Jeremy Rifkin: Empathic Sociability

Just discovered Jeremy Rifkin today. His ideas and wisdom speak to my own heart. Watch the video below!

“Empathic sociability… rethink the institutions of society and prepare the groundwork for empathic civilization.”

Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the collective mental resources to truly “think globally and act locally.” In his most ambitious book to date, bestselling social critic Jeremy Rifkin shows that this disconnect between our vision for the world and our ability to realize that vision lies in the current state of human consciousness. The very way our brains are structured disposes us to a way of feeling, thinking, and acting in the world that is no longer entirely relevant to the new environments we have created for ourselves.

The human-made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, finds itself on the cusp of its greatest experiment to date: refashioning human consciousness so that human beings can mutually live and flourish in the new globalizing society…

[youtube]l7AWnfFRc7g&[/youtube]

Inspiration at the Pasadena Art Center

Above: My third completed art piece under the direction of Clara Berta!

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I always said to myself that I would go back to school once I found myself perched in one spot again. A quick little visit to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena stirred those sentiments. I was tagging along with Clara to pick up a few supplies. While there we gushed at the student art on display. I managed to snap a few shots with my camera phone before being instructed that photography wasn’t allowed… oops!

Mind Scraps: ‘The Social Network’ Suggests Facebook “Friends” are an Illusion

Facebook Feels Unfriendly Toward Film It Inspires

Behind the scenes… [Mark] Zuckerberg and his colleagues have been locked in a tense standoff with the filmmakers [of The Social Network], who portray Facebook as founded on a series of betrayals, then fueled by the unappeasable craving of almost everyone for “friends” — the Facebook term for those who connect on its online pages — that they will never really have.

Mr. Zuckerberg, at 26 a billionaire, and his associates are wary of damage from a picture whose story begins with the intimacy of a date night at Harvard seven years ago and depicts the birth of a Web phenomenon in his dorm room…

In Mr. Sorkin’s telling, Mr. Zuckerberg is not so much villain as antihero, a flawed human being whose deep need for acceptance becomes the driving force behind a Web site that offers the illusion of it…

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Wow… intriguing to say the least. But even if it’s all true, perhaps Zuckerberg simply hit a chord that struck with the populace. Perhaps, even if all this IS true, the resulting “connections” don’t have to be bound to “illusion.”

Personally, I can attest I’ve had TRUE friendships strengthened thanks to the communication ease of Facebook and TRUE friendships even SPRING purely from the technology of Facebook.

Now, on a side note, I DO NOT AGREE, however, that Zuckerberg should claim rights to uploaded photos, videos, or whatever…

Mind Scraps: The DNA of Music… The Beginning of the End of Idolizing Talent?

Improvox is a new iPad application developed by the concert pianist Robert Taub and his company MuseAmi. Improvox came about after Mr. Taub tried to help his kids learn music. (New York Times)

Amazing, exciting… and thought-provoking.

So I’m seeing a trend here… this program which can turn a tone deaf crow into a harmonized singer is just the latest tool that demonstrates how “talent” is becoming less and less of a limited commodity. Modern technology is essentially enabling people to have “unnatural talent.”

An interesting phenomenon when you consider that our society IDOLIZES people who possess talent and talent alone. So, I ask you, if talent is no longer a “limited resource” what will our society value? As any valued “talent” becomes a technology that anyone can buy, what, then, will make people stand out from one another?

One of two things… or maybe both:

1. People with the ability to constantly and I mean constantly invent and reinvent.

2. People who love and live from the heart.

That’s my hypothesis anyway.

So, my advice to all… start stimulating your creative juices are start really learning how to live and love from the heart!

FYI: I”ve come to find that, when you live from the heart, you end up hitting a reservoir of creativity you never knew you had. Well, perhaps, we never have it. Perhaps through the act of loving we simply become the best “conductor” there is for creativity/creation.

Hmmmm… that’s a thought.

Love is the optimal conductor for creation.

Didn’t we already kind of know that?

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I don’t know… maybe it’s just the way I see things in the wee hours of the morning.

Small Clicks to Make One Think

The latest video from my mastermind friend Ishac Bertran begs one to ponder the simple processes and tools we take for granted in our daily lives…

Check it out:

[vimeo]9968270[/vimeo]

Mind Scraps: New Soul, Warrior Soul

I call her La Cebollita because, well, that’s what she calls herself.

She sent the following to me in response to my post about the Pterodactyl:

I’m reading about the Pterodactyl and the Embracer, and I’m remembering how odd I sometimes feel around desensitized people, how disorienting their adaptation to ugliness is. I’m amazed at how easily they may insist that, because I have a healthy response to violence and other ugliness–that it is to be avoided and prevented, that it makes me sad and sometimes fiercely angry–so I am the one who is broken.

