Thought Overflow…Golda’s BlogIf memes are like genes, then having a conversation in which you share ideas and come up with new ones is like…?

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Golda to Writing  

I will post this. Although it may ramble, be warned – this morning I have given myself permission to simply write, a sort of private-public diary, to try to tease one noodle out of the bowl, or to follow one twisted path of thoughts up to the root.

Reading Virginia Woolf helped, I think. Though it also made me discontent again in the routine I have accepted, the one where most of my life and day goes into work for something that I don’t fundamentally care deeply about, that is not core to me. How did that happen – something to do with rent, bills, children I think. Yet it also has a benefit, this discipline, I have learned valuable patterns from it. The question is, can I find time to apply those patterns to what is core to me, before my mind becomes more fuzzy than it already is?

I have found, this past year, some threads that do feel deeply central, some possible solutions to the world that I want to try, that can be tried by a single person or a small group, that I believe can grow and live and combat some of the cancers that are so rampant right now. Pursuing these fully leaves even less time for a wandering mind, but I cannot complain – perhaps I should instead read again Child of the Dark, in which the protagonist manages to write in the early hours of darkness while spending full days gathering paper to keep hunger from her children – not always successfully.

That said, where does this thread go, if not simply in a circle?

Tied to the real world after all, which is the only anchor to keep the tangles from simply becoming clouds of worms, or utter foolishness. People. A_, G_ the families who I have made connection with in their deep pain this last year. My children, of course, my husband. But when thinking about the world, it behooves one to connect to it in a real way. And making that contact, directly with the reality of fear and grief and loss under these authoritarian regimes growing like cancer with their disgusting front philosophies that greed is somehow good, or the shallow paper tigers of ‘fighting terror’ or ‘fighting corruption’ – but not by exposing it to the light.

That contact, for a while it made it difficult for me to have normal conversations, to deal with petty issues, even to take pleasure in silliness or lighthearted play or music.

Now that has changed, and somehow the minor inconveniences and small pleasures live side by side with the feeling of being in an epic battle for freedom, truth and cooperation against greed, lies and violence.

I still worry about letting people down, not doing enough to help, or forgetting my own family in the bigger picture, or just forgetting to feed the fish. But it feels more like a flow of some kind, now that I am swimming more than thrashing, or at least I hope so.

I find I feel love for my foxhole-mates, all the others that I know and do not know, who are engaged in this same struggle one way and another. I don’t feel any need to be in charge of others, but I do think that I have some insights that I want to share – about the patterns, that its not enough to say, here are the victims, A, and the perpetrators, B, and all we need do is kill the B and give weapons to the A. Because being a victim does not make one moral, or a leader, or necessarily know all the solutions! Even very innocent victims, may envision solutions that would produce a system that can be easily gamed or taken over, or misused, by oversimplifying and directing force without feedback.

Feedback, transparency, truth, openness – these are a general pattern that protects. Simply allowing others to see, and to comment, and to say the impact they have felt, is perhaps the most general and powerful corrective mechanism. This is why, in fighting I focus on openness, of the DHS camps, or of campaign donations, and at least contact into the secret prisons.

And, telling people who do not see, who do not realize, the level of hidden violence in the world, is another thing I want to find a way to do. Not sure how to do that, the talks that I see given seem mostly insufficient, but I don’t know that I’m prepared or qualified to do better. Perhaps I’ll try anyway.

Wrote this for BlogforArizona: https://blogforarizona.net/dirty-money-dirty-tricks-dirty-judges/

How can we get the story out to enough of Arizona to vote these judges out? If everyone really understood, they would be gone…

Maybe one, maybe a handful of them, but I don’t think I’ve ever followed all of them. Even posting this here seems to break the key idea that readers are the most important part of writing, because if it were posted somewhere else maybe it would have more chance of finding readers. But I’m stubborn and like to post on my own blog.
25 Commandments for Journalists

This looks useful: http://us.cision.com/edcals/edcals.asp

(though all the links appear to be output with the ‘:’ following the http, as of 1/6/2012)

Much has been written about the impending demise of journalism. No doubt, papers and magazines are in trouble, and with them the usual revenue stream of the professional journalist.

Ellen Goodman wrote a recent column in which she made a great call that crowdsourcing leads to the basing of facts on opinions, instead of opinions on facts. There is truth to this. The famed ‘many eyes’ approach of open source software works best when all the eyes are dispassionately looking for truth, and not spin.

I believe though that journalism has a fascinating future. The key is trust, and for readers to be able to make informed judgements. Goodman pointed out that there seems to be no consequence for bloggers who make things up. Some consequence exists, in that other bloggers may write about their lack of veracity, and individual readers reduce their trust level, but it doesn’t reduce the number of links to the lying blogger’s page and thus does not reduce their PageRank, which is essentially Google’s level of trust that they have something useful or interesting to say.

The web may need an explicit TrustWeb, where users and webmasters/bloggers can state their level of trust in a website or even a website author (the latter requiring some of the semantic web technology that allows more explicit markup of relationships between things). Initial work has been done on Trustwebs (search on Guha + trust web) in a controlled setting. To have a distributed trustweb may come out of semantic technology, or it may get done as some kind of a hack: <a href=”somesite” trustlevel=-8 rel=nofollow &rt;this guy is ridiculous </a&rt;

If TrustRanks become public (and perhaps disjoint – there may be different named trustwebs that propagate separately) you can bet having a high trust level will get a dollar value attached – either from associated advertising or from micropayments from readers. Then abusing the reader’s trust will once again have an immediate consequence to the writer – maybe even more so than an irate boss.