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Posts tagged ‘creativity’

Introducing ‘People’

colorful crowd celebrate cheer experience

Have you ever heard the expression “people make the experience?” It’s a pretty self-explanatory idiom used to express how in certain cases what and where you are doing something is less important that who you’re doing it with.  It’s a tribute to the mindset that anything can be enjoyed –from waiting in line at the DMV or getting stuck out in a rainstorm—when you’re with the right people.

It’s a sentiment I share and I think it’s one that most people would agree with. For one, it’s something I think everyone can relate to. I think everyone has had an experience that has been improved just by being with a group of fun friends.  On a deeper level, I think it’s the people themselves that create a great community.

To illustrate this, just imagine being a part of a community that sounds really interesting, like ping pong, for example. Now think about how that community of ping pong players would be different if you didn’t get along with the rest of the people or thought they were boring. Ping pong is a ton of fun (at least to me), but with the wrong people it’s just as unexciting and undesirable as a tax auditing community (no offense to the tax auditors out there).

Worse, you might begin to see this ping pong community as nothing more than a responsibility you have to organize events you don’t want to go to and coordinate plans with people you don’t want to see.  You could lose sight of the love you had for ping pong and the reason you joined in the first place.  To create an awesome community the setting needs to be right and there’s no better way to create an awesome environment that to get great people together.

This is one of the reasons high school and college students can take trips abroad and have a fantastic time if they like the people they’re with. It’s why Rick felt so at home during his trip to Spain and why Noah and I have developed a love for Austin.  It’s people.

So over the next few months we want to celebrate and recognize the importance of great people in communities. We’re going to be taking a closer look at what makes individuals importance in the scope of communities and how people are the ones who breathe life into our world.  Stay tuned!!

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What Does It Mean to Affect?

Standing in a flowing river, I find a pebble in my hand. I float along, the pebble is lost and the river changed forever.

Something given, something changed forever.
This is affect.

cloud scribble affect illustration

Credit: James Jean

My prompt this week was something new. “How OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet”, it was also daunting. Should I start with OurPangea or should I start with the culture of the Internet?  I chose neither.

To me, this prompt was asking about affect, not OurPangea and the Internet. It was asking, how does one affect another? How do You affect the Internet? How do You affect the world?         Questions all equal, all interesting.

Questions all pointed towards revealing a sacred principal of OurPangea – You affect.

In your big actions and small actions. In public actions and private actions. You affect.

This basic idea courses through the DNA of OurPangea. Our goal is to show people that every little thing they do affects; and their affects are their contribution, for better or worse, to their community and beyond.

This is affect.
Something given, something changed forever.

Browsing OurPangea, others give to you. Engage with OurPangea, you give to others and OurPangea will be changed forever.

This is how OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet.
This is how you affect your culture.
This is your affect.

Musical Connections Across the Globe

It is often said that humanity’s greatest trait is its endless capacity for creativity and expression – from towering works of architecture to majestic symphonies to revolutionary literature to incredible works in art, sculpture, science, and philosophy. Each of these has had profound influences on how we view ourselves and each other, and provide windows into the soul of creativity and hope that fuels them. The ultimate expression of our humanity is of course, music. This is not to disparage any other form of artistic connection – but none is truly as intrinsic to the human experience as music is. Music can be made without any outside influence, without any tools, without any thought but pure emotion, springing from the very depths of what it means to be human. Music is the words spoken and the patter of footsteps to the ring of choirs and beat of drums, rhythm echoing heartbeats and breaths from every corner of human experience.

