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.

Pathology of Brilliance
Saturday, 5 Nov 2005 :-:

Why are so many of my most intelligent, insightful, caring friends diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorders, and other psychological issues?

And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

--The Book of Ecclesiastes

Is this not also true today? And I too have had very dark periods in my life. People say I am smart and capable of good thinking. But I am capable of very dejected thinking. Like Helen Keller,

Truly I have looked into the very heart of darkness and refused to yield to its paralyzing influence, but in spirit I am one of those who walk the morning. What if all dark, discouraging moods of the human mind come across my way as thick as the dry leaves of autumn? Other feet have traveled that road before me, and I know the desert leads to God as surely as the green, refreshing fields and fruitful orchards.

I, too, have been profoundly humiliated and brought to realize my smallness amid the immensity of creation. The more I learn, the less I think I know; and the more I understand of my sense-experience, the more I perceive its shortcomings and its inadequacy as a basis of life. Sometimes the points of view of the optimist and the pessimist seem so well-balanced to me that it is only by sheer force of spirit that I can keep my hold upon a practical, livable philosophy of life. But I use my will, choose life, and reject its opposite, nothingness.

And yet I am not as strong as Helen. My will is incapable of pulling me from the dregs of thought that sometimes overtake me. Without God, I would surely be overcome.

** * **

Before I digress too far, I will say this:

A majority of the most insightful, intelligent people I know have been diagnosed with something in the DSM IV. Among these, all of them struggle with questions of inadequacy. Although praised for their talent and quality, they feel like they lack something fundamental.

I am afraid for my friends. Medication has not brought peace of mind, and the process strips them of the confidence they need to reach their full potential.

I look at them, and I want to hug them and tell them it's OK, that they're not second-class "problem" people, but that they're really and truly special people with beautiful minds, people who care deeply, people who can change the world. Because whatever their personal hurdles, I truly see great promise in the glint of their bright eyes-- promise which dims with each discouraging setback.

And me? I withdraw from most measurements of my personality or ability. I don't want to find out that I too have problems. I am content to be abnormal, and I know I'm not perfect. But I use my will, trust in God, attempt to live a better life, and reject its opposite: nothingness.

Pills, from

Update: One of my profs writes to say that unless you have a few flexible months to work out a good balance and adapt to your drugs, you should not start on medication.

He notes that, sure, it's possible to work out a normal life around some mild issues, but that some people really do struggle with major problems. Denying them can sometimes cause a lot of emotional pain to themselves and others. He says, "Medications are like a chemical prosthesis. To NOT take what might help could be tantamount to having a leg missing and refusing to wear a fake. "

He also says that it's possible to find the right balance that doesn't dull the mind yet deals with the issues, if it's combined with regular talk-based therapy. The trick, according to him, is to find the right clinician, someone who has read the literature and really knows what he/she is doing.

He also suggests the book, Against Depression, by Peter D. Kramer.