Multitasking Virus In Our Classrooms

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I returned to the classroom of Dennis Dalton, the most important college professor of my life. From the back of an amphitheater seating several hundred students, I realized how much things had evolved at Columbia and Barnard. The lecture hall was now equipped with a wireless sound system, webcams, video projectors, wireless internet. Students were using computers to record the lecture and to take notes. Heads were buried in screens, the tap tap of hundreds of keyboards like rain on the roof.

On this afternoon, April 16, 2008, Dalton was describing the satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi, building the discussion around the Amritsar massacre in 1919, when British colonial soldiers opened fire on 10,000 unarmed Indian men, women and children trapped in Jallianwala Bagh Garden.

Give Me The Earth Plus 5% – Part I

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

The story you are about to read is, of course, fiction. But if you found it to be disturbingly close to the truth and would like to know who Fabian was in real life, a good starting point is a study on the activities of the English goldsmiths in the 16th & 17th centuries.

The Beginning…fabian1

Fabian was excited as he once more rehearsed his speech for the crowd certain to turn up tomorrow. He had always wanted prestige and power and now his dreams were going to come true.

He was a craftsman working with silver and gold, making jewelry and ornaments, but he became dissatisfied with working for a living. He needed excitement, a challenge, and now his plan was ready to begin.

Learning about Learning: an Interview with Joshua Waitzkin

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

In 1993, Paramount Pictures released Searching for Bobby Fischer, which depicts Joshua Waitzkin’s early chess success as he embarks on a journey to win his first National chess championship. This movie had the effect of weakening his love for the game as well as the learning process.

His passion for learning was rejuvenated, however, after years of meditation, and reading philosophy and psychology. With this rekindling of the learning process, Waitzkin took up the martial art Tai Chi Chuan at the age of 21 and made rapid progress, winning the 2004 push hands world championship at the age of 27.

The Venus Project – The Redesign of a Culture

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

We intend to restore the fundamental necessities and environmental awareness of the species through the avocation of the most current understandings of who and what we truly are, coupled with how science, nature and technology (rather than religion, politics and money) hold the keys to our personal growth, not only as individual human beings, but as a civilization, both structurally and spiritually.

The central insights of this awareness is the recognition of the Emergent and Symbiotic elements of natural law and how aligning with these understandings as the bedrock of our personal and social institutions, life on earth can and will flourish into a system which will continuously grow in a positive way, where negative social consequences, such as social stratification, war, biases, elitism and criminal activity will be constantly reduced and, idealistically, eventually become nonexistent within the spectrum of human behavior itself.