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The Includer: Episode 13: Do-Gooders

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I ve just uploaded my blog post about the Includer, http://www.pbs.org/idealab/ with references to: - My phone call with Alex Rollins yesterday (I hope we
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2008
      I've just uploaded my blog post about the Includer,
      with references to:
      - My phone call with Alex Rollins yesterday (I hope we might work
      together). Alex built a website for Marcin Jakubowski's Factor E Farm.
      - The chat on Blogging Positively about AIDS - Thanks to all who came!
      - My wish to create a Global Villages Index in the Balkans, which
      unfortunately may not happen.
      - Charles Williams help given to David Ellison-Bey.
      Thank you all!
      And I appreciate your thoughts by letter to our groups or by comment at
      the blog.

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas

      The Includer, if it ever exists, will write when and where it wants to.

      Just like the laptop that I bought in March 2007 at Office Depot in Hyde
      Park, Chicago for David Ellison-Bey of Episode 3. He was making good use
      of a Time Dollar Tutoring computer, which has provided thousands of
      refurbished computers to children and adults on the South Side. But at
      350 Mhz it was too slow for Video Skype. I wanted to link with David from
      Lithuania through our European Union Global Utopias video bridge project.
      So I splurged on a new laptop ($700) and bought the extended warranty
      ($200) and also a projector ($600). The computer stopped working. David
      misplaced his copy of the receipt. Finally, this summer, my father sent
      us my copy from Lithuania. I shipped the computer to the warranty
      company, which shipped it back, saying the problem was with the battery,
      which neither they nor Office Depot provide. I purchased the battery
      online ($150) and the computer worked for me. Yet I was never able to
      make sure it worked for David.

      May the peace and blessing of Allah be with you. I am trying to use
      the laptop for the first time, and I can't get it to stay on. The
      screen lit up a few times, then it clicks off. I am at a lost as what
      to do. The green and orange light blinks on and off, that's about all.
      I don't want to make it worst, maybe its the battery


      God - who we met in episode 0 - are you playing sport with me? Am I
      trying too hard? Or should I try harder? You won't say. No, you won't.
      I tell this to Professor Malcolm Duerod. We travel by car backand forth
      between the Tuzla and Sarajevo campuses of AUBiH. I went with Malcolm to
      the church services for the Roma. A few hundred live in Sarajevo. Pastor
      Reinhold has loved them, preciously, for ten years or more.

      David writes on scraps of paper that wander like cats about the house.
      (See Episode 12). I delight whenever he sends me one. How many people get
      letters from the ghetto?

      I am glad you have a thick skin to take my criticisms. I need to speak
      on the things I had on my mind, that you seem to ignore by holding on
      to your thought, and not hearing me. Like talking me into getting rid
      of my books and magazines without cataloging what I had, which is what
      I intended. I know my house looked cluttered, but what you didn't
      know or hear, was that I had books and things all over town, and had
      finally brought most every thing Home after many years and lost. The
      time and travels I had to acquire all I had over the years spread over
      this city, as well as deviling a filing system the way I wanted, for a

      When my mother was kidnapped everything went haywire,. [Episode 5].
      I had no one to turn to, , and you befriended me at a time I was
      alone. for you see people avoid you when you or someone is victimized
      in your family, I have observed this phenomenon over long years. When
      you asked me to participate in your events, that was alright, for it
      gave me a chance to get to meet people and associate with people face
      to face, but then you loaded me up with e-mails I had no real int rest
      in and overload me with thing I wasn't interested in and had no real
      time to participate in.. I had a program, but no one to help or
      volunteers, but you couldn't see or understand, what can be good, can
      also be wrong, in the since that, that many do gooders can't see the
      harm that comes from their own ideas of whats right and whats wrong,
      failing to fully understand fully the situation, never having been put
      in the same situation before, nor having lived under such conditions
      as I and others.

      I never liked other people to give me advise unless I ask for it, nor
      do I give advice without being asked, then I study it out to fine the
      right advice, because if something goes wrong, they will blame you if
      it don't come out right, another thing, to be a good leader, you must
      learn to be a good follower.

      I feed on the words of my elder Moor. I am an independent thinker who
      organizes other such. Like David's cats. He knows their names: Blaze and
      Bear and Monkey Face...

