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Each edition contains the latest from the Grokkist Press, a roundup of events and highlights from our community, and a care package of snackable outside links selected to nurture your curiosity.

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Hey friends,

This week our community held a grassroots workshop in which one of our members based in Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sadique Salih – shared a competition framework he has developed for teaching and practising more humane conversations.

"There's very much a need for us to more honestly communicate human to human – a world in which we hear one another." – Sadique

Sadique originally enrolled in our Intro to Philosophy for Ecological Action course and developed this format as part of his Ecosophy Action Project. Since then he has become a regular and much-loved presence in the grokkist community.

So a bunch of us got together to test out Sadique's Connecting Lines framework in a live situation, with various Grokkist members playing the role of participants, judges, moderators, and observers. Afterwards we had a debrief and reflected on our experience, with feedback for Sadique to further develop his framework, which he ultimately intends to teach in schools.

I think this quote from one of the observers summed up the experience best overall:

"I haven't been this interested in conversation since debate club in middle school. But in debate, you're kind of looking for the weak points, it's almost like swordplay. And here it's like you're looking for the gentle spot to like hug someone into the next one."

This whole experience is a great example of why I like to describe Grokkist as a learning community. Everyone learned a lot from this, and no-one could've predicted or planned in advance what it would be.

I reckon everyone has a workshop or a lunch-and-learn in them, and we love to help people find both their voice and their edges, and to provide a safe and caring space for these new experiences to be born into.

Our major focus at the moment is on helping people find their way into and within our community. We've just created a new point of entry to the Grokkist Network, and refreshed our About page.

We've also created a new video essay that frames our approach to cultivating an online culture of curiosity and care within our community.

In other news, we just wrapped up the first run of Jude's Comparative Meditation course, and our Intro to Impact and Ecosophy course cohorts both kick off next week, so it's your last call to enrol!

It's a good time to be a grokkist! And next time I'll let you know about a fun interactive experience we've recently finished making...

Grok on!
- Danu

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From the Grokkist Press

Articles, videos, podcasts and other creations

Explore the Grokkist Press ↗

Ethical Approaches to Discourse in Virtual Spaces

by Nathan Dufour Oglesby (12 min watch / 10 min read)

How do we create healthy conditions of discourse in an increasingly polarized, and ideologically volatile world? What does it mean to cultivate an online culture of curiosity and care?

Explore the Full Story ↗

Meditation Primer: Part 3

by Jude Star (14 min read)

Non-Duality and Direct Path: starting at the end. This is the final instalment in a 3 part essay series in navigating the rich landscapes of meditation by grokking various practices.

Explore the Full Story ↗

From the Grokkist Network

Events and updates from our community

Learn more about the Grokkist Network ↗
Access/Pricing guide for our events
🟢 Free and open to all
🟠 Open to all with suggested cover charge. Free for Full Members.
🟣 Exclusive to Full Members only (Grokling, Indie Grokker, Groksmith)
We are a global community – dates/times for featured events below are shown in the host's timezone. For all other dates, add +1 day for Aus/NZ.

Education & Technology | Themed Café

🗓️ Thur 4 Jul | 7–9am BST (UTC+6) (view in your timezone)
Hosted by Richard Bennet Morales
🟢 Free and open to all.

I invite you to join the conversation on the dualities and ambiguities of our relationships with our devices.

How can we be so intimate with our devices but desire autonomy and separation? Are our devices digital prosthetics, an extension of ourselves? Do you have any strategies or ideas on how to move away from digital dependency? Are you just curious to hear about other people’s perspectives on the topic?

Come and share a moment of human communion where, ironically enough, we will depend on technology!

Event Details and RSVP ↗

"What is money to you?": let's talk money relationships | Themed Café

🗓️ Wed 10 Jul | 7–9pm BST (UTC+1) (view in your timezone)
Hosted by Margarita Steinberg
🟢 Free and open to all.

What is money all about? Beyond the technicalities of how money is supposed to operate in the world, there is the hidden-in-plain-sight reality of the role/s money plays in people's lives.

For most of us there are few places where we can talk about our personal and emotional experiences with money both frankly and tenderly. And to go further than being able to name and air our history with money and the views we’ve formed and absorbed – to dare to step into the place of possibility and to give airtime to our hopes and dreams involving money.

I first dared to challenge the “Rules of Money”, as I’d learned them as a youngster, out of love for my son. My explorations since then have convinced me that our symbolic relationship with money can shape our lives in profound ways, and that transforming your financial life begins on the inside.

Event Details and RSVP ↗

Other Upcoming Events

For an up-to-date list of all our public events shown in your timezone, bookmark the Events and Meetups space on the Grokkist Network.

