Renaming Social Future to Fractal Future?

I initially named this community the Social Future Metanet in allusion to Social Futurism, an ideological movement started by Amon Twyman. Also, the “Metanet” part was thought to be a network of networks. But as the thread suggests, this may have been a quite premature and unnatural idea. So, I’d rather like to think in regular networks and connections between them instead of networks of networks, which cannot seem to gain the level of vitality that regular networks can reach.

I’ve made some efforts to rename this community after there were comments in the direction that libertarians and USians have some kind of aversion against the word “social” (probably because it’s the start of “socialism” to which they were indoctrinated to feel aversions against).

Many suggestions for alternative names have been put forward, but none have really stuck and the debate about name alternatives simply died off for a lack of resonance.

Now i’m suggesting the name “Fractal Future Network” as the replacement for the “Social Future Metanet”. This forum would then be called the “Fractal Future Forum” (abbreviated F3 or something). The Wiki would be the “Fractal Future Wiki” and the blog the “Fractal Future Blog”.

Since the Fractal Future universe is the only project the community members currently feel really enthusiastic about, it would be a rather natural decision to put that into the centre of our community and treat anything else as more or less related side-project.

Of course, the support for the Transhumanist Parties would persist, even though there isn’t much activity happening at the moment.

Oh, and there’s one important fact: The domain is still available (while “” is not – but there’s nothing on the page, so there’s no competing organization behind it).

What do you think about this proposal?

I’m not sure.

I was the one who first proposed the Fractal Future Project, so, I would be glad with the name change, but I don’t know if that’s what the rest of the community really wants.

Maybe we should wait a month or two to see if no other projects emerge.

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Is the word “fractal”, is not clear for other people at what the meaning is.

If you want another word you need something more universal, or at least a common denominator among futurists. Although, indeed discriminating the word social concerns me, is another topic.

Yeah, maybe, but it sounds cool. Sounds much better than “diverse future” anyway.

The real question may be what kind of “futurists” we want to have here. That’s not an easy question. If we want to support Transhumanist Parties across the board, we need to be quite universal. I think the world “fractal” is universal enough. If we wanted to be more specific to the transhumanist audience, we might choose something that’s similar to “Transhuman Future”. That would be an option, but “Fractal Future” still sounds better and is more open to alternative radical futurist ideas that don’t necessarily self-identify as “transhumanist”.

But does the people you try to bring thinks the same?

I agree.

A name change can be tricky, if you don’t research enough what the audience thinks it might go against your objectives.

With who are you talking to think than “Fractal Future” is better than “Social Future”? Does it give you other alternatives you can let us know here?

As stated above, the problem with “Social Future” is that some people think it’s not universal enough, because it excludes transhumanists who have an emotional aversion to the term “social”. Most specifically it seems to be a problem with US transhumanists. That’s why I think we would profit from something that can be seen as being more universal.

“Fractal” is something that feels more close to futurism and futurists in general (and transhumanists in general) than the term “social”.

Out audience is in principle all people who are interested in future related topic, but especially transhumanists. If we exclude a part of the transhumanist community, then we do have a problem, unless that exclusion is explicitly intended!

Beware, because now that is starting to make sense, you should account that those in the US that have an aversion to anything “social”, tend to be against anything resembling “redistribution”, and guess what UBI is related with.
If you want to sail those waters, you have to make clear that the forum advocates a future for all, or you will soon have boycotts, both open as well as silent, against anything “social” in this forum.
You should really ask potential partners what they think. And I mean you have to ask in places like ZS facebook, in this way you not only survey potential audience, but also promote the forum itself.

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Right, you have found the core of the problem. If we want to provide a platform for all transhumanists, we also have to be open for those who don’t want a future for all, or at least who don’t want that, if it is achieved with means of redistribution.

If we are not open for all kinds of transhumanists, then we also cannot provide a safe haven for all transhumanist parties, but would have to restrict cooperation with “social” transhumanist parties.

Both alternatives are kinda awkward.

Edit: The question of the defining identity of this community is a pretty central and tough one. Initially it was thought of as an extension of the social futurist / technoprogressive communities, but the extension to the whole of political transhumanism had made the “social” part slightly questionable. But what remains if we replace the “social” with “fractal”? Then we might have just another broad transhumanism centred community and there any many of them out there already.

The second effort to give this community an identity was to turn it into a multi network platform for promoting, launching and “kickstarting” concrete projects. Something like Zero State could have been if it had been more successful and better organized. But something like that might be a bit too ambitious at this stage. We might consider doing something like that when we really have hundreds of active members.

And there may be other alternatives, for example merging with some organizations that are already out there: The IEET, Zero State, The Transhumanist Parties, Transpolitica, …

We need to get clear about our identity as community and what we want to be. I’m relatively open to suggestions right now. What do you think?

Edit2: What makes this community different from the more political organizations out there is that we focus on project work. This is a future related project incubation and catalysing network. Now, what’s still not totally clear is what values we operate on and what kind of projects we would like to support and which we wouldn’t support. I think this requires some thinking and discussion.

I have thought about the value issues some more and arrived at the conclusion that this is supposed to be an open platform. Values can be defined by the projects within this platform, but the platform itself isn’t big on them.

When it comes to the Fractal / Social Future Network itself, the question for which values to adapt should be more like “which values would actually work for a platform like this”. Meaning, we are looking for more or less implicit values that are associated with an open platform based on voluntary contributions and cooperation. Obviously, we can’t force people to work on the projects here, neither should we want to be able to do that. It’s all a purely voluntary thing that operates pretty much on the principle of stigmergy.

Additionally, an open platform can only then fulfil its true potential if is allows and attracts a large number of different people who come with their own ideas and skills and even motivations. This points to an implicit value of diversity. Fractal diversity in the best case.

All of that is clearly compatible with the name “Fractal Future” and fits to it nicely, so that’s the name I currently prefer.

Are there any principles reasons for not going with the name “Fractal Future Network” for this platform?

“Name not appealing”?

I guess that is the least of concerns and is okay to ignore it. For all the concepts you mention, Variant/Divergent Futures Network suits the idea, but its your call.

Thanks for your Feedback.

I personally like “variant” or “divergent” much less than “fractal”, so I’d like to stick with “Fractal Future Network”. And I don’t like the term “futures”, because subjectively, we will always end up in one single future.

Now, there’s still an issue: If I rename the Social Future Metanet to the Fractal Future Network, there’s the problem of having a project called “Fractal Future” within the Fractal Future Network. That would certainly give rise to confusion (could be even try to leverage that confusion somehow?). Are there any suggestions for how to deal with that? We could call the project the “Fractal Future World” or something like that. Any other ideas?

Edit (2015-05-09): I’d prefer to rename the Fractal Future sci-fi universe into “Fractal Cosmos” (highest preference) or “Fractal Vision” or “Fractal Fiction” or something similar. @Joao_Luz @Maximo_Ramallo what do you think about that?

I wouldn’t like to rename the project so soon, maybe it’s best to keep social future as the name of the forum.

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Ok, thanks for that feedback. One important reason why I feel the need to rename this community is the problematic name “Social Future Metanet” for this community. The “Meta-Network” idea doesn’t seem to be really appropriate – it was kinda rushed in the beginning. But now we are stuck with the awkward “” as domain name, which may be short, but less descriptive and possibly hard to remember. I’d like to change that to “” which should be easy to remember and more meaningful.

And I think renaming this community sooner is better than doing that later. Doing such dramatic changes later almost certainly means putting a lot of work to change anything related to the name.