Often the topics I choose are like magnets pulling related thoughts to them. Such magnetic topics can become quickly overwhelmed (and overwhelming) and collapse under the weight of others, which may turn out to be equally magnetic.
A discussion about transportation leads to one about energy, which leads to one about population density, which leads to one about the politics of planning. And so it goes.
Focus becomes both a necessity and a constraint.
So over the last day I have decided to allow myself to explore a major magnetic theme of these posts — community in the 21st Century — in outline form, just to see what it attracts.
The outline follows. It is long but each item and subtopic is brief. I hope you will feel free to comment and add sections or combine topics and subtopics. No, this isn't a Wiki, but I'll take all suggestions under consideration and edit the outline accordingly.
I have no idea what might become of the outline. It could provide the structure for a book. Certainly each topic suggests a chapter. Or the outline could simply delineate future posts or be a focus of discussion.
Whatever comes of it, I look forward to your comments.
A Community for the 21st Century
Community in these times
Challenges and Opportunities
Test Case: Hillsdale
Plants and animals
(Energy and transportation) Parentheses indicate a link to another section
Distinctions: Cities, towns, townships, villages, town centers, communities, neighborhoods
What we know about numbers — effectiveness, cooperation and communication
Topography — Hills and Dales
On being part of something bigger
Social capital (volunteerism)
Individualism and community
The uses of time
Names of places
Governance and Self-Governance
Consensus “Beyond majority rule”
Keeping it small “Thoreau”
Weaning from fossil fuels
Volunteerism (social capital)
"Communication defines Community"
• There is no community without communication
• The quality of the communication defines the quality of the community
Forms of community media
–Listservs, electronic newsletters and web pages
• "Old Media”
– Low-power community radio
Problems with mass (non-community, anti-community) media
Centrifugal—sucking time and energy away from community
“It’s all about you” advertising and programing
Fear and hate mongering
Isolation and anxiety
• Problem-oriented, not solution-oriented
Information, knowledge and wisdom
Making places people want to be
Education and Awareness
Community Learning Centers
Community Health Centers
The many dimensions of public health
Culture, Entertainment, Sports
Libraries — public and private
• Art exhibitions
Competitive and non-competitive sports
Work as play
The role of trust eg. ride sharing
Trails and Sidewalks
Safety and preparedness
NETs — Neighborhood Emergency Teams
Tolerance, diversity with regular communication (see education)
Hillsdale: a test case
The Future: On planning and implementation
Bibliography (A “starter” list)
Akenfeld by Ronald Blythe
A Pattern Language
Deep Economy by Bill McKibben
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
The Spirit of Community by Daniel Kemmis
Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam
Habits of the Heart