Cards

It’s in the Cards!

I’ve been playing cards since I was a kid. The game in my house was hearts. I also have a friend, Aaron Trotter, who has been sketching the world’s cities (starting with Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon) and turning the sketches into decks of cards. You can find Aaron every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market.

https://www.illustratedplayingcards.com/

At last year’s World Domination Summit I met Jan Keck from Toronto who has created a deck called Ask Deep Questions. Jan is an interesting guy who is trying to help people break their small talk diets. His use of the cards has opened my eyes and mind to a new tool for parties; family reunions; ice breakers at events; and just a way to go deeper with another person quickly. Science actually shows that people who have deeper conversations are happier. Jan has taken the cards to another level through a Facebook group called the Ask Deep Questions Movement. This has become a hangout spot for those who believe in Jan’s mission and for the sharing of tangential resources.

Jan Keck Ask Deep Questions

Jan has also shown me how to run a successful Kickstarter – he had a team of people that he was building as the Kickstarter ran – and he’s also a wiz at using social media and his camera to capture what he’s up to.  His activity mostly takes place in person in Toronto, but he’s also developing tools to teach people his ideas online, as well.

Then, there’s Erin Hickok’s Cards for Connection. I learned about Erin’s work about 2 weeks ago and already I’ve learned a ton about what her decks are about. Erin has been sharing her decks with people all over the country and world for the past 5 years and she’s probably been transformed by the experience. I took part in an online Zoom session with 4 others where we answered questions together – the way this process allows people to share stories; get to know one another; and go deeper – is pretty remarkable.

Cards for Connection https://www.cardsforconnection.com/

Erin also has a Facebook group called Core Connectors which is where people who have been attracted to her work have gathered.  It’s also where some of the online games have happened as well as some interviewing she’s doing. This week she’s having Jan Keck on as a guest and I imagine they will have a very fun conversation! They also share a birthday! Take a look!

Last, but definitely not least, is my friend and local Portlander, Marc Polansky’s game The Higher Thought Cannabis Game. This game is also a series of questions – but they’re designed for taking the group on a journey to answers which build upon one another. It’s a little hard to describe, but it’s worthwhile, for sure. I’ve played the game about 4 times with groups of 4-11 people, and each time has been memorable and interesting.  Here’s a copy of their recent newsletter which comes out weekly and is worth signing up for. Here’s a short video that was made for the SPLIFF Film Festival.


Where are these cards taking me? I’m not positive yet, but I have to say they have led to some new, fun relationships and more of a desire to go deeper quicker with people. I think everyone’s lives can be improved through the use of deeper questions and time together with others to ponder them. I’m always open to feedback or suggestions. Do you know of another deck that I should check out?  And, give something in this post a try and let me know what you experience. Thanks!

Game on! Albert

https://higherthoughtcannabisgame.com/

whynot.net ideas 💡

Whynot.net Ideas

Here are some ideas I posted on the Whynot.net site – which is still fascinating.  Enjoy.

large-scale textbk review web

(3 votes)  Date submitted: Jul 22 2008

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Wnd Turbine on Trns line tower

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Aug 16 2006

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Collage Maker 1.0

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Jan 11 2005

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Washer/Dryer in one appliance!

(5 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 29 2004

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Removing impervious surfaces

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Co-housing works

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Metro supplied van pools

(1 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Improving the Oregonian

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Nov 18 2004

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Energy-saving tips at the pump

(4 votes)  Date submitted: May 21 2004

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Phil Busse for Mayor’s top 100

(1 votes)  Date submitted: May 05 2004

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1,000 Ways to improve PDX Traf

(1 votes)  Date submitted: Apr 20 2004

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Mount Hood National Park

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Apr 20 2004

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This Shrinking World

(3 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 31 2003

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Cement Snowmen/Snow-women

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 30 2003

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Freecycle – tis a gift to be .

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(19 votes)  Date submitted: Nov 11 2003

Leave the Leaves by DKG Graphics

All from this neat site whynot.net which is still alive, though not active.

Defeating Climate Change by Dismantling World Economies

Climate Change

Climate Change

I’ve been working on a campaign to rid my City, Portland, Oregon of gas-powered leaf blowers. This seems like low-hanging fruit in our fight to stop climate change. DC just banned them, so I figure we can do the same. While I’m working on this it got me to thinking what other simple changes could we make that would have a great impact on our climate.

For a long time I’ve had a few ideas that I think would make society simpler and in case #2 reduce commute times. The first is “Where does this dirt go?” The idea is that there is a centralized database that could track when dirt is being dug and moved — which could connect those who have dirt/fill with those who need it — rather than what currently seems to happen — dirt is dug, and then moved to a pile in the sub or ex-urbs and then brought back in via dump trucks. The 2nd idea is also database driven and has people who do exchangeable jobs switch with others to move their jobs closer to their homes. Ie, I am a 3rd grade teacher who drives an hour each day to my school — instead I switch with another 3rd grade teacher so that both of our commutes shorten — this might involve many people switching.

