Notebook of Sand

• Recent Publications
• Recent Projects
• Conferences & Speaking
"Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections"
  ACM Hypertext '09
"Archiving and Sharing Your Tinderbox"
  Tinderbox Weekend London '09
"The Electronic Nature of Future Literatures"
  Literary Studies Now, Apr '09
"The World University Project"
  St. John's Col. Cambridge, Feb '09
"Ethical Explanations,"
  The New Knowledge Forge, Jun '08
Lecture, Cambridge University
  Tragedy in E-Lit, Nov '07
Hypertext '07: Tragedy in E-Lit
Host for Tinderbox Cambridge '07
Keynote: Dickinson State Uni Conf
Upper Midwest NCHC'07: Speaker
eNarrative 6: Creative Nonfiction
HT'05: "Philadelphia Fullerine"
  Nelson award winning paper
NCHC '05:
 Nurturing Independent Scholarship
Riddick Practicum:
  Building Meeting Good Will
NCHC '04:
  Philadelphia Fullerine
  Lecture on American Studies
WWW@10: Nonfiction on the Web
NCHC '03: Parliamentary Procedure
ELL '03 -- Gawain Superstar
• (a)Musing (ad)Dictions:

Ideas. Tools. Art. Build --not buy. What works, what doesn't. Enjoy new media and software aesthetics at Tekka.

Theodore Gray (The Magic Black Box)

Faith, Life, Art, Academics. Sermons from my family away from home: Eden Chapel!

My other home: The Cambridge Union Society (in 2007, I designed our [Fresher's Guide])

The Economist daily news analysis

Global Higher Ed blog

• Hypertext/Writing

Writing the Living Web

Chief Scientist of Eastgate Systems, hypertext expert Mark Bernstein. (Electronic) Literature, cooking, art, etc.

Fabulous game reviews at playthisthing.

• Stats

Chapter I: Born. Lived. Died.

There is a Chapter II.

Locale: Lancaster County Pa, USA

Lineage: Guatemala

Religion: My faith is the primary focus of my life, influencing each part of me. I have been forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by Jesus Christ. Without him, I am a very thoughtful, competent idiot. With him, I am all I need to be, all I could ever hope for. I oppose institutional religious stagnation, but getting together with others is a good idea. God is real. Jesus Christ is his Son, and the Bible is true. Faith is not human effort. It's human choice. I try to be the most listening, understanding, and generous person I can.

Interests: Anything I can learn. Training and experience in new media, computer science, anglophone literature, education, parliamentary debate, democratic procedure, sculpture, and trumpet performance. Next: applied & computational linguistics, probably.

Education: Private school K-3. Home educated 4-12. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College in Jan 2006. As the 2006 Davies-Jackson Scholar, I studied English at St. John's College, Cambridge University from 2006 - 2008.

Memberships: Eden Baptist, Cambridge Union Society, ACM, AIP, GPA.

Alum of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program, sponsored by the Hershey Company.

Sunday, 18 Sep 2005 :-:

What happens to youth?

I look around me and see people with bright futures and promising ideals. These people are rare, but they're not that rare. And then I look at the world around me, at the older generations. I see fewer people actually living these ideals. Young idealists are rare, but role models are even more scarce.

No movers and shakers, are we the dreamers of hopeless dreams, doomed to dwell a future of desolate streams?

I talk with people, and I hear great enthusiasm and hope for our generation's youth. And yet those who merely hope were also young once...

** * **

Mark has been writing a lot about what people can and should do about the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Part of me wants to help, and I donate. But that's not really what's needed.

Money is cheap.

What's needed most in this world? People with time. And not just any sort of person. People who are able to think well and work hard. People who have the knowledge, the income, the skills, and the humility to step in physically when help is needed, bring in specialized knowledge when necessary, and get the job done.

But even in disasters, we make the choice to stick with our petty jobs, fulfill our insignificant deadlines, and maintain the status quo.

I have an excuse for not being in Baton Rouge right now, writing code to help distribute the charity goods pouring into the South. After all, I was leaving for a conference in Europe when the disaster occurred. Then, I was away during the critical time. And now, I have gradschool applications.

Can you imagine how horrible it would be to unbalance my graduate school plans just to save lives and care for homeless people? See, I'm special. I'm a smart guy. In order to prepare, I need some ME time. And once I (graduate, get that bonus, reach that level in the company, finish this task), I'll be able to do lots of things to help others. So of course, I can't help now.

Sigh. I think that the greatest error of my generation is the vice of personal fulfillment. Everyone is so busy bickering over the top items in Maslow's hierarchy, that they forget the people that struggle beneath their feet to find clean water and healthy food. Most ideals in my generation are merely birdcalls. They signal social group membership but do little to really care for others. Everyone looks after their own desires before really caring for others. If it were otherwise, then we would se a lot more professionals volunteering and moving down South.

Instead, we all decide that the next rung on the treadmill is more important than the narratives in the magic boxes we call TV and Computer, narratives which themselves struggle to be noticed among the cacophony of advertisement.

** * **

I think this is what happens to youth. Talk is cheap. Money is cheap. But a life is a precious thing to spend. When spent for other lives, it is well spent. Is a life well spent if it fails to realize the full potential of skill-talent, yet realizes the full effectiveness of a life spent for others? Yes.

Mark is right. The blogosphere, the press, the academics, and the government are all talkers. The people with ideals, with great skills-- what do they do? Try to convince the masses to sully their hands with the grunt work. Enough talk. We need some action.

And me? For now, I continue to fill out the graduate school applications. After all, I want to realize the full potential of my talent, don't I? And after all, most people don't even think about these things. I write this stuff for others to read. I think, and brood. I'm young. I don't have to do stuff now. I'm in preparation mode right now. After all, I have a promising future. That makes me OK, right?