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Sam Session
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Sam Session

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sam Session

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Couldn't help myself. Sorry.
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Sam Session

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An Embrace from the Past

Here's the amazing sculpture called "Embrace" at Burning Man this year.  We had both epic sunsets and sandstorms this year.  I took so many photos!  See the girl in this photo and how her camera was so nicely protected in some kind of a baggy situation?  Mine was not.  I'll write a whole blog post about "dealing with sand" at soon on http://www.StuckInCustoms.com — I see ALL your comments but can't respond to them all.  But I'll write a blog post about it all or do a video!  

Anyway, 98% of people were over on the other side of Embrace while I took this photo. It was me and a small smattering of photographers who secretly knew where the best view was from!!! :)

I think this is one of the secrets of photography.  Once you get into it, you see the world in a whole new way.  Even if you're not taking photos, you usually know the best place for your eyes to be. :)
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Sam Session

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Dragons Coming  (And Denver PhotoWalk reminder!)

Here's a new photo I just finished on a long plane ride from New Zealand to the United States (where I entered legally, btw).  I took this photo a few weeks ago in China down in the Guanxi area.  

And we're getting closer to the Denver Photowalk!  I am getting a few more details and will put them up on the event page here soon: https://plus.google.com/events/c4ccoc9l4287n8k1fjut1i7prh8 
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Sam Session

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If you regularly follow geek culture, you've probably seen early versions of Dirk Loechel's spaceship comparison chart, which shows the relative sizes of
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Embrace Burns

This is the first piece of art to be engulfed in flames here at Burning Man.  They set it off just after sunrise...  it was so amazing to watch.  I usually don't post two photos in a row of the same subject matter, but I think these two together show the ephemeral nature and the full alpha to omega of what happens here every year. #BurningMan #BurningMan2014
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Reboot your cable modems.  Especially if you are in or near an area that might get Google Fiber. 
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"We don't need new policies. We need better implementation."

Last night, I hosted Oakland City Councilor and mayoral candidate Libby Schaaf at a house party to introduce her to my neighbors. In response to a question about what to do about one of Oakland's many problems, she said "We don't need new policies.  We need better implementation."  And in response to a question about disengaged city employees, she talked about the ones who really want to make a difference, and are just waiting to be activated.

That resonated so strongly with me, because just the night before, I'd been at a talk by +Mikey Dickerson about the healthcare.gov rescue effort, which sounded almost exactly the same notes.  It's easy to imagine heroic Silicon Valley coders riding to the rescue, but Mikey pointed out that they wrote very little code.  Much of the rescue work was done by the same people who built the broken site.  What the Silicon Valley team provided was clear management focus from people who knew what they were doing. They were able to debug all the bad process and broken communications between the various contractors who'd built the site, figure out what they needed from each of them, and then encourage and bring out the best in those people. They also had the guts and the force of will to get the recalcitrants on board.  (I wrote more about this at http://bit.ly/healthcare_rescue )

So much of the work we do at Code for America is drawn from the same playbook (though we usually don't have the kind of mandate that the "Code Red" healthcare.gov rescue team did!)  It's about debugging a process, making small tech interventions, but even more about helping "the system" to work better by understanding needs and figuring out why they aren't being met.  (See for example Jake Solomon's brilliant post about his work in San Francisco last year: https://medium.com/@lippytak/people-not-data-47434acb50a8)

We have a constant parade of politicians who tell us what we want to hear: that they have a new policy idea, and that if we follow their advice, everything will be great.  This kind of "magic bullet" thinking is what gets us the same dismal results, over and over.  To be sure, there are times when we do need new policies, and I'm sure Libby has her share of policy ideas too.  But getting away from policy and digging into implementation is so important! So much of the problem isn't what we set out to do, it's how we do it.  I love hearing someone speak truth about that.

P.S. As a city councilor, Libby is in a non-executive role.  If she is in charge of actual implementation, I'm super-excited to see what she can do.  If you're an Oakland city resident, I hope you turn out and vote for her in November.  If you'd like to learn more, I'm co-hosting another, bigger event for Libby at the new (still under construction) BlueSprout Maker space in Oakland next Sunday.  Sign up to attend here:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/libbyraiser-tickets-11878702519
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I must agree. If people already did what they were supposed to do in whatever capacity they have been hired or voted in to serve; the world would be a better place!
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Preventing the future...
Government buildings all around the country are wired with fiber, but agreements with huge telecoms keep it out of people's homes.
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In his circles
262 people
Have him in circles
213 people
Allen S'quard's profile photo
john a. gorman (-kilderkin r16)'s profile photo
Amanda Dunkin's profile photo
Missy Stanush's profile photo
Bruce Erickson (Odig)'s profile photo
Douglas McMurray's profile photo
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Google enthusiast. Football fanatic. CEH, CHFI, GCIA, G2700, CCNA
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