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It's not the quesiton, it's your reaction that matters.

I'm going to ask you to gauge your reaction to these questions:

How much money do you think has been spent developing a copy protection system for Blue Ray movie disks?
How much money do you think has been spent developing a bullet that only fires from a legally purchased gun?
How much money do you think has been spent developing a system by which you pay a royalty each and every time you listen to a song?

One of these things is not like the other.

Clay Shirky Keynote at Drupalcon

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I had the great fortune of attending DrupalCon Chicago last week. My favorite session was the Clay Shirky keynote. Thanks to the gang at Phase II Technology, who handed out these excellent little notebooks, I decided to go ahead and take some notes in the style of the sketchnoter.
The whole set is published at flickr.

Clay Shirky Keynote Set

I'm going to have to tweak my scanning set up in order to get better, more consistant scans, but I didn't want the relentless pursuit of perfection keep these notes from being shared. Enjoy!

Good Choices

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Sometimes, I think I put too much on my daughter. She's a five-year-old in a very harsh world. It's easy to focus on the ways she doesn't meet my expectations. But, this weekend, at every corner, she's showed me how much love, compassion and joy she's capable of sharing with the world.

On Friday, Gaia gave me a fortune cookie, but I forgot to eat it.
Today, I found it. And since the world has seemed relatively unsettled lately, the cookie's message gave me comfort.
I stuck it to a post-it and scanned it.


I hope it comforts you, if not inspires you, as it has for me.

Don't get mad: Organize!

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Editor's Note: This is a republish of a Facebook "note" written by my dear friend Bob, which I'm sharing as far and as wide as possible (with a few extra linkies.) I hope it inspires you as it has me.

WI Protests

by Robert Paxton



There's a page from the Republican playbook titled "Piss off the liberals". Google it -- you'll see blog posts, t-shirts and bumper stickers. It's a strong theme for them, because it's a way of forging tribal identity. If it pisses off a liberal, the thinking goes, we must be doing something right because "they" aren't like "us".

The Governor's mind - - as well as those of the Republican caucuses in the Senate and Assembly - - will not be changed by protests. It doesn't matter how cunningly worded the signs are or which lefty star we get to stand up and deliver big applause lines. Why not? All this sturm und drang is proof positive, to the modern Republican, that they're on the right track. You see it in the video, you see it in the sneering contempt of letters like Sen. Fitzgerald sent to Sen. Miller the other day. We're all worked up, and hoo boy, did they ever hit a motherlode!

So: if you believe that your time spent out there will persuade them to change their minds...let me tell you, heart-to-heart from a confirmed and unabashed Liberal, that you will not succeed in that goal. But! Don't let that stop you from going out and protesting. It won't stop me.

See, all this stuff happening right now? The Tea Party, the 2010 election upsets, the 17 (SEVENTEEN!) states all looking to screw the unions all at once? This is the end result of a coordinated and well-funded effort spanning three decades. They're playing a long game, with feudalism as the goal. If you hadn't already guessed, your role is to be a serf.

This has been tried before, several times in our country's history, and we have tools at hand to stop it. Those tools have handles that are hard to grasp, and some of us haven't had to really put hands to them in our adult lives. They have names like recall elections, and strikes, and canvassing for candidates, and getting the vote out on Election Day like it really personally matters - - because it does.

All those teachers and state workers who will soon see their paychecks a couple hundred bucks lighter every month? Those increasing class sizes? Those sweetheart corporate deals which somehow never really materialize any jobs? That's all stuff that can be fixed. But it can only be fixed by looking at this not as a series of "freakouts of the moment" which get people to drop their dinner forks and run to occupy the Capitol...but as a long, sustained and serious commitment on the part of a whole lot of you, to bring your talents and money and energy to bear.

So what are these protests good for? This is the crucible and the flame in which the metal of this next movement are being forged. We're learning how to use the tools now: look at #wiunion on Twitter, or the care and thought the Capitol Committee put into supporting round-the-clock protests for weeks...supplying food, medical care, people to talk with, purpose for congregating. These protests are where we can intertwine our roots, exchange email addresses and build the resolve to see each other again at the next targeted, focused inflection point where we can genuinely cause a shift.

The recall petitions for the 8 eligible Republican senators are the first place which could use help. The election of Kloppenburg to the Supreme Court in 3 weeks is the next. In November, the petition drive to get Walker and Kleefisch out of office is the next after that.

