Iris is a Messenger of the Gods of Olympus who travels on the rainbow. She is the Goddess of the Sky and Sea, and of communications She travels between Mount Olympus and the world of mortals to dispense messages from the Gods.
She also carried water in a pitcher from the River Styx to people who perjured themselves and puts them to sleep. She is often mentioned in the Iliad but not in the Odyssey. I confess I had overwritten her with Hermes and Mercury, but that was ignorance. I am so glad I rediscovered her.
Of course a Goddess who can travel between sea and sky, between Heaven and Earth, between the living and the world beyond the River Styx essentially travels between states of being. Only information, which Gregory Bateson defined as: any difference that makes a difference can flow in this manner.
We need a Goddess of Information for this Age of Information. Iris is perfect representation of this. Information can flow anywhere and everywhere. I have stated before that the internet is a woman. Check out my Googling Gaia from 2015 and The Feminization of the Interwebs from 2012 for some of the basics about this assessment.
The distributed nature of the internet was created as a base layer of ARPAnet the decentralized communication backbone for military ground communications in the Post World War II era in the U.S.This is how women naturally communicate. Linear communication is a male strategy. Networked information provides multiple linkages to the same bit of data so no one linkage failure endangers access to critical communication. This is essentially the village in the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
At this time when the generation of data is accelerating exponentially and it is becoming increasingly feasible to encode dense context with the data, but we still need human interpretation to make it meaningful. Meaning can be implied improperly when we allow sloppy out of context decoding and other intentional distortion of information. But the ancient understanding of communication and messaging knew that it takes women’s communication methods to handle the important stuff, and when mortals perjured themselves, lied, the appropriate punishment was meted out by the same goddess that controlled the proper handling of information and messages. This seems quite pertinent in today’s world. The complexity of women’s type of information storage and delivery systems, with built in redundancy, needs to be re-incorporated into society. We need women, of a critical number, in governance and leadership positions. A more integrated method of organizing and utilizing information in our culture could address many of the problems we currently face. Prediction never works, but we do know that single channel structures are not serving us well.
Iris approves. It is time for her comeback. Communication is iconically women’s business.
Women require information to govern in a democratic fashion just as do men. Understanding the evolution of a government, the systems from which it emerged, is essential to preservation, and betterment, of that government. Trajectories are real aspects of living systems and exert influence on contemporary processes.
From 18th century France, there were three estates of society:
- the clergy (religious heads)
- the nobility (rulers)
- the commoners (everyone else who is not a slave)
Among the political commentators and thinkers, the media has been labelled as the fourth estate of modern day.
In modern democracy, the three pillars include:
- the legislature (makes laws)
- the executive (president or prime minister)
- the judiciary (the courts)
The media has been labeled as the fourth estate of modern society.
The Fifth Estate, which has been labeled citizen journalism, has beeen broken down, I would argue incorrectly, into two types of journalism. The first being an extension of The Fourth Estate and the second as some sort of standalone pillar. In fact, to take the property analogies of estates and pillars of society one step further, I contend that information that can stand alone apart from a voice that speaks it, as is the case in a pamphlet, a book, or a digital transmission is the beam, brace, or buttress that makes pillars on estates into the cultural home in which we live.
Living systems, and we live within and are a part of a living system, are open systems.
I am not going to go any deeper into systems theory, self- organizing systems, or cybernetics, (but I would note, as an aside, that if you want to understand systems science through a woman’s eye, look at some Lynn Margulis quotes.)
Life requires change and the ability to bring in new elements and energy, as well as to delete, turn-off, or store-away other elements and processes, including tinformation paths and flow.
The transitions we are experiencing in the world are becoming more and more dramatic as we are living on the fulcrum of a tipping point where we cannot long balance; change will happen and the slightest actions, or inaction, by individuals can and will change the direction, the trajectory, of the path upon which we will find ourselves.
We do not know how this will all shake out. New technology brings new behavior. Gutenberg could not have known, nor could Martin Luther, that when Luther posted his 95 Theses, 500 years ago, that others would find his words so moving that they would use the new tech of the printing press to print and distribute hundreds, then thousands, of copies of Luther’s discussion points in what was literally the first viral post.
