agents of social change

day 47. open crafting of ideas

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

it's not really your traditional sense of "coworking" but once i mentioned the idea to omar, he passed it along to his boss and thought it would be a great idea... if you haven't heard about coworking, that's alright... most people haven't... it's a variable meme popularized by the independent and freelancer community... after attending a few of Amit and Luke's Jelly NYC sessions, i fell in love with the idea and with the help of beka from Not an Alternative, we crafted a little space...

the community actually defines "Coworking [as] a movement to create cafe-like community/collaboration spaces for developers, writers and independents."

-= back to cairo =-

breakfast with omar after breakfast at the cairo equivalent of denny's, omar and i set out in one of the cities illustrious cabs. winding thought the dusty petroleum clouds, i wondered what was next. when i walked though the doors of OpenCraft, i clearly knew i would no longer need to worry. after meeting abdel karim (aka Mardini), a majority of the business staff and a few members of the tech team - it seems that OC's tech team is just like the US, late risers ;) - i was quietly given their conference room and a cup of turkish café.

to be honest, i'm really blessed to be connected with this community. i guess i should tell you why...

well, my original contact has turned out to be quite unreliable and a bit of a flake... within that void, a part of the cairo technical/political/drupal community... we at least omar, amr, khalid, alaa and manal have done what they can to help me find a place to sleep, locations for food and wifi, beers to drink, a quite location to work... and soon subjects to interview... and for that i'm completely and absolutely appreciative.

not only are they working hard promoting and exploring the world of open source, but they too are in a similar fight to find and protect the few remaining elements of freedom. amid a world of injustice, without a doubt, i know i am in the company of brothers and sisters...

PS - as i write this, i am encoding Dries' interview and see there is a new addition to the family!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

day 21.1 hello amsterdam

back in 2002, my first "real" European city was amsterdam. for a weekend, i walked indulged in the sinful pleasures of the coffee shops and galked at the red light district.

five years later, i'm back to stay with tech maven andy smith, aka termmie, and nadya peek, profile the kids at RoomWare DevHuis and to see why so many designers, artists, and mavens are flocking to this city in droves.

day 21. thank you dries & Karlijn

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

last night, i had the wonderful opportunity to dine with Dries Buytaert, founder of the drupal project. after a brief introduction to antwerp, we headed to his house where i had the lovely opportunity to meet and chat with Karlijn, Dries' lovely wife and a very expecting mother.

as we talked about life and our history growing up in rural communities, we delved deep into the concept of a world that can never forget. more frightening, we discussed society as producers of content and waxed about no longer having the ability to protect our intellectual property and privacy.

divided by corporations and government, the world that surrounds us is no longer free. monitored by corporation through our consumption, capitalized by our social networks, analyzed though our credit cards and buying clubs, and tracked by CCTV cameras, the modern world is facing a fundamental battle for freedom.

while one my say that google's "do no evil" policy is great, but it also brings back the concept of benevolent dictators. with no opportunity to click "remove" and with less opportunities for successful alternatives, we blindly produce content for corporations to thrive. from flickr, myspace, and google (just to name a few)... none of these companies would exist without our explicit consent.

as users, we also live in a world that can never forget. from the way-back-machine to search engine algorithms, our online identity is forever locked in locations we can not access. traded as a commodity, our identity is no longer human.

what are our options? ultimate transparency or fascism?

regardless, we are looking at world without privacy, and at worse a world with fractured identities.

as we move forward, how do we tell corporations that we want them to respect us as equals?

day 13. on my way to london

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

despite the fact i left berlin 45 mins late i was still abel to catch a train that seemed to be on the right time table to brussles. exhausted from sleeping on a hard bench, i geefully boarded what appeared to be my first class train.

little did i know that the wonderfully plush seats, smell of fresh coffee and abundant power outlets would not be my train. in a vain attempt to save 15 euro, i gladly said i would take local trains from klone to brussels... i should have known better. i really should have known better.

after pay 60 euro for a meal i didn't want to regurgitate, an electrical outlet i couldn't part with and a train i couldn't disembark, i tag, flagged and prepared for the next few days in the United Kingdom.

