Archive for November, 2008

wise collective of independents

November 26, 2008

The following is an excerpt of a grammatically tidied transcript from a TED talk about social media (blogs) by James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds:

“The premise of The Wisdom of Crowds is that, under the right conditions, groups can be remarkably intelligent. And they often can actually be smarter than the smartest person within them.

“Dan Gilmore, author of We the Media, has talked about it as saying, as a writer, he’s recognized that his readers know more than he does.

“The more tightly linked we become to each other, the harder it is for each of us to remain independent. One of the fundamental characteristics of a network is that once you are linked in the network, the network starts to shape your views and starts to shape your interactions with everybody else. That’s one of the things that defines what a network is.

“But the problem is that groups are only smart when the people in them are as independent as possible. Read on »

“vote of maturity”

November 22, 2008

They chose faith over fear. They chose grace over greed. And they chose vision over violence.

 – Andrew Young on the results of the US election.

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, November 18 2008.

This description from The Hour: Young has dedicated his life to fighting the good fight. It started with Dr. King in the 60′s and it’s still going strong.

Newman on good leadership

November 21, 2008

The key is to be believed. The problem with our ministers in Ottawa is that, even when they admit they’ve lied, nobody believes them.

 – Peter C. Newman answering the question, what are the keys to being a good leader?

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, November 12 2008.

This description of Newman from The Hour: An icon of Canadian journalism; he’s dished more dirt than most of us could ever imagine.

addictive status quo

The status quo is an opiate. It is so hard to break with “we’ve always done it this way” and really let go and look forward. It’s human nature.

 – Ray Anderson

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, November 6 2008.

This description from The Hour: Ray Anderson got rich while his company got green. Now he’s telling the world other businesses can do it too.

escapism in cynicism

November 20, 2008

There is comfort in cynicism. Assuming that someone else’s greed or self-interest is the cause of my problems allows me to deny responsibility. If it’s not my choice and there’s nothing I can do about it, then I can just resent them and not feel any regret for my own choices.

It’s an escape from having to question my own assumptions.

When a decision is being made in the community and I don’t understand it, if I assume that someone is getting their pockets lined, then I don’t have to think any further; I don’t have to empathize with anyone else; I don’t have to consider new ideas or look for information that I might be missing in order for it to make sense; I don’t have to look to see if there are flaws in my own logic or conflicts within my own expectations.

All I have to assume is that someone in power is giving unfair favours in some secret backroom deal – simple escapism from the discomforts of considering the possibility that I might actually end up agreeing with things I don’t like if I learned more about it and considered it with an open mind. Read on »

failure for success

November 19, 2008

Failure is an important component of success, because you can’t really do anything interesting if you’re not willing to fail.

 – Charlie Kaufman

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, October 27 2008. Charlie Kaufman is an Oscar winner who has been described as “America’s only intellectually provocative screenwriter.”

accountability two-way mirror

Can there be positive change without citizen accountability?

There was a lot of talk during this election about transparency and accountability. I fully and completely agree that they are essential for healthy community decision-making. What often gets skipped, however, is the question of who’s decisions should be transparent and who should be accountable?

The obvious answer is that elected representatives must allow citizens to walk with them through the decision-making process. And they must explain and defend their opinions then accept responsibility for their decisions. But what about citizens?

Should elected representatives be the only ones who have to explain how they arrived at their opinion or why they believe something to be true?

It seems there is a sentiment that, like the customer service refrain, the citizen is always right. It doesn’t take much thought to see how badly flawed that expectation is. Read on »

I lost the election

November 16, 2008

I’m sorry. I wish I could say that I tried. But the truth is, I didn’t. And the reality is, it wouldn’t have made much difference even if I did. The people have spoken. This is democracy in action… more to say on that tomorrow.

The preliminary results for White Rock City Council are as follows:

2764 Doug McLean
2705 Lynne Sinclair
2202 James Coleridge
1855 Al Campbell
1853 Mary-Wade Anderson
1809 Helen Fathers

The results for the other candidates are as follows: Read on »

2008 campaign contributions

November 15, 2008

I promised Jean Kromm that I would post a list of who had funded my campaign prior to polls opening on election day. To date, this is everyone who has contributed, aside from myself:

10/21 $100 Ursula Todd
11/02 $50  Robert Ives
11/02 $20  Sue Barrett
11/13 $75  Glenda Bartosh

Some people have told me that they have sent or will send contributions, but nothing other than what is listed above has been received.

I haven’t requested money from anyone. I’ve been paying for everything myself. Everyone who has contributed, or said they would contribute, has done so without being asked.

more 2008 platform details

November 13, 2008

At this stage of a campaign, it’s easy to see what everyone agrees on. And in this campaign, it appears there’s a lot we all agree on.

We all are passionate and dedicated to our community. We all agree that the greatest value and measure of a community is its people. Environmental stewardship and jobs top most lists. And it seems everyone is “listening”.

There is consensus that the current Council is not functional. Everyone wants there to be a more conciliatory approach with more effort for building consensus. It seems generally agreed that the City needs to improve how public dialogue happens in the community.

We also all want more and better sidewalks, public transit and more convenient ways to get to the beach. We are concerned about keeping our roads and sewers to a higher standard of maintenance. And it is agreed that the City should make it easier to be green, and should lead by example.

I also share this vision.

The following are some ideas and goals I have for achieving that vision. Read on »