Getting to “I can…”

We’ve had some very good discussions today around some up-coming campaign planning. One of the things that we’re talking about is changing perceptions from “it’s all too big/hard” to “I can do something”.

I extracted a list of things that I think we need to keep in mind when developing our strategies for our non-political campaigning (that is, campaigns not focussed on politicians directly).

  • Make it personal
    We need to make the issues relevant to the individual before they will enact change in their lifestyle/habits. For longer-term issues this may mean making it relevant to them in the context of their children or grandchildren – but the effect is to bring a realisation to “now” of something that will likely happen in the future.
  • Make it visible
    We need to work out ways to make the invisible visible. To make energy/water use something that we can see, for example. We need to make visible both the damage of our current habits and how much of an impact changes, even small ones, can make.
  • Make it actionable
    Work out real, concrete steps that people can take to make that difference. Purchasing recycled paper, switching to clean energy, buying a hybrid, turning out unused lights. Tangible actions that people can take and see visible improvements.

The aim is to move the theoretical “too-big” problems into the personal, and to give people a sense that what they do will and does make a difference, positive or negative. A potential side-effect is then people will start to ask their government representatives and employers what they are doing, effecting change on a wider scale.

Very interesting and inspiring stuff.

Agents of change

Had a very interesting, albeit too brief, discussion with one of my colleagues yesterday about the concept of the press as agents of change. Her position was that the press follow the lead of the public and of government, business etc. This differed from my view of press holding a certain responsibility for guiding the debate – hers was that the press is a reflection of the existing debate.

I didn’t initially agree, but I respect her experience and expertise enough that I began to question that long-held belief. Still processing, but while I was thinking about it I asked her thoughts on the shift in public opinion surrounding refugees.

Her thoughts are that this shift is largely a result of the internal ruptures the Howard government is currently experiencing – first with Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan – then others. Her belief is that it was grassroots activist groups, and in this case specifically the mainstream churches, that did the shifting of public opinion. This, in turn, prompted political and press action.

It is an interesting perspective. I’m still not convinced either way, but it certainly got me thinking – shaking up hard-set ideas is always a good thing – and I wanted to share it with y’all.


… the new Yahoo! mail [via Scripting News]

This is awesome news. The Oddpost folks have now got the system working under Firefox on both Mac and PC – the one and only reason I unsubscribed from the original Oddpost service was that I got a Mac and could no longer use it regularly.

I’m looking forward to seeing it in it’s new guise.

Been a while…

It’s been ages since I posted. I don’t see that changing in a hurry, but just wanted to say to those that are likely to ask – things are cool. Work has been busy – we’ve decided to drop Drupal as our CMS for various reasons (right tool for the wrong task if ya catch my drift) so I’m having to work on something internally.

This is actually a long-time goal (strangely enough) so I’m enjoying the task, but I’m not enjoying the pressure associate with trying to do it all in amongst my other duties. Ang is keeping my feet on the ground and head out of my ass.

Still working on new songs, although my laptop is now starting to strain. My audio I/O box (an M-Audio Duo) bit the dust on the weekend – didn’t handle a dodgy lead with phantom power and kaboom, one channel down and the other doesn’t look happy either. I do hope to upgrade both my lappy and the I/O soon (in July if all goes well), but still frustrating.

Tobes and Sean and I are still working some songs up live. Hopefully we’ll be in a spot to do some demos for gigs real soon now™.

I’ll hopefully be freed up to write a bit more about what I’m working on.

Nokia + Safari

Interesting. Now, if only Nokia would add compatible bluetooth capabilities and they might have a chance of getting my business. This is big news for the Safari team – and lends further legitimacy (if any was needed) to the KHTML platform.

Debt Relief

Last night’s news that the G8 have agreed to write-off debt from the 18 poorest nations as a good step in the right direction, if the announcement is followed up with action.

I’ve not really had a chance to look into the announcement in detail yet. Still diggin’ – but I’ve found the following articles useful so far:

Most of those links sourced through Google News.

One interesting thing (to me) is that the amount of relief being touted in the Australian press is $55 billion. It seems that everywhere else in the world the amount is reported as $40 billion. The other thing to note is that it’s only debt incurred to the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank – this is not debt to individual G8 countries – I’m not sure what the amount of other debt is.

There’s also a fair amount of talk of transparency from the recipient nations being a requirement to the success of this initiative. This is needed, absolutely. But, as one of the people quoted in the articles above points out, there are many conditions that were attached to the original loans, for economic restructuring, which are still in place even though they are causing serious economic and/or social damage. These, too, need to be addressed. There are also a number of other countries that need 100% debt relief also that are not included in the list (some because of corrupt leadership).

The relief is also conditional to approval at the next G8 summit next month, although it seems highly unlikely that this won’t go through given the enormous amount of press coverage.

Regardles, this is really, really good news!