A call for intervalues dialogue

The term “interfaith dialog” (sometimes synonymous with “interreligious dialog”) is defined on Wikipedia, as of 5/31/2013, as:

“[…]cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e., “faiths”) and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels.”

However, by the explicit reference to “faith” or “religious”, the combination of the prefix “inter-” with either term invokes immediate reference to communities which are brought together by shared “faith” or “religion”, usually manifested in worship and promotion of belief to at least one deity. Functionally, either term excludes those “humanistic” beliefs; as hinted by writer Teo Bishop, the limitation to communities of faith doesn’t necessarily include communities of shared practice, including ritual and ceremony which may not necessarily involve belief (however public) or reverence for a deity.

My opinion is that the word “intervalues” should be promoted as a non-sectarian, secular description for gatherings which focus primarily on building a consensus, observance and application of values – things which people feel are most commonly important – for the population at large.

Staks Rosch, a blogger on Atheism for Examiner.com, elucidates what an intervalues gathering would entail for non-theistic communities of all stripes, particularly hard-humanistic communities:

An intervalues gathering would be more in the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness. Of course allowing atheists a seat at the table would be to acknowledge that the religious landscape is changing and that atheism is on the rise. Plus, it would be harder to accuse atheists of not caring when atheists are standing right next to the religious at intervalues gatherings.

For Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University who criticized the non-invitation of humanistic voices to the interfaith mass service for Boston Bombing victims, or Chris Stedman, the writer who happens to intersect his interfaith activism with his sexual orientation and his atheist life stance (much to the chagrin of other atheist writers who see his interfaith networking as a liability to the validity of non-belief), the word “intervalues” might be a better description of their personal desire to work for the “common good” of society at large with believers, practitioners and activists of all sorts.

Interfaith Councils, from that of San Francisco to that of Richmond to Ann Arbor to the tiny town of Spring, may benefit more of their local populations by rebranding as Intervalues Councils, building larger coalitions which welcome the temples, churches, mosques and atheist meetups into a common, secular umbrella effort to strengthen, review and develop values in their communities, as well as to challenge issues which disturb peace or violate rights.

If anything, the promotion of intervalues dialogue can improve upon the shortcomings in relevance and inclusion of interfaith dialogue.


RIP Ray Harryhausen


Ray Harryhausen With Fighting Skeleton


Ray Harryhausen, a true genius of sci-fi/fantasy filmmaking died on Tuesday at age 92.

Harryhausen was responsible for the special effects on some of the greatest fantasy films ever made including Jason and The Argonauts, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and the original Clash of The Titans. He was the recognized master of the pre-digital age of stop motion animated effects.

Mr. Harryhausen’s works speak brilliantly for themselves, as can be seen in these clips from Jason and TheArgonauts and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.


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Adding an electric car cut the payback point of our solar panel investment in half


When we discussed our home solar panel project in mid-2011 with friends, one of the first questions everyone asked was, “What’s the payback period before you break-even?” The second question was unsurprisingly, “How much is it costing you?” but the focus always ended up on the payback. After all, if you’re going to invest in green technology, you’re hoping that at some point in the near future, you get ahead of the game. It turns out that something we didn’t plan for — our Chevrolet Volt(s gm) — is actually helping us boost the ROI and cut our payback time in half.

Details of the solar panel investment

Solar panel framingI shared details on both the solar panel project and the car before, but let me step back and recap a bit. In October 2011, we added 41 solar panels to our southern-facing roof in southeastern Pennsylvania. Each panel is rated…

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Google Glass will soon be invisible – and the new normal

It depends on the openness and adaptability of the technology, but I digress…


“There are three sides to every story: Your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying.” – Robert Evans (“The Kid Stays in the Picture”)

I recently met up with my friend and one-time business partner, Steve Lee, who is product director on the Google Glass project, and before that, ran product management on Google Maps for Mobile. Other than a quick tour of the device, Steve basically let me dive in, so as to experience Glass with a beginner’s mind. I won’t bother reviewing the basic capabilities and specs, which have been covered exhaustively already. Instead I want to focus on some of the points that are in debate, and whether I believe that Glass is destined to succeed.

Glass is translucent; designed to be invisible

In “Waves of Power,” David Moschella shows how new disruptive industries begin as verticals, since the complete product solution requires…

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