Celebrating the arc of her life

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My mom passed away recently from complications after a stroke, after 86 years on the planet that started out pretty bumpy — particularly her family’s getting out of Berlin in 1939 when she was 5 — soared for a good long while during her best years, then slowly lost altitude.

In this time of Coronavirus pandemic, Eva’s passing was peaceful and had little to do with the virus, aside from its interfering with my in-person visits and our outings to see the world. In that we were lucky.

As my parents’ only child, having…

for April

There is a field out there
Beyond the warnings and the masks
Where we don’t have to worry
About social distancing
And where your inner candle can shine
As frisbees float by

You are my Lockdown Rumi
My partner when the music stopped
My co-conspirator, my energizer
My twin in downward dog
Though only one of us can hold a handstand

If it were not for local outings
To Uwajimaya and 99Ranch
Our travel jones would overwhelm us
As it is, even Safeway poke
Is like a trip to Asia

Lockdown has messed with time Fourteen weeks turned…

My speech at Unfinished 2020 (Brain link)

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Trust is the way forward.

Yup. I said trust is the way to get out of the multiple messes we’re in.

No, I’m not blind. In fact, I live in Portland, in the Northwest corner of the US. Today, as you may have heard, Portland is apparently a hornet’s nest of Anarchists bent on destroying the city, then lighting fire to the rest of the country.

Except it’s not. Despite Oregon’s complicated history of white suprematism, Portland today is a haven for people who would like more trust between neighbors, more social justice…

Exploring the causes and effects of the Subprime Crisis — to improve our decisions today.

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Snip! in my Brain

How do complex crises come about?

Why do we so consistently make bad decisions?

How might we make better collective decisions?

I just posted three videos on YouTube, which on one level are a critical assessment of the Subprime Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis that followed.

On experiencing Design from Trust

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Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Something predictable happens when people first encounter systems that are designed from trust, such as Wikipedia, traffic calming or microfinance.

To recap: Design from Trust is an approach to design that assumes that most (not all) people have good intent. From books left in a Little Free Library on the sidewalk to the design of the Internet, systems designed to release genius are more useful and effective than those designed to stop bad actors from acting badly. Plenty more on this topic here.

Caveat: I use Wikipedia often as an example of Design from Trust…

You just don’t know it yet

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Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash

Any idiot can edit the Wikipedia — yet it works.

Netflix’s employee policy on things like expenses and vacations is: Act in Netflix’s Best Interests. No big manuals or rulesets.

Microloans go to people with no collateral, who should be terrible credit risks. Yet their default rates are lower than conventional loans.

These are all examples of Design from Trust. (Not for; from.) You may notice some things they have in common:

  • They begin with an assumption that most people have good intent.
    (Most, not all.)
  • They initially feel counterintuitive, even risky.
  • They are…

I like beer. No, I love beer, I’ve always loved beer, and I love beer to this day. Boys love beer. Girls love beer. Do you like beer? I love beer! Man, the brewskis! And I do occasionally drink too much beer. Lots of beer! But of course I’ve never drunk so much that I don’t remember what I did — Whaaaaaa???? Srsly?? He hasn’t? And how many times does a person for whom beer is just another beverage need to repeat the word “beer?”

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When your best friend growing up published a memoir titled Wasted: Tales of a GenX…

Jerry Michalski

Your guide to the Relationship Economy.

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