summing up 66

i am trying to build a jigsaw puzzle which has no lid and is missing half of the pieces. i am unable to show you what it will be, but i can show you some of the pieces and why they matter to me. if you are building a different puzzle, it is possible that these pieces won't mean much to you, maybe they won't fit or they won't fit yet. then again, these might just be the pieces you're looking for. this is summing up, please find previous editions here.

  • federated education: new directions in digital collaboration, as advocates we're so often put in a situation where we have to defend the very idea that social media is an information sharing solution that we don't often get to think about what a better solution for collaboration would look like. because there are problems with the way social media works now. minority voices are squelched, flame wars abound. we spend hours at a time as rats hitting the skinner-esque levers of twitter and tumblr, hoping for new treats - and this might be ok if we actually then built off these things, but we don't. we're stuck in an attention economy feedback loop where we react to the reactions of reactions (while fearing further reactions), and then we wonder why we're stuck with groupthink and ideological gridlock. we're bigger than this and we can envision new systems that acknowledge that bigness. we can build systems that return to the the vision of the forefathers of the web. the augmentation of human intellect. the facilitation of collaboration. the intertwingling of all things. this is one such proposal. maybe you have others. highly recommended
  • your app is good and you should feel good, there's no disincentive to honking at people for the slightest provocation. there's little recourse for abuse. it's such an asymmetrical, aggressive technology, so lacking in subtlety. it kind of turns everyone into a crying baby - you can let the people around you know that you're very upset, but not why. i think the internet is like this sometimes, too. the internet is like a car horn that you can honk at the entire world. recommended
  • the best investment advice you'll never get, don't try to beat the market and don't believe anyone who tells you they can - not a stock broker, a friend with a hot stock tip, or a financial magazine article touting the latest mutual fund. seasoned investment professionals have been hearing this anti-industry advice, and the praises of indexing, for years. but while wall street has considerable soul-searching to do, full blame for the gouging of naive investors does not lie with the investment management industry alone. there is an innate cultural imperative in this country to beat the odds, to do better than the joneses. it's simply difficult for most of us to accept average returns on our money, or on anything for that matter. recommended
  • forget shorter showers - why personal change does not equal political change, i think we're in a double bind. a double bind is where you're given multiple options, but no matter what option you choose, you lose, and withdrawal is not an option. at this point, it should be pretty easy to recognize that every action involving the industrial economy is destructive. so if we choose option one - if we avidly participate in the industrial economy - we may in the short term think we win because we may accumulate wealth, the marker of "success" in this culture. but we lose, because in doing so we give up our empathy, our animal humanity. and we really lose because industrial civilization is killing the planet, which means everyone loses. if we choose the "alternative" option of living more simply, thus causing less harm, but still not stopping the industrial economy from killing the planet, we may in the short term think we win because we get to feel pure, and we didn't even have to give up all of our empathy, but once again we really lose because industrial civilization is still killing the planet, which means everyone still loses. the third option, acting decisively to stop the industrial economy, is very scary for a number of reasons, including but not restricted to the fact that we'd lose some of the luxuries to which we've grown accustomed, and the fact that those in power might try to kill us if we seriously impede their ability to exploit the world - none of which alters the fact that it's a better option than a dead planet. any option is a better option than a dead planet

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My letters are about long-lasting, sustainable change that fundamentally amplify our human capabilities and raise our collective intelligence through generations. Would love to have you on board.