These are all goals that will take a concerted effort to pull off. These protests will not make them happen, but they WILL provide needed enthusiasm and networking. That's their real purpose - - the engine by which we can not bowl others over with the sound of our own voice, but buoy ourselves and each other up for the long road ahead.

Don't get mad: organize.

Cool Hand Luke, Jesus, and The Doctor

I haven't the fan-cred to really talk about this, but I'm going to anyway.
I find a degree of discomfort in the alignment of Dr. Who and Christmas. My understanding is that it's a 2005 series innovation, beginning with the first full episode featuring the 10th Doctor entitled The Christmas Invasion.Great. Fine. I get it. Christmas is an easy programming target to hit, and people like to get their Christmas and Who on at the same time. I understand.

And, for the most part, the Christmas specials are largely secular. There really hasn't been a lot of overly Christian imagery intermingled with the Doctor's love of Christmas. I mean, it's a part of a larger culture, as far as I'm concerned, and I assume a man as learned and travled as the Doctor respects and loves celebratory cultures across the board-- Unless there is some kind of Dalek New Years festival, but that's a rathole we really shouldn't go down.

But then comes this BBC advertisement for the 2010 Chrismas Special, wherein the Doctor as Jesus argument is about as thinly veiled as I've ever seen it:

Exhibit A: The Doctor = Cool Hand Luke = Jesus


Still not had enough evidence of the slippery slope the BBC rides as they try to align Dr. Who with Christianity? Try this on:
Exhibit B: Dr. Who Advent(ure) Calendar.

Oh, to roll, it is to create!

Come back prince!

Spent the weekend, among other things, rolling the ball with an old friend. Years ago, in days gone by, when there were fewer cells and we had to share the one wireless joystick between the three of us, J and I would “roll the ball” in the evenings, pushing our glorious, beautiful wad of junk across rooms, grocery stores, through zoos— you know… the usual.

We revisited the same thing about a year ago, via Katamari Forever on the PS3, but with this winter’s loss of all my PS3 save data due to hardware failure, we’re replaying. Rolling the ball is still a great experience. Gaia plays along now.

Rolling the ball.... Must be the holidays.

(Hey Sony, I have dex-drive based backups of my Resident Evil 2 save files on my hard drive from 1999-- not that they aren't also still on the memory cards still hanging out of the PlayStation. Remind me why you decided I can’t make backups of my save files any more?)

Just Renewed: thoughts on blogging

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DetailJust renewed this here hosting package for another year, so I guess that means is going to stick around at least until May when the Domain Name comes due.
I don't know if any of you ever are looking for just plain easy, reliable, no-bs hosting, but I've been nothing but happy with A2. At $2.95 a month, it's just silly cheap for a service that has real human beings that answer the phone when you need a little support.

Here's my advice about Blogging: If you have something to say, say it. Forget about the rest of that noize on the internet about schedules, planning, focus, and yaddayadda. Just do your thing. You're worthy. You have something to say. That matters. Forget the rest.

OH NOES! The Holdiday Music! Where iz it?

If you are the type to make a fantastic and well thought-out playlist or gift CD to play and give during your holiday celebration, then you are a better person than me.

I used to. I really did. It was a lot of work back then. You had to rip your CDs manually, and you didn't bother to pirate download songs because it took forever at 28.8kbps. But I digress. Times change.

This year I point you in the direction of some of my favorite Holdiay music sources.

  1. DJ Riko's Merry Mixmas
    Yeah. DJ Riko mixes up a fresh CD's worth of gapless holiday songs every year. Since 200X. Download these now. Easily the best questionably legal source of holiday awesomeness you'll download all year.
  2. Xmas in Frisko on SomaFM
    Often racy, usually rocking, ocassionally unlistenable: That's Xmas in Frisko. Streams seasonally from the folks at SomaFM. If you don't know SomaFM, think of it this way: SomaFM is a way better place to send your holiday donations than some snooty "Human fund."
    I can't belive I've become a fan of Just know this: There are probably some Christmas classics you've been wanting to hear for years. You can probably buy unlimited access to streaming that song from for about 10-cents a song. If you're careful, you can probably get all the songs you'll want using the free credits that come with signing up at>
  4. Last.FM, the granddaddy of community tagged streaming music has just about any kind of music you could want to listen to, so long as you're clever enough to think to search on the tag. You think I'm kidding? Then have your fill of Harry Potter filk.