January 31, 2005 at 10:31 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

Thanks to Shelley Powers for pointing out Better Bad News’ hard-hitting, ultra-investigative, and naturally fair and balanced 15 minute video satire / follow-up on the all-important blogosphere question (ahem), started by Ethan Zuckerman: Should David Weinberger be compared favourably to Lenny Bruce? I haven’t laughed this hard in a while — BBN’s “report” is hilarious. True, too. And I’m not being compensated to say so, see?

Who are these guys? Their About page notes that they are

…the personal video blog of George Coates designed by George Coates and Michael Hauser working closely with creative individuals in arts and technology including Dan Corr, Kurt Reinhardt, Mantra Plonsey, Annie Larson, David Winter, Jude Haucom, Karen Ripley, Zulu Spear, David Burian, Betty Halpern Eddy Falconer, Bonnie Hughes, James King and many others including students from the Berkeley Adult School class ; Public Speaking For The Camera, John Parkin, Paul Livingston, Jasper Summer, Ben Ross, Chris Read, and Ana Vasconcellos using facilities and services provided by Berkeley Community Media, Brian Scott, and The Berkeley Arts Festival.

BBN adds that this video blog exists “To develop new strategies for surviving the ongoing culture war responsible for the steady and strategic de-funding of independent creative voices in the arts, including small presses, experimental theaters, and alternative media and to provide opportunities for non-commercial voices to be heard in networked media environments.” Well, something to check out further. Plenty of links to follow on their pages! But make sure you see their Blogging Incredibility and Journalism video.

Because of it, I finally listened to David Weinberger’s talk — not something I usually do, listen to my computer, that is. David spoke at a recent conference, held at Harvard, that dealt with blogging, journalism, integrity, and credibility — hence, among other numerous (and goofy) abbreviations, its moniker, Webcred. He is very funny (I’ll stay away from comparisons to Lenny Bruce, though), but after his pointed critique of the Dewey Decimal System (DDS), and an excellent (and funny) discussion of philosophic ways of discussing ethics, he offers some defintions of that made me feel really sad.

Speaking of the DDS, he notes that taxonomies are not reflections of nature, right? They are tools. In the blogosphere, the cool taxonomic revolution that’s taking the internet by storm is called tagging (see Shelley again for some excellent explanation — and beautiful photos, too). (For once, I was hooked early by this new thing of tagging when I started using Flickr months ago — tags immediately struck me as the most amazing tool; unfortunately, I haven’t had time to use Flickr consistently since that initial burst, although it’s on my to-do agenda to upgrade my account there and to start uploading lots of photos. Eventually… 😉

Now, David seems to have no problem letting the tools be tools, and letting individuals use tools as they see fit, provided that there is some sense of whether or not the tools are being used in ethical ways. (David tips his hat to Heidegger here, making a well-placed funny joke about Heidegger’s Nazism — listen to the talk.) Modern morality should be based on a shared sense of being able to see the world as it appears to the Other, as well as learning to care about that perspective, about how it matters to somebody else. This is a way of developing a sense of morality which is based not on religion, or on philosophy, but on stories — novels in particular (David refers to Richard Rorty here) — as platforms for understanding how we work out our moral issues today. Thinking of morality in this way allows us to consider it as something based in sympathy and in caring: a shared world that we care about.

When he begins to define blogs, however, I feel he falls into the trap of reifying them (albeit very, very dynamically and with lots of cool) to the point where they’re not just tools, but orders once again, which means that if you don’t conform, it’s not just the case that you’re using the tool in the “wrong” way, you’re not even in the workshop anymore. This bugs me.

David is famous for the phrase (paraphrasing here), “we write ourselves into existence,” which I find a compelling way to describe my own experiences, too. But why is there such a premium put on speed and quantity (of postings)? David says that “real” blogs are written daily, sometimes ten times daily, and that blogs which are updated only once a week or so are “borderline” blogs, they’re not “real” blogs, they are “not a good example of a weblog.” Why? His emphasis is on conversations, but why do they have to happen so quickly, and then, too, so ephemerally? I’ve had email conversations with David, and from what we have written each other, I’d say he is a very sincere person who invites sincere conversation. The emails were slow, I did not feel pressured to respond instantly, and I considered them most certainly to have been conversations. Must my bloggish conversations be so much faster? Why?

