Political Dreams

I stayed up too late watching election returns last and my sleep was filled with weird political dreams. An old friend of mine had sent an email to some of his friends. This is a person that I’ve known since the Dean campaign and who has been highly active in every presidential campaign since Adlai Stevenson. While it was intended just for his small circle of friends, it somehow went viral as the best analysis of the 2008 Presidential Season. It did talk about how it was time for Sen. Clinton to end her campaign, and was roundly attacked by Clinton supporters and praised by Obama supporters, even though my friend was trying to be neutral and object concerning the two campaigns.

The assistant priest at our church, a woman from England, received a copy of the letter and talked about it in terms of conflict within the Anglican communion about the role of women and homosexuals in the church and how the media in both cases are focusing on surface issues, male and female, black and white, straight and gay, and not on substantive issues like world hunger or global warming.

There was one other person, not a big name in the national media, but a person who is very influential within the circles they move, who also had comments about the email, but I forget who that was.

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Nina Totenbag's for Obama



Nina Totenbag's for Obama, originally uploaded by Aldon.

Apparently Begala referred to Obama supporters as "NPR Tote Bag totin' liberals", So I thought I would post my Nina Totenbag, with the Obama Logo

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Call Your Nana

So, Fiona and I did our first BlogTalkRadio podcast last Sunday. Fiona's Nanna called in, and we all had a great chat. We haven't nailed down what our format is going to be. How much will I talk about the eclectic set of topics I like to discuss on Orient Lodge? How much will it be Fiona's show? What role will the extended family play in the show?

Yesterday, I got a nudge in the extended family direction. Call Your Nana added me as a friend on BlogTalkRadio. This is a weekly show where Nana, aka Miriam, talks with her granddaughter, aka Hilary. So, I listened in to their last broadcast, Relax More!. It was a great show. Full of family stories and discussions about how people relax. Today, at 4PM PT, 7PM for those of us on the east coast, they will have their one year anniversery show.

More about Digital Natives

Recently a member of the Second Life Educators list asked the question,

What advantages or disadvantages do you see for your students born between 1980-2000 ("digital natives") who use Second Life compared to the rest of us?

This has prompted an interesting discussion, where many people debunk the idea of ‘digital natives’ saying that they have many students who are not technologically proficient.

All of this brings focus on what ‘digital native’ means. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland have set up digitalnative.org. The Digital Native website says,

Digital natives share a common global culture that is defined not by age, strictly, but by certain attributes and experiences related to how they interact with information technologies, information itself, one another, and other people and institutions.

Yet with all of this, it seems like ‘digital native’ remains a fairly ambiguous term, perhaps even worse than Web 2.0. So, I’ve been thinking about how I would define a digital native.

Perhaps the first thing is based on the old saying about the sixties, Woodstock or other counter-culture phenomena. The old joke is that if you remember Woodstock, then you probably weren’t there. The same probably applies to digital natives. If you call yourself a digital native, or even use the phrase, let alone simply recognize it, you’re probably not a digital native.

The closest a digital native might come to that phrase would be taking a quiz online, “Are you a digital native?” It might have questions like:

How do you communicate with most people?
1 IM
2 email
3 telephone
4 face to face
5 smoke signals
6 Me? Communicate with other people?

When you hear “IM”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
1 Neil Diamond singing “"I am," I cried "I am," said I And I am lost, and I can't even say why”
2 I think, therefore …
3 Instant Message
4 OMG! I need to IM my BFF!

How are pictures stored?
1 24 or 36 exposures on film
2 Well, they show up on the back of the camera when you take a picture.
3 So, I’m talking on my cellphone and I see something really cool, so I take a picture of it.
4 Oil paint on canvas, in a museum.

What about videos?
1 YouTube
2 MTV
3 8mm
4 huh?

I don’t know if this really helps define ‘digital native’, but I hope it dances around the topic in an interesting and amusing way.

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BlogTalkRadio: Episode One, Take Two

Well, we did it. After an unsuccessful attempt a week ago to produce our first episode on BlogTalkRadio, Fiona and I this evening recorded Episode One, Take Two. Mostly, it was Fiona and I talking. Nanna did call in and join the discussion and I tested playing a pre-recorded piece, in this case "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth Longfellow, which I had recorded a year and a half earlier for Librivox.

All in all, it was a very successful first session, and a great opportunity for both Fiona and I to hone our online talk show radio skills. As we continue this, I expect themes and clearer voices will emerge out of the experiment.

So, please, listen to the recording and let us know your thoughts about where we should be going.

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