Introduction to The Web of Meaning

As our civilization careens toward a precipice of climate breakdown, ecological destruction, and gaping inequality, people are losing their existential moorings. Our dominant worldview has passed its expiration date: it’s based on a series of flawed assumptions that have been superseded by modern scientific findings.

Traditional skills help people on the tourism-deprived Pacific Islands survive the pandemic

But our research shows how people are surviving – and in some cases, thriving – in the face of significant loss of income.

This is due in part to their reliance on customary knowledge, systems and practices.

Pilgrimage Open to All: Bring your own Beliefs

There are other clear commonalities between pilgrimage and farming, grounded in the idea that the land itself is holy and that our interaction with, and care of the land, is of great significance. Farmers understand the value of the natural capital found within the fields –  its soil, sources of water and other resources are crucial to the health of the land and the endeavour of farming.

The Importance of Neotraditional Approaches in Determining our Future

For postmodernism to have any ultimate positive meaning, it must be followed by a trans-formative, reconstructive phase. A trans-modernism if you like, which goes ‘beyond’ modernity and modernism. In that new phase, tradition can not just be appropriated any longer as an object, but requires a dialogue of equals with traditional communities. They are vital, because they already have the required skills to survive and thrive in a post-material age.

Maya Weavers Propose a Collective Intellectual Property Law

The National Movement of Maya Weavers think it’s time for Guatemala to safeguard their textile creations and the very fabric of Maya philosophy. But the Weavers aren’t just politely asking for change. Last month, they introduced a new bill in Congress to have their collective intellectual property rights recognized under Guatemalan law.

Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages

Hypocausts were heating systems that distributed the heat from an underground fire throughout a space beneath the floor. The heat was absorbed by the floor and then radiated into the room above. The effect on thermal comfort must have been similar to that of a modern-day hot water or electricity-based radiant floor heating system.

The Paris Climate Talks: A Nepali View

Before the COP21 meetings in Paris, I had never attended an international negotiation of any kind. Based on my experiences at the talks, I brought back to Nepal new and sometimes alarming understandings that will guide me in my continued activism for justice and climate change.