Friday, February 26, 2010

Communication and Boundaries

Lessons this year are arriving at supersonic speed, and ricocheting this month around issues that I've needed to attend to for years.

Deciding that "hermit" is not a good career choice was a needed first step. No more stealth sentient. The end of thoughtful. clever pseudonyms for me. It isn't possible to promote a book, create a "platform" for future work, and get credit for writing and art I've done, if I don't put my real name on stuff.

I have learned too, that setting boundaries has no chance of success if one doesn't communicate where and when the boundaries exist. Say "I cannot address your issue right now" in any human situation, and you'll get varying levels of push against that statement. Say "I cannot discuss this now, but I will be available at 3 this afternoon for one hour," gives your listener a time and duration to be heard.

Keep it simple is back in my business language. I had a sign on my desk in the 70s that listed what simple sounds like. "No." "Yes." "Get your hand off my knee." Simple still sounds like that.

Communication is not a first responder enterprise. It is still professional to address communications within one business day. Because you've labeled your email "high priority" doesn't make it mine. Serial voicemails don't obligate me either. Be sensible. I have learned that other people have a different agenda and schedule than I do. Darn it! networking may be neither social or networking. We'll see how this lesson works in the near future.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Attribution, Copyright and the Falkland Islands

Copyright requires an attribution if you use a copyrighted item.  The web provides a wealth of images, writing, ideas and intellectual property that, just because you "discovered" each, doesn't mean you can use freely. The map here was made by Eric Gaba, web identity :Sting. I couldn't find a live link to him, so start at wikipedia and scroll. I'm using his map and attributing creative credit to him, as he asked.

The Falkland Islands are in the news because the United Kingdom decided it wants to drill for oil in its waters. In 1982, Argentina thought the Falklands should be theirs, and invaded it. With British military support, the Falklands retained its colonial status. The history of this world is rife with stories of "discovering" and "naming" and occupying without attribution, or any other ownership (copyright) issues. Among those claiming to have discovered the Falkland Islands, we see no acknowledgment, or attribution to the people who already lived there.

There are about 3,600 people on the Islands, and approximately 20,000 land mines. Tourists are warned that tidal and weather pressures may have moved some mines on the beaches. Britain claims it has found all but one of its land mines placed. So what entity needs attribution for the leftover mines? And while the potential overseers of the Falkland Islands argue about whose is what, which claims the right to remove the land mines? Governments and people need to get busier claiming responsibility, and less busy claiming ownership.

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