Marty Heyman's blog

A lovely TED talk by Frans de Waal on moral behavior in animals. Lots of research into animals that certainly carry over to humans. Their experiments show "prosocial behavior" (as opposed to antisocial competition), empathy and consolation, and reciprocity and fairness in monkeys and other animals. The point is that human morality is an evolved morality many elements of which we share with others in the animal kingdom.

On TruthOut.org, a couple of short video interview segments with Bill Ayers. Very down-to-earth and sensible criticism from which all of us should draw comfort and strength. His point about Revolution is that it probably won't be a repeat of the War of Independence, the French Revolution, or the Overthrow of the Czar.

Nicole Foss, an economist and writer on the coming problems of resource depletion, is touring Australia and New Zealand. She posted an article with the title above on The Automatic Earth. The topic is really cooperation (small "C" cooperation) but it talks to the values of cooperation in general. Most important, cooperation is a productive, feel-good activity in this telling and that makes it worth the read and watching the embedded video.

Teju Cole is a novelist (Open City, winner of this year's PEN/Hemmingway award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) troubled by US interventions in and emotional response to Africa's problems. His piece in the Atlantic starts, "If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement."

South-By-Southwest is  a huge convention that had an interesting forum on Tech-shop co-ops. The audio is available, at the linked location, for you to listen to the session.

In the middle of the Greek monetary (Euro) crisis, people have discovered a way around the system that's been rigged against them. They are setting up local currency and exchange systems and doing business, effectively, without government money. The breathless story can be found at Raw Story and it is well worth reading and thinking about. But, for me, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In the midst of an inspirational TED talk by Arthur Potts Dawson, a restaurateur from London, in the thick of talk about sustainability and reduction of waste, we get a  quick sermon on co-operative supermarkets and exactly how important they are. Priceless if brief.

In a recent conversation with Jim Johnson, the topic of co-op structure came up and we chatted briefly about the new Benefit Corporation, a new form of corporate entity available by statute in at least seven states: California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. The enabling legislation is moving along in several other states already: Michigan North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Jim reflected some "sour grapes" from the co-op movement.

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