The diagnosis

The diagnosis:

I do not know all of what’s ahead. I know a little. I know that there is a new kind of life on the other side of this thing. A changed mind and body. A new appreciation of time, and breath, and health, and life, and loved ones.

The gravity in this place is different. I’ve spoken to others who’ve traveled out here, too, and returned home safely. When you become one of them, you learn quickly that you share a language others can’t understand.

The trick, these fellow travelers tell me, is to accept the not knowing and find your equilibrium in that new gravity. Calm the mind. Find your balance out on the cold planet, whether or not you know the next step, or the date of the next appointment, or what good or bad news the Technetium-99 isotopes floating around in your blood during the last scan reveal.

[So painful.]

a founder’s manifesto

a founder’s manifesto:

I know I am a hypocrite. Every day I fail to live my life according to my beliefs in small and large ways.  Sometimes I get angry when people fail, instead of creating a wonderful, supportive environment where failure is a part of the learning process.

[Amen. On point. All true, I do the same things, yet it doesn’t stop me. It seems irrational to keep failing and keep trying. Still, it might be the sanest thing I do.]
Source: the evolving ultrasaurus

3 Thoughts on Generosity

3 Thoughts on Generosity:

Generosity alone is not enough

Generosity is nothing more and nothing less than the foundation upon which we build. We won’t solve the big problems of the world just by opening our hearts.  That is a dangerous dream, because the stakes are much too high.  Yet without generosity too many doors are closed, too much judgment creeps in.  Without generosity empathy is not given a space in which to grow and we experience the terrible misfortune of undervaluing the gifts we have been given.  In so doing we run the risk of forgetting that each of us has something important to offer in creating solutions big and small.

To me, generosity is an active orientation towards the world and all its messiness.  It is a refusal to walk by, to shut down, to pretend that if we just keep our heads down everything will turn out OK.  It won’t, at least not without all of us.

[On point.]
Source: Sasha Dichter’s Blog

Freedom of Speech and Art: 3 Things to Know

Freedom of Speech and Art: 3 Things to Know:

There are other ways to watch what you are doing. If you want to read up on all varities of art law, you couldn’t do much better than Starving Artists Law. Or, if you are interested in learning more about the right to assemble and protest, this link is a great resource. If your voice is strongest online, it couldn’t hurt to check the Legal Guide for Bloggers.

And above all, don’t stop doing what you do best.

[It’s a far more complicated world than I’d wish for and work toward.]

New York City’s Digital Deficiency

New York City’s Digital Deficiency:

You are circling the block yet again, desperately seeking a parking space–and then you remember there’s an app for that. You whip out your phone and pull up Roadify, the high-profile winner of New York City’s second BigApps contest, which is supposed to provide a real-time list of parking spaces near your location. You watch as Roadify loads and quickly discover there are no free parking spaces within a 10-mile radius of where you are currently circling the block. This shouldn’t surprise you because there are usually almost no parking spaces listed in the app, rendering it fairly useless. Then, as you slam on your breaks to avoid hitting a pedestrian, you remember that driving while using your phone is difficult, dangerous, and often illegal.
And this is the app that won?
Undeterred by Roadify’s failure, the city announced the third installment of the BigApps contest in September, in which the city awards $50,000 in cash to the best app that uses city data. So far the first two contests have yielded apps that have received a fair amount of media attention but have lagged in user adoption. Sportify, another winner that garnered a lot of press, also relies on a critical mass of users to function. It, too, is a great idea in principle (find people near you who want to play pickup sports!), which has yet to catch on. All of this is the predictable result of the city’s approach to digital development, which focuses on plenty of sizzle, not much steak. It’s time for the city to deeply explore what New York’s citizens actually need, and the ways in which those citizens are likely to behave.

[How unsurprising.]

Steve Jobs in 1980 (and how schools still get this wrong)

Why do school kids have one computing experience at home and in their personal lives, and a completely out of touch, ancient experience at school? I’ll get back to that.

Steve Jobs in 1980:

Same vision. Same goals. What he was talking about then applies almost completely to what Apple is doing today. (Via Michael B. Johnson.)

[Gruber pointed to this video from 1980 and if you’re a student of Steve Jobs you’ll have heard these themes before. The condor & the bicycle for example was very common in his talks from those years. Two things struck me as I watched this.

Something struck me at about 10:18 in the video. Steve is talking about how different the experience is when there is one computer to an individual not, what was until then, common—many people sharing one computer. Despite our collective understanding of this, made clear by the shear number of computers available to schools so many of us, most schools have one computer shared by many students for short periods of time as a curricular addition. Gym, art, music, computers. Asides in the daily lives of students everywhere. This is clearly ridiculous in age of iTouches, smartphones, iPads, texting, tweeting etc. How could we possibly not have computers in the hands of students all day every day.

Some schools courtesy of some smart administrators are getting this right. Integrating computing into the curriculum at its base, not as a course of study. That’s key. The teachers must use them for their coursework. Homework, communication, the entire experience of school must be integrated. Don’t teach “computers” in the classroom, use computers in the classroom.

The second thing, an aside really, is that recordings will *not* be scarce in the future. Almost everything that someone does publicly will most likely have a recording made and available for the future. This can be good, and bad. The bad that I’m thinking about is that it might be harder for people to evolve if their past is so well documented. The good is obvious, that we’ll be able to study people in far greater depth, in the direct way that seeing an image of them provides.]
Source: Daring Fireball

Episcopal cleric: Let’s Take Christ Out of Christmas

RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE is an Episcopal cleric for 46 years, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S. and wrote the following.

Let’s Take Christ Out of Christmas:

Christmas was adopted by Christianity late, by some three hundred years. It was incorporated into Christianity in the 4th century, the same way Friday fish-eating was incorporated and during the same time. (Imperial Romans ate fish on Fridays to honor Venus, the goddess of love, fish being the food of love and sex.) The venerial fish-eating was simply co-opted by Christianity and given a revised rationale, namely that Jesus died on Friday, so one should abstain from eating meat on Friday.

In imperial Rome, the December 25 feast in honor of the Invincible Sun, Sol Invictus, was accompanied by the exchange of gifts, cutting of greens, lighting of candles, and public festivals commemorating new life. The sun, after all, had turned in the sky and was rising earlier and setting later, after the winter solstice.

[snip ed.]

To liberate Christmas from the clutches of Christianity would demonstrate a generosity of spirit on the part of Christians that would set a good example in these times of increasing strife between the various religions of the world.

[It certainly would improve my solstice celebration.]

Louis CK’s direct-video experiment worked

Louis CK’s direct-video experiment worked:

Louis CK produced a comedy special on his own dime, put it up for sale on his website as a DRM-free video download for just $5, and made enough to cover his costs and consider it a success:

It’s been a really fun and intense few days. This video was paid for by people who bought tickets, and then bought by people who wanted to see that same show. I got to do exactly the show I wanted, and exactly the show you wanted.


[I’d have to agree. I wish for more courage.]