Saturday, December 06, 2008


A friend who is also a former student recently wrote me about the decision by educated people to not have children. She wondered what the consequences might be — for those involved, for society and for the planet.

She wrote that the topic seemed to produce disconnected dots and many more questions. She invited me to help connect the dots and presumably answer the questions.

I wrote back that we have a lot more dot/questions to identify before we can connect and answer.

Then, in a flurry, I shared my own.

What does it mean to be informed? What does it mean to be aware? How do those two differ? Does a gush of disconnected information drown awareness?

How does technology shape us? Undo us? Better us? (What about "information technology"?)

My friend is a journalist, so I asked about the future of journalism. Does it have one? What IS journalism? What is it becoming?

So many of our problems fall to the schools to solve, but are the schools (rigid, outmoded, underfunded) up to the enormous task? What does it mean to be educated? What does it mean to be "prepared for life"? Who decides?

What is intelligence? Is there intelligent life on Earth? If so, where is it? Who are the teachers? The seers?

Are our leaders intelligent? If not, why not? Could it have to do with the way we choose them? Could it have to do with the complexity of our problems?

How can we best use our brief time here on this green, fragile "pebble in space"?

Service? Living lives of compassion? Spiritual seeking? Simple survival? Raising and nurturing children, our own and/or those of others? Escapism? Endless video games? Celebrity worship? "Fighting" evil? "Fighting" war? God worship? No-God worship? Worship? Praying? Should our lives be manifestations of our prayers, whether silent or spoken?

What about Accumulation of wealth? Accumulation of wealth and then giving it away?

How can we become "agents of change in our circle of influence"?

"Change" to what? What is our "circle of influence"? "HOW can we"?


Hundreds of dots.

My invitation to you, and to her, is to add to the list.

We'll connect them later.

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