April 28, 2008

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Phil Hughes on Bob Frankson, applied in Estelí, Nicaragua:

  In social-political terms, it means looking for a local solution and then growing that solution to connect to other resources. It seems like something that could be done, would be good for Nicaragua/Nicaraguan communities and would even appeal to some organizations looking to make grants. Much like the grants for the sewer and water projects in Estelí, this is infrastructure. Up-front costs are much larger than operating costs so it doesn’t build that dependency cycle.
  Am I crazy?


Phil is in a great position to build infrastructure from the edge in. Also to see The Problem of centralization for the purpose only of creating artificial scarcities and charging for them. If we’re going to start working around connectivity compromised by value-subtracting business models, towns like Phil’s are good places to start. (Also to start leading incumbent carriers toward a future where they are part of a new ecosystem that’s much larger than the one they’ll need to quit trying to control.)

By the way, Phil is the friend who started (and for most of its history published) and hired me on there in the late ’90s. It was Phil who showed me (without meaning to, which might be the best way) that the software industry was slowly but surely turning in to the construction industry.

And that’s exacty the model we need to follow as we buid this thing back out, from the edge in.

After brunch at yesterday, we caught the — a rope jumping team of high schoolers from Torrington, CT — putting on an amazing demonstration of skill and enthusiasm, outside the Davis stop on the Red Line in Somerville. Turned out they were there to help promote , a movie showing that afternoon, and this evening, right next door at the Somerville Theater, as part of Boston’s .

I’m trying to put up one of the short videos I shot with my little Canon still camera, and it hasn’t appeared yet. Check here to see it it’s showed up. Meanwhile, here are a couple of Forbes Flyers’ own from their collection on YouTube.

So, after going to a museum at MIT for about an hour or so, we returned and caught the movie, and with it an enthusiasm both for the sport and the Xtremely Fine Job that Helen Wood Scheer, Scott B. Morgan and crew did putting the movie together. It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, on any subject.

It’s showing again tonight at 7:30, and next in San Francisco (Wednesday), Santa Cruz and Charleston. Check this page for details. Also the Jump! movie blog.

So I decided to cave in and say yes to patients waiting in the accumulating pile of friend requests at my Facebook account. Haven’t been to Facebook in awhile, so I was also curious to see if “friending” has improved since the last time I slogged my way through the process.

First, l lost count of how many seconds passed during login. As usual, I clicked “remember me”, but I have no faith that it will next time. It never has before.

Second, I now have 190 friend requests. I know a few dozen of these folks. I would like to say yes to them as a group. While this would be handy and useful, and must be something that users have wanted for a long time, it’s still not there — though it’s nice to see that the silly intermediate checkbox thing (about how you know this person) is gone. Still, it takes another 10 18 25 seconds or so between clicking “confirm” and actual confirmation. With nothing happening in the browser’s status bar. So you have no idea if clicking even worked.

Makes me wonder if there is a cure for silos that isn’t yet another silo.

There has to be. Eventually. Somehow.

[Later…] I just “friended” a few people. They took, 30, 15, 8, 14, 33, 5, 34, 15, 5 and 5 seconds. I won’t bother to average those, because they don’t include the last two I tried. Both took more than a minute before I gave up because nothing happened. Awful.

When a blog comment to an ancient post comes into moderation and it has no relevance to that post, and the English is awful, I’m figuring it’s a splog (spam blog) comment. So I kill it.

The latest one killed went, question: How many guys ( MARRIED) feel that all they do is for not? eg… work around the house/ work for a living eg… bring home the bacon. / try to do all they can with their kids and then some. If you feel the same way i do tell my wife. That’s in response to this post from last September.

What would have happened if I had approved it? Well, in the past at least one of them turned my server into a spam slave. Or something. I just remember that the server was compromised and unscrewing it took a lot of work. The compromise came in through an old WordPress install that hadn’t been updated. One blog was killed outright and another still isn’t back.

More about the risks here. Sad that the Web has turned into a city where everybody has to bolt their doors, but … it is.