Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"White like me"

Imagine white like me, how the world would be? I’ve traveled the seven seas and have seen all that the eye can see, but what if the world was white like me, how would that be?

The Indian women in Mombi, with her mother-in-law in sight, how she looked at me longing to be in a different life; to choose her own husband and possess her own plight.

My Kenyan friend Phoebe who said “how pretty are thee,” as she played through my string sandy blond hair, braiding strand by strand; why could she not see that she is as pretty as me?

Or the cry of joy from the Chinese lady that I gave my favorite dress as a collegial exchange for all the wonderful friendly gestures she endowed upon me while studying her cultural traditions at the University.

Then there is Luciana, my exchange classmate in Buenos Aires, now a mother, married to her high school sweetheart, working at her father’s store, living in her grandparent’s apartment pained as trendy as could be, she is close to her family and friends, never leaving town for more than a day of rest.

All along I search to be, not like the rest, someone special, different but, of course above all, my best; a dynamic and funny girl who is not judged by my background, place of birth, color of skin, do I have more privilege then the rest?

For the worst and best that globalization has to offer, why would we want the rest to look like the west? As I have traveled to seek independence, identity and culture, I have gained more respect for the traditional cultural backgrounds of my neighbors and friends. Yet who am I? Just like the rest, longing to be in a different place in life, with a lover and friends, to be beautiful and happy, or just to be noticed by the rest?

Image—8.22.06

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

El partido progresista

El “partido progresista” fue organizado al principios del siglo pasado por Theodore Roosevelt en (1912), quebró el partido y nombrado de nuevo por Robert M. La Follette, Sr. en Wisconsin (1924) y por la tercera vez en 1948.

Aunque fue aprobada por a los laboristas, granjeros y socialistas, pero realmente no lanzó mucho más que luchar contra lo main stream/ status quo—con una propuesta alternativa. Su plataforma era anti-guerra, pro-labor y granjeros, pro-mujer de votar, etc. (por eso tiene el sentido mas centro izquierda acá). Pero lo que hizo era un partido formado afuera del normal Democrats vs Republicano mas independiente (exacto como el sentido de la Tercera vía).

En los últimos años se presentan el Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) con el apoyo de Howard Dean en 2004. Tambien el jugador Jessy Ventura, el ex gobernador de Minnesota fue parte del movimiento “independiente” antes de formar su partido propio.

Anualmente en la política de los demócratas, sigue mucho el partido independiente con lo que pasó en Connecticut la semana pasada. “Joe" Lieberman perdió el voto de los demócratas Ned Lamont y ahora esta por lanzar su candidatura independiente para ser presidente del los EEUU.

(Por el lado social, la gente joven política/alternativa, “los “hipsters,” usa el termino progresista mucho también.)

Fighting Bob LaFollette

Quoted in reference to WWI

"The purpose of this campaign is to throw the country into a state of terror, to coerce public opinion, to stifle criticism, and suppress discussion. People are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, held incommunicado for days, only to be eventually discharged without ever having been taken into court, because they have committed no crime. But more than this, if every preparation for war can be made the excuse for destroying free speech and a free press and the right of the people to assemble together for peaceful discussion, then we may well despair of ever again finding ourselves for a long period in a state of peace. The destruction of rights now occurring will be pointed to then as precedents for a still further invasion of the rights of the citizen."


Shortcut to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._La_Follette%2C_Sr.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Reason for foundations.

From a post modern philosophy seminar I took two years ago with an Argentine friend with a degree from the New School in NYC, I learned why Foundations are necessary. In the class we read French philosopher Jean Francois Lyotard. (His book is called the Postmodern Condition). He writes about the production of knowledge in the post modern times as well as the science and use of technology. Mainly, Lyotard is criticizing the lack of new ideas being produced by the “commercialization” of universities and the use of scientific knowledge in the social sciences. This got me thinking of how knowledge is created and used and spread. I found the idea of producing knowledge related to our discussion for “rationalizing foundations” in society.

For example, as in other areas in the hard sciences like technology, they need funds to do research. In many cases, the money somewhat defines what is studied. Businesses funds R&D to invent new products, so then to sell and make more money. The money spent as an investment for the outcome of the product that could be potentially produced. Therefore money drives the thinking. Not that the “thinkers” (researchers) aren’t working but they may steer their ideas to where the funding sources are. This is the same as researchers at universities looking for grants to do their research.

Likewise, to make a social movement you have to feed it. Foundations generally work as fuel for social movements. Social Movements can be called a public good—they do not belong to anyone specifically but are beneficial hopefully to all of society. Social moments (case studies of grant agreements if you want to all them that) can create good public policy. Because of the scarcity of resources, often times this social engineering needs to be fueled with funding. They also can drive good policy because the set examples of where business and government’s fail to provide goods for a society (i.e. government or business failures). A good foundation would find a need, through a group of candidates and fund them, publish them, generating the knowledge and send the idea to a larger funder. Hence the generation of knowledge.

So don’t think a funding operator is an administrative job. It could actually the most crucial person in the funding or knowledge creation cycle.

This is where we discussed the idea of pooling ideas, weaving out bad ideas and vetting to create new idea pools. There is always a pool of resources but what spent is the decision of the funder not the experimenter with the idea. Just like in the grant making process, we set or parameters of what we think we want to fund and then the public picks up the idea and applies it to whatever their realities is. I could argue the chicken and the egg, but I would suggest you can never argue where the money comes from is where the idea is born.

10 rules for strategic innovation

The rules are (in simplified, paraphrased form):

1. A powerful strategic idea is not enough to ensure success.
2. You need to forget irrelevant lessons that led to success in the traditional business.
3. Established companies can outperform start-ups in pursuing strategic innovation by leveraging the established businesses' key resources and assets.
4. Strategic experiments face more unknowns than known quantities.
5. The organization for strategic innovation should be built from the ground up to optimize that opportunity . . . and to avoid tainted loyalty and memories of the other businesses.
6. Only senior management can manage the inevitable conflicts between the old and new businesses.
7. The strategic innovation will need planning processes designed to maximize learning.
8. Keep the politics out of letting the innovative organization learn.
9. Focus the innovation organization on learning rather than near-term results.
10. Organizations can learn relevant skills to make strategic innovations easier to pursue and more successful.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico Authors ...