Watching this BBC documentary about the Islamic History of Europe I came across the Islamic roots of Convivencia, a term I’ve associated with Ivan Illich, perhaps its most recent heir, himself part of an Hispanic tradition going back to Al Andaluz. This film is a refreshing look at the contributions of Islamic Culture to theContinue reading “Innovation as Impermanence”
Sick as we are, finding further bad news of our diagnosis and prognosis at every turn; we look to innovation, creation, and change for some way to turn back the clock, or at least carve out some detour from the horrors we see in our path. This is understandable. Predictable. But is it good orContinue reading “Innovation, Creation, and Change”
That is the power of a simple statement like “the innovation of poverty.” In a swoop, it comes down and pulls away the veils. We do these things to ourselves and others, not because we are following an intractable Law, but because we find it expedient, or we are confused into feeling powerless to do anything else.
Investment is generally taken to mean following a strategy that allows us to siphon off value. A way of taking value from a living system and turning it into a quantity of abstract financial counters that we can then hold so as to use these at will to gain advantage. We strip a living webContinue reading “Investing in Trust”
There have been times when it has seemed appropriate to appeal to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. This last year brings to mind a different serpentine behavior, stupor induced by the effort to digest an enormous meal. An Anaconda at these times can be mistaken for a fallen tree trunk….
How do we move beyond rebellion? Implicit in this question – if it is to be anything but futile – is another, How do we keep from cycling back around? Only to end up that much further down the same barren path?
This common complaint came to mind recently in relation to the resistance I often encounter to my interest in looking at the basics, at how we tend to glide right past fundamental discrepancies – incoherence – in a rush to “Get on with it!” What came to mind was how this had been the attitudeContinue reading “I haven’t got time for this!”
The parallels between abusive families and the culture of civilization illuminate why protest has become futile. Futility is not to say that something is difficult, verging on the impossible. Futility arises when an action makes the condition it is meant to ameliorate worse. When unintended consequences pile on, blocking any possible benefit from making aContinue reading “Normalization”
There’s a critical piece missing from the last post. That is, what does political failure entail? If we look at it from within the assumptions of “the game,” the conclusion that what is needed and inevitable is a grand failure will be misunderstood. Saying that any one leader, any one party should fail, is justContinue reading “Political Failure, a Clarification”
As much as I avoid it, there can be something to be gained by listening to public radio once in a while. On a long drive over the holiday I heard a piece on studies being done analyzing the differences between an innate logarithmic sense of quantity and rational, integer-based counting. A French developmental psychologistContinue reading “Relationship, not Integers”
Ideology works through the process of consensus. Someone’s ideas gain followers and a movement is born to support these ideals and find ways to garner wider support; either through negotiated agreement or through some form of overt or covert coercion. Some movements gain broad support. Others limp along, held in high regard by a fewContinue reading “Coherence is Provisional”
Imagination is a garbled concept today. We tie it into our obsessions with desire and wish fulfillment. In this way we see imagination as synonymous with fantasy – again in its current accepted meaning, as related to pleasant wishes. When we discover a failure of imagination we are looking at something else entirely. It’s notContinue reading “Imagination’s Roots”