Monday, April 09, 2012

Building a story, working together and fundamental disillusionment

Without wiping out the debt, we cannot restart the economy.

(Michel Bauwens, founder of Peer-to-Peer Foundation)

Contemplating various realities

Somewhat surprising, a recent poll conducted by ScienceDebate 2012, indicates that the American public in general believes it's more important for presidential debates to focus on science challenges rather than faith and values debates.

The poll also indicates that such things as alternative energy, climate change, innovation, as well as our ability to maintain our leadership in science is very much on the minds of the voters. It is a reason to be cautiously optimistic . . . and think seriously about creating that new narrative which can not be postponed any longer.

At the same time, the “gangrene” continues to spread throughout many of our institutions at all levels. At what point do we have to conclude that the “baby” really does need to be thrown out with the bath water? The U.S. Senate recently was unable to even get rid of oil subsidies. The reason why requires no advanced degree. See BigOil Gave $23.5 million.

We apparently also have more in common with Tajikistan than we might think. See U.S. Flunks Corruption Index. Now imagine the oil companies deciding North America is one big plantation ripe for the pickings. See Third Worldification.

The art of storytelling

A recent article in Science Daily ( 4/2/12) reported on a team from the University of Toronto and Hebrew University, who now believe there is sufficient evidence that our human ancestors were using fire possibly one million years ago, which would mean that some of the earliest humans understood fire approximately 300,000 years earlier than was originally thought.

Michael Chazan, anthropologist and co-director of the project, thinks that the use and control of fire would have been a “turning point” in human evolution. Chazan said, “Socializing around a camp fire might actually be an essential aspect of what makes us human.”

The beginning of storytelling and making connections is part of what makes us human. To what degree does weakening those essential connections and turning away from community harm us? Does a collection of individuals staring into the mirror and surrounded by barriers of one kind or another make it more difficult to create a functioning narrative that works for everyone?

A storytelling post script

A colleague of mine has a fairly new site called ImaStory. It is where you can write your own story, about yourself or your ancestors. It is also where children can write a story about their parents. It's about making connections and preserving a history of who you are and where you came from, to be preserved as long as you wish. It can be a solitary effort or a collaborative creation. It can be public or private. Create an account and look through the site. It's free.

Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.

(Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth)

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