1346Topics for Video Bridges?
- Sep 1, 2007Franz, Dante, Markus, Synnove, Janet and all,
I share my responses to a variety of activity going on at our lab.
I ask for help for our video bridge in Lithuania next Sunday, September
9th, 2007. We want to explore with sculptor Algirdas Zokaitis his
question, "How can Lithuanian artists without money present their work
in other countries?" Do you know of any artists, curators or other
experts that we might engage? That would be great!
Franz, I spoke today with Gryte Miseviciene, she is an elderly community
activist whose question is "In the 21st century, how can we stay in
touch with children and grandchildren?" She says she understands German
quite well and can speak, too. We could organize a high quality video
bridge I think from Kaunas or another location in Lithuania, we had
discussed earlier that either that would let us do it for free or we
might rent a location, it is not very expensive. Could you find a
speaker for us?
Dante, Markus, would either of you be able to help us find speakers to
engage for this topic? I could easily devote 100 euros for such work if
you can help us find at least one volunteer speaker. Another question
that we need a speaker to engage is Fikratas Salimov's video bridge on
"Why don't the roma integrate themselves into Lithuanian life?"
Also, Gryte, Alvydas and I are taking decisive steps in Pavilnys to
organize a grassroots takeover of the Pavilnys community organization to
which the Atzalynas building has been assigned. I have made many
unsuccessful efforts to participate in that organization, and to have
some kind of agreement with its leader or the local alderman. The
building is being renovated and no written assurance is being given as
to the role that Minciu Sodas or Atzalynas or I might play there. The
organization has not had a general meeting in three years even though
its supposed to organize them every six months. So starting this Friday
we will have weekly meetings of Minciu Sodas at the pizza place to
"revive" that community organization, to invite its leaders to give any
news of their activities and to invite new people to get involved. This
will infuriate some of the existing leaders, but Gryte and Alvydas are
strongly committed and so I think we will attract enough new people and
hopefully a few of the existing leaders to call a general meeting and
elect a new leadership. Then we'll have authority over the building's
future and a very strong base in the Pavilnys neighborhood. Also
helping is Alvydas Cepulis's work on a local one-page Minciu Sodas
neighborhood newsletter which features a local independent thinker every
week. We're learning how to organize these nonviolent "putschs" because
such civics is probably an essential part of the Global Village solution
as Franz you are finding, too.
I have started a list of our "global villages" in our networks:
and you will see there are 16 local hubs already in our network. I
invite us to add more either by creating wiki pages or simply writing
about our local efforts. From the list I think it also becomes clear
that we have a lot happening locally but we're not providing the global
support that we might to help overcome the obstacles which include
organizing the local community (as in Pavilnys), getting a computer (for
Uyoga in Tanzania), getting technical assistance (for David Ellison-Bey
in Chicago). I think that working on such challenges will give us quite
a different sense of what "global villages" mean.
Perhaps this is an area where our Minciu Sodas laboratory might work
with One Village? http://www.onevillagefoundation.org I have been
speaking with Joy Tang, the founder of One Village, who I first met in
2003 and who is now Vice President of Marketing at Accton in Taiwan. I
was very encouraged by her enthusiastic reception of my research towards
the manufacture of a USB flash drive file editor. However, we spoke
this last week and I was discouraged by Joy's frustrations regarding the
lack of synergy between Minciu Sodas and One Village. I don't foresee
our lab working for Accton. Joy's vision has inspired the steps that
I've taken that our lab respond to the challenges in Africa. Jeff
Buderer, Edward Cherlin, Mark Roest, Kafui Prebbie, Henry Migingo, Joy
Tang herself and others have all contributed to our correspondence and
good energy, but primarily as individuals, which perhaps makes sense for
our laboratory of independent thinkers. Our lab's work on-the-ground in
Africa has proceeded independently. Perhaps there are small projects
on-the-ground that we might work on together? Or our lab might welcome
participants from One Village or vice versa? Unfortunately, the lack of
synergy means, I think, that Joy doesn't recognize the strength of the
Minciu Sodas network in Africa and the leadership role we can play, for
example, in organizing the manufacture of a flash drive file editor, but
also researching, distributing, selling, servicing on-the-ground in Africa.
Meanwhile, I am looking for strong companies that might fund our lab to
develop the flash drive file editor, about $25,000 for phase I
prototyping and $120,000 for phase II a run of 200 devices. For
example, Noah Samara is founder of WorldSpace Satellite Radio
http://www.worldspace.com/about/ and they have a need for content that
our "offline file sharing network" might help generate.
I am greatly encouraged by Ricardo's and Jecel's contributions at Samwel
Kongere's Mendenyo working group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/ I very much need the hardware
advice that you are providing, thank you! And thank you also to Peter
Kaminski. My plan is that we are creating an architecture that serves
"independent thinkers" by including those who are hardest to reach.
These are generally literate adults who may lack in means, however. My
main goal is that they be able to participate in email exchanges as we
do even if they have irregular connectivity. So a simple text editor is
fine, so long as it can deal with large volumes of text. And then it
can also work for editing other text files. It should also be able to
share files. However, I think it makes sense to pursue a modular
approach so that one can replace or upgrade devices, and so rely on
standard keyboards, AA batteries, USB flash drives. We're organizing
the manufacture of one device, but truly we have in mind an architecture
where there can be many such devices. The functionality that I'm
seeking is like the monochrome Amstrad word processor which I had in the
1980s. One idea is to separate the "file sharing hub" (and "brain"?)
from the "display" so that it is straightforward to upgrade a display.
Once the basic devices are working then it makes sense to keep expanding
with more hardware modules like a wifi module or a sound file recorder etc.
Thank you to Sasha Mrkailo and Josephat, William and all in Tanzania for
help with the content for the flash drives that I hope to mail soon to
I wrote a script to download our emails (some 25,000!) and soon they
will be available for download for offline use.
Chris Macrae, As you suggest, I have started a page to collect our
information on Internet Access, our costs and challenges and alternatives:
Sasha, perhaps you could create the metadata based on our chats from
August 16 and August 23 and August 9 ?
Dante, I'm very interested in your system of tools for global mapping.
I invite you to help with our current system at http://www.worknets.org
and expand that. We have information about our participants deepest
values, investigatory questions, endeavors, proposals and more.
Stella, thank you for your deep letters! and I include a link to my own
attempt to "know everything and apply that knowledge usefully":
+370 699 30003
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