Relentless Curiosity

Submitted by Milton Friesen on December 12, 2013 - 2:52pm
Learning to Use it for Good

At the centre of the three elements I note in my Tamarack profile is a conviction that people should not have to be chronically lonely. I'm not talking about taking time alone, loading up the canoe and paddling down a river for a day or two to clear your head or driving to Ottawa just to stretch your mind a bit. It can make me feel sad, angry and perplexed all at once when I consider how many people I pass as I drive and walk around the city who just don't think they belong anywhere.

Drawing I made in a long meeting

I grew up 25 miles from a very small rural community in Northern Alberta. I didn't grow up in the small community, we were 25 miles away from there. People sometimes didn't get along (some didn't get along very intensely) and you couldn't be anonymous (even if you disguised yourself, your truck would give you away). I now realize that I learned a great deal about community dynamics in those growing up years, some of them are puzzles I'm still trying to figure out.

From a Tamarack vantage point, I'm interested in the study and use of networks of all kinds but particularly social networks. As our social structrues change, I think it's increasingly important to find ways to understand those changes better, including exploration of ways we can shift them to that strong contributions to the common good are made.

Tied to that is a long interest in how our social and community structures either foster well-being and thriving or erode it. Happily there are lots of examples of the former but, sadly, there are also lots of examples of the later. We have work to do.

Finally, the dynamics of social networks are such that they enable us to build things together, produce plays, define laws, search for meaning, support, alienate, and  a great many other things. The nature of those resources and how they function includes what is called social capital. Not the greatest term but it's been around for awhile and is still useful.

I greatly value face-to-face conversation, read almost anything I can get my hands on, love to demonstrate the glowing pickle experiment where you plug an actually pickle into a 120V socket (I said I was curious) and build, design, repair and make things (no day is complete without at least some of that in it). 

I'm humbled to part of a great group like Tamarack and hope to meet you some day. 


Thanks for sharing more about yourself, Milton!

We are thrilled and honoured to have you join our team and are so excited to see what emerges for you in these areas of epxloration in the next while :)

Also- would love to witness the glowing pickle experiment sometime (can we incorporate that into our May gathering somehow?? "Illuminating" a community that has transformed [cucumber to a picke]... that's likely reaching TOO far).

Looking forward to reading more.