the_skinny

The Witches Slippers: the Ruby and the Laser.

Laser

First off, we start with a Ruby.

It's the start of all good stories, really. Imagine it beautiful and regally suspended, and wrap it in material that reflects perfectly the light, and give it a shape that refracts the light equally as perfectly.

And then imagine sending a searing beam of a very pure light inside the encasement wherein the ruby sits suspended and perfectly cut.

The ruby goes nuts, of course.
You can imagine.

All this…

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Pro-Creation: it's as fun as it sounds...

If I were to adopt a polemic, this would be it.

In any sense that these little two words together might be interpreted - as in:

  1. being in favor of creating things
  2. supporting people procreating (although maybe not literally)
  3. being in favor of the act of creation
  4. add yours here.

It's like saying 'good-good'.
no bad thingsAt Reed there was a button that people would wear (it was the early 90's, people) that said 'No bad…

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Test Blog for Kenn

Test Blog for Kenn.



How I spent the End of the World

tzolkin

I am writing today because I have to get this out.

I know that some things do not make sense until viewed through the lens of time. I know that events create phenomenon that appear both before and after the experience of the linear experience of the event itself. I wanted to start from the beginning, but I no longer trust that I know where that is.

So instead I'll start with the part that is seared most in my memory.

We were walking in the middle of a bright deluge along a…

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Can user generated content change the world?

An organization is a collection of people and resources whose common goals create an interdependence between them. The methods used to achieve these goals create flows of information, services, people and resources that mirror exchanges between stakeholders in the different communities they touch. These infrastructures (and the organizations that utilize them) become more effective the more they mirror the human systems which depend on them.

Traditionally underfunded, non-profit organizations (more than anyone) have a lot to gain from web and internet technologies customized to…

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When should an idea become a 'Project'?

Making your ideas pay off

seed

Let's say that you are walking down the road one day, and you somehow stumble on this friggen awesome idea.

I mean like a really good idea. You know?

And if you are like me, you'll probably want to entertain it. So you think about it, and maybe draw out some poorly hacked-on-napkin sketches for yourself. Maybe you talk to a couple of people about it and get their reactions. But at some point, the idea is going to need to become…

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Translate This Button: the 15 minute module that will open up your world.

I just translated my entire site into 36 languages. It took maybe 15 minutes, might take the novice a half hour, and is probably the best half hour you will ever spend on your site.

You can do it, too.

A drupal module that combines the amazing power of Google Translate with the ineffable coolness of drupal called Translate This Button is well worth…

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Cloud Computing and Free/Open Source Software

cloud

Within the field of technology, there is an undeniable bias towards web applications. There are a number of reasons for this. While still nascent, the internet is the most stable infrastructures in large part due to it's lack of centralization. It is also one of the single most readily available communication tools (probably right next to the telephone). Unlike telephone communication, the internet has the ability to store information in digital form, and host applications that can…

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Atitlan: the journey begins.

atitlan

We came to this watery place by way of a long coast, and then mountains that made the engine of my car ring like an omen. Two weeks we traveled by day light, and then scrambled to find shelter and food and rest by night fall. As with many travelers from a country full of false and neon-blinking riches, all clearly marked, we must have passed a hundred less apparent restaurants before our eyes and appetites became acclimated to understand them as food. Not to…

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Urban Hiking

Urban Hiking is at once an act of desperation, and a celebration of place.  I am finding more and more in my life that the experience of one is necessary for the existence of the other. 

Urban Hiking is a response to the city. 

Image

It is a reclaiming of the tucked away spaces within a metropolitan area that are hidden,  These places are everywhere, and often connected with one another,  They are where you will hear birds singing. …

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A prayer for Donald Vidrine

When I was organizing for the first United States Social Forum, I sent an email out in a somewhat public forum that was very hurtful to someone who I now count as a dear dear friend and confidant.  

At the time, I was a mess.  I had spent the previous 6 months working 60 hour weeks - 20 of which were volunteer hours, and the remaining 40 my day job.  I was moving across the country for work and to assist the USSF on the ground in the few weeks that preceded it.  The email was written from my parent's house where I was sleeping on the screened-in porch on a cot, and sharing living-…

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Atitlan: on owning my own tourist

santa_cruz_bridge

Tempest is the nearest thing to it, I imagine. This sort of whipping effect as when traveling 70 miles an hour over choppy sea on a small boat, or like the nausea of recovering from too much food. It's a weighted shifting of direction suddenly, where you are confronted with the last great stand of the person you were playing before all this started, and that no longer feels right.

