Daily Archives: August 9, 2010

We Are Contradictions

I received this in an email I received some time ago from Dan Galvin’s “Thought for the Day” (TFTD; TFTD@TAMU.EDU:

I have been uplinked and downloaded. I’ve been inputted and outsourced. I know the upside of downsizing; I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech lowlife. A cutting-edge, state-of-the art, bicoastal multitasker, and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.

This bit of observation was created by the late George Carlin.  I could not verify TFTD’s original source; however, here is a citation from Wikipedia.  You can view the full richness of the late Mr. Carlin’s complex weaving of words in his 3-minute “Modern Man” segment.

Mr. Carlin’s performance is the comedic counterpart to a portion of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” which reads:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

In today’s complex times it is helpful to recognize that everyone is just as complex as we are and just as complex as the times are.  We should be gentle with each other and celebrate – not rail against — our counterpart’s complexity.

Going Back in Time

While cleaning out some papers recently, I ran across the “Program, Proceedings, and Attendee List” for the 4th International World Wide Web Conference.  (The fact that I’ve held on to this since 1995 is not the point….although I may address this in a future blog.)

As I flipped through the program, I was struck by the state of Internet technology 14 years ago.  See if you remember any of these (extra points if you a actually used them):

  • Mosaic CCI
  • Netscape
  • Lycos

The list is short, which highlights the beauty and wonder of the Internet: It is timeless.  The tools may have changed; but, for the most part, we were talking about the same issues in 1995 that we are today:

  • Security
  • Collaboration
  • Micropayments
  • Accessibility

Yeah, the version of HTML has changed.  Collaboration has morphed into “Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0.” And who uses Netscape anymore?  And security is still a hot topic.  But the Internet itself is largely the same.

I hope that 15 years from now I’ll still have the same sense of wonder about the tool that helps us to do so much.

Guiding Principle

I saw a quote I saw on 7/16/10:

Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it. — Jesse Stuart

I want this to be the guiding principle for this blog.  I’ve planned for Patchwork Jumble to be eclectic; but that decision presents something of a two-edged sword, in the blogosphere at least.

One the one hand, deciding to keep the content eclectic gives me the  freedom to write on just about any topic I choose and not be hemmed in by the purported “domain” of my blog (or an audience I might seek).

On the other hand, simply because of the varied nature of subjects in Patchwork Jumble, I may not be able to parlay my interests into professional respect, a job, or other outward “success.”

But I don’t mind.

So, I begin this endeavor with great excitement, but also with some trepidation.  It is, after all, a blog; and a blog (MY BLOG) can be about almost anything the author wishes.  (Wow. “My blog.” I do like the sound of that.)

So, I hope you will come along with me on this journey.  I can’t promise to publish daily, although at some point I hope to. At any rate, I do hope I make your visits to the Patchwork Jumble worthwhile.

I hope to add some engaging features to this blog; but I pledge not to make it an “eye chart.” (If I do, I’ll count on  you to let me know.)  I’ll probably change the header image, so don’t get too attached to that green, dew-laden branch.

Let’s go!