In high school it was a great surprise for me to discover that the United States is overwhelmingly protestant. Living in Cajun country, I had simply assumed that most of the country was Roman Catholic. There are so many fascinating quirks and oddities that living in a ‘foreign’ culture offers. There are the differences of … [Read more…]
South Louisiana is famous for a number of things, the food, the festivals, the language, the joie de vivre. But most all, it is the music that has carried the culture into the international spotlight. It wasn’t always that way. You can buy t-shirts that read ‘Chank-a-Chank’, which is one of those pejorative-cum-pride things. Chank-a-chank … [Read more…]
We think that prejudice, in and of itself, is a problem. But we, all of us, are constantly prejudiced about what is going on in the world around us, not just about people but about business, technology, and government. If we were not ‘prejudiced’, if we did not expect certain patterns, we could not function.
The real problem is that when our initial impression – our prejudice – becomes our only impression. The problem isn’t prejudice; the problem is closed-mindedness.
I want to tell a nice story about myself, not to brag, but in the hope that others might do similar things. I try to head overseas every year or two, and so far my wife and I have been able to do that with our children. It requires some hard choices and some clear … [Read more…]
For the sake of conversation, let’s say the human brain is like an automobile, and there are three basic models: the Corvette, the Silverado, or the amphibious Max IV 6-wheeler ATV. You get to choose. The Corvette is the sexiest, the social elite; as a mind, it’s the equivalent of, say, Carrie Fisher, easily one of … [Read more…]
Yesterday I laid out an argument that there are two basic human organizational structures. The first is the horizontal, informal, egalitarian community. The second is the vertical, formal, elitist society. Those are, of course, oversimplifications; no group is completely one or the other. But they are still extremes on a continuum, and help us to … [Read more…]
We tend to interchange the words ‘community’ and ‘society’,1)I should note that Community and Society is the name of an influential book by German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies. The original title of his work, however, was Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, which I personally think would be better translated as Fellowship and Partnership. The traditional translation of the … [Read more…]