Melody Kramer


02 Feb 2015 by melodyjoykramer

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word pledge.

I’m watching WNYC’s Bored and Brilliant campaign ask people to pledge to rethink their relationship with a smart phone. That’s smart.

I’m thinking about this Fresh Air interview with Charles Duhigg, who writes about how habits form. I’m thinking about apps I’ve seen that create habit-forming triggers. I’m thinking about Kickstarter and New Year’s Resolutions. I’m thinking about pledge drives. I’m thinking a lot about the benefits of being a member of a larger group, and stating your affiliation publicly.

What if you could pledge to:

  • become a more engaged member of your community?
  • become more informed about a topic?
  • teach a member of your community something you learned today?
  • post news to social media that you valued?
  • have a conversation with someone about something you read online?
  • read at least one local story, one national story, and one international story per week.
  • read or listen to a piece of news about a local community that isn’t your own
  • think about the best thing you read last week?

How else can we think about pledging? And how might that change the way we build communities? I’m looking and thinking a lot about libraries, NASA, the National Parks, and the YMCA.


PS: Last year, a Georgia Tech researcher analyzed which students took the Advanced Placement exam in computer science in 2013. The researcher, Barbara Ericson, found that in three states no women took it, in eight states no Hispanics did and in 11 states no blacks did. (In Mississippi only one person — not female, black or Hispanic, by the way — took the test that year. Oh, Mississippi.)

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