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Posts tagged ‘ambition’

Making the World Spicy…Literally

“He who controls the spice, controls the universe!”
– Frank Herbert, Dune

colorful spices circle spoon autumn tasty

Some of the greatest moments of ingenuity and progress in history have been sparked by the simplest of our human needs: food. This progression begins at the very first era of our human history: the moment Homo sapiens learned to grow their own food rather than futilely chase hulking animals across the globe for meat and bone. This led to a large-scale shift from small hunter-gatherer family groups to villages, towns, cities, and quickly entire civilizations – all because they had good sources of food and water. This is also why many settlements, towns, and cities are near riverbeds or perched on the foaming edges of the earth: an easy source of water to bring one another to life.

Great explorers set out searching to scan the sea for treasures of gold and diamonds, but even more precious was their quest for spice and salt. These days we mainly use these as accessories to liven up our meals, but for civilizations of the past they represented the preservation of their most vital asset (food, of course). Salt and black pepper played crucial roles in diets throughout the middle ages, preserving good taste in spoiled meat. It was so precious pepper was actually a commodity in and of itself: it is said that Attila the Hun demanded the ransom of more than a ton of pepper after besieging a city in the 5th century, a far cry from today when a pound of pepper can be bought at any grocery store in America. The spice trade opened lines of culture-sharing across multiple continents for centuries, from Western Europe all the way to Indonesia, making most parties involved fantastically rich and providing the defining factor for an age of discovery. Though Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune spoke of “spice” as a drug, he still alluded to the very real impact of spice on world food economies (see quote, above).

When the New World was discovered, the world underwent yet another massive upheaval affecting the lives and the taste buds of people everywhere. In addition to delicious new tastes like chocolate and vanilla, the combined tastes of coffee from Africa and the carbohydrate-laden potato from South America led the charge in energizing a continent to begin the Industrial Revolution starting in the 17th century. Never before had Western people had the pure energy and electricity flowing through their veins, leading them to work longer hours and continue working with energy for new ideas, new adventures, and new inventions. Technology returned the favor, granting them kerosene lamps and incandescent lightbulbs to continue work into the night. This new energy changed the world forever.

Even today, much of our world revolves around food. The school year is organized the way it is because when public schools started, children were needed to help out on the farm and provide the harvest for their families. Mealtimes serve as very viable springboards for business meetings, dates, connections, interviews, and parties. Food from all corners of the world finds its way to entrench itself in our worldwide fabric, learning to adapt and survive past any cultural boundaries. People say that music or mathematics is the universal language, but food is the universal gift, bought or cooked for those we care for.

OurPangea provides a platform for food lovers to unite and collaborate to share recipes, meals, and cooking tips. It provides a platform for restaurants to connect to their communities and for communities to discover new restaurants. It brings people together to share in a communal environment, designed to create laughter and familiarity. The OurPangea community invites the entire world to sit down at our dinner table and share those connections, bringing in not only food but all culture and every idea to be shared among our family.

Maybe we can even eat it.

Common Unity

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”

– Aristotle

hands holding together keep calmOne of the most enduring aspects of the study of history, anthropology, and society is the need for humans to come together, to form a community. Philosophers all over the world and all throughout time have noted this tendency for people to embrace each other – from units like families all the way to large societies, with interconnected networks and complex social paradigms. With the Internet and the dawn of the modern age, the way we interact has never been easier to build communities. But as educator Robert M. Hutchins said, a world community and world communication cannot just be limited to extensive reach of software. “It means common understanding,” he said. “A common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals.” People can only come together when they share a common sense of purpose, hope, and unity to form a great community together. A community cannot exist without these, tying it together.

So what is a community? We know what it needs, we know what feeds it. We know author Morgan Scott Peck said community has three essential ingredients: inclusivity, commitment, and consensus. We know Ferdinand Tonnies postulated the concepts of Community and Society. We know the earth is a community, the internet is a community, life is a community – but what is a community? What is a society? I have written before on this very blog about the central importance people bring to a community – their ideas, their beliefs, their commitments and hopes and dreams. Community builds these together, embracing the best and strongest parts of collaborations from people the world over, to connect and change, building a better future.

People make that community – people change the world. People like Aristotle and philosophers change it, people like scientists and politicians change it. Educators who impart the collective wisdom of generations past to us, inventors who thrust the world into the future, historians who look into our past to find our future, leaders who we seek to find stability in troubled times, and the people all change the world. The common citizen with his common sense of purpose, hope, and unity will change the world. He can be anyone who believes in the capacity of humanity to work together. He can be anyone who knows the importance of dreams and the importance of action. He can be me, or you. And people like me, or you, can come together in a common unity of our common traditions, ideas, and ideals, to change the world.

At least, that’s our dream here at OurPangea.

The Importance of History

historical figures 100 paintingMost inventions are the result of incremental steps taken to improve what we currently have. The human drive to innovate is infinite, but it relies on our understanding of history and progress. The internet could never have been invented without the first computer, which wasn’t possible without the first computer chip, which needed electricity to function, and so on and so forth. The same deduction can be made to understand the history of any industry. It’s critical to understand the history that made our world possible and history isn’t just valuable in framing the nature of innovation. The lineage of every aspect of modern society—from socioeconomic, political trends to pop culture—can be traced back by looking at how we’ve changed the way we do things.

What’s even more interesting are the people that have done the changing. It took the brilliant minds and uncompromising determination of individual humans to discover the Theory of Relativity, to have a dream, and to think different.

As a global humanity we have never really forgotten history.  This is a good thing. However, we don’t really consciously remember it either. Our history, except in the rare world changing cases of a few people, exists in the back of our minds subtly influencing our thinking.  This is one thing we think can be better. We think everyone’s individual history is important. We think we all have valuable lessons to share, even if they aren’t newsworthy or globe-changing. And we want to put this collective knowledge at our fingertips, to make our history important again and resurrect it from our combined subconscious.

So over the next couple months we’re going to be highlighting some of the benefits of knowing our history. We’ll touch on how cross-cultural discovery has impacted the global economy for the better, how many people (famous and unknown) have thought differently, and what social and technology trends have meant to our global culture through the lens of history.

Enjoy! Please let us know what you’re interested in hearing about on our Facebook page!

Why You (And I) Need OurPangea Pt. III – Looking Back

The last two months here at OurPangea have flown by. We have grown and evolved immensely in the time I’ve been part of the team and our goal is getting clearer every day. The end of my internship is coming up, and I have learned so much about OurPangea’s mission to embrace the future of social innovation. It’s an experience I wouldn’t have traded for anything and is one I fully plan to continue after my internship here is over. I will be spreading the word and helping to coordinate community efforts even though my official position here at OurPangea is coming to an end. Why will I do this? Because OurPangea is important to me. Because I believe that our goals are important and I want them to succeed. Because I believe that OurPangea can change the world. OurPangea can be the greatest tool to bring together communities of all shapes and sizes from everywhere across the world or even across the street.

blue thumbtack pin paper motivational quote

But it’s not just me that needs it. You, reader, need it. All of us need it. The future is marked by increasingly doubtful frontiers, full of disparate connections. More and more, the internet is taking a central place in our lives – it is where we live to connect and share with our friends and family. To grow as a human species, we must learn to also connect and share as a global community, learning to discover and build our communities at home and involve ourselves with them. We must use new methods of connection combined with time-tested philosophies of togetherness, both online and offline. That is why OurPangea is so important. OurPangea can synergize these two worlds, the world of our connection online and offline to create a new type of platform that shares our wonderful ideas with each other, unified in our community’s purpose. We as a global community can work to inspire hope in one another and share our connections to make the entire world a better place.

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