Too many, too young


I know I live in a city that has a relatively low median income (Everett,WA). Maybe it’s also because I take public transportation. Whatever the reason, the number of young homeless I see in this community is striking. It saddens me. Deeply. And it tells me a story of a society that is struggling to maintain cohesion. The future of our society will in part be determined by these young people who are, for the moment (and maybe forever), outside the bounds of our society. What will happen as they get older? How will their worldview shape the world around them? How will it reshape our society? The consequences of this pervasive homelessness is perhaps unknown but not in doubt.

You had me at “ontological”


I’m very seriously considering going back to school for a degree in Landscape Architecture. There are a lot of reasons why, but the biggest one has to do with my vision for sustainable design. I am passionate about creating built environments that interact with the surrounding ecology instead of impinging upon it (or obliterating it completely).

So…I’ve been exploring various programs both distant and close to home. The following quote comes from a document about the Capstone project for a program that’s close to home:

Methods and Study Area / Study Participants

What ontological or epistemological frame will you use to approach your topic, and why? What kind of data will you need, and why? Specifically, how will you collect your data (details of mapping techniques, or interview protocols, or field and lab work of other kinds)? How will you analyze your data, and why?

This entire section—the philosophical terms, the word “data,” the concept of lab and field work—made me want to cry. It’s a thing of beauty. More than ever, this seems like the right decision for me. My inner geek is very pleased.

The “Knowledge Economy” is in recession


Inside the Biggest-Ever Hedge-Fund Scandal is a very interesting article unto itself, but it prompted the following related thought:

When we make knowledge “secret,” we increase its value immeasurably; however, when we make knowledge universally accessible we diminish its value to practically nothing. I’m sitting in a library as I write this, surrounded by easily available knowledge, yet I am one of a relatively small number who are here. So much knowledge at our collective fingertips, so little value placed in it. I suspect its something to do with our evolutionary biology to place greater value on those things we believe to be in scarce supply. Perhaps a scarcity model for knowledge would engender Apple product release-like lines at our local libraries? One can dream…