David notes that blogspaces have to be forgiving spaces, that you can’t revise and edit and revise and edit before posting. I agree with that — I write my entries in TextEdit (and remember, I’m not being compensated to say so — that’s how this started, right? credibility?), and I revise them for clarity, but not longer than over the course of an hour or two — I don’t have more time than that to devote to this. I’m a reasonably good speller, and despite a perhaps idiosyncratic love of the comma, my punctuation is fairly stable, so I don’t have to worry about SPAG (spelling and grammar) that much (except I think I just misspelled grammar…?). This doesn’t mean that I’m so neurotically closed off that I’m afraid to publish on the web half-baked opinion — I do that all the time. I really don’t care. Once it’s published, it’s gone: that’s my philosophy. I never understood my fellow grad students who worried every single sentence to death and refused to send anything to the publisher if it wasn’t “perfect,” because all I cared about was my message. I had something to say, and it was gonna get said, dammit. So, I agree with David that it’s a great thing that weblogging offers a giant tube of K-Y jelly to every tightass writer who can’t loosen up, but I disagree that this is a reason for increased speed. What’s wrong with slow?

Conversations don’t have to be fast, and besides: fast is always a competition, and when you start getting into competitiveness, you lose me. I can’t compete with you, or at least I don’t want to. Conversations, David says, are the lifeblood of weblogging, but the way “conversation” starts getting defined here turns that art into a competition. The conversation becomes a question of having conversations in comments, of having conversations with other webloggers, especially by linking to them profusely, and the goal is to have different perspectives in conversation with one another. That’s fine as far as it goes, but I feel that the problem is that you’re starting to define conversation as a fast-paced essentially inward-closing circle.

David says that “the heft and value of objectivity now can be had through multiple subjectivity,” and that “the world of meaning is shot through with humanness.” That sounds wonderful, but do those multiple subjectivities have to arrive at the speed of light? For all my virtual “presence,” I’m still a real body in space, and I don’t want to be that fast. David notes that the “infusion of human meaning” is happening in “spheres that were previously considered apart from or impervious to that infusion,” and that it’s happening in a space (the web) that’s “incredibly messy, disorganised,” etc. Yet the emphasis is on linking to specific threads in that sloppy messy pile of spaghetti: those threads are the conversations that matter (and what matters is what will organise those messes), and the point is to suck those conversations up as quickly as possible. (David uses autumn leaf piles as his metaphor, “rolling in the leaves,” but we’ve got mostly evergreens here, so I’ll stick to spaghetti…) Sucking it up as fast as possible is an order I can’t follow.

It just sounds too much like imposing a fast, competitive, wolfish perspective on something that doesn’t have to be that way, but that probably will be that way if business-as-usual has anything to do with it. This is how BBN’s Blogging Incredibility and Journalism video concludes (and again, I’m paraphrasing): Corporate culture kills, even though today it dresses itself up to look “cool” with that spiffy corporate shine on everything. Simulating our low production values, it’s figuring out the Cluetrain in its endeavour to hijack the coming counter-culture. We don’t have much time until David Weinberger gets to them to help them realise what’s coming. Right now they [the corporatists] are lone wolves gathering audiences, they’re under the radar…

Isn’t it the case that the key attribute of any predatory approach is that it has to keep up to speed? Fast matters, so perhaps I’m wrong and David is right, even if I think it’s depressing that “real” blogs only happen at virtual warp speed. I hear that death is famous for being fast, too…

The social studies curriculum issue

January 30, 2005 at 9:30 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Never write something straight online, always write in some document first, then copy & paste. I just lost a long comment-response that I wrote to my previous entry, Coincidentally, and now I can’t seem to post to comments at all….

So, here goes again, my entry for this day (Jan.30) being what should have been a comment (on Jan.27), now however in the guise of an entry: from the discussion that ensued on Coincidentally (required reading if this is to make sense), I feel that I need to email the nice gents at my kids’ school (SIDES), the ones responsible for curricula, because this problem is really bugging me. The course offerings I described in that last entry were developed by (**) The Open School, [which] bills itself as “British Columbia’s foremost provider of high quality educational materials, Kindergarten to Grade 12. We provide professionally designed, teacher-tested courses and resources to help put students in just the right learning situation.” Yet their self-contained social studies modules don’t cover the Shoah, until — I searched their site for “holocaust” — this grade 12 course. In that course, Module 2 (typically, each course has 3 to 4 modules) deals with “War in Mid-Century,” and the Nuremberg Trials as well as The Holocaust are appended at the very end of the module. The Holocaust page (above) is a page of links put together by the Open School, and it’s quite good — yet most of the links go to American websites, however, which makes me wonder why there isn’t anything by Canadians, especially given Canada’s wretched history of turning away Jewish refugees and the general climate of anti-Semitism in mid-century Canada. I’m reminded, for example, of Rosalie Silberman Abella, born in Stuttgart in a Displaced Persons refugee camp in 1946, the daughter of Shoah survivors, who was recently appointed a supreme court justice. Her parents managed to emigrate to Canada, but the father, although a lawyer himself, was not permitted to practice law in Canada. He was instead admitted to Canada in 1950 as a men’s underwear cutter.

