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Reasons To Be Cheerful
"I’m starting an online project here that is an continuation and extension of some writing and talks I’ve done recently.

The project will be cross-platform—some elements may appear on social media, some on a website and some might manifest as a recording or performance… much of the published material will be collected here.

What is Reasons To Be Cheerful?

I imagine, like a lot of you who look back over the past year, it seems like the world is going to Hell. I wake up in the morning, look at the paper, and go, "Oh no!" Often I’m depressed for half the day. It doesn’t matter how you voted on Brexit, the French elections or the U.S. election—many of us of all persuasions and party affiliations feel remarkably similar.

As a kind of remedy and possibly as a kind of therapy, I started collecting good news that reminded me, "Hey, there's actually some positive stuff going on!" Almost all of these initiatives are local, they come from cities or small regions who have taken it upon themselves to try something that might offer a better alternative than what exits. Hope is often local. Change begins in communities.

I will post thoughts, images and audio relating to this initiative on whichever platform seems suitable and I’ll welcome contributions from others, if they follow the guidelines I’ve set for myself.

These bits of good news tend to fall into a few categories:

Education
Health
Civic Engagement
Science/Tech
Urban/Transportation
Energy
Culture

Culture, music and the arts might include, optimistically, some of my own work and projects, but just as much I hope to promote the work of others that has a proven track record.

Why do I do this? Why take the time? Therapy, I guess, though once in awhile I meet someone who has the connections and skills but might not be aware of some of these initiatives and innovations, so I can pass the information on. I sense that not all of this is widely known.

Emulation of successful models- 4 guidelines

I laid out 4 guidelines as I collected these examples:

1. Most of the good stuff is local. It’s more bottom up, community and individually driven. There are exceptions.

2. Many examples come from all over the world, but despite the geographical and cultural distances in many cases others can adopt these ideas—these initiatives can be utilized by cultures other than where they originated.

3. Very important. All of these examples have been tried and proven to be successful. These are not merely good IDEAS; they’ve been put into practice and have produced results.

4. The examples are not one-off, isolated or human interest, feel-good stories. They’re not stories of one amazing teacher, doctor, musician or activist- they’re about initiatives that can be copied and scaled up.

If it works, copy it

For example, in an area I know something about, there was an innovative bike program in Bogota, and years later, I saw that program become a model for New York and for other places.

The Ciclovia program in Bogota"
davidbyrne  politics  urban  urbanism  bogotá  curitiba  addiction  portugal  colombia  brazil  brasil  jaimelerner  cities  society  policy  qualityoflife  economics  drugs  health  healthcare  crime  ciclovia  bikes  biking  bikesharing  activism  civics  citybike  nyc  medellín  afroreggae  vigariogeral  favelas  obesity  childabuse  education  casamantequilla  harlem  civicengagment  engagement  women'smarch  northcarolina  ingridlafleur  afrotopia  detroit  seattle  citizenuniversity  tishuanajones  sunra  afrofuturism  stlouis  vancouver  britishcolumbia  transportation  publictransit  transit  velib  paris  climatechange  bipartisanship  energy  science  technology  culture  music  art  arts  behavior 
27 minutes ago by robertogreco
Never accept an MDM policy on your personal phone
MDM stands for Mobile Device Management, and is a way to ensure employees stay productive and do not breach corporate policies.
control  pwned  mdm  mobile  device  policy  firewall 
20 hours ago by ivar
CIPPIC - Clinique d'intérêt public et de politique d'Internet du Canada
La Clinique d’intérêt public et de politique d’Internet du Canada Samuelson-Glushko (CIPPIC) est une clinique en droit et de la technologie basé au Centre de recherche en droit, technologie et société dans la section de common law de l’Université d’Ottawa au Canada.
recherche  education  Canada  Ottawa  research  policy  politiques  web  droit  law 
yesterday by kmo
Vermont bill may target one type of fluorescent lamp for ban - VTDigger
A bill under review by a Vermont House committee would mean lights out for a fluorescent bulb technology hailed when it came out as showing colors well, but since matched or surpassed in that category and easily topped by other products for energy efficiency.
VTdigger  energyefficiency  LED  policy 
2 days ago by eversourcenh
Vermont bill may target one type of fluorescent lamp for ban - VTDigger
A bill under review by a Vermont House committee would mean lights out for a fluorescent bulb technology hailed when it came out as showing colors well, but since matched or surpassed in that category and easily topped by other products for energy efficiency.
VTdigger  energyefficiency  LED  policy 
2 days ago by northernpass
How to Be an Anticapitalist Today
There is thus an inherent tension between the real and the utopian. It is precisely this tension which the idea of a “real utopia” is meant to capture. The point is to sustain our deepest aspirations for a just and humane world that does not exist while also engaging in the practical task of building real-world alternatives that can be constructed in the world as it is that also prefigure the world as it could be and which help move us in that direction.

