Monthly Archives: March 2007

because I know you want to go

…to Poseidon!

Interior of Poseidon roomExterior of Poseidon room
Yup. I’m torn between “err, it’s kind of resort-y” and “Oh my Gosh,
it’s keen! We each get personal submarines! We can feed fish at our
room window by pushing a button on our control console! Each suite is
independently able to be lifted to the surface in case of emergency!”
Everything is exclamationy.

Because you know you want to.

I’m going to MIT

…well, to their OpenCourseWare site, at least.  According to a recent article in Information World Review:

The entire catalogue of information from 1,800 courses at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be available free online by the end of the year. Once uploaded, it will represent one of the internet’s most important resources.

Seriously, though, this is quite a boon.  The site contains syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, reading lists, and sometimes even videos of lectures.  It doesn’t mean that students in Kansas can get an MIT education from a computer, but it does mean that teachers in Kenya can teach using an MIT-level curriculum and materials.

MIT started the site in 2001 as a pilot program, but at the time all the talk was about how to charge students for distance learning and restrict materials to those who paid.  Now the materials are being licensed under Creative Commons, and MIT is presenting them as a gift to be shared instead of a revenue source.

Now to find a few month-long chunks of free time in which to actually use these gifts…

The Eventful Politics Project

I don’t usually blog about my work, not because it’s boring but because it tends to strike me as advertising. I guess I assume that you couldn’t possibly be as excited about the things I do as I am. (Don’t tell me if I’m right about that.)

Today, however, I saw something on Eventful that I just have to share: The Eventful Politics Project, started by Jed Sundwall and Alex Hunsucker. In their own words:

…while conservative bloggers blog for conservative readers and liberal bloggers blog for liberal readers, we hope that technology can serve to remind us that, as Thomas Jefferson said in his inaugural speech, “We are all Democrats, we are all Republicans!” There are millions of passionate voters in this country, voters with myriad concerns and needs that don’t necessarily fit in with either of the major party platforms.

We’re building a database of all event information in the world (yes, all). This means we’re sucking up info on conventions, town hall meetings, rallies, protests, meetups, house parties, etc. We’re doing this because we think the internet can—and should—make smaller events more discoverable. It’s a pursuit that parallels transparency. That is, we believe that there are tens of thousands of wholly public events that are essentially hidden from the public simply because there’s no simple place to find them…

The blog is worth a read, but the really impressive part is the site they’ve put together to answer the need. (I’d love to say “the site I put together,” but aside from the base technology I wasn’t involved.) With a few clicks you can discover that house party down the street you didn’t know was happening, demand that the politicians come to earn your vote, or invite the world to come to your Lefty Libertarians for Literacy meeting.

The proof, for me at least, was that on my very first view of the page I discovered three different things I’d like to be doing, none of which I would have known about otherwise. Hopefully you’ll find something similar.

Jed and Alex are hoping to make a mark on the 2008 election. They have quite a long road ahead of them, but the first steps are really exciting.