Stephen’s Web ~ Looking Forward ~ Stephen Downes

After Ben Werdmüller and Laura Ritchie, two members of a small eclectic mastodon community, I use the calendar change to look forward and not back.

And frankly, the most important thing I hope to do is wrap up 2023 in continued health and good spirits. It’s pretty much a given, but at 63 I count every good day as a gift. Some of these days I live to the fullest, some I rest, but none of them go by without me realizing how lucky I have been in life.

It is therefore not surprising that this is what I hope most for other people as well, for my family, community, friends and strangers whom I have met and not met around the world. In my 40s and 50s, I had the privilege of traveling around the world and the most important lesson for me was to recognize our common humanity. Not that everyone was the same – on the contrary – nor that everyone was nice and friendly. There were many, some not. Does not matter. Wish you all the best.

So to the pandemic, which I hope will end for everyone, but also the many diseases and ailments that existed before Covid and will undoubtedly continue afterwards. I hope that some of the good results from our tireless research will be major advances in diseases such as HIV-AIDS, HPV, influenza, meningitis, and many other viral diseases. And while it may be too late to reverse the effects it is having on our families, I would like to see progress in the fight against dementia.

And it may come as a surprise, but I believe that there could be greater successes in healthcare precisely because we’ve seen firsthand how expensive it is to leave people uninsured and untreated. Sure, this is based on a very selfish urge on the part of the rich, but perhaps they will again be convinced, as in the past, that the health of one individual is the health of all. There could be a day sooner than people think that payer health insurance will hit the US and this will free a generation of people to take risks, live freely, and grow beyond company health plans and HMOs.

The other way we all see our destinies connected is the increasing reach of climate change and related diseases, sometimes all in one place. Every year I look for the little things – like the return of the monarch butterfly – and fear the big things – floods, fires, storms, droughts, disease, devastation. Any of these things could touch our home, and all of these will touch someone this year. I’ve always tried to keep my footprint small and I’ve mostly succeeded – even when traveling by air.

Perhaps this will be the year we hold some of these big companies and institutions accountable. Not just oil companies – though they are certainly complicit – but the financial and political infrastructure that continues to prioritize making rich people richer, ahead of the health and well-being of the rest of us. In truth not matter how small my economic footprint is (let alone the near-zero footprint of these billions of people around the world who live in poverty). It is the rich who are causing climate change. So it comes down to changing the behavior of the rich and powerful. Maybe it will start this year.

And I want everyone to experience the ability to act and have an impact in their lives. Ben expresses this by standing up for women’s rights, Laura through self-efficacy and achieving the yes-I-can. The best I can be is an ally for women, for black lives, for indigenous rights, for my friends in the gay, lesbian and trans communities, and for the rest (and as always, I try to do these fine balance between finding recognition and saying their name by listing them and not leaving out equally valid and important movements by not listing them). You won’t see me out there on the barricades, but I’ll be by your side if you need it.

In this sense, I also approach education. I know that for many proponents, education is the great balance of how people can get ahead in their lives, find more gainful employment, and take care of themselves and their families. I am not under such an illusion. It is true that educated people earn more, which is a good argument for education, but it has also positioned the need for education as an obstacle to many others. As long as we have a mechanism that favors some and punishes others, we perpetuate in the education system the harm we want to remove. Unless and only until education meets the requirements Aspirations of men, and not just the conditions of their bondage, it will not emancipate itself.

That is why I am primarily an advocate of free learning. Free in every way, not just in terms of cost. It’s not difficult to imagine a world where society gives you the opportunity to pursue your own passion at a young age and then keep doing it support this passion for a lifetime. What else is society used for, if not for that? The purpose of employment is not to and never wasIn order to support the goals of the company of the institution or the captain of the industry, it is to support each member of the workforce in their own endeavors. The purpose of any company is to support his employees. The money we spend on work is a To use, no cost, of business.

