quotes

day 200. 100 lessons.

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good morning!

respect everyone.
honest dealings with yourself and others. (it's harder than you think)
tipping / gifts are valued in every situation.
wait a min, others are slow to react.
take one step beyond.
beauty is everywhere.
drink lots of water.
sing.
ask questions.
make funny faces at kids.
forget hand shakes, hug.
you only need two pairs of underwear.
repeat bad jokes.
learn bad words in other languages.
nap when you can.
always cary earplugs.
in every language, learn to say thank you.
always cary pen and paper.
embrace flip flops (aka thongs or slippers).
always have a camera.
pack lightly. no, lighter.
get your vitamins
pick your friend's nose or learn to trust your friend's nose.
watch one sunrise & sunset a month.
there is an awesome pair of pink safety glasses in Vancouver.
dance.
sell your friends, but never for money. don't worry, they come back.
call your parents.
trolly tracks + bicycle + amsterdam = danger will robinson!
enjoy sleep deprivation.
find a rainbow and follow it. if you don't see a rainbow, make one up.
“show your soul” - from souldier
“be still peace will come to you” - old guy in boston
make your own stuff.
fake it, until you make it.
eat and drink local.
when in doubt, try it.
stand upwind.
deodorant is cheep and readily accessible.
embrace the weather.
afternoon tea is good for you.
most cabbies will stiff you.
art unlocks more doors than butter knifes.
a smile is priceless.
“smart” people are ignorant, and “nice” people can be rude.
wealth is a mental condition.
turkish ice cream doesn't melt; pheonm phen features happy pizza, and Vancouver is known for their pot. (three things i did not try.)
you'll eat with your hands more than you think. wash your hands and face frequently. don't forget to keep your fingernails clean.
forgo the bus, there is a train that connects melbourne to sydney.
a good book gives you room to write. a better book will write on you.
give people a reason to give.
remember to look in the mirror.
embrace hair or lack of hair.
note your experiments and seek multiple results.
never trust an egyptian customs agent.
befriend the rastafarian at the end of the world.
balls and honor.
look at your footsteps, but don't measure them.
be the first to volunteer.
homeless people want youtube.
digg a fox hole.
join a kickball league.
make dinner and invite random people.
get naked.
rethink literacy.
learn new games and teach them to others.
auto white balance is always wrong.
a meal will unlock more hearts than a rainbow.
there are more similarities than differences.
bring toilet paper.
learn to take cold showers.
befriend a quebecer named alex.
don't eat at an american fast food chain in cairo.
religion, practice don't preach.
open your home to strangers.
the holy trinity - happenstance, providence and shit.
outsource your news to people who don't get paid to write it.
politics, policy and pornography will take you nowhere.
religion and commerce are interchangeable
everyone needs something to build.
read, write, build. - jullian bleaker
ride a rocket-ship and tour the stars.
don't take yourself so seriously.
behind the next rock is a new friend.
love is a blind, blubbering hobo who will pass you countless times uttering not a word until one day he knocks you on your ass and gives you a key.
have a back up plan, but don't write it down.
in Argentina they love salt.
never pass up a free meal.
know hope.
chastity is a virtue.
art is laborious.
embrace manual mode.
the journey starts and ends with sunrises in airports.
when it comes to religion, everyone is right and wrong.
while ignorance was found everywhere, more was found amongst my fellow north americans than anywhere else.
pop music around the world sucks.
bart simpson rules the world.
wolfs are everywhere and so are sheep.
reality is a perception lost to the eyes.
the dude abides.

day 188. my last day at the end of the world.

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the understanding

"The whole world around us lay spread out like a giant relief map," he told one interviewer. "I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men." the last line in sir hillary's obituary by robert d. mcfadden in the IHT.

without a doubt, i too feel the same accomplishment. today, i venture back up to the glacier.

day 179. a happy new year.

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the run around

if you click on the roundabout, you'll find a boatload of photos from new years...

