Oldie but goodie

From systems-thinking theorist Donella Meadows’ eternally epic essay on Leverage Points: where to intervene in a system: Self-organization is basically a matter of an evolutionary raw material — a highly variable stock of information from which to select possible patterns — and a means for experimentation, for selecting and testing new patterns. For biological evolution […]

One I Watch: adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown is a futurist and science-fiction scholar, a doula (for actual human babies, not books!) and a facilitator. She’s also a prolific writer, with regular appearances at the feminist playground that is Bitch magazine–here’s one of my favorite essays there–while her social media streams are a riot and a joy. Once upon a […]

Storia 2

I’m beyond thrilled to announce that Tim McKee, the publisher of North Atlantic Books (NAB), will be joining us at this year’s Storia Summit. Tim’s the former managing editor of The Sun magazine out of Chapel Hill, NC. We collaborated while he was there on this interview I did with the artist Ran Ortner, and […]

Doula metaphors

Every now and then I get an email from someone who says they were thinking about the book they’ve always wanted to write, and suddenly they had this inspiration that what they needed was a “book doula,” and then they googled it, and– oh amazing happenstance– they find that such a thing actually exists, and […]

Storytelling in Sapiens

Late to the party… Still, I thought I’d share this bit from the book that “everyone” was reading last year, seeing as it relates to my work in the world: How did Homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold [150 individuals], eventually founding cities comprising tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires ruling hundreds […]

No More Heroes

When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.     There you have it, the best quote of all from Jordan Flaherty’s book about the Savior Complex, No More Heroes.    

David Graeber’s Debt

What are you reading now? they ask me. I’m reading the most wonderful book! I tell them. What’s it about? You won’t believe it, but: debt. How could a book this massive on a topic this unlovable be so captivating? Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely, does it mean […]

Human Suffering vs. Political Suffering

Peter Block’s lamely-titled book Community won me over, finally, about halfway through. Among the many, many wise and elegant passages, there’s this: Human suffering is the pain that is inherent in being alive: isolation, loneliness, illness, abandonment, loss of meaning, sadness, death. These are unavoidable; they are going to happen to each of us, and […]

The Carers Speak

“I bring love and greetings from domestic workers, home care workers and family caregivers around the world who are marching today. We are the unsung heroines who help care for the most precious parts of our lives — our children, our aging loved ones, our loved ones with disabilities, and our homes. Many of us are immigrants […]