Monday, July 21, 2008

A Web Fave...the Edge

It's not news...but the Edge is the greatest little zine out there. I love it:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Being a scientist

What would be the minimum standards for one to legitimately claim one is a "scientist."

It once had to do with method. Now it seems to have more to do with epistemology.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The US economy has been headed south for some time. I've tweeted about it and talked informally with friends on the topic for well over a year. I'm an armchair economist and I read the blogs--RGE Monitor and stuff. I used to run an investment firm but I was more about computers than money.

Regardless, everyone can have an opinion, and my opinion of the economy scares even me. I'm concerned that the US housing market is in the midst of perfect storm of demographics (baby boomers selling), loose credit, and idiotic government. That may coincide with peak oil and peak credit.

Only those places that missed out on the boom of the early 2000s are going fine--Texas notably. The rest of the US is very ill...Florida and California are deathly so.

My own view is that this "recession" will last at least a decade. It may last until the baby-boomers are no longer a meaningful economic force. I wish there was more discussion at the intersection of demographics and economics--few scholars bridge those domains. Those that do span these topics are pretty pessimistic about not only the US but Europe too. Tough times.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some things I'd Like to Do with the Rest of My Life

Those who know me would say I tend to over-focus on the future. Perhaps it's true. I also tend to be overly transparent at a personal level--i.e. I tell people more than they want to know. Perhaps this note smacks of both ills.

I like my job as Director of the Civil Service College of the Cayman Islands, but I have already expressed my thoughts to the government that this position should be filled by a Caymanian. I would like to help train such a person and get them on the road to either a PhD in e-learning or one in leadership development. Both paths could be equally valuable. So, if my health is OK and the health of those closest to me is OK, I need to begin thinking about what comes after that training process. I figure that is 3 1/2 years away from today, perhaps a bit less. That coincides well with life planning for my children, and it gives my wife Kate time to think through what she's doing now.

So, the question is begged...what then?

Here's a cut at my own thoughts:

1. I'm thinking it is time to go west. I'd like to try California--perhaps somewhere around Sacramento or Fresno...perhaps a small town.
2. I'd like to be closer to students. I'm playing around with a post-PhD masters in Teaching History from the University of London. Maybe I'd teach at a high school level.
3. I'd like to have a Make Magazine type lab in a shed. That'd be fun.
4. I'd like to build/maintain a green (environmentally conscious) house and a xero-scaped yard.
5. I'd like to experiment with geography/KML/google-map type stuff and the teaching of history.
6. I'd like to write some fiction.
7. I'd like to see lots of natural places with my fact, I'd like to spend as much time as possible with my family. After spending six months apart and now being back together, I have to say I missed the laughs--a lot.
8. I want to sort out some ideas in Experimental Philosophy and Learning Science theory I've been playing with.
9. I'd like to build an open source project of some meaning and wide usage.
10. I'd like to help a small place thrive by building civil society somehow...perhaps by mentoring managers or volunteering in some meaningful nonprofit venture.

That's about it except for the personal bits. Just a thought.