Thought Overflow…Golda’s BlogIf memes are like genes, then having a conversation in which you share ideas and come up with new ones is like…?


Archive for the ‘RandomWrites’ Category

google does presentation and display pretty well – but if the website adds structure and tools and clues

franchise restaurant = convention over configuration
but, the key is documented convention
otherwise you just have a bunch of mysterious dependencies

The larval stage is when living in the host’s brain; metamorphosis is the act of writing; and the mature stage capable of reproduction is in written form.

Sometimes larval stage ideas reproduce in casual conversation, but mass reproduction is almost always after metamorphosis. Even ideas transmitted in speeches or on TV have generally gone thru the transformative writing process before being re-emitted as speech.

I am excited – just interviewed by email an Egyptian guy who is trying to support innovation and cultural transformation in Egypt (though Ramy might not say ‘transformation’) – here’s the post:

Will post the books idea there tonight and see if anyone is interested.

0 How do we help?

Golda to RandomWrites  

On a more serious note, what should us comfortable Western folks do to support democracy protesters risking their lives to eliminate dangerous dictators? I don’t really know. Its their revolution, not ours, but it seems like we should somehow offer non-directing friendship or support.

We can ‘friend’ their sites on Facebook and make links to their pages, and attend virtual protests. We can sign the page on Access now asking Facebook to hide protesters’ identities to protect their lives. Find a way to get funds to Abdul (no last name) to get medical aid to injured protesters. More ideas here.

But long term, democracy means building up a whole new culture. For a while I’ve thought that sending books is a very simple and powerful thing. Books are deeper than fragments of text on the web, and many accounts of individuals breaking away from controlling mentalities start with books (Infidel, for one). I would like to see a site that facilitates individuals sending books to other individuals, without going thru a central organization.

what is the world coming to? Broken links on an site – to the latest source tarball for the apache httpd server, no less

ah well – its Thanksgiving ( but that should only affect the US… )

0 deciding

Golda to RandomWrites  

I’m wide awake now, looking down at mountains poking up out of a rippling sea of clounds, side-lit by the dawn. In a plane, not on a mountaintop, but still striking.

The problem is as always: how to spend the moments of time. Deciding on each one is maybe the most wasteful; but hooking into precanned entertainment is not something I want in me. I would like to decide for myself, mindfully, what to do with my time. Most of it is already taken: work, deadlines, paperwork, and the good part, attentioning the kids. Sweet sleep and exercise are worthy too. But – what am I building, creating, or figuring out that is of any lasting worth? Most code is useless within a few years; or worse, still has to be supported 20 years later!

Even if I’d written a transport layer used by millions (without their realizing it, of course) I don’t think it would be what I really want to contribute. Writing must be it, though to communicate values or patterns it will have to be more entertaining than this!

For some reason I love reading introspective writing myself. Hunger of Memory was liberating, because it seemed to make it ok to muse in a bit of a heavy-handed way, to use beautiful language constructs, if that is who you are. Well – this is me. I am stuck in that middle piece of music, the pensive part before the lively bars continue, because I’d like to pick which way to run and dance.

The problem with life is, the predators have most time to plan their next move. Non-predators have to spend more time just gathering and eating. Seems to be true of business predators as well…

0 What would be enough?

Golda to RandomWrites  

I could be better at paying bills, cooking, and cleaning the house. Especially cleaning. But who wants to be the world’s best dishwasher? Or Java coder? Really – I am deeply into best practices, and while coding is significantly more satisfying than washing dishes (at least you are making something, and the patterns are arguably more complex; arguably, because we still don’t have software capable of driving an autonomous dish-washing robot!) it’s not enough.

What would be enough?

If I could polish bTeaching, make it a dynamic and widely-used repository of teaching ideas and techniques, meanwhile exposing the relationships between ideas to the semantic web and helping certain bright but behind kids I know at my daughter’s school catch up faster on math and reading…that might be enough.

At least for now.

The always frustrating, exasperating part, is that I know or feel its possible, that I could do these things. But life..responsibility..its not that, its merely a matter of realistic planning, discipline, and determination. Leaf By Niggle I love that story. Tolkien expresses all this much better than I can. But I didn’t pay attention, the first time I read it, to the discipline Niggle learns in his afterlife, and then the largeness of spirit he and his neighbor attain. Ah..I’m afraid I’m not even up to the standard of making one sparklingly beautiful Leaf.

0 scared

Golda to RandomWrites  

Terrified that I’ll forget, or make a mistake, or that something bad will happen. How can I live free from fear if I’m afraid of myself? I don’t want to make my kids this way either – responsible yes, but afraid no. Is the difference just a matter of organization and procedure?

Writing – do I have the right to write? What makes me think I can tell anyone what they might do?