Entries tagged "life"

Comics Night out at ladyparts

With Mary Van Note at ladyparts in SF tonight: a kind of happy dev house for creative chicks w cookies and wine.

Next workshop: SF 10/17
see: unpresenting.com

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

Join me in socially creating my new piece WITH – Speaking at: Being Human in an InHuman Age Watch at 12 EST [video]

I'm speaking at this conference at Bard full of philosophers, Hannah Arendt experts, and very smart people. And then there will be me. I am still not sure what the word ontological means. I'm going to use that as an asset and intimacy the place up.

You can watch the stream here.

Today is the beginning of socially developing my new piece WITH (it's a working title. If I capitalize it all then it's at least as important as The Man From U.N.C.L.E.).

For Bard folks, here are links to pieces I will refer to: Flow: How I Deal With Information Overwhelm, Totally Gay for the Web, How to Tummel: Design for Conversation, my podcast with Kevin Marks and Deb Schultz on the art of social engagement and human-centred life : TummelVision.tv

Everything, as they say, is subject to change. Here is how I will begin. You and your thoughts are welcome

The geeks are been afraid of people and built the web.

The social people have been afraid of technology but now have to use it.

The geeks built the web for information *and* to connect w each other.

The web has passed the social tipping point. The relational will pass pure info as a mode of understanding.

The industrial era included the creation of psychoanalysis, the novel, self-consciousness.

We are now entering a new era of social-consciousness: awareness of the (already, always existing) social /relational element to all we do BECAUSE WE HAVE DATA + FEEDBACK SHOWING US ALL THE TIME. WE ALL EXIST IN DATA ALL THE TIME.

The geek dream was to have all the data all the time. To exist in information. 

But why? to connect. Information is a tool for understanding and also the safe space for geeks to connect.

The industrial era turned everything into a product and people into objects.

The info era turned everything into a service and even business relational.

It will help us return to our relational selves.

People may say it's isolating us, we spend less time with each other, more time alone w a screen:

1) being in front of a screen snit' necessarily being alone

2) being with others isn't necessarily being together

3) to be together now, in person, is much more of a choice

For an incredibly long time public power has been about the rational, white, men, the controllers of technology and information.

The social web is the tipping point of when the "private" entered public and the skills of the previously "feminine" world become publicly necessary.

Authority was vested in position. In status. In the ability to do things AT and TO people.

When everyone has tools and information. And physical needs are met (the West) then what remains (in awareness) is the social / relational driver. 

People created business and technology to serve their needs. Then often they repressed their own human-ness in order to serve the goals of biz and tech which we've come to trust as more "inevitable" than our internal needs.

In village life people lived communally. They had to repress their individual personalities and differences (inc. ethnic, religious, etc) in order to socially connect. GROUP The industrial era urbanized. People could be different in their own ghetto (Harlem, Glazer/Jews: 5:00 Shadow, gays, the nerd table etc)-early web organized like this too: special interest group because organized by Keyword. SELF (difference)

The social tipping point puts us in a new stage. Info economy. Socially: *networked village* exists in urban *and* rural places. We have to learn how to be >different together<. How to create space for that. THIS IS THE MAJOR CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME. We need new public space, new lessons, new skills.

WITH tells this story but also gives some insights into How to be social in this *new networked way* How to create space in which we can be different together. We need to build tools and biz with this awareness.  (lots of biz reasons why too-loss of traditional marketing, the social OS. need for authenticity to have trust to navigate etc)

A healthy relational state is one in which people and things act WITH each other.

WITH demands self-agency. You have to choose the other person(s) or acts. If you cannot really see other people then you are not really WITH them. You may be next to them. Or doing things TO them.  Most of our isms come from people not seeing each other.

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#ItGetsBetter Beauty Break – To call this a Gymnastics Video doesn't Do It Justice


This made me tear up. We are capable of conceiving making and even just watching in astonishment, beauty like this.

Beauty is a wonderful reason to live. It does not judge you. It asks nothing of you.

