Mr. Edwards, help teach others to blog

Mr. Edwards, help teach others to blog! That’s what I got out of this post from Dave Winer, an e-mail he wrote to Ryan Montoya, John Edwards tech consultant. (See full copy bellow. Copied here for clarity.)

Fact is there are lots of efforts underway in this part of North Carolina to help people learn about blogging. (I know there are more in other parts of NC.) All we need is some assistance. That can come in many forms. One is to help spread the word. You can find out the latest at the BlogTogther website and email list. Another is to attend these events and start a blog or help someone else do it.

So lets all blog about this recommendation to John Edwards and increase the number of people blogging. I bet it’ll make a positive difference in lots of areas. Including politics…

Update: Blog posts about this I’ve read
Mistersugar – Anton Zuiker
Blog Around the Clock – Coturnix
Word Up – Ed Cone
GreeneSpace – Sally Greene

Continue reading “Mr. Edwards, help teach others to blog”

Ruby is my Muse

OMG, I’m getting married in 12 days! Good thing that I’m tying the knot with such a cool person. I’m a superstitious old skool pagan-like artist who needs inspiration. Thus I need a muse, a form of inspiration and psychic energy. Enter Ruby. She’s much more than this BTW.

A few years ago Ruby told me about podcasting. I tried it out, became obsessed, created AudioActivism.org, made LOTS of audio, organized an UnConference around Podcasting, wrote tutorials to help other people do it, taught kids how to podcast, etc., etc. If she hadn’t told me about it I never would have done so many cool things.

Now Ruby has told me about Second Life. Its a 3D virtual world you can dive into completely recreating a life, interacting with others, building virtual spaces, chatting, and all kinds of things.

She’s inspired me to do something I’ve wanted to do since 1989 or so – create virtual art. A return to my creative roots of sorts. I used computers to make art all through college. 3D art always fascinated me. I think its appropriate that I rejuvenate the past a bit as I’m open a new chapter in my life. Thank you so much Ruby!

A list of banned and challenged books

The Forbiden Library is a list of books that for various reasons, most laughable, have been banned and/or challenged. This is such a good idea. A wonderful way to remind people to read more than what we are recomended or told. Also a excellent example of why information, contained in books and elsewhere, is power. Why else would people ban a book if they didn’t fear its power?

Q. What’s the difference between “banned” and “challenged”?

A. “Banned” means that the book was successfully removed. “Challenged” means that the book was objected to, and may or may not have been removed.

The books listed on my site were all challenged on some grounds by groups who wished to impose restrictions on them. Some were removed from reading lists, some were removed from school or public libraries, some were burned in bonfires. I do not claim that all of the books in my list are for the same age group, nor do I believe they are all equally suitable for academic reading lists. I merely report documented challenges to books, and in some cases poke fun at the rationale used by those who object to the works mentioned.

I put the website together because I did not find any of the specific rationale for challenging the works I list compelling in any way. In fact, many of the reasons were quite humorous. I believe that books, and children, are individuals, and none deserve to be labelled.

“If your library is not ‘unsafe’, it probably isn’t doing its job.”
— John Berry, Iii, Library Journal, October 1999

Plan B for the Information Apocalypse

I think we all need to be building secure WLANs. (Wireless Local Area Networks) These networks can be connected to the whole internet but also have parts that are only for the local physical community. This is not to exclude people but to protect information that is HYPER local. (such as when the neighborhood pot luck is, when the next local election will be, what your neighbors are talking about, etc.)

Also proxy servers that have copies of LARGE sections of the Internet can be put on these WLANs. This will speed up access to information but can also prevent it from being blocked by evil corporations. I’ve been formulating a plan B for the Information Apocalypse ™ that will happen if corporations impede and/or completely block parts of the internet. (aka The End of Network Neutrality) We can route around the barriers put up in-front of us. (These barriers may be intentional or unintentional.)

My ideas revolve around peer to peer sharing via personal devices we carry with us as we travel around physically. Imagine your small unobtrusive electronic device has a wireless connection to other devices and knows its own latitude and longitude. Or a device can tell if another one is near it in a different way. (YES a scary big brother application could be built with this tech. If you can hide your physical body you can change the data that describes where you or your device are.) Another devices notices your device is nearby. It says hello and offers to share with you information it obtained from another device and/or another part of the world and Internet. Because there are so many people on the planet word of mouth is still one of the best forms of communication and advertising. This system I’m describing is just an amplification of this natural mode of info delivery. It could multiply info transport a billion fold.

At first I thought this system might be a lot slower than e-mail is now. Then I realized that this asynchronous transport could be even faster. Possibly much more precise and redundant too. Certainly more diverse. I believe this is possible because of the power of social networks. Ever notice how fast good gossip travels? Like that but digital.

The hardware and software to do this already exists. It isn’t a matter of making it but taking existing resources and discovering new methods. I think it can be made affordable for everyone, too. Then we need to show our friends how to do it. Sadly this idea may not catch on on a large scale until broadband internet access is taken away from us. Hyper global connectivity as we know it now is very addictive.