Real utopias thus transform the no-where of utopia into the now-here of creating emancipatory alternatives of the world as it could be in the world as it is.
leftism  capitalism  politics  cooperatives  wikipedia  cooperative  *****  jacobin  library  policy  socialism  utopianism  ubi 
2 days ago by gpe
Q&A: Edward Snowden on rights, privacy, secrets and leaks in conversation with Jimmy Wales

JW: Much of this debate seems to rest on the preconception that if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind any intrusion into your privacy. What do you think?

ES: Privacy’s not about having something to hide, privacy’s about something to protect.

Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights. Privacy is where rights are derived from, because privacy is the right to the self. Privacy is the right to a free mind. Privacy is the ability to have something, anything, for yourself, for you. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean very much if you can’t have your own ideas and to have your own ideas, you have to have a safe space to develop these ideas, to figure out what it is that you actually believe in. Then to test these ideas selectively with people you trust, to determine whether this is actually a good idea or whether it’s stupid.

If every idea that you had ever uttered was instantly captured and recorded and followed you around for the rest of your life, you would never outlive even the slightest mistakes that you’d made. ...

JW: Beyond the day-to-day implications, breaches of privacy and security have a more profound effect on the rights of citizens as individuals. Have you come to any conclusions on this issue?

ES: Rights aren’t for the majority, rights aren’t for the privileged, rights aren’t for the powerful, because they don’t need them. Their access to influence allows them to shape what rights are. They allow them to shape what our laws are. They allow them to determine and influence the way society works. Rather, rights are for the least powerful. Rights are for the powerless. They’re for the minority. They’re for the different. They’re for the weak.
EdwardSnowden  interview  government  surveillance  policy 
2 days ago by jefframnani
The ‘Frequent Flier’ Program That Grounded a Hospital’s Soaring Costs - POLITICO Magazine
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (or PCCI) was a joint effort with community partners such as homeless shelters and food pantries to build a network of what was hoped would eventually be hundreds of community-based social services around Dallas County, with Parkland Memorial at the center of it. A sophisticated software platform would enable the hospital to easily refer homeless people discharged from its emergency room to shelters and pantries, and to let social workers at those places see what their clients were doing: whether they were filling their prescriptions, or getting healthy food, or had a place to sleep, or money for the bus. It would be so much cheaper to meet those needs outside the medical system than to pay for the consequences inside it. Two years into the program, evidence is mounting that PCCI is working.
health  politics  policy 
3 days ago by sandykoe
Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men - POLITICO Magazine
If you take time to dig into the research, you’ll find that mental illness doesn’t play the role in mass shootings and other gun violence that many, especially our politicians, seem to think it does. Serious mental illness has been found to be conclusively present in a minority of mass shootings—only 14.8 percent of all of the mass shootings committed in the U.S., defined as a shooting which injures or kills four or more people, between 1966 and 2015. (Another study focusing on different data collections of generalized “mass murder” from 1949 to 2015 attributes 23 percent of those incidents to the mentally ill.) Studies have also found that those with serious mental illness are responsible for just 4 percent of the incidences of interpersonal violence and less than 1 percent of all gun-related homicides annually in the United States. Generally speaking, people with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of firearm violence than commit it.

Yet, while most mass shooters in the past 35 years have not been found to have a serious mental illness, nearly all of them do have one thing in common: their sex. Of the 96 mass shootings committed since 1982, all but two were committed by men. (Most of them were white.)
politics  policy 
3 days ago by sandykoe

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