2024-01-24 Devon & Ron mtg transcript from Otter

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  • 2024-01-24 Devon & Ron mtg transcript from Otter

    Posted by DrRon Suarez on January 25, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Devon Malick 2:44

    Hello Hello how are you?

    Ron Suarez 2:48

    Good. So I see we have read.ai and fireflies. Yes.

    Devon Malick 2:56

    I have dueling AIS going I was practicing or I was trying out both to see which one I liked a little more. Oh if you mind

    Ron Suarez 3:10

    I don’t mind at all I wasn’t sure one of them might be

    Devon Malick 3:16

    no they’re both mine. Yeah, I always have to explain why I have so many.

    Ron Suarez 3:23

    So I’d like to tear turn on screen sharing. Let me do that then. Even if you choose not to be on video, which is fine. I’d like you to share your screen with me and walk you through a few things

    Devon Malick 3:43

    Oh, that would be great

    and where should I should I be right now in the Althea local chapters Yeah.

    All right, and let me share my screen with you. Do you want me to share first?

    Ron Suarez 4:39

    Yeah, cuz I’m paraplegic. And I can do things but I’m very slow. Oh,

    Devon Malick 4:48

    yeah. No rush. But yeah, I’m happy to show you what I see. And then you can walk me through.

    Ron Suarez 4:55

    Okay, so the At first thing is but see where where you are, let’s just start off. Yeah, go to the community drop down and select groups.

    So here you can see, you know, there’s many different groups, I’m probably going to eliminate some of them because I have too many courses and too many groups right now. And for the past almost two years, it’s been just me and my wife playing around with it. And some select few contacts that I have, I haven’t really tried to broadcast to the public, yet, but we’re getting ready to start that. So I will probably unpublish a bunch of the courses, and then start releasing them. And I was thinking that, you know, perhaps, you know, the first course, you know, might be related to the all Thea chapters depending on how interested you are. Yeah. So like, on the Altea local chapters, by the way that under the featured members back there, the first one was Brian Hall, he was the is the founder of NYC mesh, which is really, next to it, I’ll Thea that’s my other major influence. When I lived in New York City, I was a member of NYC mesh. And that’s how I met John Trent back. Back in 2017. He was in the slack for NYC mash. And he said that he was coming to New York and I offered him a place to stay. So he and his girlfriend at the time, crashed with us for a couple of nights in Brooklyn. And that was the beginning of my connecting with healthy. So I’ve been following you guys for years, although I had a serious spinal cord injury in 2018, which slowed me down for a couple of years. So I’ve just been playing catch up. But now like really getting ready to go full throttle. So if you click on or scroll up in group, click on new members, you can see that it’s a hidden group. So nobody else can even see that this exists. Oh, and I borrowed the point at the top of the blue background. I borrowed that from your website. Yeah, this

    Devon Malick 7:47

    is amazing. Yeah.

    Ron Suarez 7:50

    I came up with the little scaffold icon. I got that project. And I thought, you know, what I kind of see the chapters doing is kind of like a scaffolding approach to helping people to, to build stuff. Yeah, absolutely. So before I jump, start to jump into details. Maybe you could tell me briefly, and we can certainly have you elaborate more later in the conversation. Tell me briefly what you see is the goals for all Thea chapters.

    Devon Malick 8:32

    I think for the chapters that we’re really wanting to do is we have just really robust conversations in our Discord and on Twitter. But we’re really wanting to help people find like, actual avenues to bring kind of their interest or their excitement about Althea into kind of the real world. So you know, maybe they just want to get involved with helping expand affordable broadband in their community, or maybe they want, you know, maybe they’re not engineers, but that’s just something that’s, you know, feels very personal to them, they could connect with engineers or they can connect with network operators. So that’s, that’s how we kind of imagine it as just being able to kind of take all of this excitement and all this community we fill and like move it into these smaller like working groups.

    Ron Suarez 9:24

    Oh, good. Yeah, I was envisioning them similarly, as in two major categories. One is geographically based chapters. And the other would be interest based chapters and the Internet Society that Deb mentioned that she kind of wants to model, what they’ve done as a similar kind of focus where some are geography based and some other chapters are interests based. Oh, and then Uh, briefly, are you up on what’s going on in Hamtramck?

