Do Better, new Draft: No Chapter 6

The Project Do Better manual is ready.

I have removed chapter 6, so please comment here if you wish to be a Beta Reader, and I will send you the latest draft.

We still need more eyes on this new PDF of the current, 5th, Draft of Project Do Better‘s book , if Beta Readers would like to volunteer. (Please leave feedback on this book by commenting here on this post…)

Oh, and new title is

Project Do Better: A Kindness Manifesto in Four Parts

Dying to finish and release this book so I can get back to doing my own personal part of Project Do Better: writing historical fiction, so please let me know if you’d like to read 280 pages of how we can become a kinder world that meets everyone’s needs in 60 years!


Click here to see reviews, lesson plans, or books (nonfiction and slavery/histfic), if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin ($ H. coming this wk…)

Holistic High School Lessons,

           or Long Range Plans, & Historical Fiction Serial Stories



Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


119 thoughts on “Do Better, new Draft: No Chapter 6

    1. Yes, ma’am: the 5th is the latest and only version, now.
      (I tried to clearly mark the earlier versions, so they should be easy to avoid, in cases where I’ve not yet deleted them, but if you stumble across any other pdfs, please do comment so I can update them…).

      Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I will keep that in mind especially! At the moment I am at page 53.
        The project is explained very detailed, but clear, I find. People outside the US, who have other living conditions will have to adapt the concept, but so it is with every concept.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thank you, Birgit.

          I’m very glad to see that it is clear. That was my chief worry, at this stage in the book. Also, to be sure that Americans would not be overwhelmed. I think you’ll find that many of these proposals are already in place in much of Europe (northern Europe, at least).

          But yes, I agree that some adaptation of the proposal, especially outside of the global north, will be needed.

          Many, many thanks, and many warm regards from California,

          Liked by 3 people

            1. Hi, Shira, I will start with chapter 8 tomorrow. I have two questions for understanding (there are some more things that I don’t really understand, because in Germany and Denmark things are quite different from the US, but that is not relevant for the overall project):
              1) A bedsit, is that a room in a several rooms flat and common facilities, or is it a one room separate flat with its own facilities?
              2) With regard to the autobiographies that everybody is supposed to write and deposit at the nearest library: I did not understand what they are for, what the purpose of them is. It striked me a bit as even more personal information volunteered and made public.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Thank you!!!
              1.) In the UK, it is generally a private room with a small kitchenette, and a shared bathroom with one or two people on the same floor. Generally it’s in an old house that has been broken up into rooms sharing a bathroom per floor, but they can differ. There is no US equivalent, but that was as flexible a word as I could find, and my hope is to expand our flexibility in finding housing solutions.

              2.) Hmmm, you are right, as I had hoped to reduce the lack of attention to normal people’s histories, but it could result in that information being made public at the later regret of those who volunteered it. They could always have their books removed. My idea was to make everybody part of history, rather than just the elites/’Notables’ we usually pay attention to.

              Liked by 4 people

            3. 1) even a room in a shared flat as a secured backup is better than the streets … many people, especially young people, share flats because of the housing prices.
              2) It is basically – and as explained above – a good idea, but maybe it should be voluntary.

              Liked by 3 people

            4. Oh, I thought it was clear that the Autobiog. project is totally voluntary! Sorry! That definitely needs to be clarified.

              And yes, a room in a shared flat is better, but so much potential for bullying. But yes, a reasonable start. Are you suggesting changing from Backup Bedsit to Backup Room, for Phase III?
              (that would actually make more sense, come to think of it, as Phase IV then has a real difference to push for…)

              Liked by 4 people

            5. Maybe it is just me, who misunderstood, it can very well be.

              I won’t really change the word bedsit at this stage. I am just not an English mothertongue person, and never heard the word before. You are mentioning in the text other forms of backup living space (converted hotel rooms etc.); flexibility is good here, I think.

              Liked by 3 people

            6. Ah, ok. Another US English reader mentioned having to look it up, but I still believe that the flexibility is key, as you point out, and for Americans, it is good for them to look something up once in a while!

