A post in World Changing asks Why do People Desire walls? and lists an impressive number of walls that have been build in recent years:
The list of walls she gave is absolutely alarming, especially considered that she focused on the ones that have risen since the much celebrated fall of the Berlin Wall: the U.S. border with Mexico and the Israeli West Bank barrier these two share high technology, sub-contracting and they also reference each other for legitimation, Post-Apartheid South Africa’s internal maze of walls and check point, Saudi Arabia concrete structure along its border with Yemen, India’s reinforced border with Pakistan and Bengladesh, Botswana’s electric fence along the border with Zimbabwe, the wall between Egypt and Gaza, etc. But also walls within walls: gated communities so popular in the U.S. in particular in Southern Californian communities living closer to the Mexico border, walls around Israel settlements in West Bank, walls around the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and the walls that partition the city itself, the triple layer of walls around Spanish enclaves in Morocco, the wall of Via Anelli inside the Italian city of Padua that separate white middle class with immigrants living in an “African ghetto” i’d recommend Italian readers the documentary Stato di Paura, you can find the trailer here, the Baghdad wall built by the U.S. military, etc. [original post contains links]
Do people desire walls? or do they simply not see any other solution to guarantee security in the short term? How can you reach short-term security without undermining long-term stability? What economic, social, and political interests are linked to building walls?
Check out the interesting video projet by the Israeli NGO B’Tselem mentioned in the post.
Article by Kevin Kelly on the characteristics that make goods (especially digital ones) valuable. He identifies 8 qualities that add value: Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, and Findability.
In a real sense, these are eight things that are better than free. Eight uncopyable values. I call them “generatives.” A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced.
Nature is full of generative value (cannot be copied, cloned, faked,…) and yet we are using lots of natural resources without paying (adequately) for their use. How come?
[P]eople systematically and predictably behave in ways that are much more cooperative than would be predicted by the game theoretical impact. [original post]
I discovered this quote by Yochai Benkler on People and Place, a (relatively) new online magazine. The first issue was on Resilience Thinking and the current one is on “One Person, One Share” of the Atmosphere.
Awesome reflection about change by Wendy Farmer-O’Neil entitled Change is dead:
I am proposing that the ever-emergent flow is all there is. Take that into your body for a moment and see if there is a different response.
And how do we respond to that? With self-organization, like we always have. Like there was ever anything else. Only now, we can choose to do it consciously. We can choose to learn and create processes that leverage the power of emergence, of context, of relationship, of questions. So let go of change. It is a concept that no longer serves us or our organizations. It locks us in a jail of false hope and is creating increasingly disastrous consequences. We are simply in the flow of the ever-emergent. We shape our present and future through our collective intention. Might as well step up and start taking responsibility for what you care about and see who else shows up.
Emphasis mine, HT @hnauheimer for sharing.
Check out this post on OntheCommons and the video of a speech by Professor Louis Wolcher from the University of Washington it links to.
For me, the most important meaning of the commons is not a pasture, it’s not an ocean, it is the shared imagination of people in solidarity with one another, confronting a world that is falling apart before our eyes.
Watching the full speech entitled “The Meaning of the Commons”, is well worth the 25 minutes. In the end Wolcher cites an Economist article that was published after the IASC conference in Cheltenham in 2008.
There were a lot of people who were completely complicit in this grand rip-off of the financial system, because they were thinking about capturing value for themselves, they weren’t thinking about creating value. —Tim O’Reilly in his Keynote at ETech 2009.
The principle he advocates here is Create more value than you capture. Why? because if everyone only thinks about their own return independently of the overall impact, we get system breakdown, as in the financial system, climate system, food system, … Instead we can choose to create community and lasting value!
Great lesson in working with instead of against nature and local people. It puzzles me that successes like this are not more widely known and built upon.
I wonder if the project had to buy the land from the local people or if it could have achieved the same by ensuring recognition of local people’s rights to land.