Human Connections

Don’t let my silence here over these past months fool you. I’ve been quietly but steadily at work on the mission (or commission) mentioned in July. I’m compelled to write now after having just returned from an international conference sponsored by the University of Warsaw Sociology Department and the Norbert Elias Foundation. There I had …

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The Commission

“…the real challenge and barrier to change is how to ‘socially construct’ a personal- to civilizational-scale transition to a whole new cultural narrative, one that eschews perpetual growth and abandons most of the other beliefs, values and assumptions of modern techno-industrial society concerning long-term human well-being. Any takers for the job?” Bill Rees [1] My …

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Wrapping Up the Series

Hey there, it’s been a while! My intention with this series was to write one post a month until I covered a tidy set of pertinent “x-ality for Reality” themes. Clearly, that did not happen. Apologies. My time and attention was co-opted these past months. But I’m back to address the remaining themes in one …

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Conceptuality for Reality: Languaging Ourselves into a New Way of Being

“I broke my arm.” In English, we can say weird things like this. In many languages, however, “you couldn’t use that construction unless you are a lunatic,” says cognitive scientist, Lera Boroditsky in her popular TED talk, How Language Shapes the Way We Think. Language has consequences beyond just how we say things. It influences …

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Mentality for Reality: Re-Thinking “Human-Environment Relations”

To say that humans are part of a larger environment is a very banal observation. Or more accurately, “it would be a banal observation if so many people did not constantly fail to register this simple state of affairs,” as Norbert Elias observed about the idea that individuals are part of a larger social whole …

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Positionality for Reality: Getting Ourselves Oriented

Orientation refers to the relative position of something or someone. To be properly oriented in the world of ordinary reality, then, is to have a sound sense of where you fit in the bigger picture relative to other beings, objects, and processes. Proper orientation is essential for being able to move in one’s intended direction. …

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