Friday, January 16, 2004

wisdom of the ages

"To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle."

guiding wisdom

"If you’re outraged at conditions, then you can’t possibly be free or happy until you devote all your time to changing them and do nothing but that. But you can’t change anything if you want to hold onto a good job, a good way of life and avoid sacrifice."
Cesar Chavez

"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations...can never effect a reform."

Susan B. Anthony

To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.

- Gandhi

wisdom is doubt.

wisdom is doubt.

a wounded deer leaps the highest

"a wounded deer leaps the highest.
Emily Dickinson

how people stumble

"People stumble over pebbles, never over mountains."
Emilie Cady

the value of committees

There is no monument dedicated to the memory of a committee.
Lester J. Pourciau (Read: "95 percent of all meetings are a complete
waste of time.")

reason has always existed

Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)

the internet as equalizer

the internet as equalizer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

how ideas get disseminated

my friend lawrence guyot mentioned to me today that the "louis braille" microsoft producer presentation of mine (that is hosted on his web site) has been downloaded about 350 times since last week, january 6, 2004, when it was announced on various local, national and international email lists. it's gratifying to know so many people are able to benefit from it. the executive editor of ZDNet, david berlind, wanted to take a look at it, but had trouble accessing it. david, have you been able to see it yet?

the importance of being at peace with yourself

the importance of being at peace with yourself

touched and moved

last year i was touched and moved to receive a recognition from my peers for some community service work i've been doing. for the past 25 years i've been lending my effort in small ways to increase the quantity of learning going on in our communities, while trying to empower those whose voices and views have for too long been ignored.

in may, 2000, i was deeply honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the annual "computers in adult literacy" conference in philadelphia. i did not feel up to the task, so i asked for help from stephon gray, an adult literacy learner, who gave the keynote presentation with me. in the keynote address we showed a narrated biography of civil rights activist fannie lou hamer that stephon gray had written and narrated in his job at the literacy resources division of the DC Public Libraries. we used a $5 shareware program named SimpleCard to create this presentation. this software runs on just about any macintosh ever made, including those from 1988. so it could be used fairly easily by literacy students and literacy organizations who receive donated macs.

i value stephon gray's biography of fannie lou hamer a lot, so i sought help from others to convert it into the most number of forms -- so that it could be viewed by the most number of people around the world. thanks to help from others, this narrated biography can be viewed in powerpoint, quicktime and flash formats.

you can download the powerpoint and simplecard versions of the fannie lou hamer presentation from my idisk.

the powerpoint file is named
the simplecard file (mac only) is named fannielouhamer.sit

i find the biography stephon gray wrote reverberates with great dignity. stephon gray has taught me much i needed to know. he does so in way that is very charitable, patient and caring.

some of my best friends

some of my best friends live in other cities. i've never met them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

your skill at choosing pull-quotes from your writing

your skill at choosing pull-quotes from your own writing will determine how widely your writing is read. your skill at writing good pull-quotes will be an even larger determinant of how widely your ideas are read. (which of the previous two sentences should i use as a pull-quote? extra credit points if you can explain why.)

the cats are staying on earth time

"My cats are staying with my husband, so they get to stay on Earth

- Martian rover mission scientist Wendy Calvin, on living on "Mars

Monday, January 12, 2004

some thoughts about student testing

"Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high- stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity." - Sen. Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

a similar -- and different -- take on this topic.

"thinking about online communications" book

for those who might be interested, here are excerpts of the think-piece essays of a book i wrote in the last century, thinking about online communications.

i can't believe i wrote the phrase: Book Review Bottleneck Burdens Burgeoning Bibliophiles

that was before the blossoming bountiful book reviews on

if you'd like a laugh, track down the review i wrote for jef raskin's "the humane interface." raskin was the lead designer of the original macintosh computer. we had a friendly email exchange after he spotted my review.

rich-media book reviews are coming to this space. (this blog.)

have you noticed?

have you noticed?


is your thoughtfulness available for others to easily find and consider? do you know how to find other people's thoughtfulness and to know what thoughtfulness looks like?

further info about elizabeth campbell from WETA

further info about elizabeth campbell.

in the future your worth as a person

in the future your worth as a person will be determined more and more by the quality and quantity of your ideas and in which public venues you choose to express them. are blogs public venues? well, are you a member of the public?

elizabeth campbell - founder of WETA

what lessons can we learn from those who came before us?

what happens when you elect a bodybuilder governor

"I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man
 and a woman."

 - California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The comment made
   Schwarzenegger a runner-up for the Plain English Campaign's 2003
   'Foot in Mouth' award for the most baffling statement by a public


Sunday, January 11, 2004

Street-Level Youth Media retrospective

If you live in Chicago (or surrounding areas), the year-long retrospective of Street-Level Youth Media creative work at The Field Museum is something not to be missed.

Ramesh Srinivasan

Ramesh Srinivasan knows a thing or two.

the advocates of academic measurement

sometimes i feel the advocates of the measurement of academic progress are both qualitatively and quantitatively misguided, but i don't know of a way to measure how far wrong they are.

www as part of email addresses

when the web was young, i saw several people using www as part of their email address -- and cringed. this continues to happen today and causes unnecessary confusion by internet newbies (often immigrants populations) to the difference between an email address and a web site address. a modest proposal -- please leave out any www parts of your email address, especially prior to the at-sign.

learning a person's credentials in a short amount of time

the web allows you to learn a person's credentials in a short amount of time.

linux public broadcasting network

linux public broadcasting network.

when writing email, providing context always helps

(depending on the context, of course.)

how you get to be a musician

"Throw your hat on the road, lean your ass against a post and start
 practising.  When somebody drops a coin in the hat, you're a

 - Woody Guthrie, on being asked how you get to be a musician.