Proportional force

Proportional force

“… Mr Spratt has been making headlines around the world in the past few days after video footage emerged this week of West Australian Police tasering him 13 times, despite the fact he was already in police custody and posing no real threat. His ‘offence’ was to refuse to submit to a strip search. …” [0]

In reply to lionhearted, Memoirs of a Bullied Kid

“… But son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you, they’ve crossed a line. Fuck them up. It’s the only thing these vicious freaks understand. They’re wild animals. They make violence on you, you need to show them that you’re the stronger, bigger animal. When someone attacks you maliciously for no reason, you need to impose your will on them. …”

And the first girl who uses an “indirect asymmetric attack”? This approach will not work.  

“… Teach your kid to fight back and fight smart. Protect the weak. Be hell and misery to bad people. …”

There is a concept of proportional force [1] when you respond. If you fail to apply the correct amount of force, you could actually cause more damage to others and yourself. You do not want to “unleash the beast” inside. People are killed every day by someone loosing control and going too far.

There are long term “consequences” for this type of approach. Consequences for yourself and others. You have to decide before hand with a cool head what are your “rules of engagement”? Where do you “draw the line?” What is your justifiable, “proportional response”? Is it offensive or purely defensive? Are your “motives pure”? Are you going to “do harm” to save face?

If you want to “fight smart” I’d advise Akido (合気道) because the core ideas are faithful to the ideals of “be good”, minimal harm and self preservation. Akido allows you to achieve this through redirection of force and removing “ego” from the equation. You can use Akido techniques for both physical force and psychological protection. Maybe these ideas are too subtle. But one thing I notice is the pattern of those being abused repeating the pattern of abusers. There are alternatives to break this cycle.

Remember, “your actions have real consequences”, short and long term. [2]

Reference

[0] Chris Graham, “All for one and one for all: police fail the attitude test” [Accessed Friday 8th, October, 2010] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/39804.html

[1] law.jrank.org. “Justification: Self-Defense – Necessary Force” [Accessed Thursday 7th, October, 2010] law.jrank.org/pages/1470/Justification-Self-Defense-Neces…

[2] Lynne Soraya, “Friends and Allies: What being bullied taught me about friendship” [Accessed Thursday 7th, October, 2010] www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/200910/frien…

Objects as printouts

Objects as printouts

Summary
Where I look at the relationship between objects and the instructions to make them, introduce the idea of the “printout” and how in a world where new manufacturing technologies will force us to re-evaluate where the true value lies: The one off object or the instructions to make it?

Yesterday I spent some time listening from my extensive collection of music and talks. [0] I like music. I listen to it a lot but today instead of music I chose to listen to Bruce Stirling’s excellent talk at Reboot in Copenhagen last year. [1] [2] I suspect Bruce Stirling makes compelling listening due to the quality of his ideas, no doubt, due to his writing background. He thinks carefully before he speaks. A rare commodity indeed.

Stuff
One particular idea that caught my imagination is the idea of objects should be thought of as “printouts”. It’s a compelling idea because it a) makes you think about physical objects and their properties and b) how you relate to the stuff you have now or might get in the future. There are a number of reasons you might want to think about the objects you collect around you. If you live in the first world you suffer the dilemma of too much stuff. [3] An unfortunate consequence of the Industrial and consumer revolution.

We can accumulate objects cheaply even if there is no apparent need. Stirling went on to explain the properties of objects, how to think of them in terms of “space and time” and ways to classify objects. All of this with the end goal in mind of reducing the amount of stuff we own. But this is where I’m going to diverge from Stirling. I want to think about how we deal with new objects. Stuff we are going to accumulate in the future that hasn’t been created yet.

Objects
We intuitively understand what objects are. Objects take up space. Objects exist in time. Objects also can have social meaning. Objects have to be cared for, repaired and if they are no longer working or are unwanted, thrown out. Discarded. We have a profound relationship with the objects we use. Now I would like you to think beyond the use of objects to their improvement. It’s not hard. I’m not asking you to consider design of objects just improvement.

