Tag Archives: asbury-college

Back to school

Tomorrow, after being out of school for 14 years, I’m going back to school. Sort of.

I’m going to be taking ENG 352, Creative Writing – Poetry, at my employer. This is one of the benefits of working at a college which I’ve never yet taken advantage of. I keep meaning to, and then getting busy and forgetting.

I’ve often thought that, if I had it to do again, I’d be an English major. So this is, in a small way, my way of doing that. I’m really quite excited about it, although it’s also a little scary, going back to school after so long.

Collegian

It looks like the Collegian now has someone on staff who believes in updating the website. This is goodness and light. I only wish they’d post all the articles, rather than just 2 or 3 of them. I’d especially like to see the letters to the editor online, with the possibility to have online discussion about them. It’s also good to see discussion from the intranet site make it back into the newspaper conversation. It’ll be interesting to see if, and how much, the two conversations feed one another.

Site rollout

After much pain and suffering, and much hard design work by Chris, and much coding by both of us, we rolled out new site today. I really like how it looks. And, even more importantly (at least, from my side of the shop), it completely retires any role played by Windows/IIS in our website. Up until now, it has been Apache proxying a bunch of stuff through to IIS, which worked, but was icky.

Now, with IIS out of the picture, and the need for dozens of icky rewrite rules out of the way, we can do some seriously cool stuff in the coming months. I’m really looking forward to it.

Easy to exit?

A lot of interesting ideas were brought up in the closing keynote at the CCCU conference, which was given by Wes Baker, from Cedarville.

One of the ideas that he discussed was the notion of self-selection of content, and how this affects our opinions, ideas, etc.

Technologies are encouraging group polarization, because it’s so easy to disconnect from people that you disagree with and reconnect with people who think exactly like you do. That is, because we self-select what information we are exposed to, it is very easy to ensure that we are never exposed to information that we don’t like.

Online communities, as Wes put it, are very easy to exit. This is certainly true – you simply stop going to that forum, IRC channel, whatever, and those people, many of whom only know you by a handle, have no way to contact you.

However, this probably assumes that online communites are necessarily less binding (emotionally, socially, etc) than f2f communities. I think that, for the most part, for most people, that’s probably true. However, I have some folks that I consider good friends, who I met online, and with whom I carry out the majority of our relationship online. Most of them, I have eventually met in person, but not all of them. And in that regard, I’m quite the exception, simply because I travel so much.

Wes also brought up the cellphone issue that we’ve been talking about since college. When we were in college, we had the pay phone on the hall, and everybody knew what was going on in everybody else’s life, based on who’s calling them, and what they yelled on the phone. These days, not only does everybody have a cell phone, but the fire warden decided that all the room doors must be closed at all times, so nobody is connecting to each others’ lives via simple osmosis. It’s now harder work to make these connections. Are they doing that hard work? Yeah, probably. I wouldn’t know. I’m not in the dorm anymore.

Whenever the “older generation” attempts to understand the “younger generation”, they are forced to make generalizations. These generalizations, while they tend to be false in the case of many/most individuals, are nevertheless very useful to analyze the group as a whole. I don’t feel that most of the generalizations about “generation X” apply to me, but I see that they are fairly useful when dealing with us as a whole. It’s going to be interesting to see how these analyses play out in the long run. It’ll also be interesting to see what the generation after the next gets called, if folks can’t come up with anything smarter than “generation Y” and “generation Z” to call the next two.

CCCU Tech Conference

On Tuesday, we’ll be heading to the CCCU Tech Conference, where I and my colleagues from Asbury College are giving 1/3 of the talks. I’ll be giving a talk on Podcasting, one on how to evaluate Open Source projects/products, and one on Wikis.

I’m particularly looking forward to the one on evaluating Open Source projects. I’m curious to know what I’ll say. šŸ˜‰

Dead, to begin with

<Coworker> Who are you?
<Me>Ask me rather who I was.
<Coworker> Ok, who were you then?.
<Me> In life, I was your partner, Jacob Marley!

Yes, today is the department Christmas party, and I have dressed up as Jacob Marley. Chains and all.

Photos to follow.

Lightning talk

I just gave my “Why I Hate Apache” lightning talk again. But I’m not going to post the presentation on my website, because the last time I did that, it got slashdotted, and the idiots on slashdot got fixated on my file choice (pdf) my application choice (actually, it was keynote, not powerpoint) and the font I used (actually, it wasn’t Comic Sans, just another font that kinda looks the same).

But it was well received again, and had some updates that made it almost as fun as the first time. šŸ™‚