Category Archives: Social Technology

Governing The Commons By Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom — Notes

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, synthesized empirical research from multiple disciplines (e.g., rural sociology, anthropology, history, economics, political science, forestry, irrigation sociology, human ecology, African studies) to answer the question of what distinguishes those groups who succeed vs. fail at effectively and sustainably managing common resources. This article […]

Chapter 14: Strategies for an Alternative Nation, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual — Notes

“No-one would deny that people are the most difficult factor in any design or assembly. It is not that people lack the will to cooperate; its is more often that they have not adapted those sensible legal and administrative, or social mechanisms which allow them to cooperate.” (p. 532) Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual — or […]

Living on the Edge

Those who understand, live, or express an unpleasant perspective risk living “alone in a world of wounds”, ostracized, living on the edge. The fact that this is so painful is particularly unfortunate as the world needs such people, now more than ever.

Carving Spoons and Relationships

In A Man Apart, written by Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow, Peter talks about how his mentor and friend, Bill Coperthwaite, gifted him a spoon that Bill had carved from pear wood. Bill Copperthwaite gave Peter this gift along with the following story of the lineage of this tree… After spending time with Mahatma Gandhi, […]

Mindfulness

For years now, I have used mindfulness with patients, in my personal life, and as a scientist, conducting randomized controlled trials funded by the NIH (e.g., MacCoon, et al., 2012). In fact, my interest in mindfulness led to my graduate studies and subsequent Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on the role of attention […]

NOVA: Becoming Human (2009) – Notes

Episode 1: First Steps Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged discovered fossil called “Selam,” also known as “Lucy’s Child.” Lucy and Selam are 3.3 M years old but humans and chimps split around 6 M years ago = first biped. But brains not necessarily bigger as a result. Small-brained bipedal apes were around for 4 million years, flourishing […]

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers (2014) – Notes

Introduction Hunter-gatherers: term defined by William Solas in 1911 in which he also recognizes for the first time this distinctive way of life. Leslie White (location 536), neo-evolutionary thinking: Organize humans on continuum of evolution based on how much control they had over energy flows. Early humans relied on muscle, later humans harnessed fossil fuels […]

The Canary: A New Symbol for Gratitude

Here’s my Thanksgiving toast to our loved ones who suffer: Just as real canaries can save us from poison gas, our cultural canaries can help us know reality and live better. So, long live our cultural canaries. May we pay attention to them, honor them, love them, and help them. In so doing, we honor, love, and help ourselves. By listening to all of who they are, we listen to all of who we are. What better way be whole? What better way to love thy neighbor as thyself? What better way to express gratitude? #thankcanaries

Life Designers

These are all people or projects who have been living experiments in life design and chose to pass their knowledge to us.

Why We Work

Barry Schwartz has written a book and given a TED talk on this subject of “Why we work?” He asserts that a small group of people work for meaning and purpose and, perhaps, because the work is important, but that most people work in jobs that give them none of these things. For those people, […]