Since 1998 home to classic Canadian storytelling.
Since 2017 preoccupied with Social Justice
& associated Unsolved Riddles.
Since 2020 associated with KnICH Magazine.
Now Madly Off in Four (or more) Directions!
• Keeping the Mind Alive •
Thursday November 26th, 2020
This Week's Pictoverbicon:
Press upon this Pictoverbicon to see the full 2020 array.
Voyageur Storytelling hurls:
The FOURFOLD VISION PROJECTILE
Fourfold Vision and associated prophetics
applied to public affairs by people of literary cast of mind.
See recalled pictoverbicon below.
Twofold, Threefold, Fourfold, and Morefold
Onefold = Single Vision
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And three fold in soft Beulahs night
And twofold Always. May God us keep
From Single Vision ... (William Blake)
God + Nature + Person + People
Prosperity + Health + Security + Contentment
Knowledge + Imagination + Compassion + Humour (Stephen Leacock)
Sceptical + Ironical + Dispassionate + Free (Isaiah Berlin)
Liberty + Pluralism + Kindness + Creativity
The Way to Happiness is Labyrinthine
A Fourfold Vision
Mobilizing Literary Casts of Mind in Public Affairs:
To Benefit the Common Weal
To Advance Social Justice, Unsolved Riddles and all;
To Nourish Human Contentment;
To pursue sane, orderly and continuous Social Reform.
the Prosperity necessary to it
the Society necessary to it
the Culture necessary to it
the Environment necessary to it
the Democracy necessary to it
the Government necessary to it
the Security necessary to it
the Education necessary to it
the Understandings necessary to it
in particular of
Pluralism :: Complexity (Muddle) :: Overview :: Both-And
and the consequent need to cultivate
Knowledge + Imagination + Compassion + Humour
(the Stephen Leacock Tetrad)
Other Useful, Attractive, but Insufficient Casts of Mind
Fragmented, Incomplete, Inconclusive
Muddled, Sometimes Inefficient, Democratic
Clear, Convinced, Sometimes Closed
Enticing, Unworkable, Inclined to be Authoritarian
Intensely Focussed, Rigorously Disciplined, Fragmented
Enticing, Impatient with Context, Sometimes Dogmatic
The Literary Cast of Mind, properly mobilized, retains the advantages of all three
while avoiding the traps.
Much more could be said, and will be.
Since Stephen Leacock's book (The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice, 1919-20), and maybe earlier (Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879) the cohabitation of Social Justice and Unsolved Riddles has been known, effective, and sometimes deplored. Conversations surrounding the attempt to marry them officially and thus make their relationship respectable yielded the following ideas, general in scope, specific in application, and blessed by their mutual attraction:
(1) Make a Mantra of Social Justice. At present it seems that the words we hear most often in public discourse are "The Economy", meaning economic growth of the common, quantitative kind, measured by a very small number of indicators, such as GDP, the stock market indices, or (un)employment. We should elevate 'Social Justice' into that dominant position, and think of economic affairs as simply one tool in the box.
(2) Complex Thinking for Complex Reality. The cumulative effect of democratic, industrial, and commercial progress in the past few centuries has been a hugely complex, interactive society, or set of societies, seeking to satisfy individual, local, national, regional, and global imperatives. In order to make those our servants rather than our masters we need to think as complexly as they are. Simplicities, however consoling, cannot do the job.
(3) Sane, Orderly, and Continuous Social Reform. There is no magic formula. If something needs improvement, work to improve it. If we try something that works, we should do more of it. If we try something that doesn't work, we should try something different. We may in fact work that way naturally. We need to trust the process, and distrust those who are impatient, dogmatic, or authoritarian.
(4) Education. All advancement of any kind begins here, and not only with schooling, important as that is. The humanaculture of learning and teaching needs to permeate public discourse and private aspiration.
(5) Social Safety. We cannot call ourselves socially just as long as anyone is in distress through no fault of their own, and we need to be very careful in our judgements about fault. What looks like fault is often our lack of understanding. In particular children should not inherit the misfortunes of their parents.
(6) Fitting Taxation. In order to provide the public services and protections so essential to Social Justice, we need to tax whatever creates or manifests material wealth for individuals, using a set of largest possible bases and at steeply progressive rates.
(7) Guaranteed Incomes. The Big Four pillars of Social Justce are, or ought to be: Income, Housing, Health Care, Education. If people have incomes they can help with the other three. If we don't guarantee the income we pay a huge price trying to provide the others.
(8) Right Œvirsagas. Œvirsagas are the macro-stories we tell ourselves in order to know who we are, where we are, where we have been, and where we ought to be going. They are the propaganda we generate for ourselves, in order to keep us focussed and energized.
HOW GOOD WE ARE WILL DEPEND ON HOW WE THINK!
A Tetrad of Post-Covid19 Specific Measures
based on lessons learned
(1) A Guaranteed Annual Income. If we had had that from the beginning the social safety net it would represent would kick in automatically for those in need.This measure would require higher taxation of the progressive redistributive kind.
(2) Massive Reform of Elder Care. Towards Home Care and minimally institutional forms of residence; away from large institutions especially those of the warehousing kind.
(3) Sophisticated Understanding of Risk. Covid19 is a new risk and we don't know how to think about it. We take risks all the time in our daily lives, especially with disease and accidents, and we know how to think about them. We need to apply the same kind of understanding.
(4) Journalism for Our Time. The present whip-saw oscillation between sensationalism and sentimentalism, along with grotesquely inadequate expertise in statistical interpretation on the part of journalists, is making any kind of contextual thinking extremely difficult for those who rely on regular journalism for understanding.
A PIctoverbicon for Our Times
Press upon this Pictoverbicon for a glimpse of the Social Justice Muddlescape
An Organ for Edification and Amusement in Our Times
Voyageur Storytelling: 1998-Present
We formed in Yellowknife in 1998 and performed there.
For 15 years, from 2002 to 2016, we performed Country Supper Storytelling Concerts at our home on Saugeen-Bruce Peninsula.
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Voyageur Storytelling 2020
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