Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Click on the Title of this post to find a page that helps focus your concentration on the work at hand. I found this link thanks to Alpha Patriot. In addition to the tool for focusing effort, there is a lengthy article about procrastination, and how to thwart it.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I still have trouble explaining to friends and family what the excitement about blogs is all about. I decided that I needed to list my thinking in some kind of an orderly way.
  1. Web page are static, blogs are dynamic.

    I didn't actually come up with this wording; another student in my graduate technology class did (can't remember his name). What it means is, that a web page is designed to be a finished, highly polished jewel, to be admired for the ages.

    A blog, in contrast, is a quickie scrap materials & glue project, meant to serve a purpose for a short time, then tossed in a drawer (or a wastebasket). That a given post may survive and be referenced for a long time is a quirk of the medium - electrons are cheap to store.

  2. Books, and even magazines and newspaper have limitations on entry. Only a few can see their words in print, due to the cost of the medium.

    Blogs, in contrast, are the equivalent of the street corner - open to all, no matter how deluded.

  3. The ability of anyone to set up a blog means that ANYONE does - the talented and interesting, as well as the tediously boring. However, I tolerate them better, since I don't pay for them, unlike print material.

  4. Publishing is undergoing a real revolution, not unlike the change in the days of Gutenberg. The cost of publishing has made it possible to bypass the elitist gatekeepers.

    It also has the potential to light a fire under students. As never before, they have the ability to leapfrog past the editorial eye of their teachers, and seek their audience on the Web.

    There's nothing like knowing that what you've written has been read by someone who doesn't have to read it. Whether or not they agreed with it, approved of it, or enjoyed it is immaterial.

    With this technology, what could English classes become?


This is a classic post, from a person, Paul Graham, who I've never linked to before, although I will now.

The question he answers is, what advice would you give to high school students from the distance of your life experiences today?

He talks about the root cause of boredom in teens:
And when I was eight, I was rarely bored. Give me a back yard and a few other kids and I could play all day.

The reason this got stale in middle school and high school, I now realize, is that I was ready for something else. Childhood was getting old.

I'm not saying you shouldn't hang out with your friends-- that you should all become humorless little robots who do nothing but work. Hanging out with friends is like chocolate cake. You enjoy it more if you eat it occasionally than if you eat nothing but chocolate cake for every meal. No matter how much you like chocolate cake, you'll be pretty queasy after the third meal of it. And that's what the malaise one feels in high school is: mental queasiness.

He talks about college admissions:
It's dangerous to design your life around getting into college, because the people you have to impress to get into college are not a very discerning audience.

I've just given a amall taste of the richness of this essay. Go there, enjoy. Devour and savor.

Feel free to write your version of this essay in the comments.