The Open School’s Holocaust Theme Page links to sites with lesson plans for teachers in grades 5 through 12, so there’s clearly a model for introducing this material at various stages (and actually, the Anne Frank page has lesson plans for gr.3 and up). But it really must be up to the individual teacher’s discretion, since it’s not integrated into the Open School’s curricula until grade 12! That’s just not good enough.

And incidentally, searching the Open School’s site for “Inquisition” brought no results at all…

Oh gosh, those boys at SIDES are going to be so happy to get another series of long haranguing emails from me… (Dear readers, you wouldn’t believe what I put them through with regard to the crappy English 10 they were daring to offer — it’s being reworked from scratch as I type! I believe that course, too, was an Open School offering (**), but while the Socials curriculum isn’t bad — it’s just flawed by incompletion — the Eng.10 curriculum was an exercise in dumbing down.) Since the school is building a virtual high school from scratch, it’s moving away from some of the Open School offerings and developing its own materials (which appear to be, judging by the first unit of English 10 they finally coughed up, far, far superior). Well, this social studies issue is going to be another hot-spot they’ll need to look at. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled…

It’s things like this that keep me from writing about the Thursday seminar at PaCTaC. Patience, we’ll get there. It’s just hard to keep believing it, sometimes.

(**) Ok, correction: I’m not sure that Open School developed the particular courses I’m referring to. They may have, but it’s such a bureaucratic tangle of Ministries and this’s and that’s, I’m finding it impossible to say with certainty. Doesn’t matter, though, insofar as Open School’s curriculum doesn’t touch the Shoah until gr.12, and that, as should be obvious, isn’t good enough.


January 27, 2005 at 11:07 pm | In yulelogStories | 6 Comments

A brief memo. Today (hence the title, Coincidentally) I realised that my kids (aged 10 and 13) have, since we moved here in 2002, completed the BC Social Studies curriculum for grades 7 and 8, and that the younger one has only 3 more papers to finish before she is done with grade 9, while the older one has 5 more papers to finish (all dealing with the economy of the Pacific Rim) before he is finished with grade 10, and not once in that span of 4 grades was the Holocaust Shoah even mentioned, much less discussed, described, analysed.

Shame on the official BC Social Studies curriculum. [see note, below]

My children know quite a bit about the Holocaust Shoah — factually, philosophically, epistemologically — because of who their parents are: we make sure they know. But god only knows what the average junior or senior high schooler, with a “history consciousness” mediated by popular culture, knows about epochal events like this.

Perhaps it’s a knowledge informed by a pastiche of moral condemnation (“a bad thing happened” + “those Nazis sure were extreme dudes, man”) coupled with a quantitative “understanding” of what happened (“the Nazis murdered x-nr. of people”). What’s missing in that combination of shallow pseudo-moral comprehension and quantitative emphasis is this: that the Holocaust Shoah is qualitatively unique, and that it represents an insoluble puzzle — a caesura in Western culture — which cannot be “communicated” by yet another piece of curriculum designed for easy swallowing. Does the BC curriculum avoid it for that reason? Who knows, but I doubt it. It’s probably more likely that the subject is avoided because it’s impossible to package, and that it’s therefore left to the discretion of individual teachers to bring it into the classroom. That’s not good enough, really.

There’s a lot of emphasis in secondary school on getting enough credits to graduate, but you cannot “get credit” for the Holocaust Shoah. This isn’t something you can substitute for something else in some module study. And there really are things in education that are worth being puzzles which can’t be solved. If you’re never confronted by them, you can graduate, but you’re not educated. There is something wrong with “education” that presents everything as yet another hoop, as yet another challenge, as yet another thing to substitute for something else so you can get the necessary credit for it …so you can move on to the next big thing. Real education should include giving learners puzzles that have no answer, least of all a quantitative answer.

