Culture Shift?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the #metoo thing.

At first, it seemed like it would just be another meaningless internet fad, rife with vague half-tellings and moral highground.

Then women I knew started getting specific.  One described harassment in high school by a teacher, and institutional resistance to pursuing a complaint.  Another spoke of deliberately avoiding presenting as attractive, to avoid unwanted attention.  Yet another spoke of the moment in adulthood, when a waft of cologne brought her reeling, vomiting back to childhood, and she realized she had been abused.  One woman spoke of how several incidences of abuse robbed her of her sexuality before she left childhood.   Continue reading


One man’s trash is his great-grandson’s treasure

I have a friend who works at a recycling plant.  He says that one day, we’ll be mining landfills.  HOLY SHIT.  Of course we will.

This kind of foresight is so exciting to me – a new perspective that seems so obvious once you encounter it, but it completely changes the way you think about the future.

I recently listened to a Stuff You Should Know episode, “What was the most peaceful time in history?”  They discuss the Global Peace Index, a rating system developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace, that ranks countries regularly on their peacefulness.  The ranking uses a rubric that measures a variety of factors, including militarization, violent crime, number of jailed citizens, and access to weapons.

Examining this same rubric to determine the most peaceful time in history, there is a decent case to be made that it’s now.  (!!!!!!!!)

So yes, of course the world is going to shit, but it’s not all shit.  We’re getting better at some things.  And one day we’ll take the shit and we’ll mine it and build the world anew.


I had to put the cat down today.

It was awful.  Such a difficult decision.  Morally, I’m against the idea of prolonging life, whatever the cost.  But I feel I understand it better.

Even now, I’m feeling guilt for not holding out for a few tests, a hopeful chance that he’d be curable.  But even the Doctor said, he’s 14, he’s had diabetes 10 years, most cats only live 6 or 8 with the disease.  He’s stopped eating and is showing other signs of decline.  Even if the issue is something simple, we’re looking at prolonging his life for months, probably.  There would be lots of work to stabilize him.  Lots of stress.  But by getting that test, I would put off the decision.  And of course I’d hold on to him a bit longer, get another chance at goodbye.  Be a better pet owner for the end.  I’d wait for a bit more information, and hope for the decision to be made for me.  Right now, I have to live with the fact: I chose to end his life today, when there was a chance he could get better.  

Tonight, I will have to talk to my daughter.

Caring for Creatives

I’ve been thinking about what makes creative people the magical and impossible beings that they are.  It makes sense – I’m a creative person, many of my friends are creative people, my students are creative people, I’m attracted to creative people.

On a personal level, I’m more concerned with protecting myself from artistic narcissists (relationships).  My friends are great.  My students are… complicated.  I have a delicate balance to manage – guiding and nurturing them, without taking on too much of their weird shit.

It’s so wonderful to find The Creative Independent – coincidentally, on their 1st birthday!  The Creative Independent is “a resource of practical and emotional guidance for artists/creators”.  I can’t think of anything we need more.

The Russian Reversal

Yesterday I binged on a new NPR Podcast – Rough Translation – and was completely blown away by the episode “Ukraine vs. Fake News”.

– Listen Here –

Maybe I just had my head in the sand (I definitely had my head in the sand), but the cunning, the manipulation, the sheer dark genius of Putin is freaking me out.  I wanted to go to bed with Dostoyevsky for a week.  Books, not corpse.

It was troubling, of course… but I was also excited by the game.  He certainly makes the rest of us look like bumbling buffoons.

In Putin’s Russia, the story writes YOU !!


I work in design… in more than one way.  It’s kinda meta.  Basically I work as an educator and curriculum designer in a design field of study.

I’m not sure how I missed this, but I recently came across some random mention of empathy and design in the same sentence.  Zing!  Lightning strikes!  I have so many ideas and thoughts tumbling out…

I’ve been fascinated with artists and narcissism, creativity and dysfunction, roadblocks and self-defeating behaviours.  I’m designing a course on personal and professional development for designers; I’m examining my own preferences for creative companions, while maintaining a commitment to self-care; I’m questioning with a friend why we chose design rather than art.

A few things to add to the nebulous cloud of ideas:

Ambidextrous thinking – implies thinking with ‘right’ and ‘left’ brains together, as well as thinking with the whole body (in other words, kinesthetic thinking)

Scientific vs. Design thinking – How do we approach problems similarly?  Differently?

Wicked problems – problems that are not only difficult to solve, but difficult to define.  Has me thinking about the Ingenuity Gap.

Characteristics of the designer – Empathetic, curious, creative, left+right brained, optimistic, collaborative

I’m also interested to explore applying design thinking to societal and business problems – truly creative problem solving .  Design thinking leaves room for the muckiness of a wicked problem… and we’ve certainly got a lot of those.

I feel like I need to do some flow-charting….