Learning is for Noobs

(Originally posted to my “From Here to Discernity” blog at SantaFe.com, September 12, 2011) I first heard the term “Internet” at a Halloween party in 1993. An attractive friend of a co-worker, cutely disguised as the Cat in the Hat, mentioned that she was writing her Masters thesis in Computer Science about “how to access …

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Adherence to Appearance

(Originally posted to my “From Here to Discernity” blog at SantaFe.com, September 12, 2011) Two decades ago, I took a “self-improvement” seminar in Dallas. The seminar leader, an out-of-towner, commented in the beginning that, “I’ve heard Dallas is all about looking good.” I recalled that observation last week while I was reading about the year-long …

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The Cross that Came Before

This was originally posted on my “From Here to Discernity” blog at SantaFe.com (submitted July 23, 2011). I’m not proud to admit that I live on the computer. Every day, I create, modify, copy, move, and otherwise manipulate dozens, if not hundreds, of many different types of computer files. It’s a storage, backup, and configuration management …

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Hold On, Mr. President

In recognition of Presidents’ Day and Black History Month, we should never forget that historical attitudes never really go away. Prejudice is belief left unchallenged, and we never lack unchallenged beliefs. Historical clips come from the PBS American Experience presentation of “Eyes on the Prize: The American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1985).” Music playlist: “Keep your …

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(Supremely) Bad Words

Special to the Star-Telegram Every three decades or so, there’s a federal case over broadcasting bad language. The most recent was on Election Day before the Supreme Court. Note: in the original print edition (image below), the headline was “Actually, the Constitution is pretty clear on things.” I objected to the editor afterwards and the …

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Semantic pollution fouling the airwaves

Special to the Star-Telegram Chesapeake Energy’s impressive and expensive PR campaign has folks asking questions. Lots of questions. One of the overlooked and under-reported aspects related to drilling in the Barnett Shale is the negative impact to our local linguistic environment. We’re not talking particulate matter here. This is the worrisome increase in measurable propagandulate …

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