              Liked by 2 people

        2. My question is for chapter 11, once you have finished the book: A Tobin Tax must have international cooperation, and so, I left it for others to call for after Phase IV was sufficiently advanced, but I neglected to mention it specifically, because I was afraid to call for specific policies while not being there to see the context myself.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Here was my original reply on the Tobin Tax, for after you’ve finished chapter 11:

            “In reply to:Hi, Shira, I am through with chapter 8 and could not find anything about the taxes you mentioned. In fact I searched the whole text for it and couldn’t find it. I have some remarks to chapter 8 that I will formulate and post later tonight. Cheers

            The Tobin Tax?
            No, I didn’t mention any specific policies, like that one, for the most part, because I wanted to leave that up to communities.

            Then I realized that some large over-arching/international level policies, like the Tobin Tax, cannot be implemented at the local or regional level, and might be forgotten by communities, since they mostly work on their own levels, and don’t see the big picture.

            I just didn’t want to get into the can of worms involved in recommending specific policies I won’t be around to help explain later. But this one might be worth mentioning in the book.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Hi, Shira,
              Now I am through with reading the 5th draft. It took a bit longer than anticipated, I am sorry for that, there was so much family business lately.

              I am impressed, how detailed you have designed the project.
              While reading the last part it suddenly hit me, how important it really is, to have a safe living space. For many people that alone will change a lot. Adding one acre of land to it seems like a good idea to me, but can it be done? 1 acre is about 4000 m2; and one can grow a lot of vegetables on a plot like that. The question is, if there is enough arable land available for everybody, and not everybody is willing to or suited for growing food.

              I also thought of the young ones, who might decide to live away from their families, if they cannot feel safe there. Maybe the communities should think about a system to offer support to these young people by means of personal contact and advice. We have in Denmark the “buddy” system, where any citizen can offer to be a buddy to some person in need of whatever kind. This is meant to give a person that lives alone somebody to talk to, get help with administrative matters etc.

              By the way, there are young people in Germany, who after their education take a so called social year. These social years consist usually of service years in public institutions (hospitals, schools, Kindergarten etc.) or as volunteers in organizations like the Red Cross.

              “Do Better” is indeed a great project, and I hope that personal greed – the greatest danger to this project, as I see it – can somehow be overcome. Greed is the source of so much grief all over the world.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Hi, B.
              Sorry for the delayed reply: I’m still very tired, but hope to start working in your feedback next week.

              1. “Adding one acre of land to it seems like a good idea to me, but can it be done?”
              Technically, yes, it can, as there is more than enough arable land for 10 billion people, but in practice, it’s too much of a leap, right now.

              2. “Maybe the communities should think about a system to offer support to these young people by means of personal contact and advice. We have in Denmark the “buddy” system, where any citizen can offer to be a buddy to some person in need of whatever kind.”

              That is pretty much exactly what I thought I was designing in, from Phase II through IV, with communities helping kids build and rennovate their own rooms/condos/homes. I need to make this more clear, in that case. And thank you very much for the example of Denmark doing this: are there documented books or web sites you like that I can include as references?

              3. The German Gap/Social Year is what I referred to in Phase II, but I guess that reference was not clear enough. I’ll have to find it and rework that, also.

              I think I may have missed another comment of yours, which I will go find shortly, but if you see that I’ve missed something, please let me know.


              Liked by 1 person

            3. I understood that you mentioned the gap year being used for traveling/backpacking, sorry!

              Yes helping the kids with practical things, that is one thing. I was more thinking of a person of trust, someone for moral support. But maybe that is too much detail? I try to attach a link to the buddy system for universities, to integrate students from abroad. But this system has expanded to helping immigrant families to integrate (in this case an initiative of the Red Cross).

              Liked by 1 person

            4. “…I was more thinking of a person of trust, someone for moral support. ”

              Ah, I see what you mean: more of a specifically designated person, rather than just community support. Exactly what I’d imagined that communities would do, but I agree with you, that this needs to be mentioned specifically, as it is a very important detail that may get overlooked in some areas.

