Sunday, May 24, 2009

It Takes More Than A Village

I have conducted (and continue to conduct) loads of research for Curing the Human Disease.

I've got pages of notes from interviews with smart people, internet bookmarks up the kazoo and tons of books with natty, highlighted pages. I am using the research to directly inform some of the concepts in the book but also as a kind of background hum of thinking that inderectly impacts it's themes.

I just finished reading Hillary Clinton's It Takes A Village, which she wrote when she was first lady. I found the book really interesting and well thought out (not the liberal diatribe some have accused it of being). Clinton interestingly visits some of the same themes as Curing the Human Disease, though her focus on children is different than my book's primary look at adult behaviors and motivators (why is it that all first ladies have thif kids/family focus? Is it like a Queen Mum thing where they are the nation's top mom?).

It Takes a Village also speaks explicitely about Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, which I have also been researching and including in the book. That is both cool and kind of intimidating - do I now have to rethink that content because it's also in her book?

The other thing about Clinton's book is how on-target it is in illuminating many of the problem's in American society. She nails the causes of the economic downturn that now afflicts us - from the lack of corporate regulation to rampant consumerism to failing educational systems.

This book was written in 1996...and it sold really well but I guess people didn't really take the thinking seriously? Were they too distracted by the Bill/Monica scandal? Or - in these modern times can a book really instigate societal change? That's a tough one to answer. Maybe It Takes a Village moved the needle a little - it's hard to prove. It's scary though because I am writing my book because I want to improve our world I'm wondering if that's a futile effort!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yes I have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, add DaxDax if you want to follow my randomness and occassional posts related to this book journey.

I've actually been using it for years but only recently in earnest. Dreop me a "tweet" if you add me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Evolutionary Nature

I was pleasantly surprised to read David Sloan Wilson's response to the Templeton Foundation Conversation question: Does evolution explain human nature?

As Wilson does in his answer, I have been addressing our ability to change as the psychological equivalent of an immune systems ability to grow and adapt based on the needs of the environment.

One of the tenants of my book is that evolution has provided us with the 7 "sin traits" as survival mechanisms, but that we must change, evolve and adapt beyond these traits to survive in a modern world. We're born afflicted with these conditions which helped us survive through the ages but which may not serve us too well anymore.

It's nice to know I am not the only person who has connected the adaptability of the immune system with the potential for the brain to change and grow. (And yes, I've asked him for an interview.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If there are any other aspiring writers (especially of nonfiction) reading this, I thought I would pass along a great resource on developing a book proposal.

The BookEnds blog is a great overall for any aspriring writers :)