XARK 3.0

  • Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.

Xark media

  • ALIENS! SEX! MORE ALIENS! AND DUBYA, TOO! Handcrafted, xarky science fiction, lovingly typeset for your home printer!



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Monday, April 14, 2008


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Hey there. Just wanted to say thanks again for putting this together. Me and the "little girl zombie" really had a good time!


Thanks, Adrian. It was great to meet both of you. Thanks for being our most animated zombie.


What will happen when tools arise that let us form economic cooperatives? Start-up businesses? Virtual companies?

Well, for one thing, you get open source software. Open Source is an odd duck by traditional economist-type measures but it has significant economic impact.

The thing we haven't yet worked out really well is how to make a living doing things like this. Like your movie, we can give away the work product and take away the satisfaction of having done it, but buying groceries with the result is still difficult. So far most people have only figured out indirect profit.

We'll get there though.


I love this comment from a thread about this post over at Babbledog:

damn. y'all built it up and it was so disappointing. all that coordination and potential used to.... end hunger? nope. get rich? nope. raise the awareness of some critical cause? not at all. it was all used to make a zombie flick (and from appearances a bad one). i'm not impressed.

Why love it? Because it's a teachable moment.

We didn't go from the Worldwide Web to Twitter in a straight line. We found our way there. Modern social media are as much an evolution of human culture as they are an evolution of technology, and I wonder how people would have responded to Facebook if it had just appeared, as if by magic, in the fall of 1994? Would we have "gotten it" without all that came between then and now?

Demanding that significance be afforded only to "serious" things is a remnant of top-down, "big" culture that believes the way to solve Big Problems is to bang on them with Big Serious Hammers and Great Resolve. But that's not the way bottom-up always communities work, and that's not the way people learn. We learn as much by failing as we do by success... so why not learn on something that really doesn't matter?

We have a local blogosphere because dozens of people have been working to knit that community together since April 2006. It didn't suddenly emerge because I posted a casting call for zombies. And would everyone have come running if I'd proclaimed "Hey, I've got this idea to end hunger. Y'all come help me?" I doubt it.

But I believe that every time we work together to make a "not so good by the looks of it" video, we learn a few things. We adjust our horizons. We start to look at ourselves and our possibilities differently.

I spent a long time being a Very Serious Person. But I get more joy from being silly.
In the end, I think spreading joy is a better strategy.

Given enough time, it might even make it possible to make money and end hunger. But that's not what I'm thinking about right now.


I like this post, Dan.

It made me think about many things. You were better off than me - at least you had good ideas when you were young. I was poor AND clueless.

But it is amazing how rapidly the whole wide world has changed because of technology. Sometimes it really floors me.

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