Web of Change

Well, I should write a line or two about Web of Change. Now I would certainly like to upload the “website badge” to promote the event, as well as to provide a sharp graphic, but I can’t because all the permissions on my (whatever whatever insert geeky knowlege here) belong to “root” who is the boss, and I have no say in what I want to do with my own blog. Or at least that’s my non-geek interpretation after breakfasting with My Tech Friend (as I like to refer to him), Michael Felczak. We were supposed to install a couple of plugins and customize my blog a bit more in ways that I can’t yet do on my own because although I read English, when I look at WordPress’ “really awesome documentation” I don’t know what’s happening.

So Michael agreed to help me out, goddess bless him, apparently out of the goodness of his heart, or his activist spirit or who knows. But I’m grateful, and I bought him eggs to prove it. We couldn’t do much more than change my password, however, because of the whole “root” thing. He also taught me some lingo, or code, or some such thing – a few tricks, which I diligently wrote in my notebook, which may one day come in handy.

We were at Lugz , on Main, for the free wireless (after the eggs), when we bumped into Ted Hamilton. We’re all ACT Lab folk, or ACTors, as I refer to us. Ted was mightily surpised to see us, as Michael lives in the West End, and I, of the daycare set, chill in Commercial Dr. When he realized it was a “work” thing, it all seemed to make more sense. After all, it was 10ish on a Saturday morning…

I have wanted an excuse to talk about Ted; he’s in a band, The Battles, and he’s neither a retired, nor a closet activist. He was at FTAA in Quebec City, 2001, as was I. We had a discussion of whether there was snow then, at the end of April. But what I will recall, at least for awhile, was his summation of those heady days:

“I do remember it being quite cold and brightly sunny on the Saturday, and reminding me terribly of Act 2 scene 1 of Henry V, where Henry rouses the troops against the French at Reims or some such place, and where Fallstaff and the Cheapside gang hide out in a hole and argue the withertos and whyfores of bravery and combat…”

Now, this is a gentler critique than most I’ve read… One must always remember a sense of humour.

But I digress…

So I am going to Web of Change. “Web of Change is an annual summit connecting leaders at the convergence of online communications, technology, and social change. If you are passionate about building a better world and believe in the networked power of the web to help drive it, then you belong at Web of Change. Web of Change is not your average technology conference. It’s an opportunity to connect with the leaders in your field, track emerging trends and tools, renew your energy and passion for the work you do, and leave re-inspired by stories of hope from the amazing work of others.”

My mentor, friend and committee member, Richard Smith, is sponsoring me so it doesn’t cost over $1000. What about accessibility, queried one fellow activist? Indeed. I suppose the retreat locale, Hollyhock on Cortes Island, is supposed to account for the big bucks, what with it’s vegan meals, holistic approach and meditation classes. But what about us workin’ stiffs? Those with bills and kids and tuition fees, who still wanna change the world? I don’t know, I suppose I’ll find out. And what am I bitching about, it’s only gonna cost me about half a grand, and on my student wage (plus daycare etc.) that should be a snap… This is why My Friend says “Activists” with acidic bitterness, while shaking his head in disgust.

Richard Smith is a good man.

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