Not sure when it happened, but we’ve all been sold a bill of goods. The people in charge (aka, TPTB) know that united we stand, and divided, we fall. Well, maybe not divided so much, as simply no longer personally connected. Social media doesn’t count. Want to know why?
First, let me state that there is this idea moving towards meme status that the hivemind has accepted that says that “Facebook is great for connecting.” Here’s my thoughts on that—“poppycock!” And I’ve actually got some research to back me up. And what is that research, pray tell?
Well, studies have been done with subjects, aged 50 and up. Apparently, face-to-face interaction (as opposed to Facebooking) is more apt to ward off depression. Very interesting, indeed.
Once, we were a nation of associations and fraternal organizations. These included labor unions, like the old Knights of Labor and then later, the American Federation of Labor. Workers banded together against attempts to pay them less than they thought they were worth, and other exploitive tactics of Big Business. The farmers did the same thing, countering Big Business attempts to divide and conquer. These agrarian organizations were the “Patrons of Husbandry or the Grangers.”
If we’re slowly but surely becoming a nation of free agents, ala, Daniel Pink, does that mean that Whitey TM now has the upper hand? Where do we gather our strength and solidarity from these days? Continue reading →
None of us are islands. Rugged individualism and prioritizing personal liberty might fuel libertarian wet dreams, but healthy communities require the resources that only come from the commons.
For decades, we’ve stepped back from knowing our neighbors. Gone are the days of party phone lines, nightly walks around the neighborhood, and social connectivity has too often been replaced by surrogates; the glow of television and personal electronic devices, which further alienate and balkanize us. People are social beings and face time with other humans is essential. Continue reading →
Putnam’s book and his ideas have infused my own thinking about the world since reading the book in 2002. In 2005, I tackled writing a book of my own, one that drew liberally upon the concept of social capital, using baseball rather than bowling as the metaphor for the changes American communities have experienced over the last 50-60 years. Continue reading →
It requires very little skill to be a naysayer. Naysayers are a lot like Henny Penny, running around crying, “the sky is falling,” merely because Chicken Little said it was so. Naysayers can do a lot of damage, and they do so without any accountability. Sometimes, I think their recklessness is akin to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.
What’s interesting about the folktale and the central character, Henny Penny, is that what spawned the declaration of “the sky is falling” was an acorn falling from the sky, a fairly normal occurrence. Rather than think, “oh, gee; an acorn just fell out of the tree above me,” Henny Penny insisted on injecting histrionics into the mix. Continue reading →