Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Coming Failure of Email

Email has replaced phone calls, letters and Fax's.  Email has become the #1 way that people communicate.  The only problem is that email doesn't work - it's a complete failure as a system - Sooo as you can tell I have a problem with email.  It's just a small issue one that sort of snuck up on me over time.  You see I have to spend a great deal of time just checking mine.

My first email account was a yahoo account - I give this account address to anyone who is really trust worthy might send me spam or in general is not a friend.  My was first opened in 1995 - remember 1995? - I was fooling around with it and yahoo thinks I was born in 2002 - which was a problem when I was single and trying to use there dating services.  but I digress...

My second email address is my professional storytelling address the address - this is the email you get if I think you are one of my friends, a serious business contact or someone I actually want to talk to.

The problem with both of these primary account is just that they are primary and full to the prim with stuff I don't really want or at least can't keep track of. account is really four email addresses so you can bring the total count up to 6.  I also feed my five other websites into the so you can add 12 more emails and you get the a lot of emails you can send to me from different random places and still end up in my primary box.  Needless to say I am very careful where I send things with one of those emails.

Then I have all the other emails - I have to have lost count.

1 - ATT in there brilliance decided that to get Internet I must have an email account with them - so presto another email I never check.  Earning my hatred for something else I didnt' want but am forced to have.

2 - Facebook gave me an email with out asking me - corporate person hood anyone - if they were a person I would throttle them...

3 - I had to get a Gmail account - because you can't use certain aspects of Google services without Gmail - though I happy I had a choice.

4 - I have decided to attend graduate school next year - so I have an account there as a student I am required to have one - blah.

5 - I am teaching a class at another university - and surprise I am teaching a class there as well!

6 - Does twitter count  - well they do have direct messaging - that's sorta like email

OK here is the score - 24 separate email addresses and 8 separate places I am required to check every day or a least once a week.  Plus really the yahoo account is almost un-useable because of the HUGE amount of traffic and all the presorting that goes on each day.

That's why I think email is broken or at the very least going to completely fail in the next year. - solve this problem and I give you the world.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Art is Service

Life is not filled with television, radio and internet.  Life is filled with stories spread through television, radio and internet.  Where these medias get in trouble is where they forget that they are meant to be life affirming and life sustaining.   Successful art redeems life bringing joy and laughter to life and is essentially human culture reborn to serve that the current generation.

TV and radio are top down forms of media.  The owner of the media gets to decide what the media will broadcast.  The internet has bias too towards those who can purchase talent or ears.  But the internet has it's own potential to serve a different type of storytelling.  With the rise of the internet the middle class has an media engine to match the TV and radio. 

We are all storytellers - but many of us have forgotten that part of the responsibility of the storyteller is which story to tell.  We are used to being told by the TV what are stories we are part of.  Americans are not used to the telling part of storytelling.  We are learning.  Slowly the giant of the future awakes to find that his chains have become string his cage a ginger house.

There are so may people still who do not have access to the internet - this fabulous tool of free expression.  We are awakening from the age of the TV - we are a wakening into the age of the storyteller.  We begin with the most basic question - not what do we want to consume - but what do we want to create?

A Reccomendation

What does it mean to be dyslexic?  How does being labeled a dyslexic become a label or a shield?  These are some of the questions that this blog tackles with a fresh spin and look.

I would like to suggest the spring pragmatist blog - because it dances around dyslexia and writing so nicely.  Recently the author left a comment on this blog.

I enjoyed reading some of her writing.  I think you would too.

Eric Wolf

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Video Demonstration of Dyslexia

Personally this makes my head hurt - so they are on to something.  You know?

I think the possibilities are limitless here - but this could be done right so that new and upcoming teachers can get a better sense of what dyslexia can be like.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Questions from the Creative Learners at the Assets School

Hi - Dear Friends from Ms **** Classroom.

I wish I has a the time to answer all your questions by mail - individually – I have created a list of answers to many of the questions that you have sent in your letters -
Please free to share them with others in your school as you wish.

When did you first know you were dyslexic?
What grade where you when you found out your dyslexic?

