The World Happiness Report — a UN analysis of average happiness of countries — has an item that is one of maybe 7 factors they use to gauge overall (average) happiness:
“Freedom to make life choices” is the national average of responses to the question “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?”
Guess what? The US doesn’t do all that well on that measure. So much for Land of the Free. I suspect it is because we think things like cars and single family homes in suburbia are desirable things. But it actually feels freer to live WITHOUT a car in an area with access to great public transportation, health care, etc. There’s probably a psychological or sociological term for this but it’s not coming to me right now.
This was a great note from Mountain Laurel Sudbury School. But it’s in Facebook, so I include it here so it doesn’t get lost…
IT’S NOT ABOUT ALTERNATIVE
October 3, 2013 at 4:03pm
We try very hard to make sure we’re clear about our model. That it isn’t about a rigid dogma, but about trusting children with responsible freedom. Yet, for all our talk, some prospective parents will only hear what they want to hear. That we’re alternative. That if we’re alternative, we must subscribe to a certain set of alternative beliefs and practices.
Yes, in a place where there is freedom, all walks of life will be welcome. This will include people who would be considered alternative. But it does not guarantee it.
So, these potential parents will become quite distraught the first time they see something that doesn’t fit within their own particular alternative ideology. When a kid eats processed food. When there’s screen time. When the students don’t all have to do the same thing together. And we’re left explaining, yet again, that Sudbury schools don’t police students’ actions like that.
It’s not about being alternative. It’s about being free.
ORIGINAL WAS HERE: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mountain-laurel-sudbury-school/its-not-about-alternative/584913244878917
The problem with twitter is that it isn’t more like facebook.
And the problem with facebook is that it isn’t more like twitter.
And the problem with wordpress is that it isn’t more like facebook and twitter.
By which I mean:
Facebook is annoying because:
- images are big now and everyone has figured out that the clever way to advertise their website is to put a clever saying in an image which is now huge and I have to scroll like mad now to read anything. I mean, I am guilty of sharing these sometimes, but will resist now I think. I usually hide article previews too.
- It’s not open
Twitter is annoying because:
- It’s a river (vs folders like is an option in RSS reader) so you can’t easily do things like group feeds, click to read one person (or one cluster) when you want to, etc. I know you can click (TWICE!) to read more from a person, but come on!
- It’s suggesting celebs to subscribe to. Uh, no.
- I pretty much totally hate URL compressor things since I can’t tell if I am interested cause the website name is hidden
- I am sorry but I am not conversing with you there
- hashtags are ugly and painful and useless unless it is a niche.
- It’s not open
WordPress is annoying because:
- It’s slow
- It doesn’t do nice/automatic previews of articles when you paste them in
- It’s slow
- All my friends aren’t there
- I can’t easily protect posts by friendship
- Might bring some open way of doing things like all of the above but in an open “internet standards” sort of way.
- simpler but also maybe more modular/programmable
— examples of tiny evidence of hope:
—– Dave Winer’s littleoutliner.com (see http://scripting.com/) is a sign (I hope) of things to come.
—– flickr.com API and APIs in general
—– bootstrap, and responsive design / HTML5
—– some google tools (books, forms) seem hopeful, but I won’t count on them now that I see that Google just close things down (ala Google Reader)
“When I was eight years old and people asked me what I did with my time at SVS, I said, “nothing.” I now realize what I meant to say was “everything.”
On the Nature of Sports at SVS and the Limitations of Language in Describing SVS to the World
By Michael Greenberg
From The Sudbury Valley School Experience
A few thoughts on the subject…
Minecraft and the Tinkering School (it’s a camp) have me inspired to use power tools and knives more with the kids.
Dad gave us kids toolboxes and tools and wood and glue as kids and that was cool. We all had swiss-army knives when we were little too.
Here is an example of tools and a workbench on offer at day care. Cool. I mean, as a SVS-aficionado and all, I think it should be up to kids whether they want to do anything with any of it, but having it available is nice too.
Ah well, anyway, I just wanted to collect a few links and articles and ideas floating around in my brain. Kiddos (all of us!) just love doing stuff that is REAL so much, that’s basically all I wanted to acknowledge. This is (one of the many) beauties of things like SVS, and cohousing. Can’t get more real than that! People living and doing stuff. Awesome!
- Life Size “Lincoln Logs” – still contrived. fancy “forts”? life-sized Magnatiles?
- The Agenda Restated by James Kunstler
- MAKE and Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World
- Story of building a harpischord at SVS (The Kingdom of Childhood: Growing Up at Sudbury Valley School By Daniel Greenberg, p136)
- 11 tools to get for your kids — a good list!
- http://woodgears.ca/ – has some nice beginner plans for woodworking
- simple solar projects are good places to start for DIY solar (see builditsolar.com for more…)