We worry that our many modern vices, including a love for totalizing ideologies and technological super-saturation, have made the world cognitively and creatively more narrow, a frenetic yet often vapid place. This contemporary rush towards unreflective social mass-media communication paired with a lack of meaningful human encounters and the loss of leisurely reading, writing and creative habits have conspired, it seems, to give us little training in or time for the reflective practices which have helped human civilization thrive: reading, writing and creative exchange with others. Fourth World is, therefore concerned that if our society does not continue to develop, sustain and promote new forms of group reflection and creative expression, we also risk becoming a loose collection of narrow, unimaginative and machine-dependent individuals instead of collections of vibrant, creative communities.
Do these rapid losses in the very elements of creativity - reading and writing; an appreciation for and practice of the arts; and thoughtful, ideas-based exchanges with others - signal the beginning of a cultural end? Has there ever been, since Mesopotamia’s first book and the advent of Socratic discussions, a civilization which has thrived with a decline in literacy and conversation rates as well as the ability to work creatively with others?
We worry that we are living the eventual extinction of civil conversation, and along with it our collective human ability to create a community based upon the open and free exchange of complex ideas. and time for individual and group creative practice. And the consequences are dire. Without meaningful, creative exchange and inter-generational cooperation and conversation as well as the daily cultivation of reading and writing habits beyond digital scrolling, how will communities address shared challenges? Without creative cooperation, what does the future hold?
Generations "Mona" (JULY 2017)
AN INVITATION TO MEMBERSHIP
We hope you decide to join our efforts to safeguard mealtime conversations, creative expression and cooperative, thoughtful exchange.
Members receive receipt along with complementary digital excerpts of pending publications and the latest issue of the Fourth World Journal. Members also receive invitation to participate in all of our literacy and creative arts programs and activities.
Members also can freely submit any and all creative works for publication consideration and are eligible to apply for our student sponsorship for our Young Reader, Music Lives! and Fourth World Journal programs.
As a Member of Fourth World, you will—perhaps most importantly—receive a heartfelt thanks for helping to protect the 6,000 year old secret of all thriving civilizations: reading, writing and other forms of creative exchange.