We worry that many of our modern vices, including a love for technological super-saturation, have made the world cognitively and creatively narrow, a frenetic and yet less authentically human place.
This contemporary rush towards instantaneous, mass-communication paired with a shortage of meaningful human encounters and a loss of leisurely reading and creative habits have all conspired, to give us little time for the reflective practices which have helped all democratic civilizations thrive: reading, writing and creative exchange with others.
Fourth Worldis concerned that if our society suddenly forgets to continue to develop, sustain and promote new forms of group reflection and creative expression, we also risk becoming unimaginative, machine-dependent. Isolated with one another, would we grow unable to productively associate at all?
Do these rapid losses in the very elements of creativity - reading and writing; an appreciation for and practice of the creative arts; and thoughtful, civil and ideas-based exchanges with others - signal the beginning of an end to culture as we know it?
And, since Mesopotamia’s first book and the advent of Socratic discussions, has there been a civilization which has thrived with declines in literacy and a general lack of 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. We worry that we have lost the time for individual and group creative practice.
And the consequences are dire. Without meaningful, creative exchange and inter-generational cooperation and conversation, without the daily cultivation of reading and writing habits beyond digital scrolling, how will our communities address shared challenges and grow? Without creative cooperation, what does the future hold?
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 a complementary issue of the Fourth World Journal.
Members are always invited to participate in our literacy and creative arts programs and activities.
Members also can freely submit any and all creative works for publication consideration.
And, 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.