(A) Here is what I wrote in the fall of '96 when I first wrote the ActiVita:
As I approach finishing my graduate studies and yet another birthday... I asked myself, "So, what have I done with my life so far, anyway?"
So, in addition to my academic Vita which I wrote up towards hopefully getting a tenure-track professorship at a high-quality teaching school (whoops, there I go back into cover-letter-writing mode..), I thought I would write an Activist Vita, my "ActiVita". Looking this over, it's pretty clear what a lot of energy that could have gone into proving bigger and better math theorems (or more time for social or romantic life) went towards activism.
Of course I already knew that. But I wanted to be able to step back and answer "what have I done with my life" and be able to respect myself... hopefully so I can look in the mirror and (paraphrasing Chomsky) be able to say "I've done something decent with my life." Looking it over, I can find many things which I feel good about; which I guess is the ultimate reward... Of course, there is still a lot missing in my life, and so much more I want to do and accomplish... (stopping before I wax any more philosophical..)
|(B)||S u m m a r y :|
|(C)||A c t i V i t a|
1989 -- Organized the El Salvador Project.
Recent [at the time] major 50-page report by Amnesty International documented that the "Death Squads" in El Salvador were run by the Salvadoran government, directly as well as through its military, treasure police, etc -- not run by "extremists out of the government's control" as was the Washington Party Line. Washington was sending our tax-dollars to this mass-murdering regime. Tens of thousands of Salvadorans were killed, mostly civilians targeted by the government, mainly students, members of cooperative, members of trade unions, intellectuals, church workers, human rights workers, and others who could threaten the status quo of a rich tiny elite working closely with U.S. corporate interests, with a majority living in great poverty.
1992: Worked close personally with Stephen Smith, Communications Director of the Larry Agran 1992 Presidential Campaign, giving advice and widely disseminating Agran speeches, campaign platform positions, and Action Alerts. Alerts were to fight Agran's exclusion from national debates
When the Nation magazine not only virtually ignored Agran but printed false information, I used MAP and other UseNet newsgroup as a platform for Agran campaign information, including the Nation's disinformation.
I later found out that The Nation received large volume of letters due to our campaign, someone emailed me who heard it straight from one of Nation's top editors [this little 'secret' is buried somewhere in the "Thanks from Larry Agran" file]. This helped get the Nation more interested (who I am and) in the net (see link). They'd probably deny it of course, but given their treatment of Agran, I say let 'em blush.
Used my knowledge of Emacs to create, using batch-mode and lisp routines, to automate once-per week posting to MAP from our Quote-of-the-Day file, Videos file, South End Press catalog, etc.
Thus the first item from a huge file with 40 or 100 items gets automatically posted Week 1; the second item gets automatically posted Week 2, etc, cycling back to the top after reaching the bottom of the file. Or on a daily basis as with the Quote of the Day file.
On LBBS Michael Albert replied:
Harel -- your post about radio over the internet, etc. is quite fascinating and I hope others will react to.
Suppose we wanted to do talk radio. Can we imagine a moderator and guest, say, in a room with microphones that lead through whatever equipment, into the computer, and out to the internet? Plus, incoming questions/comments--which would be text, but could read aloud to precipitate reactions from the talk radio host and guest?
If this is conceivable, I think it should be seriously investigated. I would, myself, be very interested perhaps even to the tune of setting up such an operation here, as Z "radio" in a new incarnation (the other one, of course, didn't happen, for want of $ among other things).
Fall 1994: Arranged for MAP to be a co-sponsor of LBBS. Got free account; LBBS used a MAP feed; and began planning for my teaching a course through LBB's LOLU (Left Online University) on Internet Activism.
Summer and Fall -- taught one of the courses in the LOLU Course Catalog (see bottom), on Electronic Activism on the Internet
Also written in 1996:
[Those are the main 'big' things; not listed above were my involvement
in 'smaller' online/national projects as well as locally, several
years with the Graduate Advocacy Organization, several years with the
Cornell and Ithaca chapters of DSA, founding and for several years
facilitating the Cornell CULEFTY-L mailing list (currently facilitated
by Paul Houle), writing several articles for the Cornell Perspective,
working against the passage of NAFTA (and being one of the featured
speakers at a Rally -- something which left me physically and
emotionally quite drained...), and promoting the local left-wing call
in and talk show, the Nobody Show as well as helping WEOS which
carries it, by spreading the word about it as well as the show,
writing to the FCC, trying to get the big local NPR station WSKG to
carry some progressive, alternative, and community programming
on a regular basis (they only air Alternative Radio every once in a
while rather than regularly; the revolving Bridges as well as
the standard NPR mainstream news reporting (no less than three hours
per day of "All Things Considered"), etc)]