    Devon Malick 10:07

    A little bit.

    Ron Suarez 10:10

    Well, I heard that I heard from Deb that something was going to be happening there, but that Nate Talbott had been ill. So she was waiting to hear from him. And I’ve been trying to make phone calls. I met him in person last year. And we had several good conversations since then. And I’ve been trying to call him but I can’t get him to answer his phone. Do you know if he’s still sick or that?

    Devon Malick 10:37

    I don’t know, I know that. We’ve been having kind of a hard time reaching them. But yeah, I think that was when he was sick. So he could just be, you know, swamped and just trying to recover from everything that was happening, but just because you’re, you’re in the Detroit area.

    Ron Suarez 10:51

    Yeah, we’re in Ann Arbor. And Nate is actually in or he had a beat up in Novi. I think he lives near Novi not. I don’t think he’s in the city of Detroit. But a lot of people say Detroit and there’s, you know, at least suburbs of Detroit. And Hamtramck is actually it’s surrounded by Detroit. But it’s its own place. It’s not part of the city of Detroit and traditionally, was a Polish neighborhood. So there’s not necessarily as many minorities in Hamtramck as there are in Detroit. And I think that’s where Motor City lounge used to be. That was the technical club that I went to 25 years ago. Oh, not to get distracted. But the DEB tell you that I produced some Grateful Dead bootleg albums in the early 70s.

    Devon Malick 11:59

    No, she’s not it.

    Ron Suarez 12:03

    Because she was talking about the community calls. She was talking about all Thea and and the Grateful Dead. That that’s songs. So then, you know, she and I, you know, had some back and forth about that. Yeah, one of the albums I produced. I found it on eBay, selling for like $300. We sold them for $3 a copy. That’s another conversation for us to go into another time.

    Devon Malick 12:34

    Last week when I was out of work, I was actually I was in Mexico at a it was called dead ahead. It was like a dead Grateful Dead festival.

    Ron Suarez 12:46

    Yeah, Deb said something about that. Yeah. Well, when we have more time, I’d love to go into things like that. But oh, and I have a little more than a half an hour if we need to go over. How about how about yourself?

    Devon Malick 13:02

    Oh, it was a hard stop at 215. So I can go a little over if we need to. Okay.

    Ron Suarez 13:08

    All right. So first, let me show you all Thea lakes, click Well, the feed, I think you saw that’s anything happens. That’s like an RSS feed the group so anything that happens will will show up in in here. And scroll back up

    Devon Malick 13:39

    to one of our first chapters.

    Ron Suarez 13:42

    Ah, well, I’m, I’m hoping that we can help you, you know, use the tools that we’ve created for building the chapters. And I’ve been trying to talk to Nate. So that you know that one of the first chapters will be Southeast Michigan, right? He and I would be a part of that chapter.

    Devon Malick 14:10

    That would be excellent. Because this looks like a place where everyone have the chapter can communicate share resources.

    Ron Suarez 14:18

    Oh, yeah. And group groups can be hidden, they can be private, or they can be public. So public is like the bar that anybody can walk into. There’s no bouncer or anything, right? Private is like the velvet rope club where the bouncer checks out your hair cut in your clothing to decide whether to let you in or not. And hidden is like the underground club that nobody knows it’s there except, you know, very special people. So right now, you know, nobody knows that this exists. And you know, later on you guys can decide if and when it becomes private or, or public and groups can have subgroups. So my suggestion is that, you know, we at first, have all Thea local chapters as a single, you know, group and then as other things may start to get created, if we need more at that point in time that we need more than one chapter. But they become subgroups that selectively, you know, could be public, private or hidden.

    Devon Malick 15:38

    So that sounds like a great way for other groups to be able to communicate to so if, like, say, if we organized by regions, but we have this kind of sub interest group and you know, doing something on the blockchain, then perhaps we can have a public group that shares with other chapters, and we can start kind of building with other folks too.

