Holiday message for 2005. "Make levees, not war."
2006 prediction: Scoble will appear on Oprah.
Ludens: "My sons' iPods have broken down not once now, but twice in their first year of use."
A couple of days ago my inner-curmudgeon got to express himself, but that was then, today is Christmas, and even though I'm not a Christian, in the United States we observe the holiday anyway. It has special significance here, if not everywhere in the world.
It's a Flickr holiday if there ever was one! I'm so glad I'm subscribed to the photo streams of people who are taking pictures all over the world today. Cyrus Farivar in Senegal and the Sudan in Africa. Kathryn, who I "met" through Megnut is in New York City, while Megnut herself is skiing in Vermont. Betsy Devine in Cambridge. Doc Searls is in Marin. Scoble in Silicon Valley. Dan Farber practicing martial arts. Rebecca MacKinnon went to her father's wedding (in Mexico?). And of course Ernie the Attorney is in New Orleans. I have correspondents all over the globe and our connection is through the bits traveling over the network. Never has the vision of Holding Hands in Cyberspace ever seemed so real to me. And every year it gets more and more real.
This is what the Internet is about. When Microsoft and others pick at the details of RSS, things that were decided years ago, I wish they would help as only they can help, by spreading the word far and wide, helping people make better use of the Internet, now, not when they're ready to profit from it. There are lives being wasted today, problems that urgently need solving that this technology can help solve, a technology whose promise is that it can help people work together. Yet the tech industry always seems to use the promise to drive us into warring camps, much as the Republicans and Democrats do every time we make a political decision in this country.
As we stuff ourselves and gift each other in the US today, remember that one of our greatest cities is still virtually under water. The streets have been pumped dry, but its future is in doubt. My friend Ernie took the picture that, for me, defines what Christmas 2005 is about. A choice to build, to help people who we can help, our own people, and keep the door open for helping others. Somehow all our attention has focused on a small oil-rich country very far away, and we've been told our future is there, but it is not there, it is here, in New Orleans, in the USA.
Ordinarily I am not an isolationist, I believe in exploring the cosmos, but at times you need to take care of your home first. New Orleans is home, and it needs our help. Let's help.
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