Intro: How to Save Puerto Rico

Yesterday I ran across a quote, which seemed to appear to me as if on queue. In a recent conversation with Gil, of Jil the Geenus fame, about how he found the motivation to continue blogging. He shared a story concerning a project that he may become involved with that was based on an idea he previously shared on his blog. The quote, which I found on the fantastic resource IT Conversations (I'll tell you a little about them later), is attributed to Milton Friedman, who was an American economist, public intellectual, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. He said,

"Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs the actions taken will depend on the ideas lying around."
I had brought up the subject of motivation with Gil because I have to confess that I have been suffering from a serious challenge to my blogging motivation. I believe the single largest challenge we all face in Puerto Rico is the temptation to surrender to the status quo. There ARE some very talented people in Puerto Rico, let's call them heroes for even caring enough in the first place, to attempt to bring about change. However, when our hero confronts people, teams, or organizations which have slipped into the easy, soothing, comfort of mediocrity, the odds become stacked against them. Unless the idea, project, or initiative the hero is working on can win over the hearts and minds of the mediocre masses, quickly the passionate and motivated hero becomes frustrated, disappointed, and weakened. When that happens our hero becomes easy prey for the viciousness of the status quo, which quickly attacks and turns doubts into defeat.

So, from now on, I'll be writing about things I would change if I had the power to do so. I'll do so with the hope that someone, who does have that power, will find my ideas in their time of crisis and find them worthy of consideration. Much like leaving a warning for the survivors of annihilation, consider my future posts the guidelines to help rebuild (or build) our enchanted island into the paradise it can and should be.

If you've been thinking that no one seems to care, take solace in that they probably don't. But consider your motivation, sure we all want change, but we want it now (you know instant gratification and all that). There is another perspective to this. Check out Dave Pollard's "About the Author" essay. He concedes that, in his opinion, the world can not be saved. So why would someone who has concluded that the world can NOT be saved, write a blog about "How to Save the World." I'd say that it is exactly the concept stated by Mr. Friedman.

Plug: If you have never heard of IT Conversations, I'd highly recommend you do so. They've evolved beyond IT topics and cover a wide selection of topics, one in particular which could be beneficial for us is social innovation. One thing they do which I think is truly special is to record speeches from important conferences and make them available as podcasts. A few examples are SuperNova, O'Reilly Emerging Technology, Singularity Summit, and the Skoll World Forum. If you're looking for a way to catch up on what's current, there are few better resources than IT Conversations.

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: Michael Mistretta



17 de diciembre de 2008, 17:56
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Cool! I look forward to the next batch of posts. I had fun when we crossposted the "technology for PR" thing and have been interested in something like that again.
I started blogging as an exercise, I like to read and as a consumer I somehow felt an obligation to also contribute, you know?
All my non work activities, especially the social web ones feed back to my work and the rest of my life in positive and negative ways. I understand you motivation problem as I have been there all to often about a lot of things. Hopefully we can all learn something.

MC Don Dees

17 de diciembre de 2008, 18:55
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Sounds good! I didn't intentionally mean to kick-off a new theme, but you're welcome to jump on in. The water's really shitty (no pun intended) and full of broken glass. That's how we like it. Shitty and dangerous.

Woo hoo, I look forward to the next batch of posts as well.