In a dying civilization, we have three choices. Many of us will accept common rapacity:
the “culture of more” expressed in monster houses and SUV battlewagons.
Others may retreat into physical isolation or quietist obsessions with art, literature or popular culture.
The third option is to contest the culture of more.
Although such a route is perhaps a losing proposition, it remains necessary;
and going against the grain can provide an interesting, if not always comfortable, way of life. J. Douglas Porteous
Society is held together, or integrated, by
the common values and beliefs of its members. When these values and notions
of accepted behavior no longer constrain, all that is left are the egocentric
cost-benefit calculations of atomized individuals.14 Such a disintegrated
society, predicts Johan Galtung, will be characterized by the failure of social
institutions, corruption, violence, and other social pathologies.
Smith, and the Decline of Civil Society)
(Also see Social Relations)
Freedom of choice (Video)
Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
What We Mean by Human Rights, and Why by Richard John Neuhaus
We must resist the claim of any government that it represents some mystical "general will of the people," thus relegating its opponents to the categories of subversive, subhuman or counterrevolutionary. In the age of electronic torture, computers and sophisticated behavioral controls, the Leviathan of the modern state, here and elsewhere, must be resisted.
Why Men Get Anxious by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen
A review of a book that details the decline of useful work for men and the resulting loss of masculine identity.
The Association of American Geographers 95th Annual Meeting, 23-27th March 1999, Honolulu, Hawaii
Mapping the Network Society
JASSS (The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulations)
Exploration and Understanding of Social Processes.
Understanding Complex and Social Dynamics
Rainer Hegselmann and Andreas Flache (1998)
Social order and Artificial Worlds
Michael W. Macy (1997)
From Chaos to Order , by John H. Holland, Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley. 1998
Emergence: from Chaos to order
New Castle University
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Society, Space and Practice
Both Michel Foucault and Truffaut's depiction of a disciplinary society are nearly identical
Michel Foucault Francois Truffaut
Society for International Development
The Society for International Development (SID), a global network of individuals and institutions concerned with development, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In its pursuit for social justice and institutional change, SID plays an important mediating and facilitating role among progressive civil society groups, connecting activists, intellectuals, academics and policy-makers working at community, national and international level. All of SID’s activities, which provide opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and information, are informed by the belief that such changes can only be achieved through dialogue and constructive engagement.
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
The Davos Question (video)
What one thing do you think countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?
Confucius Institute at China
Mandarin for Future Mandarin Teachers
High School Chinese Camp
The Confucius Institute at China Institute is one of the first Confucius Institutes to be established in the United States, with the mission of promoting Chinese language and culture, and an initial focus on training New York area teachers to meet the growing demand for Chinese language instruction.
The Standard of Living During the Industrial Revolution,
by E. J. Hobsbawm and R. M. Hartwell
AKAMASOA : Les objectifs
AKAMASOA ( « les bons amis ») est une association humanitaire malgache qui a été créée par le Père Pedro OPEKA en 1989.
Elle a pour but d’assurer la réhabilitation humaine et la réinsertion économique et sociale des plus pauvres.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
[...] recent social theory has formulated a more precise concept of globalization than those typically offered by pundits. Although sharp differences continue to separate participants in the ongoing debate, most contemporary social theorists endorse the view that globalization refers to fundamental changes in the spatial and temporal contours of social existence [...]
In many postmodern attempts to understand scientific practice socio-cognitive relativism is no longer an issue for debate; it has become a foundational premise for an allegedly correct approach to understanding method and history. Contrasted with the traditional belief in the existence of a single, transferable, inevitably progressive scientific method, and the traditional epistemological project of a reflective distillation of rational rules from successful practice -- rules which will serve as normative prescriptions for future success(1) -- we are asked to see science as an "empty label" for a diverse collection of methodologies, as a contingent "knowledge-making game," as a set of "discourses" engendered by prior ideological commitments and social interests, and a collection of narratives put into service primarily as post hoc rationalizations of these commitments and interests.
Phenomenology, Place, Environment and Architecture
Direct Action and Fields of care, by J. Douglas Porteous
In a dying civilization, we have three choices. Many of us will accept common rapacity: the “culture of more” expressed in monster houses and SUV battlewagons. Others may retreat into physical isolation or quietist obsessions with art, literature or popular culture. The third option is to contest the culture of more. Although such a route is perhaps a losing proposition, it remains necessary; and going against the grain can provide an interesting, if not always comfortable, way of life.
Argentinian Soundscapes, November 1994, R. Murray Schafer
Schafer is a Canadian composer and writer well known for his Tuning of the World, a history of the sonic environment, or soundscape (see EAP, 3, 1, 7-9). Schafer regularly gives lectures and workshops on sound education throughout the world. The following is an extract from an account describing his lecture and teaching experiences in Buenos Aires, Argentina on a visit in 1994.
"November 4, 1994 Buenos Aires. Spacious apartment thirteen stories up on the Avenida Pueyrredon waiting to be taken to my first lecture. Subject: El paisaje sonoro [soundscape]. A good display of it below the window. I counted 350 car horns over a one-hour period this afternoon".
Father, what is a Legislature?
A representative body elected by the people of the state.
Are women people?
No, my son, criminals, lunatics and women are not people.
Do legislators legislate for nothing?
Oh, no; they are paid a salary.
By the people.
Are women people?
Of course, my son, just as much as men are.