When the persecuted become the persecutors

Social Organization and Change Racism and Ethnic Prejudice As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. Lincoln What defines our race? Are you biased? Take the test: Project Implicit?  in general: when the persecuted become the persecutors: Forever Pure >  World Since 1920 | documentary: I Am Not Your Negro Baldwin | ku klux klan: The Clansman Dixon | south africa: Born a Crime Noah | solidarity: Blacks and Palestinians | escape to free states: Underground Railroad | movements: Black Lives Matter | anti-Islamization: Pegida | dialogue: The Welcome Table | hate crimes: Not in Our Town | uprising: The Birth of a Nation, Original Silent Version | the will to be free: The Underground Railroad Whitehead | slave trade: Homegoing Gyasi | belonging & identity: Invisible Man Ellison | white america: Coming Apart Murray | british abolitionist: Amazing Grace Metaxas | memoir: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist Parrish | A Class Divided | anti-slavery: Uncle Tom's Cabin Stowe | Australia: Rabbit-Proof Fence | Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead Meeink | bias: Blindspot Banaji | Black Planet Shields | The Aryans Asumang | To Kill a Mockingbird Lee

when the persecuted become the persecutors

[ t h i n k ]

My Choice for Person of the Year: Lin-Manuel Miranda

hamiltonwalking

by scott pickard

My choice for a “2016 Person of the Year” is Lin-Manuel Miranda, who came out of the blue to produce, direct, and star in Hamilton which is quickly becoming one of the most successful musicals ever created.

Why Hamilton? And why Miranda? It is not just because it is a massive hit that is entertaining as hell, but it is because the musical and the man are inspiring us and teaching on so many levels:

Hamilton makes us sing.
Hamilton makes us dance.
Hamilton makes us laugh.
Hamilton makes us cry.
Hamilton makes us think!!

Hamilton is a tour de force experience that enlightens us, challenges us, provokes us, and wrings us dry of energy and emotion by the end of a performance. So it is no wonder that Miranda’s Hamilton is shattering records for the number of awards received and tickets sold. It is on a path to be a $billion+ artistic/entertainment enterprise that is touching and positively impacting (and this is very important) millions of people, young to old, around the world.

Hamilton as a creative product that deserves to be studied by those people who study such things. The musical is a who-knew fusion of history and hip-hop and dance and narrative at the right time, in the right way that has, in the parlance of innovation science, become a “breakthrough.”

Joseph Schumpeter wrote about “creative destruction,” which is what we observe when new innovations obsolete the incumbent technology/systems almost overnight, and in so doing create a new paradigm. Hamilton has broken some traditional rules of Broadway and created new rules which will inspire a fresh wave of creative innovators.

Haven’t we all daydreamed about creating our own breakthrough? We, people of earth, are all hard-wired to design, create, and build. We all can unleash that potential within us when we turn off the TV, turn off the “smart” phone, and sit quietly on the couch doodling and massaging ideas in our head. When you immerse yourself in the thinking flow, you can feel it (like browsing through a bookstore), and it feels good. Hamilton is exciting people all over the world to go do their creative thing.

hamiltonworking

But to chase and follow through on a crazy idea, it sometimes requires taking a flying leap-of-faith risk to make it happen. Unfortunately, most of us can’t quit our day jobs and because of family obligations or our own too big to fail situation, we step away from the risk and the creative moment is lost.

Is that you out there?

How many things can we point to this year that have lifted millions of people up, and up, and up even higher in 2016? In contrast, we have been saturated in a political season that has been a regrettable demonstration of the strategic power of negativity — the dark side of the force. In this dystrumpian, reality TV, pundit-overloaded world we now live in, we need more Hamiltonesque positivity to counterbalance the negativity of all the talking heads.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, you’ve got my vote!

sp

 

Good vs evil

by scott pickard

Religion Religion in General Why do people kill in the name of religion?   Do you know what your religion’s position is on the origin of the universe and evolution? Tegmark   Does it damage children to teach them biblical creationism and deny biological evolution? Knowledge & Understanding Philosophy of religion good vs evil: Who knows what evil lurks in the  hearts of men? Shadow The priesthood, police force, and military force are massive, global communities that attract people who want to do good to make a difference in the world. But because they are so massive, they also attract a small percentage of imposters with bad intentions who infiltrate and hide within these professions to silently and secretly wreak havoc. Their leverage is magnified by many times because they operate in a environment of trust which enables them to ambush kids and adults they are sworn to serve and protect. This is a dark corner of human nature that will be very difficult to stamp out. So some priests will molest boys, some cops will occasionally kill people on the street, and soldiers will sometime rape women of their enemies. Our only hope is to be constantly vigilant and never give up on the ideal of giving every kid a chance grow up in a safe and loving environment without abuse, without violence, and without trauma, so that we stop planting the seeds of evil that may someday sprout again. sp > Parenting Religious experience Faith magazines: sojo superstition Religious phenomenology Theology Religious Doctrines and Dogmas Separation of Church and State: First Things religion in public life Study and classifications of religions Systems of Religious and Spiritual Belief Institutions & Practices Sacred Rites & Ceremonies Religious leaders and institutions Material manifestations of religious beliefs apocalypse: about | crisis planning: NISAC | doomsday: doomsday groups millennialism, mayan calendar | fantasy: Tokyo Genso | movies: I am Legend, Interstellar, Left Behind, Mad Max, The Day After, The Road, Water World spiritual leaders: past: Billy Graham, Confucious, Gandhi, Jesus Christ | present: dalai lama, Desmond Tutu, Mother Theresa, Pope books, movies, TV series: bible: C.S. Lewis | God Said, Man Said | How We Believe Shermer | J.R.R. Tolkien | One Second After Forstchen | Proof of Heaven Alexander | The Bible History Channel | The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Henderson | The Varieties of Religious Experience James | What Happened to Sophie Beha

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Shadow

The priesthood, police force, and military force are massive, global communities that attract people who want to do good to make a difference in the world. But because they are so massive, they also attract a small percentage of imposters with bad intentions who infiltrate and hide within these professions to silently and secretly wreak havoc. Their leverage is magnified by many times because they operate in a environment of trust which enables them to ambush kids and adults they are sworn to serve and protect. This is a dark corner of human nature that will be very difficult to stamp out. So some priests will molest boys, some cops will occasionally kill people on the street, and soldiers will sometime rape women of their enemies. Our only hope is to be constantly vigilant and never give up on the ideal of giving every kid a chance grow up in a safe and loving environment without abuse, without violence, and without trauma, so that we stop planting the seeds of evil that may someday sprout again.

- sp -

Faith is a Double-Edged Sword

[ from A Man of Faith by scott pickard ]

Faith is a double-edged sword.

Faith gives a person a certain power and confidence; a comfortable and secure belonging to a group that one trusts, and the fellowship that arises from that association.

But the sharper edge of the sword is that faith can also drive a person down a narrow path that does not respect other points of view, with a purpose that is unshakable. In many contexts this kind of determination can manifest as a good thing and it will deliver successful, sometimes incredible results.

But in some cases this “blind faith” can drive people to seriously harm others (even kill them) all in the name of their “faith practice,” to both non-believers outside their circle, but also members inside for purposes of enforcement.

The disastrous irony of blind faith is that it motivates people to do things that they believe are good, right, just, and necessary by the principles of the faith they follow. What can you say to a person like this to convince them otherwise?

I ask you, is there a more powerful and sharper double-edged sword in our world than blind faith?

- sp -