      I am heartened that letters pour into my lab, Minciu Sodas, even as I
      teach full-time in Bosnia. Alex Rollin offers help at Franz Nahrada's
      working group, Global Villages:

      I built the FactorE site for Marcin [Jakubowski, the open source
      farmer of Episode 3]. Check it out. If you want to use Open Source
      software, and you want to be part of a larger whole, then I will
      gladly make a copy of the site for you to use. It is configrued with

      I am offering a COPY of the site at http://factorefarm.org If
      everyone who wishes to invest in the LONG term viability of their web
      infrastructure works together, even just a little bit, then each can
      gain new insights into publishing and the knowledge of maintenance
      'arts' can be distributed and honed.

      That goes for you too, Franz, Andrius, and Gary. You guys are leaders
      in the sense that you are responsible for the first impressions of
      many people, even though your main job is representing the information
      of others. Using Ning shows a certain lack of investment in critical
      infrastructure. Not only that, but, your information presentations on
      Minciu are not order in a consistant way that others might access.

      There are no excuses for using Ning or other proprietary platforms
      (including Yahoo groups!) for information management now. So, in a
      world where that is true, you just have to state your case, and help
      will appear.

      I call up Alex. In ten years, I haven't found any programmers to help me.
      Yes, I met several who fashioned project management software for a better
      world, like the Open Idea Project and the Espians of Episode 9. Oh, do
      programmers flock together! and away from me! and my reality!

      Yes, I have worked with Drupal (CivicSpace). Chris Messina, the
      wunderkind, encouraged me to give it a try. Chris champions our lab and
      its "obscure Lithuanian philosopher". He credits An Economy for Giving
      Everything Away (which I wrote with David) as an influence for the BarCamp
      movement. Unfortunately, my attempts to apply Drupal to "get things done"
      were disastrous. Kerry Santo, the homeless wonder of Ecademy, invested
      her hope and grief in me. I ran into trouble (as with Zope and Plone)
      whenever I wanted to customize anything "outside the tin can pantry". I
      couldn't replace the word "user" in urls, change the layout of forms,
      relate disparate modules, include outside data in the header, or embed
      pages from outside of the system. I also got burned ($1800 unpaid) by a
      client (Chris Winn Consulting) and his client (Rights Working Group) when
      he hired me for a collaborative site. What they really had in mind was a
      content management site, a site for publishing content, which I believe is
      all that Drupal ever is.

      So, instead, I have cobbled together for Minciu Sodas a mix of sites that
      actually get things done. We have an RSS stream from our 30 Yahoo groups,
      thanks to Carp and Grouper. Some 30,000 letters so far! At our wiki,
      people leave comments, thanks to a simple feature that I spent a day to
      code. And so we have 14 comments from people interested in Marcin's
      Compressed Earth Block Press. Whereas I don't see any participation at
      Alex's site for Marcin.

      Alex says it's because Marcin hasn't embraced his system in place of his
      blog. I can understand why! Marcin's blog is the most inspiring I have
      ever seen thanks to posts, photos, videos, ideas and visions by Marcin,
      Brittany and their comrades on their hard won progress towards a Global
      Village Constructor Set. Why replace that?

      Marcin's farm is his mind. David's house is his mind. My lab is my mind.
      I like my mind. I want help with my mind. I don't want to move out of
      it. I don't want to turn it upside down.

      I have set up Ning with the hope that I might access an ID system that we
      could use for logging into our wiki and web pages that we build. Ning
      might also be helpful for our work in small teams. I ask Alex if he might
      set up a Drupal instance so that we could access a small table, for
      example, where our group leaders could store short comments to key letters
      in our archive, and we might thereby generate updates to share across our

      Alex says yes and no. He would help me help somebody else. But he won't
      help me or Franz because we are simply networkers. We don't actually do
      anything. Yet we could help, for example, Graham Knight of Episode 11,
      who makes the solar powered battery rechargers.

      I look forward to next steps. Alex will engage Graham. I will share my
      vision for our lab's website. I will engage builders (like Sam Rose and
      Todd Kelsey) and networkers (like Franz Nahrada, Pamela McLean, Chris
      Macrae) to look for political solutions, which is the big challenge. What
      infrastructure might advance our separate efforts?

      Chris Macrae can't keep up with our emails. He'd like one advocate for
      each of our efforts. Graham agrees to advocate for DIY Solar. Would
      Graham not benefit if networkers like Chris had tools designed for them?

      Oh, do-gooders! Let us please work together.

      Malcolm sat on the bus with an Islamic linguist. He told her my plans for
      when I teach statistics next semester. I and my students will collect
      data about the villages they know in Bosnia. We'll design a Global
      Villages Index. We'll support Franz Nahrada's vision of a network of
      peace villages in the Balkans, like the El Camino Real, stretching from
      Athens to Vienna. She told Malcolm that before the war, certain Bosnian
      villages were known for their goodheartedness, welcoming all in need. We
      might revive that!

