Sure its too easy, but its still funny

I normally don't waste time with Bush bashing, its sort of like challenging a sixth grader to a steel cage match, but this shit is too funny.


Rowan Update

We are home resting; Rowan managed not to catch my plague. Right now, she's playing outside with gramma (Meg's mom just got here this morning to give us some much needed help). Thanks to everyone for their concern and wishes.

We got great news yesterday--the post-op examinations showed no signs that the cancer had left Rowan's eye. Her optic nerve was clean. This means that we very likely have a cancer-free baby. We're really grateful for that--we needed a win.


Obama goes to work

As I recently mentioned, I primarily voted for Obama based on his stance toward net neutrality. Obama has decided to appoint our nation's first Chief Technology Officer. User Voice, a social aggregator, has set up an interesting forum to discuss the priorities for the new appointment. Very interesting, but it is unclear whether Obama knows the site exists. The site details that "official reviews" are coming, but doesn't say who the officials are...

Regardless, take a minute to read through some of the excellent suggestions, vote, and ponder whether the previous administration would even consider for a milli-second the idea of digital public opinion.

And, Mxrk, don't waste a vote on the guy developing sharks with "lazers."


Sunday Update 2

Things have gotten much better as the day progressed. We stopped giving her the Tylenol w/ codine and her condition really improved. Codine can cause both constipation and nausea, and she hasn't vomited since last night. She's eating solid food, playing with her toys, and even dancing a little. We're still waiting on the poop, but everyone here is in much better spirits.

Sunday Update

Things are still not going very well. We spent last night at the hotel, and Rowan did sleep soundly through the night. She's had a bit of breast milk this morning, but is refusing solid foods (and Rowan never refuses food...). She's also crying constantly. We've stopped giving her Tylenol w/ codine, since codine can cause constipation. As can her chemo drugs. Rowan hasn't pooped since Wednesday, so we've given her some milk of magnesia.

A good sign: in the time its taken me to write this email, she took a bite of watermelon.

It is going to be a very, very long Sunday.


Saturday Update

Rowan's recovery has been rough today--she's had a real difficult time holding down food or liquid. At this point she's refusing to take her pain medication or milk of mag (she's also suffering some constipation). We originally hoped to be released today, but its not looking that way. Currently, she's sleeping and has managed to hold down some breast milk for about 40 minutes (if she can hold it down for an hour, we might be able to spend tonight at the hotel rather than at the hospital.... fingers crossed...).

Again, we would like to thank everyone that helped make Friday night such a success. Meg and I have no way of expressing what all your support means to us. Thank you all


Successful Surgery

Rowan is recovering from this morning's surgery. She is healthy and safe. The doctor saw no signs that the cancer has spread beyond her eye. All news is good news.

We probably won't get to see her for another hour until we see her. Then we'll be heading over to Jackson Memorial for her 4th chemo treatment. We'll be in Miami until Monday.

Calling for Five Minutes of Your Time

I just read a disturbing story on how libraries are being pressured away from cooperating with open source project: a concise post, written by Aaron Swartz over at Raw Thought. If you don't have the time to read the article, please, please, sign the petition.

Here's what I wrote as my message, feel free to crib, borrow, or challenge:

As a professor of classical rhetoric and new media production, I stress to my peers and students the important of open source projects. The progression of our society depends upon the free, uninhibited flow of information; digital technologies magic stems from their ability to foster cooperation and harness human interest, effort, and work.

We cannot allow any group to attempt to usurp and monopolize information. Centralizing control of library catalogues is itself a bad idea; to attempt to capitalize on such control treads on the criminal. The information collected in libraries represents the work of thousands over hundreds of years. It is not a resource to be strip-mined for benefit of a few.

Update: A few people asked for a quick summation, so here goes. There's a library database group, the OCLC, that started grassroots. Essentially, they run a master database that catalogues every book in the US. Back in the day, every library employed somebody to do this, but now almost every library relies on the database.

Well, the grassroots company has been purchased by for-profit industrialists, and they realize that they have a potential monopoly on their hands--without them, no library could run an electronic catalogue. They have grown into a power, and now they are demanding that any library that uses their system refuses to share catalogue info with any other group.


