culture – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: culture

Title: photographer silhouette | Author: Benjamin Balázs

The Hard Truth of Mental Illness

Crawl into this experience. Feel it. You have a mentally ill brother who has been tormented by his disease for over 50 years. He has suffered from delusions and voices his whole life.
He claims he knows Deep Throat. He is convinced that the FBI has implanted listening devices in his brain and in his teeth. He believes his parents are clones, and he is not sure who is real and who isn’t.

Title: Nulle chose ne peut être détruite | Author: Bruno Malfondet | License: CC0

Disruption, Destruction, and Distraction

Independence Day 2017 “Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.” —George W. Bush, 2017 Disruption can be for better for worse. Luckily for me, the two major disruptions in my life turned out for the better. In 1968, at age 23, I was sent to Vietnam as a soldier in Military Read More

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gross Domestic Spirit

In 2016, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded 18 Trillion Dollars – a record high.

In my mind, we need to measure not only our GDP, but also our GDS – Gross Domestic Spirit. Spirit is a force we need to grow and measure if we are going to thrive and prosper as a society. Deep spirit is a powerful experience.

facade | Author: mitchell haindfield | Flickr | | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic

Bubbles, Beliefs, and Behaviors

I grew up in a bubble. It was a very common bubble for a lot of folks in our country: Mid-western, white, Christian, republican, working class, conservative, and rural. I had very little understanding about the lives of people outside my bubble and no awareness that I was even in a bubble.

My first bubble was burst in 1968 when I served in Vietnam with Army Intelligence.

line dancing

2020 World Culture Vision

The TV show “Downton Abbey” demonstrates as well as anything I have ever read or seen how an all-pervasive cultural code can produce strange and incomprehensible behaviors in people. People will do abnormal things to look “normal” by complying with the unwritten rules of the game.

Just as financial reports need to be audited, so also do the norms and values of the culture.

Author: Nizomi / Shane Koh

Motivation and Meaning

Buried in the noise of the latest Trump shock story are larger questions: 1) What motivates people to say and do reprehensible things?; and 2) Where do we find meaning in swirling negativity of this campaign? Please help me. I’m really trying to understand the reasons people would vote for Trump. I’m sick of listening to pundits blabbing endlessly about their particular issues. It seems more like empty speculation reflecting personal biases instead of a Read More

"People's Fukushima Radiation Mask," by Surian Soosay

The Morality of Normality

In our culture, it has become all too normal to abuse the environment, exploit workers, exclude groups of people, and misuse technology. In this post I share the three moral revolutions that need to happen to avoid atrocities like the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Photo by Sérgio Rola, http://unsplash.com/sergio_rola

Wonder and Wondering

In 1968, I met Stephen Williams at Fort Holabird, Maryland, where we were both enrolled in Army Spy School.

This “Wordscape” shows the birth of a word by mapping the data related to every utterance of the word “water” in Deb Roy’s home. Image credit: Philip DeCamp/Deb Roy, via Wired

Cultural Captivity

As I grow older I see the world with a different set of glasses. As I observe more closely, I see that context is more important than content, and that we are all held captive by our cultures. Here’s a jarring example to make the point. Imagine what might go through the mind of an Israeli police officer confronting a Palestinian teenager furiously throwing rocks at him. Without taking into account the conditions and history Read More

Credit: Jens Lelie

91 per day

Yup, it’s true. America is #1 in guns per capita and not even in the top 100 in murders per capita. The NRA would have you believe that there are no problems with guns. In fact, they argue that there is an inverse relationship between guns and murder—their message is essentially, “The more guns, the less murder.” The evidence for this argument is a single statistic, isolated from its context. Here are the facts: While it Read More

Photo of Machu Picchu by Rick Bellingham

The History of Great Ideas

Great ideas have been piling up in history’s graveyard for 3,000 years. They are left unattended and largely forgotten. When these ideas are first introduced, they are usually met with laudatory excitement and abundant enthusiasm. Then, the ideas are gradually diminished and distorted through this four step process: Trivialization, Bastardization, Privatization, Commercialization