i bow down to victor for this lovely photo, his maté and hard work at coordinating this week's meetup! while we are drupalistas, we also want to invite all geeks for wine, beer, meat, etc... if you're in buenos aires at 18h00 (6pm) on the 13 Dec, i'd love to meet ya at "The Meeting Place" (corner Lavalle and Montevideo in Buenos Aires).
(click on your fav gender for more pictures from vangroovy.)
like a jewel in a crown, vancouver sits atop north america's granola coast. this glisting gem hold the sparkle of many a geeks eye - a political party that incorporates FLOSS into it's charter, an organic network of evangelists building an 802.11b mesh network to blanket the city, a drupal/barcamp revolutionary, a computer recycling organization which harvests discarded computers for environmentally friendly recycling and helps homeless people connect to the internet... as if that wasn't enough, vangroovy is home to the worlds most popular citizen journalism news site - nowpublic.com
my friends, that's just the beginning... i wasn't able to meetup with workspace (one of the original coworking locations) nor the countless other drupal nor linux geeks who inhabit canada's most temperate climate. oh and did i forget to mention that vancouver had a very "healthy" merry-jane community? not that i'm into it, but the vangroovyites seem to be proud. combine the fact that the restaurants are delicious, the night life / arts community thriving, there's abundant coffee strong and a growing culture of brew pubs... vangroovy got's a groovy thing going on...
it's not like all of this fell into place. each one of the individuals whom i met spent years working with others to building their ideal city. the city isn't perfect. there's quite a bit of homelessness, drug abuse, displacement of affordable housing and gentrification.
through each of my interviews, everyone paraphrased the same statement "we're here, we're not moving away and we want to make a difference."
my time in van-groovy is totally groovy. the past 24 hours has shown me the wonders of a cohesive geek scene built on the same philosophy. it's amazing to see the hive buzz...
speaking of buzz, i'd hope that you'd take some time to come visit me at the following events in van-groovy and columbus.
bbq at bryght / raincity studios
thursday, 8 nov @ noon-thirty-ish
1 Alexander Street Suite 400, in Gastown close to Waterfront station
columbus blogger / social media club meeting
thursday, 15 nov @ 6.30 pm to 9ish (facebook info)
333 west broad st, c-bus, ohio
for the past three months, i've been super diligent in making up an itinerary and following it. today, i screwed up. for some-reason, i didn't look at my flight details until it was too late. stuck in darwin two more days than i really want, i have many thoughts mulling an escape. conversely, i'm given much needed time to reflect. with my back up against the ocean, i have laid out a tight time table for my journey to adelaide, melbourne and sydney.
friday morning at 3 am i depart darwin; i arrive in adelaide at 6.30 am. upon touchdown, i am to trek to the central market, meet my friend jo, make fun of her, wish her a happy birthday and then get further instructions.
jo is also the second person who's meeting will span two continents (matan you were my first). jo and i first met in prague while she participated in TOL's New Media course. with the utmost joy, i get to spend the weekend celebrating her birthday and picking up where we left off... starring into the bottom of a glass.
with much sadness i am having to cancel my dinner plans with benbalbo.com and his coworkers. on monday, 15 October at 6.40 pm, i will arrive in melbourne via the Indian Pacific train. my hopes are to spend two nights catching face time with drupal enthusiasts, reconnecting with ben balbo and his peeps, ride trams snapping pictures of the notable street art and attempting to get a bite on the colonial tramcar restaurant.
on wednesday night (17 oct) at 20h i will depart via bus and spend the night driving to sydney.
with aspirations of a glorious sunset on camera, i will arrive at 8.30 in the morning. with 36 hours to gallivant through the sights, i am looking forward to getting the inescapable photo of the opera house. before i depart on the 20th, i am hoping to meet as many geeks as possible, have dinner with a bunch of bloggers, play a little AD/CD kerroke and visit the national maritime museum or the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
after yesterday's adventure in the wastelands of future hubbub, i arrived in mumbai. under the cover of darkness, i quietly roamed the halls of the international terminal.