Consider a cooking recipe for your favourite cake for instance. If the recipe is in your favourite cook book it’s possible to annotate the recipe to your own taste. A substitution of your special supply of ground whole wheat and baking powder for self-raising flour in that Chocolate cake for instance. Real dark Chocolate instead of the compound stuff. This of course means a few additional lines in the recipe to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate over a raw flame, heating water then placing the bowl of broken pieces instead. The recipe is really just a set of instructions to build an object, not just any object by the way but a edible cake modified to your taste. You can do this with cook books.

What would a world look like if you could do this with other everyday objects that you might have in the future?

Printout
What exactly is a printout? The term “printout” is computer slang for “instructions” or a print out of the instructions programmers write to control computers. Programmers write these instructions using human understandable languages, which when translated into machine understandable instructions, instruct a computer to do things. A printout is really a set of tasks to do something. So the best way to think of a printout is a design to do things. A recipe is a print out. You follow the instructions to build your cake. Of course it’s not the stock standard cake in your favourite cookbook but a modified version suited to your taste. This is another way to think about objects. Objects as instructions. If Objects are printouts, the printouts can be modified and improved over time. The value has now shifted from the object to the instructions to build the object.

NewFab
Why are we talking about computers, computer slang and printouts? What do they have to do with real world objects? In the not too distant future we will have the capacity to use printouts to modify and create new stuff. Objects created from raw materials. We already have a hint of this. The quality of the objects at the moment would be considered toy-like but that’s not necessarily bad if you are a kid. [4] What kid wouldn’t love to create one hundred copies of their favourite Tyrinad to build their own Warhammer army? [5]

But for us grown-ups, new forms of fabrication are still not up to the job. While the current crops of Gothic high-tech corporations spit out shiny seamless experiences, we will gobble them up no matter how many slaves die in the process. This will change though. The new revolution in manufacturing will be just as profound as the Industrial revolution. Another tweak in the creation of objects – the ability of personal customisation. “Me” objects. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. It hasn’t happened yet. Until NewFab technologies are adopted our ability to customise and improve our everyday objects are limited. Possible, but limited.

Continual improvement
But as I’ve shown, I can improve the quality of my everyday objects like me my favourite Chocolate cake. What makes this possible is the idea of the printout and continual improvement. The printout is the instructions needed to build the object. The real value is in the ability to make continual improvements that let us increase the quality and usefulness of our objects. [6] This can only be possible if we have access to the printout.

Sharing
It’s no good making improvements if we can’t share them. If there is any lesson to learn about the Internet, it’s a place that lets you share your printouts. Sharing begets use. Usage begets improvement. Programmers who share their code notice that not only does the usage of their software objects increase when they share but there is a benefit in the quality of their printout (code) improves as well. [7] So if we think of objects as printouts, if we share them the likelihood of improvement is higher than by not sharing.

Thinking about stuff as printouts instead of objects is useful for creators. Printouts are the instructions to make things. The object is result of following the instructions. I think too often the value is seen in the object but not the printout. We value hand made objects because they are made and designed by people. They have social significance. There is a story behind them. They can be things of beauty and may also have practical use. There is nothing wrong valuing objects in this way. But in doing so we have forgotten the importance of the process, the instructions to build objects, the printout.

I suspect as the revolution in fabrication approaches and the resolution of the fabrication tools increases we will wonder if the real value of our stuff is not in the object but the printout.

Reference
[0] All 1339 items, 15Gb or 13 days, 9 hours and thirteen minutes worth. All are legally mine.

