Sunday, April 18, 2004

I am worn out. The bake sale went great. We raised $811 for campaigning against Bush and other good things. The Free Store went well. It turned out to be part of an Earth Day celebration. Earth Day meant a lot to me when I was a kid, but I feel very disconnected with it now. I'm not sure it's effective any more. There was a time when corporations would use it as an opportunity to showcase the paltry attempts they made to be environmentally friendly, but I'm not sure if even that happens anymore. I'm glad the event happened, but overall I was very discouraged. Still, it gave me the idea to start a permanent Free Store somewhere. I'm trying to think of who would be willing to donate space. I'm looking for a location near downtown that has some visibility and some public awareness. I'm thinking either a church or a charitable organization.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Coming Up: This is going to be a busy weekend. I'm doing two exciting things.
Saturday, April 17th, 12-2 PM Downtown Mall by the water fountain + Cha Cha's: MoveOn's Bake Sale for Democracy! A few dozen friends and I will be selling delicious baked goods benefitting a delicious movement for democracy and regime change in DC complements of!
Sunday, April 18th, 12:30 PM Tonsler Park, corner of 5th and Cherry: Food Not Bombs Feed In! I think, I'm not totally sure what's going on. But I do know that I'm running a Free Store! What's a Free Store, you ask? Aren't the terms "free" and "store" mutually exclusive? Probably. A free store is a place where people leave good things that they don't want and take things that they do want. So if I get tired of my red chair, but don't have anyone to sell or give it to, I would put it in the Free Store. Then if I saw a good book there, I would take it. When I finished, I would put it back, and someone else would take it. A Free Store saves money and the environment by reducing waste, extending the use of products, and providing useful goods at an unbeatable price. Of course, a big part of what makes a Free Store work is it being in the same place for a long time. Otherwise it's just me giving away my things and talking about how nice a free store would be. But hey, it's a start.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

I'm making progress on the Helping Friendly Book. I've purchased the webspace from I should be using as my main e-mail soon. It's long, but memorable. The concept of the Book comes from a song by jam band Phish's lead singer, Trey Anastazio. In Trey's myth, a peaceful people called the Lizards are given a book by their god Icculus. The Helping Friendly Book contains all knowledge and "the ancient secrets of eternal joy and never-ending splendor." The theft and retrieval of the Book form the narrative of Trey's first album, The Man Who Fell Into Yesterday. I think a Helping Friendly Book would be a very handy thing in these desperately unhelpful and unfriendly times. Unfortunately, I'm not Icculus, so the best way I could think to make this happen was to rely on the wisdom, experience, and insight of many. The Helping Friendly Book is based on the online forum, with people posting material and noting where in the Book it should go. Superimposed over the forum is an editing program, where members (people who logged in with a name and valid e-mail) can discuss posts, suggest edits, and come to a consensus on them using a moderated chatroom system. The editing program will display the current book from the content and the edits, and the Helping Friendly Book can be browsed by anyone or printed out. All material is under copyleft, as part of the agreement to participate in the project.
This project is inspired by , , , and . Like those groups, I'm hoping to carve out some public space on the internet with some value to humanity. I think there's room on the internet for a little spirituality, philosophy, creativity, and helpful everyday hints without a commercial motivation.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

What an amazing day. Yesterday I met with Richard Collins, who helped me decide to pursue my graduate work here in Charlottesville at the University's planning department. Then I met Ben Kweller and his band. They were great guys. We talked about indoor air quality inside a touring bus. Then I set up for this outstanding party above Plan 9 that I DJ'd. It's been my dream for years to run music for a party. Thank you, George, Andy, JR, Swen-Yu, and especially Ian for helping me make this happen. That was by far the best party I've ever been to or heard of, and I was at the Ben Kweller show when it was really kicking. I gotta say it was a good day. Oh, my dj name: DJ Telepresence. I rock the party even when I'm not there.