Ahead in 2012: Intention & value systems in our culture. And a book.

New Years Day, 2012.  What better time for a checkpoint?

My research has begun to converge.  I’ve posted a recap of key themes at about.me but for now, I’ll follow custom (very retro, I know!) to recap my 2012 resolutions:

  • R1. Intentionality in all things is the new reality of our busy lifestyles, and a grounding principle for heavy multi-taskers who still care about following-through and doing quality work;
  • R2. Examine culture in the context of values & ethics to advance our work from 2010 in the culture series; frankly, we’re way past time for critical thinking in our value systems, especially where there are deep, systemic challenges like the K12, E20 and GOV ecosystems;
  • R3. Publish my book which is a deep dive in the collaboration space; stretch goal: March.

Pretty excited about the last item, as you might imagine.

And what of that last “Divergence” post?  I’ve been reflecting on the implications of that stream, and the many ideas that emerged from my last post on knowledge frameworks.  I’m very excited that it spawned so many comments – on here, Twitter, G+ and several other blogs.  The next post in the critical thinking stream will be an aggregation of key Divergence takeaways.  My recent Kant post (with subsequent discussion on G+) is attracting great inputs too; to me, to me, it’s so darned interesting :)

Upcoming posts show up in the side-bar at right, serving as an editorial calendar.  Specific dates will need to float, but at least there’s a sequence.  I’m always interested in your feedback on where we should focus next.

Expect more major innovations at ECOSYS, with a new blog now online.

A method to the madness?  I’m working on it!

Can’t thank you guys enough for your time, insight and ongoing engagement.  I think it was Jefferson, writing on the power of expanding knowledge and education, who used the metaphor of the candle (then called a ‘taper’) with the unique ability to spawn a new flame without diminishing the old.

That is happening each and every day in social spaces. Exciting stuff.

Stay tuned for more here, and I’ll see you online.

2 thoughts on “Ahead in 2012: Intention & value systems in our culture. And a book.

  1. It’s interesting that you are thinking about values and critical thinking, as I have also been thinking about these things. Values are, as Bickhard puts it, the normative edge of development, whether individual development or societal development, and I think that we will really have to start thinking deeply about values as a society and start thinking about what it would mean to be a good society. Currently, that discussion is dominated by entrenched religious and political dogma, but I think that if we step back and try to understand our own intentions and watch ourselves in action, we might be surprised by what is revealed by our actions (in terms of implicit values).

    Personally, I think that Star Trek is a great source of inspiration for thinking about values, as most of the species (at least the major ones) seem to instantiate a kind of thought experiment about what a society would look like if it were guided primarily by certain values. The human society is clearly guided by the notion of self actualization, or a eudaimonisitic individualism as I like to call it, that we should aspire for. Everything about their philosophy and social organization supports the individual in living a satisfying life, however they might image that. This contrasts with the kind of materialistic, borderline sociopathic individualism of the Ferengi. I feel like these two forms of individualism do battle in us Americans today.

    There are some interesting papers written by Mark Bickhard, John Christopher, and Robert Campbell you might be interested in, as they (especially the latter two, apropos of moral development) have spent much time writing about values. I’ll just link you to their pages:



  2. Phill, so many great perspectives, as always. I sense we’ll have much to talk about in the months ahead, as we begin to explore societal/cultural values. I’ll definitely read the posts you’ve cited here.

    As recently as last night I was tweeting on social responsibility in the context of public education, and you must must have planted subtle seeds with me: I cited Spock’s “the good of the many” .. powerful words.

    You mentioned religious and political activism which is indeed strong, but don’t forget the power of our consumer culture, and the weight that it bears on divisive, judgmental materialism. Our Western consumer culture has created proliferation of choice on a ridiculous scale. I did a double take in the grocery store the other day. It’s almost insane what we have created. Is there a path out of this?

    I look forward to exploring these ideas with you and others. I’ll be watching for seeds of conversation on values. Much important ground to cover. Thanks as always for your investment of insight and time.


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