Six million? Five? Twenty? No. That’s not the answer; the question (“Why? How?”) can’t be answered by a number.


A small update, Jan.28: It’s probably a misrepresentation to speak of an “official BC curriculum,” although the curricula I refer to are approved BC Ministry of Education materials, and they are what distance learners at BC’s 9 public distance education schools are offered by way of history. It’s terrible stuff, and it reflects a larger issue of poor curricula on offer in schools, both distance/virtual and regular brick-and-mortar. Unless there’s a dedicated teacher in place who chooses to alter the provided materials and chooses to include an event as significant as the Shoah, the students will not cover this history during their “education.” In my opinion, they therefore have not been educated. Re. my striking out of the word holocaust, above, replacing it with the word Shoah, I’m prompted by an excellent article in OpenDemocracy, Words we live by: choice versus complicity, by Zsuzsanna Ardó. Among other things, she is a translator — all you “wordcentrics” should really read this article — and she pithily articulates the significance of the Shoah, thus:

…the etymology of the word “holocaust” reveals that its original meaning is “sacrifice consumed by fire”. It connotes a burnt offering or sacrificial killing in the service of a “higher” (spiritual, noble, or divine) purpose – even a form of redemption by proxy to achieve something benevolent for humanity.

The problem is that the events of the 1940s constituted the systematic, indeed industrialised, annihilation of fellow-humans. Now what exactly does that have to do with humanity?

“It’s just etymology; it’s just a word; it’s just common usage”, you might say. Well, exactly – that’s why it’s so important. We live also by words; they give unique insight into our attitudes, they contain subtexts and subliminal messages that can either aid or detract from understanding. The use of particular words, the easy resort to familiar (even if inaccurate) translations, can superimpose meaning on events and thus help to define and control much of our reality.

In the case of “holocaust”, the connotation of sacrifice or offering in relation to some divine meaning or purpose should disqualify the word from usage in relation to the Nazis’ atrocities. For their crime against humanity – even in the light of Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, or Saddam Hussein – is the ultimate weeping wound of the 20th century. After it, humanity’s self-image will never be the same again. [More…]


Thanks for your comments, Melanie, Kate, Maria — I will respond (this post & the previous one, re. William Leiss’s seminars at PaCTaC), just give me a day or so to catch up on everything else around here!

Further note: I posted a related entry about curriculum issues on January 30/05.

Life in the Fast Lane — or, Protein’s Progress

January 26, 2005 at 11:37 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

Unless you’re a psychopath, William Leiss is not exactly the kind of thinker who will put a spring in your step, a smile on your face, or a glowing good feeling in your midsection. He will instead make you hunch your shoulders, lurch to the nearest bar, and order a stiffener. Preferably genetically unmodified.

That’s what I wanted to do after participating in his seminar at PaCTaC yesterday afternoon. Problem was, I had to go home and attend to business, and wouldn’t you know we had run out of wine. Now, that was depressing. It took me the better part of today to get over….

“Life in the Fast Lane”, now available as Ch.12 of the new edition of Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk, lays out a future that’s hurtling toward us at breakneck speed. In truth, it’s a future incarnation of a reality that’s been with us since the Enlightenment project of “nature domination” began. The new twist is that we are now facing a technological extension of that idea — the assumption that nature is ours to do with as we will, without regard for other biologically-based beings — which promises to catapult us into a warpspeeed version of that project, one that will make nuanced discussion of post- vs. pre- vs. any-modernity look like a recitation of nursery rhyme.

Leiss’s argument is that the core project of molecular biology will be achieved within the very-near foreseeable future. It will entail that we will figure out how to do to organisms at the genetic level what we will, without the constraints known to previous generations of genetic tinkerers, breeders, and cultivators; that we will manufacture a genetic platform that will allow us to create new species de novo, from scatch, so to speak; and that we will start messing around with adding an additional human chromosome to the standard number — I suppose it’s to serve as a portal for the introduction of genetic variation/ alteration/ enhancement, …whatever. Furthermore, we will apply this technology of genetic engineering not only to bodily functions, but also to mental functions: it’s not just a question of “fixing” disease, it will also be a question of “enhancing” mental function or frame of mind, since everything that we think and conceive in our heads seems to have a biochemical and electromagnetic basis in physical reality (brain tissue). This represents a major developmental shift in how we conceive our humanity, and it behooves us to think about these scenarios now, as though they were already a done deal — because they will get done much faster than anyone anticipates, and we need to leap ahead in our thinking, to bring these issues and possibilities into discursive space now, so that we can reason out how to deal with them within rational or value-based thinking.