on my last journey, i was heading home from a salzburg seminar and had just paid 250 euro for a stupid belt knife to be confiscated in munich. before that, august of 2002. the US had just invaded Afghanistan, and the world was ripe in solidarity. young and inexperienced, i traveled to from boston to the Isle of Wight for a "little" scooter rally, spent a new days in london and also visited amsterdam.

five years later things are significantly different. now there is no home. now there is no warm bed waiting for me on the other side of the pond. now my world blessed a few days jammed packed with interviews, workshops, meetups and naps.

i'm really looking forward to being back in london to kick out the jams with...
- Joey Baxter, fellow coworking enthusiast.
- Alex Deschamps-Sonsino, fellow Lift 06 attendant and one of the organizers of Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend.

- Riccardo Cambiassi London barcamper, techie and fellow Lift 07 attendant.
- Steve Purkiss, Lo7 contributor and techie who's going to take me to Ecademy meetup.

- see the launch of the Mongol Rally and profile team Mr. Dinosaur from williamsburg, nyc and fellow spyten dyuvel regulars.
- and in brighton, profile tactical tech and tech rider, dirk slater.

somewhere with in that mix, i need to edit some video and desperately need to wash three pairs of socks. while in berlin, i was going to purchase flip-flops, but with my extra special train ticket behind me... i think i'll pass... that's unless i find a shoe store that's willing sponsor my feet! ;)

the absurdity of freedom in new york city

Tagged:  •    •    •    •  

believe it or not, new york city is one of the safest places in the united states.
believe it or not, new york city is one of the most hypocritical places in the united states.
from tripods, transfats, to the freedom of speech, each has lost out to a safer, kinder, and greener new york.

don't believe me? check out this video from this past weekend's critical mass ride. in the video, you will find nyc's street preacher, rev. billy from the church of stop shopping, arrested for reciting the first amendment. why? well, the man who conjured up the ornate rules to freely assemble is in the background and apparently considers the constitution harassment.

Technorati Tags: , ,

why seven topics...

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

20070528.jpg This is a 21st century journey to the intersection of digital and organic communities. Communicating through a digital medium that has no borders, I want to share with you how this new world interacts.

Free culture. After a half-century of broadcast communications dictating the common perspective, people are now reconnecting—one-on-one, peer-to-peer, node-to-node—and proving that traditional copyright and patent restrictions need to be reformed to promote creativity.

Free and open-source software. Software should be a tool, like a shovel. With zero distribution cost, global, boundless open-source communities are competing in a world of co-opetition.

Couchsurfers and bloggers. People—from those who blog their souls to those who reserve their couch for strangers—are using technology to augment real-world relationships and bring modernism back to our post-modern world.

Barcamps, unconferences, meetups, and coworking. The online digi-world uses physical ad-hoc meetings to socialize, share, and advance ideas.

Agents of progressive social change. Inventors and concept peddlers—though not always leaders—change the way we think about the world through technology.

The environment. When we outsource jobs, we outsource pollution, waste, and other negative impacts of consumerism; we need to continue to use technology to educate the public on the true footprint of the products we use and lifestyles we choose.

Happenstance. Receiving a random e-mail, discovering a flickr profile, stumble-surfing across a facebook page, connecting in a café—the world grows smaller with every person we meet, and there is an art to discovering their stories.”

photo by charles hope

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

t minus 11 days - transcendence

Tagged:  •    •    •  

with 11 days to go, there are many things that i'm trying to figure out. thankfully, i am now sleeping knowing that these issues are logistical.

the last 24 hours completely burned me out. after spending the day talking to my self and drinking too much coffee, i met up with whurley. on the ride from the Roosevelt hotel to a web 2.0 social networking session / social media club at some "bridge and tunnel" bar, we delved deep into a quick recap of the iphone press. after walking through the doors of the social networking meetup, my friend's smiles indicated i was soon to be pimped.