I'll Take It: Keeping Contemporary Culture and Materials in Our Classes

This came over my NCTE email this morning: The Code of Best Practices for Media Literacy Education. The nice part is that it is put together by lawyers who have read the constitution and are willing to fight for our rights. This is very unlike the obnoxious local "copyworks" representative who was ready to jump up and down to tell me how all coursepacks require royalties. To you I respond:principle two. That's right, principle two.

Its been awhile since I have had the opportunity, academically or otherwise, to mention DJ Spooky. But every time I think about copyright, I think about how smart, engaging, and important Rhythm Science really is. And its nice to know that there are forces out there working to protect everyone's right to engage the cultural mix.


Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Way back in the Fall of 07, I decided to vote for Obama based on his policies concerning media and technology, specifically the internet. Obama was the only candidate who opposed private regulation of information--comparing the internet to a public resource, like phone lines, highways, waterworks. That earned my vote: government regulation of the internet..

I bring this up after reading a story on Slash.dot today. Seems even the "sane" countries are looking at China with a bit of envy. This is not the kind of regulation I'm looking for. At least the ISP is confident that the plan will fail, and fail utterly (and they plan to publicize every little failure, no doubt alongside the near 100,000,000 million dollar price tag).

One of my favorite Derrida essays is "The University in the Eyes of Its Pupils." In the essay, Derrida describes the landscape surrounding Cornell: built high on a hill, there is a dangerous precipice along the edge of the campus. University administrators were contemplating building a large fence to protect students from failing off the cliff. But Derrida argued that such a fence would not only spoil the view, it would undermine the integrity of the institution. Education is a risky business; to create the sublime transformative moment in the mind of a student requires taking risks. Risking the worst.

I believe such an anecdote applies to the internet. While the idea of a firewall might sound appealing, attempting to filter the Good from the noise, to reduce the risk, threatens the integrity of the whole. I only wonder when such an idea will catch on around here.


I not We, Me not US

As I'm finishing my Levinas chapter, I'm feeling how hard it is to apply his ethics to academic writing--at least my academic writing. I am so used to using the plural, collective pronouns: we and us, that it feels disorienting to use I and me. But I do believe it turns me into a more naked, and thus, more ethical voice. It prevents me from climbing the mountain.

Of course, to those unfamiliar with Levinas, it leaves me exposed. This is Levinas' point--to always write as exposed, to invite the response, to risk the worst. But for someone accustomed to writing with confidence, as the authority, it is odd--in a very affective way--to offer rather than expound, to posit rather than claim, to say rather than tell.


O.k., now you can say it

The early yesterday, I posted a comment over at mxrk applying the logic of the baseball gods to a premature discussion of victory. Here's those rules:

  1. Do not say the words no hitter after the 4th inning. Do not use any semantic expression concerned with the concepts of "no" and "hit." You are not allowed to make such expression until the game is over.
  2. Never, never, say the words "We got this one in the bag." Always grant the baseball Gods the gift of the probable--"wow, we might win this one." The baseball gods listen for certainty. They live to crush your certitude.
  3. Never, never, never say "that guy's going to be good for a long time." The baseball gods will mock your pretentiousness. This is also called the "Mark Prior / Kerry Wood" commandment.

That was a great no-hitter last night: all game long he hit the corners and challenged the middle (and that's WSJ people) when he had to. He wasn't afraid to throw up and in. Just look at the nasty break on this two-seamer:

“I think it’s good that Sen. McCain is celebrating the American worker today, but it would have been nice if he stood up for them over the last twenty-six years,” Obama said.

Just explodes down and in.

It was a hard earned victory and I think this guy could be good for a long time so long as his teammates keep their eye on the ball.


Hee hee hee

Woman outside of voting place: Would you like some literature on question 2?

Me: Sure, what is question 2 about?

Woman outside of voting place: Well, question two supports our traditional family structure.

Me: Oh, so that means that its against gay marriage

Woman outside of voting place: Yes, but its important for us to amend the constitution to protect our morals.

Me: Yes, o.k., but I don't think my husband would like that bill.

I admit, sometimes being a practicing deconstructionist is fun.


Once Upon a Time...

I thought nothing could be better than rewinding and pausing live television. Hallelujah technology, for finally conquering the tyranny of linear time.

Now, through a student, I have discovered Last.fm. All the randomness and excitement of discovery that comes with a radio station completely equipped with a skip track button. Now I can fastforward time, reclaiming minutes that would have been otherwise wasted on trite radio. Mu'wa-ha-ha-ha.

Being and time my ass.