              Thank you so much for this crucial detail, B!!


              Liked by 2 people

            5. What are your thoughts about the title, if you have a bit more energy to think on this?

              Masha suggested adding the word equity, but for me, it seems better to keep the current title, and let readers see the equity for themselves, unless you feel that it can be worked in without losing the crispness/snappiness of the current “Project Do Better: A Kindness Manifesto in Four Phases”

              Liked by 1 person

    2. I am moving your comments on ch. 8 here, B. so that they are together with other Draft 5 feedback:

      “Remarks to chapter 8:
      I think it would be best to have a minimum set of general prerequisites, so that serving adults could easily move from one community to the other.
      Any decision making in assemblies or other decision or law making bodies should always be made in a group of at least 5 persons. Not one person alone should be able to veto decisions (as I understand the President of the USA can (is that understood correctly?)) or have the last word on a decision.
      The United States have a long history of private charities, without which the country might look a lot worse. So I think that social awareness is definitely not unknown to Americans. Therefore, I think that finding persons willing to be serving adults will not be entirely difficult.
      As far as the rites of passage are concerned, I was thinking about the scouts movement, where young people from an early age learn social behaviour. They do compete with each other and recognition is done in the shape of medals. On the other hand, they also learn how to achieve goals together, in a group. For the highest recognition, the eagle scout, they have to do a special project for their community. First they have to find a project that would serve the community; then they have to find sponsors; and then they have to find people, who are willing to help them. You know, I am not American, so I don’t know whether the scout movement in America is elitist or not. It was certainly not meant like that by the founder of the movement. I thought of the scouts immediately when I read about the quests for the rites of passage. So I think the idea will not be completely alien to people.”

      Liked by 3 people

    3. From your comments on chapter 8:

      “I think it would be best to have a minimum set of general prerequisites, so that serving adults could easily move from one community to the other.”

      I agree, and also that no one person should have a complete veto, but this is up to individual communities, and is another reason that each community has the right to “vet” Serving Adults from other communities. I didn’t want to impose conditions on any communities, so I tried to smooth this out in Phase III, as Serving Adults come together across the US, and later from all over the world, to work together, and see where the differences in their communities require ironing out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Remarks to chapter 9:
        New thinking required in US 01: My impression is that in the U.S. many people are of the opinion that free healthcare and free education are handouts/alms, and therefore they are against it. In Europe, where in most countries we have that, these services are financed by taxes, so they are definitely not handouts.
        The next argument I hear from Americans is: why should I, who is healthy, pay high taxes, so that other people, who are always sick, can be treated free of charge? These are arguments that I get from Americans, when we discuss, and they are not constructive with regard to a strong community. They forget, that mishap can befall anybody, even them, and then the community would support them.

        New thinking required in US 02: The other matter that strikes me as typical American is the winner loser mentality. Dividing people into winners and losers is destructive to society, as is any polarizing.

        It is actually mentioned in the text, that every individual should be valued the same way, but I should like to remark, that a society should value all jobs in the same way, because they are all necessary. Everybody wants to go to university, if it is free, so fewer people are interested in manual labour or crafts. These jobs are looked down upon nowadays, when in reality good craftpersons or good caretakers are worth their weight in gold. But unskilled labour will also always be needed, so we should not treat people, who are not good at school as stupid. School education is only one kind of education, and not everybody fits into that frame. I personally cannot see at all, why doctors and other academics should earn so much money, if their education is free. In countries where their education is expensive for them, and they have to get indebted for it, it is another situation.

        There will always be freeriders, that’s part of some humans’ nature. But we cannot let those people stop us to do better, can we? Why should the rest of the people, who wish to contribute, not benefit from the free services, just because of some freeriders.

        The UBI will be very helpful in alleviating extreme situations. It is being discussed in European countries as well.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Good morning, Birgit:

          Thank you for these excellent points on chapter 9: yes, you are quite right that ” in the U.S. many people are of the opinion that free healthcare and free education are handouts/alms, and therefore they are against it.”

