I'm a professor of technical communication and these are my bloggings about education, technology, and social justice.

Find out more about me at: http://guiseppegetto.com

I care about making a better world through technical communication, rhetoric, writing, user experience, web design, content strategy, social media, gaming, and through working closely with associated businesses, non-profits, and social movements.

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Tell Congress: Don’t Prohibit GMO Labeling

A war on your right to know what’s in your food is coming straight to your kitchen table — courtesy of Monsanto and the Koch Brothers. New legislation introduced by Representative Mike Pompeo – whose #1 political contributor is the Koch Brothers — aims to prevent labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food. More than two dozen states have GMO labeling bills pending this year, but this legislation would preempt states from passing any of these bills.

The simple truth is consumers have the right to know what they’re feeding their families. 93% of Americans support GMO labeling, but the United States is one of the only industrialized countries in the world without labeling laws. It’s time for Congress to move us forward, not backward, when it comes to our right to know what’s in our food.

Petition text:

Consumers have a fundamental right to know what they’re eating. We urge you to reject legislation that would prohibit states and the federal government from requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled. 

Sign the petition: http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/tell-congress-don-t-prohibit-gmo-labeling

Late one night and illuminated by magical lights on his fingertips, the sixth-century Irish monk and renowned scribe Colm Cille is said to have surreptitiously copied a precious biblical script owned by his mentor. This caused one of the earliest battles about ownership of cultural works and what we now know as copyright.
Órla O’Donovan, from her article “The commons, the Battle of the Book and the cracked enclosures of academic publishing,” part of the free supplement on “Commons Sense: New thinking about an Old Idea" from Community Development Journal. (via oupacademic)

(via femmeviva)



Nobody lives here: The nearly 5 million Census Blocks with zero population

A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.

Green shading indicates unoccupied Census Blocks. A single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from shading

Quick update: If you’re the kind of map lover who cares about cartographic accuracy, check out the new version which fixes the Gulf of California. If you save this map for your own projects, please use this one instead.

©mapsbynik 2014

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Block geography and population data from U.S. Census Bureau
Water body geography from National Hydrology Dataset and Natural Earth
Made with Tilemill
USGS National Atlas Equal Area Projection

This is very cool.

(via hossjaeger)

How Millennials are Changing the Definition of “Philanthropy”

Millennials exercise philanthropy in the same ways as other generations, though their motivations may be different. The top three factors that motivate Millennials to get involved in a cause are passion, meeting people and enhancing their expertise. They do indeed practice giving their time, talent and treasure, but Millennials want to lend their knowledge, expertise and time to help nonprofits. Actually, 48 percent of Millennials say they prefer using their background experience or skills to volunteer for a nonprofit. And this generation gives. Our research shows that 83 percent of Millennials made some form of financial gift to an organization in 2012.

If the traditional definition of philanthropy still holds true today, are there additional items beyond time, talent and treasure that measure philanthropic action?

There are some obvious benefits to this definition that attribute to its survival. For example, it’s a nice bucket that we might categorically drop things into. In some ways, everything a company or individual does to benefit a cause could fit into this definition and slide under at least one of the time, talent or treasure criteria.

Why not be more specific? The traditional definition doesn’t leave room for new actions that Millennials view as philanthropy. As technology and the way we conduct business evolve, so too does our means of giving financially—as well as the way we donate our non-financial assets like time and relationships.

It is the next generation of givers and volunteers, the Millennials, who are ushering in this new age of philanthropy. Because of this, we need to think about a new definition, or rather an appendage to the existing definition of philanthropy, which reflects new criteria and includes the following:

  • Time – Volunteering hours, days of service, etc.
  • Talent – Using one’s expertise to benefit a cause
  • Treasure – Financial contributions (big or small) donated for charitable work
  • Voice – Time spent advocating and educating others about your cause
  • Network – Leveraging personal and professional relationships or online followings to benefit a cause

Via: http://casefoundation.org/blog/millennials-changing-definition-philanthropy

Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think that a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
Aaron Swartz (via revestis)

(via thewildsyde)

How to Handle Difficult People – A Tao Perspective

1. Empty Your Cup – Release Negative Emotions and Maintain Composure

"Emptiness the starting point…drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.” — Bruce Lee, philosopher and founder of Jeet Kune Do 

It’s easy to allow a difficult person to upset us and ruin our day. You may feel angry, distressed, and lose your balance within. The first rule in the face of an unreasonable person is to maintain your composure. The less reactive you are, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the challenge.

