Luda got something to say!

Weird dream last night. In the dream, I was working at a liberal (progressive? Lefty? What are we calling it these days?) think tank. I decided to get a big group of all kinds of people in a room for a public policy brainstorm, and invited homeless people, children, teenagers, mothers, transmen, etc. etc. And Ludacris. I prepared a list of discussion questions, such as, "What obligation, if any, do the rich have to the poor?" But some internet-meme type questions crept in there somewhere, including "If you were a crayon, what color would you be?" and "What kind of kite do you prefer: box or diamond?" Well, the discussion group was ultimately unproductive, with angry debates over the difference between burnt umber and burnt sienna. My alarm went off in the middle of an impassioned impromptu address to the group by Ludacris, who insisted that sure, people can give their money away if they want, but the rich don't owe the poor ANYTHING.


I'm posting from my new 14" iBook that I've been playing with all afternoon (including GarageBand!). I'd been meaning to get one for years now, and almost did last year at this time, but I hemmed and hawed, then had to move to a new apartment, moving expenses, etc. This year upon receiving the tax refund, though, I decided it was now or never, that I absolutely had to get this laptop while I had the money in my account (and while I'm still a student -- love that $100.00 discount).

So I've been trying to install OpenOffice, which has been a pain. They try to intimidate you, saying you have to be an advanced UNIX user to be able to use OO for the Mac. Then there are all these other hurdles; I had to insert the OS X install disc 3, download and install XFree86 Darwin or something to that effect, and now I still can't open the program, because I have no idea how to answer this question: "Where is your preferred X Window server?" Huh? It gives me a list of a bunch of applications, but I guess I'll wait until someone can help me out. Either that or just use AppleWorks. I can save files in .rtf and .doc format, so it might work out okay. Or, might this work itself out once I upgrade to Tiger?

Who Knew

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Via Rana. UPDATE: Look at the pundit blogger in my results: a youngish white man. Now click over to Rana's results -- "life blogger" -- and check out that representation.

Computers & Writing Online 2005

I'm excited. For the first time ever in our field, the online version of the Computers and Writing Conference is going to be held in public, on a blog (Kairosnews). Instead of having a review process with designated reviewers, we're having a public feedback process (I say "we" because I'm on the organizing committee), which will have designated respondents but will allow anyone registered on Kairosnews or another Drupal site to offer comments as well (collaboration, baby!). Here's the call for proposals:

CFP: Computers and Writing Online 2005

When Content Is No Longer King: Social Networking, Community, and Collaboration

David Reed explains that in the early stages of a network's formation and growth, that “content is king,” that there are a “a small number of sources (publishers or makers) of content that every user selects from" (qtd in Rheingold Smart Mobs 61). As the network scales, “group-forming networks” occur, and the value of the network increases exponentially in relationship of the number of users, otherwise known as Reed's Law, privileging the social interaction over content.

We can see this change in network valuation in today's Internet. The increased valuing of social interaction in large scale networks is reflected in the new technologies that place emphasis on social communication and community over content. These technologies, often dubbed “social software” are applications that, as Clay Shirky explains, “support group interaction.”

We invite proposals from scholars, graduate students and others who have an interest in computers and writing and social interactions and are working on projects in gestation, in progress, near completion, or at any stage in between, whether a thesis or dissertation, article, book project, or just want to preview and fine-tune your conference presentation for Computers and Writing Conference hosted by Stanford University. This is a unique opportunity for extended discussion of your ideas before heading to Palo Alto. Conference organizers are particularly interested in presentations that address, but are not limited to, the following concerns:

  • Internet “social software” technologies such as blogs, wikis, RSS, social networks (orkut and friendster), and social bookmarking (
  • Mobile technologies such as wi-fi and smart phones.
  • More traditional social, community communication spaces of email, discussion forums, newsgroups, listservs, and MOO's.

As an acknowledgment of the value of social networks in creating discourse of and about scholarly work, CWOnline 2005 will follow a submission process using weblogs whereby participants will submit abstract proposals for public review and feedback within the Kairosnews site. Final versions of presentations will be made available online on Kairosnews.

Interested presenters should present a 150-250 word abstract by midnight April 30. Abstracts must be submitted to CW Online 2005 at Not only will presentations receive feedback from conference organizers, but presenters are encouraged to invite colleagues to provide feedback and to expect feedback from people who are responding out of the goodness of their hearts. Presenters are expected to respond to the feedback provided by organizers and "informal" reviewers as a condition of being accepted as presenters. Final presentations should either be posted to the CW Online blog space, or a link to the presentation should be posted in the blog with a brief explanation of what the materials covers.

