Education & American History – The American public education system has played a unique and critical role in American history and the development of our society as perhaps the key institution for societal evolution, more so than our politics and democratic political process. That system’s roots and impact are beyond most conventional tellings of that history.
From Civilization to Circle of Equals – My overview of the narrative of human history, from the majority of human history lived as hunter-gatherers through our relatively recent experiment with settled life and specialization, that we call “civilization”, to where we need to go forward from there.
Governance – My thoughts on this geeky word that causes many people to glaze over and think that this is something for academics and beyond anything we care about in the real world. But the processes we follow to make decisions, including who are the decision makers and who gets to give input, are really fundamental to the the quality of the decisions that we make and the very nature of our society.
Healthy & Green Living – I try hard to lead a life of health and balance in the midst of a culture that seems at time to be obsessed with the opposite. I do a great deal of walking every day and I have not commuted to work in my own vehicle since the 20th century, and as a result I have become a great partaker and lover of mass transit, doing my best to lessen my carbon footprint.
My Own Unschooling Experiences – Most of the learning during my youth and young adulthood that is an important part of who I am today, including the skills I brought to my paid “knowledge work”, was done outside of, rather than in school. It included play, travel, theater, politics, war games, leading a generally self-directed life, and listening to the wisdom in the lyrics of the compelling contemporary music of the age I grew up in. Given that background, I was able to let my own kids live their lives outside the confines of school and schooling and develop as best they saw fit, and I was thrilled to see, after some stumbling at first, that it worked for them as well.
Human Development – My thoughts on the overall concept and context of human development, beyond the specifics of education. Our species is nothing if not a work in progress, and for me our development as individuals and as a species is the reason that we are all here on our bountiful planet to have as great a range of experiences as we possibly can to gain and share a combined pool of experience and gained wisdom. As my dad taught me, life at its best is an adventure, not always happy, not always successful, but at its best a story worth telling.
Marshall McLuhan – One of my life’s “gurus” is media philosopher Marshall McLuhan who believed that we humans were profoundly impacted (mostly below the level of conscious awareness) by our communication technology. His mantra was “the media is the message” and he also came up with the term “global village”.