... we will be a nation with a massive divide, no matter who wins.
A nation with a huge difference between the rural and the urban... between those who have done well in the new economy... and those who have been left behind.
No matter who wins, our next task as a nation will be to figure out how to rebuild the connections between us.
Can we perhaps start by being more civil to each other? To respecting our differences?
Can each of us try to treat others more kindly?
I'd like to think so... but I'm not so sure.
Image: a bumper sticker I saw on a car last month.
Kudos to the folks at the Monadnock Shopper News for creating this beautiful video.
P.S. Our area is called the "Monadnock Region" because our tallest mountain is named Mount Monadnock.
Today was a CRAZY day of curling! It began at 9:00am when our 7-year-old took to the ice at Petersham Curling Club (PCC) for her first day as a member of the "Little Rocks" youth program (ages 7-12). It ended with me going on the ice back at PCC at 8:15pm to play in the Mixed League (men and women) until after 10:00pm.
In between those times, our 14-year-old daughter was up in the Toronto, Canada, area playing with her team against 15 other highly competitive Canadian and US teams. Her team had two games - 11:00am and 5:00pm - and wound up winning both of them... but with extremely tense and nail-biting endings!
I think I gained a good bit of white hair today... and that was just from watching the website and getting updates sent by messages from one of the parents up there in Canada!
It was a great day! From the boundless energy and enthusiasm of our 7yo, to our daughter's team winning their two games... to my team squeaking out a narrow win (it came down to the final stone!).
A crazy day... but a good one!
As a writer, it is incredibly frustrating when you find yourself NOT writing. It's hard to explain, but there's a kind of pressure that builds up inside you. It keeps building and building and building and BUILDING... and if the pressure is not released through writing then it comes out in other ways. The way you treat others. Your health. Depression. Frustration.
I'm in that state today - if you look at my danyork.me site pulling together all my writing and audio, the number of days I've been actually writing or creating audio is a bit sparse:
This post will only be my second post - in the entire 18 days of October!
Across all my blog sites, including my work sites... where I am paid to write!
And yet... I have no one to blame but myself.
I have a loooooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg list of topics I want to write about. There is no end. In fact there are several series of posts I want to get underway.
But it's that effort of putting words on the screen. It is starting the writing - and not being distracted. By appointments. By meetings. By email. By social media. By… life.
It’s also the finishing of the writing. I have all sorts of blog posts that I have started, but I haven’t made the time to go back and actually finish the posts. (And sometimes that means just saying they are “good enough” and hitting the publish button.)
It is the act of focusing. Of being present.
If writing is to be a priority for me, by my own choice - then it is the act of prioritizing writing.
This is not a new problem for me. I've in fact been writing about this issue for many years. Here's a sample:
- July 2016 -
- February 2016 -
- April 2015 -
- March 2015 -
- November 2012 (first of a 4-part series) -
- September 2008 -
And even though I write those “self-help” posts, primarily as a reminder to ME, if I’m honest about it… I’m still struggling with it.
We’ll see. And hey… with this post at least I’ve written something today!
There is something about a mountaintop. The view all around you. The freshness of the air. The wind whipping against your hair and body. The exhiliration of making it to the top after a grueling climb.
There is something about a mountaintop. The smiles and joy of some people there. The agonized expressions of those who just barely made it. The mobile phones as selfies and panoramas get taken. The sometimes sharing of food.
There is something about a mountaintop. The sense of wonder and awe. The pointing down to the bottom. Is that where the trail began? Is that the city we know? Whose house or field is that? We are so high up!
There is something about a mountaintop.
I made a serious mistake last night. One that had consequences for my sleep - or lack thereof. It caused me to not do anything else this morning. It caused me not to get up and want to make breakfast. I wanted to ignore everyone else around me.
It was seriously, seriously bad...
What was it?
I opened up a book.
Not just a "book".. but a really, really GOOD book!
And now... all I want to do is sit there and read the remaining 600 pages... :-)
Responsibilities call... things need to be done... activities need to be planned... but... all... I... want... to... do... is... keep... reading....
