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Posts tagged ‘human community’

Museums, Exhibits, And Galleries

field museum fossils hall exhibit

Growing up in Chicago I had two favorite museums: the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry. For those familiar with Chicago it’s not hard to see why these museums stood out. The Field Museum is home to Sue, the most complete T-Rex in the world, and the Museum on Science and Industry is awesome because, well, science.

As a history geek and museum-phile, I would be ecstatic if these Chicago museums and others around the world used OurPangea to showcase their exhibits and events by creating virtual galleries for any type of display, be it historical, artistic, or scientific, offering an inclusive destination for visitors to share photos and have discussions all centering on a specific exhibit.

I myself can see how cool it would be to be able to hear others thoughts on their favorite parts of the Field’s mummies exhibit, which I must have visited almost 100 times.  And with OurPangea, if there’s a special paid exhibit, I could get a sneak peek before spending the dough to get a ticket.

Imagine the possibilities as an art patron or curator if you could put up and see all of your art ahead of time to showcase a gallery event.  All of the work could be organized by artist, medium, theme or anything at all, and the artists could interact directly with their fans before, during, and after the show!

Or, picture yourself in the mood for some mummies (cause who doesn’t like mummies), but you don’t know which museum has the best mummy exhibit.  Enter OurPangea where you can narrow down the museums according to whatever criteria suits you – how many mummies they have, which exhibit is most popular, or even which exhibits are considered scariest.

Mummies and all, that sounds awesome to me!

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Hittin’ The Streets

survey graffiti community insight participation

OurPangea has been busy over the last few weeks! We have begun a full-scale mobilization on the streets of southwest Austin and beyond, surveying the world about OurPangea. The reaction we have gotten from people of all shapes and sizes has been enlightening and encouraging as we continue our mission to help bring the world together. Consistently, we have seen trends in the answers to our questions that only help to further our desire to get OurPangea up and running. We’ve found that the best way to get the conversation going about community is to merely ask about it. What does community mean to you? Is it important to feel connected to your communities? Do you wish your communities were as connected online as they are offline?

These questions, and others, have helped spark the flame in communities. The following responses to these questions are from you, and people like you. These are the people who want to see online communities realize their full potential, and we are working to provide this dream for all to come.

“Community online is more about the individual and less about community as a whole. There are a lot of websites that some communities have but even then a lot of them aren’t trying to bring the community together.” 21 year old F

“Community is often disproportionately driven by advertising for nightlife, etc. It should have more representation of activist groups, citizen groups, etc.” 19 year old M 

“Community is really not very represented online. Everyone connects to things objectively as it pertains to themselves and only really interact with other people to the capacity which they either feel obliged or have something to gain. It’s very easy to stay mostly disconnected to groups except for to the extent you feel necessary.” 25 year old M

“Community online appears to be more exclusive, and status depends more on who you know, instead of who you are.” 24 year old F

Everywhere we look, more and more people have expressed to us their ideas and opinions on communities – how to improve them, how to organize them, what they mean. We are here to bring those ideas – your ideas – to life. The input of average people is a more invaluable resource than any other, because it helps us tap into the true pulse of the greatest community in the world: the human race.

Being A Part of the Human Community

The human race.  Humankind.  Humanity. These are terms that get thrown around a lot, indicative that we as humans share a common bond. But too often our ability to unite as a human community and consciously recognize our collective humanity is just a response to a disaster or intrusion from some inhuman—or perceived inhuman—source.    Think the Tsunami in Japan, the Earthquake in Haiti, the Stop Kony campaign, and 9/11. But we are quick to forget our bond as humans and return to conflict because we identify more strongly with our ideologies.

district 9 manhattan indepedence day movies human community

And then of course there are the non-human threats, like the ones in Independence Day, District 9, Watchmen

This behavior might lead one to believe it’s in our nature to be aggressive, confrontational, violent, and self-interested.  However, new theories  are suggesting this tendency towards conflict with other humans isn’t a part of our nature, it’s the result of our environment.  Researchers hypothesize we are, in fact, wired for empathy to seek sociability, attachment, affection, and companionship. The reason behind this wiring could be the strongest innate driver of empathy:  the drive to belong. If we begin to see each other as a single community of humans rather than many communities segmented by nationality, religion, and ideology, we can start to act as we are wired to do and actually embrace our innate empathetic natures. So what’s stopping us?

Empathy is defined as ‘the automatic or intellectual reaction to identify with and understand the plight of another you feel connected to.’  So when something harms  or impedes another human – like learning of a natural disaster – we automatically empathize with the affected because we are humans.  And yet, in today’s world we don’t consciously make this human connection favoring instead the containers of nationality, religion, and location.   My question is, why do we do this?  Why inherently dismiss our connection as humans so easily?

knee cut scab frown kid

Don’t you feel bad for this kid?

Throughout history the empathetic connection between humans has expanded and evolved to conform to the man-made constructs of community we’ve created. People of faith expect to feel connected to others of the same faith, as it is with nationality and ideology.  We have segmented our identities to feel like we belong, but we still do not consider our humanity to be an obvious link.

But this connection is not completely forgotten. Just look at the response to any modern day natural disaster or world event.  We instinctively empathize with our fellow man halfway around the world.  We feel the connection, but what we need to do is consciously acknowledge it. Empathy based on our human community should be something we expect and something we cherish, not a feeling we dredge up after some terrible occurrence.

This hints at our need of a place for us, as humans, to belong, to collaborate, to interact, and to enjoy our relationships.  As a human community we can put aside our disagreements, dismiss our differences, and collaborate together as equal human beings recognizing our innate relationships as human beings.

There is nothing to do this yet…
So we’re resurrecting  OurPangea.

Stop Kony

red 2012 movement kony partisan

If you don’t know who Joseph Kony is, watch this video.

This truly is a cause worth supporting and the type of collaboration and involvement we hope will become commonplace with global community.

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