Being right isn’t as important as being willing to be wrong.
Matthew Shepard is one of uncountably many LGBTQ+ individuals murdered each year for having the temerity to be themselves. While the circumstances of Matthew’s last day are complicated, the perpetrators claimed at trial that their actions were in large part motivated by their hatred of Matthew simply because he was gay. On a remote stretch of pasture in Laramie, Wyoming, they stripped, beat, and tortured Matthew, tied him to a fence , and left him there to die, alone, freezing, slowly.
This is a selection from Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson in which a part of Matthew’s story is told from the perspective of the fence to which he was tied.
I had the pleasure of seeing this performed in 1997 with dear friends from my days at Hampshire College. It was performed by Ossie Davis, Susan Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Pete Seeger and others. Quite a thought provoking night.
The full playlist of the 2007 performance can be found: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA3F8AF3C23133B2
Richard Hamming was a 20th century mathematician who contributed greatly to our understanding of information and information encodings. In this talk he shares his thoughts on how to be good at what you do. In short: work on the right problem, at the right time, and using the right methods. Were it so easy!
The book itself is an impressive compendium of how the field of computing education research got here, where it stands, and where it might go. If only all mappae mundi were so clear!
This video summarizes the book’s contents in a short 55 minutes. You’ll hear chapter authors—each an established researcher in their own right—in their own voices.
I’m often taken in by restoration and conservation stories. Recently, the thoughtful machine learning algorithms at YouTube suggested to me a set of videos related to Alec Steele and company’s efforts to install an industrial power hammer in their steelwork shop.
This is industrial equipment at a scale with which I have no experience. Yet, the sheer joy and curiosity exhibited by this crew as they work to address practical, physical, and design issues with making this equipment functional is glorious.Continue reading Alec Steele and the Chambersberg Power Hammer
The Machine Stops, a story ahead of its time being published in 1909, foretells of a society in which individuals are almost completely physically isolated from one another in an underground enclave where communication is achieved only with technology and all life’s necessities are attended to by a vast, unseen network of tubes.
What happens when, as always must happen, the machine stops?Continue reading The Machine Stops ~ E.M. Forster
I like this recent GOTO conference talk about the role of linguistics in understanding the language of coding. It touches upon many issues I’ve noted over the years as well as newer-to-me issues in non-English programming.
Here, Charlie speaks to an issue that’s near to my heart and that too many people have forever gotten far too wrong: sex & consent. He speaks well and he speaks honestly. I commend you, lend an ear.
In this age of people doing awful things to one another and yet somehow justifying it to themselves, consent is fundamental. As humans, we should be able to discuss it and manifest it in meaningful ways.
If you’ve experienced non-consensual sex at any age, I hope you have or will find your way to talk about it with people you trust. RAINN—the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network—is available, if you need assistance.
- Greatness and innovation come from great teams.
- Your legacy is about how good of a person you are in your various roles—child, sibling, spouse, parent, community member, colleague.
- Potential is realized through integrity.
To the list of books mentioned in the video, I would add:
- Ken Bain: What the Best College Teachers Do
- Alan Alda: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating
- Steven Strogatz: Calculus of Friendship
- National Academies of Sciences: How People Learn
Bryan Cantrill, a leading technologist and CTO of Joyent, outlines the vital differences between principles, values, and buzzwordy vacuousness.
Despite the reality that we use tools and techniques every moment of every day that have been devised and revised through the constant questioning and reflecting process we call science, far too many people don’t believe they understand what science is, don’t consider themselves scientists, and don’t trust the expert opinions of the scientific community. How can that possibly be?
“We’re not really listening, unless we’re willing to be changed by the other person.” ~ Alan Alda
Science and Communication—Alan Alda and Neil deGrasse Tyson at the 92nd Street Y in New York City
“To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed—the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.”
The Great Dictator—Charlie Chaplin