Friday, December 31, 2010

Symbionomics -collective action gets a foot up

I don't know who these people are, but I like the project. Internet Collective Action is a favorite subject of mine (see It's a quick and cheap way for like-minded people to collaborate on any type of project. If there's a way to make that even easier, I'm all for it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2000 vs. 2010

Things have changed much more than you may realize in just 10 years. Cell phones, fast internet connections, and urbanization have grown quickly. What will the next decade bring?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The USA; eating itself alive

50 million of us don't have health care (

40 million of us use food stamps (

We rank 30th in infant mortality (

Our students rank 17th in science (

And yet, we have 57,000 troops defending Germany (

NASA had to spend $500 million on a project it wanted to drop (

We're doing it to ourselves. We could be spending our money on health (BETTER! We spend much more per patient than any other country), education, and infrastructure. Instead we spend it on wasteful big projects, like $100 billion on a missile defense system that still doesn't work (

Our priorities have obviously been thrown off track somewhere along the way. I don't know how to fix it, but THAT is what we should be discussing; what are our priorities? Can we agree on that?

Friday, December 24, 2010

The future of newspapers

I love Clay Shirky. He distills information and comes up with a completely different way of looking at things. And then his ideas seem like common sense.

Shirky thinks the current, 20th century format for newspapers will never last. There's no point in even trying to keep that idea going. The Internet gives you the precise information you want, rather than having you buy the classifieds, news, etc. when perhaps all you want is the sports. Advertising is mostly going to the Internet as well, so the income stream for newspapers is dwindling.

In this article, the big question is, who will pay for investigative journalism? If newspapers can't afford reporters anymore, who will do the reporting? There are many possible answers to that, and Shirky essentially says let's try out as many as we can and see which ones work.

Meanwhile, is a possible alternative. It's a nonprofit devoted solely to investigative journalism. So far it seems to be doing well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Simple economics; the rich hoarding means no monetary circulation

This seems so simple to me. If a tiny minority hoard the money supply, then there is no money circulating. Just like blood in our bodies, money has to circulate to keep an economy going. So giving those minority of hoarders a tax BREAK is the opposite of what needs to be done to get the economy circulating again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

US citizens die needlessly so we can protect Germany?

Budget cuts are done to those in need. Why not cut the military budget and stop defending Italy, Germany, Japan, and other countries that don't need protecting anymore? We have over 33,000 troops in Japan, over 57,000 in Germany, and almost 10,000 in Italy, just as examples of wasted defense spending. Why are we there? None of these countries need our defense. [source:]

Can't we spend our money on Americans who need help, instead of wasting our defense money on countries that have economies at least as viable as ours? Where did our priorities get so screwed up? We HAVE to take a break, lay out our expenditures, and cut what we don't need anymore. We DON'T NEED to be defending Germany! Who are we defending them from?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sometimes a ray of light makes the future look better

When I started going to the Project Chanology protests and seeing all the young people stepping out to help fix a social problem, I was greatly encouraged about the future. This video encourages me as well.

The LAST thing you want in society is complacent, passive citizens. The BEST thing is active, informed citizens. Which type do our schools produce?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

corporations do the bidding of US government?

the State Department asked Paypal to close down Wikileaks' account. Paypal said sure, why not? Mastercard closed down Wikileaks' account because they claimed wikileaks was doing something illegal? Really? What has Wikileaks been convicted of? Or even formally charged with?

The spineless reaction of corporations to the US government's powerless requests is stunning. Is this how things work in the dark? Corporations working directly at the behest of the government? Isn't there a term for this; fascism?

If that's the kind of stuff going on out of sight, then we need some group to bring light to these actions hidden from the public. Some kind of whistleblowing group... oh wait...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bold Thinking on how to Re-boot the economy

Don Tapscott wrote a book on collective action that helped me write my Project Chanology article. He has co-written another book, Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World, that argues that many current institutions need to be completely reworked.

My books-to-read stack is pretty high already, but I hope to read this book soon.