Notebook of Sand



Curriculum Vitae

• 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.

July 2006
2004: Earlier | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec
2005: Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec
2006: Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec
2007: Spring | Summer - Summer 2008 | Spring & Summer 2009 | Now
Footpads of Experience
Thursday, 27 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

Lots of walking around and thinking and praying. I miss this luxury.

** * **

Btw, my previous post was far too selfish, a mental diversion from the path. I should know better than to derive satisfaction from experience. But sometimes, life gangs up on us, or we gang up on life, or both we and life gang up on God. One of the above.

Life (if it can be measured) is measured in faithfulness to God. To be honest, I have not been faithful. I have been distracted and stupid, dishonest with myself and proud and selfish. But as I look at the mosaic of my last year, I see the work of Christ more clearly. And that, above all, makes me most satisfied. Let's hope it accelerates.

(000---[ ___ ]---000)
Thursday, 20 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

An odd day today. On one hand, suggestions that the true, natural, and right shades of thought will always be the ones to come from direct contact and derivation with my faith, and that since all things are moral in some way, I should consciously develop a Christian moral understanding of all thought and life. Later, the statement that I sometimes scare people with my religion thing.

** * **

I'm seriously considering the option of giving the blog a rest. It's a useful counterpoint to more thorough study and thought, but right now it feels like a moon without a planet. To be honest, my last remotely-interesting post was April 23. I just don't have the heart to write any more half-baked ideas.

I want to do something useful, something substantial, not build more imaginary stones onto an unsteady structure plagued by the entropy of materialist philosophy. Nor do I wish to duct tape a Bible onto everything in sight. I spent my months chasing scholarships, and though I received one, I'm nagged by the suspicion that I might have done something useful during that time. Having received some press, some money, and some respect, I see that a person's character and work means more than his/her reputation. But this isn't true, because a quality reputation of integrity and kindness is also a result of character and good work. Sigh, I'm worried that I no longer have the imagination, drive, or heart to carry out the right life.

I'm just some guy who likes puzzles and beautiful things and who would rather, frankly, think about stuff in an air-conditioned building than drive a forklift in the hot warehouse. For some reason, people like what I say, so they let me stay inside. (to be fair, I have discovered that warehouses are an amazing venue for uninterrupted thought in a place where you get paid to exercise. Not a bad deal at all, unless perhaps, you have no other options)

But that's not the whole story. As a person who believes God, I'm struck by matters of conscience and good living. I see how dumb it is for me to sit around all day long and solve fun puzzles for the rest of my life. I see the experience of others and notice injustice, pain, deep joys, and the confusion (for good and ill) that comes with discovering life. So I can't sit still for too long.

And yet, I'm not even creating or solving good puzzles right now.

Fidgeting, in the body or the soul, doesn't produce progress. But I think that careful efforts of true conscience, when executed with equal diligence and energy, are the true wonders of the world.

Gaaah. It's all words, words words.

** * **
  • putters off to do something useful. This is what I get for reading Feynman instead of sleeping*

The Death of Me
Sunday, 16 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

Two years ago, I suggested that the removal of my desk would be a very difficult ordeal.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

Thanks, Hacksaw.

Legs, my Dear Watson
Sunday, 16 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

Ash, one of the mail employees at Etown College, just blogged their recent experiment to send a leg through the mail.

Susan Prepares the Leg

This, of course, put me in mind of "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box," by Arthur Conan O'Doyle. (Last year, I completed listening to unabridged audio recordings of the entire corpus of Sherlock Holmes stories by Doyle.)

One might also think of The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb. Odd, how appendages seem to figure prominently into some of the more grotesque of Doyle's mysteries (by the way, Wisteria Lodge does exist as an award-winning guesthouse in Cornwall).

** * **

Speaking of boxes, I just spent a week cleaning, packing, and planning for my Sept. departure to England. I'm eager to leave, but for now, I'm even more eager to enter upon a two-month plan of study and preparation.

That earlier, wilder image
Sunday, 9 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

In less than 10 minutes, I leave for the Appalachian Trail.

No, I'm not hiking the whole thing; I'm just spending my day out on the trail. It's part of my summer plan to follow the spirit of the poem William Cullen Bryant wrote to his dear friend, the painter Thomas Cole, before the latter traveled to Europe to study:

Sonnet, to an American Painter Departing for Europe
by William Cullen Bryant

Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
Yet, Cole! thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand
A living image of thy native land,
Such as on thy own glorious canvass lies.
Lone lakes--savannahs where the bison roves--
Rocks rich with summer garlands--solemn streams--
Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams--
Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves.
Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,
But different--every where the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.
Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.

(from a very lovely page about the poem and the relationship betweeen these two men)

A Forlorn Wish
Saturday, 8 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

Life would be quite nice if we knew real people half as well as we know the average character in a story.

Image from the Strand Magazine's Printing of Conan O'Doyle's 'The Blue Carbuncle'

The Family
Friday, 7 Jul 2006 :-: ["Permalink"]

On July 4, a friend took a phot of my family; it will likely be the last time we will have been together for quite some time, since my brother lives in SC, and I'm going to England. It was a blessing to be together again.

The Family
In other news, the colocated server is now fully operational, with most of's functionality transferred. I just need to set up the subversion repositories, and I'll be good to go.