Open Is Good

Did you see today’s news?

 

 

 

 

 


Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk made an announcement via their blog that is taking the tech community by storm: All Our Patent Are Belong To You. This is the single most amazing announcement that I have ever heard from a company. The fact that it comes from the ultra competitive car manufacturing world, which like most industries, believes in patenting everything first and asking questions later makes this a game changer. Of course, everything that Elon Musk has done to date has been a game changer in a world where business as usual is the usual mantra.

You really need to go read what Elon writes. because he’s taking a page from the open source world to try to innovate new technology that will replace gasoline vehicles. And considering the news that we’re hearing on a daily basis about climate change and more, anyone who wants to join in with Tesla’s quest to building viable electric vehicle solutions now has a partner (so-to-speak) in the engineering and development of the technology.

Open mindedness has always been a hallmark of true innovators that change life as we know it. Elon Musk has joined these intrepid voyagers, not only in space (with SpaceX), but by challenging the norms that keeps life predictable and oh so limited. If you read the comments that have followed this extraordinary announcement, then you know that there are many open-minded people who are ecstatic that the world has changed just a little bit more because another person is challenging status quo.

We could definitely use more of this type of thinking, don’t you think?

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Reset The Net…And More

If you’ve been on the Internet at all today, then you probably noticed that much of the online community is on full mobilization today to Reset the Net. All of this came about because one person sought to shine light on some extreme mindsets that are changing our very way of life. But he’s not the only one to have done this, though he is definitely the name of the moment as his actions have eclipsed many who came before him. The names are only important as sources of inspiration to not just do good, but to be good, which is no small feat in today’s world of “legality” that is little more than who can get away with the most by twisting words to their breaking point.

We’re seeing examples everyday of institutions who are using the words of law to claim that what they do is right. But right has become a word of empty meaning as people make it fit one specific situation while their entire groundwork of actions breaks foundations which held us all higher. Uniforms have become straight-jackets. Titles have become pedestals. And meaning has all but disappeared into a shadow world that obfuscates.

There are people who want to Reset the Net, but they also realize that this is a symptom to a hidden disease that evades the light of knowledge. We are in a moment of time when people everywhere are seeking to reset the world. They seek to do so because the world that we thought we knew was merely a puppet show of propriety – a world where pageantry diminishes spirit.

Those who use morality from books usually fail to understand the intent of those words, in the context of when they were written and by whom. Even if those words come from a higher source, there is always context. Which means that the world is not black and white as so many people would have you believe, but also bathed in many shades in between. And all of these shades and colors have meaning, which when brought together, gets us all closer to the universal truths.

One of the best ways to reset the world is to first learn about it. Learn about all that is visible and invisible in the world. Learn about people. Learn about what they believe in and how they live. Learn about what they have created for the past, present, and future. Learn about alternatives. Learn about compromise. Whatever you do – just keep learning. Because each new bit of knowledge that you gain will help to create a puzzle piece that fits somewhere in this world. And each of us will make a multitude of these puzzle pieces that, when put together, just might successfully reset the world in more meaningful ways that will impact us all.

First, Reset the Net because the actions of a few are having profoundly devastating affects on how we live today. …And More – Reset the World so that we can live a life that respects the spirit of the words as well as the words.

Here’s a few great starting point towards understanding why so many want to Reset the Net:

EFF – On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know One Year Ago

Fight for the Future - Reset the Net Privacy Pack

Guardian – NSA Files coverage

 

Now go search for your own knowledge about the world. Read the news stories (including those smaller international ones) to understand why our world is the way it is. It’s out there on the current iteration on the Net. Whether that stays the same is up to you and me.

What kind of world do you want to live in?

…just asking

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Peek-A-Saturn

Sometimes, the sights that we’re used to seeing hide the most amazing things. And like always, Reddit manages to share the wonder that makes the space lovers like me just stare in wonder. This image shared by WARH3ART shows something that you don’t see everyday (unless you have a dad like WARH3ART’s who also has a telescope).

