I got an e-mail from my friend Michael Sigman, the former LA Weekly Publisher, announcing he’s starting a series blogs on a "Creating Community In Los Angeles" project he’s working on in conjunction with HuffPost.
“Alienation and rootlessness are so deeply ingrained in Angelenos' psyches -- partly because so many of us are transplants -- as to be almost a badge of honor. … But there's nothing cool about the isolating ripple effects of massive unemployment and the shuttering of hundreds of community-oriented government programs and non-profits. … Throw in long-term trends -- like ever-increasing traffic congestion; technologies like Facebook, Twitter and texting that discourage actual human contact and allow people to work at home; and the conversion of locally-owned shops to one-size-fits-all chain franchises -- and you've got a city where finding community is tougher than ever.”
Michael is advocating using the technology for good – to set up stuff like neighborhood emergency plans.
My only quibble with Michael is the use of the heinous term “random acts of kindness.” We need to be more deliberate than ever to get everyone out of the slump – or at least let us survive it.
(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)