          This, and most of your other points, are the main reason that I start with the emphasis on infrastructure, and then move to working on cultural change. A large part of our problem is the cultural mythos of the rugged individual, like John Wayne’s cowboy films, much of which built up this winner/loser mentality. People like the idea of being ‘self-made’ even though it is patently false. So, working on ways to show how this is false, and to change this way of thinking, is done mostly in tandem with what most American can accept right away: roads and bridges. I agree that jobs, and people’s time, need to be valued equally (this is one reason that I used to give talks on Time Banking, until the UK version of Time Banks began allowing ‘high-value’ skills to charge two hours for every one hour of babysitting and the like).
          My question continues to be how to begin that work of cultural change, as with Violet’s Vegan Comics, across the board, here, across the pond. My hope is that Phase II really gets that process going in full, once the idea becomes more acceptable via Phase I?

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Thank you: I’ve been chewing on this idea since 2007, so it certainly ought to be thought through, by this time! 🙂

              Actually, I began thinking of some parts of this plan, the language-learning as empathy building, back in 2002, when I became a maths teacher. So, this idea has been evolving for nearly twenty years now (and it does not involve robbing any banks! 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t resist the reference)…

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Oh, sorry: refers to La Casa De Papel, aka Money Heist, which I’ve started reviewing today: the main character is The Professor, who has been planning an action (minting his own money) as a means of resisting the system, for over twenty years. So, he teaches his students, as they plan to ‘borrow’ the Spanish Royal Mint for a couple of weeks while they print a few billion Euros, that they are The Resistance, as long as they do not harm anyone in the process of this “injection of liquidity” to themselves!! I resisted watching this show, at first, but then I saw the idea of how The Professor uses the Italian Partisan song ‘Bella, Ciao’ as his anthem, and his idealism, at odds with the action of robbing a bank, and I just had to watch the series. By then end of the 5th season, I could see why it is so popular.

              I am not The Professor, and I have no interest in robbing banks or minting my own money, but I do think that this plan can help us be The (peaceful) Resistance, as

              Liked by 3 people

            3. I resisted it for quite a while, until there was pretty much nothing else on Netflix to watch in Spanish, while waiting for Beta Reader feedback! I hate violence, but there is not really any gratuitous violence in this one: it all has a reason, and points out something. I have to say that I am very impressed with what they have done with this show, except that there is an awful lot of sex, which I do not especially like. Even that is tolerable, though, since they seem to use it to build plot points. It’s quite well written, and especially in the 5th part. At that point, I even had to agree with the Professor’s idea of being The Resistance (but not before then…). It’s fascinating to see the juxtaposition of his naiveté against the cynicism of those he works with.
              And then, his true heroism.

              Liked by 2 people

            4. Now, I am getting interested. As far as the sex is concerned, I would prefer, if they did like before and only gave a hint and then blended out. I think it is too private, but many people find it belongs to life. Maybe that is why in modern Danish movies one can actually see people sitting on the can doing their business, even the wiping part, really?

              Liked by 1 person

        2. “It is actually mentioned in the text, that every individual should be valued the same way, but I should like to remark, that a society should value all jobs in the same way, because they are all necessary.”

          I thought I’d mentioned that, but I should definitely find a place to re-emphasize this point. I think I was depending upon the fact that a UBI will automatically raise the value of all jobs, even unskilled.

          That, in combination with the increased empathy, should theoretically increase the status of caring jobs, especially since the initial assignments for Serving Adults is to be caring jobs in hospitals/nursing homes, etc.

          That part is emphasized more in chapter 10, I think, but may need to be fleshed out a bit earlier, perhaps?

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Masha’s feedback:

    “Hi Shira, I think that v5 is very readable and there’s been a lot of improvement since the earlier drafts. Of course, it’s hard to know exactly because the more I familiarize myself with it, obviously it becomes clearer. But it was a good experience reading it this week. Here are some specific pieces of feedback:

    —Add “and Equity” (or similar) to the title. As is, it is missing a big piece of the meaning

    —Please use just my first name in the acknowledgments. Thanks!

