I finally have a vision7 comments
picture12 Nov 2004
I'd like to help connect those who change the world - between them and to the tools they may need.

That may have lots of operational power.

I may connect the global with the local. My sister has organised trips from the Canaries to England, so students may improve their English. So why not offer a trip to agriculture people so that they may go and learn what Rick Nelson is doing?

I may connect people to the tools they may need. I might write or link to reviews of tikiwiki, and also to places where you can have your service hosted with that tool, so NGOs and other people may use them.

What other areas might I cover?  More >

 translation(s): Espacio Abierto con 2000+ jovenes colombianos0 comments
category picture11 Nov 2004
I translated it.

We do need ways to have cooperative translation. Maybe wikis with purple numbers (for paragraphs) so that people can claim ownership of just one paragraph and translate that while others work in parallel - and perhaps a slow pseudo-irc channel so we can ask for help or solve coherence issues.

Ideally, the system should be independent of the webpage we're translating - of course, that webpage can just be copied to the "original" window in the translation wiki. The result (the translation itself) would be ready to paste in whatever place it will finally go.

 Open Space and Deschooling0 comments
category picture10 Nov 2004
Chris Corrigan wrote, way back in 2002, an article about 7 lessons and Open Space Technology.

I fully agree, really. Now, it's not so easy to take one's children (if one has any) out of school. So I wonder if there's a way to free their minds even if we can't physically free their bodies.

Freedom and openness are "only natural" things. Could it be that if they experience "open space" then they'll learn it really quickly, or maybe just remember it? I mean, maybe it takes just a very small dose (small, compared to the chronic intoxication they suffer for some 12 years) to bring up their innate knowledge of what freedom and openness taste like.

On the other hand, maybe they would suffer more if they know there's a better alternative to school? I would hope not, because I'm experiencing such a "pain" myself ... and I sort of like it. But, of course, I went out of school long ago, so I can't really imagine what it would be like to know of open space AND be confined to school for the next 6-8 years.

So I'm not sure if it's a good idea to offer just open space alone. Kids would have to receive, in addition to the few shots of vaccine, some extra vitamins to endure what's ahead of them. They would have to learn how to do well enough at school without really giving their souls away.

I wonder if it can be done.

Done, not as a sequencial thing: first you succeed at school, then you (re)learn freedom and open-space. But rather as a simultaneous thing: you do well enough at school and you simultaneously know it's not for real.

Any experiences out there?

 Open Space in Colombia with 2000+ young people2 comments
category picture9 Nov 2004
Peggy Holman tells the (recent) story in OSLIST.

I find it simply amazing, truly inspiring, even lots-of-fun.

Just imagine you could do it in your backyard ... maybe even more than once ...  More >

 Overshoot and collapse ... or else0 comments
category picture9 Nov 2004
Here's a link to the very real possibility of overshoot and collapse.

I first read about that in a book my father brought home, maybe 20 years ago, with nice drawings showing how things (or people or projects) grow bigger and then smaller in time. Later I did read about the Club of Rome and their world models. In recent years, I've been watching it happen in health-care around me.

Maybe predictions are an antidote for the future? Maybe, but it must work through action like SolaRoof, globalvillages, community currencies ... and our own personal action towards sustainability.

Part of the action, of course, is "just talk it".

 wiki's weaknesses in content and community maintenance0 comments
category picture8 Nov 2004
I really don't know what's wrong with wikis. They provide a set of pages and both the content and the links can be edited by those with permision.

Yes, of course, they may be too open to vandals, wikispam, irrelevant content, and lack of one or more dedicated mantainers. But if there are enough users, and if those users have the necessary skills and use those skills, then they can keep the garden tidy and useful.

What do people want when they "grow a wiki"?

You may be very much centered around content, as in wikipedia. Of course, that content is written by many different people, and you want them all to contribute to the communal blackboard as easily as possible. It may be an encyclopedia (btw, cyclops had but one eye - shouldn't we have en-bi-cyclopedias?), or it may be information that has to be kept up to date. But in any case it's the content that matters.

You may be centered around creating new ideas and growing them. In that case, you probably want ways to explore the ideas, qualify them somehow, add comments to the ideas. You want to go from the problems in one specific idea to solutions to that problem. You want to have many solutions to one problem. You want to describe the problem diferently, and link to data to help people know what the problem is about, as exactly as possible. You need to be able to summarise, possibly having the wiki as one big page so that you can copy and paste relevant bits to the "new entry" window - or maybe you can just open many tabs in your browser.

In both cases, you may want the mantainer(s) to be able to edit the structure itself. That's a big thing to do. Relinking pages, joining and dividing content - things you do with good old outliners - but now with wikis.

You may also be centered around growing a community of people. In that case you may want to have two circles: an outer circle of people who contribute annonymously, and an inner circle of people who join in to lend both hands. The second group may be annonymous or not - it should be their choice. And they should have ways to engage in one-on-one conversations (instant messaging) that would, if they want to, in all o in part, be piped into the main discourse.

I guess I'll have to get into just one project and see how it works. But it would have to be a "content" project: one that is concerned with the information inside it. Rick Nelson and Franz Nahrada have one wiki each, I believe. I'll go and have a look ... Ok: Franz's and Rick's.

 logs as attention anchors1 comment
category picture8 Nov 2004
I think I belong to the fine group of the easily distracted, or maybe it's my pay-job's fault (at times, that is).

Fact is, I've started carrying a notebook to work, where I write what I think about whatever I'm suposed to be doing. Otherwise I easily drift over to more interesting subjects, and the boring parts never get done.

I think it's a way to try and make dull activities more interesting. And, if at all posible, to rutinise them so much that they will disappear into automatism.

Some people talk to themselves to achieve just that: to keep themselves on track. A bit like when actors are helped in the theater play, by someone who is whispering what the next line is.

Of course, it's a pity that there are such jobs that need mumbling or notebook-writing to make them doable.

Also, not all boring jobs are like that: the job has to be both boring and demand your very own initiative. If I don't do something by my own initiative, it doesn't get done. Quite different from helping someone over the counter (or near a patient's bed), when that other person provides the motivation and you just have to dance to their rhythm. There's a problem that grabs your neck and forces you to pay attention.

Not so with many really important things such as changing the world. Those you have to look for them - or maybe not. Hmm, I'll have to think a bit more about this.

So maybe a software-bot that keeps me in track ... hmmm ... what if I code it right now (well, start anyway) and forget about that boring thing I was doing until that fly flew near my head?  More >

 Exploration3 comments
category picture4 Nov 2004
Yes, we all know ideas live inside our heads. But we can also look at them as if they were external entities. We can explore them.

That's one of the things that are good about writing: somehow, you get rid of the idea, and make it external, which in turn allows you to explore it.

The idea may be crap, and then you don't have to swallow it back.

Excuse the metaphor. ;)  More >

 Say hi!6 comments
category picture4 Nov 2004
Strange moment, when many people feel Bush's "four more years" sinking in.

But I say "hi!".

Bush is predictable. Are we?  More >

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