Friday, February 6, 2015

Democratic Change

I promised to discuss change today. Change happens. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Some things NEED to change. Part of my martial art association pledge, discussed in Compass, is to "promote the development of a better society."

On this blog, I had been telling the story of how I grew up, in a Conservative Catholic Air Force family. About the meme that our Armed Forces personnel choose to give up their rights so that civilians can have theirs. And how, as a military dependent, I did not choose to give up my voice... but I mostly complied with the system that said what I could or could not do, say, protest.

Even after becoming civilian, it's taken me a long time to overcome my inner censor, to find my willingness to speak publicly. Now that I've found it, I'm reluctant to give it back up, because our voices are one of the key tools by which change is created.

Other tools for change were established at the very founding of the United States, in the first amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights.  Here's what the document says::

Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
(Note: from the Government archives. The first two proposed amendments were not ratified.)

We'll take this in parts:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A bit on Leadership

On Twitter, one of the leadership pundits that I follow tweeted something about "If you see a parade going by, get out in front of it."

While this is a visible and recognized form of leadership, it reminded me strongly of criticisms from the Women of Color on Twitter, about their ideas and credit for their work being stolen.

I was particularly reminded of it because of the situation with Ferguson, MO and similar police killings, where the young women of color activists have organized marches and parades in protest. For me or anyone else to jump in front of that parade and try to lead (take credit for) that work, would be a horrible wrongness.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A bit of history

From my perspective, the 1990s were an era when culture began to make a significant shift, so that around the year 2000 significant change was happening.

Over the 1990s, the evidence that global climate change was caused by humans came pouring in, and by the year 2000 environmentalism was mainstream. I began to see more business-environmentalist partnerships, as the economic value of nature began to be calculated and recognized. As the economic impact became measurable, businesses began to address the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.

In Global Political Economy, the results of the Structural Adjustment Policies came in, and criticism of the IMF, WTO, and World Bank had an effect. Those organizations began to shift their purpose toward the Millennium Development Goals and programs that might *actually* help the less developed countries, instead of punishing them for crises.

The UN also got on board with the (likely independent) realization that Catherine McAuley was right,"there is nothing more conducive to the good of society than the education of young women," with their Girls Education Initiative.

The global SuperClass seems to be talking about the issues.

Before these changes, in the 1990s, taking the kind of work that I did, felt a bit like "selling out" my values for a just and sustainable world in order to follow my dreams. After these changes, I could begin to feel more comfortable in the corporate world. The financial evidence suggests that environmental and social responsibility are profitable.

Are we there yet? No, most definitely not. Sometimes corporate and government initiatives conflict and contradict each other, saying one thing but resulting in the opposite. There is significant resistance to change, as many of the ideas and research contradict "common sense" and/or disrupt the status quo.

 But I have certainly seen changes. Tomorrow, I'll tie this in to thoughts on leadership and followership.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Creating Context and Background

One of the reasons that I identify with Intersectional Feminism, is because my own life is such an uneven grouping of privileges and poverty.

My family got our first home computer (privilege!) soon after we moved to Omaha. An Apple IIe, with a modem, so that my father could send data back to St. Louis University for his Master's capstone (thesis or project, I'm not sure).

I grew up with a computer in the house, and for my generation, that is a privilege. I remember reading odd jumbles of letters and numbers out of a computing magazine, in order for Dad to type them in and create games that we'd save on floppy disk. NOW, I presume that the odd letters and numbers that made no sense in English, was Assembler for the Apple.

Internet culture has been around for a very long time. We had a computer, and a modem, so my Dad showed me a Bulletin Board System (BBS) once. However, I didn't really play on the internet until I reached college.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fixing Things

Another way that IT is related to the other disciplines, is that most office workers need computers to do their work. Living in a digital age, we all have to understand and take responsibility for some level of information technology, at least in our own life.

Last week, I successfully re-installed Ubuntu on my laptop, as a dual-boot system. The big difference is, now the default login is to Ubuntu instead of Windows. I can manage that.

I downloaded VirtualBox and created a Virtual Machine (VM) on Ubuntu that runs Windows XP, and installed the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Information System 2.0 on it. The USB Tower still doesn't register. (In fact, internet on the VM has been iffy.) I also loaded the "Guest Additions" software, so that I could access files from the Ubuntu system on the VM.  I'm proud of what I've managed so far, with that.

That being said, today I need to check the job boards again, and finish my C++ lab. I think I have all of the code the assignment calls for, but I need to update some syntax for it to compile.

I know I haven't gotten into the challenging Feminist arguments in this first week of blogging. Given the things that have happened in the past year, there are some precautions I needed to take, well before this profile reaches the Koolaid Point. I'll give my perspective on background information tomorrow.