Monthly Archives: January 2008

In Search of Meaningful Conversation

“If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.”   — Goethe I‘ve never been a fan of small-talk. I appreciate that you need a personal context for conversation … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves | 10 Comments

Ten Signs the US and Canada are Failing States

Last year I reported on Jeff Vail’s analysis of Mˆ©xico as a ‘failing state’. The signs he reported included the presence of independence groups (the Zapatistas) who have just given up on the dysfunctional government, the collapse of key economic … Continue reading

Posted in How the World Really Works | 5 Comments

Pilgrimage, Part Two: A Night in the Rainforest

It’s only 90 minutes in the rickety old Blue Bird school bus (whose drivers navigate the twisting mountainous roads of Belize way too fast) from the impoverished Southern coastal Garifuna village of Hopkins that I described in Part One of … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Works | 4 Comments

“Community is Born of Necessity”

Joe Bageant, at home in Hopkins, BelizeThe above quote is from Joe Bageant’s son. It came up in our recent discussion on Intentional Community versus ‘Accidental’ Community. Community is born of necessity. This one sentence, Joe believed, explained the success … Continue reading

Posted in Preparing for Civilization's End | 4 Comments

Pilgrimage, Part One: What Globalization Has Wrought in the World’s Struggling Nations, and Why They Put Up With It

One of the benefits of blogging is the opportunity to make friends all over the world who invite you to stay with them if you ever visit their country. Not only is this economical, it’s a wonderful way to discover … Continue reading

Posted in Preparing for Civilization's End | 2 Comments

Pilgrimage — A Paradise Found, and Lost

I‘m back from a week-long, impulsive trip to Belize (some photos here), where I visited with Joe Bageant, one of the greatest storytellers of our generation, lived with a struggling family in a struggling nation (to learn whether all the … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves | 3 Comments

Friday Flashback — Ten Steps to Great Conversations — and a Week’s Hiatus

This week’s Friday Flashback is from September 2006: Ten ways to make your conversations more effective, enjoyable, and valuable for all. Summary: The reasons we converse: to remember, reassure, educate, conceptualize, prompt action, convince, assist, think through, entertain, and socialize. … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves | 5 Comments

Love as Play

I spent a couple of hours after work recently with a sweet friend I hadn’t seen in a couple of months. We talked mostly, as is my wont these days, about love, conversation and community. Since she is polyamorous, I … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves | 2 Comments

Conversation in Virtual Communities: What Happens When You Change From One Medium of Communication to Another?

Our fledgling Intentional Community in Second Life. It’s a simple, natural setting. We sleep in a cave beside a waterfall.Yesterday Mia, the woman with whom I’m creating an experimental Intentional Community in Second Life, and I, and our friend Mich, … Continue reading

Posted in Our Culture / Ourselves | 2 Comments

Sustainability: Two Irreconcilable Perspectives

I spent today with four different groups of business executives. Much of the discussion of these meetings was on the subject of ‘sustainability’ — both in the environmental sense (companies’ environmental impact, and the impact of possible environmental catastrophes on companies) and … Continue reading

Posted in Preparing for Civilization's End | 2 Comments