June 14, 2018

The Power Of Human Creativity: The Future Of The World May Depend On It

"Things I Would Not Normally Recycle"

On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the Owl & Ibis Confluence of Minds took a swipe at the Dark Mountain Project by tapping into our respective creative spirits. Why? Perhaps to actively, personally demonstrate to ourselves that the human creative spirit is alive, well and ever necessary - now, if not more than ever, during the 200,000-year evolutionary history of Homo sapiens.

Necessary, especially now, given DMP's and others' claims of impending global catastrophe(s) from human arrogance and delusion, and wasteful, unbridled-growth global capitalism.

Since January, O&I has been closely examining DMP's bleak forecast, and DMP's suggestion that only the arts, especially literary efforts at a new "story" for civilization, can help avert the coming fall of Humankind. Tuesday evening's presentation, "Current Worldviews and Visions of the Future, Art" led by Judith Moore, and the upcoming O&I presentation on June 26, "Current Worldviews and Visions of the Future, The Humanities" by John Cruickshank, will conclude O&I's look at the Dark Mountain Project. To the relief of many, I am sure.

Kudos and a hearty thank you to Judith for organizing and leading this great evening, and to her husband Richard who participated and helped schlep the pile of art materials to the meeting! Judith's presentation also included showing excellent short videos on creating art works from disposed of materials and Dan Phillips' construction of alternative homes from found and natural items, and construction project discards.

"Never underestimate the power of human creativity!" one attendee quipped at Tuesday's meeting.

Great evening, time well spent! At top is an image of one of the evening's creations. Here are the rest:




Pith helmet a prop, not standard O&I gear. :)

June 11, 2018

Remaking the World With Words - Plus, How to Read Them

Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468)

Johannes Gutenberg's printing press met the Catholic Church's need for consistency in its canon at a time when the Christian church was divided within and challenged from without. Later, this great invention assisted the Church's central European detractors by facilitating the beginning and spread of the Protestant Reformation. The invention then promoted science by hastening the dissemination and exchange of scientific ideas about the composition and workings of the universe, and how to study them. More broadly, it greatly contributed to the Western Enlightenment in terms of making ideas - such as how to improve individual well being (freedom and justice), and how to better organize and facilitate group living - available to more people.

The details of these important events in world history and what led to an invention that deeply influenced them all is a story well told in Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World with Words (2002) by John Man. This book is an excellent description of the life and times of Johannes Gutenberg, and the impact of his 1440 invention, the movable type printing press.

Example of a European Printing Press 1568

"Gutenberg's invention had created the possibility of an intellectual genome, a basis of knowledge which could be passed from generation to generation, finding expression in individual books, as the human genome is expressed in you and me itself remaining untouched, a river of knowledge into which every new generation could tap and to which it could add, even after the last press ceases, and paper is no more, and all that the vast store of accumulated knowledge is gathered in hyperspace. For there, in perpetuo, will be Gutenberg's Bible in all its electronic glory, to remind our children's children that this was the thing that started the revolution made by Johannes Gutenberg."

An Early Printing Press with Movable Type

For more on the great inventions in human evolutionary history see here.

As for how to read, there's this:

Photo: Zat Rana

Zat Rana
June 8, 2018

"Reading is telepathy, and a book is the most powerful technology invented.

"Homer, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Woolf, Hemingwaythese are names without a living body. We cant talk to them, nor touch them, but their thoughts are immortalized through the written word.