Recommentunde - Neighbor Nerd - Week of 3 Nov 2019

it's the latest edition of

The Recommentunde Newsletter

For the week that began November 3 2019

This week's photo is from the Halloween 2019 at my house!

Good day all,

It’s probably been about 20 years since I hosted trick or treat on Halloween, and last week I broke the drought. We hosted at our LA home. I put a speaker outside with spooky music, lightly decorated the front porch, streamed spooky cemetery scenes on the big screen, and stocked up on candy, including candy for kids with nut allergies (bonus points!). I'll just say that neighbors who give out full-sized candy bars are bad people and cannot be trusted in an emergency.

In the happy department, I got a little boost of civic love every time someone came up the walkway. Meeting neighbors is fun! Elizabeth told me to ask the kids what their costumes were, and that leveled up the fun even more. My least favorite was a man/teen dressed up as Joker. I told him he could have all the candy he wanted and that I respected his contributions to society. My favorite was a kid wearing a full face motorcycle helmet. I asked, “What are you dressed up as?” He said with an Oscar-worthy straight face, “I’m just wearing my motorcycle helmet. Can I have some candy?” Yes you can, kid. Yes you can.

I’m a neighborhood nerd. I walk most mornings, smiling and waving and saying hello like a black, bearded Ned Flanders. Elizabeth also says I could be the new Mr. Rogers, which I’m completely fine with. Say hello to a neighbor this week -- in traffic, on a bus or train, walking your dog. And while you read this week's edition, enjoy the music from KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic show. They are rotating DJs, and Aaron Byrd is up this month! He's my favorite of the KCRW DJs, and he was music supervisor for Ava Duvernay's When They See Us Netflix series. His taste is beyond dope.

Last week I asked you to share good news -- it's never too late, and the form will remain open. You shared over 100 pieces of good news!! I’m going to sprinkle some throughout this week’s newsletter.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Facebook has the power to help and not just undermine democracy. I've signed this letter asking Facebook to stop taking paid political ads, and I encourage you to do the same.

From Jaja aka DapQuon: Saw an old man “almost” get hit by a car, but he pulled a Michael Jackson move out of somewhere and dodged it.

From Kate from New Zealand/Aotearoa: 34% of NZers reported as transitioning away from meat to a plant based diet. 34%! That’s massive!

In Maybe It’s Not YouTube’s Algorithm That Radicalizes People, WIRED journalist writes about a new report challenging the accepted conventional wisdom on radicalization in favor of something simpler: it’s people that do the radicalizing more than the algorithm. Now, how do we reprogram humans?

From Anonymous: My friend's 11-year-old daughter recently told me that neither she nor any of her friends had cell phones. I asked her if that bothered her, and she replied, “not really because we actually have conversations with one another where as my sister and her friends are all staring at their phones.” We bear so many negative story about kids and technology but I think some of them get it, we still have to have human interactions. Right on. Also respect to the 11 year-old who uses the term “whereas.”

From Oldenoughtobeyourmother: NC threw out gerrymandered congressional map, and Planned Parenthood opened a big new clinic on the Illinois side of St Louis

I’m sharing this in the spirit of solutions, not just good news. Thanks to reader Jennifer for noting the difference. Homelessness: A national problem best solved at the local level | USA Today.

From Whitney Moses, Oakland, CA: People all over Sonoma are really heart warmed by the ways they are showing up and taking care of each other through the fires, evacuations, and power outages.

From Anonymous: My mom celebrated her 72nd birthday this week happy and cancer free. That’s actually the best news!

A useful reminder that we get the world we design for. The Internet at 50: ‘We Didn’t See the Dark Side Emerging’ | The New York Times

And in related news, I’m one of the "experts” cited in this latest report: Experts Optimistic About the Next 50 Years of Digital Life | Pew Research Center

From Margaret, London. UK: My art teacher commented my improvements this term.\

From Anonymous: A newly engaged consciousness-raising group formed in my community for white folks, about race.

From Anonymous: A Mom who was desperate to have a baby and didn’t know she was pregnant delivered a baby thinking she had the flu!

We know the US president is wildly irresponsible and morally bankrupt, but I had never thought about the impact of a president feeding off of crazy conspiracy tweets every day until I read this in full: In Trump’s Twitter Feed: Conspiracy-Mongers, Racists and Spies | The New York Times

I've had a chance to do a workshop with Evryman and am glad to see this long thoughtful profile of the group: My Time Inside a Group Where Men Confront Their Feelings | GQ

From Sarah in Vermont: Minnesota’s Peace Lutheran church skirted death by taking ‘love thy neighbor’ to radical extremes | City Pages

From Astrotraveler here with you on earth: “We have more squirrels than I can recall ever seeing scurrying around gathering food for the winter.” I really needed to see this because my backyard squirrels are out of control, but now I can see it as them fighting for survival instead of just taking all my fruit.

From Anonymous : Windy City Gay Chorus, The third oldest gay chorus in the United States, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Think what it was like to be openly gay in 1979. Those guys are heroes to me.

From Isabella Gonzales in Los Angeles: I got married!

In closing, Apple has gotten fair to midland reviews for its slate of streaming content, but the YouTube algorithm just served me up the trailer for The Banker, which I'm super excited to see and then replicate in real life.


Peace and Love.