    Ron Suarez 16:00

    Yeah, I mean, this, this system is pretty limitless. I’m using buddy boss for the community management. Buddy boss is a hard fork of the free open source BuddyPress community management software built for WordPress, back back around 2008 was when it started, I knew one of the original developers in New York City. And back in 2010, we used it to launch a community website for a Trade Association, the American Association of Independent Music, and 30 of the top independent labels were on that website. And then we used BuddyPress, in 2011. My wife and I were in New York City at that time when Occupy Wall Street got started. And it was, you know, quite a bit of chaos, like, where were the meetings, and there were 9000 people in 100 working groups that we organized into a single website. And we centralize the engineering using BuddyPress on top of WordPress, but decentralized, the content control. So like, we have groups here in buddy boss, those command of Buddy Press, where they’re at each of the 100 working groups that had organized on the ground for Occupy Wall Street, we gave them each their own working group, and they each had their own discussion forums, like you see here are amazing. And then around 20, or 3020 13, you know, we did online course where for a client that was doing things for health care, then, on the basis of that, we’re able to jump into a huge project that paid us a couple of $100,000 over the next couple of years. Management Sciences for healthcare msh.org hired us to launch leader net.org, which is still in existence, they’ve had some new designs put on the top, but underneath it sure looks like it’s still the same thing that my wife and I designed for them and they get money from USA ID. There some people think they’re a CIA front, but they could they spend millions of dollars on a usually good causes, but they’re often in areas where the United States says geopolitical interests. So we were doing work with health care administrators in West Africa at the time, and we did the the first and probably only online course on working with Ebola. At that time, anyway, I could go on and on. But I’ve got links to like this background to the extent that you’re interested in it in the future. But this is all simply to say that my wife and I have a ton of experience. These kind of boat, community websites, and it’s all based on very solid technology. So next, next, just click on members so you can see, you know, who the the members are. So I’m the organizer I have this and I can make you and Deb organizes in the future. That’s, that’s not a problem. But I wanted to show you that there are three levels built into groups. So right now the two of you are moderators for the group, and I made you each group leaders. And then on the bottom, there are members stand is my chief technology officer. And Marguerite Coonan is my wife. So people can where it says collaborator that might also say, member or, or teacher, or group leader. And if you notice, like there, you could connect with my wife, or you could follow her just so it’s kind of like, you know, Facebook, but without the Nazis.

    Devon Malick 20:59

    Right, that’s all we want.

    Ron Suarez 21:04

    So let’s, uh, let’s save. So let’s, once you can block people. So you know, if anybody becomes annoying,

    Devon Malick 21:14

    that’s nice. Yeah. And then, once you’re Once you’re connected. You can like message each other and like, communicate, like privately outside of the group. Yeah.

    Ron Suarez 21:26

    Cool. So now let’s click on Discussions.

    Devon Malick 21:42

    And yes, I saw these.

    Ron Suarez 21:44

    So yeah, so we don’t have to look at those. Now, because there’s a slideshow that I want to go into in a minute here. And so let’s click on Documents. Okay. That was docs. There’s docs, Docs, and documents or things that you upload? docs are kind of like wikis. Oh, okay.

    Devon Malick 22:20

    And this,

    Ron Suarez 22:23

    this sedan, download this.