Music has traveled the globe more quickly and effortlessly than humans have, throughout history and enduring into the future. The banjo and guitar, two of the instruments we associate most with American tradition, had their birth in Egypt and North Africa centuries ago, then migrating to Spain by way of Greece. European settlers in Africa brought their concept of triadic harmony in their classical music to the native peoples, who in turn brought it back to America as their slave work songs, creating gospel and the blues, which developed of course to the quintessential American music form – rock and roll. The accordion, strange an instrument as it is, is credited with exploding European classical theory across the globe, as an easy, portable (and very loud) way for musicians to travel. Artists like Peter Gabriel and Simon Garfunkel kick started a musical revolution enduring in pop music to this day by collaborating with artists from all over the world to create a more unified, “world”-based music. Even today, much of rap music, associated with American urban culture, sees many of its roots from Scottish shouting matches from time immemorial. And of course, when one thinks of music that can unite the cultures of the world, who can forget the massive efforts of musicians from all over the world to come together for causes – Live Aid, Live 8, the historic (and perhaps a bit too 80’s-cheesy) “We Are the World” that expressed humanity’s universal language.

And what a language it is – the tools of major or minor chords to indicate emotions, dissonance and harmony, have been scientifically shown to endure across cultures even to those with no prior musical knowledge. When a happy song is played, anybody on earth can recognize it’s a happy song, without even recognizing a single lyric. The same is true for sad songs, or angry songs, dark songs, romantic songs, or anything. The raw power of music is immediately transcendent to all peoples, no matter who or where they are.

We here at OurPangea love music of all genres, because it proves to us that there is a way for people to connect with each other without even knowing each other. People can share and connect through music in ways that defy all logic, yet it is one of the most important and powerful ways to define our humanity. This is why music is important to us, to our history, and to our culture; this is why we hope to create a worldwide platform in which discussion and creativity can spread through humanity similar to the way music has woven our cultural fabric.

The World Goes Further Than What We See

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
– Neil Armstrong

greek ruins vista rainbow pretty

All around us lay undiscovered wonders, in our very own backyards. We explore outer space and far-off lands, but often forget what lies before us, behind us, within us. This is a human tradition, of sorts – missing the forest for every tree. Not that anything is wrong with this – if there is one defining aspect to the human spirit, it is the limitless capacity for wonder, belief, and hope we all share. It’s a restless spirit to change, grow, and explore. It is why people blaze their frontiers and push their limits; it is why the human race constantly seeks to grow and change, embracing technology and progress. When the first caveman discovered fire, he lit not only a spark of light, but a spark of innovation and creativity that has fueled the human race to shine brighter than any flame. For the first time, we knew that the world extends much further than what we can see, that our potential is much more than what we are, and that the future can surpass even our wildest dreams.

That spirit lived on in Erastothenes of Cyrene. He was a scholar, scientist, thinker, mathematician, and geographer – the very first geographer, in fact. Erastothenes famously measured the Earth’s circumference using only sticks, shadows, and math. He combined this with his discovery of the tilt axis and creation of the first world map with measurements of latitude and longitude. Truly, he was far ahead of his time, taking the fire of discovery past what anyone had ever imagined it to be. He discovered in a very literal sense just how far the Earth can extend past our own experience to the unknown.

The flame of discovery and progress burned through him to other great minds, discoverers, explorers, innovators, creators, thinkers, doers, and teachers across time: Christopher Columbus to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King to Isaac Newton, Bill Gates to Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven to Shakespeare. Each of them in their own ways dramatically changed the landscape of the world we know and the world of the future. Discovery extended the future to these great people and helped them change the world, and in turn they lit the fire for countless generations to follow.

OurPangea is fueled by that same fire every day. We can see the vast, limitless potential for change and growth for all of humanity at our fingertips, and we believe we can continue to pass this torch to the next generation with the same bright hope as it was handed to us. The spirit of OurPangea reaches back to these primal beginnings and extends into the eternal future. This is why we are undertaking this groundbreaking mission, and this is why we believe that people can help to change and improve their communities both at home and across the world. With the help of people around the world using the inspiration we have received, we here at OurPangea believe that this flame of hope can burn brighter than ever before.  In our global community, we can always continue to improve the world we can already see, and lay a foundation for the world we will discover.

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