07 September 2009

New hierarchies - in our mind and in exchange of knowledge

In Our mind

We act and react to all that comes in our direction, consciously and unconsciously. I came to think of a documentary about how our brain works. From birth, our brain is an intricate network of connecting lines that makes our brain grow. The brain needs nutrition to keep growing. Besides food, it needs stimuli, in the forms sound, touch, sight. All our senses are highly active in this process. As we develope, grow and are stimulated, all these connections are very active, and this is one way to explain why children have such vivid imaginations. But if these connections are not fed by stimuli, they die. As we become adults some of these connections shut down, simply because they are impossible to feed and maintain. This seems to be how nature intended it to be. However, if a child is not stimulated from birth it can actually die, and will cetainly not develope in areas such as sensory-motoric skills, language etc.. In other words, a tremendous amount of connections shut down irreversibly. Oppositely, it is said that highly creative people are able to develop and maintain more of these connections than so-called normal people. I guess a society works in the same way, diversity and continuous actions make it grow, become richer and more diverse. A place with no stimuli, action and diversity will slowly die.

Human action

Back in 2000 I saw a film called ”Pay it forward” with actor Kevin Spacey. The film is about a child determined to change the world for the better. He intends to achieve this by doing a good deed (action) to three persons, and these people will then do a good deed for three more, and the next three for three more, and so on. No one is in charge, but all contribute to a change. Is it possible to use the concept of continuous action as a driving force for creating a more participating society, that could benefit an urban development ? One starting point could be an individual with specific knowledge on how to become partially self-sufficient by growing vegetables in a kitchen garden. This person then decides to teach three others how to do the same, with the only required payback being that the knowledge is payed forward to three more individuals, who are also required to pay forward and so on. This could again inspire others to share other knowledge or skills in the same manner. The result is a rhizomatic explosion in terms of exchange of knowledge, human interaction and physical structures.

An independent non- profit organization called " The Rizome Collective" work almost like this. They are situated in an old warehouse in Austin, Texas where they operate an educational center for urban sustainability, and at the same time invite communitygroups to use their center for workshops, benefits etc. They mean that community participation is necessary to challenge the values of competition, greed and exploitation in society. Educating, and inspiring others to do the same, is their contribute to change the world to become a place for cooperation and eligatiarianism.They also run a lot of projects in schools, workshops etc where they hope that people are inpired to continue the work of building locally based, decentralized, radically sustainable infrastructures. " By doing this we hope to ease humanity's transition into a post-petroleum future, and simultaneously undermine oppressive powers that maintain resource monopolies." here is the homepage http://archive.rhizomecollective.org/

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