The Includer: Episode 13: Do-Gooders
- View SourceI'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 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
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
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* Call me at 312-560-2592 (cell) or email me with your job leads:
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* Blogs and promoting sustainable agriculture and vegetable
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David, speak to me!