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The Theory of Everyone

We now seem to have come across “a theory of everyone” that explains the human universe… Whether in a family, classroom, workplace or whole country, we get better results if authorities in each setting engage stakeholders with more voice and more choice, in exchange for taking more responsibility.

Guessing an Ox’s Weight and the Future of Democracy

The public is very smart if you give it a chance… If people think their voice actually matters, they'll do the hard work, really study their briefing books, ask the experts smart questions and then make tough decisions.

Learning is Natural — School is Optional

We have come to confuse learning with schooling. Learning is now measured by the number of years in school and the number of diplomas collected. Informal learning, acquired through direct experience, or self-directed learning, driven by personal interest, are regarded as inferior to school learning.

How Elections Drive Out the Good Guys

In 1991 Lee Atwater, former Republican National Committee Chairman and a pioneer in political attack ads, was dying from a brain tumor. Years earlier, in an off-the-record interview, Atwater explained the so-called “southern strategy” that allowed Republicans to win the votes of racists without sounding racist themselves — by making the racial messages abstract.

Chapter 2. Compulsory Education

The day before I started my first year of teaching, I put the following quotation from George Santayana on the bulletin board in ominous black letters. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The quotation stayed up for several weeks until I changed it to a display of historic political cartoons.

One day a pleasant girl in one of the “tech school” sections asked me about the quotation. “I just want to train horses. Why must I study history?”

I proceeded to explain the importance of learning from the past, of analyzing events and actions which have occurred in order to make better choices when faced with similar situations.

Chapter 1. Skating Away

The Arizona highway seemed an endless blur, edged by desert sand and topped with a starry night sky. Sue, Josh and Benjie slept behind me in the van while my thoughts flew back to Pennsylvania.

Angry thoughts. Confused thoughts. Replaying the events which led to my resignation from the public schools and our present journey.

Some of the events were books. Books which jarred my consciousness and pushed my head in new directions. Books like Deschooling Society (1971) which advanced the idea that schools should be abolished, that they have dehumanized learning and removed it from the flow of life.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – To “B” or Not To “B”

Today Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is the world’s fourth largest producer selling more than a third of a billion dollars in ice cream each year. Ben and Jerry’s is also a pioneer in what Jerry calls “caring capitalism.

Why Schools Should Be Going Around in Circles

West Philadelphia High School was considered the worst in the city. Suspensions and expulsions did not stop the frequent fights and fire-setting. The good news is that “restorative practices” came to West Philadelphia.

How the Flaw in Elections Foisted Prohibition on America

In 1920, on the first day of Prohibition, people must have looked around and thought, “How the hell did this happen?” Wayne Wheeler, leader of the National Anti Saloon League, knew exactly how it happened. He got America to give up its booze and shut down its fifth biggest industry by exploiting the flaw at the center of the election process.

The Green Bay Packer Factor – A Kinder, Gentler Capitalism

When I was 11 years old Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, moved the team because New York wouldn’t help him build a new stadium and Los Angeles would. I was devastated by the heartless decision-making of free market capitalism.

Let’s Choose Legislators Randomly from the Phone Book

I didn’t realize how dissatisfied voters were until 2012 when I read about a poll in which 1000 likely U.S. voters were asked: “Would a group of people selected at random from the phone book do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress?” 43 percent answered “yes.”

Building a New Reality

Throughout the world there is a widespread mistrust of our institutions and our leaders. That’s why I created this website. Not to complain, but to focus on possibilities. Actions, prototypes, demonstration projects, experiments. Proposed, underway or long established. That’s what I’ll be sharing.