A day once dawned
And it was beautiful
A day once dawned from the ground
Then the night she fell
And the air was beautiful
The night she fell all around

So look see the days
The endless coloured ways
And go play the game that you learnt
From the morning

And now we rise
And we are everywhere
And now we rise from the ground
And see she flies
And she is everywhere
See she flies all around

So look see the sights
The endless summer nights
And go play the game that you learnt

From the morning by nick drake

day 163. heading to antarica on a raft of trust

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in the days of my youth i was told what it means to be a man...

five and a half months on six continents through 19 countries - spain, ch republic, germany, belgium, UK, france, netherlands, turkey, jordan, israel, egypt, united arab emerats, india, thailand, cambodia, australia, united states, canada, and argentina...

now i've reached that age and i try to do all those things the best i can...

today, i find myself on the eve of the seventh, the last and final continent - antarctica. like most of this trip, i have no set plan of transportation. tomorrow, i will wake up just like every other day and think of a solution.

no matter how i try i find my way into the same old jam...

buried within all of us exist the ability to transcend the normality of life and do something great. to others it might seem grand, and to others extravagant, frivolous and absurd. in the end, it is up to us to make the great decision on how to proceed.

using faith and trust, tomorrow, when i wake up, i will find a solution to my most perplexing problem - how to hitchhike to antarctica.

as i sit and wait for my plane to depart buenos aries, i can't help but rekindle a situation this past week. it amplifies everything i've thought on this trip. apparently to tara hunt i am not trust worthy enough to be an admin on the coworking.info website. yeah, i know this is petty, but bare with me. i do make a good point. apparently, my ownership of the domain and admin status on the wiki doesn't amount to a hill of beans. apparently, the linking of this project on the blogroll on blog.coworking.info was unscrupulous. comically, in our conversation she sights a "community rule" where only "space owners" & "members of the trust network" can have admin access. no were on the wiki nor google group do i find any mention of such conversation... i've asked her for justification and get a different answer each time. i guess i'll just have to trust her that i'm not trust worthy.

for the past five and half months, there has only been one other incident that someone outright questioned my trust. in that situation, the howly roommate of my first hawaian host was suffering on the verge of a complete mental breakdown with issues way beyond her control and need of someone to embody the evil of her white america.

good times, bad times... you know i've had my share...

regardless of tara's or this other woman's mental health, i've placed my own mental health and faith in humanity and surfed unforseen waves of trust. i've placed my lives into countless hands and countless people have trusted me in their homes.

it will forever surprise me that about a thousand people have placed their trust in me and this exploration. i would not be here today if it wasn't for the all the contributors, hosts and guides. thank you!

if you've enjoyed the journey so far, the next three weeks will be a journey unlike any other. sitting at the bottom of the world, i will place my life into the hands of those whom i don't know. fearful i am; in humanity i trust.

lyrics in italics are from led zeppelin's good times bad times...

day 126. scott, boris, free geek vancouver/pedal revolutionary show & michael tippet

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the pedal power!

(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."

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day 83. the hidden treasure in your heart.

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my favorite quote "THERE comes a time in every boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." - the adventures of tom sawyer

when i first started this trip, i wanted to SEE my global peers in their environment. now that i'm on the other-side of the world, i have discovered a free world that goes further than lawrence lessig's free culture. in my reality, our world is only limited by our heart. if our heart has no borders then our world is free. to me free culture is to give of yourself freely and expect nothing in return.

sadly, we can't all live for free. warmth, bread and shelter do not fall into our laps at the push of a keyboard. yet when people ask for money, i don't think about it. i don't think about donating. i don't think about the reasons of donating. i just don't think about the impact i can create in others lives. then i placed myself as a beggar. i truely have no more money than you give. our journey, this trip and my life is at your mercy.

when i started this trip i knew the plight of a few new media makers. i knew that theburg.tv was debt ridden, but i didn't care to think about my other fav podcast. then, i discovered that the best damn new media makers kick out the jams with next to no money! just like the NGOs i consult, we attempt to live on a fine line of stubbornness and humility.

throughout humanity's history, you can find people who give freely to create their dreams. those most passionate, attempt to live outside of the mortal constraints of life. following our heart's desires we see problems, tackle them and then try to live.

it's tough trying to find a balance between the glitter and the grit. brian, my friend whom i never met, is in a bit of a bind. his series of programs are so advanced normal media doesn't know how to contextualize them. if you scoff at the notion of citizen journalism, you don't need to go further than alive in baghdad or alive in mexico to understand how digital technology is changing the face of the globe. sadly, both programs are running out of money.

as i have traveled, i only know of a few organizations who are understand the power of video... the power of the moving image... the power of people and their stories...

these programs are not sexy nor glamorous. the programs are smart.
your donation is not sexy nor glamorous. your donation is smart.

we need to hear the world's stories, and the future lies within your fingertips. can you give $5 or $10 to alive in baghdad?

also, you can join friends of alive in baghdad where you can make your own advertisement of support.

sidenote, micki krimmel (luck of seven contributor) wrote a nice piece on the changing face of online media.

