"What I’ve always felt that a team of people doing something they really believe in is like is like when I was a young kid there was a widowed man that lived up the street. He was in his eighties. He was a little scary looking. And I got to know him a little bit. I think he may have paid me to mow his lawn or something.
And one day he said to me, “come on into my garage I want to show you something.” And he pulled out this dusty old rock tumbler. It was a motor and a coffee can and a little band between them. And he said, “come on with me.” We went out into the back and we got just some rocks. Some regular old ugly rocks. And we put them in the can with a little bit of liquid and little bit of grit powder, and we closed the can up and he turned this motor on and he said, “come back tomorrow.”
And this can was making a racket as the stones went around.
And I came back the next day, and we opened the can. And we took out these amazingly beautiful polished rocks. The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other like this (clapping his hands), creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.
That’s always been in my mind my metaphor for a team working really hard on something they’re passionate about. It’s that through the team, through that group of incredibly talented people bumping up against each other, having arguments, having fights sometimes, making some noise, and working together they polish each other and they polish the ideas, and what comes out are these really beautiful stones.”
The study of flocking has suffered from a lack of detailed measurements. Now advanced computer vision techniques that can simultaneously track the movement of thousands of birds are leading to remarkable new insights, say researchers
In our complex and problem-ridden mass society, we need to develop radically new understandings about collective action. What seems clear is that the problems of our collective world are such that no leader or system could ever resolve them. In fact, attempts to find solutions in that tried and untrue direction will undoubtedly lead to further complications.
The sad fact is that our organizations isolate and keep each of us apart. As much as they hold us together. We have assumed that because individuals are essentially separate particles, collective action must be coordinated through these imposed external structures. But what if we dropped that assumption and allowed self-organization to create our communities? What if we intentionally forged our social solutions in the fires of creative chaos?
John Briggs and David Peat, Seven Life Lessons of Chaos
In order to complain about the tourists clogging New York’s streets during the holidays, Alexandra Horowitz recounts the research findings of William Whyte, who deciphered the rules of walking in crowds. Tourists simply screw it all up.
I just found all these awesome activities for teaching about discrimination and prejudice in our world today and in the past. They say college classroom activities but I could see using almost all of these in a high school setting as well. Check it out!
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding.”—Thich Nhat Hahn (via perdure)
What if just 20 buildings dedicated to urban farming could provide the entire city of New York with fruits and vegetables year round? It sounds like a fantasy of the future dreamed up on a Hollywood film set. But with breakthrough…
where technology and human needs intersect — we will find meaningful innovation.
Many of the world’s most important food-producing regions depend on freshwater from massive underground aquifers that have built up over thousands of years. The Ogallala Aquifer in the midwestern United States. The Upper Ganges,…
An interscholastic league for athletic competition was formed about a century ago, comprising four schools: Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton. This league was known officially as the Four League but, in the academic tradition of the day, the Roman numeral IV was used. This, then, was the origin of the IV league. When referred to vocally, it became the Ivy League.
Loosely translated, “namaste” means “the spirit in me recognizes spirit in you.” It is, beyond its use as a greeting, an acknowledgement of oneness. It says, “I see you for all you are beneath the flesh, and I welcome your presence.” It isn’t necessary to start greeting all of our peers with “namaste,” but maybe we could all use a little more of this attitude in our lives.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”—Amelia Earhart (via coolchicksfromhistory)
“‘This isn’t conservatism: It’s a going-out-of-business sale for the Baby Boom generation.’ … Only 58 percent of Boomers have more than $25,000 put aside for retirement, so the rest will either starve or the government will have to pay for them.”—