Pope Francis should speak up

I had a random thought the other day, made me giggle but then it really got me interested in how it would play out.

Pope Francis should condone abortion and encourage birth control.

That is one person on the planet that could improve the quality of life for millions of people from now and ever after. Imagine the world if we didn’t have to deal with the infrastructure of the Roman Catholic org when it came to hospitals and schools against family planning and women’s health?

Any utopia fiction I write will have that premise in its history!

Supporting journalism

Reports of the death of journalism have been greatly exaggerated, but it has certainly been disrupted by change.

Listen, “fake news” and “alternate facts”. What is going on? I don’t know how the relationship with media companies and the new press secretary is going to develop, but I would like to know where support can be made.

I don’t currently support any journalism org, I mostly gather information in aggregate. But there seems like a lot of opportunity for investigative coverage.

So my question is: where is investigative journalism happening? Who are you supporting? What journalism orgs should I be following?

dj patil’s advice

I stumbled upon handwritten notes detailing advice from dj patil, and thought they were interesting enough to type up so they could be indexed.

They were posted by Prad Patel, so I am not sure who actually wrote them down on some snazzy letterhead. ^_^

The shorter one is a mantra I can get behind:

Handwritten note

A technology is neither revolutionary nor radical unless it benefits everyone!

#yeswecan

The other note is an interesting list of things to keep in mind while building:

Handwritten lists

  • Dream in years
  • Plan in months
  • Evaluate in weeks
  • Ship daily

  • Prototype for 1x
  • Build for 10x
  • Engineer for 100x

  • What’s required to cut the timeline in ½
  • What needs to be done to double the impact

Women’s March in Oakland

Clover, Susan and I joined the Women’s March in Oakland yesterday. It was really amazing and bolstered our spirits to know that we are not alone, that there are so many people striving for progress.

The Women's March passing the Cathedral on Grand Ave.
We joined the Women’s March on Grand Ave. near the Cathedral.

And not just in Oakland! Whatever the trolls bellow, this demonstration clearly showed that the majority is active and moving, ready to fight for our humanity.

Women's March down Broadway in Oakland
Our view from the Sear’s Building, going down Broadway in Oakland.

On a familial level, it was encouraging to see so many other families. Even as we were walking down the street we saw caregivers rocking pussyhats and pushing strollers and/or carrying babies down the street. Susan posted shots of Clover joining the march and finding a prime vantage point.

The Women's March entering Frank Ogawa Plaza.
We were among the first to arrive at City Hall. Notice the police officers on the roof recording the march.

If anything can be said of Oakland it is that there is a proud tradition of protesting injustice, a heritage I endeavor to support. In the past we’ve been hesitant to participate with Clover, because bad actors come out to act like fools, and the police act even worse in response. It will still be touch and go, but Clover is always aware of the police helicopters flying overhead, and the unjust causes the people down the street are marching for.

Crowd of Women's March marchers at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Frank Ogawa Plaza and the surrounding area filled up and stayed pack in the following hours.

It was a tremendous educational opportunity for our family as well, since Clover had a lot of questions about the chants. We were able to discuss equal human rights, and how women are treated and oppressed by harmful laws. It is always a little tough trying to explain horrible ideas to a five year old, but we also don’t want to hide the reality what is happening from a person that will ultimately inherit whichever system we have in place.

Did you march? Share your experience and pictures! ^_^

How do you keep focused in troubled times?

Let me tell ya, I am all over the place. I get maybe an hour of focus each day, and that is if I start drinking tea early in the morning, and I get this lunchtime clarity.

My thoughts go all over the place, and I tire easily. I really enjoy having an actionable task in front of me, but the nature of my work is 75% thinking and researching, and that just isn’t working these days.

And I know why.

I feel like I need to keep up with what is happening in the federal government, but there is just so damn much. And I am not the type that is okay not being completely up on current issues.

Normally that means that maybe 5% of my time is spent paying attention to Congress, depending on what they are discussing that week. But these confirmation hearings have just scaled up the trouble the new administration has brought to power. I mean, I’ve mentioned that the cabinet picks are like a who’s who of Disney villains, but when we get more into their backgrounds and experience, but mostly apparent motivations, it is frightnening!

And all along I know that no matter how much I know about what is at stake, it is ultimately an impotent gesture. Knowing all this doesn’t actually enact change, and I can only call my representatives so many times in one day/week/month before it is noted that, yeah, I am not on board.

I even have a difficult time enjoying the things I am normally way into: WordPress, video games, weird new tech, and all the amazing stuff happening in astronomy. The only thing that pulls me out of my head is Clover and Susan, but they aren’t around all the time, and about 1.5 of that duo is also worried.

So that is me. How are you doing? How do you keep focused? What brain hacks do you employ to get stuff done while the trolls gather at the gates?