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Patti Smith: "My first influence was Jo March in Little Women"

Fun Democracy Now interview with the great patti Smith. The best stuff is after 5:40.

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My story and a request: #PleaseHearMe for teens so that #ItGetsBetter (video coming)

I will make a video about this. But this has been percolating and I can't take reading yet another posting about yet another queer teen suicide (oy, Raymond Chase RIP ) after it's been, what, 6 publicized in the past two weeks?

I'm writing ( and soon video-ing) for three reasons:
•to participate in Dan Savage's #ItGetsBetter project to encourage queer youth
•to reply to the many comments (Megan McCardle's the first among them) I've seen on the web suggesting that there's no need to specifically address queer youth suicide and encouragement because we should just address all bullying and it's all the same, and
•suggest a new, twist to #ItGetsBetter. That we not only talk to queer youth but listen to them. Let's not just tell or ask. Let's listen. Let's not just witness the Tyler Clementi's after they're tragically gone.

I'm asking queer youth to tell us their stories and feelings, asking us to #PleaseHearMe. And I'm asking you queer youth to post them as video responses to people who have posted #ItGetsBetter videos and the IGB folks to respond. even with one sentence. Please, let's witness our youth. 


I'm not so pleased with all the "it's no different than being fat etc". Listen bullying is shit for everyone and I know about it intimately. The point of the LGBT outrage this week is not that bullying isn't shit for everyone who is pegged as different and tortured. it's bad and we should do everything we can to stop all bullying and listen to all kids who are alone and isolated.


there is a special kind of queer invisibility that is related to the active legal persecution of LGBT folks. I'm not saying "our pain is better  than your pain" I know pain, like Fran Lebowitz said of genocides are like snowflakes: no two are alike.

I'm saying that the not even understanding who or what you are, especially in the heat of sexual identity development is tough and especially when you have no mirroring, no examples and for some of these kids religious parents or o=institutions actively persecuting them and telling them basically that what they naturally feel is'n't what they naturally feel or that t is evil.

A basic  feeling, driver, like "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired' is wrong. This is shown to you a million ways., even from those who have most influence over you. Now try to trust yourself, your instincts., your perception of the world. We know what we know psychologically because it is mirrored. It's how we all develop as people.

And is it fucked up and wrong that peoples projected discomfort and anger is getting poured all over queer kids (or anyone) and that this is ENCOURAGED or allowed. This intolerance is mirrored as ok rather than the most basic impulse of life and life's BEST impulse: affection, caring, desire, LOVE.

I was treated like absolute shit most days of my high school life for all kinds of reasons: being nerdy, beign pegged oung in a small town (bullies rarely innovate in terms of targets and worse than bullies were the many who just silently shunned me) socially inept, intellectual, very much so for being Jewish not so much for being openly gay because I was confused as hell about it, not really so completely gay and I guess I could pass a little bit. 

But the truth is that I didn't even know the WORD LESBIAN till I got to college. There was not a single book in the public library under "homosexuality" when I looked and I was more an more inept , looking back, BECAUSE I was faking so many heterosexual things which were the social currency of having any kind of friendship much of the time. Once I started to feel I was feeling something intense for girls I started to fear I'd be disowned for it. 

So I only had "dyke" yelled at me once even though I had the entire football team stand up daily and chant anti-Semitic stuff at me every day in the cafeteria. The latter was humiliating but I never felt odd about being Jewish. I felt comfortable and proud because I had a strong Jewish community and family and lots of fun and warmth associated with it.

There was no one gay though. No one. Except Velma on Scooby Doo.

I contemplated suicide as a teen and I did a pretty useless attempt at something once (and I'm aware the the insurance system is bizarre enough that these words may be scraped, de-contextualized and used against me some day but I'm putting them out there now because it's too important to not share if I can help even one young person know that i really do understand and feel an ounce better). But I loved life. As painful as it was at the moment and as much as I lived for the future there was so much beauty in people, ideas, learning, music, sport, a story..there was just too much that I loved. I was desperate to be seen in those lonely lonely days.