Women’s voices are strong, and the distributed nature of the digital web is quite feminine and whether we are using hashtags (#meto #timesup #shepersisted) or writing our own theses, we are engaged in public communication as people have been since the first humans gathered around an evening fire. Citizen journalism is a good thing if done with care. Most of us know which people we can rely on to give us good information. We know which bloggers, editorial writers, and cartooniswts we can trust to base their works, including opinion pieces, to be based in fact. How those facts are interwoven into “truths” are far more problematic. When we give our time and eyes to uncritically watching or reading “news” that is not reporting facts but into building viewers or followers, we are hurting ourselves and world that we communally build with our consumption and conversations.
We must, as women who are approaching 100 years of having the vote in the United States, become as responsible and careful with the information we create or share as we are with the food we give our children and families to build bodies. We are powerful and we hold the information that builds our children’s minds and our future knowledge used by our society in our hands.
Our mothers and grandmotherws figured out how to make cakes during the rationing of sugar during World War II.
We must figure out how to make our homes and businesses equally celebratory as we ration ourselves to verified information.
We must educate ourselves and navigate the current estates and pillars with a fervor that only mothers acting to preserve what they love can act.
Full Moon on a Summer Solstice
Occasionally celestial events co-occur. It seems that such an overlap is happening today. The Summer Solstice and the June Full Moon both happen today. That much is true. Everything else you might read about it could be bunk. Misinformation is everywhere. A cautionary tale to include your source when telling a tale.
For me the phrase, “Pink Moon,” usually conjures Nick Drake’s melancholy voice and lyrics of the album of the same name.
Today I’m wishing the Beatles would have written about a Strawberry Solstice Moon in 1967. It sounds like something they might have done. Sort of a cross between Strawberry Fields and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds… a sweet ripe sky song.
The Summer of Love was one of the last times a full moon in June occurred on the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice. One of the times? Yep “Until” by Tommy Dorsey was at the top of the charts in 1948, the other year, widely reported to have them the last Strawberry Solstice Moon. In our information age, people continue to reference events without verifying the reference to the event. Sad but true.
The color of the June moon is no different than others, summer berries of the same name simply tend have ripened by the June full moon. The June full moon is also known as a rose moon or a mead moon.
I quickly found that Atlas Obscura’s Jessie Guy-Ryan had written a piece on the massive misunderstanding of the Strawberry Moon Solstice with details and references.
This is how folktales start. It serves as a wonderful reminder to include your source, even when telling a tale. “Aunt Balderdash once told me of a Midsummer day and night when a Full Moon shown all night after the sun had shown all day. We danced amid the moon shadows, sipping Mead and eating strawberries amid the heady scent of roses.”
is for Generation in the A to Z of Tools for Legacy
In many ways the Women’s Legacy Project is about a point in time and the women who live in this nexus that connects awareness, challenges, and technology at this tipping point in human history and our planet’s life.
Our generation is a collection of women who lived through the moment when centuries and sensibilities changed, almost imperceptibly, into an urgent awareness of this moment of precipitous discontinuity. Climate change may well change everything, including social structure.
A generation is usually defined through cycles of population as time it takes for one group of people to replace themselves biologically. I like to use a rate of around 3 generations per century based on anthropologically informed genetic research. The generational length for women and men is slightly different, too. In the short term this means almost nothing. Women’s generational length is around 29 years and men’s is around 34 years. But taken over long periods of time, the rate of women’s evolution is more rapid than that of men.
Yep. Here it is, published research that shows women are more highly evolved than men.
Women who are old enough to be untethered from the daily demands of rearing offspring, and who are ingenious enough or wealthy enough to be geographically mobile, or savvy enough follow information highways and paths to trends around the world know that something is brewing in women’s culture. This make me want to yell out, “Coffee’s ready!”
What I’m hearing different groups and quite distinct types of women say, include:
- gender equality is at the core of sustainable development
- the feminine divine is the path forward
- women’s voices are the keys to freedom
Today’s women who are old enough to remember the last century know that women’s roles have expanded but we all know that equity has not improved and has actually worsened for many during the last decades. The one area that has improved is global communication. There is still an information divide, and there are information deserts, but communication is much easier across a much larger distance. The concept of Info Deserts intrigues me – just heard a talk today by CM! Winters-Palacio that covered this topic.
The first generation of digital grandmothers is right here, right now. Not everything is rosy, but women of a certain age are sage individuals and information archival and retrieval experts, for families, communities, and now for the global community. This really is changing everything!
Some of the best tools you might discover on your legacy journey may well be what other women know and share.
Global instantaneous communication can defeat hierarchical and patriarchal attempts to repress expression by gender, age, status, or other traits. As I always say, “Information flows toward freedom.”
Letter G Legacy of a Generation Tools for Legacy projects