    —In the preface and introduction, the very first thing should be a short summary (1 paragraph) that explains what this is to someone who has no idea anything about it. I think this could be added to the sentence “the goal of this book…that works for all of us” by adding “, including basic food needs, healthcare, universal basic income, ___, __”.

    —Once published, share this with library groups (e.g. FB groups for librarians or library organizations, or local libraries)

    —Define bedsit

    —Flash mobs & buskers teaching and passing out info is super interesting. It works with the idea of meeting people where they are. People are waiting anyway, so it’s not asking people to go out of their way. Reminds me of how the DMV helped increase organ donation by just asking people when they are getting IDs/drivers licenses.

    —I think the title should refer to the US because the book is mostly about that. Maybe “US edition” to imply that other editions could be made for other countries or regions

    —Instead of “every man, woman, and child”, say “every adult and child” or “for all people, including children.” This is both to avoid excluding non-binary people and because gender isn’t really relevant to most of what is being discussed. (Which isn’t to deny that gender roles mean that satisfying the basic needs may impact people of different genders in somewhat different ways. But I just don’t think it’s relevant to mention gender when really the intended meaning is “adult”)

    —Although “medical marijuana” is a common term, my understanding is that “cannabis” is increasingly preferred to “marijuana” as the latter has roots in prejudice/discrimation against Mexican people

    —“Clearly, the practical use of a single payer system of universal health care system is inestimable, and needs no explaining.” I would remove or rewrite this sentence. I think there is a risk that someone could quote that out of context to undermine the book. I also disagree with the premises. To be clear, I agree with single payer healthcare. But i think the practical uses *have* been estimated (and explained). And I wouldn’t say “need no explaining” because everything needs explaining when someone is new to something. You do plenty of explaining here, so instead of this sentence i would instead acknowledge that the practical uses have been analyzed and in addition to that…then you go on to explain the symbolic benefits too

    —I might have missed this but if you didn’t define single payer, you should the first time you mention it. Obviously it’s a commonly known thing but i have many many times heard people who are aware of universal healthcare (at least as it’s discussed in the US recently; not sure if there are other types of universal healthcares) not know that the term for that is “single payer”

    —“Monetary tools like 1930s stamp scrip…” Add short descriptions in parentheses behind all the tools described in this section.

    —Refers to the patchwork healthcare system we have “now in 2021”. Change this to “at the time of this writing, 2022”

    —“By not inhaling or exhaling particles” – I’m not sure what definition of particles you mean, but I think this is too broad. Dust is a particle. Maybe say “harmful particles”

    —“Alcohol or other substances” – needs a descriptive term in front of “substance” because although that’s colloquially used to mean “drugs”, it has as way broader meaning. Maybe “other intoxicants”? I’m not sure because the different categories of drugs have different ways of referring to them (like i think narcotics only means downers) so I’m not sure the best way to refer to them. You could say “illegal drugs” but I don’t think the legality is the key differentiator.

    —The statement about increasing the availability of different kinds of cannabis meaning that smoking and vaping should decrease: I’m not sure this is true. I think that those are likely to bring in new users, but people tend to have their preferences about method. Cannabis/weed can have totally different effects depending on how it’s used and since people are generally going for a specific effect, it’s not necessarily going to be easily shifted between them. Now given the risk of smoking and the effect on others, perhaps there could be campaigns to encourage people to change how they use weed, but I’m just saying that the change doesn’t necessarily follow from the availability. Also, i think that smoking weed tends to be the less expensive option (though my guess would need to be fact-checked) so perhaps a way to encourage the other uses would be to have some sort of policies about the other methods being subsidized. Sounds complicated to make happen, but so is everything in this plan 🙂

