I've followed this board for a long time. Never been a big poster. Today I posted a message that got a lot of direct and indirect responses. Some in agreement, some not - but that's what this whole thing is all about. For the most part, I've read posts from this small corner of the internet that are a microcosm of our nation. We are all united (sort of) by our disgust for what the scumbags are doing. We are united about FOSS and pissed off about what a group of individuals are doing to/with the legal system. The good thing about what I've read is that I would really enjoy meeting most of you, sharing a brew or two and trying to figure out how to fix things.
I know as most of you do that our present system of selecting our leaders doesn't work - because it's all about money/advertising/PACs/etc. My question is how do we go about fixing it? I've admitted that I voted for our present leader because he seemed to me to be the lesser of two evils. That's a poor excuse for selection, and I know that. I love our country and those who have traveled and really seen other countries know why. I've worked with the Brits, the Aussies, and the Canucks (nothing negative intended) and they are great folks who believe, basically in the same things we do. This board has provided a glimpse into some different views that I may not agree with, but I've always respected. That's what I spent 20 years of my life working for.
We are at a crux - we can continue on our *merry way* or we can do something. I agree with many that we need to get out of Iraq before it becomes the Vietnam of this era. I know that global warming is here - what do we do and how? How do we prevent the NOLA mismanagement (at all levels) from happening again.
Several of you have said "I'm only a lowly (fill in the blank). Well I'm only just one guy, retired military who believes in the American people. I believe that we can fix the mess we are in. We must start now or our kids will not have the life and freedoms that we enjoy. I don't have the answers, I've got ideas.
That's what our internet has given us - the ability to exchange ideas with people across the country and across the world.
If you care to directly correspond, I can be reached at:
gunner dot mac ampersand insightbb dot com
I would really like to hear from you.
Yes - there is this small blog site full of teens and twentysomethings, me, and two women my age that I frequent. I'm used to seeing teenage hormones and twentysomething angst fallout. They've gone loopy.
There is an Asperger board I frequent. We're always a little off, but recently its been a bit further.
I write erotica from a female perspective and I manage to pass for the real deal. I get the occasional ardent admirer but last week was just too much - turns out the latest hot to trot male is a married guy in my area that I know professionally. I'm feigning pregnancy to get out of this one ... she had graphic morning sickness today. I'll retire her until next fall then write about the sensual pleasures of breast feeding and such.
The Slashdot product placements have not had their usual vim and vigor in recent weeks. I say clever things and get modded troll, which is only half true and not the norm for me.
All of my observations are consistent with your thesis, heimdal31.
I would say an awareness consternation is brewing, from the oddest places. (for eg. long time followers of Pat Robertson who are now disgusted with him, or "success" driven folks now worried about the wholesale liquidation of industries)
I once worked in a lab headed by a Brit. He told me how in his university no calculators were allowed. It was expected that if you understood the problem, and the solution methods, that you should get to within 5% in your head. Anything closer was lost in reasonable engineering margins. (Anything worse meant you had no clue)
It was a sort of "no wookies allowed" approach that I still have much to learn from, and that I see slowly soaking into many people's views.
Some of use are old hands at online communication having been around since Usenet. Others have experienced with SCO for the first time. Either way, we've all learned something about dealing with trolls and recognizing hidden agendas manipulating online discourse. One of the things we can all do is to use those lessons to influence things we care about at other online and offline communities.
Which brings me to my question: NOTHING of note is happening with SCO. Their doom is writ large for all to see, even the formerly sycophantic financial press. I still plan to keep things focused on SCO, but I agree, it doesn't matter that much. I do believe that we've seen pointed attempts to disrupt this board in many different ways. I don't think that Grokwar was SCO directed, but I do think that SCO may have taken advantage of it. Back in the spring of this year, I did suspect some of the political discussions may have been partly influenced by those wanting to keep this board off-track, but I'm also willing to admit I'm wrong.
I think this is different. It has seemed to me that since Katrina, there has been more wider dissent bubbling up. I say that because I'm seeing it in meatspace. But this is the only online community I have time for, and I don't have the time for it that I used to. So, my question is: for those of you that are active in other online communities, is this political "distraction" something that is happening in lots of other places?