    Devon Malick 22:30

    Okay, great. And can you still see the

    Ron Suarez 22:34

    I see the, the PDF. So I see slides on the left and on the right, so the so the first slide, we are designed, it’s a worker owned, cooperative. Our our goal is to restore the internet as the public Commons. So the internet connects people like the sidewalk. And it’s a platform cooperative. Unlike Uber, which is not a cooperative, it’s a platform that connects drivers, and passengers. But in New York City, there’s a platform cooperative called driver’s dot co op, and that’s owned by the drivers. So you know what I’m designing this to be owned by the people who become teachers. Right now I’m the only person who’s really a teacher has been I’m very much looking forward to getting all kinds of people on board this year to become teachers. So next slide. So I’ve already spoken a bit about BuddyBoss. And LearnDash is our learning management system, and wisdom labs, click on the next slide. And you can see that we’re reusing a plugin from wisdom labs, that gives us a front end dashboard for instructors. So you can go to the next slide. So without this plugin, that this is what the front end dashboard looks like. Without this, you’d be in the WordPress, back end, and you’d have to be an administrator. And I would be loath to all the people that I want to make instructors in the future. I would be loath to give them all administrative rights because that’s just, you know, a setup for everything break breaking down. But, but this, you know, lets people go in there and create their own courses from this front end dashboard, and like the WordPress roles in that setting, I can make people an instructor and give them that role. So look at no one has really tried this yet other than me. So be looking forward to you or anyone else who’s interested in becoming an instructor getting started with this, and one of the first courses that I would create for our chapters would be, you know, how do you become an instructor, because everybody has something to teach, you know, some of those things might be less important than others. But there’s a million different things people have to learn to be able to set up their own community network. Next slide. So, you know, here you can, there’s little, a little icon of the hands touching each other, you can give an icon for your, your, your course, give it a title, and the course description is is generally even though it looks like you can put a lot in there, those generally should be pretty brief. Next slide. So here, we can see the builder, where we can see the first three lessons are connect, create, learn, and and teach. And you can add a new lesson or you can put lessons into sections and you can add quizzes. Next slide. So these editors, this is like the standard WordPress editor from before the Gutenberg blocks. So, you know, putting Gutenberg blocks in here would be you know, too complicated for the person who’s not a WordPress developer. So this is the standard WordPress editor where you could add text media, and links to your lesson materials. And I’ve this exit to community, this is actually a PDF primer on how to handover your business or organization to the community members that are a part of it. Next slide. So then there’s a myriad of settings that allow you to control access, prerequisite points, and more. So that’s, you know, it’s going to take a whole course to go through these things. So I’m simply showing you that there was a lot to be, you know, a lot of flexibility, tremendous flexibility underneath the covers here. And I’m willing to spend whatever time it takes to help bring you and any other people that we were going to bring on as teachers, I’m willing to do as as many one on one, onboarding sessions like this as the present as necessary. I’m fortunate enough to have made enough money in the 1990s that I’m living off my bank account. And I’ve been funding this off of my bank account. I’m about to start raising money, not for myself, but to be able to pay people to be instructors and digital navigators and all those sorts of things. Next slide. So, here, we’ve set the course price to $1 a month, and we’ve made a seven day free trial. So right now, you know, none of my courses have any prices on them. But I’m thinking about starting this one darl a month for a couple of the first course real courses that we launch, because that’s cheap enough that anybody can afford it and keep out. You know, troublemakers and spammers.

    Devon Malick 29:07

    Yeah, that’s a really good point.

    Ron Suarez 29:11

    Next slide. Courses can be linear or brief form of linear lessons. You have to go through them step by step. So if there are seven videos in in each of the seven lessons, you have to watch them in order versus the freeform. You can go through it. If you’re a student, you can go through in any order. So that’s like wonderful that gives you those options. Next slide. You can you can associate a course with one or more groups. You know, so here I was starting to build the course for Ulpia local chapters and that Slide. And the course content, it can be always visible or only visible to people who’ve enrolled in the course. Next slide. The course points may be required for access or awarded on completion. So these points, you could think of these points in kind of in the way, you folks have been talking about tokenization. So, you know, by taking courses you consider, you could consider that as work that you’re doing to earn tokens. And you can have courses require a certain number of points for access. So you know, it’s kind of a token system built into this. People can be buying and selling access to things. In addition to which I’m thinking that while I don’t want for students to have to pay for any of this, when we start putting in pricing on courses, but then be looking for foundation money to pay for those courses that would enroll X number of students that a particular course, and we offer scholarships for those courses that we have an application process. Next slide. So you can select users to place in a course or simply wait for them to register. The next slide is just the end. So

    Devon Malick 31:49

    what do you think? This is amazing? Well, um, my background, I’m a professor myself, but um, so I’ve had some course design experience. And that’s how my brain works. And I’m trying to share information with like my team, like we’re trying to get our network operators trained on how to sign up for the affordable connectivity program. So I put together this online course that then had all of these hidden fees, and were was horrible to access. And but I do think that this is a really helpful way to get information to folks and a really helpful way for people to share knowledge with each other. And that’s what I really like about this is that anyone can be a teacher and anyone can like add value to a conversation, because that’s what we’re looking for when we start these chapters, right is for people to feel empowered to be to be teachers.

