Sunday, January 31, 2010

I read the news today - Oy Veh!

Recent news stories have touched on the absurd "states' rights" hassle over evacuating endangered Haitians to where they can be saved because some states are reluctant to admit them.

Today's news is "U.S. Speeding Up Missile Defenses in Persian Gulf" and it doesn't take an economist to know that the latter moves right along, probably at a cost dwarfing the entire "Haitiian Rescue Effort".

The infrastructures needed to put in a likely-to-be-ineffective "Missile Shield" adjunct similar to, (but probably costlier) that needed for restoring water/food/health in Port-au-Prince.

We are very sick puppies, indeed. As we let our siblings in the Caribbean suffer, we pour concrete to send a message to Iran that can't possibly help them or us.


IdVU (Iglesia de Vida Universal)

IdVU (Universal Life Church has a very straightforward set of tenets all based on a rather simple base: "Do only that which is right"

IdVU is not an edifice, it is a growing part of our collective mind. Even Google is based on this version of a principle of physicians' oaths: "First, do no harm"

Objective: Eternal Progression.
Goal: A Fuller Life for Everyone.
Slogan: To Live and Help Live.
Maxim: “We Are One."

When I drove to Modesto (in the 1960s) and met with Kirby Hensley who founded IdVU and he ordained me as a minister, my views about religion were irretrievably altered. We are the largest batch of ministers of any religion on the planet.

The absurdity of most religions' attitudes is played with in Ethical, a chapter in my book. Being a Pope isn't hard, one just says (or writes or thinks) "I am a Pope in IdVU", so for example anyone reading this is herewith ordained an IdVU minister and has the power to be a "bishop" or a "cardinal", etc. You are also free to renounce your calling.


Monday, January 25, 2010

what a little century can do

"On Jan. 25, 1915, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated U.S. transcontinental telephone service."

We've come a long way, baby - but we still have a long way to go!

It was somewhat different from the impact of the trans-continental railway but it's fantastic what's been wrought, and through it all one unintended consequence has been the societal isolation of the deaf community. Bell's "invention" shut them out from much of the human interaction that has gone from a bevy of (mostly) women called "central" asking the ubiquitous "number, please" to electronic marvels that enable one to buy/sell money while walking down the street.

In the U.S. and much of the "developed world" there are probably more people with access to global communication than without it.

As we move towards universal connection, we must attend to inclusion of everyone in this "party line" - one through which it is almost trivial to videophone anyone on the planet.

I've been honored to speak to the people who have as their goal providing a true "Web4All" experience.

Hope to encounter some of you F2F (face-to-face) at W4A 2010 in Raleigh in April.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Distributed help desk

There are Websites that encourage answering questions from readers by other readers and some of them probably actually help with answers but they are so "dense" as to be not very usable/popular, even sometimes trying to monetize the process: "which way is it to the Plaza Mayor?" - "I'll tell you for a Euro." would never do in face-to-face solicitations for directions.

What if the process were more nearly global and instantaneous so that from your mobile device you could get help for just about anything from whoever participated in the "global help desk" network?

In particular getting tourist information (skip the hotel/restaurant ads, please) from someone in Myanmar about the Plazas of Madrid, etc. might be interesting because anybody, anywhere might: have the info; speak your language; enjoy sharing.

Most mobile smart phones have in effect the means of doing this and when they are as cheap/effective as Skype it will be feasible.