Notice anything? No? Look closer…

 

Yep, that is the planet Saturn playing Peek-A-Saturn (also known as occultation) with us Earthlings. And I’m going to go back to staring with my jaw on the floor because this is not something you see everyday. WOW!!! Thanks, WARH3ART and Reddit.

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The Internet As We Know It

Update: It sounds like we indeed are now in a bad position. According to Cory Doctorow, the FCC commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to push forward Wheeler’s proposal of an “open Internet” for public comment. As there is already too much evidence of just how bad revolving doors can be in government, and once again a former cable lobbyist is raising more questions about his true intentions about an Internet that so many cherish. We have 120 days of comment period to be heard. EFF has a primer on how we should proceed to stop or change this pay-to-play roller coaster that will change how we all interact on the Internet.

We need to tell the FCC and Congress that the Internet should be classified as a Title II Telecommunications Service under the Communications Act. (read more on Arstechnica)

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People everywhere are talking about Net Neutrality. If you don’t know anything about it, then you should watch this explanation by Vi Hart:

Vi Hart nails it on the head with the reason why so many of us are beyond upset at the FCC’s potential (yeah right, try likely) move to create a slow lane and fast lane that makes us pay EVEN MORE to play on the Internet. It’s why you’re seeing that slow loading clip on so many sites. The FCC is planning to vote on the OPEN INTERNET rules today. We’ll find out what happens next. But read more about Net Neutrality on Mashable and BoingBoing and Techdirt and EFF (to name a few). It’s that important of a topic that will affect how so many of us live.

You can also Google (or DuckDuckGo, or whatever search engine you use) to find more – while the info is still easy to access and treated equally on the Internet as we know it.

Read more »

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Shaping Our World In Our Own Way

Our world isn’t looking so good, though our view depends on where we stand in society. The atrocities that people suffer around the world at the hands of one another, or at the hands of Mother Nature, are hard to comprehend. But the minute digs (like paranoid actions because of the unknown) that we don’t notice are also doing equal damage to the way that we feel we should be allowed to live. Sometimes it takes enormous tragedy to get even the slightest bit of momentum forward to make change happen… simply because we can no longer stomach the way that we exist.

As a busy fan of Bones, it is sometimes much later when I can actually view a show. A particular show that took place in 2012, The Patriot in Purgatory, hit all of my buttons for reasons that had little to do with the main force that drove the exemplary Jeffersonian team to find out the truth about a man in the shadows. Not shadows as we’ve been hearing due to national security, but shadows as in someone who didn’t fit into our idea of who or what is acceptable. Take a brief glimpse at this short tribute done by LamaxProductions1 (courtesy of YouTube):

 

There were several important moments in this episode that helped to remind us of why being human holds its own strengths and weaknesses. Like the moments:

  • When Arastoo told Brennan that it was his duty to help this one man swept under the rug get his moment of truth;
  • And when an unthinking Finn asked if Arastoo would be fine continuing the examination of the homeless man he brought into the light, simply because of his beliefs;
  • And when Fisher forced everyone to face the unspoken boogieman that no one wanted to admit to in his own “crazy” (his words) way;
  • And finally when Booth choose to memorialize a man who continued to shape our world in his own way, even after the atrocities of war that he had experienced.

Watching the news everyday can make one go insane. The fact that people who are in leadership positions choose to ignore the inconvenient because it will shake the foundation they count on to stay solid. Or the fact that selfishness seems to be the underlying motivation to stop cooperation. Or even the fact that one specific view demands precedence over all else. And on and on and on…

It’s only moments when people push back against the accepted norm that we actually have a chance of making the world a better place. These so-called outlier personalities force us to face the uncomfortable truth that we have let this world fall apart for far too long. It has little to do with generations, because there are outliers in every generation. It’s more about how we each choose to raise and nurture our humanity.

There are those who want the world to be a better place, and their sense of justice permeates every atom in their being. It moves them to do things that others would call naive or insane because it’s not what everyone else would do. But it’s these moments of insanity that focuses the reality as though looking through a powerful microscope. When we strip away all of the dressing, we confront the truth as we see it. Both good and bad.

