Communication is homo sapiens’ greatest strength, yet paradoxically also its greatest weakness.
How can we engage in effective knowledge mobilization in wider processes of change working towards greater social justice and sustainability? To what extent can researchers play a role in co-producing and mobilizing knowledge in these processes of change with social movements and communities?
The minute there’s an orthodoxy of language and an orthodoxy of thought, which we all feel we have to stay within otherwise we’re going to get punished, or cancelled, then that’s the end of expression, that’s the end of any attempt to explore outside the boundaries. It’s what every orthodoxy from fascism to communism to theocracy tries to impose on the people to purify the culture, by forcing out anyone who thinks or speaks incorrectly.
The only way an ecocentric (or any) belief system spreads is from person to person, as all missionaries have understood from the days that Buddha’s disciples walked from India to China or sailed to Sri Lanka or Japan.
Our imaginations are rooted in the natural world. They formed in the natural world. They took their metaphors and similes from the natural world. It’s from the natural world that we thought that something might be strong as an oak tree or as fragile as a reed.
Connected critics argue from the edge, but not from the outside. They do not burn constitutions. They offer amendments.
The hunger for validation from the legacy press of the authentic Indigenous narrative is no longer a hunger but a famine imposed on our very democracy; that to understand the story of this great nation can not be done without including the Indigenous narrative.
The drama that unfolded during the last few weeks over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court took many of us on a journey that no one could have predicted, and that became a drama about something much bigger than the Supreme Court. Bigger than party politics, or even right versus left. It became about being heard.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale does just what it’s supposed to: rank a storm based on its winds speeds. But the scale ignores other threats, like rainfall, storm surge, and the overall size of the storm.
Calls for strict science-based decision making on complex issues like GMOs and geoengineering can shortchange consideration of ethics and social impacts.
Maybe the most important “technology” for helping us think, then, is friendship. Thinking alongside people whom we disagree with and yet still care about trains our feelings and dispositions.
Doing stuff and communicating are the yin and yang energies of every social movement.