Customs & Norms

Our Customs & Norms: How We Operate

Reading Time: 3 minutes

1. The information on this platform is free to all who would like to study it. Anyone can come here, read, and learn without paying for anything.

2. We have four main resources: the Chat Room, which is an area where people can start and  participate in “threaded” conversations about topics of interest; the Reading Room (a.k.a. a blog), which is a collection of well-crafted essays that relate to the mission and our common interests; the Library, which is a large selection of interesting and useful downloadable resources and links, and our Shared Wisdom: the collective knowledge, open-mindedness, creative thinking, and willingness of our members to share ideas in a non-confrontational way.

3. Anyone who shares our purpose is welcome to become a member of this community. There are no membership fees or dues. However, you’ll need to have a copy of Blueprint for a New America to complete your sign-up (join now and you get a free copy; after the initial period, new members can get one here at half the list price). Those outside the US will get free access to an online version of the book when they join, which they can read at any time. All logged-in members will have access to the online version.

4. Members don’t have to be Americans. We welcome participation by US citizens, native-born, naturalized, living in America, or living abroad, as well as people of other nationalities who want to understand the American Republic better and perhaps contribute constructive suggestions.

5. Designated contributors provide the articles for the Reading Room. Members in good standing can add their comments about articles and also contribute to the Chat Room conversations. Visitors and “pending” members can read all contributions but not post articles, add comments, or post messages.

6. We ask that members identify themselves in terms of country of birth and country of current residence, age, and gender orientation—all are optional—so we can understand and appreciate the various perspectives that enrich the conversation.

7. All articles, comments on articles, and Chat Room messages are subject to the rules of civility and constructive intent. Trolling, extremist rants, pointless diatribes and personal attacks won’t get posted. We expect and welcome a lively exchange of ideas, controversy, and even the occasional heated disagreement. But we can disagree respectfully, we can express our ideas respectfully and in civil language, and we can acknowledge others’ rights to their views.

8. As a community, we do not endorse or promote any political party, group, or candidate. Our members might have strong views and preferences, and there might be an apparent consensus around certain viewpoints, but we prefer to advocate ideas and solutions, not factions. No member speaks for the entire community.

9. We’re interested in solutions; ways to improve the operation of our Republic; ways to do things better. It’s fine to point out a problem, but how about a solution? What do you recommend to fix the problem? How can things be done better, more effectively, more intelligently? What—or who—needs to change, and how?

10. We protect our members’ privacy and we do not share member information with anyone. Please refer to the “Privacy” page for assurances about data security.

11. No “lurkers,” please. While we maintain privacy, our members are not “anonymous.” If you prefer to just read the information on the platform, you can always do that without signing up as a member. Becoming a member implies that you’ll make yourself known to the group and that you intend to participate in conversations—occasionally, at least.

12. Rights to the content—information  posted by members—are subject to US laws, international standards, and common-sense practice. Please check the “Privacy, Terms, and Conditions” page for the ground rules.