Have you, like every other American I know, wondered what it might be like if we were to make contact with an alien life form? How will they think? How might we speak together? Will they be benevolent or violent? What will we learn?

Well, I’d like to turn your attention Earthwards: if you think about it, every species on Earth is an alien species. We are surrounded by life-forms that are entirely different from us: they exist, they thrive—they think, even—differently than we do. Their bodies and minds have been shaped by evolutionary histories that were different from ours. So, what is the experience of life like for a chimpanzee? For a dolphin? Or, even more alien, for a sparrow? A spider? A mouse?

I want to spend my days studying animal cognition so that we may attain a better understanding of the inner lives of these familiar alien life-forms. A shark can sense the electrical impulses of your heart. A bat can hear the shape of you. The parrots I am studying now can see the ultraviolet colors of your clothing. What other superpowers does life on Earth have? What else will we discover?


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Megan,

    It was really great meeting you at the TEDx reception. I enjoyed talking with you about animal cognition, albeit briefly, and I just wanted to make sure we stayed connected.

    The entire day was extraordinary assemblage of people and a remarkable composition of the ideas. If taken alone they may not have seemed to be so significant, but when experienced all together they succeeded in re-lighting something inside of me, as I think they did for most of us. It would seem, by what was put forth by most of those presenting, that in almost every aspect of our societal lives… from the way that we gauge success, to how we eat, and what we value, and even so far as what we are and what we could do, if our hands were anything other than hands… in every aspect of our societal lives we are approaching things in backwards and often counterproductive ways.

    I’m heartened to meet you and others like you who have so much positive energy and the ambition to persue your own happiness… for the good of others. Let’s stay connected!


    • Stephen! Hello!

      It is lovely to hear from you–I’m so glad that you managed to find me and reach out!

      What you’re saying here really resonates with me. Being part of that group of people left quite a mark on my psyche; I have never been privileged to meet such a vibrant, connection-focused, passionate and bright collection of folks. I’ve never felt so inspired to strive and chase my personal goals (and to set new, better goals) as I have in this past week, and it’s because of you all! In the end, I think “thrive” was an excellent theme, wasn’t it? All of us are working so brilliantly to thrive, and I was galvanized by the energy of that group.

      I would love to stay in touch. We built such an atmosphere of positivity during the conference, and I think we can continue to inspire each other as time goes on. I hope your projects at Sasaki continue to be fulfilling; thank you for helping to build better communities! And, as I said at the reception, if I ever need to build a city, you will be the first person I call.

      On Dec. 1st I’ll be beginning a 30-day project of daily meditation. Have you had any fun 30-day ideas?

      Be well,

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