    Ron Suarez 32:50

    Yeah, I’m very much about empowering people from the bottom up. There are too many, you know, even nonprofit organizations that are ostensibly doing good things, ended up being top down organizations, and they’re better. There was at least one nonprofit, where I was chided for introducing myself in the chat and like, why I’m like, used to doing this, you know, when I’m in online, Zoom things with like, 100 people, you’re supposed to introduce yourself right? In the chat, and like, it’s as if somehow they were afraid that I was going to be competing with them.

    Devon Malick 33:36

    Well, that’s like, even part of my work without the two is looking for, you know, grants for local networks and the amount of kind of information gatekeeping there is, you know, to apply for money and apply for grants is really outrageous. And wouldn’t it be helpful if you had some insight on how to apply for a grant? You could share it with anyone who might want to apply for a grant? Yeah,

    Ron Suarez 34:01

    yeah. Let’s see. Oh, okay. So Oh, yeah, that’s the other thing that I’m interested in is,

    you know, how do we get people to collaborate to apply for grants and from federal money, which I’m not too hopeful about, oh, go into the front page at our website. You don’t have to read it. We don’t have to really look at it now. But click on posts and go to the most recent post No, no, that I’m sorry that sticky at the top. Scroll down. Just little bit there. How to challenge the beat program?

    Devon Malick 35:07

    I was reading that this morning. Oh,

    Ron Suarez 35:11

    yeah, the, the quote at the bottom was from somebody whose name you might recognize, but I’m keeping him anonymous, because not sure how public he wants to be about it. But he had some shading comments about like, this is the third time we’re trying to address digital equity. And we’re all the same mistakes that we made in the past. But the things that appear in the beginning of that are all things that I got from our chat GPT bot. That’s what I call IMD mentor, the internet monopoly disrupter. And the steps for communities, you know, stakeholders and things for them to do. That’s all like really complicated to do that. The only way I could possibly get involved with that is by collaborating with many other people. But I’ve learned that chat GPT is really great. As acting, acting, it’s my assistant. So so this, these are the kinds of things I’d like to do. So if we’re approaching our community to bring our Thea into it, how do we go about doing that? And let’s see if you scroll all the way to the bottom of that. Oh, that I’ve got the videos from Susan Crawford. Do you know the name Susan Crawford?

    Devon Malick 36:42

    I do not. Okay, I

    Ron Suarez 36:44

    highly recommend that you look at that she she wrote a book called captive audience that was published in like 2014. And those are videos of her from going back to 2013. And then 2019. At the top, the things that she said that, you know, we’re wrong about the way we’re doing the internet and how we fell behind even though we invented it here in the United States. They’re illustrative of the problems that we face. And I’ve got a couple of her books and worse that I’ve been working on for systemic people who want to do systemic change. And I think ACP is like a bandaid. You know, it’s going to run out soon. And when it runs out, you know, we’re back to where we were before, for the most part. Absolutely.

    Devon Malick 37:40

    And, and so many people don’t even want to sign up for it. Because it’s like, well, now, you just took my information, and I’m on some list. And I just what’s the point for $30. And, and then

    Ron Suarez 37:53

    not even that, you know, I mentioned, I’m fortunate enough to be able to live off my bank account, but my income, and my federal income tax return is a negative number. So I qualified for ACP. But after I sent my income tax return to the federal government, and they gave me an ID number and my approval, then I went back to Comcast, and I said, Okay, I’ve been approved for ACP. Here’s my ID number that I got from the government. The chatbot kept telling me how to apply. And I kept saying, No, I don’t have to apply, I applied and was approved. Here’s everything you need. And it took a couple of weeks of phone calls to like, finally was able to get a human being who was probably in India and had a super thick accent. Not that, you know, I have no problem with immigrants or any of that. But there if you’re going to do customer service, you need to hire people that can speak in a way that they can be understood. And he first told me that I was going to have to upgrade my service. And I’m like, No, you’re not upselling me into a more expensive plan. And then, you know, finally, after a couple hours of conversing, I was able to finally get through to it. So all these nonprofits are getting billions of dollars from the government, ostensibly to help minorities who are not smart enough to figure out how to sign up for it. And, you know, certainly there are poor people that need help. But there are obstacles that are, you know, an intrinsic part of the incumbent ISPs that are hurdles that anybody, no matter how experienced can have all kinds of difficulty getting through.