[1] Dave Winer, Scripting.com, “Bruce Sterling at Reboot” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] www.scripting.com/stories/2009/10/21/brucesterlingatreboo…

[2] You can also watch the talk. It goes for about 43 minutes and is a 155Mb download in mp4 format. “Bruce Sterling – reboot 11 closing talk”, 43 min, mp4. [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] video.reboot.dk/video/486788/bruce-sterling-reboot-11

[3] Paul Graham, paulgraham.com, “Stuff: I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have… It wasn’t always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] paulgraham.com/stuff.html

[4] bootload, flickr, “2009MAY052009: At Trampoline 1 held in Melbourne, Saturday 28th of March, 2009, Pete Yandell (@notahat) talked about open source fabbers, 3d fabrication, 3D printers and materials to rapidly prototype stuff. An exciting idea because with the right type of materials and blueprints you can reproduce complex products that could not easly by reproduced. Three dimensional objects can be recreated from digital designs by a photocopy like process where layers of material are deposited until the entire object is created. Pete also specifically mentioned making copies of kids toys.”, [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/3503485267

[5] Tyrinads, wikipedia.org, “Tyrinads are a fictional race of warrior creatures from the Warhammer 40K board game.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranids

[6] As I was writing this article I stumbled on a quick example of this kind of improvement. The master of Gothic high-tech corporations has released a new product that doesn’t handle one particular edge case viewing an object. The author decided to modify the recipe to view the object and released a copy for other people to benefit from. An improvement of the object experience using the printout: @tlrobinson, Tom Robinson, “Worst part of lack of hover events etc on iPad: I can’t read the XKCD tooltips. Solution: gist.github.com/438642" [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] twitter.com/tlrobinson/status/16196920383

[7] Pete Warden, petewarden.typepad.com, “There’s still going to be some tumbleweed blowing through the long tail of open-source projects, but Github is a massive step forward. I’m eagerly anticipating lots more people pointing out my mistakes, the world of open-source will be a lot more productive with that sort of collaboration.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2010/06/an-end-to-th…

Objects as printouts

Objects as printouts

Summary
Where I look at the relationship between objects and the instructions to make them, introduce the idea of the “printout” and how in a world where new manufacturing technologies will force us to re-evaluate where the true value lies: The one off object or the instructions to make it?

Yesterday I spent some time listening from my extensive collection of music and talks. [0] I like music. I listen to it a lot but today instead of music I chose to listen to Bruce Stirling’s excellent talk at Reboot in Copenhagen last year. [1] [2] I suspect Bruce Stirling makes compelling listening due to the quality of his ideas, no doubt, due to his writing background. He thinks carefully before he speaks. A rare commodity indeed.

Stuff
One particular idea that caught my imagination is the idea of objects should be thought of as “printouts”. It’s a compelling idea because it a) makes you think about physical objects and their properties and b) how you relate to the stuff you have now or might get in the future. There are a number of reasons you might want to think about the objects you collect around you. If you live in the first world you suffer the dilemma of too much stuff. [3] An unfortunate consequence of the Industrial and consumer revolution.

We can accumulate objects cheaply even if there is no apparent need. Stirling went on to explain the properties of objects, how to think of them in terms of “space and time” and ways to classify objects. All of this with the end goal in mind of reducing the amount of stuff we own. But this is where I’m going to diverge from Stirling. I want to think about how we deal with new objects. Stuff we are going to accumulate in the future that hasn’t been created yet.

Objects
We intuitively understand what objects are. Objects take up space. Objects exist in time. Objects also can have social meaning. Objects have to be cared for, repaired and if they are no longer working or are unwanted, thrown out. Discarded. We have a profound relationship with the objects we use. Now I would like you to think beyond the use of objects to their improvement. It’s not hard. I’m not asking you to consider design of objects just improvement.

Consider a cooking recipe for your favourite cake for instance. If the recipe is in your favourite cook book it’s possible to annotate the recipe to your own taste. A substitution of your special supply of ground whole wheat and baking powder for self-raising flour in that Chocolate cake for instance. Real dark Chocolate instead of the compound stuff. This of course means a few additional lines in the recipe to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate over a raw flame, heating water then placing the bowl of broken pieces instead. The recipe is really just a set of instructions to build an object, not just any object by the way but a edible cake modified to your taste. You can do this with cook books.

What would a world look like if you could do this with other everyday objects that you might have in the future?

