I think I'm starting to see the boundaries of the next social revolution. Let me lay out a little context of recent references that I believe are related.
First, I talked last year about the "monkeysphere" idea. The basic idea is that our primate brains can only accept about 150 people who we consider part of our clan, tribe, or village, and beyond that, all the other people are equivalent to "things" in the world.
Next is related to things I've seen in discussions about Burning Man and the idea of "community". To me, the notion of "community" is like a lot of words: they are there to provide a spectrum upon which to measure. So when one says, "the community", that is a reference to a specific group of people with traits that tie them together. The thing that is important is that being "in the community" means you have the traits of the community — it does not mean that you must adapt your behavior because of your physical location. In other words, actions cause description; description does not cause action.
Related to that, I recently found a new term: POSIWID. According to Wikipedia at least, Stafford Beer coined the term as an acronym for "[the] purpose of [a] system is what it does". The underlying principle is that the intended function of a system is irrelevant: its purpose (or function) is solely defined by what it does. If, for instance, you set out to create a community of people who share art and resources, you might end up with a big party in the desert: the purpose of that system is a big party in the desert, no matter what your intentions were.
I have observed (especially in the last 10 years) that people I encounter are much more polarized by political party or political views than ever before. It is probably most attributable to whom I hang out with, but I also believe there is a trend. What I mean, specifically, is that I was finding prejudice in myself concerning politics: that I would judge someone favorably or unfavorably solely based on their political party affiliation. I thought this was interesting to observe, and generally not good.
I also see the strong opinions of people concerning socialized health care. Although there many facets to it, the one I find most interesting is the debate on whether an arbitrary stranger should be cared for. I'm neglecting any specifics because you can create straw men to support either side (i.e. abusers of a taxpayer-funded system versus a hard worker who circumstantially loses access to care). The question is: will you help someone you don't know anything about?
So finally, what's this next revolution?: it's how we treat strangers.
I see people lining up along a spectrum. On one side are people who are only willing to help those people they know personally (i.e. who are within their "monkeysphere") at the expense of the well-being of people they don't. On the other are people who willing to support everyone equally, even if that means they may not have resources to help people they know personally.
I think it is more noble to lean toward helping everyone, and a testament to the superiority of humankind. However, I also know that such civility is frail: a small percentage of people working to their own advantage can poison the whole system. All societies have blind-spots and points of leverage for the advantage-seeker, but civility is maintained by the unspoken agreement among people that they not take advantage at those points. And in America, there are socially-acceptable points to find advantage: that permission is specifically what allows capitalism to work.
Anyway, I find myself playing both sides of the fence for the time-being. I have a network of friends who I help freely (with my time, skills, money, and resources) and who will do likewise for me. I also strive for a better solution that is more inclusive because I feel better when my behavior also helps other people.
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Du levande(You, The Living) starting at 8 p.m. I can do nothing but quote the Eastman House calendar on this one: "The ingeniously misanthropic filmmaker who brought us Songs from the Second Floor delivers another series of deadpan absurdist episodes skewering the "human spirit." Told in [Roy Andersson]'s patent static style, featuring players in almost clownish makeup, the segments are often gut-bustingly funny and at times sublimely beautiful. Concerned with the appalling conditions of modern urban life, the many brief sketches collectively serve to remind us "that, for Andersson, in a world always on the brink of disaster, the only true salvation is in our imagination"—David Thompson, Film Comment."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
Today at 2 p.m. in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a discussion by Vincent A. Lent titled From Eagle Tavern to Eastman Theatre, a Survey of Music in Rochester from Its Earliest Days.
Friends of the Public Library e-mail][all ages]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Snorkel starting at 7 p.m. followed by Footsteps In The Fog at 8:30 p.m. How can you beat this description from the Eastman House calendar: "in The Snorkel, a gem from the Hammer Studios, a teenage girl believes her stepfather killed her mother by making ingenious use of the title breathing apparatus. This theory, of course, places the girl in great danger. Then, in the suspenseful Footsteps in the Fog, Jean Simmons stars as a servant who blackmails her employer (Stewart Granger) for murdering his wife."
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
Today at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) is a performance of Edge at 7:30 p.m. According to The Method Machine, "Edge is set on the last day of the poet Sylvia Plath's life, in her kitchen, and reflects on her childhood, her husband-poet Ted Hughes, and her work. Plath takes account of her actions as well as the actions of others and uses them to fuel her tragic flaw: passion. The prolific writer took her life on a cold February day in 1963, after being abandoned by the greatest thing and the worst thing that ever happened to her: her husband. The play examines the events that led up to her turning on that gas stove and passing into a sleep from which she would never wake."
the proverbial grapevine]
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, September 17, 2009 (Thu, Sep 17, 2009, 9/17/2009, or 9/17/09) Friday, September 18, 2009 (Fri, Sep 18, 2009, 9/18/2009, or 9/18/09) Saturday, September 19, 2009 (Sat, Sep 19, 2009, 9/19/2009, or 9/19/09) Sunday, September 20, 2009 (Sun, Sep 20, 2009, 9/20/2009, or 9/20/09) Monday, September 21, 2009 (Mon, Sep 21, 2009, 9/21/2009, or 9/21/09) Tuesday, September 22, 2009 (Tue, Sep 22, 2009, 9/22/2009, or 9/22/09) and Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (Wed, Sep 23, 2009, 9/23/2009, or 9/23/09).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.