Inspiration

Schmience explained

I was really torn when first presented with this leadership assignment because of how down-hearted I have felt at my confusion over this CBR project and how I eagerly took on a challenge to do research with the aim of perfecting my Schmience science literacy program, only to have the EMDT faculty require that I truncate it. I have to confess that I am am not proud of my CBR site and am too embarrassed by its limited and redundant nature to wish to publish or present it. But I am trying to maintain my interest and commitment to the larger idea this challenge that I took on, and want to adapt as much of the material that I have created here to this more authentic purpose as possible.

But it turns out that I have actually been heartened by this process of thinking about my sources of inspiration. One of my very first heroes was Jacques Yves Cousteau, whose lifelong effort to educate us all about the ocean and fate of our precious planet has motivated me since I was a little boy.

Jacques Cousteau and his wife Simone with their sons Phillipe and Jean Michel

Another hero from my youth and from this realm of science education was Carl Sagan. His program Cosmos was culturally transformational, and was instrumental in convincing me that our welfare depends on science literacy. He said: “We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.” His book, The Demon Haunted World convinced me to become an activist and has had me standing up against superstition and ignorance ever since.

Carl Sagan explaining the size of our solar system

I have a number of heroes in the movement for open access to information. Stewart Brand, whom I have mentioned a number of times, and whose Long Now Foundation is doing great work educating the public about the need for long term thinking with their Long Term Seminars with Kevin Kelly, The Rosetta Project with Jim Mason and the  10,000 year clock with Alexander Rose.
Stewart was one of the people responsible for the New Games tournament

New Games, 1973, Marin Headlands

and along with a whole cadre of my fellow boomers has been approaching global problems in the context of a systems paradigm and using social engineering to construct collaborations and alliances in an effort to slowly transform the world.
I admire folks like Scott Beale and his Laughing Squid, Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist who are all geniuses working hard not in fulfillment of Adam Smith’s outdated observations about the primacy of self interest, but in an enlightened understanding of the interconnectedness of this planet and her beings and the great joy to be found in living these collectively-inspired lives.
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2 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. Pingback: Week 4 Leadership Post | fuddled?

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