to do: save the world (1998)

"I would like to change the world, but i have no source code for it!" - a finnish hacker

"What is changing the world if not getting tangled in the briar patch of Maya?" - chick jesus

Quick checklist of things to get done in my lifetime:
  1. Protect the world's remaining forests, especially high biomass areas like Northern California and tropical rainforests
    • support groups like RAN, EDF, NRDC, and Conservation International
    • in California, NEC and the Headwaters Forest Project of BAA
    • get out there and go to public hearings and protests
      • an easy way is to periodically check the "action alert" pages of the above organizations
    • go out to the front lines and employ whatever means necessary to immediately stop logging
      • "Recycling is not enough. Donating to the Sierra Club is not enough. Writing to your legislators is not enough. Sometimes this means civil disobedience and risking one's life."
      • read the Earth First! primer
    • do non-confrontational cultural outreach to loggers and their families, train them on non-destructive skills, and help them move to where jobs are more sustainable
    • form connections between ecological and labor groups, since non-sustainable industries are bad for both
    • vote Green
  2. Decriminalize all drugs (and tax the hell out of the unhealthy ones)
    • drug prohibition spends an incredible amount of money, bolsters a police state, violates human rights, abuses responsible users, interferes with freedom of religion, puts more people in jail in the USA than any other country in the world, and encourages drug pushing by raising prices
    • support groups like the DPA, DRCNet, and MPP
    • put a heavy tax the most dangerous, unhealthy drugs, the ones that kill millions of people each year, i.e. alcohol and nicotine
  3. Help the 'developing nations' leap-frog their industrial eras
    • get involved in technology-transfer projects to teach people in pre-industrial regions the knowledge base of post-industrial regions
    • how to do this?  need more research or advice.
  4. Replace fossil-fuel car usage with alternate means of transportation on a massive scale
    • stop driving and move closer to work
    • if you have legs, ride a bicycle
    • wherever you live, ask your city or county for more, better, and safer bike lanes and bike paths
    • public funding of bicycles for the poor
    • support urban growth boundaries to prevent car-dominated sprawl
    • friends don't let friends buy overpriced, gas-guzzling Sports Utility Vehicles
    • follow Europe's lead by:
      • increasing gas taxes to at least $1 per gallon
      • defining the center of cities as "no-car" zones
  5. Reform the implementation of intellectual properties laws (to actually promote innovation rather than stifle it)
    • put an end to software patents
    • support software freedom and the EFF
    • defeat the evil lobbying organizations of the established entertainment markets which seek to cripple consumer electronics
  6. Increase the separation between church and state, bring an end to the two-party political system, and reduce the world's military spending by 90%
    • support Americans united for the separation of church and state
    • support third parties - any third party
    • think the "third world" has rampant human right abuses, police brutality, torture and abuse of prisoners?  actually, that's the USA
    • the US is also heavily promotes its role as the world's principal arms merchant and has the most companies that produce and sell instruments of torture
      • support AI
  7. Wire my home island and plant it with beneficial species in a sustainable fashion
    • encourage and work with local utilities to provide cheap, high-bandwidth rural net access
    • defeat ecological threats like Miconia and feral livestock
    • bring sandalwood forests back to the island
  8. Eradicate illiteracy and all forms of irrational prejudice
    • teach (easier said than done..)
    • support reduction of class size, e.g. 35 people in a class is way too many
    • encourage spelling reform
    • give the homeless the right to vote (currently they cannot in the U.S.)
    • full legal support for same-sex marriages
    • embrace diversity
  9. Make the computer revolution finally deliver on its promises, like the paperless office and cheap, world-wide communication
    • computers have arguably resulted in more, not less, paper use
    • this is due to a number of factors, but a large one is entrenched habits
    • in all workplaces, encourage everyone to question whether they really need that printout
    • only stupid programmers print out source code
    • computers are still too expensive and elitist
      • work should be done on making a $200 computer capable of office tasks, email and web browsing/authoring
      • it should be fully international and really, really easy to use
      • i think this is totally feasible
  10. Reduce the human population of the planet to half its current number (consensually)
    • OK, this one should probably take more than my lifetime
    • support the right to die - there are many organizations worldwide
    • "The population is going to get reduced one way or the other. We have a choice between allowing things to continue the way they are, in which case natural forces will reduce the population for us, with the maximum amount of violence and unpleasantness, or we can take steps to try and reduce our population voluntarily."
    • support ZPG, ponder more radical thoughts like VHEMT and (partly tongue-in-cheek) the COE
    • get public funding, or at least insurance coverage, for birth control
    • push for more education in the developing world
      • "where education is high - and I am talking basic schooling - family size plunges. This fact spans culture and economic development. In information-based economies, advanced - educated women look so unfavorable on reproduction that those governments i.e. sweden, italy are freaking and introducing money and other incentives for mothers. The funny thing is the incentives aren't working - that is how powerful education is." - Cassandra
    • a cool way to learn global population numbers: the 6 billion Human Beings exhibit