Monday, April 16, 2007

Power of Green

Loved reading along as Jim Kunstler and Stephen Downes deconstructed a surprisingly absurd article by Thomas Friedman about the "Power of Green" this week. All three are loaded with lifestyle values and choices with local and global implications.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What to Do

Another Jeremy asks all kinds of interesting questions about finding his life's path. He has the credentials and knack for helping people find out what they do well, but perhaps it's harder to apply that thinking to ourselves. And just because we're good at something doesn't mean we should pursue only that:
"I could spend the rest of my life working with those people I meet...I could even make some kind of consulting/coaching practice out of it. But should I? Just because people invite me to do it -- does than mean I ought to?"
Penelope had an interesting post along similar lines last week called Try being a dilettante before changing careers. Read the whole thing, but here's the conclusion:
"Change in one’s life does not require a career change. In fact, a career change should be last. After lots of experimenting with small steps in an effort to find out who you really are. That’s how I found out, again, that I’m a writer."

Perfect Girls

Will Richardson linked to Girls, It’s Be Yourself, and Be Perfect, Too from the New York Times. The multimedia feature adds the photos and voices of these hard-driving teenagers. Like Will, I've got daughters too, and these stories are both encouraging (girls can do anything now!) and discouraging (girls feel they have to do everything now!) to middle-class dads like us who wish our girls could self-actualize without feeling the intense stress and pressure to conquer the world.

The focus of the article is actually more upper-class than middle, and economic concerns underpin the whole thing. This incredible drive to get into the best colleges seems to be all about landing plum jobs later and subsequent incomes to sustain a lifestyle they're used to.
"There is something about the lives these girls lead — their jam-packed schedules, the amped-up multitasking, the focus on a narrow group of the nation’s most selective colleges — that speaks of a profound anxiety in the young people, but perhaps even more so in their parents, about the ability of the next generation to afford to raise their families in a place like Newton."

How to Disappear

Chris Corrigan often digs up these interesting gems -- How to Disappear is a series of 30 hand-drawn panels outlining a recipe for turning urban neighbourhoods into real communities. It's low-fi and fun and totally pie-in-the-sky, but with a grounded, practical streak that makes you think...maybe not so pie-in-the-sky?