So to all of you at the nerd table: the Jews, and the geeks and the fat kids and the freaks and regular looking and privately vomiting or awkwarding ones and the misfits. I love you all. It will get better for you and all of the injustice done to you is unfair and the bullying should not be tolerated. But to you young queer kids: please please know that those feelings you might already be learning to push down are yours. No one else gets to own them, tell you they're no real. Your feelings are how you know you're alive.  They're the sensors of life. They are what art is made of and that's the greatest thing humans have ever come up with. They are why you're fabulous and please please please find a way to have those feelings and share them with someone or the Net in a way that works for you.

Let those feelings flow through you, course through you, harder and stronger every day. Don't limit them. You can contain them .You can be smart about when you and how you express them (thus leading to a level of emotional maturity your peers will probably wait decades more to develop) but please please don't listen to someone who tries to erase them.

They are part of your magnificence. Please share them. We're listening. Practice seeing and focussing on the one's who can hear you and know that just because many cannot does not mean no one can. We'll hear you. Someone will hear you. Please feel. Please stay alive. They are the essence of life. 

I made it through the only ways i knew how. I took friendliness wherever i could find it. I hid out in the library and the guidance counsellors office and among adults who couldn't be as bad and I read books like some do crack.

That's what I had. You have all these people making #ItGets Better videos. if it's safe (you can turn away from the camera if you must…you don't just have to listen. You can talk and be listened to. And I urge each wonderful person making an #ItGetsBetter video to please respond to each video sent to you by a kid that says #PleaseHearMe . Even if it's a one sentence response. Please listen. So it will get better.

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

You Tue democracy- Senator responds to young people requesting an end to DADT


Watch at 3:45 (when they go get all the guys that are their neighbours to call) and then you'll see the response from their Colorado Senator at the end.

If this is going to happen, politically it has to happen this week. Please call your Senator now. Here's how (and more info).

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Post-Post-Snark Comedy fun with Bill Santiago

This was one of the most fun and satisfying shows I've ever done.  I love working with Bill. We'd been talking for a long time about doing a show exactly the way we wanted in a little theatre and we finally did it in San Francisco last August. The show sold out with very little promotion.  And it was a thrill to know that people who are connecting with my stuff on twitter, podcasts etc want to come out to shows.

More Post-Snark Comedy coming in the future.

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My shift toque moves on to a better life in my hat museum

I got this toque when I worked on shift magazine, a great Canadian tech and culture mag. It left me on the TTC in Toronto, an appropriate demise. Now it lives in this hat museum.

I wore it at this performance at Laughing Liberally in San Francisco in which I riffed on Presidential Politics, Hillary and George W. Video  

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Your difficulties

Your difficulties are opportunies for change.

or self-criticism
or blame
or more difficulties
or to receive love
or feel gratitude
that you can see your difficulties
and feel them
and ride them ashore
rather than drown under their wave

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Flow: How I deal with overwhelm

This topic came up in last weeks TummelVision and Jay Rosen asked me to say more about flow, so I’m posting this piece I originally wrote for the blog at Encyclopedia Brittanica

I find that the information age is making me more focussed. But it’s an inside job as my epigram implies.

Pain and failure have always been great teachers.

I’ve been living with massive amounts of information coming at me since I began working on the web in its earliest days. I’m a performer, an extrovert and a fairly geeky person. I love stimulation and ideas and people. My mind loves to flow between different ideas. So for me the increase in stuff to do and the mode of surfing was nothing but a lot of fun for a long time. I even did my talk show at SXSWInteractive one year on Continuous Partial Attention where many geeks talked about the joy of more information (although one PhD student said he did all his best work in the shower because it was the only place he couldn’t touch his electronic devices).

At that same conference, I stumbled into the gift of organization and information overload.

