Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pacific Slope Flycatcher: World University & School, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), 'Sita Sings the Blues,' Harbin

Will World University and School {like Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware, ~ free and open } be organized like the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which started as a way to support conscientious objectors in 1917? Like the AFSC, WUaS has a service mission (also like One Laptop per Child). All are international organizations.

The AFSC focuses on a few main themes that have developed over nearly a century, from conscientious objection and service projects in 1917 and the 1920s, to

Criminal Justice / New Visions of Justice

Economic Justice

Humanitarian Assistance

Immigration / Migration

Peacebuilding / Conflict Prevention


presently, in 2009. The AFSC also is primarily funded by an endowment, and organized on Quaker principles.

WUaS focuses on providing a Wiki for courses or classes in every language, nation state, and in all subjects, by making it possible for anyone to add or take a class. One Laptop per Child countries are a particular focus. People can teach or learn through video, such as videos, and/or interact in virtual worlds, such as in Second Life.

I've heard that around 400 people work at the American Friends Service Committee, which seems like it might be a good size for WUaS over a 10 to 30 year horizon. I'd like to add around two people a year to help develop World University and School.

Yes, let's begin.


Harbin was lovely this weekend. I attended a Shamanic workshop with Mellissa Seaman in the Harbin Temple, and talked a fair amount with two friends from the east coast after this, and the next morning. One of these friends may be helpful in developing World University and School Wiki in terms of possibly increasing bandwidth potential to One Laptop per Child countries (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, USA (Birmingham, Alabama), Uruguay, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Cambodia, & Papua New Guinea), starting with Birmingham, Alabama?


And mind-opening aspects at Harbin? Quite a few ... the pools ... the alternative way of life ... the freedom-orientation ... talking with people ... the community ... Harbin's milieu


The online video "Sita Sings the Blues" - - about the Ramayana epic, which has been influential especially in Indian culture for millennia, showed a trail through central south India, and then to Sri Lanka, which is significant for this narrative. In my future ethnography of hippies in the south of India, I may follow this trail, in relation to the Ramayana story, as an organizing principle for this trip.

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