knowledge is free – bring your own container

One World – One Web, originally uploaded by psd.

I love this poster. There is a high-res PDF version available if you click through, and I recommend it. Lots of wisdom here.

It particularly resonates with me as it pertains to knowledge.

Kids, remember back when….

– you were sitting on the couch, and suddenly had a hankering to know who won the World Series back in Eleventy-Twelve and who was that left-handed hitter anyway?

Barring any in-house encyclopedia, you have to wait til the library opens and search the stacks or get the reference librarian to look it up for you.

-Remember when the vast majority of the planet was far away and shrouded in mystery, and only the most intrepid of explorers braved the wilds and brought us back stories, then pictures of exotic locales.

-Remember when access to historic artifacts was limited to a chosen few in a dusty back room?

If you are “of a certain age”, you know what I’m talking about, and we are probably the last generation that will.

If you aren’t, you have no freaking CLUE what I’m talking about because you are a Child of t’Internets and you are free to know and grow. (cue hippy music).

The internet, if you are lucky enough to have access to it and a way to view it, provides 24/7 access to an unfathomable amount of knowledge, anytime, anywhere.

You can learn to write Chinese (or 224 characters of it, anyway, all of which I’ve promptly forgotten.)

You can spend an entire evening giddily skipping around the 1830s … from The First Opium War to several revolutions, not all of them in France, surprisingly. Who knew there was a Texas Revolution? Or a Belgian one?

You can learn about the relative merits of the mantle, the pardessus, and the paletot.

You can see how the polar ice caps are faring and the sun is flaring.

You can read all the classics of literature, in several languages.

You can view great works of art and learn about the artists.

Better yet, t’internets has led to the democratization of knowledge …. one person, one voice. Or rather, many more voices, many more people contributing to our collective knowledge.

Need the original schematic/wiring diagram for a 1940s desk phone? It’s out there.

Need to know why your bilateral destabilizer keeps shutting down? Someone else has probably experienced it and shared on a forum.

And here’s where I start getting all hippy-dippy, waving daisies, love and sunshine, because to me, this is just the coolest thing EVER.


You can’t put this genie back in the bottle.

Knowledge is no longer in the hands of a privileged few to be doled out to the worthy. Knowledge is being openly shared and recorded, so that others may benefit.

Maybe access to the internet, to that vast treasure trove of knowledge, SHOULD be a basic human right.

Maybe THIS is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius? πŸ™‚

Related reading:

The History and Philosophy of Project Guttenberg by Michael Hart


I am hedgehog, hear me roar

Hedgehog, originally uploaded by Kr. B..

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been around lately. And I’ve only just now come to a basic understanding of myself that I have heretofore been oblivious to, and which I now feel obligated to share with you. Feel free to click away now.

When hurt, grieved, anxious, whatever, …. I start curling up. And it’s not like I’m the life of the party at the best of times.

If I curl up in a small enough ball, and stay very very still and quiet for long enough, this too will pass.

What is “this”?

“This” is that tiny, hard, tight little knot of pain/panic deep in my solar plexus.

I take deep breaths.
Sometimes, it helps.
Sometimes, it doesn’t.

Rote chores of my favorite kind (puttering) and housecleaning are useful activities – physical exertion to busy the body to match the mental and emotional gymnastics meet going on in my head.

In the past days/weeks since my brother’s death, I have washed and polished every floor in the house. I have painted several rooms … some more than once.

What I have trouble doing, even now:

– concentrated, prolonged thought
– complex tasks
– talking to people

I’m starting to poke my nose out now. Sniffing the air. I feel brave enough to take a few tentative steps back into (online) society.

Although I’ve not been able yet to truly articulate it, I really REALLY appreciate the support, love, and care from you all.

I truly am blessed with the greatest family, friends, and life, and I’m looking forward to sharing more drivel with you here soon.

Next installment:

Introspective Realization #2: Running Away

notes from a move

Stacked boxes, originally uploaded by Allerina & Glen MacLarty.

It’s almost moving day! It’s final days of packing up the Lexington office for the move to the new and very shiny IBM Mass Lab in Littleton, and it’s given me pause to reflect…

Random thoughts on a move below:

  • I realize that my work has become very portable over the years. No need for papers and notebooks, or lots of equipment. A laptop is all I really need.
  • Where did all these office keys come from? And why isn’t my laptop locking cable key amongst them?
  • Books – love ’em or leave ’em?
  • The strangest thing I found in my cubicle while cleaning it out:
    a bobble-head turtle
    hello kitty valentines

Things I’m Bringing With:

  • Collective Wisdom: Transforming Support with Knowledge, my bible.
  • Agile Planning Poker cards
  • my Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument results – screaming red and yellow, baby. I’m an “expressive and imaginative visual conceptualizer and synthesizer”, whatever THAT means. I’m pretty sure it means β€œdon’t confuse me with facts and figures or expect me to figure out the tip”.
  • my Tums and ibuprofen – the bare necessities
  • Yes, I’m bringing the rubber chicken and velvet Elvis. Keep your paws off.
  • Oh, so THAT’s where my USB lava lamp went!
  • the contents of the Cheezy Prize drawer
  • my carefully curated stash of power strips. They’re as good as money. :-).

NOT bringing with me:

  • Organizational Change and Development textbook, circa 1990. In keeping with my HBDI, I’ve replaced it with Who Moved My Cheese?
  • textbooks and class materials from two jobs ago. Will I ever need to reference Software Quality Predictive Indicators? Or Leadership in a Project Team Environment?
  • my new hire folder from Rational, pre-acquisition
  • any of the various discarded computer parts littering the bottom drawer of my file cabinet
  • Basic Blue training for Managers, circa 2003
  • my business cards – NONE of the information on them is correct anymore. I guess I should order new ones.
  • The 800 issues of KM World stacked up in my mailbox in the mailroom. I really should check my mail more often.

I’m undecided about my still-shrink-wrapped copy of Rational Rose 98 and Rose 98i, the first releases of Rational products that I ever worked on.

Rose rocked.