Bento community summer updates

// The Weekly Bento // July 9, 2021 //

Hello my friends and welcome back to the Bento Society. In this week’s issue:

  • News: Summer hours

  • Just asking: Opinions wanted

  • Recommended: Yancey’s picks

  • Last thought: This heat

News: Summer hours

Because we’ve spent enough time on our computers this year, the Bento Society is switching to summer hours until September. What does this mean? It means:

  • The Weekly Bento will continue as usual on Sundays at 12pm EST, with an updated summer format. (RSVP)

  • Our other weekly events will go on hiatus — the Retro Bento, Fancy a Coffee or Tea, and Bento Groups (after this current season ends) — until September.

Thanks to everyone who’s part of these events and who has made them happen! They’ll return in updated form in the fall.

Opinions wanted

During the summer we’re taking stock of how we’re doing at the Bento Society, and thinking hard about the projects and events we’ll focus on the rest of the year. We’d love to know what you think! We’ve made a quick ten-question survey that we would greatly appreciate your help with.

Take five minutes to share your thoughts:

Share your opinions

Recommended: Yancey’s picks

Three recommendations:

  1. Ways to improve the ownership economy by Austin Robey. This piece comes from one of our fellow Bento Society members: Austin Robey, Cofounder/CEO of the platform co-op Ampled. He wrote a great essay about the need for greater ownership by workers, and why we’re seeing a dilution of what people mean when they say ownership. Read it

  2. Positive sum worlds: Rethinking public goods by Other Internet. This comes from another friend of the Bento Society: a group called Other Internet, which provocatively explores the question of public goods in the digital and crypto worlds. Read it

  3. Froebel’s Gifts on 99% Invisible. A great episode from Roman Mars about a set of wooden toys that inspired Frank Lloyd Wright and other Modernist architects. Listen

Last thought: This heat

As some of you know, I live in British Columbia where last week we had a record-breaking heatwave.

I’ve been in heat like this before — in NYC, in LA, in the desert — but not in a place that’s not supposed to have it. BC is a wet, temperate region where just 30% of homes have air conditioning. Ours is not one of them.

The heat was impossible to escape. During those few days hundreds of people died in Vancouver and more than a billion sea animals are estimated to have died on the coastlines here alone.

For many living things, this flash of heat was deadly. We’re fortunate that for us it was merely a visceral discomfort. But it was also a lot more.

During those days you could feel your powerlessness. Things were completely out of your control. You could seek safety and stay there, but that was it.

The experience made me realize that for all my interest and focus on climate change, I’ve still been thinking of it as a Future Me/Future Us concern. I no longer see it that way.

There’s a grimness that comes with this acceptance. It’s a hard thing to think about. But as Extinction Rebellion cofounder Clare Farrell told us on the Ideaspace, it’s only after that acceptance that action truly begins.

I don’t have a simple happy message to end this story with. Sometimes there isn't one. All of us are likely to experience our own climate stresses in the months, years, and even days to come. But the truth is that even when these things happen, history doesn’t end. Time doesn’t stop. Somehow life keeps going.

It was a lack of long-term thinking that got us into this situation. It’s going to take long-term, determined, and creative thinking to keep the path we’re on from getting worse. We can’t control whether bad things happen. But we can help ourselves and the people around us by being resilient when it’s time to bounce back.

Reminder: the Weekly Bento continues every Sunday at 12pm EST. RSVP here.

Thanks for taking five minutes to share your feedback on the Bento Society.

Peace and love my friends,

The Bento Society

The Bento Society explores the frontiers of what’s valuable and in our self-interest. We host weekly events and support projects aligned with our mission.

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