greeted by a plainclothes custom's agent and without any questions, my passport was stamped and i walked into india. within 10 mins my bags were on a stroller and i was strolling into the humid night.
while my original plans were to spend the night in the terminal, things changed very quickly. on the day of my departure from cairo, former CiviCRM stunt man and current Drupaller, Yashesh Bhatia emailed me emphatically saying i should visit mumbai. upon telling him that i was just passing through, he told me that he would be at the airport dropping off his father and that he would be waiting for me.
in the hot sticky air, my bags and i stumbled out into the public waiting area squinting for a glimpse of a face i have only seen via email. tired, alone and without a working SIM, i quickly worked my way to get change and make a phone call.
after a bit of belligerence from a guy selling water, a young man wearing a hotel uniform pulled out his cell phone and offered to call yashesh. within a matter of minutes, chaos turned into peace. all of sudden, yashesh's friend/coworker (who's name escapes me at this moment) turned out of the crowed and ushered me to meet yashesh, his wife and three year old son.
driving though the crowed streets of mumbai, we talked about our geek history, the last 24 hours of travel, my time with the guys and gals of opencraft and my sadness leaving them. upon arrival at the Bhatia's family home, i was greeted by handshakes, a seat, a plate and a home cooked meal from heaven.
at 4.45 in the morning, yashesh and i drove to the airport. after a mad dash through the airport, i found myself watching the sunrise above the clouds.
1. i'm a horible speller.
2. i'm using a KDE laptop with konqueror and have to balance a mouse in one hand and a the laptop in the other. currently, i'm banging on these keys with my nose until i can find a suitable pencil to use with my mouth.
it seems that my interview with dries has made it to the front page of drupal.org - digg it. my views are starting to rise. wooot! i couldn't be happier in thinking that all of these stomach cramps are finally adding up to a hill of fava beans!
also, while i'm here in wonderful coastal town of alexandria, i have no laptop, but i do have TWITTER and JAKIU!! so don't think that i'm leaving you alone. i'm still here kicking, screaming and getting freaked out by scary hotels!
ps - many thanks to khalid and his family for showing me around town, feeding me and driving me around.
photo by templar1307
Recoded: 26 July 2007
Locations: Antwerp, Belgium
Tags: drupal, open source, linus torvalds, angela byron, history of drupal, kernel trap, inspiration, empowerment
Music: ana (captain planet remix), vieux farka touré and captainplanet
About: after much wrangling and rescheduling, dries and i finally caught up to talk about the history of drupal, his inspiration, and most importantly the empowerment of community.
on a side note, thank you OpenCraft for giving me a home to edit this video!
also, i'd like to thank dries and karlijn on their new boy and omar for his hospitality in cairo.
with a dirty collar, slight taint of unshoweredness, and a backlog of stories to tell, photos to upload and episodes to publish, i've arrived at opencraft with omar. regardless of the outstanding bills of the day, today will be MAGICAL. here in cairo we will talk about drupal tuning, LAMP stack, linux, apache, MySQL, PHP, and most importantly the Drupal API.
after a long slog emailing and coordinating this weeks activities. i got three wonderful phone calls.
the first came Alaa Abd El Fattah who promised to take me out drinking and throughly get me into trouble.
the second came from kareem el buckley who's promised to take me around cairo and show me the more sinful sites.
the third came from Omar Abdel Wahab, who works for OpenCraft a drupal development shop.
awesomely, omar and his friends/coworkers will host me for the rest of my time in cairo. too boot, Omar contacted his boss - Mardini, who in turn has opened up his office for me to produce episode 13. which is ironic because EP13 will be my interview with Dries, the founder of the drupal project.
actually i'd like to note, Khalid Baheyeldin made the call to Omar... which is perfect because they will be hosting a Drupal related workshop on saturday... AHHH.... can you feel the Drupal love?
