September 24, 2003

Is It Just Me....



...or is there a family resemblance here?

September 19, 2003

Lunar Musings

I'm in a hotel with broadband in Austin. Since I'm already prepped for my workshop tomorrow, I have time to explore the web just for my own edification and spiritual growth.

This may be the most poignant, moving piece of music I've heard in a long time.

September 15, 2003

Surfing the Apocalypse

Here's an amazing/troubling/not-without-bias video from Guerrilla News Network:
"So, in the face of our media's shameless propaganda campaign, we have taken it upon ourselves to intuit what the intentions and goals of this war truly are. In what is surely a departure from our traditional NewsVideo format, GNN presents S-11 Redux: (Channel) Surfing the Apocalypse. Culled from over 20 hours of television footage recorded over a one month period and across 13 networks, S-11 Redux is a sound-bite blitzkrieg that challenges the messages we have been fed from our mainstream media and the government it serves."

This link comes from the always-interesting AlexDodge.Net

September 11, 2003

A Different Anniversary

From http://www.negotiateforpeace.org:

"On September 11, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge were sent by the Continental Congress to met with Admiral Howe at the Conference House in Staten Island, New York. Their mission was to avoid a war. After only three hours the meeting ended. They failed!

What could have happened that day? That's what our project is all about. The goal of this project is for students to learn how to negotiate and try to come up with a treaty that could have avoided the American Revolution! A good way to conduct the project is via email. If you use email you can negotiate with other students or classes down the hall or around the world!"


Seems like a worthy project that more educators should know about. Could be the inspiration for an Alternative History WebQuest. There's an excellent page about how to negotiate that would be a good resource for projects dealing with other disputes. [Thanks to Pete MacKay's Teacher List for the link]

September 09, 2003

A billion here, a billion there...

Democrats Say Iraq Spending With Tax Cuts Is Unaffordable (washingtonpost.com): "To put it in perspective, Bush hopes to spend more in Iraq and Afghanistan than all 50 states say they need -- $78 billion -- to finance the budget shortfalls they anticipate for 2004.

The request is higher than the $74 billion the Defense Department plans to spend on all new weapons purchases next year, and higher than the $29.5 billion the Education Department hopes to spend on elementary and secondary education plus the $41.3 billion the administration plans to spend to defend the homeland.

With $166 billion spent or requested, Bush's war spending in 2003 and 2004 already exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined, according to a study by Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus. The Iraq war approaches the $191 billion inflation-adjusted cost of World War I."

September 01, 2003

Five Years and Three Days in Syracuse

Came back last night from my first trip to Syracuse since defending my dissertation on a snowy day in 1982. It was a kick to return to the IDD&E program where I spent five years learning instructional design, motivation theory, research methods and generally growing up somewhat.

They kept me busy for three days starting with a presentation in the same classroom in the Newhouse building where I was a teaching assistant in my first semester. It seemed cosmically weird to come full circle to exactly the same place exactly 28 years later. Then on to a brownbag lunch presentation for students and faculty in the School of Information Studies followed by a Q&A webcast for a joint IST/IDD&E course. On Saturday morning I did another Q&A with students and faculty of the IDD&E department. Pretty good turnouts all around given that it's Labor Day weekend.



Then, finally, I had some free time to wander and reminisce. Walked up the hill past the architectural marvel of the Toilet Bowl Dorm and gazed awhile at 560 Allen Street, 925 and 940 Westcott Street... three of the five places that I lived in. Due to 70s wackiness or maybe just bad luck, I had an unbroken chain of amazingly bad roommate experiences. One programmer roommate smoked continuously, never showered or washed his clothes and filled the apartment with a ghastly stench; one was arrested for shoplifting and accused the rest of us of rifling through his stuff; three were such emotional rollercoasters that everyone within 100 feet of them suffered vertigo. One exception, though, was sane and smart and went on to become a pioneering author of hypertext fiction.

The best part of the trip was spending time with my sponsor Ruth Small, Tiffany Koszalka, Ray and Gisela von Dran, Don Ely and especially Phil Doughty, who took me out to his camp on Lake Oneida and boated us to a restaurant. It was great to see the IDD&E department stabilizing after almost being wiped out by the previous Evil Dean.

What did I learn from this journey back in time? I guess I'm surprised at how little it felt like coming home, how unattached I felt to a place where I spent five years. I was also surprised to realize that in all that time I probably went into only six of the dozens of buildings on campus, and that I hardly ever went downtown or anywhere else. That's partly because my car was a rolling deathtrap and partly because I focused on courses and flailing my way towards a dissertation. Still, if I could have a serious talk with my Disco Era self, I'd advise him to get out and live a little more. I wonder if my 2031 self would say that to me right now.

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