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John Powers
Freedom
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Marriage as a sacrament is another way of looking at it. What's meant is a bit open but a common definition is "an outward visible sign of an inward spiritual grace." Christopher Alexander's concern with taking "the quality that has no name" seriously is another way of thinking about sacrament; as is Ellen Dissanayake's art as "making special. Marriage is a creative process as indeed work might be "right livelihood." Science tells us a lot but we're still left with the task of creating something good. Not that it's a solitary process, but none of us escape responsibility.
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What really impresses me is how hard you've worked in school. With all the attention you are receiving you must feel impatient sometimes with school assignments, but there really are no short cuts. I believe your idea for Doers Clubs will make a big difference. I would love to see Doers Clubs spring up all over.
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What happened Friday night on the University of Pittsburgh campus is really unfathomable to me. I live near Pittsburgh and went to Pitt. I'm not very tech savvy, but followed the events at Twitter. It was quite interesting and there were several mainstream reporters participating on Twitter. In particular the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was corroborating tweets and doing frequent updates on their site about every twenty minutes. A Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter was arrested while filing reports from the scene in Oakland--the section of town where Pitt and CMU are. The Pitt News--University of Pittsburgh student newspaper--also provided excellent coverage. More than you want to know, but the Post Gazette has recently started a paid online feature called Plus. As a subscriber to the print edition, I'm not tempted to pay for the Plus. However reporters were logging stuff on Plus and giving out URLs via Twitter. I mention this because the Washington Post just came out with rules for reporter using social media. Social media is complicated ;-) It was a shock to discover that after really excellent reporting online by Post Gazette journalists during the Oakland siege, the paper edition got posted and the tenor of the news was that security had gone off without a hitch.
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Great link. Thinking globally and acting locally means among other things that we must communicate globally but our work often remains local. Home growers learn important lessons with tomato blight, similar lessons learned by growers everywhere. Solutions are often local. Sometimes talking with fellow Americans about a local agriculture initiative in Uganda I pay attention to, the conversation gets bogged down in controversy about GM crops. The assumption is all of the important research in plant development is the product of multinational corporations when the reality is seed development is largely more geographically situated. The sudden popularity of backyard gardens caused a problem, but such gardening efforts are also part of the solution in creating a more resilient food system.
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Not to your points, but the photo grabbed me. How cynical we are to deride Malia's hope for peace. I was a bit older, but at 13 my mother sewed a "war is not healthy for children and other living things" patch on the pocket of the blazer I wore to church. I bought the patch with my own money, the expression wasn't a proxy for my parent's views. Kids can be very earnest. My hunch is that Malia decided to pack the shirt herself and her mother had to make a decision. Michelle Obama decided that wearing a veil was appropriate protocol for meeting the Pope and I'm sure she had to think about that too. I think that like my mother so many years ago when it came to the peace shirt she couldn't think of any good reason to prevent Malia from expressing her earnest expression for peace. Kids may be naive, but they're not always wrong.
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If you haven't already seen it Ethan Zuckerman's live blogging of a talk by Jason Clay, Senior Vice President Market Transformation at WWF, is worthwhile. http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2009/07/04/jason-clay-and-measuring-the-environmental-impact-of-agriculture/ At the end of Zuckerman's piece he pointed to an earlier talk by Saul Griffith and pointed out that Griffith was in the audience for Clay's talk. Zuckerman talked with Saul Griffith after the talk. Zuckerman writes: "Clay’s talk seemed to suggest that the real impacts come at a corporate level, while Saul wondered whether there’s a moral responsibility that comes from understanding this sort of calculus. Saul assures me that the perspectives are compatible - I’d love to continue the conversation with them both to see whether the answer is that we should apply pressure for big changes at a corporate or government level, or whether we need personal change as well." This conversation would be really great. I see your work as pointing towards a "scientific revolution;" following Kuhn a shift in paradigm. I'm surely not an intellectual, and I'm an incompetent gardener to boot. In my own garden I'm tying to move more towards permaculture, but my potatoes and turnips are all in a row. One challenge for a gardener of any sort is the question: "What to do in the meantime?" When we plant a perennial it takes seasons to establish, so what do we do while it's maturing into productivity? And how does what we do relate to the future vision? Your 10 questions do a good job of pointing to the inadequacy of the current paradigm. That's important work. But I also think the questions about the meantime are very important and that's why Zuckerman's hope for a conversation between Clay and Griffiths seemed exciting to me.
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About better metaphors...I'm not so good about metaphors or tagging. But in terms of "putting our best foot forward" the branding metaphor is actually useful. As Phil Jones points out Facebook might be viewed as "social-network management" services. So Facebook allows --or will soon allow--a professional network. The challenge is for people to keep, for example their S&M networks, separate and private, from their professional stuff. It is hard to figure out the terrain, so how effectively we become in managing our diverse networks becomes is an open question. But Phil certainly has his finger on something; people now need to manage their social networks. Advertisers target their ads all the time. Now regular people will start to do so too.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2007 on More on Your Online Identity at The Bamboo Project
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Over the past couple of months I've been trying to understand social networks like Facebook. That's meant exploring a bit. It's very interesting for an old guy, entering geezerhood, to look at how younger people present themselves. Something the experience of age allows is knowing that the presentation of yourself as a young person will change. It changes because as Mary Catherine Bateson wrote we're composing our lives. The first book I ever bought when I was 17, as more or less a professional book, was "Values and Teaching" by Louis Raths, Merrill Harmin and Sidney Simon. Raths thought that we grow and learn from our experiences and out of these experiences we develop values. Values tend to give direction to our lives. Raths also thought that values had to be chosen from options. Choosing values is a little bit like trying on clothes in that we have to embrace them, and get close in order to make a judgment as to whether they are right. I think kids more than adults understand this. The trouble with thinking about our online identities as a brand is that brands are relatively static, but we're growing and learning so our identities reflect that. There are transcendent values, perhaps not doing to others that which is repugnant to you, or forgiving others just as you forgive, are a couple. Transcendent values are very specific and objective, but not easily nailed down. The reason is that living is growing and learning. Our values are important in the context of our lives. Like you I don't have the answers, just questions. I do think that as we put more of ourselves online that it will change how we see others too. Perhaps we'll become not so quick to know the answers about others, and more willing to ask questions to discover one another. Perhaps together we'll begin to imagine our identities as collaborative and creative compositions. Phil Jones is a smart guy. Here's a recent post about Facebook that's really interesting. http://blahsploitation.blogspot.com/2007/10/hmmmm.html
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2007 on More on Your Online Identity at The Bamboo Project
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