What is TalkingSkull.com?

Chiricahua medicine man in wickiup with family

Image via Wikipedia

The Concept

Just as many Native American tribes solemnly passed a talking stick around the circle of elders to create a fair and impartial discussion, so too do the denizens of this community pass the "talking skull" from user to user so that everyone might have an opportunity to speak freely.

Now it is your turn. What does the skull say to you? Can you hear the voices of humanity's ancestors trying to share their wisdom? Or do the demons of history share dire warnings of mistakes to come?

The Goal

When news breaks in today's short attention span society, too often there is a lack of context, which obscures the importance or non-importance of the event. We are increasingly forced to digest smaller and smaller pieces of information without any real perspective or background knowledge of the facts. This reduces us to mere consumers of junk food information, rather than encouraging us to become fully engaged connoisseurs of truth.

TalkingSkull.com aims to dig deeper, and provide a "bigger picture" of current events. How can we view today's news in terms of historical comparison? What can our ancestors teach us about similar situations in former times? Should we have already learned our lesson? Can we apply the wisdom of the past to the present? Does the breaking story of today have any parallels with previous events?

Aztec Skull

Image by seriykotik1970 via Flickr

The Technology

TalkingSkull.com makes extensive use of the resources available in the open source software community, and for that we are very thankful. The site is mySQL- and PHP-based, using the excellent Drupal CMS. We've also integrated with numerous third-party Web 2.0 technologies, including OpenCalais, Mollom, OpenAds, Google Analytics, Gravatar, OpenID, ShareThis, and Zemanta.

We use aggressive caching and aggregation methods to improve page-load times and your overall experience. We're also very confident in the security of the site. If you have questions about any of this, or if you (gasp!) find any bugs, please feel free to contact us.

The Village Chief

My name is Kuncen (aka Billy), and this is the house that I built. Born in Haiti to American parents, I lived there for most of my young life. I've also lived in Southern California and Seattle, and currently reside on the island of Java.

When my parents bought the first-generation Macintosh back in the 80s, I got my first taste of computers and have been hooked ever since. My brother and I started a BBS (bulletin board system) way back in 1993, well before the Internet had caught on. I started creating websites professionally in 1997 and have been dabbling ever since with various platforms and packages.

Welcome to the site! TalkingSkull.com is community-driven, and for that reason I want to ask for your help...