When I was in 2nd grade I had fallen so far behind the other students that the school system told my parents they wanted to place me in special education classroom.  My mother who was a Professor of education pulled strings in the school system to keep me in a public school classroom.  My parents had me tested and defined as “dyslexic” by a reading tutor.

How hard was it for you?

Very hard – in 3rd grade I was only kid in my classroom that could not read.

What Grade did you learn to read?

4th Grade I begun to read with some ability.

What level were you reading in 6th and 7th grade?

In 6th grade I was reading the hardy boys and I read a copy of the hobbit in 7th grade.  I had reading comprehension and processing scores at the college level by 9th grade.

Did you not like completing an essay or could you read by then?

I did not write my first essay till 8th grade – I did not write a well written one till 10th grade.  My first term paper – 10 pages was in 11th grade.  Even today I think essays are waste of time and I don’t like writing them.  Having aid that I do believe in writing letters to the editor and letters to politicians.

How was it like being different then the other kids?

Denial is an important part of the human experience.  Denial allows us to pretend that everything is fine when it is not.  It also gets us in trouble because we try to do things that we can’t possibly complete with out tutors or writing consolers.

How old is your sister now?

She is 4 years younger then me – still.   I am 41 – she is 37

What was her favorite birthday party?

No idea…

Did the Birthday Party story really happen?

Yep and one of your legs is longer then the other because I have been pulling your leg.

What did the Cake taste like?

Sorry I didn’t eat it.

What type of Cake was it suppose to be?

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate store bought frosting – lots of store bought frosting.

How do you make such realistic stories?

To make a good tall tale you must start with the truth and build into fantasy.  Have fun with your audience believe that your story helps them and share the joy of the story with them.

Great talking to you.

Eric James Wolf

Telling Tall Tales of Dyslexic New Yorker and When Cats Could Fly...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Changing the Game

Sometimes technology changes slowly and you can barely see it.  Then there are moments when the tech is seen anew and we realize that the whole world has changed.  The wheel or the printing press.  Today I had one of those moments.  Soon you will to.

American schools have been slow to provide the tools for supporting people with disabilities - but many schools have been quick to supply computers to there classrooms.  Trying to look modern without changing the fundamentals of there internal structure.  Now a group of people have placed all the various programs that make computers tools of access for students.  Basically free open source programs that fundamentally change the rules of the game.  Of course they are cutting at the tree of money that Microsoft and Apple are counting for there supplies.

This is an amazing leap forward - parents acting in there own self interest for the good of there students with out institutional permission or support.  Don't trust me read about it yourself at

If this had existed when I was in high school - how my world might have been different.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Law of Unintended Consequences

There are many books about the law of Unintended Consequences.  My favorite is the follow up book too - Time and Again – From Time to Time.  For the dedicated 19th century enthusiast I would recommend both – but for the rest of us here is the plot point of the book that intrudes me.

Man travels back in time to stop WWI by saving the Titanic.  Man sinks said ship by changing the course of the ship.  Hence the Law of unintended consequence in action.  I have many more from real life… 

What about United States Trains Islamic Extremists to battle evil Soviet Empire… not good ending there either….

Rabbits released in Australia as game animal leads to rabbit invasion…

I could go on and on – humans have been living this story for thousands of years so I am nor surprised to read recently that asking students to lineup in line alphabetically has had unintended consequences that last a whole life time.

I remember fondly they day my 4th grade teacher had us lineup by last name first – I think it was only once.  Ahh the glory to have a W in your last name!   The authors of this study have discovered that people with letter late in the alphabet were more likely to be quick to seize the first opportunities and people with a, b, c’s are more likely to wait and search for the best opportunity.

I find that I am the fastest eater I know – mostly because in grade school I had 12 minutes to eat my lunch.  I had 12 minutes because it took us 10 minutes to get served and I was always at the end of the line.  Lunch was 50 minutes long – but I wanted to catch the 25 minute group walk out to the recess yard.  Remember when we had recess in grade school? – ahh the good old days?
So today I eat to fast – I really try to eat slowly – but it’s I the bones you know?  Just another reminder of the important and influential role that teachers can have on students with the smallest of decisions.  Choices that last a lifetime.

Read the original report on the paper here...