Printout
What exactly is a printout? The term “printout” is computer slang for “instructions” or a print out of the instructions programmers write to control computers. Programmers write these instructions using human understandable languages, which when translated into machine understandable instructions, instruct a computer to do things. A printout is really a set of tasks to do something. So the best way to think of a printout is a design to do things. A recipe is a print out. You follow the instructions to build your cake. Of course it’s not the stock standard cake in your favourite cookbook but a modified version suited to your taste. This is another way to think about objects. Objects as instructions. If Objects are printouts, the printouts can be modified and improved over time. The value has now shifted from the object to the instructions to build the object.

NewFab
Why are we talking about computers, computer slang and printouts? What do they have to do with real world objects? In the not too distant future we will have the capacity to use printouts to modify and create new stuff. Objects created from raw materials. We already have a hint of this. The quality of the objects at the moment would be considered toy-like but that’s not necessarily bad if you are a kid. [4] What kid wouldn’t love to create one hundred copies of their favourite Tyrinad to build their own Warhammer army? [5]

But for us grown-ups, new forms of fabrication are still not up to the job. While the current crops of Gothic high-tech corporations spit out shiny seamless experiences, we will gobble them up no matter how many slaves die in the process. This will change though. The new revolution in manufacturing will be just as profound as the Industrial revolution. Another tweak in the creation of objects – the ability of personal customisation. “Me” objects. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. It hasn’t happened yet. Until NewFab technologies are adopted our ability to customise and improve our everyday objects are limited. Possible, but limited.

Continual improvement
But as I’ve shown, I can improve the quality of my everyday objects like me my favourite Chocolate cake. What makes this possible is the idea of the printout and continual improvement. The printout is the instructions needed to build the object. The real value is in the ability to make continual improvements that let us increase the quality and usefulness of our objects. [6] This can only be possible if we have access to the printout.

Sharing
It’s no good making improvements if we can’t share them. If there is any lesson to learn about the Internet, it’s a place that lets you share your printouts. Sharing begets use. Usage begets improvement. Programmers who share their code notice that not only does the usage of their software objects increase when they share but there is a benefit in the quality of their printout (code) improves as well. [7] So if we think of objects as printouts, if we share them the likelihood of improvement is higher than by not sharing.

Thinking about stuff as printouts instead of objects is useful for creators. Printouts are the instructions to make things. The object is result of following the instructions. I think too often the value is seen in the object but not the printout. We value hand made objects because they are made and designed by people. They have social significance. There is a story behind them. They can be things of beauty and may also have practical use. There is nothing wrong valuing objects in this way. But in doing so we have forgotten the importance of the process, the instructions to build objects, the printout.

I suspect as the revolution in fabrication approaches and the resolution of the fabrication tools increases we will wonder if the real value of our stuff is not in the object but the printout.

Reference
[0] All 1339 items, 15Gb or 13 days, 9 hours and thirteen minutes worth. All are legally mine.

[1] Dave Winer, Scripting.com, “Bruce Sterling at Reboot” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] www.scripting.com/stories/2009/10/21/brucesterlingatreboo…

[2] You can also watch the talk. It goes for about 43 minutes and is a 155Mb download in mp4 format. “Bruce Sterling – reboot 11 closing talk”, 43 min, mp4. [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] video.reboot.dk/video/486788/bruce-sterling-reboot-11

[3] Paul Graham, paulgraham.com, “Stuff: I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have… It wasn’t always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] paulgraham.com/stuff.html

[4] bootload, flickr, “2009MAY052009: At Trampoline 1 held in Melbourne, Saturday 28th of March, 2009, Pete Yandell (@notahat) talked about open source fabbers, 3d fabrication, 3D printers and materials to rapidly prototype stuff. An exciting idea because with the right type of materials and blueprints you can reproduce complex products that could not easly by reproduced. Three dimensional objects can be recreated from digital designs by a photocopy like process where layers of material are deposited until the entire object is created. Pete also specifically mentioned making copies of kids toys.”, [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/3503485267

[5] Tyrinads, wikipedia.org, “Tyrinads are a fictional race of warrior creatures from the Warhammer 40K board game.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranids

[6] As I was writing this article I stumbled on a quick example of this kind of improvement. The master of Gothic high-tech corporations has released a new product that doesn’t handle one particular edge case viewing an object. The author decided to modify the recipe to view the object and released a copy for other people to benefit from. An improvement of the object experience using the printout: @tlrobinson, Tom Robinson, “Worst part of lack of hover events etc on iPad: I can’t read the XKCD tooltips. Solution: gist.github.com/438642" [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] twitter.com/tlrobinson/status/16196920383

[7] Pete Warden, petewarden.typepad.com, “There’s still going to be some tumbleweed blowing through the long tail of open-source projects, but Github is a massive step forward. I’m eagerly anticipating lots more people pointing out my mistakes, the world of open-source will be a lot more productive with that sort of collaboration.” [Accessed Tuesday June 15th, 2010] petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2010/06/an-end-to-th…

Fake practice

2010JUN151420

“The soldiers must respond; neutralise the enemy, and provide triage to the injured. It is, of course, a drill. … “It’s confronting,” Major Greg Brown, the clinical director of the training regime, said. In a way it’s clinical inoculation. … The injuries and the mechanisms are all taken from real life casualty statistics. We try and keep it as real as we can to prepare the soldiers when they get there for what’s going to confront them.” [0]

Looks good, but it will not prepare enough for the real thing. The job will get done but the individuals doing the fixing and those on the receiving end will pay a hefty price. Why?

Treating actors dressed in uniforms with fake blood,  trying to diagnose and put into practice your training will help but only to a point. It won’t inoculate them from the associated psychological trauma. Which I think the training is trying to address.

Practice of this type will let you get the job done, that’s it. It won’t equip you with the skills to ignore the horrors of the moment, the fear and anxiety of knowing if you don’t do the job right, someone dies. It won’t prepare you if you fail. It won’t give you the skills to decompress or recover.

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You need to practice not with fake casualties but live casualties. Either animals like goats, that are injured or with a rotation in a hospital where real people are being treated with wounds consistent with the effect. Having access to hospitals and injured patients isn’t realistic. If you want to improve both the ability of people to save lives and reduce psychological trauma there are alternatives.

It’s not politically correct to suggest, but one way to simulate the types of stress you will encounter is to organise a bonding sessions with animals. Then have the animal injured and get the trainees to patch the animal up. The reason? To place real stress on the trainee just like it will occur if a person is injured. Especially if it is someone they know. This is cruel. [1] Not only for the animal. But the lack of a credible alternative is just as cruel for the people who are exposed to these situations with inadequate realistic training. [2]

Simulate as much as you like, no simulated training prepares you for the real thing.

Reference

[0] Hayden Cooper, ABC News, “Fake blood prepares troops for real war”
[Accessed Tuesday 15th June, 2010]
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/15/2926830.htm

[1] Human Society of United States, “Getting Their Goats: Tell the Army to Stop Using Caprines in Medic Training”
[Accessed Tuesday 15th June, 2010]
http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animals_in_research_news/getting_their_goats_tell_the_army_to_stop_using_caprines_in_medic_training.html

[2] Jim Hanson, Washington Times, “Save people, not pets”
[Accessed Tuesday 15th June, 2010]
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/25/save-people-not-pets/

The golden moment

2010JUN140106

I was watching the Golden Hour the other day. [0] There is one aspect the documentary does not explain properly, “The golden hour”.

The golden hour is a reference to the ability of a person to survive if given appropriate medical treatment within the first hour of trauma. But in reality the situation is a bit more nuanced than title suggests. Instead of the “golden hour” think “golden moment”. Why?

Well depending on the severity of the trauma, “the golden moment” might  be the first 10 seconds or the first 10 minutes leading up to the first hour. So what you get is not only the “golden hour” but the “golden 10 seconds”, the “golden 10 minutes”. If appropriate triage then treatment is applied within these time frames, survivability is more favourable.

