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White House Easter Egg Roll: Thinking deeply, or not

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135 Years of Fun

On Monday April 1, 2013, the First Family will host the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year, more than 35,000 people from all 50 states will be joining us on the South Lawn for games, stories, and, of course, the traditional egg roll.

In addition to all the fun and games, the day’s activities — which will include sports courts and cooking demonstrations — will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines, which are key pillars of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.

Every year since 1878 the White House has held an Easter egg roll.

People don’t think too much about it.  That is, they don’t think too deeply about it.

Of course the White House can’t associate a Christian significance to the Easter Holiday… separation of church and State and all that.

So, there will be no (Christian) crosses or talk about death and resurrection.

But, there will be eggs and perhaps an Easter Bunny or two.

No cross but eggs.

If we know that the cross, death, and resurrection is out the picture then why are eggs and bunnies in the picture?

Does anyone ask what the significance of eggs are?  In a sense, the egg is as much religiously charged as is the cross.

The Take

Here are a several observations.

  1. Our holidays are being wrenched free of any historical context or significance – Christian, Pagan, or otherwise.  Too dangerous.  Easter means what Easter means in this moment – this year, today.  What Easter will mean next year will wait until what is needed is discovered.  Easter is a “movable” feast in time and meaning.
  2. People don’t ask what these holidays/rituals/celebrations mean in historical context.  Should they know?  Or, is ignorance bliss?
  3. People, seemingly, aren’t equipped to ask questions.  It does not occur to them to ask questions.  Good or bad?  Short term or long-term?  Locally or in the context of America’s global competitiveness?  Perhaps thinking critically and framing the right questions is more valuable than having the correct answers to the wrong questions.

So, this year, “Easter” will be pressed into service of promoting Obama’s agenda of healthy eating and exercise.  The menu will also include a side order of Yoga free from any fatty and unhealthy references to Hindu Philosophy.

If someone wants to manipulate a society, culture, or group the inability of the target to think deeply and ask questions is the manipulators best advantage.

It comes down to an issue of education and society.  How educated do you want your society to be?  Sometimes, the less the better.

How about adding “education’ to the list of White House Easter activities and including some sessions on the historical origins of Easter?  Probably not  a popular idea – with the White House.  They would need to talk about fertility rites, goddesses, myths, and all that stuff.  Oh, and the Christian significance as well.  Part of that session would also have to include the derivative  insight that every political generation over millennium  has used such holidays to re/interpret according to their needs.  Messy business to bring all this up on Easter.

No, its more fun to search for wooden eggs… just do it… don’t ask too many questions.  Be Happy.  And, “Lets Move!” this Easter.

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When Nudge comes to push and shove

Written by frrl

March 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Why our digital life will be the end of history

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High School

My high school reunion is next week – but I won’t be going.

It’s not that I didn’t have a good time in high school… I had a great time in high school.  And it’s not that I never went to my reunions over the years.  I went to all of them over the years – too many to mention.

A high school reunion doesn’t make sense any more.  Only someone who understands what it means to dial a phone and can recognize the sound of a turntable needle skating across a vinyl record understands reunions.

A high school reunion used to mean getting back together with friends from high school that you haven’t seen in a few years.  My high school has a reunion every five years.

But a high school reunion doesn’t make sense when you see your high school friends frequently – perhaps every day or maybe once a week.  How can this be when high school is long past and your friends are scattered to the four corners of the globe?

I see my high school friends nearly every day.  I get their Facebook updates.  I look at their pictures on Instagram.  We listen to music from the good old days by exchanging playlists on Spotify.  There’s Facetime and Skype.  And I have some long-term games on Zynga going with a few of them – Words with Friends and Draw Something.  The impediment of geographic distance and separation in time and space is nearly erased.

So a reunion doesn’t make sense anymore.  There is no need to “get back together” since, in a sense, we are all still together.  It’s just that we don’t all travel to a physical location on a daily basis to engage each other.  And, like the difference between the medium and the message its the physical location that’s different but the content as engagement is the same.  Perhaps the engagement in social media, anytime anyplace, exceeds what was available to us in high school.

Time has been flattened; geography erased

In a general sense, time has been flattened.  What is disappearing is the sense of past and present.  In a very real sense, the past is present and evolving.  Our digital life and technology has put us on the trajectory of giving us access to every book ever written, every movie ever made, every track of music ever recorded, every picture ever taken,  every personal video clip ever recorded,  every status update ever made on social media, and every word anyone has ever posted to the internet.

So, what is there to remember that is not immediately available?  Do I need to remember, with a sense of loss, the music I used to listen to in high school? No, it’s readily available on Spotify.  Do I need to remember, with a sense of loss, the movies we watched?  No, they are readily available on Netflix.  Those favorite clips from TV?  Maybe its on YouTube.  Do I need to wonder where my high school friends are?  They are all immediately present wherever I go.

History has traditionally been a fading memory of the past recovered with great effort and difficulty.  But what becomes of History when all the past is readily available in the present?  In fact, we have so much history that is available with in-your-face immediacy, perhaps abundance creates a new set of problems.  How do we forget?  Are there some things that we must forget to make the future livable?


If people are looking for immortality perhaps we have it.  As the cost of digital storage approaches zero it may be possible to archive everything ever posted to the Internet.

Imagine a time, perhaps 50 years from now, where Facebook or social media in general  is now the “ancestral record” of the digital generation.  The millennial generation, posting to Facebook and other social media would have a timeline of 50 years.  In 50 years, the children of the millennial generation would know more than they ever wanted to know about their parents and grandparents.  It’s all there in the cloud.

Right now, in 2013, we go to to discover (in the hard sense) our family tree.  We search through old boxes of film photographs in the attic or basement to find picture of grandparents and relatives.  We ask our older family members, perhaps with fading memory, to tell us stories of how life used to be.  We recover stories through oral history with difficulty.

The whole idea of past history being a difficult work of discovery is undergoing radical change.  In the future, the past may be as immediate as the present.

The Take

Thousands of years ago, folks imagined  the akashic records…  a sort of giant library that is ever-present and all around us…

The akashic records, – akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning “sky”, “space” or “aether” and is described as containing all knowledge of human experience and all experiences as well as the history of the cosmos encoded or written in the very aether or fabric of all existence…

The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon: The life experiences of every human being since time began, the reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom, the aggregation of the thought-forms of a karmic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time…

People who describe the records assert that they are constantly updated automatically and that they can be accessed through astral projection or under deep hypnosis.

There will be no need of astral projection or hypnosis to access these records.  Access will be granted to anyone with a wearable or embedded device that can access whatever it is in the future that will have the Internet as its progenitor.   How much of your digital life is already part of the “akasha” record?

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After the Interview is Over: Managing Digital Oral History Collections


Written by frrl

March 7, 2013 at 4:44 am

How to Fly the B-17: Flight Operations (1943)

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 A great piece of history – World War II B17 Bomber Pilot Training Film

And watch some other historical footage –

Written by frrl

April 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

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