I’ll be away for a couple of weeks, so here is the last set of links for the year. Happy New Year.
I am worried about democracy these days. Our electoral politics are ravaged by social media manipulation, an absence of policy discussion, and the influence of money. Governance affords very little opportunity for meaningful citizen participation. Harold Jarche is worried too, and in this pots he tackles the question of how to save democracy head on.
Our institutions are failing us. They were designed for the age of print, not an electrically connected one. We need new structures and the current wave of returns to tribalism manifested as populism will not save us. As the advent of the printing press helped usher in an age of inquiry, first in the Christian religion and later in the enlightenment and scientific revolutions, so we have to engage in creating new organizational and governance structures for a global network era.
If print enabled democracy, will the emerging electric/digital medium destroy it?
Another stunner from Quanta Magazine. This is a great introductory video to emergence. I could listen to excellent basic introductions to complexity all day. Enjoy this one. This is the phenomenon that my life’s work is devoted to.
Maria Popva runs Brain Pickings, which is an amazing blog. She shares some detailed reviews of a couple of dozen books that grabbed her attention this year from authors including Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, Audré Lourde, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Zadie Smth among others, including some terrific children’s books. She calls this list “New Year’s Resolutions in Reverse.”
My colleague Carolyn Camman, a developmental evaluator has recently revamped her blog and there are some brilliant pieces on there, including this one which provides advice to her future colleagues from five things you should learn how to do, and one Max Ehermann Desiderata which begins
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Onaubinisay (Jim Dumont) is an important teacher of Anisinaabe governance and spirituality. I met him first in the 1980s when I was studying Native Studies at Trent University, where he visited as a guest during our annual Elders and Traditional People’s conference. He was an influential supporter of the effort to re-establish the Midewiwin religion in southern Ontario, an effort I got to be a small part of along with Paul Bourgeois and a little army of his students from Trent at the time.
Here is is speaking earlier this year at the World Parliament of Religions.