Retweeting – is it necessary?

Interesting that on Mastodon retweeting or rePublishing some else’s tweet/post is not allowed. That is probably one of the most refreshing parts of Mastodon, that there isn’t an endless number of retweets by people you follow.

Was just following a Twitter thread on this discussion and thought to look at those that disagree with this stance by Mastodon. It does seem those that want to retweet do it a lot, I mean quite a bit. And if you have thousands of followers what is this doing to the platform? Mastodon actually forces you to write and create some original content. Now isn’t that unique?

For those that want to retweet or republish (feels like translating a language here) create a blog, and paste your links and then tell us where we can find this wonderful list that isn’t creating a torrent of dismal information. 

There is a bit of a controversy about some people being expelled from a Mastodon server recently. So many went off on a tangent about it. Maybe they should have read the large modal button that came with the expelling notice. APPEAL. You are allowed to appeal the ruling. Think of it as getting a traffic ticket. The police ask you if you are speeding. If you say you didn’t then you can appeal when you get to court. You don’t use public opinion to exonerate your behaviour. Interesting that by the end of the day an apology came, with a reason, and the person was reinstated.I wonder if Mr. Musk has ever done that.

Twitter has made us lazy. Everything condensed into 254 (hope that is the number) characters. Add a colourful graphic and that is the limit of any dialogue or debate. Twitter has had its time and place and it still does for certain functions. We need to evolve our social media usage and maybe this is now going to happen.

 

 

Roadmap

 

Email problems

Have been using Media Temple for a number of years and had absolutely great service. These last few weeks they made a major overhaul of their services and my email at blishen.ca is now non-operational.

It seems for the sake of expediency one must use SMS to contact them now,  no website forms for support as in the past. Of course the response back is not in minutes but in hours. One wonders what do companies expect customers to do when companies make decisions that have such negative effects. It is painful to change but in the free market one still has that choice. Thankfully I still have my mac.com address.

A new machine

Picked up a new Apple Studio desktop computer today. Decided to move away from a MacBook as the iPad allows you to do most anything you want to do portably.

The MacBook is 8 years old and beachballing regularly. The new OS will also be stunted on this machine. It has been 43 years since getting that first machine, a Apple Ii+. Seems that life will begin at 40.

Justice is a Goal Valid in a Democratic Society

Moral outrage amplified by social media at times leans toward mob rule.

Aristotle’s definition of anger (moral outrage)
a desire accompanied by pain for an imagined retribution on account of an imagined slighting inflicted by people who have no legitimate reason to slight oneself or one’s own.”

But what of this “slight”? Is this justice-oriented or something intimated to lower the social status of those that offend? This begins to lean into the realm of ‘mob justice” because the voices of disregard are blunt, massive and hold little civilized regard or meaning.

Here is what Abraham Lincoln said in 1832:
There is, even now, something of ill-omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice…Thus, by the operation of this mobocratic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed.

He warns that mob rule can endanger democracy and justice. The ugly outcomes of this type of rule are more apparent today than 184 years ago.

Socrates stated in The Republic that this path takes democracy back to tyranny.

Our attention economy is hard-wired into social media design, so the danger now is even more stark and apparent.

Justice is a process, not the outcome.

Words and Privilege

Words
Dictionaries are ever-changing. Definitions are expanding, which means a constant change like a moving target. Revisions to words are vital to creating permanent knowledge with the understanding we need.

Privilege
When we speak privilege in our society we view the place we inhabit. Those that have privilege also have power. We live in a hierarchy that is invisible to those of privilege in so many instances. Those with little privilege experience these colonial systems, racism, gender discrimination and other harmful factors. Those who contribute to these abnormalities believe they are standing and taking what is rightfully theirs; they think those without privilege are stealing through individual corruption.

 

This is Summer

Summer has arrived and with it events that will not be forgotten.

There really is a need for a lifestyle of constant education and learning. One needs the ability just to remain curious at all times. Sure you will never arrive at completing what you want to know but oh, the journey is so worth it.

When you are Zooming these days there are 2 phrases that could be brought into face to face meetings. “Could you please unmute yourself” and the other “Could you please mute yourself.” In simplest terms “Speakup” and “Shutup”.

Political engagement always involves compromises and this can weaken any strong moral or ethical stance. What is the cost of compromise?

Seems we are beginning to realize that the quality of results that any process is achieving is a function of the quality of awareness of that process. The more we see the more we can realize what is happening.

Why are so many sources of action based on a habitual pattern and/or an ego-systemic base?