    Devon Malick 39:48

    Well, that’s that’s what I had kind of trouble with my team even speaking about ACP is that you have to fundamentally understand that the government does not want to help more people and they will Really all of these barriers? Because they were like, Why is this? Why is the ACP application process? So clunky? How can we make it better? And I have, yeah, I have this person’s code, I tried to apply it to their account. And ACP is telling me that they’ve never signed up. So I’m like, Yeah, that’s just kind of, because my background social work. So it’s like, yeah, that’s how it is. They design it that way. So people don’t use it. If you haven’t, when people don’t use it, they’re like, no one’s using it. Like, we won’t fund this anymore.

    Ron Suarez 40:33

    If you have just a couple more minutes, go to the search, go to the magnifying glass for search at the top. And type in the word thrive, thrive, drive, drive, no, go Thrive th

    Devon Malick 40:51

    O, that is what I Okay. That’s what I thought I heard.

    Ron Suarez 41:00

    And click on MTU Commons. So this picture on the top is an artist’s rendering of a netzero community that they’re building here in Ann Arbor. And I was thinking that we could bring all Thea in there. But it turned out that in the interim, based on the information I gave him, and I made a connection between him and 123. Net, which is a middle mile provider, and they typically don’t do fibre to the home. But in this case, they made an exception because instead of billing each homeowner, they made an agreement with the development. And they bundled the internet fees into the homeowners association fees. So that the entire Association pays one bill at the end of the month for everybody in the community, which is just being just getting under construction now. And so they’ll get one bill, and they signed a 10 year contract with this middle mile provider model. So so the people who move in there, they don’t have to worry about the internet. Right. And we should be doing that same thing for public housing. You know, Pete here in Ann Arbor, it’s theoretically a liberal town, but I think a lot of them are, it’s kind of like the Berkeley of the Midwest. I think a lot of them are really phony liberals. And they think if they put a Black Lives Matter flag on top of City Hall, that they can let real estate developers get away with anything. And I was on city council back in 2006, through eight. So I saw some of the bad things inside. But anyway, I think that’s a target market. For us, like public housing, that is supposed to make housing affordable for poor people, let’s just include the internet as as part of it. So, so the thing that I’m trying to wrap my head around is like, you know, for this netzero community, they had enough money and were able to negotiate the deal with a middle mile provider. So came sort of like Alfia wasn’t necessary. So what does all Thea add into the equation when it’s not individual households, but you know, public housing doing one thing for everybody in the building are in or the case of Thrive collaborative, one homeowners association paying one bill to the middle mile provider? So if you can think about that, you don’t have to try and answer it now. Yeah,

    Devon Malick 43:57

    that’s a really interesting question. And, and I know we expand to empty us and I think, you know, our, the biggest pitch is that we are, you know, affordable for the, you know, the tenants. But at the same time, you know, building managers don’t really care if we’re affordable or not for the tenants.

    Ron Suarez 44:20

    Right, well, building managers or building owners,

    Devon Malick 44:23

    building owners. So yeah,

    Ron Suarez 44:27

    I’ll send you a link I met I met somebody who’s in the business of like, for student housing and an MD use, and a bunch of his customers are very high end, MD use where they’re charging so much rent, that, you know, throwing in the internet is one of the perks, right, you just move in and it works. You don’t have to order it and wait for the cable guy to arrive. Right? Well, you mentioned you’re gonna have to jump off the call. So I’ll let you go now, but I look forward to setting up another meeting. So we can start getting into an I can do that, you know, you have my Calendly link so you can book you know, another meeting as soon as you like.

    Devon Malick 45:26

    We are announcing our, just our call for folks to sign up to be we want to just do three pilot chapters. And we’re gonna announce that today so we can get folks signed up. And then once we kind of start getting people organized, we’ll just figure out next steps and like how we want to organize and do a listening session and and have you involved with that, of course, and but I I love this as a way to share. I just love a clear information sharing platform. This is amazing.

    Ron Suarez 46:02

    Oh, thank you. Yeah,

    Devon Malick 46:04

    this is excellent. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me. Okay. All right. Have a great day.

    Ron Suarez 46:11

    All right, you too. Bye. Bye.

    Transcribed by https://otter.ai

    DrRon Suarez replied 3 months, 3 weeks ago 1 Member · 1 Reply
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