    —“Your health is Our health” – has inconsistent capitalization

    —“The costs, however, in individual lost outright…” the end of the sentence is ambiguous. The word “see” can be used to mean “what most people are aware of” or “what actually results”. Depending on which of these you mean, clarify the language. I assume it’s the former, but it’s ambiguous enough to undercut the message

    — “As for the practical uses of the various types of free education…it hardly seems necessary to describe them.” Again, this seems like it could be clipped out of context (or even just stand out in the mind of someone who reads it, and forgets that you did describe the practical outcomes). A common criticism I’ve heard of free higher education is that it leads to an inflation of education (ie. higher levels become required for basic jobs). I think that’s a bad argument because a) there’s value to more education and b) having money be what determines who goes to school has negative consequences including worsening class divides and adding stress. Whether you agree with those reasons or not, i think briefly addressing the common criticisms would help. Maybe in an appendix.

    —About UBI: “when the adults in their lives fail them”. Replace “when’ with “if”. You might also add “or are unable to provide” since adults failing children is probably too specific to apply to all of the cases in which a child would need to support themselves.

    —Speaking of which, I don’t think it’s been mentioned in this book and perhaps it’s too much to write in now but another benefit of basic needs being met is more often families being able to stay together. I suppose that’s probably true of romantic relationships (like fewer divorces) since money stress is a common cause, but there is also the fact that many people who give up their kids for adoption report it being due to being unable to financially support them. Additionally, I believe that one of the factors that determines whether kids in foster care can be reunified with their biological family (which is widely considered the best outcome when possible) is financial stability of the biological family.

    —Very compelling last several sentences. Good ending!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Masha Esther 🌹👩‍🎤😻 #NotMeUs #BlackLivesMatter (@thegeneticsgal)
      13 minutes ago·

      said: “Project Do Better: A call for helping hands
      In reply to:Good point. Or would you suggest a different word, instead? Room/studio, ??

      Room or small living space. I’m not sure about “studio” because that has multiple meanings (like a recording/working studio). I mean in the context, it would probably be clear, but still maybe better to avoid.”

      That was why I used the word Bedsit: it’s much more flexible than our US English words, as you’ve just pointed out. For Americans, “bedsit” needs defining, just as this concept still needs defining, so I’m thinking that it may not be bad to keep it, but let’s see what the other Beta Readers think.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Masha Esther 🌹👩‍🎤😻 #NotMeUs #BlackLivesMatter (@thegeneticsgal)
        an hour ago·

        Masha said:

        “In reply to:I’ll address the rest later, but the definition of ‘bedsit’ was something I wanted to leave to each community. Generally (in the UK) it is a private room with kitchenette and shared bathroom, but that can vary, and it should vary according to the resources of each community. So they should define it.

        I understand that the specifics should be left up to communities but for the purposes of the book, it would help to have at least a general definition. I was completely unfamiliar with the term; I don’t remember hearing it except for in your book. And since it seems to be a more common word in the UK than the US, and since most of this book focuses on the US, a (general) definition would help more of the potential audience to understand that what you’re talking about is basic living accommodations.”

        True, but we still need a word that is not studio/apartment/condo/room: Bedsit still comes closest, and maybe looking it up is a good thing.

        Liked by 6 people

  2. I’ve read so much interesting feedback on your project from beta readers that I can’t remember what the post is at the top and what I wanted to say – oh yes, I know: So this is it, is it? The final-ish version? Because you told me not to read the earlier draft you sent me, to wait for the final draft 😀

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I am excited to tell you that I now have my printed copy of Project Do Better and am enjoying reading it (though I have not got far yet – up to p23). I love the bit on page 15 about Rawls’ thought experiment. Fantastic ‘veil of ignorance’ test for a just society! But I wonder if you could change “Human rights” at the top of that paragraph to ‘all species rights’ (or words to that effect). That is because any society that imprisons and enslaves any sentient being is not just and, if Rawls’ test included animals, that would be demonstrated.

