Sharing countercultural history. Investigating ideas on how to co-create sustainable community outside the box. Establishing said online resources content in one place. Thereby, mirroring the long process of what it takes to raise social justice, political and cultural consciousness collectively. Your mission, should you decide to join us, is to click on the yellow daisy on the left! All the best to you, in a world-wide affiliation!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

This I Believe

Weekend Edition Sunday, March 29, 2009 ·

I believe globalization is forcing our brains to evolve.

Matt Harding's videos of himself dancing around the world have drawn more than 20 million views. "I am in a world of over 6 billion people, all of whom are now inextricably linked together," Matt says.

I've had the privilege to see a lot more of the world than anyone my age could reasonably hope to. A few years ago, on a backpacking trip, I made a video of myself dancing terribly in exotic locations. I put it on my Web site. Some friends started passing it around, and soon millions of people had watched it.

I was offered sponsorship to continue my accidental vocation, and since then I've made two more videos that include 70 countries on all seven continents. A lot of people wanted to dance along with me, so I started inviting them to join in everywhere I went, from Toronto to Tokyo to Timbuktu.

Here's what I can report back: People want to feel connected to each other. They want to be heard and seen, and they're curious to hear and see others from places far away. I share that impulse. It's part of what drives me to travel. But it's constantly at odds with another impulse, which is to reduce and contain my exposure to a world that's way too big for me to comprehend.

My brain was designed to inhabit a fairly small social network of maybe a few dozen other primates — a tribe. Beyond that size, I start to get overwhelmed.

And yet here I am in a world of over 6 billion people, all of whom are now inextricably linked together. I don't need to travel to influence lives on the other side of the globe. All I have to do is buy a cup of coffee or a tank of gas. My tribe has grown into a single, impossibly vast social network, whether I like it or not. The problem, I believe, isn't that the world has changed, it's that my primitive caveman brain hasn't.

I am fantastic at seeing differences. Everybody is. I can quickly pick out those who look or behave differently, and unless I actively override the tendency, I will perceive them as a threat. That instinct may have once been useful for my tribe but when I travel, it's a liability.

Photo courtesy Matt Harding, Harding is working on a book about his travels titled Where the Hell is Matt. He lives in Seattle with his girlfriend and dog.

When I dance with people, I see them smile and laugh and act ridiculous. It makes those differences seem smaller. The world seems simpler, and my caveman brain finds that comforting.

I believe my children will have brains ever so slightly better suited to the vast complexity that surrounds us. They will be more curious, more eager to absorb and to connect.

And I believe when they look into eyes of strangers, what they will see before the differences are the things that are the same.

Independently produced for Weekend Edition Sunday by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Torrid Reflections of the Middle East's Emergent Evolution into the Twenty-first Century

The Afghan Supreme Court is upholding a 20 year prison sentence given to student and journalist Parwez Kambakhsh for blasphemy after he simply downloaded from the internet and

circulated an article about women's rights under Islam. We now must rally together to pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai to pardon this innocent man.

Kambakhsh was originally sentenced to death for his "crime." His sentence was later reduced to jail time for distributing the internet article. Freedom-of-the-press advocates and human rights groups who have championed Kambakhsh's case are horrified by the decision.

Join us in seeking from President Hamid Karzai a presidential pardon of Kambakhsh and urging the U.S.A and the U.N. to intervene for human rights. We must do everything we can to save him.

Kambakhsh has been denied legal representation and the opportunity to present evidence in his defense. Act now to help free this innocent man for helping to raise awareness about the plight of women.

For Equality,

Eleanor Smeal

Eleanor Smeal

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Herstory Day

The Herstory of International Women's Day

International Women's Day is a time for women around the world to commemorate their struggles and celebrate their achievements. The United Nations formally proclaimed March 8 International Women's Day in 1975. The roots of International Women's Day can be traced back to the struggles of women workers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For more details, visit

International Women's Day and NWHP

In 1977, when the women who would establish the National Women's Herstory Project began planning a women's history week, March 8th, International Women's Day, was chosen as the focal date.

The selection was based on wanting to ensure that the celebration of women's history would include a multicultural perspective, an international connection between and among all women, and the recognition of women as significant in the paid workforce.

United States women's history became the primary focus of the curriculum and resources developed. At that time, there were no school districts in the country teaching women's history. The goal, although it most often seemed a dream, was to first impact the local schools, then the nation, and finally the world. It is a dream that is becoming a reality.

For more information