The big 2021 resignation has likely been overrated, but I think it could mean a new recognition of this real role of employment for many. If your job isn’t working for you then why are you there? If it threatens your life why are you there? I know people have families, people have expenses, and living without money is not an option. That’s probably the only reason a lot of people have a lot of these jobs in the first place. And in 2022, people may begin to see how to meet those commitments while living freer and more fulfilling lives.

I fear that our bosses are not letting us go and doing so by making it more and more difficult to sustain ourselves. We already hear that there are concerns about inflation due to supply chain disruptions. For example, there is a driver shortage that can be easily remedied with higher wages. But I’m afraid they will respond to inflation by raising interest rates. Yes, this would reduce demand, but only by ruining the economy and undermining public finances. I would rather see them reducing demand by taxing the rich, especially where they are spending their money on frivolous luxuries – yachts, first class air travel, expensive cars, mansions, the usual. I am not going to say that I am hopeful. I hope, however, that governments realize that the old approaches will not work.

My own efforts are – as always – how we can organize ourselves and our technology more effectively to enable an ambitious future.

I try really hard to be that old guy who has a passionate project that he’s been working on for years and hopes it will suddenly come through and become the next Facebook. I’ve seen too many of them and I know they haven’t. On the other hand, I won’t stop playing with gRSShopper because it has really become a thing where I can try out my ideas, even if it’s just to find out what problems people face who actually want to implement them. Doing this in a realistic way means I have to be constant To learn. I can’t imagine stopping in 2022, but at some point I’ll stop and I’ll be sad when I hang up my tools.

But right now I am loving The challenge. I know it’s impossible to keep up with everything and I don’t even try. It also means that I can just pursue my passions wherever they lead and there will be something new and interesting and really useful to someone. And I have so much background now that I’m at the point where I can study something hard for a year and where it would take someone younger than ten years to get there. I can’t just pass this knowledge on – but I can can Model the attitude and approach that got me to where I am and that’s what I do. So I’ll keep posting videos of Stephen Following Instructions so people can see how the sausage is made.

With that in mind, I want to continue with ethics, analytics, and due diligence. By the fall, I’ll be creating about 80 videos, as well as a similar number of slide presentations and a number of other resources. The people who follow this process can probably be counted on one hand, and I can’t really give a good reason why I got fixated on it this Project like this. There probably aren’t any. But I’d like to finish, which means turning all of this work into something book-like (not a “book” because it’s just too small and too corporate a container for what I want to do).

I will also work on data literacy. I wish I could get Doug Belshaw into it, but I can’t find a way to pay him (it’s just way too complicated from my government office). But I want to think about literacy in general, without losing touch with reality. This came about as a result of a small project last year, to which I said, “I would like to look into this further” and there were some means to make this possible. Would I have done it anyway? Yes, but my focus would have been broader, because for me ‘literacy’ means ‘critical literacy’. This is both the value I can bring and the reason I need to keep my feet on the ground.

That is enough for a year, although according to Ben Werdmüller 2022 could be the year in which web3 becomes a reality. Web3 was my one year passion project for 2019 – I built a blockchain and ran a MOOC and, in my opinion, made big conceptual leaps in how we would think about some basic things in the future – things like democracy and identity and community and learning. Ben talks about how much fun people building blockchains have – it’s hard to ignore that Matt Damon ad – and we’re a good bid away from making all of this a reality (and that goes hand in hand, by the way of great resignation). .

In the meantime, I want to focus on having great experiences. I wanted to say, “I hope I can travel again,” and I do, but I shouldn’t forget that I went on an epic 3 week bikepacking trip last summer. I still think back to that experience every day. It was in preparation for something I call ‘Project Anticosti’ – a plan to cycle the entire length of Anticosti Island and back, a total of 500km – much less than I cycled last summer – but in a northern and in the north Essentially uninhabited wilderness island. I still have work to do to get the bike and myself in shape, but I’ve got the basics down.

And for the rest, I want to make sure I visit family and do things with Andrea – we have season passes to the RedBlacks next year and we will return to Mont Tremblant once or twice when they’re ready for a pandemic. Andrea would like to live up there one day and I want to make that possible.

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