October 27th, 2011

oh

Sitting in a tent, having a learn

This thread on yesterday's xkcd made me smile. I love it when the geeks outgeek xkcd.

Last night I attended a talk by Jeanette Fitzsimons in a tent down at #OccupyWellington. We were indoors because it was raining. We gave her the only chair. It was interesting sitting in these conditions seeing someone who I've only seen on television and in newspaper photographs before, hearing what she has to say. She looks exactly the same in person. What did she have to say?

She admires the #occupy movement, and mused on why this of all movements has resonated with so many people. She thinks it's the same reason the haters have been denigrating it - because it doesn't have one demand, one solution, one problem. It encompasses all of the myriad problems and says "This is wrong" - and many many people can find something to relate to in that, even those who are not political experts. It's inclusive, put simply.

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Ah fuck, you know what? I can't do this today. That thing in Oakland has really shaken me up. I don't know why, it's not as if I didn't know the US cops were capable of it. I just think, as a friend from there put it in an email, "I hope this blossoms into that which we hope for, rather than that which we fear."

So here, have some good news: The Royal Society has opened up its archives for free access. As someone who has found it frustrating that an organisation that has done so much relevant work has hidden its work behind a paywall, I am very thankful to now be able to read it.

And in other, close to home news, I have had a confidence boost, which I'll write about in another post.