bring along those who aren't yet with it. It's something we
> >> just have to do, and it's OK, but it's not the point.
> >
> > So then, recognizing that Sudbury Valley as "school" and as "education"
> >is not the point, I would like to focus on Sudbury Valley as the Art of
> >Doing
> >Nothing, as offering freedom, which, it appears to me, is the point. I see,
> >this very same point, as offering a deep respect,a profound regard. Another
> >way to say it, is that Sudbury has institutionalized the idea of "live and
> >let live". It is a reverence for boundaries.
> >
> > So, the question arises for me, are there any other folks, in all the
> >institutions we know of, working this very same point? Practice being more
> >valuable than theory, are there any other types of institutions actually
> >doing it? Theory being of some use, are there any folks even thinking and
> >considering this very point? And since the point is so powerful and useful
> >are there even any folks who are almost, or "kind of", considering it?
> >
> > Here is my list of possibles: (Remember, in all the things these folks
> >may be about, I am interested in their proximity to the Art of Doing
> >Nothing).
> >
> > 1) There are individuals that are very nearly naturals. Every now and
> >then, at a shoestore, or park, or restaurant, I can see it. It is
> >serendipity. Kind of sad that we don't yet have a range of institutions
> >where
> >they would be extremely valuable.
> > 2) The Partnership Way folks are close with their discussion of the
> >"dominator" paradigm. They are about to start a school and are proceeding to
> >adopt a "non-dominator" curriculum. Notice how recursive this stuff is. They
> >are about to teach(dominate) a "non-dominator" curriculum. They could see
> >the
> >paradox, but thought teaching was justified because we were all so
> >inculcated
> >with the "dominator" mode.
> > 3) Lots of the Buddhist stuff addresses the notion of nothing or
> >nothingness. Nothing "sits" between the poles of an illusionary duality.
> >Doing nothing, a koan(a paradox - how is it that one actually does nothing,
> >anyway?) in itself, actually crushes the duality and is highly creative
> >(this
> >is how doing nothing at Sudbury allows for such rich social and cultural
> >production). As an example of this, suppose we actually did think that a
> >child was an "improver". We have set up an illusionary duality. The child is
> >"less" but somehow and someday they will be "more". The duality is an
> >illusion. A child is not going to become anything, they already are
> >something.
> > 4) There is also something called Practical Christianity (Unity
> >Church). They also offer a "non-improver" paradigm. To mix metaphors, they
> >suggest not the faith in a Buddha, rather the faith of a Buddha.
> > 5) The "Conversations with God" folks (lots of discussion groups
> >nationwide) have heavy theory. They have also started their first school,
> >this year, in Ashland, Oregon. After some churn, they adopted Sudbury as
> >their model.
> > 6) Finally, of course, we have ourselves, and each other.
> >
> >
> >Deep Regard,
> >Bill Richardson
> >
> >

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