This is hoosteen.net, and it serves a few different purposes:
It's my public face on the web. It's a place for me to write, and it's a playground to strengthen my web analytics practice.
As a data analyst, activist, broadcaster, producer and writer I have lots of plates spinning at all times, and it can be challenging to prioritize among a gaggle of projects that I believe in deeply.
I'm working towards a way to handle the load while maintaining a fulfilling inner life and social life. I'd like to share what I've learned through my practices balancing my energy and attention, and I hope you find it valuable enough to implement some of my suggestions in your own work.
The Lamont Street Collective (LSC) is one of DC's oldest intentional communities, devoted to supporting art, activism, social justice, and our community in Mount Pleasant. We provide affordable housing to artists, activists, and individuals who are passionate about transforming our society for the better.
For some reason, they think I'm cool enough to let me live there.
I built our site, take the lead on our digital outreach, and am working my ass off to make our effort to buy the house a success. Click the link above to find out more about the house, and what you can do to help keep 40 years of art, activism & collective living alive.
Mount pleasant meditation
Every Sunday at 10am, in the spacious dining room of the Lamont Street Collective, a group meets to meditate together. Typically, after a "I am not a teacher of any kind" disclaimer, I'll deliver a short remark on the meditation we're practicing. I try to provide doctrinal context for those interested in Buddhism and Buddhist practice, but I also make sure to focus on the integration of contemplative wisdom into daily life.
Together we cultivate the Brahma Viharas to build our concentration practice. With time, as the concentration skills of the group allow, we'll begin working on Insight meditation as well. Taken as a pair, these practices are known as the Path of Tranquility and Insight. We cultivate them to move toward a world where we'll be more awake, engaged, and joyful.
I'm building a sentiment analysis tool for lefty digital campaigners.
When it's ready, campaigners will be able to get easily-digestible visualizations of what any company's customers are upset about. This targeted window into the angry mass will help campaigners build messaging and campaign strategies that attack their targets in new, relevant ways that speak to the company's own dissatisfied customers. You can join the customer bandwagon in shaming the company, or you can hop on the bandwagon long enough to find a way to direct people's attention to your campaign.
It's called ShameVector.
When it's done, it will be open source. In the meantime, you can see my progress in the GitHub repository.
A Soft Asylum
My first chapbook of poetry was called Theoretical BBQ, put out by my friends at the shoestring Small Child Press--it was a little collection that rushed its way out of me after a trying season. I didn't write much for the next few years--when I'd try, I'd find myself frustrated that I couldn't make language as delicate as I wanted it to be.
Then, early in 2014 and spurred in part by all the thinking-out-loud advice I gave myself about the creative process on The Definite Article, I got back to work.
The book is finally finished, and I can't wait to make it available for digital download and paper purchase in February 2015.
Voices of the 99% was among the first independent media outlets to spring up from the fertile rebel soil seeded by Great Ape-Snake War. They remain one of the few independent media outlets from that political moment that is still operating. I joined the team early in 2011, and remained on board for nearly 5 years until retiring as a volunteer host & producer.
I was the weekly host of Eyes Open, a show featuring underreported news, analysis, and interviews with active organizers engaged in the struggle for liberation, seeking nuts and bolts wisdom on how they do what they do. Transcripts of the best of those interviews are being edited into the forthcoming zine "Mapping the Future: Forward-Thinking Radicals On The Work."
I produced and edited BulletPoints with Navid Nasr. Navid's analysis of international news is sure to challenge you, and the terrific guests he interviews are sure to do the same.
I was also the lead editor on the weekly syndicated 2-hour program, that still features the best of our web-based broadcasts from throughout the week.
We examined the habits and lessons to be learned from the greatest who've come before us, looked closely at the best among us, and talked to people building the future of creation and education. I'm pretty proud of it, short-lived as it was, and I hope we can bring it back some day. Plus, there are fart jokes.
Occupy DC & OOH-DC
I was there early. I was there at the end. I wrote about the people who were sleeping in parks before activists showed up for the Occupied Washington Times. I helped coordinate communications, outreach & media strategy on some of our major actions and emergency response moments. But I didn't do that so I could tell you about it on the internet. I did it because while it was happening it seemed like the most important work I would ever do.
After the eviction of McPherson Square, I joined up with Occupy Our Homes DC to do foreclosure resistance and eviction defense. In separate cases we used coordinated direct action and communication work to turn up the heat on Freddie Mac and Bank of America. From call campaigns to bank shutdowns, we brought the fight to their door. I wrote outreach e-mails and helped coordinate affinity groups distributed across the city during our biggest single action, where we successfully delayed the opening of every Bank of America in the district. We won a couple of cases together, and people who we became close to got to keep their homes. We lost a couple of cases, and people who we became close to lost their homes. OOH-DC has gone quiet for now, but we're ready and waiting for the next call.
For a while I was involved with a little something called The Parley. It doesn't exist anymore.
We made cool stuff happen--from small scale wine-fueled goofs like the Foil Party you see below to larger projects like One-Hour Magazine, Redesign_DC, and collaborations with renowned artists. My job was to make sure that the internet knew what we were doing, and to make sure that the internet showed up.
I've written about The Parley, and more about what I did with the gang, here. I learned a lot, had an incredible time, and I miss it.