I scattered $25 contributions all around the country for Senate races, so of course now I'm getting calls and spam from Dems wanting more.
If they're willing to call me, with a real human being (it seems) why not send an email written by a human being, asking if I have anything I want to contribute that might not be money?
Someday political parties will do more than advertise, they will gather the best ideas from the people and implement them. A different kind of transparency.
Right now I'd tell the Dems to talk about oversight.
Restoring power to Congress.
And that means voting out the Repubs.
I'd like to hear some promises from Dems that they plan to provide the missing oversight.
PS: Here's the tweet.
PPS: Here's the text, so search engines can find it.
I don't like conferences that are all about the speakers, esp if I don't know who they are. When you put people on stage speaking, they have had so much time to prepare, they have slides for everything they thought of while they were preparing, and sometimes that was months. So it takes forever for them to get to the point. Or they don't do much prep, and they just play back the pitch they made to VCs or play the deck they used on their press tour.
Or they're blowhard CEOs, so full of themselves they hardly know anyone else is there. I once heard Larry Ellison speak at a tech industry conference where he thought he was talking to an Oracle User Group! At least we got to hear what he says to them (it was mostly press, financial types and his competitors).
I stumbled across a different format in the 00s that we called an unconference, a name that has since been usurped by a different format. In our format, it's a discussion group with a leader at the front who interviews the room. It has to be someone who knows who's there, and has an idea for a story, and has a hardass attitude about people droning, repeating, and self-serving. With someone who knows what they're doing, it's something to behold. Everyone is on their toes, involved. And you can be called on, so you can't afford to lose track of what's going on in the room.
I find professors and reporters make good moderators. The more opinionated they are the better.
The Newsgeist conference I went to a couple of years ago actually carries on that tradition, in some of the sessions. I wonder why? Maybe it's because Jeff Jarvis is involved, and he was a big fan of the format back in the day.
What made me think of this is I've been getting email from Poptech, a conference in Maine in early November. It's totally about the speakers. Kind of TEDish (though it's not a copy, it's a contemorary). I didn't know any of the speakers. I'm pretty sure I don't know any of the attendees. Why spend $2000 for that? Not that I didn't consider it, I did. 🚀
$25 each to:
From this list. 💥
I find people who are willing to trade off moral superiority against losing the election, still, given all that's happening, the most depressing thing about American politics. No one cares about your "point" -- we're trying to get back on course.
Thinking of an analogy. Suppose you're taking a car trip and your navigator decides to take you over a bridge that's washed out because it's shorter than the detour that isn't washed out.
Sometimes you have to give up one thing to get the thing you really need.
Manchin voted for Kavanaugh. His opponent will for sure vote with McConnell on everything. Manchin would not have been the deciding vote if it came down to that.
There's a real joy in giving up on perfection. Now you can get something done.
A longtime friend was taken down by #metoo. Lost everything. The screed against him, posted on Medium, when edited down to real, not imagined, accusations was that when he was drunk he felt the breasts of a woman who was also drunk, in public, at a party at a tech conference.
He admitted it, and apologized, even though because he is an alchoholic, he had no memory of it. I thought the accusation should have been made without a lot of the imagined offenses, very clearly.
He wasn't one of the famous targets of #metoo, he was just quietly deleted.
No, I don't think it was fair, but that isn't the point of my story.
I posted a note of love and support for my friend on Facebook, and almost immediately the threats of accusations against me came both publicly and privately. Nothing that amounted to anything, but it made it clear I'd better shut up, or else I'll be joining my friend in oblivion.
When I was terribly sick in 2002, he was one of three friends who stood by me. He came to visit regularly while I was recuperating. He always listens when I have something to say. He's a good friend. He also can be a total jerk. I've seen that too. He got drunk on a lot of bullshit, not just alcohol.
Since then the #metoo parade has passed him by. I'm sure very few people remember what happened to him. But he can't get back on his feet. He's in AA now. He's become a house husband, taking care of the kids while his wife works. I'm sure some people take pleasure in this, feel it's only fair that a man's life be destroyed this way, because so much terrible stuff has happened to women.
Finally I get to the point of the story..
Maybe you're right, in some moral way, maybe men do deserve this. But while my friend's life has been destroyed, he can still vote. His friends can vote. I won't vote Republican because of this, but I would like the Democrats to start worrying about this too, not seeing it as so one-sided, that all women are right and fair, always, and would never accuse a man of doing something he didn't actually do. Or wouldn't embellish it to make it more dramatic. Or use an accusation to get even for some other perceived offense. Or maybe for no reason at all.
Women are people, as humanly flawed as men. Give them a way to hurt other people, and they will use it. The idea that a woman would never make an accusation unless they knew it was true is incorrect. So we need to do better than simply "believe the woman."
BTW, there was abuse in my family when I was growing up. So I know how it ruins lives. I've written about it on my blog. There's a lot more I could write if I had the courage to do so.
Conclusion: Because there is unfairness in the #metoo movement, because it silences a legitimate point of view, it gives the Republicans something to campaign on that resonates. We have a problem. Much more than Kavanaugh.
We've built a technological house of cards. Ever taller, no foundation.
We're animals. We think we do things for reasons we understand, but we're 99% instinct-driven.
We use our technology platform as if we are primates living in trees.