WikiBirthday

22Jan20

WikiBirthday is March 25, let’s make something of it!

I should get up on what’s happening with Ward’s Federated Wiki.


I was just talking with dog, who seemed interested to spend some time together when I was about to eat. Unthinking, I suggested there would be plenty of (other) time to spend together. Immediately correcting myself I noted that of course I knew the only time we have is right now.

I find these conversations with dog often remind me of very helpful things.


About 20 years ago, I went to a one-man show of an evening with Buckminster Fuller in San Francisco. Fuller (or rather, the actor Ron Campbell) let you know right away that your perspective was going to be shifted this evening, when he invited us all loudly to, “Sit in, sit in!” and went on to explain that since our planet Earth is a sphere there isn’t properly an up or a down, but rather an out and in.

Being ready to have your perspective shifted is a good way to go into anything systems-related, such as the latest from the Academy of Systems Change, Leverage Points and the Iceberg Model in Economic Development:

[P]lacing a higher value on living assets (people and Nature) than on non-living capital assets is a key leverage point, enabling us to see why economies that mimic life enjoy a win-win spiral of systemic health and prosperity.

I look forward to Jay Bragdon’s book, Economies that Mimic Life. And I will be writing more here about the relevance of the leverage points to news — in general and especially on KEPW.



I’ve been writing raw HTML again. Still works. Feels good.


The Limits To Growth showed the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet in 1972. Lead author Donella Meadows continued her big picture environmental & social analysis for the rest of her life, and I find her “Twelve Leverage Points to Intervene in a System” a very handy map to help understanding things from a systems perspective. I’ve been giving a short riff about it for a few years to folks, and here is a recording of it (inspired by sharing it with Cooperation Eugene), recorded in February 2019.


Why Walking Helps Us Think, by Ferris Jabr, starts with noticing the way authors use walks in their writing (and to stimulate their writing), then reports on the first scientific studies which ‘directly measure the way walking changes creativity in the moment.’
They got the idea for the studies while on a walk. “My doctoral advisor had the habit of going for walks with his students to brainstorm,” Oppezzo says of Schwartz. “One day we got kind of meta.”
The article is from 2014, so there must be plenty of new research to look up! I’m always a sucker for meta – and for walking as well (coincidentally also since 2014). Good motivation to handle some health issues, so that I can walk more!

So, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 pretty much on party lines today. This is a huge bill with many sections on different aspects of election reform (campaign finance reform, election rules, etc). This is the Democrats putting themselves on the record for what they might look to pass if/when they gain control of the presidency and possibly Senate. Many people are writing about ways the bill could be even better, and this bit about the section to end gerrymandering really grabbed me.
Nicholas Stephanopoulos writes: ‘the word “single-member” in the provision requiring states to “establish single-member congressional districts” should be excised. This seemingly minor deletion would open the door for states to experiment with multimember districts…’
Multimember districts – combined with some kind of ranked voting – are one of the most promising ideas I’ve seen in the last few years for getting America’s legislatures to better reflect the diversity (in *all* senses) of the people. What do you think of multimember districts, or other ways that H.R. 1 could be improved?

Archived FairVote article on districts – This does not consider how ranked voting would affect multimember districts, but does provide background on single member vs. multimember vs. at-large, and on the lack of Constitutional clarity on federal involvement in states’ elections.
tangent – The main author on Election Law Blog is Rick Hasen, author of this book on Antonin Scalia’s self-contradictions.

A few minutes ago I pulled out a blank sheet of paper, and wrote something like this down.


New micro-habit – when opening a tab:


I share this as context for saying why I wrote that on a sheet of paper, because I added pulling out a blank sheet of paper as a ‘trigger’ for this new micro-habit (hello, my friend meta). What I’m getting at with the title of this post has been percolating for years now or maybe my whole life. Even the specific intent to form/find some powerful new micro-habits is a few months old at this point. I probably won’t share *everything* I write from this here, but if I follow through it will certainly provide a plentitude of material.

At this point I really did stand up and stretch for a bit.

Anyway, to the question – what’s behind all this? It seems to have been inspired by hope, or faith. Grace. Trust. These words have all become nearly synonymous for me (see Marshall’s suggestion at the needs link above that there are only seven needs. I’ve written elsewhere on these short lists, will try to find & post here). The striking thing to me right now is how hope really does spring eternal, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve noticed it creep back in when I wasn’t expecting it. Just noticing that brings a little more hope, damn stuff is contagious.

Another motivating need is an urge to grow, learn, develop. I am so far from where I would like to be. There is a rat’s nest here of motivations here, some driven by questionably-founded (yet no less real) fears for my life/safety, and some from a less complex desire to give everything I can while I am here on our planet.

Dwelling on each branch of this (especially seeing neither grace nor learning is on Marshall’s short list has led me to connection in meaning, which is not unusual. I’m not going to explain exactly how I get there, this was more than enough!


Only Quote

23Aug18

I like quotes. And it’s often easier to put forth what someone else has said than to stand behind one’s own words. They have their place though and can be fun. My old collection. What made me think of them right now was reflecting on alienation’s strength and remembering E. M. Forster, “Only connect.”




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