Posted by austin under Personal
I really enjoyed some down time over the holidays which was needed. I had been running with my throttle in the red zone for a couple of weeks and needed a breather.
I had a good holiday dinner with both my family and Kelly’s family on different nights.
I sat around and watched some movies, read tons as usual and generally stayed off the computer for most of the week (well there was some periodic email and watching of Gifter.org - but mostly I left it all alone).
We had a great evening with about 10-15 friends, and people from around town coming over to my place and watching TED DVD’s for about 6hrs on last Friday night. Mitch blogged about it here. My buddy Julien Smith was also there and wrote this kind note about my projects and blogging here. Fred Ngo and Benjamin Yoskovitz and some of my team from Project Ojibwe were down as well . My buddy Patrick also joined us. There were a bunch of other interesting people there and I think everyone had a good time.
Kelly and I went with a bunch of friends to Toronto for a single evening and danced our proverbial asses off at a great New Year’s party thrown & DJ’d by my cousin George Chaker. Kelly and I did the official celebrate New Year’s @ 5am on stage with all the DJ’s and Junior Sanchez who was there spinning with a host of great other talent, it was incredible. I stopped going out pretty much completely when I stopped drinking last year and started to focus on getting my health in check. I haven’t danced til 6am for a couple of years and it was much needed. In fact this was the first new year in a long time where I didn’t drink anything and I really didn’t miss it. My exercise and diet has been really paying off and I just don’t miss drinking, or unhealthy food at all.
The night was a blast and we saw a bunch of old friends (Dov, Billy, Whitney, Al, Slomo, Josh, Ali, everyone) and had a great time.
Thanks George & our friends at Diesel - you are the best. We are going to come out with you when you come to Montreal to DJ again in a couple of weeks.
I enter 2007 feeling great and very optimistic about life, the future of our society and the exciting changes that I’m seeing everyday in both social and technological advancement.
There are a few great links that have been occupying some of my deeper thinking about happiness and optimism that I’d like to share. My friend Tara started this with her post about happiness and the work they are doing Citizen Agency. This got me thinking about what I’ve been reading and thinking about why I’m so optimistic and happy.
The first is the great collection of answers to the question “What are you optimistic about? Why?” by some of the great thinkers (and some people I’m lucky to call friends) that John Buckman at Edge.org has put together. I’ve spent hours browsing these answers, and could put together a months worth of blog posts discussing various responses and ideas inspired by some of the great writing here. I suspect that I will visit these in future blog posts. For now the TED blog has a great summary of some of the posts.
The next is the incredible essay “The Pursuit of Emptiness” from my friend John Perry Barlow. It was in the months after Sept. 11 when he wrote this that I first read it and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to understand it with the same sense of clarity that I have now. John’s essay on the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace was an inspiration for some of my thinking for Zero-Knowledge Systems. Funny how small the world is, my friend Pip Coburn sent me a link to the emptiness essay a couple days ago it reflected much of how I’ve been trying to live for most of the last year and I understood it much more this time around.
I think I’m doing something right if John always ends up being my career muse, even if he doesn’t really write anything with me in mind
Someday I’ll corner him and try too coax him to tackle a version of the declaration of interdependence of cyberspace that pays tribute to the power of open communities to share and engage in collective social production to enrich themselves and the world without money as the primary goal but rather community (Wikipedia, Flickr, Open Source, Librivox, Creative Commons etc.).
Until someone can convince him or another writer worthy of the task to write a Declaration of Interdependence that fits the Internet community, I’m going to link to this great resource discussing the history of various attempts to write a Declaration of Interdependence (including William Durant’s original and a few other versions).
For now I’ll copy the one version that the author of the site wrote which sums up nicely my reason for my optimism for the future.
Declaration of Interdependence
We hold this truth to be self-evident:
We are All.
Therefore we live this truth
in our lives, communities and societies,
and thrive together into a long future
that we create together.
We are the world
that is awakening
to both the fact and the opportunity
of our interdependence –
fully, finally and beyond a shadow of doubt.
We are the world
who are making
ourselves a good world
that works for all people and all life.
Because we know the Greatest Secret
“We are All
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2007.