Saturday, February 12, 2011

waste to power

My daughter Lucy is a member of Engineers Without Borders at Columbia University, and her group has produced a video about their project in Obodan, Ghana, Implementing Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in Ghana

Your can vote on the viability of their project. Please do. In the meantime, I have one more day to prepare for my very brief talk about the relationship between the hands and the meaning of love. I welcome your thoughts as I prepare.

One point of interest on the subject is entropy, a concept for which there is no accepted opposite, but for which I propose love. While things fall apart, love is the force that holds things or puts things back together. In the case of bricks falling off the back of the truck love is what would keep them neatly stacked rather than scattered a random pile. In the case of Egypt, love would be what kept the Army from firing on demonstrators, and love is what led the people to peaceful transition. In other words, love is what arises or what is expressed when something is given attention, hands-on. "Here, let me hold your hand as we transform the universe." It is a thing you will see in Lucy's team video. Make, fix, create.

On the other side of the coin, I am deeply concerned by the growing lunacy and destructive power among some American "conservatives". Kansas governor Sam Brownback abolished the Kansas Arts Commission to "save" the state $600,000. Kansas is the first (and hopefully last) state to dismantle its arts agency. Republican "conservatives" are well known as being enemies of public broadcasting, and arts funding. Those of us involved in the arts hope Brownback's lunacy will not mark the beginnings of a wave of terror on the arts. American creativity has been the engine of our economic success, but are we to sit back and harvest the economic benefits of it while and not lift a finger to sustain it? When it comes to bricks, some are willing to dump them off the back of the truck, along with artists and the communities they have made wonderful.

Update! The Republicans in the House of Representatives have submitted a budget proposal that completely eliminates funding for PBS and NPR. Please don't let them remain this stupid.


  1. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. You’ve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what you’re saying. Great job, indeed.

  2. Thanks for your compliments, the message is simple. We all know that we learn best hands-on, and so why don't we offer that learning method to our children? And why do we settle for things in our own lives that don't offer the rewards of hands on engagement? Every aspect of our culture suffers when we do not, from the individual sense of dignity, worth and inner meaning, to the overall economic and political arenas. Thanks for reading.

  3. Regarding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the NEA, I went to my congresswoman Betty McCollum's office to register my complaint! I recommend that all do this.