Wednesday, July 13

Community, Urban Hiking, and Ganja

A marijuana dealer offered me some 'good stuff' a few hours ago. I told the dread'd dude, "Nah man, I'm good", and kept walking home with Nathan. We were up around the Delmar Loop for dinner and exploration. There was an amazing middle eastern restaurant with baba ganoush, grape leaves, and the whole works. I should take my dad there some time. So in fact Nathan and I have hiked a ton in the last 3 days, to adventure around our couple thousand acres of roaming territory (around Forest Park), and for food, cold beverages, and exercise. I've learned that cold beverages are valuable sources of cool water for my face and neck. They freeze the 99.9% humidity right out of the air, gushing condensation down the sides of the glass and onto my sunburnt skin. (Not too sunburnt though; more like a golden tan).

So I talked with one of the game jam dudes about the end of the world - robotically automated armageddon. Soonish, software programs will be able to write other software, and eventually extend themselves. Soonish robotics will come far enough along to have autonomous bodies that are stronger and more dexterous in anything man was capable of doing. Semi-intelligent robots will mine resources, create more of themselves (physically and in software), and perform most of the activities that people are paid pretty well to do. This puts plenty of people out of work, devalues 'wealth' entirely, and .... alright so maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit with such a condensed hasty summary, but one topic led to another and we ended up on FreeGeek and awesome community programs that transcended the capabilities of robots.

[In professor's voice] "FreeGeek: vocab term; a student club created by Theodore, James, and Daniel, and ultimately presided over by James, which takes aging computers to recycle back into the student body, preferring to give computers to Freshmen international students. Also provides free technical leaning experiences for all members; no registration required"

What I'd like to do is not just create a FreeGeek (I've already done that), but create a community based system for generating ideas and results. I think it'd be awesome to encourage people world wide to get to know strangers in their local community - get to know each others interests because maybe you'd never known constructing model aircraft was so much fun (or dog sledding), but your next door neighbor knew this pretty well. Maybe you never knew that so many people within walking distance of you would love to help you put on a community play, or form a band to record louis armstrong music, or even create a sustainable FreeGeek to help those without computers. Personally I don't even see the guy living on the other side of the wall separating our apartments. Who knows, maybe we and some other people living nearby could do something fun and enormously helpful for the neighborhood, creating supportive community bonds and blessed memories. It'd be more likely to happen if we had some polished framework that isn't Facebook (or even google plus) but directed at creating real world, local friendships, bridging social cliques, and knitting together diversity, to benefit communities, anywhere they will grow.

Please leave comments and have a good night!


  1. Yo dog, I heard you like software, so I wrote software that can write software, that can write software.

    Also I like reading your blog.

  2. Haha, thanks. I wonder what's more interesting for me to write about from my St. Louis perspective?

    And just like you, I can be Anonymous too!

  3. I like hearing about Forrest park, it sounds like a fun place to live. Also like hearing about the crazy conversations. Also the idea of creating a networking site for the purpose of bring people together to achieve things sound interesting.

  4. Greetings from Trinidad! I love reading the blog at 5 am after a hard night of work. Deep and meaningful amusement.

    I like the networking idea, I'm in.

  5. Thanks! I'll have to talk with Cameron about the idea more, for technical assistance, what with his job at Twitter.

    Hope you have a safe trip back tonight from Trinidad and Tobago!

  6. Hey James!
    This blog is awesome! I don't read it as much as I would like, but I'm glad to know that things are going well. Enjoy exploring Forrest Park!