Sunday Open Thread — November 4, 2007

love and longing by dream traveler
love and longing by Polish photographer dream-traveler on deviantart

What I’m Thinking of Writing (and Podcasting) About Soon:

The Chemistry of Love: This will probably be a two-parter, just in case you’re not fed up with me writing about this subject like a teenager languissant d’amour. The first part will be a review of the hormones that are released when we love, or are in love, and how they make us feel. The second part will be one of my notorious debates-with-self, wherein Dave the Romantic and Dave the Cynic debate about whether love is all there is, or whether it’s an addiction that distracts us from focusing on the important work of making the world a better place for all.

Coping With the Strategy Paradox: I met recently with Michael Raynor, who wrote The Strategy Paradox. He’s now looking at what else we can do to deal with this paradox, and he poked some holes in my argument that what we need is resilience, not planning

The Evolving Role of the Information Professional: Since I listed the five major ‘products’ of my new employer, some people have suggested that this list might define the new role of the information professional in all sorts of organizations.

Why We Need a Public Persona:The journey to know yourself is the first step towards understanding how the world works and becoming truly yourself, which is necessary before you can make the world a little better. As de Mello said, this journey is mostly about getting rid of the everybody-else stuff that has become attached to us as part of our social conditioning, and getting rid of this stuff is perhaps what ee cummings meant when he said the hardest thing is to be nobody-but-yourself when the world is relentlessly trying to make you everybody-else. From birth, we pick up all this everybody-else stuff that clings to us and changes us, muddies us. We are rewarded by society for doing so. I find the ‘figments of reality’ thesis helpful in this hard work — realizing that our minds are nothing more than problem-detection systems evolved by the organs of our bodies for their purposes, not ‘ours’. That ‘we’ are, each ‘one’ of us, a collective, a complicity. What makes it so hard is that becoming nobody-but-yourself opens you up to accusations of being anti-social, weird, self-preoccupied, arrogant etc. So we end up, I think, having to adopt a public persona that is, to some extent, not genuine, not ‘us’ at all. That’s hard. How can we make this public persona as thin and transparent as possible? This is a follow-up to my recent article on how how we look affects who we perceive ourselves to be.

The Water Crisis: The disappearance of fresh water is likely to be the first wave of the future cascading crises of global warming. Ironically, the second wave is likely to be floods.

Gangs and the Malleability of Human Ethics: Observers of the now decade-long intractable genocides and civil wars in Darfur, Somalia, Chad, Zaire and other African nations describe the same gang phenomena repeated endlessly: Men horrifically tortured and slaughtered, women systematically and repeatedly raped, children kidnapped and forced into slavery and military duty, animals and other resources stolen, and villages burned to the ground. What is it about human nature that so many can perpetrate such atrocities for so long without remorse?

Vignette #7

Blog-Hosted Conversation #3: This week I’ll (finally) be publishing my narrated, edited interview of Rob Paterson, which I recorded last week, on a revolutionary overhaul of the education system.

Possible Open Thread Question:

How does your public persona, the way you choose to project yourself to the world, most differ from your true self, your true nature.Why?

This entry was posted in Our Culture / Ourselves. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sunday Open Thread — November 4, 2007

  1. Mary Wilson says:

    Please, please follow through on the love podcast/blog. It’s healthier than Ben & Jerry’s and more cathartic than Grey’s Anatomy reruns.

Comments are closed.