jock mctavish

Calgary, Ab, Canada

About jock

Bio

grandfather, tech, poet, eclectic, autoharp player, opera listener, pilot, bookworm, internet explorer

Comments & conversations

39209
jock mctavish
Posted over 4 years ago
Reinventing government - what would it look like?
http://www.gov.nu.ca/wpc/nunavut.html no, haven't heard of tom atlee before. will look up. but you're describing the practice of the "talking stick" or "talking stone" practiced by many aboriginal groups. very interesting to use the technique in a mixed group where typically the extraverts dominate the conversation to the annoyance of the rest. whoever has the stick has the floor. and noone speaks except the person with the stick. including if he/she is just gathering their thoughts or waiting a bit. when done that person passes the stick around the circle. persons who don't want to speak don't. it is incredibly powerful as a tool because suddenly everyone is actually listening to the speaker, and not thinking about their own retort. you remind me of robert persig's work on "quality" and his two books "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" and "lila". he's built up a webpresence on the same themes. in lila he made the astonishing claim that it was the 5 nations that invented democracy. and that the founding fathers of the us were well acquainted with the "iroquois constitution." http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/IroCons.html they had a means of stopping war that is most beautifully put in the image of an eagle atop a tree beneath which the weapons of war were buried. they had a beautiful balance between men and women in their system. there were many clan longhouses presided over by matriarchs. they each sent a man to the tribal councils. if such a man broke certain rules he was shunned and that longhouse would lose a turn sending a rep to the council. some have suggested that the only progress we've made is the size of the tribe is bigger. to a lady living in seclusion, that might be some small comfort.
39209
jock mctavish
Posted over 4 years ago
Reinventing government - what would it look like?
there is a fascinating political experiment happening in canada's north in this direction. both the nwt and the new nunavut governments are based on aboriginal ideas of consensus rather than the westminster tradition of adversarial debate. it's been working well now for 3 decades. political parties exist only in federal politics, but don't exist at this territorial level. each hamlet/region elects the best candidate. they gather in yellowknife and in iqualiut and elect amongst themselves those most qualified for the various ministerial jobs and these form the government. the rest make up the "opposition" and keeps them honest. this was made possible by the political participation of the dene and the unuit who make up half the northern population. it has meant the best ideas become law rather than only those ideas of the leaders. it has protected minor interests rather well - local communities often vote themselves dry of booze for example.
39209
jock mctavish
Posted about 6 years ago
Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity
- i 've been a kurzweil fan ever since a blind friend in the yukon in '76 made his living as a secretary for the chief of forestry enabled by a kurzweil reading machine. i've really enjoyed his books. that said, and having just watched yann arthus-bertrand's film "home", i feel almost painfully the lack of kurzweil addressing with his formidable intelligence and authority the issues of ecology and human justice that so threaten the world. the exponential progress that ray speaks of is wonderful. but that same exponent has yann's warning us of an ecological and humanitarian tipping point soon from only 50 years of effort in a "singlular" focus of technology to mere production and knowledge. if only these two prophetic visions could merge! technology used in service to the earth and not as now the ruin of it. to learn of singularity u's looking at ethics is most hopeful, and also of google's pressure for social action.