Tomorrow, the seminar continues with a discussion of religion and science.

Here’s part of the description of tomorrow’s seminar:

…we will turn to the confrontation of science and religion that is represented in (a) the science of DNA (and mitochondrial DNA) and (b) the findings of evolutionary biology with respect to the rate of genetic divergence over time. (The latter allows us to estimate, for example, that humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor about 5-6 million years ago.) The science of DNA ultimately will give a purely naturalistic account of human origins, and of all human traits (including self-consciousness), which is complete and self-contained, requiring no other form of explanation.

(Laplace to Napoleon, when questioned on the existence of God: “Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis.” The presentation will offer an account of the experiment, now being carried out in Montreal, in which a neuroscientist is attempting to pinpoint the physical location of the experience of God in the human brain, using CAT and fMRI scans of a group of elderly nuns.)

The immense establishment of modern science today, with tens of billions of dollars expended annually for basic research, applied research, and commercialization, occurs in a world in which – suddenly, it seems – the traditional religions are increasingly “relevant” in social and political terms. This peculiar development appears most strikingly in the United States, which is the vital center of that scientific establishment – and at the same time, a nation whose political discourse is shaped more and more by appeals to religious belief. (Opinion polls report that 70% of Americans not only believe in a “personal God” but also in the literal truth of the Bible, including the vision of Apocalypse in the Book of Revelations, and reject the idea of natural evolution.)

Some questions for discussion that arise in this context are:

1. Can an agnostic science and a militant religiosity co-exist peacefully over time?
2. Or, is it inevitable that religion will (once again) see in modern secular science its mortal enemy and take the necessary steps?
3. In particular, what is the potential range of consequences for the relation of science and religion, as the full potential of genetic enhancement, especially of mental functions, is recognized?

More later, after the seminar. Just remember that you can go to PaCTaC‘s website and check the video archive, where you can watch & listen to William Leiss’s presentation from February 2004. This current seminar will also be available in the archives eventually, and tomorrow’s event will be streamed live on the PaCTaC / CTheory website at 4pm PST, January 27.

I’m not convinced that fundamentalist religion really has to be a wedge between science and “faith.” For one thing, Margaret Wertheim has shown, in Pythagoras’ Trousers, that the scientific avant-garde has typically had a close symbiotic relationship with religion, and that today’s physicists, searching for a Theory of Everything and looking for god in the logic of string theory, are utterly in line with a tradition reaching back hundreds of years. But I’m also unconvinced because I think that our modern fundamentalist Christian variant of faith shares a dark secret with the modernist project: a striving for “perfection” is inherent in both. In their worst moments, they share a deep contempt of the weak and the cast-out, they are at core only interested in “the chosen,” regardless of how that special status comes about, and they detest at heart Jesus’ message to suffer the little children or that it’s the meek who will inherit the earth. They know that’s hooey.

But is it really? And remember, you heard it here first, from an atheist.

Bully for Britain, and a Big Brother, too

January 24, 2005 at 8:21 pm | In yulelogStories | 4 Comments

I wrote this over a week ago, but didn’t post it because it deals with a family member. But now I’m so besotted by MarsEdit (which is solving my weird posting problems), that I have to try posting something with lots of links and a picture — just to see MarsEdit perform. Here goes:

What is it with the British and their obsession with Big Brother? Incredible, but true: Germaine Greer was on Big Brother. I don’t understand how this could happen. Apparently, one of the major reasons she walked out of the house after only a few (5) days was because it was too filthy to bear.

One of my nieces went on Big Brother (series 2, prior to the “celebrity” series now apparently in the making), which I found pretty weird at the time. I was amused — and appalled — by the scandalettes (amplified in the British press) that swirled around Penny. Then, in 2001, shortly after she was voted out the house, I met some Brits at a Massachusetts party who went all ga-ga on learning that I’m Penny’s aunt, and I thought, “This is soooo weird! People like this…” Now, maybe Penny’s a bit eccentric, and then again she was trying to find a bridge from teaching English to getting into acting, and it seems that tabloidissimos grease the publicity wheel. (Even now, the Big Brother experience still provides a publicity hook.)

