Meg Jay: Why 30 Is Not The New 20
"The best time to work on Alex's marriage is before she has one."
--Meg Jay's supervisor

"To achieve great things, you need a plan and not quite enough time. "
--Leonard Bernstein

Identity capital: something that adds value to who you are
"Identity capital begets identity capital. So now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that startup you want to try. I'm … discounting exploration that's not supposed to count, which, by the way, is not exploration. That's procrastination. … Explore work and make it count."

Do as I say, not as I do!

What are your guiding principles in life?
What are the things you value most?

Teaching a Person or Child to Care
Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement. These patterns hold around the world: When people in 50 countries were asked to report their guiding principles in life, the value that mattered most was not achievement, but caring.
--Raising a Moral Child NYT 4/11/2014

Is it important to teach people to care?

How do you teach people to care? How do you teach children to care?

When a child does something right what do you say?

The Dispossessed Workshops

Come join the five Dispossessed Workshops at the RO Studio!

The discussions will happen on the following dates, all Tuesdays at 8pm. Address and Map

May 6 Freedom, Responsiblility, Initiative
May 13 Owning or Using
May 20 Possession: Luxury, Scarcity, Consumerism
May 27 How Boundaries Work
June 3 The Structure of Power

Links take you to the discussion wiki, where you can see the discussion guide for each workshop and also transcripts from the Becoming workshops held in April.

The Dis-Possessed Legislature

The Occupied Legislature situation has been resolved for now, in that some of the people currently in power have accepted the students' demands. They were accepted with a lot of wiggle room in what was promised, so it remains to be seen what is actually done. Yet the acceptance allows the students to 'succeed' and then peacably disband, and allows the halls of power to get back to their normal business, or to get back to work at least.

There are now a lot of questions to be answered.

One of the students' demands was for a Citizen's Constitutional Assembly. KRW asks,
"Is [the future we work for] one where the people of Taiwan are no longer mediated subordinates, with regard to domestic and overseas affairs, but its immediate determinants?"

Before we discuss this question, let us discuss the concept of Negative Freedom and Positive Freedom.

Negative freedom is easier to describe. You can call it 'freedom from'.  It means you are free from restrictions, obstacles, or constraining commitments/responsiblity.  You're 'freed up' to do whatever you want, there is a lack of limitations.

Positive freedom is a little trickier.  You can call it 'freedom to'.  It has a strong relationship with taking initiative, or having the right conditions.   That is to say, you're free to do something through the availability of resources, through being given social support, through possessing collaborators.   Positive freedom is often realised through commitments to other people, or through taking on responsibility.

Saying 'positive' and 'negative' implies that one is more desirable than the other, but actually the terms are about presence and absence, not good and bad.

Partial transcript for Democratic Oversight discussion

Let's talk about this one: Convene a citizens' constitutional assembly.

How do we invite the participation of 23 million people to a discussion process?
The referendum process is all about the decision and not about dialogue and discussion, the thinking-through process leading up to the decision. It's an incomplete process, because the real participation is in the thinking it through part, not making the decision at the end.

What are the conditions for effective dialogue between parties?
-you would need pre-agreement about what is an is not available
the questions under discussion are handed out first, and anonymously answered, to prevent opinions being influenced by louder people, or prevent people worrying about offending people, for people who feel unsafe in the process

-there's four-step process:
1. Before the discussion, think about the strengths, or what you like about the other person, so you feel more positive about them, or less emotional
2. Talk about own misbehaviour, maybe wrong tone etc., what i might have done to hurt you, what i appreciate about you. And this helps bring people into harmony
3. Talk about what help is needed from other party, or how you've been hurt, and this is why i don't appreciate what you've done, what you can do to fix it
4. During this time, advice is not allowed, you must practice deep listening.
a neutral party must be present in this process
then the next party also says this, and the original party practices deep listening.
i’ve done this process, and it brings useful results, people don't get offended and also offensive. It doesn't just be about what the other party should be responsible for, it also is about what i should be responsible for.
Tekna Han is the teacher for this method, he works with the palestinians and israelis.
it takes more than one discussion of course, but you have deeper understanding of the hurt of everybody, and people understand why they feel hurt, and people can begin to feel like brothers.

The Dispossessed Workshops at Becoming

Come join my four Dispossessed Workshops at Becoming!
Our discussion will be centered around the book The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. Here's a link to the entire book in English.
They're taking place at the RO Studio on April 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, all Mondays at 7:30pm. Address and Map

It's listed on the Becoming website as the "Utopian Society" workshop, but the real subject of our discussion is 'community', or 'what makes a community happen', or maybe 'what are our relationships within community'.

We'll also be talking about the ethics of community, seeing that our subthemes are freedom, responsiblity, initiative, boundaries, ownership and power. Looking at community through the lens of Utopia, as a kind of foreign way of organising society, can be a useful way to evaluate our own.

Democratic Oversight: How to make it work?

Discussion will be held Friday, April 4 at 8pm Address and Map

Continuing our discussion of the student movement currently happening in Taipei, let's discuss the the four demands of the students occupying the Legislative Yuan. According to a fb poster inviting people to the March 30 gathering on Ketegalan Boulevard last Sunday, these are the four demands:
1. Withdraw the Services Trade Agreement With China
2. Pass new legislation to ensure democratic oversight of any negotiations with China
3. Review the Services Trade Agreement with China after such legislation has passed
4. Convene a Citizens' Constitutional Assembly

Let's first review some of the terms here:
What is 'democratic'?
What is 'democratic oversight'?
Are there any other terms you would like to clarify and discuss?

Okay, now let's look at items 2-4 one at a time, considering the following questions:
What is the process by which these things are currently dealt with?
What are the conditions for effective process? For effective discussion? For effective decision making?

The Occupation of the Legislature: What now?

Discussion will be held Friday, April 4 at 8pm Address and Map

Continuing our discussion of the student movement currently happening in Taipei, this week we're going to have an open discussion, where everyone contributes the topics to be discussed. Email me at, and I'll list and organise them below.

Also, here is a link to a gigantic AMA* run by the students in the LY on Reddit, where they answer a lot of specific questions handed to them on their policy, strategy, and a lot of other things. A lot of it is very worth discussing.

*AMA = Ask Me Anything, apparently a Reddit tradition of someone telling all about what it's like to be them, from fast-food workers to even President Obama have done AMAs in the past.