When you feel angry or upset with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In most circumstances, by the time you reach ten, you would have figured out a better way of communicating the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of escalate the problem. If you’re still upset after counting to ten, take a time out if possible, and revisit the issue after you calm down. By maintaining self-control, you harness more power to manage the situation.

Read more: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-success/201404/how-handle-difficult-people-tao-perspective


What do Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq beat America at? Having women in congress/parliament

Countries with better representation of women in government than the United States (hat tip to our Women in Public Service Project):

  1. Rwanda - 56%
  2. Andorra - 50%
  3. Cuba - 45%
  4. Sweden - 45%
  5. Seychelles - 44%
  6. Senegal - 43%
  7. Finland - 43%
  8. South Africa - 42%
  9. Nicaragua - 40%
  10. Iceland - 40%
  11. Norway - 40%
  12. Mozambique - 39%
  13. Denmark - 39%
  14. Netherlands - 39%
  15. Costa Rica - 39%
  16. Timor-Leste - 39%
  17. Belgium - 38%
  18. Argentina - 37%
  19. Mexico - 37%
  20. Tanzania - 36%
  21. Spain - 36%
  22. Uganda - 35%
  23. Angola - 34%
  24. Serbia - 33%
  25. Nepal - 33%
  26. Germany - 33%
  27. Macedonia - 33%
  28. Ecuador - 32%
  29. Slovenia - 32%
  30. New Zealand - 32%
  31. Algeria - 32%
  32. Guyana - 31%
  33. Burundi - 31%
  34. Switzerland - 29%
  35. Portugal - 29%
  36. Trinidad and Tobago - 29%
  37. Austria - 28%
  38. Ethiopia - 28%
  39. Afghanistan - 28%
  40. France - 27%
  41. Lesotho - 27%
  42. Tunisia - 27%
  43. Belarus - 27%
  44. South Sudan - 27%
  45. El Salvador - 26%
  46. Bolivia - 25%
  47. Iraq - 25%
  48. Laos - 25%
  49. Canada - 25%
  50. Australia - 25%
  51. Sudan - 25%
  52. Lithuania - 25%
  53. Vietnam - 24%
  54. Namibia - 24%
  55. Kazakhstan - 24%
  56. Singapore - 24%
  57. Liechtenstein - 24%
  58. Croatia - 24%
  59. Poland - 24%
  60. Kyrgyzstan - 23%
  61. Latvia - 23%
  62. Bulgaria - 23%
  63. Philippines - 23%
  64. Pakistan - 23%
  65. United Kingdom - 23%
  66. Malawi - 22%
  67. Mauritania - 22%
  68. Czech Republic - 22%
  69. Eritrea - 22%
  70. Uzbekistan - 22%
  71. Luxembourg - 22%
  72. Peru - 22%
  73. Italy - 21%
  74. Boznia and Herzegovina - 21%
  75. China - 21%
  76. Greece - 21%
  77. Cape Verde - 21%
  78. Estonia - 21%
  79. Dominican Republic - 21%
  80. Cambodia - 20%
  81. Israel - 20%
  82. Moldova - 20%
  83. Bangladesh - 20%
  84. Honduras - 20%
  85. Monaco - 19%
  86. Tajikistan - 19%
  87. Mauritius - 19%
  88. Slovak Republic - 19%
  89. Indonesia - 19%
  90. Sao Tome and Principe - 18%
  91. United States - 18%

(source: World Bank)

(via queenfor-today)

Failing to make bold choices. That’s how you fail. You start to only focus on incrementalism instead of making bold choices.
Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO (via zev-on-deck)

(via zev-on-deck)


How to design streets for people, not just cars.

In San Francisco, three pedestrians are hit by vehicles every day. Our streets should be designed to be safer than this, and we think in the process they can also become viable public spaces that enrich our urban experience. In this project for Walk San Francisco, inspired by a GOOD Design challenge from Center for Architecture and Design, we wanted to transform everyday infrastructure to achieve both of these goals.

Revolutions can, and often have, begun with reading.
Arundhati Roy, “The Doctor and the Saint: Ambedkar, Gandhi and the battle against caste" (reading Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste)

(via dsandra)

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