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what keeps mankind alive

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moon in bloom

with a bit of tung and cheek, joe strummer sung the following immortal words...

"Number 1, You have the right not to be killed...
... Number 2, You have the right to food money...
... Number 3, You have the right to free speech as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.
"

as last night's waning hours worked their fury into a insatiable quest for entertainment, i found my self immersed in "seize the time" and thinking about my conversations with mardini, alaa, amr and nora.

back in nyc, i would have read their stories on global voices and thought of their story to be a novel use of social technology. after visiting them, hearing them, watching them with friends and conversing with a room full of geeks, i no longer viewed them as just a story. i no longer saw novelty, but the reality we are locked in a long struggle.

this struggle is not just about technology, but providing localized technology... without adequate translation, a computer, iphone, ipod, etc is no different than a hammer. (this will be addressed in a video interview... but hopefully you can understand that english internet superpower is not the "end all be all" of intellectual prowess... then again the hole-in-the-wall project would disagree with me.)

humanity has many faces. a majority of them are pleasant. (i am fortunate to see these faces across the globe - from the cairo subway to the streets of the bronx.) when it comes to the minority, this struggle works it way to be a battle over power. my visit to the pyramids reinfoced this fact.

through my eyes, i see this struggle to be a struggle over basic human rights. in the USA, we are "fortunate" to be "born" with "inalienable rights." incredibly, 40 years ago "the great experiment" failed in providing these rights to it's citizens. now at the dawn of the 21st century, through the use of digital technology, we have a unique opportunity to shape the way "inalienable rights" are passed along to the rest of the world.

without trying to be radical, a basic civics lesson will tell you "politics is war without bloodshed - and war is a continuation of politics, with bloodshed." huey p. newton & bobby seale built the black panther party to be THE vessel for the american black community to fight oppression, racism and murder and provide "Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice And Peace." despite the fact their organization was criminalized and persecuted, the black panther party died to bring justice for all poor americans. (btw, did you know they created the "free breakfast for children program" and popularized medical research in sickle-cell disease?)

forty years later, the world continues to face these same problems. most of the people whom i've interviewed all see the same thing.

the technology we have at our disposal is not just a simple vessel of entertainment. our modern technology is a complex beast that crashes through the gates of oppression and gives us an opportunity to make the world a better place.

sadly and on a too frequent basis, i see many of us blinded by the shiny side of the iphone, the hue of a garment or worse the insatiable consumption for "sustainable consumption." yet, one can not separate the quest of basic human rights as the pit of peach. all of these issues are wrapped up on the third planet from the sun.

by creating "a bill of rights for users of the social web" it's great to see that smarr, canter, scoble and arrington hopping on the same chariot many political technologist championed last year through the integration proclamation. while i support both, i see these intellectual statements as one thing, and can't stop thinking of bertolt brecht and kurt weill's song "what keeps mankind alive"

You gentlemen who think you have a mission
To purge us of the seven deadly sins
Should first sort out the basic food position
Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins

You lot who preach restraint and watch your waist as well
Should learn, for once, the way the world is run
However much you twist or whatever lies that you tell
Food is the first thing, morals follow on

So first make sure that those who are now starving
Get proper helpings when we all start carving
What keeps mankind alive?

What keeps mankind alive?
The fact that millions are daily tortured
Stifled, punished, silenced and oppressed
Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
In keeping its humanity repressed
And for once you must try not to shriek the facts
Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts

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day 59. a friend you should know, robynbird.

