Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Second Post For The Day or I'm Not Really A Sellout If I Believe In The Thing I'm Promoting. Am I?

Normally I totally ignore all the stuff that comes to my inbox from the plethora of blog directories I pimped myself to signed up with. I dont even know why I bothered opening this one particular email this morning. The lure of 20 free credits certainly isnt usually enough to generate enough interest to double click yet again. Maybe it was because Mercury is in retrograde (thanks for pointing this out Kevin), maybe it was because I've been sleep deprived for several days now and my decision making capabilities are not at their sharpest. Maybe it was because I needed to read what was contained therein for the goodness of my soul.

I choose Mercury In Retrograde, thanks Bob.

Whatever. I come clean now and say that those nice people over at BlogExplosion lured me to this website with the promise of 20 free credits to my account if I would please visit aforementioned nice website and write a blog entry about it. Now, I'm not one of those hussies who sell their souls to the devil (unlike those A-list Hollywood types who do shameless product endorsement but only in Japan or Outer Mongolia). I have Principles. My opinion cannot be bought and sold. Despite this I took their golden carrot and ventured forth into the murky world of Cash-For-Comment.

Fortunately, I liked what I saw. It appeals not only to the armchair activist in me but also to the philosopher, the wanna-be-but-is-too-cynical-politician and possibly also the inner child that still asks "but whyyyyyy?"

We all have questions about the world, about our society and culture, that we'd like answers to. More often than not these questions seem so big and daunting that we cant think of them as anything but rhetorical. Can there ever be an answer to "why do we claim that everyone is equal and judge the next person we meet?" or Does freedom of thought really exist?

Dropping Knowledge is an international collective whose mission is to collect such questions from people around the world and present them at their Table of Free Voices event in Berlin on September 9.

From their website:

"dropping knowledge will bring together 112 inspiring individuals to drop their knowledge at 100 of these questions; the answers will be filmed, generating some 600 hours of footage. The "ask yourself" campaign, Table of Free Voices and other dk activities exemplify the practice of asking and answering questions. Together, these activities pave the way for participation in the Living Library. "

The Living Library is an initiative that, from what I can gather, will act as a cross between a database and a giant chat-room, bringing together differing viewpoints on issues of global importance and acting as a kind of brain-storming session to develop solutions to our most pressing issues.

As a philosophy graduate, I believe that one should never stop asking questions even if you dont get answers to them. It is the asking itself that is important, that changes mindsets, that opens up possibilities. Do I think that this Table of Free Voices will come up with any concrete answers to the 100 questions that will be posed? No, I dont. Even if they did, who would actually commit themselves to do what was necessary? After all, we know the solutions to global warming but we cant even get our own government to commit to Kyoto. Indeed, one of the questions that has been submitted is Are asking questions going to motivate someone to take action? (by Michael Pokocky , 51, Ste-Adele/Quebec, Canada)

I think that the most important role Dropping Knowledge will play is in the mere posing of the questions, perhaps encouraging people to consider issues that wouldn't normally even occur to them. Issues such as this:

The Baby Drop Box at Altonaer Children’s Hostpital, Hamburg, Germany, is an alternative to infanticide.

Maybe the key to changing the world is knowing which questions to ask.


  1. I got this offer from TWO of the blog sites I (pimped myself to) signed up with... I admit, I'm intrigued by the site, but didn't post about it...

  2. Not really about this post.

    I just had an epiphany. Is your child's nick-name 'Spudly' due to his bizzare resemblance to Ewen Bremmer (Spud) in Trainspotting - or just some random fluke?

    I just went to the film database site, and couldn't find any pics to link that would give any credibility to my memory, but - watch the movie again.

    I could be wrong

  3. Excellent post. And thanks for the link!

    It's so, so, so true.
    After all, what's wrong with questioning?

  4. "Maybe the key to changing the world is knowing which questions to ask."


  5. Here! Here! Lioness! EXACTLY!

    Oh, and by the way... your comment on my blog yesterday... prompted a full-on belly-aching GUFFAW! You so made my day with your calculations and you comment.

    Love you!!!!!!

  6. Oh... and... ANTLERS??????

  7. Oh... and... ANTLERS??????


Comments make blogging a conversation, rather than mere self-indulgent navel-gazing. Look at that big empty space down there...just waiting for your thoughts.

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