New Directions Radio: Sharing Information

A year after its creation, New Directions Radio was a modest success as a platform for sharing information between members.

| November/December 1974

It's hard for me to believe, but this issue marks a first anniversary for New Directions Radio. I think it's in order at this time both to look back over the activities of the past twelve months and to start a new project.

Finding Like-Minded Folks

One of the problems with hearing a different drummer is that the marching can get pretty lonely. MOTHER EARTH NEWS has helped a lot of people find others attuned to the same beat— including, this past year, some of us hams who have been moving into new lifestyles. Traditional amateur radio—with its emphasis on equipment, hello-goodbye contacts, and other forms of noncommunication—didn't seem to fit our changing lives, yet we sensed the potential usefulness of the airwaves as an alternative tool.

And, by golly, we in New Directions have gotten into really using that tool. What a world of friendships has blossomed this past year! Most of us have never met in person, but after sharing information, mutual support, and encouragement on the air it was as though we were next-door neighbors. It's McLuhan's communication-shrunk Global Village, I guess! Such one-to-one interaction via ham rig takes no big-deal organizing or planning, and it sure is nice. If nothing else ever comes of it all, this column has at least brought into contact a growing circle of folks who have much to share and who possess some far-out tools which allow them to do that sharing at a distance. Thanks, MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Roundtables

One attempt at exchanging information—the New Directions Roundtables—might be called our first structured "project," and a look back at a whole year of meetings triggers many thoughts. I'm reminded of the nursery rhyme:

There was a little girl 
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid.

While none of the sessions were really horrid, some were certainly better than others. Many were highly moving experiences, and a number, frankly, just failed to happen.

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