When fines are not enough

That equates to over 2 years of daily pollution. No regulations for periodic checks? And the consequence – a people and culture of thousands of years damaged in an important aspect of their daily life, possibly forever. How does a fine equate to making injured parties full again? Impossible. The company needs to be dissolved, terminated. When that consequence is a possibility then maybe this will not happen.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/teck-fined-60m-contaminating-bc-rivers-1.5965646

Understanding something not in English

The Danish word hyygeligt (hygge), that currently seems to be in vogue in the English language, is difficult to understand. Sometimes knowing what the opposite means gives it a better sense of its meaning.

Consider this recent newspaper headline:
Coronakrisen er et uhyggeligt varsel om en verden i klimakrise.
TRANSLATION
The COVID crises is a sinster and grisly omen about the world’s climate crisis.

Think about its opposite, uhyggeligt, which means anything from cheerless through to sinister to downright shocking and grisly. Having a hyggeligt time is social nirvana in Denmark. Candlelight is something used to encourage a hyggeligt atmosphere.

Sometimes things change unknowingly

COVID has been with us for nine months now. The second wave begins to create havoc as most had hoped our return to normal would’ve started by now. Maybe “normal” has permanently changed.

What I have noticed through all of this is my change in listening to music. It is the ballad , the soft easy-going song that is being sought after and appreciated. There is enough “hardness” surrounding us. We need some thing that allows a softer perspective. Music seems to fit that need.

Saturday and sunny

He went broke slowly, and then all at once.
—Ernest Hemingway

COVID-19: The ultimate identity politics?
https://rabble.ca/columnists/2020/04/covid-19-ultimate-identity-politics

After COVID-19 passes, our future will depend on whether governments prevent or permit more environmental vandalism by large corporations. https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2020/04/after-covid-19-passes-our-future-will-depend-whether

GE Workers Want to Build Medical Equipment to Fight Coronavirus. Management Is Standing in the Way
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/general-electric-labor-protest-coronavirus-978159/

The last day of March

Had a call from Nils this morning. Copenhagen is much the same as Vancouver. Now in our third week it seems isolation is a mindful situation for a lot of people.

Return of the junk bonds. Greed for a crazy return.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-companies-debt/kfc-owner-yum-brands-breaks-junk-debt-markets-four-week-fast-idUSKBN21H3GT?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews

While we are settling in to the new normal of working from home, there is going to be quite a bit of advice, both good and bad. Our friends at Take Control Books are attempting to cut through the noise by releasing a new book, Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily. The book is completely free (one per customer, please) and there are plenty of good, solid tips. If you have never worked from home, this is all new and the book will help you navigate the current situation.
https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/working-from-home/

From the movie The Platform – a Netflix movie
the people above us won’t listen
why not
I cannot shit upwards”

Great site for open education from the University of Edinburgh.
https://open.ed.ac.uk

What today brought

Seven snippets today

  • In the days of collaboration on a project with others, from home, there are some huge benefits of CC: and BCC:
  • No matter how this COVID-19 has pushed the ‘stop’ button’ in our lives, when I look outside spring is not being held back. Nature’s gentle force is in display.
  • Learned a newer meaning of delegation today. It not only includes those that are designated to work on a project, but also those that “need to be in the loop”. The “loop” part was new to me.
  • Dogs and cigarettes are analogue means of social contact but not necessarily preferred means in the days of staying at home.
  • In Vancouver the 9 O’Clock Gun is a cannon located in Vancouver, BC that is ordinarily shot daily at 9 p.m.. From 30 March to 30 April 2020, the gun is set to fire at 7 p.m., in support of local health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 6.01.05 PM.png
  • I am reading Weather by Jenny Offill. It is that new literary style, no chapters but small paragraphs and sentences.
    Here is a piece — This woman is a shrink. Also a Buddhist. She likes to practice one or other on me, I’ve noticed.. “You seem to identify down, not up. Why do you think that is?”  You tell me lady.
  • This is the kind of thing in today’s newer world that is completely unacceptable.
    https://t.co/w4TKe3i905?amp=1

Another week

We begin another week in a changed world. The initial shock is still there and the haunting feeling of what does the future hold. Looking inward with little human interaction is sometimes a challenge. No matter what has stopped spring is moving forward. That brings hope.

Getting ready for…

As all of us attempt to prepare for the coming holiday season we know the crunch will come. Something may be forgotten, not done to the depth we planned or heaven forbid, we actually changed something and made it easier.

