The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “knowledge

Community Amnesia – Part 2

Posted on December 12, 2017

In our previous post the subject concerned what transpires in communities when news sources – traditional or online – are wiped out by corporate fiat. Journalists lose their livelihood, citizens lose their context, and communities are cut loose from their recorded history. But there’s more, and it’s devastating. It’s not just about losing the stories that others won’t cover – social club luncheons, the doings of smaller community organizations, neighbourhood developments – but the lack of momentum for causes that are as equally important to society than any other big story. Take poverty for instance. Sure there are the important stories currently gaining attention, like pilot projects for a Basic Income Guarantee, federal housing money for the next decade, a special benefit for children…

Food: A World of Contradiction

Posted on February 26, 2015

FOOD IS EVERYWHERE THESE DAYS, and not just physically. Talk of it runs the gamut from food trucks to food banks, the price of food to the massive amounts of it thrown into landfills. When James Beard noted years ago that, “food is our common ground, a universal experience,” I wonder if he knew just how true that would become, given all the issues around food these days, from its abundance to its scarcity, its price to its source. In reality, food is an entire world, a universe even. A vast as the human experience, it also reveals the strengths and weaknesses of our values. We see it of such importance that we enforce access to it at the same time as we permit others…

Depth Time

Posted on July 29, 2014

IT WAS THE USUAL KIND OF PARTY WHERE FRIENDS gather together for a BBQ and some good times. The host found me in her living room scanning the various books in her shelves beside the fireplace. There were the familiar titles of history, philosophy, economics, and politics. When I complemented her on her selection, she remarked, “They are actually from my university days and I treasure them. But the truth is I haven’t read them since. There’s just no time.” It’s a common tale – one heard more frequently as life piles on responsibility after responsibility. There was a time when the idea of thinking deeply was a worthy pursuit. It equated the reader (or writer) with life’s more profound treasures and mysteries and supposedly…

Smart Sovereignty

Posted on June 5, 2014

  THOMAS JEFFERSON AND HIS PEERS STOOD ON THE VERGE of an entirely new historical era, but the ultimate question remained: were citizens up to the challenge of enhancing the democratic ideal and of intelligently voting for representatives who best housed their values? Over 200 years later, we look back on those turbulent times and wonder what the big deal was. But that’s only because we have the benefit of hindsight. All that the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution saw when they looked back was a combination of wealth owners and a political elite that basically decided for everyone else how society would function. To decide upon a marked departure and simply “trust the people” approach was a gamble of truly historic proportions and…

Citizenship – “Information vs. Knowledge”

Posted on July 29, 2011

New figures have just been released revealing that two-thirds of Canadian households have internet access and eight out of ten have home computers – all this higher than the OECD average.  With that distinct cutting-edge advantage, one would think Canada would enjoy a deeply engaged citizenry. Sadly we don’t. Something is missing at a time when the Internet should be bringing us together for the challenges and opportunities that confront us. There is a key distinction between an information-based age and a knowledge-based age. It spells the difference between the success and failure of citizenship at so many levels. We are learning that all this access to data has largely insulated us from one another, whereas many dedicated citizens have used it to acquire…

  

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