I remember the moment looking at my Sidekick, standing outside the Iron Cactus, trying to follow the earliest tweets and figure out how to meet up with people. Overwhelmed by great events, people I wanted to see and hunger, I just gave up. Instead of scheduling more get togethers, or trying to master things I decided to go with the flow. I went into the Iron Cactus, sat down at a table of geeks, some of whom I recognized, and ordered a burrito. This is the kind of thing I was used to doing â€œon vacation” and it turned into a nice flow of events that felt as easy and fun as “vacation” generally does.

I just enjoyed hanging out with the people next to me, who turned out to be Doug Sarine and Nick Douglas.

Doug and Nick ended up becoming friends. I’ve learned a lot from Doug about performing and web video (he’s the co-creator of Ask A Ninja) and had a lot of fun riffing with with Nick, who, among other friendly things, helped me punch up a funny Prop 8 video I did and included me in his book Twitter Wit. I mention these things not The info flow will only move faster. And if you don’t want to serve it but have it serve you, then you need to have a compass and you need to read it.to show how cool any of us is (we’re all dorks believe me). I just want to show the nice chain of events that can come from listening to your compass and embracing the flow and not attempting to manage your life by dropping anchors.

The key element of this was my decision to be at the taco place. I did that because I intend to what I wanted to do at that moment. I wanted to sit down. I was hungry. It sounds like a small and obvious thing but when we focus on schedules and time management systems and try to plan everything we can easily forget we are hungry. According to Linda Stone’s work on email apnea we can forget to breathe. My first web gig was part of Apple’s first webcast team in 1996. After my first regular 4 months on email, I found that I often missed lunch. I missed the gym. I forgot I was hungry.

You don’t need information technology to be that disconnected from yourself. You can do it with magazines, drinking, grad school, QVC, socializing or anxiety about your children. You can use anything to forget yourself.

Every time I’m in pain or overwhelmed I eventually let go. I would just deal with what is right in front of me and try something different to make things better. And how do you know they’re better? They feel better. Clearer.

Information flow and multitasking led to back pain which led me to yoga. It led to a Repetitive Stress Injury which led to acupuncture and regular laptop breaks. It led to treating my first Net phone like a security blanket which led me to learn and practice body awareness.

Having many projects led to lots of continual thinking which led to meditation. Twitter and the real-time web we now have led to the flow becoming literal before my eyes, which led to communicating more succinctly and answering my messages right away and immediately.

I recently realized I’ve been mentally hoarding information, my ideas and intentions most of my life. But I don’t need information in my head anymore that is searchable. I don’t need to file information anymore that is searchable.

All general information is now searchable and the more digital your life is the more searchable that is too. I recently let go of a lot of the strings my mental fingers having been holding down. Ideas I hoped I’d one day write or might need to remember or make into something. There was just too much. I couldn’t do it anymore. The creative process and performing have shown me that what really matters, especially what’s personal and what I feel, will come up in the moment I am truly ready to engage it.

I’m sure I’ll overload and overwhelm again. And I may forget about the giving up thing too, until it remains the only option. Pain is really reliable. And the more conscious we become that our well-being and connection with each other is what we want technology to serve, the more we’ll be able to design technology and business serve these real needs.

This overload, overwhelm, give up and start right here process isn’t unique to the information era but I’m hopeful it does happen more often. Things are sped up and more visible. The pain will happen more often and when it does, I know I have to “give up” and do something different. Perhaps you do too or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post on multitasking.

Life has always been a flow of things. People have always had lots of thoughts going on. They’re just now getting externalized and dropped into twitter or facebook or a blog so that you can see them and search them. Information technology does let us search, which is how I now deal with all of the documents on my computer and my email. I gave up. I stopped filing documents and organizing. I just have one folder. I let go and now I just search for what I need. But I can’t find what I need unless I know what I need. That is not an information era question, it’s as old as we are.

The info flow will only move faster. And if you don’t want to serve it but have it serve you, then you need to have a compass and you need to read it. And that isn’t about thinking at all.

So bring it on information flow. Because the faster the river of information flows the more obvious it becomes that trying to control it makes no sense at all. Technology may finally return us to ourselves.

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