Previously, we presented the work of Square Roots Grow, an innovative urban farming initiative operating in Brooklyn, New York. This week, we consider the general field of food-related innovation in the form of “vertical farming” and what might be called “extreme or radical localization”. (more…)
We have not referenced Jennifer Hofmann’s activist site for a while. She is still at it, going strong with her action lists posted weekly. If you want to do something to shape the country and the world toward your definition of Good, check out her list and blog.
For example, here is just one of the postings from Jen’s April 30th list:
I believe in a government led by qualified, trustworthy representatives.
Action: Advocate for a special commission to investigate 45-Russia ties.
Newly-confirmed Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein can approve a special prosecutor or commission, but has previously hedged on this action. Speak up.
Call: Dept. of Justice comment line 202-353-1555
Postcard: USDoJ, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001
Script: I am among the 58% of Americans who want an independent commission to investigate Trump-Russia ties. Trust in the four current investigations is compromised, and the Attorney General’s credibility is tarnished. Only an independent commission or special prosecutor will restore confidence.
[Note: “45” refers to the 45th President of the United States]
Jen posts other such actions on her site as well. There are links to express gratitude (for elected officials who have been doing a “good job”, for instance). There are also suggestions for actions to maintain good psychological and physical health in these uncertain times.
Most of all, Jen’s lists—by their very existence—are encouragements to stand up and be counted. Her lists stand as weekly reminders that we all are members of the group “We, the People” and that we all—that is ALL: red or blue, Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, Libertarian, Anarchist, other—we all should express ourselves as the natural exercise of free people in promotion of a free society.
Make a call. Write a letter. Offer encouragement to another. Read a good book—and tell someone about it. Do whatever you think other people should be doing or what you would want them to do relative to you. Celebrate your freedom!
[DISCLAIMER] Always seeking “truth” and the means to reliably find it, we are pushing the follow-up to “Locally Green” (scheduled for this week), to a later date. Instead, check out this interesting development in the field of news reporting. Obviously, this early in the process, we cannot endorse this organization, but it is, at least worth a look.
With the power of online transparency, together we can beat fake news.
Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) has just this week initiated a new journalism platform called “Wikitribune”. Like Wikipedia, “Wikitribune is a news platform that brings journalists and a community of volunteers together. We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.”
Seeking to “fix” the news, Wikitribune is attempting to bring control of the dissemination of factual information back to the community. Mr. Wales suggests that “social media, where most people get their news these days, is literally designed to show us what we want to see, to confirm our bias.” This trend “fundamentally breaks the news”. Wikitribune is being launched to help correct this problem.
The principles are simple.
Articles must be fact based with named sources: “Supporting Wikitribune means ensuring that journalists only write articles based on facts that they can verify…that you can see their sources. “
Ad-free content is free for all readers: Wikitribune will present no pay walls, giving all people open access to all content. Furthermore, the site will be completely ad-free, permitting no corporate influence to shape the nature of the information presented.
The community and hired journalists are equal… “Articles are authored, fact-checked, and verified by professional journalists and community members working side by side as equals, and supported not primarily by advertisers, but by readers who care about good journalism enough to become monthly supporters.”
…with full financial transparency: Promising no compromise regarding financial influence, Wikitribune has plans to operate and publish its financials regularly. The staff journalists will be paid by subscription revenue—which is to say, by us.
This noble endeavor has only just begun. However, as Fortune magazine points out, this is not the first time such an idea has been proposed. These previous efforts did not meet with much success. Some critics question the possible success of Wikitribune. And yet, Jimmy Wales faced similar criticism during the launch of Wikipedia. We can see how that turned out.
Wikitribune is a good idea that needs our support. If you are one to jump feet first into the possible, donate now. If you are more of a wait-n-seer, take a look at the site, do some research about the project, and consider subscribing once they have reached their startup goals. Most of all, once Wikitribune is up and running, you might want to use the site as one of your news gathering tools.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Let’s get together and make the world a better place!” We often hear such sentiments. Sometimes we even hear ourselves uttering these words. As often as not they are just words, but some folks infuse their words with purpose and follow-through. The people associated with Square Roots Grow just might be some of those people.
Launched in August 2016 by co-founders Tobias Peggs and Kimbal Musk (brother of entrepreneur Elon Musk), Square Roots Grow describes itself as representing “an urban farming accelerator powered by human ingenuity, technology, and most importantly a deep love for local, real food.” Eh…OK…So what is it—really? Well, can you image ten, two-acre farms in Brooklyn, NY—in a parking lot no less? CEO Tobias Peggs describes the plan.
Truth and communication represent two major themes here at seekingGood. Cognitive scientist George Lakoff has commented frequently in recent months regarding specific statement and the general presentation of the current “Loser President”. Communication can be a tricky business–all the more so when the speaker has no intention of either presenting truth or allowing the truth to be presented. Lakoff has highlighted four specific tactics (depicted below) the current president uses in his tweets. Each is designed to evade the truth in any given situation. None of them are particularly unique. However, each is a tactic well worth understanding such that you can watch for them as you read or hear anything from anyone.
In a 70-minute Democracy Now! interview with linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky, Mr. Chomsky addresses a wide range of topics, including the current U.S. presidential administration’s tactics, healthcare, Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, as well as issues related to North Korea, China, Syria, and Israel.
Mr. Chomsky offers what, for some, will seem startling statements regarding the rise of neo-liberalism during the late 70’s. While the term “liberalism” often connotes “openness” and “freedom”, the interests of advocates of neo-liberalism (perhaps better referred to as laissez-faire economic liberalism) come into conflict with the very notion of democracy—that is, free participation of the general public in its own governance.
On many social issues, proponents of this form of liberalism might be at odds with what many might call right wing or conservative. However, these neo-liberal factions began to see open democracy as “out of control”, posing a “threat” to the achievement of a neo-liberal agenda. According to Mr. Chomsky, these socio-political elements called for stronger indoctrination in neo-liberal ideas through educational institutions, a more heavy handed control of mass media and the overall pacification of the general public.
Along the way, Mr. Chomsky also touches on topics such as (1) why Americans are led to believe Iran poses the greatest threat to world peace while world opinion sees the U.S. as the true threat, (2) the surprising increase in mortality among white Americans (particularly men, due to diseases of despair), and (3) the disparity between actual U.S. governmental policies and the well-being of middle and lower income portions of the American electorate.
Agree with him or not, as always, Mr. Chomsky offers interesting and provocative ideas worth considering.
Noam Chomsky is a US political theorist and activist, and institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For decades, Mr. Chomsky has remained a staunch critic of American foreign policy, the neo-liberal advocacy of globalism, the empire-building hegemony of the United States and the manufacture of public consensus by the so-called mainstream media (MSM).
Noam Chomsky’s website
The full collection of Mr. Chomsky’s appearances on DemocracyNow!