on a an empty stomach, i repeated the same statement over and over and over.... seven...seven...seven...seven... despite that everyone loved the idea, every time i described the next seven months, my heart skipped a beat. from handshake to handshake, i was scared. impressively, i was not the only scared individual. once i laid out my plan, people freaked. i kinda wanted to say, "it's a ok, i freaked out too.."

instead, they would look at me with big doe eyes and ask how, why, route, etc... by the end of the night, i was ready to depart. i now can only imagine what it's like running for office and run from 0-60 all evening long.

day 2 at the apple storeafterward whurley, grace, charles and i chucked incessantly that our new iPhone homeboy, greg packer is that guy who stands in line for everything. from bill clinton to the pope, from new york times to associated press, greg is the that guy who strives to be the first. he was quoted frequently enough to be banned from the associated press.

after dinner, whurley and i jetted to meetup with the iPhone boys. upon arrival, we discovered a three more in line. david clayman, aka mr taproot, told us that a well respected newspaper reporter went out of his way to exclude mr first in line. i cringed at the prospect that a reporter has the gaul to say that the man who stands inline for everything is not part of the story. this reporter even went out of his way to exclude greg from photos.

it's really funny to think that before today, greg was an urban legend. from first in line to front page story, he's that guy who has stood the test of time. if i had the time, i would spend my last days documenting his life, friends, support network, and stories. i can't even begin to fathom the hours spent in line holding a sign saying, "i'm that guy!"

deep down inside, i feel for the guy. i wish i had the time to see how his story will last the test of time. i wonder about all the other gregs who have stood the test of time looking to be first? i wonder, how many gregs stand in line and are no worse for wear.

btw, this week, these are the last things that i have to complete.
* check out moshe's storage building next to the navy yard
* aquire containers that are lockable, waterproof, and airtight. when i last lived over by the navy yard, i was introduced to the world world's most traversed freeway. sealing is healing!
* find airline ticket
* pack room and clear out my bedroom
* despite my last post of packing too much, there are a few things that i need to clean out.
- i need to get a pack lock that allows me to wrap my bag and leave it in a coffee shop without fear of someone walking away.
- poncho
- emergency mirror
* transfer utility bills to my roommate
* list motorcycle on craigslist
* promote saturday's 07/07/07 departure brunch (which everyone is invited)
* make final appointment for shots

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

episode 6: renegade craft fair

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

Recorded: 17 June 2007
Locations: Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City
Music: David Byrne - My Fair Lady - http://creativecommons.org/wired
Tags: McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Handmade Nation Documentary, renegade craft fair, etsy, clothing of the american mind, progressive fashions, my car spotter, knit-head, pretty in punk, alyce benevides, souldier, show your soul, caitlin phillips, rebound designs, indie craft documentary, handmade nation

About:
some where between 90 degrees fahrenheit to 100 kelvin, i stepped out of my house and hopped down the street to see what wears the renegade craft fair had on display. with no money in my pocket, i scoured the vendors looking for the one desirable item i could not part. after about the third hour, i found it! nuzzled away in the far back, sat souldier. after a long discussion, i selected my materials and found a decorative strap for my camera. for the rest of the day, i bounced from booth to booth, in an attempt to fight off a dreary hangover and a the god of hades.

through the heat, i discovered that there is a documentary of the D.I.Y. craft community. while i originally intended this piece to wax poetic about how craft and free culture are intertwined... what i wanted to say has already been said. instead, i'm going to point you to Handmade Nation. (youtube clip, etsy page)

"the renegade craft fair is a unique diy event organized by sue blatt + kathleen habbley. when this event began in 2003, there was nothing else like it. we took up crafts as a hobby after college and decided to try selling our stuff in local fairs. to our surprise, no events were catering to the burgeoning diy craft community or even prohibited crafts all together. so we thought of organizing a fair of our own that tapped into this movement and provided a laid back, fresh venue for artists and shoppers alike." from the renegade craft fair website.