When others around us see this same truth, it becomes a new foundation on which to build the next iteration of life. Hopefully this iteration takes into account what we all as a single humanity desire more than all else. Hopefully it has nothing to do with power, wealth, personal security, or any of those other trappings that do so little to the actual nurturing of life in its entire complexity and mutual dependence on one another.

Here’s to another emotionally necessary reminder that we are all capable of shaping our world in our own way. But it’s together that we shape a future that respects all. Don’t listen to leadership words. Learn why they are spoken so that you get the ultimate lesson that life provides us on a daily basis. Word can become anchors when actions repeat without thought. But actions that have weighted thought behind them, that take everything into account, are what motivates others to follow. So we need to make our impactful actions live up to the thoughts behind the words. Because they all are shaping our world in a collective, maybe even exponential, way.

That’s your ( my, and our) legacy.

…just saying

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Lessons From Kids

Lessons from kids to grownups aren’t usually taken seriously by grownups. But this kid seems to be on to something:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to question more why we act the way we do. Even when you’re told that’s not how things are done (just who made THAT decision). Because if you’re continuing some action without thinking too deeply about it, then you might be missing the whole point of the act.

Kids, keep reminding us adults of what’s really important. You are getting it!

- thanks Reddit for this timeless reminder

 

 

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A Letter To Remember

When you get a school assignment, it can sometimes lead to something big. If you’re lucky, you’ll realize it instantaneously. But even if it takes years to reach the point of “OH MY GOD! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!”, it’ll be worth the wait. Yes, school does have its moments, even if it takes you a while to realize it.

It looks like this kind of event happened for a group of high school students from  a NYC school, according to Reddit:

What a beautifully inspirational letter from KURT VONNEGUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, you hear this a lot from this blog (and everywhere else), because I know what it’s like to hold in creativity for faaaar too long. But maybe if you hear this same sentiment from a world famous author, then you’ll think twice about just how important creativity is to our lives. This is really a letter to remember.

We’ve all got treasures like this that stoke our dreams. In my case, I have a signed picture from Chuck Yeager who blew jet streams into my love for flying. What’s your favorite thing that ties directly to your dreams? Whatever it is, keep it close to your heart. It’s THAT important!

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Sometimes, There’s TOO MANY ZOOS

I’ve been taking time off from posting because we all just need to decompress. Or else it’s because we all have too many things grasping for our attention. Or we still haven’t found the answers we’e searching for. You pick.

So, today, I thought I’d share a little enjoyable muscal R&R with the band Too Many Zoos. This video went up on Reddit and I couldn’t stop listening until the very end. Talk about lips and hands of steel…that’s what these guys have! This should put a smile on your face.

 

…and don’t forget to support them and the arts. It’s what inspires!

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When Did History Stop For You?

It should be a question that we ask of ourselves and others: When did history stop for you? At the very least, it would give pause to think whether our actions match our words. At the most, it would cause us to reflect on our own history to see if it’s something that not only would we be proud of, but so would others looking from the outside in. Sure, it’s an enormous request when we have to make momentous decisions every day of our lives. But isn’t that what life is about? Why are we here? What is my purpose? Am I living up to my best abilities that not only helps myself, but others around me?

The question of life is portrayed as a philosophical one, and yet it is the most important question of our lives. Our histories drive our thoughts, emotions, decisions, and actions. But we seem to overlook the fact that while history is extremely important for lessons learned, it is still just one tool that we use to help us live our lives.

So, again, when did history stop for you?

  • Was it when you lost something or someone much loved?
  • Was it when you choose to live the past, instead of moving forward with the experiences and lessons learned from that moment?
  • Was it when you picked a path that forces you to live the same everyday, without question and without judgment?
  • Was it when you actively pushed your belief on others, with the sole purpose to move that belief forward at the expense of everything else?

These type of questions can go on forever and should. Much like the needed social debate on topics that affect all of us equally. We tend to follow the path of least resistance. It’s a much easier way to live when life gets too hard to face. But when you find repetition to be constant, and knowledge to be receding, then isn’t it time to ask some other questions?

