Swimming with the Razorfishes

Friday, May 06, 2005


High Line at 16th Street
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Walking the High Line. At 16th Street.

In 1999, during humdrum hearings held by the Senate Public Works Committee, Senator Moynihan interrupted the then head of Conrail to inquire about the gravesite of the recently deceased Charles Luckman, the architect responsible for what replaced the old Penn Station. Moynihan was told that Luckman had been buried in Richmond, Va.—but why did he wish to know?

"I want to piss on his grave," the Senator said.

I'm on a bunch of non-profit technology lists. People often post job offerings to the group, like this one I saw today:

Position Announcement: LINC Project Circuit Rider

Full-Time and Part-Time Applications Encouraged

The Welfare Law Center seeks a Circuit Rider to join its nationally and internationally recognized Low Income Networking and Communications (LINC) Project, a pioneering initiative that empowers grassroots low-income groups to use cutting edge technology strategically in organizing and advocacy. This is an exciting position for a creative and energetic technology activist who is committed to social justice.

Sounds interesting.

Current initiatives include promoting the use of open-source software by grassroots groups, deeper integration of databases into voter participation campaigns and organizing, and improving low-income leaders’ access to web development skills and technology. The current LINC Project staff includes our Senior Circuit Rider and the Project Director. The new Circuit Rider will be under the immediate supervision of the Senior Circuit Rider and under overall supervision of the Project Director.

Cool. Empowering non-profit and grassroots organizations using open-source software. I like it.

While the position requires extensive travel, the Circuit Rider will be based in the Welfare Law Center’s New York Office. This is a full-time position although we will consider a part-time position for the right candidate. The position is for one year with employment beyond that subject to funding.

I've been thinking about how cool it would be to travel more for work. Sounds interesting.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Provide intensive technology assistance to low-income groups and coalitions in their communities, including needs assessments, development of technology strategic plans, implementation of those plans, assisting in fundraising for technology capacity-building, and onsite and remote problem solving.
  • Build on LINC’s successful GNU/Linux pilot and expand other special projects
  • Develop and share models of innovative technology use by grassroots groups
  • Provide technology training to staff, Board, and members of grassroots groups
  • Work with intermediary organizations to support technology use by their constituent grassroots groups
  • Develop both technology training resource materials and materials about low-income group activities for online and print dissemination
  • Maintain and improve websites and e-mail lists for the LINC Project
  • Participate in statewide, regional and national meetings of low-income groups to provide general technology training
  • Evaluate emerging technologies for possible use by LINC groups
  • Participate in non-profit technology assistance provider networks to share and develop expertise
  • Participate in LINC Project fundraising and evaluation
  • Assist in supporting the Center’s IT system

Good stuff. Sounds like they need a generalist.


  • Demonstrated savvy technology use and competence with computer communications, including but not limited to installing computer networks, developing and using databases, upgrading hardware and installing software, maintaining e-mail discussion lists, designing and building Web pages
  • Experience working with low-income communities and organizations of low-income members on economic or social justice issues required (first-hand experience with poverty or poverty issues and an organizing background are a plus)
  • Experience in training and a demonstrated ability to make technology understandable to lay people
  • Ability to write for a lay audience
  • Creativity and problem-solving ability, ability to work independently
  • Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well with diverse groups (including grassroots groups, advocates, funders) and as part of a team
  • Ability to travel (including weekends)
  • Driver's license
  • Experience working with Windows and Macintosh operating systems is required;
  • Experience working with at least one of: Microsoft Access, Filemaker Pro or mySQL is required
  • Experience with Linux, system administration, other database applications is strongly preferred

Great. I like it.

Salary: Up to $38,000/year depending on experience, plus employer paid health insurance, vacation and sick leave and contribution to a retirement plan.

Up to $38,000? Could they possibly find a person with good general technical skills, experience with Linux, MacOS, and Windows, someone who can speak and write well, who can also explain all this stuff to non-geeks for $38,000 / year? In New York City? Is this possible?

Teachers and people who work for non-profits are extraordinarily dedicated.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Eventually, Gates said, there could be a car that wouldn't let itself crash."



Gates says it won't crash. I gotta get me one of those cars.

Children's view of Darfur. Good God.

The Delocator. Find your alternative to Starbucks. Nothing near my office, alas. [and, no, the coffee shop owned by the Moonies doesn't count]


High Line Looking South
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Walking the High Line. At 14th Street.

Production of 'Chappelle's Show' Suspended.

Washington Post: 2 Small Bombs Explode Outside British Consulate in New York.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

sendmail + majordomo = hate

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

In an interview about the possibilities of a Rudy Guiliani presidency, Pat Robertson spoke his mind:

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Robertson — who founded the Christian Coalition — also said he would be wary of appointing Muslims to top positions in the U.S. government, including judgeships.

His comments on Islam drew a heated response from Muslim leaders, who criticized them as racist and inaccurate.

Another conservative Christian leader, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, was more cautious in an interview about embracing Giuliani as a presidential candidate, but said he was inclined to agree with Robertson's view of Islam.

This is where people of honor draw the line. This is where we say "no," that our country does not believe things like this. This is where we reject hate and bigotry born of ignorance and fear.

Where are the leaders with enough courage to fight terror by becoming more open, more inclusive? They are among us. Why do they not speak?


High Line Looking South
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Walking the High Line. Approaching 14th Street.

Bob Hunter, Greenpeace founder, dies at 62.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'm putting together a résumé as part of an application to join the board of a non-profit organization. It has been surprisingly difficult.

Difficult because I'm trying to put together a non-too-technical résumé, but more so because it feels like I'm being self aggrandizing. It seems way harder than it should be.

Claritin is such a miracle drug for me. I would gladly offer sexual favors to its creators.


High Line Looking South
click for high-res

Walking the High Line. Looking South at 34th Street.