Eric

futureday"A community or society without a clear image of what it wants to get is hardly likely to end up wanting what it does get."[1]

Your future is being designed for you. Is it the future you want? Numerous social, technological, economic, environmental, political, and values trends continually push us into the future. Tipping points are crossed, new equilibriums are reached and familiar stabilities are broken. The ground seems to shift beneath us, often catching us unprepared. Past decisions create constraints, yet our tendency is to think we walk paths of our own choosing. Past developments also open new possibilities, but we're so often clinging to and reifying the familiar that we fail to see the freedom of movement that surrounds us. All of these forces and factors, trends and potentials beg for a perspective, a method or tools to reduce uncertainty and complexity. What can we use to decrease the tragic frequency of humanity blundering yet again into problems it could have anticipated and dealt with more intelligently? One such perspective and set of tools can be found in futures studies.

Read more March 1 is World Future Day!

In the Feb. 26th Star Tribune conservative commentator Katherine Kersten inadvertently revealed why we need anti-bullying legislation in the state of Minnesota. Designed to close glaring loopholes in current policy in order to stop bullying in schools, the anti-bullying legislation to which she refers couldn't be a more mundane and mechanically pragmatic piece of public policy. (You can read it here.) However, when twisted through Kersten's mentality of paranoid reaction, this transparent and straightforward legislative text becomes a frightening piece of moral subversion enforced by the power of the state, a slippery cover story concocted by big city liberals and sophisticates to hide some sinister true agenda. Her essay ignores honest and straightforward argument in favor of mock alarm and bewilderment designed to light fuses of fear. The State of Minnesota can do better than to listen to voices of fear. In fact, it must, in order to serve justice and fairness for all students.

Read more When you have no arguments left, use fear: A reply to Katherine Kersten

Sacred Heart RandThe Tea Party has libertarian roots, according to one analysis. Famous skeptics like Michael Shermer and Penn Jillette are self-declared libertarians. The sixth-most conservative US senator, Rand Paul, identifies with libertarianism. One could argue that libertarianism is at an historical high tide in terms of visibility and popularity. On the surface libertarianism seems compatible with the atheist/agnostic/humanist movement's discourse of skepticism, reason and secularism in government. Also, who can look at the drug war, our convoluted tax system, an excessive regulation here or there, or US foreign policy blunders, and not think that maybe we could use a little less government?

Read more The Case Against Libertarianism - Part I: Interview with Mike Huben, creator of Critiques of...

1-ban-ki-moon-460x281"The gap between the poorest and the wealthiest around the world is wide and growing. This situation is not only between countries but within them, including many of the most prosperous.  The World Day of Social Justice is observed to highlight the power of global solidarity to advance opportunity for all."

-Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations

ted meissnerAlthough he's located in the Twin Cities, his influence is global. With 193 episodes of The Secular Buddhist podcast under his belt, he and his guests explore everything from Zen to mindfulness practice in psychotherapy to the brain science of meditation. Taking the podcast series as a whole, one could view Meissner as directing our attention to and also participating in the forging of a new secular synthesis. Exploring the intersections of East and West, the truths of subjective experience and the findings of inter-subjective scientific investigation, and the relationship between the conceptual with the deeply practical, secular Buddhism may be one of the most important developments within organized secularism in decades.

Read more Interview with Ted Meissner, Founder of The Secular Buddhist podcast

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