Episode 5 - May First / People Link

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •  

Recorded: 17 May 2007
Locations: Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York City
Tags: aMay First / People Link, Open Source, Activism, US Social Forum, Organizing, Brooklyn, Unconfrences
Music: "now get busy" - beastie boys - http://creativecommons.org/wired/

About: buried in the heart of sunset park, exists a worker run collective providing technology support to New York City nonprofits, ranging from designing web sites to fixing networks. growing from humble roots in 1995, this grassroots collective's primary work is to pool, improve and enhance the needs of the social justice community.

last month, i had the pleasure to visit with jamie and dan to discuss may first people link and some of the work they are coordinating for the the US Social Forum.

Dreamhost will you marry me?

Dear Dreamhost,

We've had a long relationship since December 2004. I love your ethical hosting! I love your humor, countless blog posts and newsletters that make milk shoot out of my nose. I love how you match donations raised through your site. I love the countless hours laying in the park and reading your wiki. Most enjoyably, I love our quality time walking up and down the endless site's of the month. I love our one-way relationship so much, I want to take it to the next level. I want Dreamhost to accompany me on my seven month journey around the world. Together, I want to explore open-source communities, open-source technology, social entrepreneurs and global change.

I'm sure you get countless offers overwhelming your inbox with nigerian get rich quick scams. i mean "offers." I bet because of your generosity you are also slammed with non-profits asking you to rig the site of the month campaign. Without a doubt, I'm sure your good-looks and fine grammar has been met with countless marriage proposals. Well, in short, I'm not here to do the same. I am a simple man with a straight forward project who is looking to get hitched to the one hosting provider he dearly loves. Within this relationship, I'm just looking for one simple thing - Stability...

I know this can be a beautiful relationship. I know that our love is rooted in the same soil. I know that our partnership will produce a many of offspring who will grow into the heavens and make many dreams come true. I know that together we can host an infinite number of thoughts and change this place for the better.

So, now I bow on one knee and ask, "Dreamhost will you partner me?"

PS - You can respond via email or preferably via a comment at http://luckofseven.com/dreamhost_will_you_marry_me


Technorati Tags: ,

thoughts on glowlab's session

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •  

i have enormous amount of gratitude to all who helped assemble last night's lab.session. christina ray and the whole glowlab crew unveiled a wonderful spread in an intimate setting. surround by the avant-garde, i couldn't have asked for a more magficicant room. after spending two days running through every conceivable slide, comment and potential conversation piece, last night's q & a session took me down an unusual path. in someways, it emboldened some thoughts, destroyed others, and created a more welcoming mental space. thank you pernod and michael~david vineyards for the social lubrication.

thank you all who attended, as my first public presentation i was scared shitless. between the droplets of rain, i feared the worse. in solace, my friend, lucia rollow, told me every would be fine. little did she know that this marauding conversation would lead into the wee hours of the morning. fueled by rich beverages, delightful caramel cheese and my nervous energy, i could haven't have asked for a more comfortable space to discuss the shackles of this project.

if i start to think about the path and the intersections of people, places and things, there is no better place than to think of than the internet. as an intersection of all the minor things to the mainstay of the global economy, we have transcended a point in time where exposure is a business. as i pondered about the best question last evening, i once again balanced the age old question "what is the balance of living your life online?" like any relationship, you voluetnarly provide information to others. in a relationship, devoid of one particular person, we find our self in a global outpour of thoughts and emotional reason.

we now find that this global outpour is commerce. a very successful commerce. these outputs of human emotion now sustain a multi-billion dollar industry. as every year progresses and new tools allow for easy convergence between thought and dissemination.

as i spoke at liberty, i began to wonder how did we enter into a time warp. my bedroom presentation, only took 20 mins... yet, when i stood in front of 20 friends and strangers, i stumbled onto a path. a path that marauded into a never ending combination of statements. oh how, twisted it seemed to cross the point of no return and take something so simple and make it completely convoluted. in hindsight, those in attendance could not have offered more welcoming thoughts and questions. i am truly in debited to those of you who attended and saw past the sweat and awkward phrasing.

