I was dining out with coworkers, in a group of four. These colleagues were nobody specific: just extras fabricated from spare parts in the subconscious. The topic drifted to the subject of building rapport, and how light physical touches can build a connection with someone, but you might be careful about that in the work place. I reached across the table to brush my colleague’s wrist, and he leaned back, grinning. My hand came to a stop before it would have come over his dinner plate. I smiled back, “and this is about the line where I would have invaded your personal space,” and withdrew.
I headed to the bathroom, where there was a short line waiting outside the men’s room. One or two guys turned back, not wanting to stand in line, and thus making it shorter. I was confident that the line would move quickly, and in a moment I was attending to my business at a urinal. (more…)
It is exciting, inspiring, and hopeful, to hear a conservative like Colin Powell speaking like this:
Letâ€™s welcome every foreign student we can get our hands on. Letâ€™s make sure that foreigners come to the Mayo Clinic here, and not the Mayo facility in Dubai or somewhere else. Letâ€™s make sure people come to Disney World and not throw them up against the wall in Orlando simply because they have a Muslim name. Letâ€™s also remember that this country was created by immigrants and thrives as a result of immigration, and we need a sound immigration policy.
Letâ€™s show the world a face of openness and what a democratic system can do. Thatâ€™s why I want to see GuantÃ¡namo closed. Itâ€™s so harmful to what we stand for. We literally bang ourselves in the head by having that place. What are we doing this to ourselves for? Because weâ€™re worried about the 380 guys there? Bring them here! Give them lawyers and habeas corpus. We can deal with them. We are paying a price when the rest of the world sees an America that seems to be afraid and is not the America they remember.
Amen! Let’s stop hiding behind an Iron Curtain of Fear.
Are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves.
(Thanks, Craig Newmark.)
Late Night? Bored?
Start here. Click “Next” . . . and so on.
Once you feel inspired, get up offa that thing, and do something better.
As of 11AM this morning, and until 11AM next Tuesday, I’m “on call” . . . which means that if something breaks, especially at 3AM, I’m the first guy responsible for fixing it.
This is actually a new form of “on call” for me–this is the first time I have been in a “rotation”. At other, smaller companies, I have spent years on-call. Now, that isn’t quite so bad in a small environment where things seldom fail, but it is something of a drag to keep your boss informed of your weekend travel plans so he can watch for pages in your stead. In a larger environment, a week spent on-call can be particularly onerous, because there are plenty of things that will break. But, come the end of the week, you pass the baton . . .
So, this week, I will get my first taste, and over time I will have a better sense as to whether “on call” is better in a smaller environment or a larger environment. I have a feeling that while this week could be rough, that the larger environment is an overall better deal: there is a secondary on-call person, there is an entire team I can call for advice on different things, and the big company provides nice things like a cellular modem card, and bonus pay for on-call time.
Friend: . . . and now I’m bitter.
*** Friend sighs
dannyman: Well, you know what to do when you’re bitter.
dannyman: LEMON PARTY!!
If you have a couple of hours free, I recommend sitting back and watching this video of Randy Pausch’s “final” lecture at CMU. He is a smart, talented, ambitious, and accomplished professor who seems to know how to give a lecture, and on this occasion he delivers a lecture some months before he is expected to die of cancer.
He isn’t talking about cancer or dying. He is talking about his life and his advice on how to live life well. I have no commentary; I enjoyed this special moment a great deal and I believe that it is worth sharing.
Update: Randy Pausch’s Home Page has more links, including Google Video. :)
Craig Newmark linked a BBC article that I found uplifting:
Images of saffron-robed monks leading throngs of people along the streets of Rangoon have been seeping out of a country famed for its totalitarian regime and repressive control of information.
The pictures are sometimes grainy and the video footage shaky – captured at great personal risk on mobile phones – but each represents a powerful statement of political dissent.
[. . .]
Burmese-born blogger Ko Htike, based in London, has transformed his once-literary blog into a virtual news agency and watched page views rise almost tenfold.
He publishes pictures, video and information sent to him by a network of underground contacts within the country.
“I have about 10 people inside, in different locations. They send me their material from internet cafes, via free hosting pages or sometimes by e-mail,” he told the BBC News website.
“All my people are among the Buddhists, they are walking along with the march and as soon as they get any images or news they pop into internet cafes and send it to me,” he said.
[. . .]
Reporters without Borders describe how a guide for cyber-dissidents provided to young Burmese was seized upon, copied and feverishly disseminated among a growing group of the young, politically active and computer-literate.
Bloggers are teaching others to use foreign-hosted proxy sites – such as your-freedom.net and glite.sayni.net – to view blocked sites and tip-toe virtually unseen through cyberspace, swapping tricks and links on their pages.
I really like to see people taking power for themselves, and I find it all the more gratifying to see the Internet used as a tool in this process.
I’m sure the Chinese government is watching this process very carefully. The BBC article indicates that the government used to be more effective in its Internet censorship efforts: (more…)