Stop data violence and give users control over their information

The big boys are starting to say that people should own their own data. This is great to see; we've been talking about an Identity Commons for some time now...

The MIT Intelligence Quest

As digital transformation revolves around data, managing - making sense of - that data is increasingly the realm of Artificial Intelligence. AI is what Google uses to determine what ads to show you, it's what Amazon uses to get you to buy new things, and it's what Facebook uses to make sure you keep clicking. All of these things increase the revenue of these companies but perhaps at great cost to democracy as they segment society.

GMOs and Kashi Boycott

I'd like to think Ms. Carson would be an advocate against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) creeping into our food supply. There's great debate about whether Monsanto's GMO corn is unsustainable and there are reports that GMO foods can "can significantly impact the viability of human cells".

Rachel Carson and the Silent Spring

I work at CivicActions where we provide online consulting and services for non-profits and progressive organizations. We host websites on a variety of machines (servers) each given a different name so that we can refer to them easily. resides on a server named 'carson', named after Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and credited with helping to advance the environmental movement.

More Silliness: Plastic Disposable Razors

We are now aware - or should be aware - that anything that is "plastic and disposable" should be avoided whenever possible. Plastic is a petroleum product and isn't bio-degradable, as horrifically evidenced by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Money Corrupts (but the media won't cover this)

Corporations have one essential purpose aside from creating products or services that result in happy customers: to increase shareholder value. If the current CEO and Board of Directors fails to do so, they will be voted out and replaced with those that will.

And guess what: all major media are - or are owned by - major corporations.

What would be your answer to the Answer Man?

Listening to the Cause last night, the last line from St. Stephen (written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia) struck me: "What would be your answer to the Answer Man?"  Though I've heard this line sung so many times before, this time my brain mapped it differently than I have before, with Google (plus all other hunter/gatherers of personal information - I'm looking at you, Facebook and Amazon) playing the part of the Answer Man.

the Cause

Last night I had a most enjoyable experience listening to the Cause, a Greatful Dead, Beatles, Dylan etc. cover band that also tossed in a few of their own (notably "Never Alone" written by Pappy, the lead guitarist). During my 25 years in Santa Cruz and San Francisco I was fortunate to see the Grateful Dead several hundred times and was (nearly) always pleased by how "live" the band was in a very improvisational jazz kind of way.

Tea Party Anger

Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court decided corporations were people that could secretly fund political elections.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

Big Oil and Us

From a recent email I sent to friends:

I am angered at the pervasive causes of the spill in the Gulf that are far more wide reaching than the terrible effect the oil is having on the environment.  Our country's addiction to fossil fuels and our willingness to blind ourselves to the effects that such non-sustainable choices have on our only planet - the one we will be leaving to our children - are truly monstrous.

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