for who where not fortunate enough to sit through the three hour long event, you missed me maturing 30 slides into a 40 min presentation. blinded by the projector, first i outlined seven explorers (don quixote, snoopy, le petite prince, christopher columbus, neil armstrong, my grandparents, my parents). then, i moved into a point by point walk through of the project. cursing my tongue-tied presentation, i concluded with hour and a half long question and answer session.

as this morning's hours floated by, i continued to ponder the confinement of exploratory topics. as i desire to be free and explore those things around the world that are free, yes, i can see how some may consider these topics as confinement. at the same time, i see them as a palette to paint. i take this journey from a first person perspective confined to the limitation that is my own mind.

but i do not see them as limitations. i see a canvass. while i am using a similar technique employed by many, i am subverting myspace as my central point of conversation. i refuse to use fully embrace the tools that are contrived and well worn by other explorers. i fundamentally feel that this project should show alternatives to the mainstay of myspace generation.

once from the couchsurfing "marketing" community and then again last night, people feel that this is "tightly marketed." i'm not sure to take it as a complement or as a dig. i personally feel that if it was successfully marketed, i would have all $7,777 and a line of sponsors out the door. though in the same vain as four eyed monsters who have been highly marketable, they too are in debt. (btw, if you sign up for an spout account, you can help mitigate their debt.)

in today's age with the notion that a single journalist has to be a camera operator, writer and editor, no longer do we have a single focal point for the journey. there are many viewpoints to perch. each one has it's own story. each one is it's own compendium of art forever referencing each other.

i agree with christina's that this is a "highly networked" project. i have thought over the evolution from an art project to a social media project to a digital anthropology exploration. the transition arose slowly, first from a social entrepreneur conference at harvard. then it took a new spur after podcamp. the idea of taking art, social art, holistic digital art, etc.. and melding it into a loose business plan isn't too farfetched. i wish there was more time focus directly on the work, but a fear of production, but more importantly, post-production looms over my head every morning, noon and night.

from that perspective, using modern marketing antics to change the world isn't a bad thing. hell, i think that more people should be thinking twice about the bill of goods that are blindly sold. we have a unique opportunity to change the world. if we don't find away to "sell" others a viable alternative we are doomed.

...and speaking of doomed perspectives, there were many questions that arose from the concept of failure. "what if this happens? what if that?? what if you go over budget? what if your bag is stolen? what if you don't make your brother's graduation? what if you take 8 months??"

well, i could quote bob dylan's visions of johanna - "Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial" but one thing is clear. what ever happens on the road, is part of the story. i think that is the true beauty of the story... being able to travel to the intersection of order and chaos is a magnificent thing. stepping into the unknown can never be learned from an FAQ. one must accept agility as your best friend.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

four eyed monsters

Tagged:  •    •  

last year, i was introduced to the lovely young couple that is four eyed monsters. though the thick and thin, they triumphed in melding grassroots organizing, internet fandom and movie production. in my honest opinion, it is the best mix of online/offline organizing i've ever seen. wrapping their hearts in the the D.I.Y. aesthetic, Erin and Susan have triumphed in getting their art into movie houses around the globe.

through the lens of their movie, now you have an opportunity to see the story of their romance. for one week only, you can experience one of the great revolutions of movie production. (click here for YouTube.)


one month to go...

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •  

"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with." - Robert Frost

the past three weeks have given me so much, i can only offer profuse thank you's of generosity. not only did luck of seven break the $3000 mark, but we have an official press release too boot!

as you might have noticed, today marks one month until departure. in my head, there are many thoughts... too many bubbling thoughts to place in writing. somewhere between Zanzibar and wanting to scream at my inner child, i will not lie, i am very conflicted. gratefully, my father's words reverberate in my head as they were first muttered 20 years ago. "you come from a family of explorers."

the time i spent with my family to make episode 4 affirmed my unquestionable believe that we really are explorers. my parents, like my grandparents, married at a young age. since that day, they have seen the best and worst this world has to offer. from birth, love and beauty to segregation, genocide and terminal illness... my parents have always fought for a better world.

episode 4 is just a small smidgen of the hour long interview i conducted with them. in due time, their words will pop up again and again... until then, let me introduce you to my other partners...

for now there are three, and incase you're wondering, a partner not just some schmo who comes off the street offering wine, women and song. these partners, have been vetted to have similar beliefs. also, they see the merits of sending me around the world without asking for too much in return.

