News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles written by Robert Collins


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  • Conflict on our commons

    Robert Collins|Updated Mar 3, 2020

    In the early years of our country, there was a plot of ground in Boston set aside for the “common use” of all citizens — now a lovely park called the Boston Commons. Citizens brought cows and sheep to graze; others planted crops. But in time a conflict arose as the land became oversubscribed. Who gets to use it? Who makes the rules? What are the common values and mechanisms for governing our commons? There are two large commons in Sisters – our sky and our forests. There are competing interests for the use of each... Full story

  • Truth, lies and freedom of speech

    Robert Collins|Updated Oct 9, 2019

    Where does the notion of “freedom of speech” come from? Our Constitution’s first amendment. But cultural anthropologists point back 2 million years ago to Homo erectus and the emergence of cooperative behaviors in hunting-gathering, shared campfires, and communal tool-making. From the start, there must have been a bias in proto-language toward truth-telling. Survival of a group depended upon accurate knowledge of where food could be found and predators hiding. Mutual trust holds a group together, provides an evolu... Full story

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