Federalist Thinking

The Wave, Human Nature, and Our Radical Evolution

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Published in 2005, Joel Garreau’s Radical Evolution offers multiple perspectives on the future of human kind.  Interviewing world-class thinkers, engineers, and philosophers, the author examines not only our decisions, but our decision making process—for the heart of Garreau’s thesis maintains that human nature changes. We’ve all wondered whether we’re still part of that process.  Over the years, our species has gradually removed ourselves from the brutality of natural selection.  Americans, especially, have enjoyed long periods without significant culling; so do we yet evolve?  Garreau thinks so.  Physically, we create medicine that can alter our appearances and heal our wounds, while…

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A school based on Constitutional Citizenship

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Those of you at the second week of James Madison and Constitutional Citizenship at Montpelier may have heard about my school and our work with Professor Harris. Our charter high school was created by a group of parents in 1998 with a mission to teach citizenship. From the beginning we tried to fulfill this mission by incorportaing lots of civic education and community service into our curriculum as well as trying to think about the skills and dispositions of a good citizen that we wanted to foster in our students. However, our efforts felt disparate and we felt as if…

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The American People and an Incredible Machine

The American People and an Incredible Machine

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With gadget fans across the country talking about the new 3G iPhone, it’s hard to argue about the innovative spirit of the American people. It’s a fact. We love our machines whether they’re speeding down the highways or probing the surface of Mars. I wonder, however, if there’s more to this particular characteristic of the American people. Imagine you have just encountered the world’s greatest invention, what do you want to know about it? What does it do? How does it work? Perhaps, where did the idea came from? Now imagine the world’s greatest invention is the federal constitution proposed…

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A Federalist Education

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Some many days ago, a good countryman you know by the name of Maximus asked a group assembled before him, “what would a Federalist school look like?” His question suffered a long period of silence as those in attendance considered what they knew of Federalism…. Founded on fundamental rights… A new future imagined through the mechanics of science…. A perspective holistic in nature that looks at a question from all sides in all dimensions…. Sovereignty remains with the people who will make a new and better whole from the sum of its constituent parts…. The good Maximus’s puzzle had no…

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What Are the Most Federalist Songs?

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Something Will said this Summer boomeranged and smacked me into thinking about Federalist songs. What would make a song distinctively Federalist?  I began to brainstorm characteristics which I thought Federalist in nature: SCIENCE, FUTURE, HOPE, FREE, WORLDLY, REGENERATING, OPEN-MINDED, and so forth.  Many songs are upbeat, and do convey multiple aspects of Federalist thinking.  In fact, I think that when some people think about the spirit of ROCK, they do so with a very Federalist ideal: think Jack Black in School of Rock or Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. I’m going to withhold my favorites in hopes that we get some…

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Federalist Thinking: Karl Iagnemma

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As I returned to my too real world, I clicked through my Tivo playlist over breakfast this morning and found Karl Iagnemma on an episode of NOVA Science Now. One of the country’s top scientific inventors and an award winning author, Karl is presented as a man at work in two very different worlds. Picture a fiction writer and you’re likely to imagine a creative and erratic spirit. Picture a scientist and you see a methodical and analytical thinker. What does it look like when these two worlds work together in the life of Karl Iagnemma and what does this…

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