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 Pandemic Flu Awareness Week13 comments
picture24 Sep 2006
Pandemic Flu Awareness Week 2006

Thought you might like to know. And link to. And comment on. And DO.  More >

 So there's avian flu in China. And?13 comments
category picture20 Nov 2005
In my previous article I mentioned avian flu and the possibility of a pandemic. The links are still relevant if you want to take a look there.

Here's an update:

It looks like China is having more flu outbreaks in birds, with a couple of human cases. See details.

A Californian man has created a blog to write about his local community preparation. Knowing the ability of influenza viri to cause silent disease and spread while there are no symptoms, and knowing the inability of a number of governments to do their (our) thing all that well, it looks like it's at least one of the right things to do.

Current statistics are not all that important. The important thing is the unknown: when will a mutated strain start spreading effectively and unstoppably?

Lots of extremely well presented stuff is here if you want to educate yourself. I insist: it's really good stuff. Powerpoint/PDF presentations are nice, easy reading.

C'mon: get a bit anxious, despair at the complexity of the challenge (see the "daunting task" article), then roll up your sleeves!  More >

 A flu pandemic: likely? soon? damage? action?6 comments
category picture4 Oct 2005
The conditions for a flu pandemic are three - and two and a half of them are already present:
  • there's a new virus
  • it knows how to cause disease in humans
  • it may be learning how to go from one human to the next easily

When would it hit? No one knows. For all we know, it might start today, before 2006 ...

How hard would it be? No one knows. Currently it's 50+ deaths out of 100+ diseased - there are also non-certified cases, to be sure. Changes to be more transmissible may mean it's also less harmful ... but a case-fatality-ratio (dead among the diseased) of 2% is very different from 1% or 4%. IF it makes ill 3 out of 5 people, and kills 2% of those diseased, out of a world population of 6000+ million ...

A vaccine might take 6-8 months to the point of "scarcity" - before that, there would be none to share.

Antiviral drugs - the virus seems to be learning to resist it already.

We're left with the need to get ready: personally, communally, globally: Flu Wiki

Please do ask those near you (local politicians, business owners, community leaders) for their preparation and plans.

Please educate yourself here, here, here or here.

Please pass this on.  More >

 The FireFox Way - made explicit3 comments
category picture17 Dec 2004
The FireFox+SpreadFireFox initiatives are exciting because they provide a model for more:

- See a need
- Create a very good product, openly, cooperating, using what's available
- Join and disperse to facilitate change

- What other need(s) do you see?
- Do you want help to create a community that builds or spreads a solution?
- What would you need?

Minciu Sodas Laboratory - Open People


"You never change anything by fighting the existing. To change something, build a new model and make the existing obsolete." (Buckminster Fuller)
 More >

 Virtual Flash Mob to help One Village Foundation in ...1 comment
category picture12 Dec 2004
Virtual Flash Mob about Erradicating Poverty and helping One Village Foundation into getting "work, not funds".  More >

 Toward a literacy of cooperation2 comments
category picture1 Dec 2004
From: Howard Rheingold howard at rheingold dot com
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 11:19:30 -0800
Subject: Stanford Course open to public, January-March 2005: Toward a Literacy of Cooperation

Toward a Literacy of Cooperation: Jan 5-Mar 16

Darwin had a blind spot. It wasn't that he didn't see the role of cooperation in evolution. He just didn't see how important it is. So for two centuries -- a time during which the world passed from an agrarian landscape into a global post-industrial culture of unprecedented scale and complexity --science, society, public policy and commerce have attended almost exclusively to the role of competition. The stories people tell themselves about what is possible, the mythical narratives that organizations and societies depend upon, have been variations of "survival of the fittest." The role of cooperation has been largely unmapped.

Now is the time to finally build this map, not because we're feeling altruistic, but because scientists are beginning to see how cooperation actually works in biology, sociology, mathematics, psychology, economics, computer science and political science. And in the last two decades, we've seen a variety of new challenges to business models that stress competition over customers, resources, and ideas. Companies in emerging high-tech industries learned that working with competitors could build markets and help avoid costly standards wars. The open source movement showed that world-class software could be built without corporate oversight or market incentives. Google and Amazon built fortunes by drawing on, even improving, the Internet by facilitating and building on the collective actions of millions of web publishers and reviewers. Thousands of volunteers have created over one million pages of the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ­ in over 100 languages.

Collective knowledge-gathering, sharing economies, social software, prediction markets numerous experiments in technology-assisted cooperation are taking place.

In this lecture series we want to begin to put these pieces of the puzzle together to build a practical map of cooperative strategy, starting with the basic social dilemma that has forever defined the tension between self-interest and social institutions. Social dilemmas arise when you or I act rationally... in our own self-interest...but our individual rational acts add up to a situation in which everyone is worse off. That is, our choices add up to less, not more.

Readings will include Peter Kollock, Elinor Ostrom, Steven Weber, Garrett Hardin, David Reed, Bernardo Huberman, Howard Rheingold, and many others. The class will begin with a first hand game experience. A wiki and a blog will continue discussion and group learning online between classes, and enable participation by others off-campus or on the other side of the world. Guest lecturers include Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Peter Kollock, Bernardo Huberman, Ross Mayfield (social software entrepreneur and one of the authors of "Emergent Democracy,") Howard Rheingold, Zack Rosen (creator of Deanspace and, and others.

Classes will be held WEDNESDAYS 4:15 pm to 5:45 pm Wallenberg Hall (Bldg 160), Room 127. Lecture video will be streamed in real time and available on archives. The first class will be Monday, January 5. The syllabus and information about online participation will be available at by the last week in December.

We're hoping that this course will be the start of an interdisciplinary learning network, focused on issues of cooperation and collective action in science, public policy, business, and everyday life.

Please circulate this email, blog, post in appropriate forums.

Howard Rheingold howard @
What it is --->is--->up to us

Maybe it's not so much that Darwin had a blind spot himself, but his "priests" did. My guess is it has happened before. Or, even more likely, just as Mr Rheingold puts it, it must have been a matter of emphasis.

Never mind about such things of the past: we have work to do, NOW! :)

Pass it on!  More >