Dumbo Feather Issue 66

Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories.

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3 Edities

in deze editie

2 min

Dear friend, A paradox which I’m fascinated by (and which has never been more apparent than it has this past year) is how in times of uncertainty and change, we are compelled to reach for certitudes. I suppose it’s the comfort we are seeking, of having something absolute and unwavering to attach to when so much is shifting around us. Perhaps it’s also about maintaining some semblance of control in our lives: we need to know or say something with 100 percent conviction to feel like we’re still in the driver’s seat. But that urge can lead us down all kinds of rabbit holes. We might, for example, put our trust behind something that we wouldn’t otherwise if we had two feet on the ground. All of this becomes even slipperier…

10 min
the myth of rationality

“ We need to understand the ways in which problematic beliefs are bound into the social and emotional lives of those who hold them.” Many years ago, I worked as a counsellor on a program that provided support to the families of sex offenders. In practice, that usually meant working with the wives of men convicted of child sexual offences. You might expect that my job would have consisted largely of helping these women work through their shock, horror and grief. That was certainly my expectation when I started working on the program. Yet that was almost never how it went. Instead I invariably found myself dealing with women deep in denial, either refusing to believe the evidence of their husbands’ crimes (the offenders, for their part, frequently continued to protest innocence…

10 min
pay attention! think!

“ Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl penned this line after being released from Nazi concentration camps where he’d endured three years of hard labour. Some of you might know he wrote the book Man’s Search for Meaning in just nine days after being released. He argued that he’d survived, while hundreds of thousands of fellow prisoners perished, because of his ability to not be distracted by others’ impositions on his thinking. He made the conscious and deliberate choice to own that space between what was happening around him and how he was going to live. Today, though, we live in an “attention economy.”…

8 min
getting real on climate & power

“ Even as our fellow citizens died in the flames or fled for their lives, and as billions of creatures burned alive, truth and power stood in mortal contest over the meaning of the immolation.” One warm spring lunchtime four years ago, I arrived at Luna Park in Sydney, passing under the unblinking eyes and deranged rictus grin of the iconic nine-foot face to speak at a corporate luncheon being held in one of the venue’s waterside conference rooms. There was a fairly neutral crowd in attendance. No fossil fuel executives as far as I could see, but nobody institutionally inclined to environmentalism or climate activism either. In the amiable pre-lunch chat, I was told repeatedly that there was an expectation that what I had to say would be “interesting.” I hoped…

9 min
the art of discernment

“ True discernment makes for wise decisions, functional relationships and brings health to the whole system.” Mark Twain is often credited with saying “a lie will travel across the country before the truth can lace up its boots.” Ironically, that’s probably a misattribution (which quite proves the point, doesn’t it?). It takes time to do research, examine evidence, think critically, uncover inaccuracies and come to a nuanced understanding of any topic. Worse, simple lies (especially those that trigger emotions) will outcompete facts and ideas in the contest for attention and influence, no matter how false or dangerous. They’re “stickier,” so we’re more likely to click on and share them. Thus, the attention economy is tilted toward delusion. Even after years of the disinformation-filled Trump Era, media literacy trackers report an intensified…

27 min
lisa marchiano makes friends with doubt

SUBJECT Lisa Marchiano OCCUPATION Social worker and Jungian analyst INTERVIEWER Berry Liberman PHOTOGRAPHER Kriston Jae Bethel LOCATION Philadelphia, US DATE January, 2021 How do we create spaces of three-dimensional discourse where nuance is allowed and where certainty is not the aim of the game? What are the kernels of medicine we can find in the fake news stories that are tearing through our culture at light-speed? This is some of the terrain I cover with Dr. Lisa Marchiano, Jungian analyst and co-host of the brilliant podcast “This Jungian Life.” For her, curiosity, humility and doubt are the essential qualities we need to cultivate for this moment of cultural instability and social change. Lisa speaks, writes and thinks about the human condition through a Jungian view. Her lens is profound at a time of increasingly shallow, shouty, aggressive and militarised public discourse around the…