Using the map doesn't require me to login or deal with any tracking info.
All that is required is to add the country codes on to the URL. Here's what I mean - this is my list of visited countries (as of August 2016):
You can see there all the country codes.
But that's it. I can bookmark that URL. I can copy and paste it. I can modify it.
There's no other login or anything required.
Over the years, I've tried a few other map sites like this one, but often they seem to require you to login to copy the map. Or they had a cryptic URL that basically made it so you had to post it to Facebook using their particular code ... or something like that.
(Now, this site does have sharing buttons out to social media, but I can choose NOT to use them and just share the URL directly.)
Kudos to the Amcharts team for making this available - and making it easy to have a URL you can use and share.
And yes, clearly you can see that I haven't visited a whole lot of the Southern Hemisphere ...
P.S. They also have a "Visited (US) States" map, but mine would be boring as I've been to all 50 states...
I've long been a fan and listener to the excellent PacketPushers podcasts. If you are into networking of any type their shows are quite educational and enjoyable. (See the most recent shows in the right sidebar of packetpushers.net.)
Last year Russ White encouraged me to consider writing on Packet Pushers and connected me to the folks there to be set up as an author. They gave me an account... but then I've simply been way too busy with all the other writing I've been doing.
While at IETF 96 in Berlin last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the two main hosts, Greg Ferro, and have a very wide-ranging conversation that I published as an episode in my The Dan York Report podcast. As part of that, I said to Greg that I'd see about starting to write there.
Greg also said they are perfectly fine with RE-publishing content that originates elsewhere... and this intrigued me. I'm already doing that with posting some of my articles to CircleID (although I'm also writing new articles there). I'm also experimenting with cross-posting to Medium now and then.
Packet Pushers has a strong community of people involved with networking. For a good number of the topics I write about it would be a logical place to also post my articles to encourage further discussion and get more engagement.
We'll see how that all goes. I greatly appreciate the Packet Pushers team for giving me the space to write there... and I would again encourage you to not only read the site, but also listen to the podcasts.
There is darkness all around us. This week, of all weeks, that is clear.
Young black men shot by police thousands of mile apart - and then five police officers killed in an ambush by an angry assailant seemingly intent on vengance. Police officers, in this case, who were doing their jobs of protecting a peaceful protest against those earlier shootings.
Just a week earlier a bomb exploded at an airport in Istanbul, Turkey killing over 40 people and injuring hundreds more... a terrorist attack at a bakery claimed over 20 lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh... a weekend bombing in a market in Baghdad, Iraq, left close to 300 dead... and bombs rocked three cities in Saudi Arabia, including near a mosque in the holy city of Medina.
Meanwhile tempers flare against immigrants in the UK after the Brexit vote... a U.S. Presidential candidate stokes the fires of fear and hatred... as do similar leaders in European countries... and bombs continue to fall in Syria's civil war...
The list could go on and on...
The divide between "us" and "them" grows stronger... where "them" is really "anyone not like us".
So much anger. So much hatred. So many killings.
There is darkness all around us.
As I struggled to concentrate on my work today, I found a browser window open to a piece written 10 days ago by Umair Haque: The Age of Light. He writes in part:
Dark ages are human creations, remember? The darkness isn’t somewhere “out there”. It’s in us. That is how we choose them, make them, create them.
The true hallmark of a Dark Age is this. We call the darkness the light, and celebrate it, revel in it, seek salvation in it. Darkness isn’t a meteor hitting the earth. It’s a mentality. The impoverishment of the mind, brought on by rage, envy, fear.
No Dark Age thinks it is one. Every Dark Age calls itself an Age of Light. Isn’t that exactly what’s happening across the globe today? As the middle collapses, as people grow poorer, they are regressing. They are literally choosing to go backwards. But that very choice is celebrated on the streets, applauded in the towns, and shouted from the rooftops as great, noble, and wise.