Transitions Online (TOL) - http://www.tol.cz - founded in 1999, this Czech non-profit was founded to replace it's print predecessor, transitions magazine. TOL works within the vast post-communist region of eastern europe to help young, up-and-comming journalist to take advantage of electronic communications for journalism.

after a chance meeting at the salzburg seminar, TOL's Evgeny Morozov sought me out to help present a week long course on new media essentials. since the course was scheduled to coincide with the start of my trip and they offered to cover a portion of my transportation costs, i couldn't refute an offer to help fellow citizen journalists learn about new media.

Mobile Active - http://mobileactive.org - is a global network of people, tools, projects, and resources focused on the use of mobile phones for activism, campaigns, and civic engagement. Mobile Active focuses in on four principles - 1. expand access to knowledge, ideas and experience about the use of mobile technology, 2. reduce learning costs for civil society organizations, 3. accelerate the use of effective tactics in campaigns, and 4. provide a comprehensive platform for building partnerships, and for facilitating access to technology and funding.

as a former campaign coordinator, technologist and volunteer, i know all to well the intimate complications of skill sharing within organizations that have little to no budget and infrastructure. when katrin, also the executive director of nten, contacted me about forming a partnership, i couldn't think of a better complement. while on the road, i'll be reaching out to organizations who are using mobile technology and profiling their use in the field. conversely, Mobile Active will provide logistical and mobile technology support.

Michael David Vineyards - http://www.lodivineyards.com/ - home to the award winning seven deadly zins and seven heavenly chards, and producers of "seven brands of distinctive wines for each of your varied whimsical desires." Michael and David Phillips are fifth generation of growers in Lodi, California. though not certified organic, Michael~David Vineyards strives to use all natural methods including integrated pest management, beneficial insects for pest control, trellising, leaf pulling and natural mined sulfur for mildew control.

in their initial donation/email, they wanted to send me a few bottles of seven deadly zins and seven heavenly chards. then i informed them, that i'll be hosting a few salons, and they snapped at the offer to send a few more! as i make my way back to north america, i've added lodi to the list of places to visit. let's just hope that Creedence Clearwater Revival did not write a premonition.

also, i hope you are in new york city on the day of departure, 7 july 2007. my friends and i are having a mid-day roof-top brooklyn bbq! so save the date and see you real soon!

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
Buddha

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

a rain of thoughts and ideas...

Tagged:  •    •  

yesterday it was pouring rain. though this rain was not your ordinary rain - filled with cats and dogs, the rain contained an unusual assortment of information...

at my usual watering hole, an unusual individual passed along a droplet of information that has soaked my soul. it's almost like a dream come true. imagine hitching a ride from london to mongolia in a car whose engine contain half the power of my camelpak... so what's a liter of power in english measurements? think of a fiat, citron or an old mini... in other words, a compact. a EUROPEAN compact. some call them micro cars. others, daily transportation. for a small group, at max 180 people, it will be home and a haven for an international rally that spans from the uk to mongolia. insanity right!?! hells yeah.

organized by the league of adventurists international LTD, 60 cars will leave on july 21st from london. these rebells from around the globe have three weeks to make their way across five "routes" and then end up in mongolia. nothing gets my heart beating like a good car race. nothing gets my heart beating faster than a bunch of lunatics attempting feats of nobility and self determination. nothing will make my heart beat faster than one of the teams contacting me asking for a third driver!

which then got me thinking about a "me" vs "we" factor. right now, public response indicates people think this trip is a cool "vacation" vs "adventure." without having an explicit charitable organization or partnership, it's been hard to convince my reluctant compatriots that this is not a "vacation." heck i had one friend outright question my manifesto's authenticity. not that i have one... nonetheless, i am searching for the right opportunity, partnership, marriage, etc... non-profits, media agents, and others... nothing is too crazy, as long as you don't compromise my integrity and my content.

