A lecture with Q&A on reinventing Higher Education in light of “Slow Zoom” and related insights drawn from the pandemic and in the context of changes in our civilization related to the exponential growth in AI and the need for nonviolent strategies of dialogical reasoning to reform our economics, politics, technology and ethics. This was first presented on October 15th, 2020, as the Human Ecology Forum at the College of the Atlantic. Besides the video of the lecture I have also included, below it, a pdf file of the slides used in the talk.

Posted by: Gray | September 17, 2020

Gandhi’s Dialogical Truth Force

Chapter 15 from Gandhi and the Contemporary World, et. Sanjeev Kumar, Routledge, 2020

https://www.routledge.com/Gandhi-and-the-Contemporary-World/Kumar/p/book/9780367408510

“Gandhi’s Dialogical Truth Force:

Applying Satyagraha Models of  Practical Rational Inquiry to the Crises of Ecology,  Global Governance, and Technology”

The central thesis of this chapter is that Gandhi’s model of rational inquiry provides the key to addressing the existential crises that are being created by the dominant, current models of  economic, political and technological reasoning.  Part one sketches defining features of the current models of reasoning and the problems they have. It argues that: A.) they are monological (and so exclude data and voices that are essential to understanding reality) and B.) they presuppose a value “free” or “neutral” conception of reason (and so are committed to a moral relativism which means bribe, coercion and violence are the only ultimate sanctions to secure agreement in practical affairs).  Part two sketches the principal features of Gandhi’s satyagraha showing it is a dialogical process of  practical rational inquiry which can discover emergent objective moral truth and bear witness to it in ways that are effective in securing rational consent and enforcing rational, moral norms in non-violent ways. As such, it provides ways to solve the problems of the current dominant models. Part three develops some examples of the ways in which satyagraha can and should be applied to the three existential crises focused on in this paper. It offers general sketches of the Gandhian alternatives to our current  “civilized” forms of economic, political and technological rationality. It also offers some specific proposals for initiatives that might be undertaken to develop and institutionalize these in systematic ways at the global level as part of a genuinely civilized global culture of peace. The proposals include resource allocation initiatives that could fund the change, legal strategies that could provide a basis for institutionalizing principals of  moral truth as the foundations for an international system of justice, and legislative strategies for incarnating morality in the artificial intelligence systems and corporations that increasingly dominate our planet.

This is a chapter from the book: Quakers, Politics, and Economics:  Quakers in the Disciplines, Volume 5, Friends Association for Higher Education, 2018. The full title of the article is: “Governing the World from the Ground Up Through Power Grounded in the Light: A Proposal for Action Research on Quaker and Gandhian Responses to our Global Crises”,

Posted by: Gray | April 10, 2019

Earth 2045: The Culture Hack Commons Scenario

I was  especially fortunate to be able to attend the Augmented Intelligence Summit sponsored by the Future of Life Institute and others on March 28-31, 2019, at the 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley, California. Here is a bit of info on it: https://futureoflife.org/augmented-intelligence-summit-2019-2/

And here is a scenario draft that I wrote up coming out of it which envisions some aspects of a path to a dramatically better world by 2045 through methods of funding a nonviolent system of world governance from the ground up and transforming our culture of violence through an integration of Gandhian methods and dialogical forms of  enhanced Artificial Intelligence reconceived and developed as Augmented Natural Wisdom: Culture Hack Commons Scenario 2045

I have included here a pdf of a talk I gave at the August, 2018, World Congress of Philosophy in Beijing on: “Transforming Rationality to Sustain the World: Dialogical Rationality as a Key to the Ecological, Political, Technological and Moral Existential Crises We Face”:   Beijing Talk on Transforming Rationality

Posted by: Gray | April 10, 2019

World Parliament of Religions Talk

I have included here a pdf of a talk I gave at the Toronto World Parliament of Religions in Toronto this last November, 2018, on “Birthing a New Civilization: Practicing Gandhian Revolutionary Love Force Today”.

Gandhi Talk WPR handout

Posted by: Gray | February 13, 2019

Contact Form

Welcome!!! I would love to know who you are and whatever comments or interests you might feel led to share.

 

Here is a handout pdf of the lyrics for a song workshop I will be leading at Friends General Conference in Toledo. Most have urls for recordings of the tunes.  I hope to soon post recordings of the others soon and list them in a revision of this page.

FGC Workshop Lyrics

 

draft bannerfire-in-the-commons-e.jpg

“Fire in the Commons” formed in the winter of 2018 as an intergenerational music group committed to empowering people through powerful, original songs. We perform in concerts, rallies, churches and wherever people gather to work for solidarity, freedom, peace,  safeguarding the commons or simply lifting spirits with a joyful roar. They aim to bridge cultures and build community with music that moves people to sing and songs that move them to act. We take inspiration from troubadours like Pete Seeger and Violeta Parra and change agents like Sweet Honey in the Rock, Emma’s Revolution, Will I Am and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. We use a mix of strong acapella arrangements and spare but powerful instrumentation with guitar, bones, conchs and drums.  Our lyrics deal with topics like climate change, war, peace, diversity, immigration, consumerism, hope, community building and ecological stewardship.  Members this year included Kristina Swanson, Chester Hardina-Blanchette, Ali Fahrquahr, Gray Cox, and Hannah Miller,  and (not pictured here) Felipe Fontecilla Gutierrez, Sarah Emigh-Doyle, Jai Temple and Lila Schrock.

Samples of our songs can be seen on Youtube or heard on Bandcamp at:

“Comin’ Like a Hurricane” — https://youtu.be/ObLKRxISAB

“350 To Save the Sky” — https://graycox.bandcamp.com/track/350-to-save-the-sky

“Someone to Hold” — https://youtu.be/ImJPHxDACos

“Todos Somos Otros” — https://youtu.be/5WRfUog4ZT4

“She’ll Be Ridin’ on a Donkey” — https://youtu.be/tSj1fB_d43A

An Air for Buddhists and Other Animals (Breath on the Water) – https://graycox.bandcamp.com/track/breath-on-the-water

Other songs are available at: https://graycox.bandcamp.com/ For more information or to contact us for a performance, write or call Gray Cox at gray@coa.edu or #207-460-1163.

Performances this spring included:

3/2       Featured Group at the First Friday Coffee House at North East Harbor Library

3/9       Concert at the Jesup Memorial Library

3/16      Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church for fund raising for Unitarian Youth attending a UN Conference on Immigration

4/17     Music for the annual War Tax Resistance Rally in Portland, Maine, at Lobsterman Park

5/11    Performance at Beyond the Whale Skull at College of the Atlantic – broadcast on Channel Five in Portland at: http://www.ctn5.org/shows/member-highlights/member-highlight-maine-war-tax-resistance-day-12725

 

 

Here’s a link to a video of a talk I gave this spring at a TED-like session organized at College of the Atlantic called “Beyond the Whale Skull”. It deals with “Fun and Creative Ways to Fund World Government From the Ground Up” at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB01Td5Cd3k#t=38m19s

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