Thursday, April 26, 2012

Multiple Dimensions at the LA Times Festival of Books

Holigent had a nice big booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held on the lovely campus of USC. We created a brief hanging display introducing our founder's story and motivation for developing the Holigent concept.

On both days of the weekend festival we had wonderful volunteers helping out at the booth and enjoying the festival which was overwhelmingly expansive and included a large variety of vendors, authors, and organizations.

As an attention grabber and conversation piece, we placed one of my dad's original Holigent Urban Village models at the front of the booth. Interestingly, kids particularly loved it! Throughout the day children and teens were drawn to the model, pulling their parents over to it, asking questions and telling me where they would live in it.

My theory is that since so many toys and games are now digital, this miniature city made of good old fashioned three-dimensional wooden blocks was extremely appealing.  Let's face it, we humans live in and are attuned to interact with a three-dimensional world. It's what is most familiar to us and what most fully engages all of our senses. No matter how vivid a digital "sim city", you cannot feel it's texture.

Despite our ever-advancing technology, we are people, not machines. Our thoughts and feelings can never be fully expressed in sound bites, tweets, or status updates; our complex, colorful world can never be reproduced by pixels; quality of life can never be measured in gigabytes; and a caring caress can never be felt through a computer screen.

Cannot and should not. As society evolves, a great challenge will be how to best utilize technology to enhance our lives without letting it shred the delicate social fabric that is the essence of our humanity.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earthquakes and Denial - lessons from an Earth Day fair

Holigent had a booth at the Beverly Hills Earth Day fair and farmers market on Sunday, April 15 where we enjoyed beautiful weather after the morning chill passed.


Between taking turns manning the table and talking with people, we shopped the farmers market picking up unbelievably fresh local produce beautifully displayed in colorful piles. There were stands selling unique dishes as well from tamales to crepes to barbeque that individuals and families enjoyed at umbrella-shaded tables.

Other booths included nonprofits, city organizations, and businesses all with a focus on improving sustainability and healthy living. There was even an earthquake simulating trailer in which, after signing a waiver, you could experience the equivalent of an 8.0 earthquake! I actually wanted to try it but thought it might not be the wisest choice right after eating my vegetable tamale lunch.

(Photo from

It made me think however, of a vivid comparison: Holigent.Org and that earthquake simulator actually have something big in common:

The simulator educates people about the violently scary but real danger of a major earthquake that will shake California at some point and that although we can't predict when with much accuracy, we can and should be as prepared as possible now... However, most people barely have a sufficient first aid kit in their home let alone a comprehensive earthquake disaster plan and supplies.

Likewise, Holigent.Org educates people about the violently scary but real danger of socioeconomic collapse, which again we cannot pin a date on but should absolutely prepare for to the utmost right now... However, again preparedness on a personal, national, or any level is practically zero.

Why?  Why do people, time and time again, choose denial over preparation until it is too late?

Perhaps a psychologist would say it is a means of emotional self-preservation that soothes the mind from stressful worry.  All I have to say is the backpack full of earthquake supplies I keep by my bedroom door is a lot more soothing to my mind!

A major difference is that unlike an earthquake, socioeconomic collapse is under human control. Yet we still are making next to no major, organized effort to avoid such a dismal scenario.

Shouldn't we make the Holigent Solution our "societal collapse prevention and preparedness kit" right now so we can stop lying to ourselves and have true peace of mind?