      Yet even before we arrive in Sarajevo, I have learned that, quite
      possibly, Professor Stephen Jenkins (of Episode 12) will teach statistics.
      I may have lost my job.

      What can I say? Sasha Mrkailo of Serbia has just agreed to work again for
      our lab, a small project, to identify a Balkan fund that might, through
      the university, fund my work on our help room or other projects. But I
      need to dream new dreams. What good might I do?

      Oh, do-gooders! Thank you for blessing our chat room with your work
      together! Serina Kalande and Daudi Were and activists from around the
      world came together to made great use of our chat room

      Solana: This past week, I helped make a world map of HIV-positive
      bloggers. We asked Global Voices bloggers to find links in their
      countries, and people were surprised how many bloggers there were. ::
      Even in places where it's a big taboo. I was a little sad we didn't
      manage to find more links in Africa. ... We came up with the idea
      for this chat only a week ago, if we had more time it would have been
      good to invite more positive bloggers to share their experiences here.
      I think we should be sure to involve them in the writing of the Guide.

      Patrick Karanja: I think an important aspect of blogging should also
      be to make people understand that one can live long after HIV
      dIiagnosis. Most of the information around is on prevention (which is
      very important) but alone does little to eradicate stigma. In Africa,
      for example, people fear DEATH. Stigma comes because people start
      imagining you are on your way to a guaranteed death soon. :: Noone
      want to be associated with death.

      Daudi: we seem to have identified a few issues - the debate over
      control of information in the blogs - promoting leadership amongst the
      HIV/AIDS community ... it looks like the sections of the guide are
      almost writing themselves

      Serina: I'd like to thank Andrius for letting us use the chatroom ...
      next chat will be on the 9th of February, we'll mail out details
      through the Rising Voices mail list ... Join the Blogging Positively
      Group on google as well, that is the base for the guide ... Threads of
      this conversation will also go on at the ActALIVE yahoo forum

      Solana: would anyone with links to hiv+ bloggers please email them to
      me solana.larsen AT gmail.com so I can include them on our world map

      What a rare instance of various people of various forums working to
      include each other. They succeed because they are including those who
      can't join us. They are Includers.

      I include Mark Glaser and Gary Kebbel.

      I was just discussing with Gary your blog posts on Idea Lab. We both
      think that you should try to focus your posts to the idea of "The
      Includer" and not focus as much on your personal stories or the
      stories of other people in your life. I think references to personal
      information is fine from time to time, but I have noticed that many of
      your blog posts on Idea Lab veer into the personal and away from the
      focus of The Includer. If you can try to stay focused on that idea in
      future blog posts, we would really appreciate that.

      Don't think of us as people! Think of us as machines who listen, record,
      hold and share one's hard won wisdom. David writes:

      I have the laptop next to me, and it still won;'t come on and stay. I
      have been messing with this about 3 hours or more, and trying not to
      get frustrated, and this one is making a gong sound every other

      But David, let me read you the messages left for you at your wiki page,
      where we put up your funeral service, which you asked me to conduct.

      Thomas Simpson: Dear Bro. David, This is your child in Spirit who you
      cared for when we all lived on 166th street in New York. It was sad to
      hear of Fannie's death, but good to read your poem dedicated to her. I
      know that this web page is in preparation of your funeral while you
      are still alive. I hope that it is not too late to hear from you just
      one more time...YOUR SPIRITUAL SON, THOMAS JR.

      Elder Kendall Cox: This is his nephew and I would like to say add a
      prayer for my Uncle David's home going preperation. God Bless.


      Oh David! They found you and called you. You trembled in wonder, after
      thirty years, to hear from your godson!

      David, write us! May Allah send you a new Includer, model Charles
      Williams of Episode 9, a machine of good heart and noble specs. He

      * I am now employed full-time as a computer instructor and
      employment coach in Chicago (south).
      * I help approximately 30 adults per month learn basic computer
      and job search skills.
      * Call me at 312-560-2592 (cell) or email me with your job leads:
      labor, office, manufacturing, entry-level, etc etc. Especially
      need job leads for our people who were historically excluded.
      * I also promote and market businesses at my web site
      www.shopsouthchicago.com. Please participate.
      * Blogs and promoting sustainable agriculture and vegetable
      gardens and so on.... My current project is at

      David, speak to me!
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