Monday, December 29, 2008

Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk : NPR

Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk : NPR
"All Things Considered, December 29, 2008 · Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults and teens at the highest risk of attempting suicide and having some other health problems are ones who reported a high level of rejection by their families as a result of their sexual orientation."

Family Acceptance Center at San Francisco State University

Friday, December 26, 2008

What's in a Word?

What's in a Word? Plenty, if the word is "marriage." By George Lakoff, AlterNet. Posted February 18, 2004: "The gay marriage issue is not just about same-sex couples. It is about which values will dominate in our society"

When conservatives speak of the "defense of marriage," liberals are baffled. After all, no individual's marriage is being threatened. It's just that more marriages are being allowed. But conservatives see the strict father family, and with it, their political values as under attack. They are right. This is a serious matter for their politics and moral values as a whole. Even civil unions are threatening, since they create families that cannot be traditional strict father families.

This gets back to one of the important points of Ecojoy: How can we change people' thinking from dominator thinking to partnership thinking? The gay marriage movement has the same question: How can we change voters to vote down marriage amendments and support gay marriage? The answer is we can't. We can only create an environment where conservatives or dominator thinkers have the room to grow and adopt partnership thinking.

Added 1/1/09:
Lakoff explains things very clearly. The strict father family model describes hierarchical linking.

"Marriage amendment strategy backfires on GOP"

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Posted: Nov. 9, 2006: Marriage amendment strategy backfires on GOP - JSOnline:
It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Get the proposed same-sex marriage constitutional amendment on the November ballot to drive up the Republican vote while driving Democrats out of office. The plan worked for President Bush two years ago, particularly in Ohio. So why wouldn't it do the same in Wisconsin this year, the GOP brass reasoned.

Welcome to the real world.

'The timing ended up backfiring,' said U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Menomonee Falls Republican. 'I think the opposite worked out this time.'

The controversial amendment easily passed Tuesday, with Wisconsin voters approving the ban by 59% to 41%.
[more at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

So, to make this perfectly clear, the main reason that Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature passed this measure was to draw conservatives out to vote, in hopes of getting more Republicans elected.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wisconsin Marriage Amendment

I'm starting a series of posts about the Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, passed in November 2006. I'll put together background, and then give an Ecojoy perspective. I'll put Wisconsin Marriage Amendment in the labels, to make it easier to pull these posts together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ecojoy, Obama and the Pastor Rick Warren Controversy

There is a controversy about Barack Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to give the Invocation to the Inauguration. And this helps to better understand Ecojoy.

There are many dominator thinkers in the world. We can't change them but we can foster and encourage change. First, establish a heterarchical relationship with the person in question. That means avoiding ranking. Also, avoid binary thinking (blue state/red state, liberal/conservative). Another way of thinking about this is creating a space which people feel safe from personal attacks. Note that a vigorous debate on issues is not a personal attack.

By inviting Pastor Warren to give the Inaugural Invocation, President Elect Obama is establishing a heterarchical relationship with Warren, bringing religious conservatives into a more mainstream discussion. Some on the left (yes, binary thinking on my part) decry Warren's involvement, but true change can't happen if that point of view is ignored.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Disruptive Change

Technologies like the Internet foster and encourage disruptive change. Disruptive change is happening now. It is no longer cost-effective to do business the old, pre-Internet way.

Ray Kurzweil has talked about this change as a result of technological change, and he uses the term singularity to describe the effect on society. As digital technology ascends, the current media (newspapers, radio and television) decline. And the concept of value changes.

George Soros has also been predicting this financial melt-down. See his book "The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means" ad articles in the financial Times: "Worst financial crisis in 60 years marks end of an era" "How gamblers broke the banks"

How does this connect with Ecojoy?

The technological changes involved in the financial crisis are also changing the way we think about our connections with others. In this new world, partnership is a better fit than dominator thinking, and joy is a more effective motivation than fear.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steven Johnson's "The Invention of Air" -- how an eclectic minister/scientist/politician shows that history is a web - Boing Boing

Steven Johnson's "The Invention of Air" -- how an eclectic minister/scientist/politician shows that history is a web
Johnson uses the life of Priestley to illuminate a theory of history that holds that great people are neither an inevitable product of their times, nor luminous, supernatural geniuses -- rather, they are the product of an ecosystem of influences, technologies, climate, and energy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Win Ben Stein's mind - Roger Ebert's Journal

This is a post on movie reviewer Roger Ebert's blog. Note that it is Ebert's response to an accusation:
I've been accused of refusing to review Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled," a defense of Creationism, because of my belief in the theory of evolution. Here is my response.

Win Ben Stein's mind - Roger Ebert's Journal

The blog entry is getting more responses than anything Ebert has ever written.

Why do creationists feel the need to discredit evolution? I think it is because they feel that their concept of morality would break down if people exist because of a so-called random process of evolution. They feel that morality is imposed from outside ourselves by God (external locus of control).

If evolution breaks the concept that people were created by God, then everything else in religion -morality included- breaks too.

But the concepts of evolution and a belief in God are not mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive thinking is binary thinking.

Evolution is independent of belief in God. If you are a believer in God, evolution can be seen as the wonderfully complex method by which God created the world of living creatures.

With ecojoy, thinking is not binary but has many options of varying value.

With ecojoy, the locus of control is internal. When people use ecojoy to guide their actions, they have and act on an understanding of benefit and harm to themselves and others - a sense of morality.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fear: The great de-motivator for IT professionals

Fear: The great de-motivator for IT professionals

This is an opinion column in Computerworld Magazine. This supports the ecojoy idea that joy is the most powerful human motivator.

Author Paul Glen says
But just because fear may be effective when demanding higher productivity from people doing physical labor, that doesn't mean it works on people doing intellectual work, especially those doing creative intellectual work.

I contend that fear is not as effective as joy even in physical labor.

Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network

This study from the BMJ (British Medical Journal): Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study is about the ecology of joy
Conclusions People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.
So, as you experience joy, and you exhibit the signs of joy, people around you feel more joyful.