I know that this desensitization, it is what people do to survive in a violent world, I watch the men in my life pursue it like their very lives depend on it. And yet, they try to maintain their core humanity; they deeply value that which is creative rather than destructive.

As for myself, knowing as I have the personal face of violence, I’ve learned, mostly, to discern between my own fear, that which is both personal and personally archetypal, and my sense of outrage at what is destructive and wrong. It has taken a lot of work and has been deliberate.

Maybe you are looking after the survival of your own humanity, and that of others. Its difficult to protect oneself, one’s psyche and one’s humanity all at the same time. Yet, I think this is the definition of an ethical being.

And so, sending love–

I first read her email yesterday morning.

Now, I’d like to share an email I wrote to my dad on April, 15th… just before I started writing about… the ‘stranger things.’

Dad, I’m not being elusive… I’m being totally straight. I’m playing things as I go… seeing where life takes me. Following my heart. Beyond that… I don’t really have any real answers right now.

I apologize I can’t tell you anything more than: “I don’t really know… but I’m extremely happy knowing that I’m on my own personal pilgrimage to find out.”

If you think I’m wandering aimlessly, I’m not. I’m very dedicated to life leading me to something I feel is very big and very important… for me at least. It’s not wandering… it’s a personal pilgrimage. That’s the most I know. That’s the most I can tell you. Continue reading “Mind Scraps: New Soul, Warrior Soul”

Diesel Fumes on My Face…

I woke up yesterday thinking my skin looked clearer and fresher than normal. This made me happy. A quick refreshing wash and I felt yet better. Then, I walked out the door only to be quickly blasted by thick cloud of diesel smoke from a passing bus here in Chihuahua, MX. ‘So much for my fresh, clear face,’ I griped inwardly. Then, I began to ponder about all the crud that would collect upon my face throughout the day.

I arrive at my favorite coffee shop – Kaldi – by foot, order my daily double espresso and log online. The unmistakable fwooop sound from Skype means a message is waiting. It seems my genius friend Ishac, who is completing post-grad work at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, has picked up a new trait: ESP, or extrasensory perception. Er, wait. Maybe it’s just me finally recognizing yet another rare ability of his. Makes sense that an interactive design genius would have extrasensory perception. 😉

Anyway, check out the new project he just finished and ironically enough alerted me to on the very same morning I oddly found myself wondering about daily pollutants that affect me:

Atmo

Concept, prototype | 2009

Atmo is a wearable object that senses and records environmental data.

When docked to a base station, the raw data is analysed and displayed back to the user, who can understand their cumulative exposure to various pollutants and toxins over time. But it also sends aggregated data to a central authority, who can detect the need for an emergency response more quickly, and get more accurate data over longer periods of time, enabling them to plan and implement longer term changes.

By distributing the sensing across people – mobile, distributed nodes – a bigger picture can be quickly built up, without the need for a new and expensive urban sensing infrastructure, while also giving individuals direct access to their own data.

Atmo was exhibited at KlimaForum09 during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

View the video:
[vimeo]10401896&[/vimeo]

Fair Trade Honey in Guatemala

Coffee is the fair trade commodity of choice in Guatemala, but the Tennesean reports that some university students are aiming to broaden the spectrum of fair trade goods produced in Guatemala. An excerpt from Entrepreneurship Can Help Rebuild Communities by Jeff Cornwall:

The town of Chajul, located in the mountainous region of Quiche in northern Guatemala, suffered some of the most brutal violence of the country’s 30-year civil war. Its predominantly indigenous community continues to be one of the most economically distressed in Guatemala.

The Belmont students, led by College of Business Administration faculty Jose Gonzalez and Marieta Velikova, traveled to Chajul earlier this year and worked with the farmers who are seeking to diversify away from their reliance on coffee by adding fair trade honey production.

What started as a small initiative to support coffee farmers is beginning to have a major impact on the economic and social development in the region.

The students are now seeking funding from a social innovation competition sponsored by Dell to fund expansion of the project. They also want to use the funding to support the expansion of a micro-loan fund.

Funding from the competition is based on votes at this Web site: http://www.dellsocialinnovationcompetition.com/ideaList?lsi=3.

Some 85 percent of the population of Quiche lives on less than $2 a day. Creating a more efficient opportunity for revenue growth for a cooperative that is a central part of the community will greatly improve the livelihood of the honeybee farmers, their families and the community.

Given the depths of this recession, we need to help entrepreneurs around the globe once again thrive. Small business growth is the key to rebuilding communities that have been devastated by unemployment.