Got a few updates for you this week, both on a personal note and the standard “what’s going on in the world” beat.
Here’s the first video from my week, prepping to head down to Austin to talk to various Representatives and Senators about a problem that I am helping to create. A quick bit of background on this one…I am a computer geek. A hardcore one. Have been since I was about 5 and first sat down at a computer.
Skip ahead about 30 years and computers have become ubiquitous in our lives. They surround us, constantly. We use them for everything, including most of our jobs. I’m such a huge fan of computers that I’ve made it something of a personal goal to get one into the hands of every learning child (or adult) on the planet before I die (yea… I know…it’s my short “dream” bucket list).
However, with every advancement of human civilization comes a cost. The cost we have here, in one respent (there are others) is that many of these computing machines die, and where they go when they die has become a large question for our society. Who cares for them when they die? Who makes sure they are buried correctly? Safely? Are they re-incarnated? Incincerated? What are we doing with our marvelous silicon and [insert various elements here] creations?
And so it was that this question was thrown to me in the form of a job, organizing a community in order to solve a problem (what to do with these machines when they die) and represent a solution. It in the guise of this solution that I visited Austin to present the best current forms of a solution, in the form of legislation for the State of Texas, to their offices.
Our solution? Keep these beasts of metal and silicon out of places like the one I am going to show you below. Get them back into circulation completely, and let the electrons flow again. Keep all electronics, and their fabulous minds of metal, and exotic elements, out of the landfills. Period.
Which brings us to the first video of the week…
And so it was, pimped out and proper that I headed down to the annual meeting of the organization I was working with…
…which brings us to the exotic game preserve / landfill where the annual meeting was to be held, prior to the main visis to the Capital building.
Here’s some video of that event. Rest assured, I made a quick superman-like change from business to ultra-casual in the parking lot before the tour commenced…
The Basic Game Reserve and Tree Farm…
And so it was that the week began, thinking of computers and petting giraffes.
Lobbying turned out to be as straightforward as possbile. Call to set up an appointment with an aide. Drop by an office and drop off a few hundred personal letters from that Representatives consituents. Ask the aide to sponsor or co-author the bills that all the constituents wrote to ask about. Follow-up with both aides and constituents.
Rinse, Recycle, Repeat.
That’s the democratic process, right there. At least the part that happens between elections when the real work gets done. In a democracy we often think that once the election is over, our part in the process is finished. In the real world, the election is only the start and end of a pragmatically infinite process. It is a process that requires constant attention in order to influence the outcome. Hence the reason it is such a fabulous game to play.
The way I played this game last week started out at a landfill went to the Capital (which has some curious similarities with the landfill…) and then back to the street to get some more pressure on those legislators who wanted to hear more about the issue. More pressure and more letters and more people.
And very little money. Such is how it works in the grassroots. The grassroots of Texas that can, like the heartland of Africe, support some very interesting game.
More updates on this one coming. The Texas Legislature is only in session for just under two more months, and some of the bills are making progress. I’ll let you know how it all rolls out…