Sunday, August 21, 2011

The American Journey

We're all on a journey together. Americans are on a journey though time. But where are we going? That's the key question – Where are we going?  We're back to redefining the American Dream.

The heart of America's Dream is the act of dreaming itself. We started with these words from the Declaration of Independence – " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

The specifics of the American Dream, however, keeps changing over time. What is our American dream in this 21st century? For example:

  • Today, rather than seeking independence from England, we may be seeking energy independence from foreign powers.
  • Rather than focusing on the rights of wealthy individuals and private corporations, perhaps we want our representatives to better protect the rights of all our citizens and think of the public good.
  • Rather than funding contracts for mercenaries, perhaps we should revert back to having standing military forces composed of citizen soldiers.
  • Rather than attacking educators in our public school system, we should be investing in the transformation of our education system.
  • Rather than vilifying our public health system, we should be embracing health care for all of our citizens.
  • Rather than attacking environmentalists, we should all be concerned with being good stewards of the world we have been given.

What else? What are the top 10 - 20 items that the majority of this country believes ought to compose the American Dream? Take a close look at the platforms of the major political parties in our country. Take the time to actually read them – see Political Party Platforms.

Our country needs a clearly articulated American Dream – a Vision of the Future for America.  Our leaders need to make sure our people know what the vision is.  We can disagree on how to best get there, but let's keep our dreams alive and remain focused on creating a positive future for our country.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

'Open' Revolution #2

As I said in a previous blog simply entitled 'Open' Revolution, we have moved into a century of massive, global collaboration, innovation, and 'open' solutions. We now have open source software, open communities, open copyright licenses, open access, open knowledge, open standards, open journals and more.  I still haven't got a truly clear handle on what is happening, but the 'open' revolution is upon us, all around us. We need to understand what is happening and get a handle on it so it ends up being a constructive force for change, not a destructive one.

Here are some observation on the subject of Collaboration & Openness to consider –
  • A global 'open' revolution is well underway
  • Collaboration can be both good & bad
  • Collaborative communities have emerged – but some may be 'close minded' communities
  • Open solutions can be both good & bad
  • This is an age of constant change & innovation – which may not necessarily always be good
  • Internet & mobile technologies give us instant access – to what?
  • Users of the Internet & mobile technologies are 'always on'
  • Lots of information sharing going on – but is the information trustworthy
  • People are sharing emotions – often in the form of destructive 'flaming' diatribes
  • There's a growing sense of political & economic disenfranchisement of hundreds of millions of people
Now, what does this all mean to us, to America, and our future? Where will this global 'Open' Revolution take us? To more Freedom, Independence, Happiness, and Security? How do we harness the energy for 'constructive' purposes?