Our Empire Story

One of the books I've been working my way through recently is David C. Korten's The Great Turning, which I bought after seeing him speak at a conference last year. In a recent article in Yes! Magazine that distills the essence of the book nicely, Korten suggests that one of the barriers to achieving the world we want to live in is that this story about who we are loops endlessly in our heads:

It is our human nature to be competitive, individualistic, and materialistic. Our well-being depends on strong leaders with the will to use police and military powers to protect us from one another, and on the competitive forces of a free, unregulated market to channel our individual greed to constructive ends. The competition for survival and dominance—violent and destructive as it may be—is the driving force of evolution. It has been the key to human success since the beginning of time, assures that the most worthy rise to leadership, and ultimately works to the benefit of everyone.

Continue reading Our Empire Story

Links for the Week - September 28, 2008

I don't feel guilty for not blogging for a while, no I sure don't. Guilt is certainly not why I'm posting a bunch of random (but great) links for you to look at. Nope, not at all:

Listening to Scott Simon and Dave Isay, NPR greats

Very Large Array at the NRAOTonight I attended a talk by NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, who I've always enjoyed listening to on the radio on lazy Saturday mornings. He talked about the current Presidential election and the role the media play, especially when it comes to their participation as news-makers, such as when media personalities moderate debates.

His comments were interesting and insightful, but not necessarily ground-breaking, and when asked to comment beyond what I took to be his prepared remarks, he had some trouble even being insightful. But, I did really appreciate his perspectives on how deferential and petty many members of the media have become, and his advice to politicians and interested citizens to go against the grain more and shake things up a bit.

Though, when I asked my question of him, he wasn't so into the shaking things up bit: Continue reading Listening to Scott Simon and Dave Isay, NPR greats

Arresting journalists, preventing protest

Journalist Amy Goodman, along with two other members of her crew, were roughed up and arrested at the Republican National Convention despite clearly displaying their press credentials.  Other journalists hoping to provide media coverage of the convention and the protests around it were pre-emptively arrested before it even began.  And of course, many other people attempting to protest peacefully at both major-party conventions were rounded up, assaulted, arrested and more.  For anyone who still had some shred of hope that the media have the ability (let alone the interest) to cover actions and speech that dissent from the mainstream, these incidents may not leave you with much hope left.

Here's an interview PBS did with Goodman about her arrest, including video from the scene: Continue reading Arresting journalists, preventing protest

My upcoming speaking events

A few upcoming speaking events to note:

  • Rising Above the Noise: Online Strategies & Tools for Success: we'll take on blogging, RSS, micro-blogging, social networking, widgets, photo sharing, and more, and talk about how these tools can help businesses and other organizations get their message out there further. See also the article in today's Pal-Item. Thursday September 25th 8-9 AM at the Uptown Innovation Center in Richmond. Free, contact Main Street to register.
  • The Internet as a Political Tool: this is a repeat of the presentation I did in May, but now with more flavor! I'll talk about how the Internet is changing the world of politics, and what it means for local citizens (especially right before the November election). It's a part of the Technology Series at Morrisson-Reeves Library (see the PDF brochure) that is bringing together local experts to talk about various technology issues. Thursday, October 9th 6:30-8 PM in the Bard Room at MRL in Richmond. Free, contact MRL for details or just show up.
  • General Talk about the Technologies of the Internet: I'll be speaking to a group of freelance artists, web developers and consultants in Cincinnati about how to best use the technologies of the Internet to serve their clients. Friday, October 24th. If you're in the Cincinnati area and are interested in joining the group, contact Katie McGuire.

If you're interested in having me speak to your business or organization, learn more about how to get in touch to make a request.

My Envelope Organizational System

I have tried and dismissed a number of personal organizational systems over time, but none of them has lasted as long or served me as well as my current system: my life and all of its to-do lists are managed on the back of used envelopes.

Before I tell you more about how it works, let me first assure you that I've tried the alternatives: Continue reading My Envelope Organizational System

Making fun of Community Organizers

Enjoying the Fruits of Our LaborLike many people of diverse political affiliations, I bristled during the Republican National Convention when various speakers including VP candidate Sarah Palin made fun of "community organizer" as a worthwhile way of spending time.

It wasn't problematic for me because the attack was being used against candidate Barack Obama, although I didn't find it to be an effective or useful expression of concern about his qualifications. Instead, I think that it was just plain insulting to the many people in communities across the world who devote their time and energy to making their local communities better places to live. Further, I think it was a hypocritical and problematic assertion given some of the other selling points being used to present Palin and McCain to voters. Here's why: Continue reading Making fun of Community Organizers