Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Think Buddha
Excerpts from a great post about the social implications of "Couchsurfing"
For much of the time in Bulgaria (and in between, as I’m taking the train) I will be Couchsurfing. For those of you who don’t know about it, Couchsurfing is a web based global hospitality network. The dea is that you sign up, put up a bit of a profile, and then you can contact people all around the world and arrange to stay with them. It is all run on the basis of generosity and hospitality...

Some friends have said to me that they think such hospitality – whether offering it or receiving it (and, with hospitality, I think that one is always both offering and receiving it at the same time, that there is a hospitality to being a host and there is a hospitality to being a guest) – is foolhardy...

I suspect it comes down to the fact that something like Couchsurfing goes against the tenor of our times, and the reason is simple: that we feel uneasy with a transaction based upon generosity, openness and hospitality. We are reassured when money changes hands, because we understand financial transactions; but when no money changes hands, our suspicions are aroused. We do not know what to do with such a situation. We are not accustomed to this kind of thing happening. It does not fit in with our world view...

But then, our world view can be a bleak one. The prevailing impression one can get from the media is that every stranger is out there to murder and maim, that trust is a mugs’ game; and this leads to an all-pervading siege mentality. Yet there could be no sadder house to live in, to my mind, than one surrounded by barbed wire, with large metal gates and an intercom at the end of the drive, the grounds bristling with security cameras and patrolled by fierce hounds.

A Sideways Look at Womanhood
Miss Understood stumbles upon an ethical index of clothing companies in the UK, sparking a re-evaluation of her consumer habits, and a lively discussion in her comments section.
I wonder if it’ll change the way I shop? I’m highly unlikely to ensure that all the clothes I buy are Fair Trade or made from organic cotton, but I wonder if I’ll be able to walk out of Primark with a bulging bag and a flutter of excitement in the knowledge I’ve picked up some bargains, when the reality of the situation is that the labels which should inform me of the origin of the clothes is missing. Will I still have a smile on my face when I think about the working conditions of the employees who make it all possible for me?

Dharma Bums
Gorgeous nature photos posted by Robin Andrea today, followed by a discussion of Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko, and then a call to action!
Moore goes to Canada, England, and France to talk to people about their experience with health care. Everyone he speaks with seems quite content with their national systems. No matter what, they don't really ever have to worry. Imagine that--No worries, and for less money than we spend.

Isn't it time for a revolution in this country? What will it take to get us off of our butts and out into the streets? What?

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