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All Blog Posts Tagged The Story Of B

Optimistic Unlearning and A Belief in
Infinite Flexibility =/= Adulthood

February 6th, 2011 by Howard Ditkoff

Today I was given a copy of an article from the February 5, 2011 Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley entitled “A Key Lesson of Adulthood: The Need to Unlearn”. The title certainly struck me as important for two reasons.

  1. The need to unlearn has been a central theme in my life. I spent much of my twenties unlearning a tremendous amount of what was fed to me as truth growing up. And through my writing, coaching, activism and promotion of the work of various change agents such as Daniel Quinn (whose book The Story of B focuses on just such an unlearning process), I have long championed the importance of being willing to question dogmatic beliefs.
  2. We live in an incredibly destructive, unsustainable culture that is driven by the actions of hypocritical adults who act on the world stage in greedy, violent ways that, at home, would get their own children sent to their rooms – if not worse. So I am always fascinated to read commentary by this culture’s adults on what “adulthood” in such a society is considered to really be about.

And so I dove in. Read the rest of this entry »


The Challenges of Accepting Civilization as Unsustainable and Unhealthy

August 27th, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

Reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn in 1997 first exposed me to the idea that civilization is an inherently unsustainable and unhealthy social structure. But it took further reading of works by Quinn and Derrick Jensen, along with greater experience, to help me increasingly incorporate this understanding into my life. Most recently, Jensen’s work Endgame impacted me with a particularly convincing presentation of civilization’s shortcomings from the concrete and powerful perspective of physical resource dynamics.

In this post, I examine the paramount importance of internalizing the implications of our social structure’s fundamental flaws, the experience of facing the impact of this understanding, why it is to difficult to fully internalize, the variety of ways that people respond to the issue, and how my growing acceptance of it has influenced my life journey. I then discuss the process of finding our optimal roles in the re-emergence of health and sustainability and the invaluable role of community and support as we do so.


A Transitional Positive Change Methodology: Using the Boiling Frog for Good

June 25th, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

In Daniel Quinn’s book The Story of B, he gives the example of a boiling frog as an analogy for how our culture has become so dysfunctional and destructive. He explains that if you put a frog directly into boiling water, it will leap out. But if you put it in water of a mild […]


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