Spirit of the Commons in Einstein’s view of the world

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

–Albert Einstein, in The World As I See It

HT for the quote to Tim Kastelle from the Innovation Leadership Network

Why don’t we ask more questions?

Very much in line with the quote by Martin von Hildebrand I posted a couple of days ago:

Too often in most businesses asking questions seems intrusive, as if you are trying to catch someone off guard or perhaps suspect they haven’t done their homework. That’s too bad, because far too many questions go unasked, and because of that far too many assumptions go unchallenged and far too many half-baked ideas are implemented.

via Thinking Faster: Asking the right questions.

Thanks to Martin (aka frogpond) for pointing me to this post.

Music gets people aligned to form community

Very interesting panel on Music and brain activity from the World Science Festival with Bobby McFerrin:

I have a feeling that most everyone here at some place inside, they have sincere desire to participate, to become part of something, which is a very strong need in all of us, I think, to be part of some kind of a community and have some kind of a relationship whether it is with another person or music. So, I find very very easily, regardless of what country or culture that I am in, to give an invitation for people to sing and they readily jump on it.

See him in action:

Found through Ribeezie.com

Low price = good?

There is more and more writing about the need for a change in lifestyle and business strategy, e.g. here or here. Yet, we still seem to be addicted to accumulating material wealth:

It’s not just cheap oil we’re addicted to: it’s cheap everything. And the world we’re entering isn’t really of Peak Oil as it is one of Peak Consumption.

via America’s Addiction and the
New Economics of Strategy – Umair Haque

A new book by Anthony Giddens, applies a well known paradox to the climate change debate and the slow progress we make in solving the mess: that people do not act on an incrementally growing threat until it becomes visible, by which stage action may be too late.

So if most people still think that the lower the price, the better, how do we get them to see the damage that does and the opportunity that lies in doing thing differently?

What is our place in the food system?

Louise Fresco shares her vision for our future food system – probably closer to reality than either the fossil fuel dependent industrial or the local organic model. Just does not feel as good as the local, organic vision!

It makes sense to assume that our future food needs are met by a system that lies between those models, that we will use technology (including biotech) as much as we can within the bounds of what is healthy for us humans and the environment. And she certainly has a point, when arguing that we cannot expect poor people to continue spent all their time to meet their food needs often using nothing but their hands, when we only have to go to the supermarket after work to buy what we need thanks to mechanized agriculture.

A great quote that is also shared on the TED site: “There is no technical reason why we could not feed a world of nine billion people. Hunger is a matter of buying power, not of shortages.” –Louise Fresco, NRC Handelsblad