In addition to watching Giants’ baseball, most of my free time lately has been devoted to the Residents’ Council at the 200-person complex where I live, Western Park Apartments. Having been recruited to serve as President, it’s been a rewarding and challenging experience. The more I get to know my neighbors, the more I get to like and respect them. Reinvigorating the Council by establishing some new structures that reflect what I’ve learned over the years seems to be working. Prior to our first meeting, an old-timer predicted fifteen participants, but forty came. And the next week we had nineteen at a Coordinating Committee meeting.
Historically, my pattern has been to start a new project and then move on after two years or so. But I’ll be in this apartment for the rest of my life, or most of it. So I may as well make the most of it. With the vibrant community of residents that we have here, I look forward to it.
I’ve also been posting chapters of My Search for Deep Community: An Autobiography to the Web at http://deepcommunity.org. As I go along, I’ll make corrections that have been pointed out to me by readers who’ve sent me comments on the print edition. I hope to step up the pace of posting chapters as I get a handle on Council responsibilities. I also envision a much shorter book eventually, with key moments in my life in chronological order, that I would distribute to the general public, perhaps after finding a publisher.
In My “Ego Trip” I look back on my motivation for writing that autobiography. In addition to the motives that I discuss there, I now realize more clearly that one reason is that I wanted to circulate it on my 70th birthday as a gift to dear friends. And I just wanted the full historical record available, just in case unknown others might find it of interest or value at some point in the future. After all, I was in the midst of a number of historic events. Whether I will be able to afford to make the upcoming, slightly amended version available to the general public remains to be seen, after I learn what it would cost.
David Marshall, a Vive-President at Berrett-Koehler Publishers (BK), replied tomy proposal that BK convene a national working conference on “Changing the System” with the following Facebook post:
Super reader Wade Hudson advocates for a “Changing the System” National Conference in 2015. It’s cool to see such leadership from somebody in our the largest BK stakeholder group: readers. This may fit with three of our five initiatives from our 2014-16 Strategic Plan: Connect with Customers, Build Our Brand, and Commit to Diversity and Inclusion. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
He also tweeted about it and @BKpub retweeted his tweet.
In addition, Mike Larsen, the literary agent who organizes the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Writing for Change Conference has expressed enthusiasm for the proposal and said that he will inform BK that he and likely some of the volunteers in his network would help with the conference.
These developments are encouraging, but the task is a formidable one. So though BK seems like the ideal sponsor for such an event, I am making no assumptions.
Otherwise, I continue to drive taxi part-time, read some of The New York Timesdaily, and read about half of the articles in The New York Review of Books my favorite publication. Recently, I’ve begun posting to Wade’s Wire reflections on some of the New York Review’s essays that I find most interesting.
In Comments on “It’s All for Your Own Good,” I reflect on the essay’s argument that well-meaning, kind-hearted individuals can undermine others’ self-respect with condescending attitudes and paternalistic practices. As one who has struggled with my own arrogance, it is an issue with which I still struggle. With its comments on Why Nudge? by Cass Sunstein, the review also felt relevant to my situation here at Western Park Apartments, which is owned by Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services, a church-related non-profit with a noble vision rooted in spirituality.
In Comments on “Divine Fury: A History of Genius,”, I remark on “Wonder Boys,” a thought-provoking review of Divine Fury that explores the nature and history of human consciousness, its relationship with the cosmos, or God, and the notion of “genius.” What is different about the human mind? How did it evolve? What does all that mean about how the universe works? Though I don’t agree with every wrinkle in the piece, the author, Tamsin Shaw, offers me some helpful clues.
I’ve appreciated the following responses to recent posts:
Richard Keene: I’m with you on this. Seems tech is causing major disruptions everywhere.
Michael Shaughnessy: I would encourage you to edit this and seek publication in a more widely distriibuted source. The personal sharing is appropriate for your weekly entry, but you analysis of the economic situation (in a tighter form) would be great on Alternet or HuffPo…. Thanks for your work.
Yahya Abdal-Aziz: Much to reflect on, as usual! If I haven’t said so recently, let me say it again now: Thanks for your writing. I find it well worth reading and thinking about.
And occasionally very informative; I had no idea of the parlous state of the taxi-driver’s lot in SF until I read your piece below. I hope you and your colleagues find an effective and speedy resolution of the problem.
And certainly educational: I’d read the phrase, “the tragedy of the commons”, before now, but from its context thinking of it as an historical curiosity, had never bothered to explore its meaning. I see now how wrong I was, and how relevant this economic phenomenon is today and may well be at any epoch of human history. It applies, for instance, as an operative cause, to the loss of sovereignty of native peoples worldwide in the face of colonial aggression by the Western powers of the last half-millennium.
But rather than comment on every issue canvassed below, I decided to reply, wanting to let you know this:
You can stop paying for massages; all you need is a willing partner and the knowledge of how to do massage effectively and safely.
That knowledge can come from a good book on massage techniques. I saw such a book just last week in my local “cheap books” store, for around $14. Of course, it takes time and practice to become good at massage; but since most of the time you spend doing so includes actually giving the massage, you and your partner can benefit equally. You’d both probably consider it a good investment of your time. It also requires some patience and sensitivity of the student, but given these, one can soon learn to become more aware of the texture and condition of the fibres under one’s finger-tips: a requisite skill.
While we were living in Malaysia, my wife and I had the great fortune to learn the basics of “urut jawa”, the Malay deep tissue massage techniques, from a friend and more particularly from his father, a renowned “Tokoh” (master) of the art. These have stood us in good stead during the last forty-some years, more so as I had a painful condition of the spine which plagued me until I reached my mid-30s. I believe it was my wife’s constant care that helped it to finally abate to more tolerable levels. So I’m certainly an advocate for the considered and careful use of massage on medical grounds; but of course its therapeutic benefits are far wider than the physical treatment of disease.
There’s something else I’ve been meaning to say, and will take this opportunity to do so: I think of you often, and wish you all the very best in your efforts to transform both yourself and the wider world.
My best regards,
Bob Anschuetz: I always find things of interest in your Wire–in the latest, especially, the anecdote about Robin Williams and the 50 recommended essays. That literary genre has always been my own favorite, though the work of particular poets runs a close second. I’m also curious about a matter connected with your own literary output. Have you decided yet what, if anything, you’re going to do further with your book? I’d love to know, as it was the source of my own principal work engagement for almost three months, and I was deeply impressed by its human authenticity: both the honesty of your self-revelation and the seriousness of your commitment to deep community as a way of life and the foundation of effective social activism. I wish you all best in choosing the right course for the book and the right life for yourself.
Roma Guy: Interesting….regarding listening and hearing from activists you encountered. Their being in motion (act) apparently doesn’t include listening….lots of that around and not only from activists.
Clinton McDowell: Received ..always amazed at yer steadfast ,Eal in undertaking this challenge.
Keep on keeping on!
Richard Moore: Here’s my take on a realistic step-by-step plan: Building the new in the shadow of the old