That is all a Dark Age really is.
Institutions crumble, leaders fail, and there is a turn to tribalism, feudalism, conflict, and dynasty.
He goes on... his full article is worth a read.
There is darkness all around us.
In the face of all of this, how, then, do we push back against the darkness?
I don't really know.
Sitting at my desk trying to get work done online today while every site brought more news of the madness...
... I just don't know.
I am reminded again of the powerful words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
In a world where so much darkness threatens I think our only solution is for each one of us to be a light.
To ask ourselves each moment: can we be kinder? can we be better? can we help others in some way?
Umair is right - the darkness is within us. We cannot change others - we can only change ourselves and the choices we make.
And while that sounds hopelessly naive and cliche, I see no other way forward.
Or, at least, no other positive way forward.
We seem to have lost some kind of understanding of our common humanity.
Of the fact that all of us have the same basic needs and desires: food, drink, a safe place to live... friends, family... to laugh, to share... to be loved.
Black, white, yellow, pink, red, brown... liberal, conservative or anywhere in between... male, female or something else... we are all breathing the same air and living on the same planet, no matter what language we speak or how we dress or how we look.
We need to rebuild that faith in each other. That trust in each other.
We won't always agree - in fact we may violently disagree - but we need to recognize that even in that worst disagreement we are still... fundamentally... human.
With parents and sons and daughters and wives and husbands and brothers and sisters and friends and partners and...
Each with our own dreams and desires for the future...
We must believe in that. And we must bring that belief within us.
And we must act in that capacity. Deeds, not words, as they say.
And through our actions maybe, just maybe, we can be a beacon of hope for others.
It will not be easy. We will fail. Repeatedly. But this week reminds us that we must keep trying.
We must be the light.
Or else darkness wins.
At about noon today I'll head out of Keene, NH, towards Boston's Logan airport to start what will be about 23 hours of travel bringing me to Marrakech, Morocco. I land tomorrow (Friday, 4 March) around 4:00pm local time and then after getting settled in that evening will dive directly into the Africa DNS Forum at 8:30am Saturday morning.
It's going to be a crazy week!
I wrote about all the activities I'll be part of in this post:
I will be giving five different presentations during the week, all of which will be live streamed and recorded. Naturally I'll be participating in a good number of other sessions.
These are all part of a larger set of meetings that we at the Internet Society will be engaged in during the week at both ICANN 55 and the Africa DNS Forum. There are some very large "Internet governance" issues that will be at play this week, as my colleague Konstantinos Komaitis wrote about:
Tuesday, March 8th, is also International Women’s Day, and we’ll be publishing content around the excellent work of women in the world of technology.
We have a significant amount of communication being planned around all of these different events, sessions and announcements.
Being part of the Internet Society Communications team, I will be heavily involved in creating a good bit of our content and distributing it out over our social channels. All of that will be visible publicly here:
and of course on my own personal social network channels.
It’s going to be a busy time. One question people have asked me is:
Will you get to see anything of Marrakech?
The answer, sadly, is... probably NOT.
As typically happens at events like this, I'm going to land at the airport in Marrakech and be transported by a driver to a "hotel compound" outside of Marrakech. The Palmeraie Conference Center is a big place with multiple hotels and all sorts of restaurants... a golf course, pools, etc.
The sad reality is that I will probably spend my entire week there within the compound in the conference rooms until I leave for my flight home on the afternoon of Thursday, March 10. I understand there is some kind of "gala" social event.. but again it may be in the same compound.
We'll see... some of the photos online seem amazing... hopefully I'll get a chance somewhere in there.
I'm excited about the events that will be happening at the meetings at Marrakech and looking forward to meeting many of the people there.
If you are going to be there in Marrakech for either ICANN 55 or the Africa DNS Forum, please do say hello!
And if you are not, but are interested in what is going on at the events, please see our event pages to find the live streams to participate remotely:
So here I go... on the road to Marrakech....
Image credit: Sofiane BELGHALI on Flickr CC BY NC