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Floating All Boats
Improving Community

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

Back when cellphones were a new technology, I was driving down the main street in Hartford's Hispanic neighborhood, noticing all the many teenagers walking along talking on their phones.

In those days I was practicing natural medicine in suburbia (West Hartford) and in the inner city, where I worked with seniors, which is what I was doing driving through the hood. On any given day, in addition to seeing patients, I might make 20-30 telephone calls. But, even with my high volume of phone calls, I wondered, Who are all these kids talking to?

Then it dawned on me; they're talking to each other. The kid on the left side of the street was talking to the kid on the right side of the street. I'm sure they still are.

At this point, no longer doctoring, most days I don't make any phone calls. I am, however, always on my computer... working. Publishing a magazine and my event calendar, building a global website (along with five or six employees), handling a lot of digital information, my computer's desktop gets cluttered.

My style tends towards creative chaos. I have a love-hate relationship with organization. I don't have a photographic memory, but back in university, during exams, I could sometimes conjure up the right answer by visualizing on which part of the page the information appeared. Maybe I do have a photographic memory, but the camera is a little out of focus.

Perhaps it is my ability to rely on this well-ordered mental world that renders me lax regarding my physical environment. (I have learned to always put the keys in the same place.)

Still, having recently organized my storage spaces (closet and bodega), slapped some paint on my patio walls and arranged my roof area to render it more attractive, I bit the bullet and turned my attention to my primary workspace, my computer's desktop.

"A place for everything and everything in its place." I know. I know. I tried. But there are always so many files and photos. And clear them away as I might, new ones soon come and take their place.

I decided that I needed a new system of organization. Hatching a bright idea, a system perhaps obvious to you, I decided to clear my desktop except for a few primary folders. I would fit everything into those folders. Then I would go inside those folder and fit everything there (or almost everything) into secondary folders.

Yes, on one hand, it is an extra step having to open the folder(s), but that effort is far outweighed by the time I save no longer looking through the welter of things strewn across my desktop for the item I want.

This new system has been in place for nearly a month now. I'm loving it. I appreciate the increased efficiency (the decreased search time), but more than that, I revel in the visual order, the aesthetics, the harmony of my desktop.

Another unforeseen benefit of this all is that my uncluttered desktop now wonderfully displays the items I am currently working on. That is, when I am not using it as a storage area, my desktop works better as a desktop.

On one hand I am very pleased by all this. On the other hand is my neuroticism (think Woody Allen) worrying about what other obvious solutions I am still overlooking: I know now what I didn't know then, but I don't know yet what I don't know yet. When a Jew doesn't feel guilty, he feels guilty about not feeling guilty.

Having put San Miguel's events (including classes and movies) into order (remember when there were events, classes and movies?), I decided to organize the rest of the town. To do that I've made a geographically specific social network. It's like Facebook, but just for San Miguel. It is a Digital Town Square where it is easy to find what interests you and to reach anyone who is interested in what you offer. This, starting in SMA, is my global website project.

Everyone developing the internet was focusing on its global reach, "Global, global, global!" I thought, "Local."

Organizing the community is a simple, elegant idea, no more complicated in principle than rearranging my desktop; a place for everything and a way to find it. There's more information about the project in the gray box below.

Like cellphones did in their time, Lokkal revolutionizes communication; this time, community communication. With cellphones, although you mightn't have seen that technological wave coming, you soon came to wonder how you ever did without them. Mark my words, soon you'll wonder how it was you ever could have lived without a local social network.

I think that we are like fish, who they say do not recognize the water. I am sure that we move through community most often without being aware of how we are supported by it. We notice it, if at all, only when it's gone. Healthier, wealthier community is the answer to most of the problems facing society. What the world needs now is Lokkal.

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Lokkal

Imagine (if you are old enough to remember) the old telephone Yellow Pages. Lokkal is that community resource, but in a robust 21st century, digital form with lots of added features.

People find your listing by searching for hashtags, key words or phrases that you've used to describe your listing.

As on Facebook, your listing can be about you (a Profile) or about something that interests you, a business, organization, hobby... (a Page).

Add hashtags to all your content (profile, pages, events, individual posts, forum entries) and when other people search for those hashtags (here in SMA), then they find your content.

- If your deli cares about sour pickles enough to choose the hashtag #sourpickles, then users who care about sour pickles can find your deli
- If you want to meet someone who has an interest in kabbalah and jazz guitar, you can search profiles for people who have used the hashtags #kabbalah and #jazzguitar
- If you are visiting and want to play a game of chess, you can search profiles, pages posts and events for the hashtag #chess.

We've been working on it for thousands of hours and I've invested thousands of dollars. After getting my money back, I hope to give it as a gift to humanity like Tim Berners-Lee did with his invention, the World Wide Web. The chief way of keeping Lokkal incorrupt is to free it from commercial interests.

The health of society as a whole depends on the health of local communities.

Helping an individual is noble. Helping the community helps all individuals.

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If you would like to help, to make donations, invest, or learn more, please, email at the address below or use this Paypal button.

I can also reward you with free tickets, restaurant meals, and other goods and services once the pandemic is over. Thank you.

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copyright 2021
copyright 2021