The newspaper article Love and Human Nature arose from a lead article in the February 2006 edition of the National Geographic. The National Geographic interviewed Helen Fisher, whose research indicates that neurochemicals dictate sexual behaviour - that chemical passion lasts only a few years and is replaced by the bonding chemical oxytocin. Faced with this, the reporter, Christin Geall, felt her romantic spirit begining to wither.
Christin's response to the idea that sexuality is governed by biology is to argue that some of the best relationships are born, not only out of passion, but also out of a deeper connection with nature. That is ducking the issue. Assuming sexuality is governed by biology, what is the role of sex in love?
Homelessness and the Social Economy
Homelessness – ‘they’ are not going away – ‘they’ are ‘in your face’. ‘They’ are downtown, annoying business owners, depressing property values, and hassling pedestrians. If you drive ‘them’ out of one locality they will settle in another. The homeless, like all humans, have followed the food, their addictions, or the availability of people to support them. Bottom line - it is likely the hard core homeless, will always be with us. What are we going to do with ‘them’?
What’s got our attention are the visible homeless - the ten per cent hard core chronically homeless and chronically ill - the heavy users of expensive public systems, hospital, jails, and detoxification centers – those who require long term subsidization. Visible homelessness gets our attention but it is only the tapering end of a spectrum of poverty.
In its simplest form the philosophical basis for Karl Marx and of communism is that the prime mover of society is economic imperatives. In other words a population tied to the land is an agrarian society because farming demands a certain type of society. It is a fairly reasonable hypothesis.
Economic imperatives change over time and for example the economic imperative that made the social convention of marriage a necessity - a man working the fields and a woman caring for the home, has ended. Marriage is no longer a financial necessity. Men and women have moved to an equal income, child rearing is no longer a necessity and so on. Marriage, as it has existed for the last few hundred years, is not appropriate and a new sort of relationship that is sustainable in a communal society must emerge.
From a History of God by Karen Armstrong, page 133:
They now had almost enough …and were making Mecca an international center of trade and high finance … some even believed that their wealth had given them a certain immortality. But Muhammad believed that this new cult of self-sufficiency would mean the disintegration of the tribe. In the old nomadic days the tribe had had to come first and the individual second: each one of its members knew that they all depended on one another for survival. Consequently that had a duty to take care of the poor and vulnerable people of their ethnic group. Now individualism had replaced the communal idea and competition had become the norm … unless … (they) learned to put another transcendent value at the center of their lives and overcome their egotism and greed, his tribe would tear itself apart morally and politically …
Are Blogs Communities?
Being geographically separate would, at first glance, seem to preclude blogs from being categorized as a community. From the blog point of view this is too restrictive an interpretation of what it means to be ‘in community’. Discussion on a blog is where a relatively large number of people co-operate in a process leading to an action or attitude based on the collective intelligence. This collective intelligence, based on the freely given thoughts of anyone joining the blog, is very enticing. Collective intelligence is one of the signs of community. Reading a blog discussion gives a validity to personal thought often missing in the day to day world – it is approval from one’s peers – a tribal stamp of significance and self worth.
Pragmatic Western industrial society, 'backs into' the future. Until an event, or act, occurs, no action is taken. The event determines the action to be taken, - usually based on a previous situation or assumed hallowed ideal, such as free enterprise. As the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and similar situations demonstrate, we have made a political philosophy out of 'crisis management.' There is a distrust of theories or schemes that deal with our future. The result is, we are 'event driven', and have lost control.
Environmental limits to the carrying capacity of the globe and limits to population growth now force us to re-appraise global society. Ecological dangers are only the starting point. The continuing allegiance to worn-out political and social structures incapable of having a broader vision other than short term gains drain our energy. We can no longer afford to be 'event driven' and must move away from past icons, even from such accepted tenets as growth economics and financial security. We must free ourselves from our past to consider new social values.
About 1975 I went looking for Geoph Kozeny. I found him in a run-down one-room apartment in San Francisco. He told me he had just returned from visiting some intentional communities in the Western States and would be leaving again in a few days.
I'd heard he spent his life 'on the road' visiting different communities, recording the comings and goings of groups and people, their triumphs and tragedies - the town crier for intentional communities. I was doing the same thing on a smaller scale. I lived in an intentional community in British Columbia, Canada where a group of people had gathered on thirty-three acres to live, and share, similar values. I traveled too, but my concern was to educate myself from the experiences of other communities - what made them stay together - what made them fall apart.
"Communal Sustainability" is a book being written by forbes leslie.
Each chapter will be posted progressively over the next few months, as they are completed.
Most open source Free Software projects have their own Help Forums and Documentation Wikis.
Help Forums are often very active: users from around the world flock to them asking for help: either the documentation is insufficient, there is a bug in the software, or the user doesn't know how to use it. Often, too, a few dedicated people do their best to answer the questions of many users who come when run into a problem, and leave when their problem is solved.