Reference
[0] ABC, Mark Corcoran, “The Golden Hour: Afghanistan: The ‘Gen Y’ War” The topic isn’t a pleasent one. It’s about trauma and medivac operations at foward operating base SHANK and explains medical evacuations in Afghanistan. You can watch it here: http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201002/r516267_2828193.flv
http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2009/s2820327.htm
[Accessed Monday July 14, 2010]

KeenWalk Day 2

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This story starts with a Professor, an Analyst and a lost bet at Parliament House, Canberra. Ending nine days and approximately 240 kilometers away at the top of Mt.Koscuiszko. On April 14, 2010, I joined a walk with Academic and Economist, Steve Keen from Canberra to Mount Mt.Koscuiszko. On April 23 I made my way to the summit.

Looking for insightful economic commentary about the Keen Walk? Try this article: Honk if you’re a bear written by “embedded” Journalist, Rob Burgess from Business Spectator. I’ll be linking to Rob’s journal for each leg of the journey, filling in the “bourgeois bits” he missed. You can read the previous entry about Day 1.

Day 2

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There’s a long highway in your mind  / The spirit road that you must find / To get you home to peace again / Where you belong my love lost friend

Zero seven start this morning. Got down to breakfast and had some muesli and peaches, 2 glasses of juice and a banana. One lot of eggs, 2 bits of toast and 2 bits of bacon. Food is important for a good start. The distances we are covering means if you don’t eat enough you will finish the day tired and  sore. Watching my hydration again, no coffee.

Breakfast is followed by a quick walk down the street with Dave. Dave was my roomy last night. He’s been a bit jumpy about his running today. I don’t blame him. We started with stretching before breakfast. Dave got out a well worn stretch guide – preparation. Stretching done we pack and bring our kit down. Our organised time to leave is slipping. We want to leave early to beat the heat. Outside it’s about ten degrees now, clear skys with the early morning haze burning off in the early sun.

Finally get into the van and drive to yesterdays finish point near where we ate the chicken rice and curry, on the           Monaro Highway. Out we get. The runners are getting ready. The walkers are getting ready but nobody wants to drive the support vehicles and I get nominated. Great just what I want. The first day of full marching and I get sidelined driving along at very low speed behind what appears to be slower walkers. Appear is the key word because I was to find out later, the trucks speedo is not the calibrated instrument I thought it was. Rob was actually moving a quite a good 5 kilometer per hour pace.

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Stopped at a station at 10:00 in the middle of nowhere. Took a quick look around. You can see some rolling stock and what passed for the local station.

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It doesn’t look like a train has passed through the station for quite a while.

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The next shot is significant. For the last day I’ve been trying to locate Moose. Today he turns up.

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To tell you the truth I didn’t really care about the COM stuff-up between us. I was just glad he’d made it. Moose was a late entrant. In fact I wasn’t sure he’d make it at all. It took quite a bit of juggling for him to arrange time off work. I was pretty happy for him to turn up for quite a few reasons.

The first was both Moose and myself spent the previous year working through the crap of Black Saturday Bushfire. For me it was cleaning up my old man’s place in Kinglake West. Dad was lucky. Lucky he survived, lucky he got out with cars intact, lucky his house that I’d helped build, didn’t burn down. He is the luckiest man I know in that town. Moose wasn’t so lucky.

Moose grew up in a small town called Strathewen at the foothills of Kinglake. This area was one of the hardest hit by Black Saturday. Few people survived. Moose not only lost his mum, his brother but a large chunk of the locals living in the area. The property was wrecked. The fences can be rebuilt, the buildings restored. The people cannot be replaced. While we grew up in different towns, Moose in Strathewen, myself in Diamond Creek I’ve known Moose since High School. We both spent winter last year cleaning up his property in Strathewen and working on my Dads. For blokes like Moose and myself, challenges like the KeenWalk is not only fun but also helps put into perspective  the horrors of last year. The second reason was obvious, Moose has valuable Alpine expertise and the rest of my kit is in the back of Moose’s ute.

