Common Threads – April 2013

  • Are NGOs fit for the purpose of advocacy and campaigning? – Prof. Jude Howell of LSE discusses how NGOs can stay independent, relevant and effective.
  • Words matter. Don’t choose them too carefully – a surprisingly good article on framing by Lord Ashcroft.
  • Being WEIRD – a long but incredibly rewarding article about the mistaken belief that we all share “the same cognitive machinery—the same evolved rational and psychological hardwiring”. Cultures don’t just shape our attitudes and behaviours they “mold our most fundamental conscious and unconscious thinking and perception”. The article concludes: “we may have underestimated the impact of culture because the very ideas of being subject to the will of larger historical currents and of unconsciously mimicking the cognition of those around us challenges our Western conception of the self as independent and self-determined.
  • Blog: Rebuilding Optimism of Will – Che Guevara said that “the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love”. But not just any love, the love of humanity that transcends the day to day love of individuals (our family for example). In a way its a shame that the actual content of this paragraph from Che has been bastardised to be about some nebulous love that drives revolutionaries. Instead what Che was talking about was a very real dilemma. How to keep ourselves motivated, heading towards the goal, when we have so little time for our real “loved ones”, so little time for ourselves, and to develop our personal lives.
  • Iain Duncan Smith’s wages and the uncertain nature of online petitions
  • The Sound of Change – From the team behind Live Aid and Live Earth comes this concert for women directed by Beyoncé who, repeatedly asked if she is a feminist, says things like: “I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious.”
Richard HawkinsCommon Threads – April 2013

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