then somehow the question of integrity carried me down a stream of consciousness back to february... in a mildly cold geneva surrounded by snow barren alps, i questioned what is digital integrity? but it's more than integrity, my real question lies in the existence of what is a digital soul. back at LIFT, sister Judith Zoebelein, holy see, spoke about the internet as a conduit for modern theistical practice. i think that our online existence is an extension of our physical existence. in this place we can explore freudian thoughts, interact and fill the void that a modern organic existence creates, and really understand that our identity wether organic or synthetic is an embodiment of our organic nature. (whew..)

personally, i've always tried to keep my self on the same plain of existence - synthetic or organic... i am the sum of all my parts, but because of my mental space has been growing further than my ability to type and express my thoughts, i'm finding my self in a fractured digital existence.

inherently our online existence is divergent though the plains of participation - flickr, myspace, del.icio.us, twitter, last.fm, etc... they force us to segment our flow. this segmentation provides us the ability to manifest many different personalities. historically, i've attempted to keep a unified existence. online or offline, my worlds collide through a curated view of self. while i am the one who builds the profile, my friends, number of friends and my quality of self is there for perceived through these mediums.

with an infinite number of mediums, these inadvertently give us digital fragmentation. painfully, i now find my self in an altered existence with friends that are unrecognizable, relationships of no value and an overwhelming amount of data. sure, some may boil it down and say that it's a form of internet ADD. when it comes to my own understanding of things... i feel a bit scattered, and concerned with having a life that is inflated.

i'm sure you've all heard the statement, "he looks good on paper..." well for years i've frequented bars and had a persona for my bar existence, then i had my office life, another for scooter subculture, another for political events, etc... and what i find painful is that this is the type of existence i've had since high school... and while i always felt light and nimble, it also felt somewhat superficial. my friends where never given the proper justice, time or love. as for love, let's just say that though it all, i've had my ups and downs... in the end, i can look at a diversity of existence and experience. in the end, i am happy but now on an never ending quest for more.

ironically, the online model i follow is no more different than my physical existence. changing one social networking bio, leaves others disconnected from the current "reality" and presents an alternate universe. in the end, preferences left on one site will attract a different group of followers than what is featured on other sites.

it really does freak me out that i'm bothered by these disparaging profiles of existence. i know they are who i am, or whom i once was, but are they really who i am now? there are many ways to look at these online identities... some see them as time capsules. others, facets of expression, and yes, i know that i'm lumping in many thoughts here... but when i think of my online existence and maybe this is more of a traditional perspective, i want to see an honest reflection of how i view my life, but in reality images are built on how others see your actions...

imagine a figure skater who is just starting to spin. as the figure skater obtains balance, their arms are extended out. as the speed increase, arms withdraw and body mass is concentrated... speed increase and beauty is displayed.... not that i'm a fan of figure skating, but currently that's my perception of digital participation.

fundamentally i am conflicted. instead of being spread across a multitude of plaines, should i scale back? should i seriously consider revoking social networking profiles, firing all friends, and placing a tombstone as an image?

some people call this digital suicide... especially in light of this journey, but there is another argument that resonates... if we give away our own "labor" what protection do we have? on friday, trebor schultz made this his central argument... he waxed on that "we are labors in the digital factories of participatory culture."

this armchair philosopher is not intending this treatise to be a political argument. that conversation will come later, but as i wade though this river of thoughts i find THE real argument... i am asking for your fellowship. i am asking unknown people from around the globe to be my eyes, my ears, my hands, my beds and my wallets. i'm asking you to join me, rebuke the thoughts and notions of mental tyranny. let's go fishing beyond the borders of existence and see the connectivity of all things.


Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

the big news...

Syndicate content

subscribe to luck of seven google group
email:
visit the archives

on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

Social Networks

Online Support Network

Supporter of...

LIFT08

Reboot10


Subscribe to feed via RSS reader or iTunes, TV Tonic, Democracy Player.