Damned Yahoo length limits!
<<But you know, the strange thing is we are not monolithic on this board. Most of us have learned to live with each others opinions. Some, well, they still have some things to learn.
Personally, I like the give and take. There are some times I will be right, there are some I will be dead wrong. I evaluate the evidence, and proclaim when I was dead wrong.>>
Yes, and that is the beauty of the internet. Much of the time it is sound and fury signifying nothing, but it can lead to something more. Look at SCO as an object example. Had something like SCO tried this eight years earlier, they probably would have suceeded. There may have still been a great number of people who were informed and incensed at what was being attempted, but no ready medium of two way exchange such as the web-enabled internet to allow self-organizing groups made up of fiercely independent individuals.
Think of the interent as the new morning coffeeshop crowd. My grandfather spent his life living in small-town rural America. Everybody knew everybodies business. You knew who the hot-heads were, who the Merkey's were. You also learned to live and interact. However, a lot of local politics actually occurred not at the ballot box but in the diner over coffee. Stopping in for breakfast there was not a trip to the suburban Denny's. It was a place where you knew just about everyone and everyone knew you. You gossipped, talked about your problems, even the news. (You didn't talk religion and politics may have been discussed, but in a circumspect way.) However, if there was an issue that needed dealing with, it started there and worked its way out into the larger community. The mayor was usually there for morning breakfast too. He ignored issues that many agreed on at his peril.
The analogy is crude and breaks down in many areas, but the self-organizing bit makes it many times more powerful. All of us still here are here because we were pissed off about SCO enough to see it to the end. (Or pissed off about Grokwar enough to be ready to stomp on anyone broaching that subject on one side or the other.) But we are all also parts of other online and meatspace communities.
In the political discussions here, we get our preconceptions challenged. Sometimes they change. More often they don't, but that challenge and response stays with us whether it reinforces or alters our opinion. We carry bits of that out to those other communities, bring bits back here. Most of the issues don't rise to the level of pissing enough of us off to hit that self-organizing response--but when that response comes, it can happen as fast as a supersaturated solution crystalizing.
<<If you care to directly correspond, I can be reached at:
gunner dot mac ampersand insightbb dot com
I would really like to hear from you.>>
A very minor quibble: this & is an ampersand. I don't know the fancy name for @ - most just call it an at sign, but there surely is something more official and imposing to call it.
>>A very minor quibble: this & is an ampersand.<<
Yet, according to this page, http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=at+sign&i=38085,00.asp the @ is also an ampersand.
However, the folks who put together this page, http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Internet/2002/HistoryofAtSign.asp would probably beg to differ as it appears they have identified several other possible "names" for the @.
I kind of like the description here http://www.thestandard.com/article/0,1902,24139,00.html where it says the @ is styled after a snail (in French, Italian, Korean and Esperanto), most apropos(sp?) as in "the anti-snail-mail set" which I suspect most of us here belong to.
This is what I've thought about to change the election process.
First, ban all political parties.
Second, make voting manditory and extend the voting period from a day to a week.
Third, no more personal campaigning, all the campaigning is paid for by the taxpayers, and all the campaigning is done thru the same channels at the same time. (And example of this would be the debates are PUBLICLY FUNDED and OPEN TO ALL CANIDATES.)
Fourth, start a nomination election that starts a year before the elections where the first five to ten canidates to get 1% of the voting population to vote for them get to run for President.
Fifth, Any law or presidential order the President makes has to be certified by Congress and the Supreme Court, then voted into place by popular vote.
Six, Supreme Court Justices are voted in by general elections as well. No more appointees. For that matter, the President can only select his cabinet, all other high level jobs such as the FBI and CIA directors are voted in by congressional elections.
maybe that is what it will take.strong minds but willingness to discuss even different opinions.
everyone wont agree but you have to be open to ideas before anything can ever even attempt to change.
i admit i am very strong minded.show me logically where i am wrong and i will listen.otherwise forget it.