February 21, 2002

A mal-metaphor is a comparison that misrepresents reality. Metaphors promote understanding; mal-metaphors lead one down the wrong path.

A core mal-metaphor I want to discard is that my brain is limited to what’s in my head. The brain isn’t just what’s above my neck. Take away the body’s network of nerves, and the brain becomes senseless. The brain is not an independent entity.

Because the optic nerve processes images before passing them along to the gray matter, some say the eyes are an exposed part of the brain. Why stop there? If I say “It’s all in your head,” I’m inevitably in error.


An important aspect of getting things done is imagining how another person thinks. The brain mal-metaphor limits my thinking to what’s on this person’s mind. It’s more enlightening to step into the other fellow’s entire being.

Instead of “I’ll try to look at this from Mary’s point of view,” I’ll tell myself “I am Mary. Now what?”

Posts from previous journal

“Your site is fantastic. A great mirror to a great person.
Patricia Franklin ”

love those strokes :-)

I need to go to my own balcony.
Assess how I’m getting on down in the plaza.

today the eLF board met for 90 minutes, hardly enough time to really get into things. all in all, a good session. i’m beginning to get out of the meeting-only concept, in part because it’s ridiculous not to take advantage of a successful meeting on monday. rather than think of a meeting, we can think about where we want to shine the spotlight.

during the meeting, i was impatient, perhaps too much so, and pushed for rapid action. we brainstormed out descriptions of who we want to be. it was quite a productive exercise. we may want to express these things through stories. the keepers include:

    we face reality and don’t mind playing devil’s advocate

  • we promote applied best practices
  • we encourage our members to network with one another
  • we are a global eLearning community of practice
  • we freely share our ideas, sort of open-source IP
  • we take a broad perspective, putting where eLearning has come from historically, staying ahead of today’s curve, and acting as eLearning visionaries
  • we are unaffiliated and non-commercial
  • we seek a balanced membership, comprised of users, vendors, researchers, and consultants
  • we think of ourselves as innovators and provocateurs
  • we do not offer consulting services and do not publish research reports

this is shaping up nicely.

sherrin bennett dropped by for a short while. we talked about the visual learning program. she’s to draw the picture and recruit a few folks. great outcome in 10 minutes time.

i chatted on the phone with BELA, the boston eLearning association; they’re not very far along. also talked with ted kraver, who’s much more in line with doing deals and making business happen.

austin volutarily got his locks shorn and he looks marvellous. sort of a gatsby-era college kid. i told him he’d have to fight off the girls when classes resume.

mike metz described real-world elearniing chez cisco.

  1. guerilla video. they have numerous rooms outfitted with video gear. people sign up for them as if for a tennis court. some are abysmal on production values, great for information about what’s going on. several thousand of these, generally 10-12 minute chunks, are available online.
  2. live video webcast, via IP
  3. synchronous, instructor-led sessions

while mike manages marketing of eLearning for cisco, he has never completed a course. LMS? he has no interest in watching his direct reports at that level of detail. let the workers figure out what they need to do their jobs.

cisco has put $8 million into building a network-quality t.v. studio. actuallly, three studios. loaded with gear. giant throughput capacity.

there’s a concept: LMS as micro-management tool.

Hunter S. Thompson’s story “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” Here Thompson answers a worried question from his illustrator, Ralph Steadman:

“Is it safe out there? Will we ever come back?”
“Sure,” I said. “We’ll just have to be careful not to step on anybody’s stomach and start a fight.” I shrugged. “Hell, this clubhouse scene right below us will be almost as bad as the infield. Thousands of raving, stumbling drunks, getting angrier and angrier as they lose more and more money. By midafternoon they’ll be guzzling mint juleps with both hands and vomiting on each other between races. The whole place will be jammed with bodies, shoulder to shoulder. It’s hard to move around. The aisles will be slick with vomit; people falling down and grabbing at your legs to keep from being stomped. Drunks pissing on themselves in the betting lines. Dropping handfuls of money and fighting to stoop over and pick it up.”
He looked so nervous that I laughed. “I’m just kidding,” I said. “Don’t worry. At the first hint of trouble I’ll start Macing everybody I can reach.”[13]
And Dr. Thompson has been Macing everybody he could reach ever since. He’s reached quite a few. Merriam-Webster defines gonzo as “idiosyncratically subjective but engagé.” As dictionary definitions go, this one’s delicious. A bit fruity perhaps, but a great nose and a nice finish. It also means “bizarre” the lexicographers add rather woodenly, ruining.


FBI Warns of ‘Skyfall’ Attack FBI Warns of ‘Skyfall’ Attack
By Declan McCullagh

2:35 p.m. Oct. 11, 2001 PDT

WASHINGTON — In a brief but dramatic statement, the FBI warned Thursday that Americans should expect additional terrorist attacks.
A two-sentence press release on FBI.gov said there “may be additional terrorist attacks within the United States and against U.S. interests overseas over the next several days.”


[9/16/2001 10:06:29 PM | jay cross]
Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams
by Kenneth Koch
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!


[10/6/2000 2:17:51 PM | jay cross]


“prefer to think for themselves and may therefore place less importance on others’ directions.” dislike being told what to do.

easily frustrated and impatient. to not suffer fools gladly is a classic ADD characteristic. while others may beat around the bush, searching for diplomacy, ad ADD individual is most often direct, to the point, and can’t udnerstand how or why such bluntness might give offense.


[10/12/2000 8:59:40 AM | jay cross]
Jay’s need to organize.

My collection of little boxes and shoulder bags is immense. In an antique shop, I am drawn to small wooden boxes. What’s going on here? I think it’s probably a quest to put things in their place, to sort things into categories, to simplify my world.

I’m also always taking notes. I learn by expressing things on paper — and more recently, in talking with other people. In cleaning up my office, I find I have a dozen blank books waiting to be filled, as if I might run out or something.

Today I’m reorganizing my bookshelves. Downstairs, I want to cull the bad stuff. And separate the good into business, management, design, art, travel, psychology, learning, web, how-to.

I’ve flashed on how I studied in college. After the usual lectures and reading and what-not, I’d summarize my notes into three or four pages of essence, keeping just the good stuff, memorizing it automatically as I condensed the subject matter and wrote it down.

I often bring up the “Jimmy Swaggart” syndrome — that’s where people preach to others but it’s actually advice for themselves. Is my organizing and presenting a function of my own perceived lack of organization? Or fear of an unruly world?



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