        I think it’s important to write ‘all species rights’ instead of human rights only, throughout your plan for an improved society, because if they are not included from the beginning, they will be forgotten, and we want to create a world where all are safe and not abused because they are different. So on page 16, “the right not to be tortured, … the right to life, liberty, security of person, … freedom from enslavement” should belong to all beings in a just society. And freedom of expression, when applied to other animals, would translate as freedom to behave according to their own natures.

        Thank you so much for all your work on this Shira, I long for the society you have envisioned.

        ps I’m really getting in to Babylon 5 now – nearly finished the first season 😀 xxx

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi, Violet, and sorry for the delay: I’ve not been sleeping well due to neighbors vape coming in at night and sticking in my throat (my air filters seem much better at catching smoke than vape residue…).

          Let me ponder your points and think of how best to work them in: you may see later chapters that can also link to these ideas.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Great 🙂 I thought I should probably wait until I’d read it all before I mentioned anything but then I thought I might forget. Anyway, I will put any comments on hold until I finish 🙂
            Sorry your sleep is being disturbed. How awful! Have you talked to your neighbours? Maybe if they knew it was disturbing you they might be willing to relocate their vaping away from your place. xx

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I have talked with a different neighbor who smokes pot below my window in the afternoons, and his wife promised he’d stop, but I still have trouble with the smell, so I’ve been hesitant (and with the reports of neighbors threatening each other here in the complex…) to approach any others. So many people have become so aggressive these days that it is uncomfortable to even leave the apartment, for me.

              Liked by 3 people

          2. Are your people not taught about the damage that these substances do to their health, and that of their neighbors? Project Do Better shout surely emphasize the role of individual behavior like this in the cost to the larger community. These humans are affecting the health care system, as well, where you do have such good universal systems as you describe.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’ve been wearing a mask with a carbon insert, but it’s hard to keep it fitting correctly when I try to go to sleep (that, and the baby elephants above me until 11pm, and the sudden jarring music through my mattress at 1am…), but the air filters (I have 2) and the mask do help make it bearable.
              Trying to finish up Do Better so I can finally move somewhere!

              Liked by 3 people

  3. I have not read the feedback so far, so my apologies if this has already been mentioned. I haven’t read the draft either. Why did you choose to justify both margins? It’s my understanding that many people with cognitive disabilities have trouble with that layout. Although I don’t consider myself as having any such difficulty, I find this more difficult to read than left-justified text. Do you plan to have the final draft tested for accessibility?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Francine, and thank you for commenting on this issue. I’ve never heard of such testing, but would be delighted if others would help make this happen. I used full margin justification because that is what I am accustomed to as a standard, from academic publishing. Fully justified margins also seem to be the standard for other books, as I read in most submission guidelines, so it had not occurred to me to question the format, as no other readers have mentioned it. I intend to use either Draft2Digital or some other free service, as I think Lulu has been mentioned also, for getting an ISBN, publishing as a non-commercial work (mostly) into the Public Domain, and allowing communities to use this baseline publication as a standard for modifying for their own needs. Thus, yes, there will certainly be more movement around your suggestion for accessibility, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.


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      1. I am taking a greater interest in accessibility design these days, but really only know the basics. In this scenario, it’s because the white space gap is inconsistent between words. Also I think you use two spaces after a period, whereas today’s fonts are designed well enough that this is not necessary. My proofreading for academic work has always been based on APA, and APA switched back to single spacing some time ago, although I’m not current on the latest version of APA. I also wonder how your current spacing would work with various screen readers.

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        1. Oh! I didn’t realize that the two-space standard had changed! Thank you! For me, it still seems hard to distinguish sentences without the double space, but then I often need to enlarge the text to read on a screen. I prefer paper for reading, and still seem to see the double space at the end of sentences, but most of my academic reading is online.
          I’ll need more reader feedback to know how accessible the book is, but I am so tired now that I really need to get it done so that I can publish it and make the editable format available to communities (I use Open Office format, but will also offer the manuscript in other formats, as requested by communities) as a baseline guide, and move on to doing my own personal work for Project Do Better (hopefully after handing it off to others to lead the project…).

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