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?
on monday, after i uploaded the iPhoneDevCamp video, my shared at dreamhost went craptastic. in complete frustration, i started sending out feelers looking for a hosting provider that loves Drupal. after emailing eric gunderson from development seed, he passed along the name of one Thomas Brenneke from networkredux.
if you have downloaded adium, imagemagick, or a fading red, you have used networkredux and did not know it! as supporters of an open source community, thomas jumped at the opportunity and has donated some rack space. over the next few days, we're going to flip the switch and move to networkredux.
THANK YOU THOMAS and NETWORKREDUX
in many of my other projects, i've always had the luxury of having a peer. now that this internal exploration is around the corner, frustration is the most common recurring emotion. frankly, i'd love to tell you about them...
first, gear preparation. over and over i count the items i have and know that i'm scheduling to take to much. the thoughts of production have enveloped my workflow to make a nervous wreck. without a doubt, the lull moments of preparation are killing me. to be honest, i've never been more scared in my entire life.
confounding these prospects are the responses from couchsurfing.com and the groups.drupal.org admins. both think that this project is not within their scope of promotion nor purview. which of course, only exacerbates thoughts of inadequacies of articulation. constantly, i ponder "what the fuck am i trying to say..." or "if i'm just blabbering on about some meaningless intersection of futility..."
then, when i attempt to say all of this on video, i can't. i get stuck mumbling.
too boot, it is well proven that my social network is meetspace not virtual. despise the fact that this has been a word of mouth campaign and that i think i have been successful at raising funds. i honestly anticipated being closer to $7,777. which also brings about further doubts of articulation.
ahh, then there is the fact that i can't seem to find my tickets for iberia airlines, nor even recall them being sent. this is despite the fact that customer service assures me they were sent but can not seem to locate a tracking number.
...and when all of this frustration has boiled to a point where i'm about to scream, i don't...
the converse of these situations lie within the company of good friends. it's true, you don't know how much something is worth until you loose it. ironically, the pain that first birthed this project is now rekindled. within each moment that passes, my desire to be sedate and amongst loyal, loving friends grows stronger. without a doubt, when i leave on the 7th, i will leave the best group of friends i've had the pleasure knowing.
then there are thoughts of an old love. to be honest, she is the real reason why this trip was conceived. with the heartbreak that enveloped my soul, i leaped into space looking to explore those things i did not know. now after many years, thoughts of her and this trip are tied into one.
i know that i can not escape this love, nor do i know how to bring it back. while my mind escapes in dreams of fancy, my reality around me boils into a gas. everyday is now a struggle. i no longer have the luxury of time.
within a few more days, hours, mins, my life will no longer be the same. now i must nestle myself into the lyrics of kris kristofferson "Freedoms just another word for nothin left to lose." if this trip is about exploring freedom, i must boil my thoughts and set them free.
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.
i'm packing my bags and heading to SXSW interactive. if you haven't heard of SXSW, it's kinda a Mecca for technologist, programmers, and anyone who's into socializing with notables who like to party. i'm going to promote a few things i've learned, learn a few more things that i don't know, talk incessantly about of on the luck of seven project, hang out with some friends, catch up with old friends at Barcamp Austin, and figure out a thing or two about life.
last year, i learned quite a few things... most of them too personal to tell here (it might make it in my book), but this year... i feel things are different. i'm not sure why, other than i'm 100% more adventuresome and well... i've got a nifty little vlog project! also, if you haven't noticed, for the month of march, i'm vloging every 7 days. on 14 march, my next video will be sent from austria.
YUP! on monday, i'm departing austin and spending a day in the air to attend a salzburg seminar - The New Information Networks: Challenges and Opportunities for Business, Governments, and Media. once on the ground, i'll be moderating a roundtable entitled: Participation, Community, Governance and be on the roundtable Communication, Networks, and Political Impacts. i'm really stoked to be in the same arena as yochai benkler, viktor mayer-schonberger, kenneth cukier, and jo twist.
in the meantime, i'm changing my fundraising tune and for the next three weeks will attempt to rase $2222.00. i'm not sure how i'm going to accomplish this step, but one thing is for sure... if i don't push to rase $2222.00, i'm not going to make my fundraising goals. if you can't donate money, give me a suggestion on were to go or what to see and whom to visit or interview.