But this time it's beautiful. I mean just literally surrounded by the most beautiful bounty of what the…

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These things are designed to break us open

jung redbookAbout a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of meeting Jo Carson, who read her incredible account of her own death from which she returned at the Alternate ROOTS annual meeting in 2010.

Jo spent her life talking and writing about the way symbols and stories co-create and become us. At the annual meeting,…

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Urban Hiking: the Yellow Brick Road

It all started when I woke up to doggie diarrhea. I have wall to wall carpeting, and unless you are a product tester for Nature's Miracle, they just do not mix.

My dog has a sensitive stomach, and this isn't the first time for this kind of rude awakening, so after the mess was cleaned up, I decided to look for fencing materials. Sometimes these bouts of digestive distress can last for days, and I wanted to avoid multiple puddles while I am away at work.

So I headed out looking for abandoned chain link fence. Why pay $70 for more fencing material than I need, when I can…

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How to install your drupal website: a guide for the adventurous.

This is the age of the DIY (do it yourself, for the uninitiated), and as organizations get crafty at organizing themselves for survival, building a website in-house (READ: yourself) is becoming more common. I have a great deal of respect for do-it-yourselfers. It's how I first learned to build drupal websites 8 years ago, and at this point, I am able to contribute work towards building drupal itself.

That being said, there was a learning curve. This blog is being written with the intent of helping the brave and geeky lay-person get their heads around building a drupal website…

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If we're going to get fucked, let's get fucked together with the lights on.

existence

The relationship each of us individually has with our planet's existence is looking more and more like that of the relationship with a beloved family member or friend who has been told they have a potentially fatal disease.

It occurred to me today, in the short pauses between the focused preoccupations and distractions of working, that myself along with all the people I know are in the various and well documented stages of grief at the beginning of what could be our…

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The New Revolutionary

snowden_hope

It's time to start retelling ourselves the story of what it means to be a Revolutionary before we are lead to believe what we are reading and seeing in the Corporate/State-run media.

The call to revolution is not a call heard only by those who will resort to, or have resorted to, violent acts against humanity or the state: it is a call heard by a moral majority of humanity, many of whom are unaware of their allegiance to this movement.

We are in a collective state of blessed…

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Fishing in a Bottle

I was told to put fish in my office.

I don't want to give away too many trade secrets.  My sister said it was good for feng shui and encouraging abundance (money).  She said that I should get Betta fish because they are nearly indestructible.  So I got two, just in case.

The point being that sometimes running your life can be just about as scientific as a Ouija board.  In this case, I'm ramping up for business.  Economic disaster or not, I'm convinced that there are folks out there who want and need websites and databases.  And really, why shouldn't they?

Organizations…

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Financial Derivatives 101

I'm no 'HooHa' but let's say that I'm also no Banker Extrordinaire. I got no MBA. I'm no resident expert on the financial systems of the world. I try to stomach through a medicinal dose of conspiracy theory videos about the banking system. The only credentials I hold are those of an Industrial Designer, and I'm afraid they've expired from lack of use.

If only that were so for the debt.

All that said, what I am is a mathematician.…

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Plato and the Calculus of a Dimension Shift

I don't know about you, but when I read Plato in High School and then again in College/s, I had to wonder a little about what they were pumping into the campus water that made this guy so friggen important. Particularly the Platonic forms. I just didn't get it. Who gives a fuck about 'Chairness'?

Dude going on and on, boring his own damn self. Please.

Pan out like, I don't know, say 20-30 years later, and I'm having a bit of an 'Aha' moment out of the blue…

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Changing Contexts: developing secondary social networks for a not-quite information-based culture.

As many of you know, I have been developing websites from Mexico and Guatemala for the last year or so. In particular, I have been working on a personal project for a tourist oriented website/social network in my time between gigs. I am lucky to have worked with a variety of now-mentors who are also experts in the field of developing secondary social networks for non-profit organizations and technologists.

I would define a 'secondary social network' to mean a network that is not competing or trying to replace…

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The Gospel according to Manny: Chapter 1

The desert is the kind of environment that requires an adaptive strategy.

People and plants are at the mercy of the elements here, and have to endure times of feast and times of famine - both of which can be fatal. And just like in those elementary school movies featuring lizards with strange plumes coming from their heads, and snakes shedding their skins, and birds hiding inside a spiny cactus, desert dwellers, particularly those of us who were not born here, can be a motley and tragically beautiful bunch.

Our adaptive strategies, born from the necessity of an extreme…

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