Archive for November 2008

Monkeys on Ice

November 26, 2008

Something to warm your heart this holiday season.

Put on a fresh pot of hot water for tea and cocoa.
Gather the kids, aunt helen and uncle gene around the computer…
and watch the grace and strength of monkey’s on ice. Happy Thanksgiving.


Will tangible media be extinct?

November 19, 2008


I sometimes read Steve Rubel’s blog Micro Persuasion. In a recent post Steve contended that, “by January 2014 I will wager that in the US almost all forms of tangible media will either be in sharp decline or completely extinct. I am not just talking about print, but all tangible forms of media – newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs, boxed software and video games.”

He followed up his bold claim with several links to media companies efforts to move away from tangible media. While I would not be so bold to put a date on it, I tend to agree that tangible media forms will be greatly reduced in the next decade, for good reason.

He describes in an earlier post ways to go “media green” and help the environment by moving away from paper forms to digital forms of media. I like the way Steve is thinking, but apparently many people disagree… most people who have taken the online poll on his blog have voted, “you’re crazy”!!

What do you think?

It’s a Mad World

November 17, 2008


“It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger,” the U2 lead singer told Clinton’s fourth annual philanthropic summit in New York. “That’s mad, that is mad.”

From Reuters article, “Crisis no excuse to ignore poverty“, Wed. Sept. 24, 2008

To help make a difference go to:

Are Gadgets Making Us Awkward?

November 10, 2008


I like text messaging and email. It is quick… and it makes me feel like I am in control. I can conserve my relational and emotional energy – something very important for an introvert. But are those tools making me more shy and less willing to initiate more personal forms of communication?

I stumbled upon an article from last year entitled, “Gadgets blamed for making the world a shier place” from The Raw Feed, a technology and culture blog. Here is the post:

Psychologist, Harvard Business School researcher and etiquette columnist Robin Abrahams said in a recent interview that cell phones, iPods and PCs are casing a worldwide epidemic of shyness. She said nearly 50% of people say they’re shy in social situations, up from about 40% “in the past.”

“People shop online, they listen to their iPods rather than the radio — and they e-mail or text each other rather than talk. What we have is an increasingly complex social environment, combined with less practice at dealing with it because of technology.”

I can picture you rolling your eyes right now… thinking, “Please… we communicate more now! I am tired of people trying to find something or someone to blame for everything. Now we are blaming our cell phones!!”

I hear you, I hear you. I agree. But I am curious about this idea…. I have worked with teens for more than fifteen years now, and without question technology has radically changed the way they communicate over the last decade.

It does seem to me that more and more teens seem to be unfamiliar and restless with face-to-face and voice-to-voice communication. Obviously my work with teens predates our compulsive cell-phone-as-an-appendage, texting-more-than-blinking era. And I know that talking with most teens is awkward because THEY are awkward… uncomfortable and unsettled with who they are. Insecure. (Come to think of it, so am I…) Yes… developing social skills is part of their development.

Is our obsession with technology impeding social development? I am sure it is helping in some ways, and hurting in others. I wonder, as one who mentors and works with teens, will I need to focus more and more on helping them learn how to interact with each other in-person? …to learn how to be “a community”?  What do you think?


November 5, 2008