  • Are we just doing this because it’s always been this way, and there are no other alternatives?
  • When did “accepted” become “only acceptable”?
  • Why do some seem to have more decision power than all of us put together?
  • What does “we’re all in this together” mean to you?
  • Why should we just accept it because we’re told to?

History isn’t just about the telling of it. It’s also about the learning from it, so that we not only learn from it but also move forward while making conscientious decisions that make exact repetition less likely. If things are repeated as they’ve happened in the past, then what have we truly learned? If a path is less traveled, then why can’t we explore it to potentially change everything we know? Why are we so afraid to grow into the unknown, when the unknown is full of so much potential?

Partial map of the Internet in 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All around us, our modern times are showing how little forward momentum the collective society seems to desire. In contrast, the individual people living in these societies are not all quiet participants of status quo. Some want a future, any future, that is different and better than the present for all of us. Some of us understand that it’s important to remember the horrendous times, but do not wish to lift these moments themselves onto a pedestal. History isn’t just about the telling, but it’s also about the living. When you ignore the spirit to adhere to the letter, then you really don’t respect that important spirit that animates the letter. Letters combine into many options, and not all of them are good. The spirit is the intent of those combinations, and that is up to the individual who is acting upon it. So it can vary from person to person, in the same way that letter combinations can be twisted from their origin.

Good or bad? Right or Wrong? Loyal or disloyal? “Or” is a figment of our imagination. These are all up to us individually and collectively. Just like the world is made of both, so are the consequences of actions. No single person can predict every possible outcome. That’s why we have society: to debate with our own personal experiences so that we understand other perspectives. If we’re not allowed to debate, and if we’re forced to conform, then where does freedom even come into the light?

Things like surveillance may seem above your daily concerns, and something that only involves the state, but they are actually the foundation of how you can live your life. Once lost, things are harder to gain them back, especially freedoms. So, it’s vital that we recognize that the world is a very big place that involves each and every one of us to make it turn. You are what make history move forward. You are who stands against those who refuse to move past a moment in time. You are the potential new path that we all need.

History shouldn’t stop anyone. Because if it does, then our futures are in jeopardy. So, speak up when history requires you to.

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Learning and Sharing

Here’s a post that is brought to you by the After School Care Programs in Colorado. In particular, thanks to the members of Mrs. Nill’s awesome Computer Club. Their curiosity, stemming from learning about the history of computers and the Internet, led them to contact me with a suggestion when they stumbled on my Technical Links page.

Yep, this is what the Internet is capable of, and so much more. We not only learn from one another, but we also connect to one another by this modern miracle that so many of us around the world treasure! What grows from there is up to each and every one of us, and collaborating makes it that much more amazing.

Do you want to learn about the history of the WWW? Try The History of the World Wide Web page to find links to other bits of history that was behind our modern Internet, as suggested by the inspiration for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curiosity is what drives us to learn. The world around us is a very big place, and the universe even bigger. But even they don’t compare to the curiosity level of our youth. And it’s always a welcome sight when you get to hear from some of those curious minds who want to not only understand the world around them, but also to share their understanding with others…maybe so that we can see the world with like minds?

I can remember how I first felt when I ventured onto the beginnings of the World Wide Web (WWW) back in the 80′s. I hadn’t been too fond of computers as I was learning how to program in BASIC. Looking for a single little period that broke my code down in the 300th line doesn’t feel inspiring. But I was still fascinated with computers. The thought that some simple key strokes would take me somewhere I’d never been to, and connect with another who is far from me, via a metal box and some wires seemed incredible.  Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, Heinlein, and Wells were coming alive before our very eyes.

Want to learn a bit more? Here’s a video on the history of the Internet (thanks to Melih Bilgil):

 

And here’s a few words for those curious minds at Mrs. Nill’s Computer Club:

Thank you to Mrs. Nill’s Computer Club for their great link.  Not only do they have fun learning about the history of the computer and the WWW, but they also learn hands-on things such as basic programming and many more fun activities! Keep learning and sharing. We’re right there with you all. :D

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