But really on a larger scale, a great way for us to combat climate change will be to pretty much shut down our current economy. I’m in the US, but other countries would probably benefit from this action, too. Our current economy is pretty new and does not have to be the way things are — it just is. So, what do I mean by shut down the economy?  Basically, everything that is not necessary to peoples’ lives should stop being produced. Especially, anything that has to do with war or killing (speaking of low-hanging fruit). Yes, many jobs will disappear and the transition will both take time and be a challenge to all of us. And, the other choice is cooking ourselves to death and moving towards a planet that is uninhabitable. So, please hear me out and possibly suggest ideas that could shape this into an actual policy.

Here’s further what I have in mind: the complete localization of everything. I wander my neighborhood in SE Portland and imagine a future where more people are at home — spending time with their kids; learning french and the piano. Imagine a life like that lived by Bill Murray in Groundhog Day — where we’re spending our precious lives learning, playing, cooking food together and being in community with one another. Doesn’t that sound more appetizing than commuting to a cubicle and spending 40+ hours a week working, anyway?  It does to me. I think it does to a lot of people.

So, what would go? Well, war-related everything. Health insurance companies seem unnecessary — I could see the US copying Germany’s version of healthcare. The production of a lot of stuff — I’m sure there’s some way to figure out together what’s useful and what’s not? And then for those jobs that are necessary, we share them.  The stock market and the way companies progress by driving up share prices for shareholders obviously needs to change. That’s leading to the using up of our natural resources — I’m watching as Oregon forests get chopped down for toilet paper and phone books by out of state investment companies looking to make a quick buck. These trees are the planets lungs — there should be an immediate moratorium on cutting trees, worldwide and planting as many as possible.

And, as quickly as possible we should all be moving towards solar and wind-powered everything. Wow, there’s a lot to think about here.  The gist is — how quickly can we transition away from our current way of doing things to something that looks more local, village-like, less resource-intensive, and less fossil-fuel based.  While we reduce our human population.

Last word on that idea: there’s a lot of talk about “replacement level” population growth. Why on God’s earth would we want to be at replacement level? Why is that seen as a good thing? The US with 320 million people is crowded. Forget replacement level — shrinking could be a great thing for all of us.

Further thought is needed on a lot of this. And, my a-ha moment about changing how we do things seemed valuable enough that I wanted to share it. Let me know if you have something to add. Thanks. For a better world, Albert Kaufman

PS – this article was also shared on Daily Kos – if you’d like to read some interesting comments check it out.

4.7.19 – this books looks like a good guide. How to Do Nothing

Why Do We Hurt Ourselves and Each Other?

Leave the Leaves by DKG GraphicsWhy?

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make my neighborhood and world a better place to live.  Sometimes I’m focused on climate change issue – big ticket items like population growth or stopping clear-cutting. But much of the time I think about how to make change happen on the local level. After years of planting trees; talking to neighbors about planting more trees and trying to figure out how to encourage more quiet and dark (less noisy things like amped up motorcycles; leaf blowers; car alarms and better outdoor lighting) – I’m coming up against something that’s confusing me. Knowing that some of our actions are going to harm ourselves and others why do we keep doing them?  Here are a couple examples.

Gas-powered leaf blowers and other gas-powered lawn and garden tools. AGZA

The above graphic from AGZA (American Green Zone Alliance) really spells out the problems and solutions in this area.  Given that we’ve known for years how polluting and noisy gas-powered leaf blowers are (one example) why do we continue to allow their use? And this is often something we do to ourselves. The person using the device is probably facing the most harm. Whether it’s a worker who uses a leaf-blower repeatedly, or someone using one once a year – in either case – that person is putting themselves at a health risk that is unnecessary. Join a group working on this issue.

Here’s an example from the noise department. Using one’s car fob to lock a vehicle – setting off the horn. At first this probably seemed convenient – but I hope that most people agree that it’s actually a nuisance and should never have been allowed to be developed by car companies. Most cars and trucks can be adjusted to stop this from happening. Hearing a car horn go off is usually a warning sound which used to be used by vehicle operators to indicate to others that there is some kind of emergency happening. Though the sound of a car horn going off is a nuisance for people in the vicinity – the person most harmed by the noise is the person closest to the sound. I’ve written about the dangers of losing one’s hearing before, here. If you love hearing music, let’s say – figure out how to dismantle this system for yourself. And, again, the question I posed at the opening – why, if we know that a system is harming our health, do we let it persist?

From the lighting department. The City of Portland is often an early adopter. We chose to switch to LED street lights a few years back but in our excitement chose lights that are too bright and glaring.  These new lamps make everything much too bright and make walking around at night less pleasurable than it used to be. They also make driving more hazardous as the lights also blind drivers. Why, when we know there’s an issue with these lamps didn’t we stop installing them once it became obvious they were too bright? And why do we keep them installed when there are better choices. This is true for residential lighting, as well.  If you walk outside of your house at night and can’t look at the lighting of your house for more than 10 seconds then please consider replacing the bulbs and/or fixtures you have to improve the experience for your neighbors. And, for yourself – because who is likely going to be seeing the lighting on your house most?  You.

Living in a quieter and darker place is good for all living creatures. Keeping all of our tree canopy standing which provides our oxygen would also be something we could do to make our lives better.  I love to think about my neighborhood and how our lives can be improved. I believe by paying attention to the ways we’re hurting ourselves and others and making changes to our behavior we’ll create a healthier and happier environment. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to see more stars one day.

For a better world, Albert Kaufman, 3.5.19

AGZA

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