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2010MAY011305

♬  You stop to eat / You start to drink / But you don’t stop and you don’t think

Ripped off my boots, pulled off the socks and put them in the sun to dry. Pretty hungry despite the fact the only exercise I’d done was driving the van. The shot above shows the kind of country we are in – rich pasture with trees dotting the landscape. Sheep country. Time to leave, it’s 1400.

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Still quite a few people popping in to join the walk for the day. The orange vested chaps are CSIRO scientists. Interesting to hear their take on various types of economic systems. None of the ideas sound practical – but you never know.

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Passing from Australian Capital Territory, Canberra into New South Wales.

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Love this shot. An old corrugated iron shearing shed. Used the same materials to build a shed at Dads.

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The train line continues. No traffic though. What a waste.

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There’s a long highway in your mind / The spirit road that you must find / Peace again

As the day continues, the runners and walkers join forces and walk together. We split into various groups and chat along the way. Dave has had a good day and is keeping good pace with everyone else despite the fact he ran in the morning. It’s a hard slog, especially down hill.

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Going long distances puts strain on different parts of your legs depending on the terrain. If it’s flat, your calves hurt. If there is hills, the calves and quads. Down hill means your knees cop it. So at various points along the way we find anything that will support our weight and stretch. It starts to get cold now. The sun is beginning to move lower in the sky.

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♬ When you’re alone / You cheat yourself  / You paint yourself in a dark, dark place

To the right it gets dark. To the left the golden hour – that time of day where the sun shines on the landscape, bathing it in full yellow sun – starts to make taking photos a joy.

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There is a faint haze in the distance. You can see it in some of the photo’s. Must be some burn-off somewhere in the distance. I can’t see the source. Getting tired now. The destination must be somewhere close.

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The group is now strung out. The support van has stopped to let anyone get some water or if they are really tired a ride. We press on. And then we walk into our destination, the service station. It’s 1700.

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Get your hat / Get your shoes / Get out here while you still can still choose / Spirit road

Finished?

No. First it’s a ride back to where we had lunch to pick up Moose’s car. Then a further drive to tomorrows end point, Michelago. A round trip of forty to fifty kilometers. We are all stuffed, but press on.  Pick up the car, drive to the new hotel, check in. Changed room mates. Explained to Dave why. Blast we have a room on the top floor – stairs. We have to navigate stairs. Our legs are tight, smashed and sore and we carry all our kit upstairs.

Had a quick chat to the chef, a Dutchman. Food looks like it’s going to be good tonight. Grabbed a coke, a Parma, a crab salad and cappucchino. The chef was slammed as everone ordered something different off the menu. I was just pleased to get something hot to eat. Decided to move earlier tomorrow. Organise our own drivers and get out early. Packed up my kit for another day.

You can read the previous entry about Day 1.

Friday, 10th May 2010. This is the second part of my recollections of the Keenwalk. You can see the photos at my Keenwalk collection on my flickr account. The posts will also be mirrored at keenwalker.com.au. Be sure to read the posts by other participants.

Continued ==> Day 3

KeenWalk: Swags for Homeless

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On Sunday I did a 5 minute lightning talk at Trampoline 3, in Melbourne, Sunday May 2nd about Swags for Homeless. I quickly explained the KeenWalk, marching from Canberra to Mount Koscuiszko for some context using some text Rob Burgess supplied Duncan for Defence Force publication, some advantages of the Swag, the organisation (swags.org.au) and creator, Tony Clark. I then explained how Duncan decided to road test a Swag and his initial impressions after a night in Jyndabyne, having the sprinklers turned on at three in the morning. I didn’t mention the fact he took a comfy pillow along.

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Trampoline is an unconference and held in Melbourne at a venue called Donkey Wheel. Donkey Wheel is a privately funded organisation which encourages issues related to social change. The best way to explain Trampoline is to think of what we talked about on the march in one venue, on one day. I explained to the members of Trampoline, the KeenWalk was similar to Trampoline minus traveling 34 kilometers per day.

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The quick summary went down well. A collection of images associated with Duncan, Collin, Liam assembling and filming the Swag can be found here. More information about Trampoline 3 and the previous Trampoline events I’ve attended can be found here

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