For us this year it was two things. Staying home and leaving the giant, heavy Christmas tree in the storage area. Staying home wasn’t an easy decision but the long winter drive up to Prince George and that we hadn’t had Christmas by ourselves for 40 years made us think that this might be the time. That meant we weren’t going to need, want or require the huge Christmas tree. We bought a small one, put our bubble lights on and are now ready.

Already the anxiety level is less.

 

 

 

 

The Copenhagen Letter

It is a start at introducing the human element directly into a technology understanding.

The Copenhagen Letter, 2017

Copenhagen, 2017

To everyone who shapes technology today

We live in a world where technology is consuming society, ethics, and our core existence.

It is time to take responsibility for the world we are creating. Time to put humans before business. Time to replace the empty rhetoric of “building a better world” with a commitment to real action. It is time to organize, and to hold each other accountable.

Tech is not above us. It should be governed by all of us, by our democratic institutions. It should play by the rules of our societies. It should serve our needs, both individual and collective, as much as our wants. 

Progress is more than innovation. We are builders at heart. Let us create a new Renaissance. We will open and nourish honest public conversation about the power of technology. We are ready to serve our societies. We will apply the means at our disposal to move our societies and their institutions forward. 

Let us build from trust. Let us build for true transparency. We need digital citizens, not mere consumers. We all depend on transparency to understand how technology shapes us, which data we share, and who has access to it. Treating each other as commodities from which to extract maximum economic value is bad, not only for society as a complex, interconnected whole but for each and every one of us. 

Design open to scrutiny. We must encourage a continuous, public, and critical reflection on our definition of success as it defines how we build and design for others. We must seek to design with those for whom we are designing. We will not tolerate design for addiction, deception, or control. We must design tools that we would love our loved ones to use. We must question our intent and listen to our hearts. 

Let us move from human-centered design to humanity-centered design.

We are a community that exerts great influence. We must protect and nurture the potential to do good with it. We must do this with attention to inequality, with humility, and with love. In the end, our reward will be to know that we have done everything in our power to leave our garden patch a little greener than we found it.

We who have signed this letter will hold ourselves and each other accountable for putting these ideas into practice. That is our commitment.

The Copenhagen Letter, 2017

Well it is Christmas

Up in the north, Prince George, and the ground is ice as the snow falls. It looks dark and cold outside as in the inside the tree is up and the ornaments produced the myriad of coloured lights. Only a few days left and it will be Christmas.

Today was the day we drove east of town down Highway 16 in search of the Christmas tree. We had the permit in hand and turned off the main highway down the proverbial northern road. After a few minutes one was spotted at the side of the road and the saw was put to work. The sky was bright, the tree sawn and placed on the roof of the car and a quick hike into the woods to be in the middle of winter’s nature. The only sound was the occasional raven and disgruntled squirrel. What other sounds would one hear out here?

Each year it tends to change, something of the old is lost, something of the new is found. A sense of meaning is redefined. It is like a part of the circle is revisited once again. There is always the expectation of something different. The weather with it frigidity and whiteness defines Christmas this far north. It frames what the season is. 

It is Christmas.

 

Why I am running for the board at Vancity – Community Focus #3 & #4

The third & fourth points of the Desired Director attributes and Experience were “Brings robust networks, relationships, and knowledge that reflect Vancity’s current and future membership.” and “Demonstrated familiarity with the role of finance in improving member and community well being, and supporting environmental sustainability.

Over the years, in my professional career and volunteering, I have served on numerous boards that have worked to offer:

  • bursaries to credit union members throughout the province https://cufoundation.org
  • credit unions requiring assistance in strategic direction and bonding services https://www.stabil.com
  • worked on assisting refugee placements for private sponsorship across Canada and on international refugee projects in Africa and the Middle East https://www.clwr.org
  • worked to build a thriving community founded on cooperative principles of social justice, financial inclusion and environmental sustainability https://www.vancitycommunityfoundation.ca

All of these organizations have a common focus on building trust with the organization’s leaders, and within networks and outside relationships. That is the key element is making a difference in what they do. I believe I have been part of that.

In my professional career working in credit unions, a key component was always the direction to improve members financial well being. Building and nuturing that culture of caring for the individual, family and community is ongoing. It needs constant attention. Part of community wellness at the credit union I worked for was initiating membership in the Living Wage Campaign http://www.livingwageforfamilies.ca

Being part of a group of individuals working towards a sustainable future in whatever capacity has been a big motivator for me. I believe participation on the Vancity Board can only help me continue in this endeavour. I would ask for your vote to allow this to take place.

DSCF0237.JPG

My wife and grandchildren at the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation watch house in Burnaby