But whatever compelled Germaine Greer to subject herself to this exercise in sado-masochism exceeds the scope of my …interest. Can’t figure that one out. It’s funny, though: Penny was considered a nutter because she constantly cleaned the Big Brother house. After reading Greer‘s account, however, I’d have to say the choice was either to clean or to leave. And then there’s this: the house is also bully hell:

“Because I am a teacher, I deal with bullying in schools. I would quite like to have a look at the epidemiology of bullying to see if the rise of Big Brother and the rise of bullying have anything to do with each other.” [From here]

So there you go: we’re all canaries in the mine these days, those on the tube and those watching. It’s an experiment in social modification: Big Brother is watching you.

Testing nr. 4a

January 24, 2005 at 8:02 pm | In yulelogStories | 1 Comment

Ok final test — now trying the same thing (as per the last couple of posts), but using MarsEdit instead. It could be that the posting window in my preferred browser (Firefox) doesn’t like something about bits of invisible mystery code in TextEdit…, so let’s try this cool new MarsEdit thing:

Further testing: I’m going to post the following simple test entry, which I wrote using TextEdit, first using Internet Explorer, and then again — same text, copied and pasted — using Firefox. I expect it will illustrate the problem I’m having with HTML. Note that the problem started when the Firefox browser began displaying HTML and/or CSS options in the posting window, but irrespective of what I check or uncheck, the code gets messed up. Here’s the text:

I am so glad that I get to go to PaCTaC tomorrow and Thursday for a seminar with Bill Leiss. Should be interesting.

Looks like this’ll work…!

And I can do different typefont things!


Testing nr. 3

January 24, 2005 at 7:06 pm | In yulelogStories | 1 Comment

Further testing: I’m going to post the following simple test entry,
which I wrote using

I am

Testing nr. 2

January 24, 2005 at 7:03 pm | In yulelogStories | 1 Comment

Further testing: I’m going to post the following simple test entry, which I wrote using TextEdit, first using Internet Explorer, and then again — same text, copied and pasted — using Firefox. I expect it will illustrate the problem I’m having with HTML. Note that the problem started when the Firefox browser began displaying HTML and/or CSS options in the posting window, but irrespective of what I check or uncheck, the code gets messed up. Here’s the text:

I am so glad that I get to go to PaCTaC tomorrow and Thursday for a seminar with Bill Leiss. Should be interesting.

Testing, testing

January 23, 2005 at 5:34 pm | In yulelogStories | 5 Comments

I want to post a Flickr link in my sidebar (mostly because I’m thinking of upgrading to Pro so I can start to post lots and lots of pictures there), but when I try to do so, the html code gets messed up. The pointy brackets at the beginning of the script get turned into ampersand, l, t, and semi-colon. This also happens when I try to copy and paste what I write (in TextEdit) using the Firefox or Opera or Safari browser. Weirdly, I can only post something using an ancient version of Internet Explorer. When I tried, just now, to add the Flickr link code to the ‘About’ sidebar, however, even IE wouldn’t do it. Hence, a test to see whether the code will work in a regular post:

Nope, doesn’t work. You cannot see the lovely Flickr link, can you? You see a pointy bracket at the beginning of the code, but what I see in the posting window is this:

& l t ; script type=”text/javascript”> (albeit without the spaces inbetween the ampersand, the l, the t, and the semi-colon: I had to put those in, otherwise it shows up as a pointy bracket — without making the desired link, though.

The closing pointy bracket stayed ok, but the opening pointy bracket got changed (why??) to & l t ; . If I type that sequence without spaces, it will show up as a pointy bracket [______________________________________________
Re. the long lag in posting anything here: been sick. Really really sick, something to share with the rest of the family, too. Better now; they, too. Spent much time reading, as well as writing annoying letters to the BC Minister of Agriculture; the local paper (in their online “sound off section” — actually, that was a short note); a biographical paragraph for an upcoming election (that was interesting: I learned something about myself); and several seemingly endless harangues to various educational personages concerning technology usage.

My first sculpture model in decades sits unfinished in another room. My camera wants me to take it places, to document our supposed booming growth in the Capitol Regional District — as well as a stunning (finally) piece of setting sun (sun, we actually saw the sun today!) over the Juan de Fuca Strait, with the Olympic Mountain range in the background, and my head is full of readings on biogenetics and biomimicry (William Leiss’s & Michael Tyshenko’s “Life in the Fast Lane: An Introduction to Genomics Risks” and Janine Benyus’s book, Biomimicry), but let’s not forget what’s really important in a life like this: getting the laundry done. That’s my life: between the sheets, or washing ’em. Sigh.

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