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"If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them." - mohandas k. gandhi

on the eve of celebrating two months of jostling, i thought it would be nice to turn the spotlight to someone who has enlightened my existence.

robyn byrd is cycling around france raising awareness and money for darfur. her project cycling for darfur started on the first, and there couldn't be a better time to start. from today's nytimes, it appears that the vicious cycle is rolling on.

on her journey, robyn is fundraising for Global Grassroots, a non-profit which works with woman survivors of the darfur genocide who reside in Chad's refugee camps. for 600 kilometers she is asking people to sponsor 1 cent per kilometer (aka $6 USD for the ENTIRE TRIP!!!) through her blog she will detail conversations and people she finds.

if you get a chance, donate your lunch money to a good cause... believe it or not, just a few pennies will change the world!

robyn and i have an interesting connection, last year she contacted me vis-a-vis couchsurfing. out of the blue she crossed the hudson, the east river and into my life... for a few hours we chatted and as quickly as she entered, she disappeared...

that was until we randomly met again this year... on a crowded, rain soaked roof top in manhattan, we caught up, exchanged numbers and proceeded to spend a significant amount of time together.

shortly before my departure, through some simple twist of fate, she invited me to attend an evening with bobby seale, founder of the black panter party, former political prisoner, activist and chef. after listing to bobby cautiously wade through simple questions which could have been answered in one breath - "stop talkin' & get to work"... a featherific thought attached itself to my hat, and for the next week i attempted to read seize the time.

as the seconded ticked down to my departure, i found my self running around nyc staring at unsolvable social dilemmas and cultural creeks no bridge could cross. finding myself more flustered than resolved, i tossed the book in my sack.

just this morning i pulled out seize the time. sitting in cairo, i feel more resolved than flustered. let us all put our shoulder to the wheel and push along. i wish the best to my sister robyn.

cycling for darfur

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two months to go...

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Dear Friends,

Today, marks a very special day, not only has Luck of Seven crossed the 20% goal in fundraising, but in two short months, I will depart from my beloved city of New York to explore this planet. On 7 July 2007, and traveling for seven months, my feet will wander the earth contemplating seven topics of freedom. On the way, I'll be documenting the experience on the "Luck of Seven" travel site (Lo7).

The seven topics of freedom are not some crazy manifesto, but an exploration of a world without any borders. Our ability to transcend, distance, time and culture are unprecedented. With more people living in urban environments, our world is growing and condensing at the same time. Fundamentally the seven topics of freedom boil down to four: open source communities, open source technology, social entrepreneurs and the greater conversation of global change. Ironically, a few weeks ago my mother sent me Leo Buscaglia's "The Way of the Bull." If you haven't read Mr. Buscaglia's books you will find them highly entertaining. While I instantly laughed at the outrageous cover, I found this motherly highlight, "The only thing that is certain for us is change. To battle change is to waste our time; the battle can never be won. To become the willing ally of change is to assure ourselves of life."

Now with 07/07/07 quickly approaching and my first month planned out, I look at my life and see a wealth of opportunities to explore this world. BUT I can't do it alone. I need your help in three ways...

1. A small donation of USD $11.11.

Thank you donors!! As of today, we have reached 20% of Lo7's fundraising goal! Not only will your donations help me go around the world, but in return, I promise you an autographed copy of the book. In the meantime, luckofseven.com will continue to tell the story though rich media. < http://luckofseven.com/donate >

2. Spread the word and connect me with your other friends.

There is nothing more important to me than my friends. Though my past years of traveling and countless workshops, I know that we can make this a better place. Regardless if it's just a smiling face, a pint of beer or a hard floor to sit on, I want to visit your friends and say hello. Forward your friends this message and copy me < noel(at)noneck.org >! Then, if you have a blog or social networking site, spread the word. I really need the link love ;)

3. Organizational sponsors for equipment and travel.

In Prague, Transitions Online has asked me to teach on new media journalism to former Communist countries. While "on the way," I look forward to teaching, conversing and interviewing citizens of this earth. If you know of an organization that might be a good fit, please don't hesitate to forward this email or make a formal introduction. I'm quite keen on helping organizations adapt technological frameworks for their own uses, elevate the seven topics of freedom, and share my experiences at an organizer. Otherwise, I'm looking for sponsors to acquire equipment: an HD Camcorder, a GPS device, an GSM cell phone, etc... I have a list and would love to entertain any ideas. Have your people call my people!

... and with that, I hope you place your luck on seven and at least give a donation.

be seeing you...

noneck noel


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...where the sidewalk ends...

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There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

-Shell Silverstein

megan, to answer your question, YES! thank you for the reminder...

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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.

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