More specific information about the abstract and presentation submission process is available at

Formal registration for the conference will occur when participants sign on to the conference listserv,, at


  • Proposal abstracts accepted until midnight, May 2
  • Reviews completed by midnight May 8
  • Acceptance email sent no later than May 10
  • Presenters will begin posting their presentations on an assigned date, beginning May 31 and ending June 13.
  • Discussion on each submission continues as long as interest warrants.

For support and more information about conference technologies, visit


I am sick and tired of tech support staff who have no idea what open source is and who have never heard of common open-source software applications, e.g. tech support at Comcast who have never heard of Mozilla Firefox and/or Thunderbird, people at the Apple store who have never heard of OpenOffice, etc. etc. Can't some basics about open source be folded into the orientation?

The spring fashions are so ugly this year. I went into a couple of big department stores and walked by a lot more windows, and I saw countless pairs of white pants* and other utterly unflattering eye pollution. When I go to the mall, I take a picture of the display when I walk in, so that when I'm getting ready to leave I know I'm going out the right way. Just look at this:

Where do I start? First, there's the boxy, fluffed-out, pleated skirt, then the three layers of shirts (like I really want to wear that in the summer), TIED IN A KNOT. Yuck.

* Sorry, friends with white pants. I have no idea why I have this aversion to them.

Presentation on Blogging in the Classroom

On Monday, 25 April, I'm scheduled to do a presentation at the Academy of Distinguished Teachers' annual conference on using weblogs in the classroom. I've done presentations before on this topic, but I don't want to do the same talk; I'd like to build on it, taking into consideration the feedback I've gotten on assessment and on posting my experience last fall, and the panels from CCCC, including the blogging SIG and Evaluating Academic Weblogs: Using Empirical Data to Assess Pedagogy and Student Achievement.

Also, there's a lively TechRhet discussion going on about FERPA's implications for the use of weblogs in college courses. Maybe I'll speak to those concerns, or just make some notes on the issue in case someone in the audience asks about it. Any suggestions for what I should cover? This group will have an interest in instructional technology but might not have much background with weblogs, which makes me wonder how I'll approach some of the points raised at CCCC, especially the claim that when teachers are not bloggers themselves and don't actively read or comment on other blogs, their use of weblogs in the classroom will likely be less effective and fulfilling than it would have had the teacher engaged at length with the technology beforehand. It's an argument I'm inclined to agree with, to be honest, but I don't want to intimidate or discourage anyone. I'd appreciate any help.

When I have a baby...

I'm terribly ashamed of this, but I have the TV on "Access Hollywood," which features full coverage of Britney Spears' pregnancy. They had a segment called "Britney's Baby Boutique," and in it the reporters showed us various onesies and t-shirts the baby could wear -- which makes me want to announce the following to the world: When I have a child (pretty sure that's a "when," not "if"), do NOT buy me any little shirts or onesies with vulgar puns about breastfeeding, like "Mutha Sucka" or "Got milk?" Just get a bunch of people to chip in and buy me a digital camcorder so that I can make cute movies like these.

Edited to add: No offense intended. Right after hitting "post" I figured with my luck, all my best friends are going to send me upset emails with jpgs of their babies in their "Mutha Sucka" shirts. You'd be wasting your money buying them for my child 's all I'm saying.

One more addition: These pictures, and this link to geeky baby clothes. Aaaww!

Okay, the babies make those clothes kind of cute.

Andrea Dworkin, 1946-2005

This is strange. I first read over at Trish's that Andrea Dworkin had passed away. Someone had emailed to tell her. After doing some digging, I found a thread at The Margins and I notice that her Wikipedia entry contains her date of death. Yet I haven't seen any official statements in news publications. While I don't agree with all of Dworkin's ideas, Letters from a War Zone had a powerful effect on me, especially I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape.

UPDATE: Duh. I should have looked on the Wikipedia talk page, where someone has posted two emails sent to a Women's Studies listserv.

SECOND UPDATE: Someone on the Wikipedia talk page said: "Unfathomable that Wikipedia is the first online source I could find for any discussion of her death." Seriously. It makes me want to get more involved with the Wikipedia community.

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