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November 4th, 2007

pollination

I sometimes think that labels and tags are more useful for flickr photos than for life. Let's take politics. If you asked me for some quick-snap-answer about my persuasions, then I'd reel off a set of labels and beliefs. Yet knowing that about me would not tell one nearly enough to know anything. My own litmus tests on such matters do not exclude people who are within a broad band from left to right. I get bored with that sort of thinking quickly.

I do share with some on the left and some on the right a deep mistrust of very large things. I like small business, small churches, small charities, and small groups of people. It's not that I can't get my mind around large numbers. It's that at heart I am a small town boy, who believes the world might benefit from being run like an enlightened set of small towns.

I find myself thinking about social action in very individual terms. What can one do to fight injustice and lacks of compassion? For me, and speaking as a personal view rather than advocacy for converts to my position, I see the problem as very individual. In other words, I am focused less on "what can society do?" or "what can government do?" or "what can this institution or that do?". I am focused on "what can I do?" and in reference to small groups "what can we do?".

In this way I am arguably more on the conservative/libertarian side, although politically I do not believe anyone would call me either of those "neat" labels. I don't really believe in big systems and big organizations that make big changes. I believe in the small things I can do and see results. I like to microloan through Kiva, because I can loan a small sum of money to one impoverished-country business, and then watch as the loan to one person is repaid by one person. I like the charity Send Hope,because donations are given to support noe specific project in an impoverished part of Honduras, and one can track just what is given to them and just what it does for them. I like the Creative Commons movementbecause it uses paint-by-numbers licenses to empower individuals users of media, particularly on the 'net, to find royalty-free attribution pictures, music and text for use on their projects. I can create a song or photo, and see it used by someone else directly for some cool thing.

I believe in people as bees, individually pollinating projects. I think I need to buzz about a bit more in search of some late-Autumn flowers. I perhaps have flown aimlessly a bit too much.