Intro to Impact: pathways to positive change (C1)

led by Nora Kroeger (5 week cohort-based course)

How does change really happen? Explore cutting-edge knowledge and develop practical skills to create positive impact for your own project as we journey into the heart of change-making.

>> First cohort (C1) starts 20 June

Explore the Course ↗

🍬 Snackables

#1 - "I didn't say that!" Can we understand our way out of online hate?

Why Do You Hate Me? - 3. Sadiq Khan: I Didn’t Say That! - BBC Sounds
How faked audio of London’s mayor inflamed hate on social media and tensions offline.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is one of the most-trolled politicians. On the Why Do You Hate Me? podcast, he discusses the real-world fallout (both online and in the streets) from a deepfake audio clip that went viral last year in which he was heard saying he "doesn't give a flying shit about Remembrance weekend" while calling for pro-Palestinian marches to take precedence.

The host then speaks to one of the people who helped the deepfake clip go viral ("I apologise, I made a big mistake. I wanted to believe it."), and eventually tracks down the person who created it to ask them about it. ("Whether it's true or not, it's the sort of thing we all know he thinks") Very revealing of different attitudes to truth, discourse, and dignity, at the human scale. (28 min)

#2 - Secrets of Japanese urbanism

Secrets of Japanese urbanism (part 2)
A review of “Emergent Tokyo”, by Jorge Almazán and Studiolab

In-depth exploration of Japanese urbanism that invites us to shed our preconceptions and immerse ourselves in the unexpected subtleties of Japan's city planning. Consider its restaurants: "Greater Tokyo has 160,000 restaurants. The New York City metropolitan area has 25,000. The Paris metropolitan area has only 13,000." The author attributes this to three things:

“Zakkyo” (miscellaneous) buildings - "a wide variety of building types that coexist closely, often leading to a chaotic yet vibrant urban aesthetic."

Pocket neighbourhoods - "where a dense maze of small streets and low-rise buildings are shielded by what are basically giant walls".

Bottom-up self-organization: regulations that "are very lenient about allowing a bunch of electric signs, including signs that hang out into the street."

"Add these all up, and it made economic sense to cram a whole bunch of small businesses into the upper floors of buildings in the city center. So Japan did. And in doing so, it created one of the world’s most distinctive and beautiful modern urban landscapes, even as other cities’ old-fashioned aesthetic preferences caused them to restrict electric signage. Now people come from all over the world to take pictures of Tokyo’s beautiful streetscapes."

#3 - Cosmic Clutter: A Real-Time Look at Space Debris and Satellites

Satcat | Spaceflight Intelligence Exchange
Explore real-time data on satellites, space debris, and space weather in Satcat, the Spaceflight Intelligence Exchange by Kayhan Space

Satcat lets you explore real-time data on satellites, debris, and space weather. You can also look at the globe to remind yourself just how much frickin stuff is up there these days. One of those delightfully-executed projects that has been thoughtfully "designed to be a resource for users ranging from space-curious individuals to high-level industry professionals."

#4 - Why I started renting DVDs again – quantifying a silly thing

Why I Started Renting DVDs Again: Quantifying a Silly Thing
Assessing my new fondness for renting DVDs, both the good and the bad.

Reflections of a statistician who recently developed a fondness for renting DVDs, to the bafflement of everyone around him and himself.

"This newfound ritual is mystifying, even to me. Renting physical media brings me great joy, but I know this practice is quantifiably foolish. As such, this new routine has led to profound introspection. Why am I doing this? What are the costs of this outdated practice, and what benefits make these drawbacks worthwhile? Am I becoming a Luddite?"

Worth reading in full – lots of data and interesting observations about physical media – but the takeaway is about decommodifying the self: "So much of my life is built around efficiency—streamlining my day-to-day in order to save the most money and time—it's nice to do something against my better judgment."

#5 - Micro Knitting – conceptual art knitted in small scale

Althea Crome | Altheacrome
Althea Crome, Indiana based artist, master miniature knitter and creates work that so tiny they can accommodate 80 stitches/inch. https://www.altheacrome.com

"Born in Colorado to very artistic and somewhat nomadic parents who lived “off the grid,” Althea Crome taught herself to make the things she needed or wanted." Her work has since appeared in the 2009 stop-motion film, Coraline, as well as community art projects such as Jill Bolte Taylor’s Brain Extravaganza.

"In order to achieve the level of detail required for her pieces, Althea makes her own knitting needles from thin surgical stainless steel. Using fine silk threads, and her .01” needles, she can achieve a gauge of more than 80 stitches per inch which allows her to incorporate complex imagery and personal narratives into her tiny sculptural garments."

A pair of parting thoughts...

“Give a man a mask and he will show you his true face.” – Oscar Wilde

“Non-fiction can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies”
– V.S. Naipaul

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