About Dan Robinson

98/10/23 (rational date notation)

I was raised mostly on several farms in California, and for a few years, in a San Francisco suburb. I like to think that on the farm I learned about a deeper level of reality that I missed in more urban surroundings. We moved several times during my childhood and my family quickly became central in each new community, but perhaps I failed to develop some community-building skills. I learned to think for myself, and to question authority, at a fairly early age, but that also made it more difficult to be part of a community. I'm not much into just "hangin' out". My desire for community has tended to move me more towards urban environments. I feel I live mainly to support community in one form or another. I've never experienced my limits of how closely I would like to live with others, and I have some pretty radical fantasies.

My religion, and politics, are independent, liberal. My highest identified purpose in life, which I sometimes call my "god", is The ever-continuing, never-satisfied Search for Truth, which is well served by advancing consciousness/sentience, honesty, openness, trust, compassion etc. I support sexual freedom and consider myself bisexual and "poly-intimate.

I'm not known for strong emotions, but I think it's more that I have a different point of view about them.

I tend to be a pessimist about the near future of American, and perhaps of human, society. Our economic system (particularly our need for full employment), and maybe our culture, are designed around, and dependent on, wastefulness and inefficiency. Having "status" is often a matter of flaunting how much we can afford to waste. The "defense" system is a bottomless pit into which we can throw "excess" person-power, with the result that the pit only gets bigger.

Many liberals feel that grassroots efforts can still make a difference. But it's risky because if their efforts are only enough to slow the downfall, we end up wasting still more non-renewable resources, which could perhaps be better used by the next era of civilization. I tend to think we're already too far gone for grassroots efforts to save us. I favor more radical approaches, building communities that can hope to outlive the collapse, and taking social risks. Support action that has a some chance of saving us, or could quicken the downfall, so we can start rebuilding sooner, with some new values.

Perhaps the biggest hope I see for a more immediate recovery is the area of electronic networking, electronic democracy etc. I feel I can express important thoughts better in writing than speaking, taking the time to think about what I want to say. I'm also never interrupted and can always "get the floor", and sometimes the audience. I write much more on computers than I ever wrote without them. (Sometimes the main problem is finding what I wrote.) Therefore a major technical interest has been more portable and user-friendly computer/communication terminals, on which I also have some radical ideas.

I'm particularly interested in the meaning of science and technology for community. Utne Reader's (March/April '95) cover topic was "Neighborhood vs. Cyberhood", community in cyberspace, and quite a bit about the meaning of community in general. It helped me analyze my relationship to community.

Send me your thoughts, but I advise reading in more detail before responding to summarized statements.
Dan Robinson, danrob@efn.org, Eugene, Oregon
My home page: http://www.efn.org/~danrob/