Speaking to a group?

Giving a talk?  Or some other form of public speaking?

Jeremy Fox’s post at Dynamic Ecology provides some excellent advice that should not be limited to ecologists! These are useful lessons for all public speakers. I particularly like this idea:

“That’s also why I start my synchrony talk by talking about Huygens’ clocks and synchronized swimming: it’s a way of conveying essential information while holding the audience’s attention with something unexpected.”

For some more guidance on various types of public speaking consider these tips.

Also, all you folks out there who speak in public should spend a year or two with one or more of your local Toastmasters clubs.

Picking a Bone With Some Carbon Numbers

The following appeared earlier this month at Canadian Energy Issues:

It takes roughly 7.8 billion metric tons of CO2 dumped into the global air to increase the concentration by one part per million (according to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Oak Ridge lab in Tennessee). One year ago the global concentration hit 400 ppm for the very first time. So for it to have gone from 400 to 404.65 ppm means we humans have, collectively, in the space of a single year, dumped 36.27 billion tons of the stuff into our air.

I see two possible issues with this.

First, it makes the assumption that the increase in carbon concentration is completely due to human activity. There are other sources of CO2 emissions, e.g., respiration, decay, volcanoes and ocean diffusion.

Second, it does not appear to take into account any CO2 sequestration that may be happening.  The oceans are currently a net absorber of CO2. Plants absorb CO2.

Is it true that all other sources and sinks of CO2 balance so that any net change in atmospheric carbon is due to an increase or decrease human “dumping?”

What am I missing?

Quote via The Next Big Future and which quoted this paragraph without question.

NB: I am not questioning the idea that humans are having a negative impact just the numbers.  We humans need to quite fouling our nest!

Is Amazon Losing Its Mojo?

I used to expect at least 40% discount from Amazon for most books.  Now that is no longer the case.

Tonight, My wife brought home a copy of Roadside Geology of Oregon from Costco with a $15.99 sticker on it.

Tonight’s Amazon price is $21.17 which does not even make it to 20% off.  

Yea, I know Costco is not a bookstore but this is a strong reminder that it can be worthwhile to cruise their book display and that Amazon is perhaps not always giving you the deal it once did.

How Have I Done So Far

Let me be blunt!

I have not made the progress I thought I might, not even close and will not document much that has already past.

The goals are still mine but my path has diverged rather dramatically over the past 3.5 years and I do not have a lot to show for developing expertise in any of the areas mentioned in my initial post.  My divergence, to the extant I document it, will be reviewed in my private journal.

No other excuses. Just recognition that I did not go where I had intended at that time.

And, yes, I am still of a mind to pursue these and other goals. However, I know that I have a multitude of learning and action goals and that I struggle with having the laser focus needed to really master any one discipline. I’ll have a lot of fun but that so-called expertise will be elusive.

I will continue to keep this as my personal learning space and keep my political action oriented stuff on other sites. No, I do not plan to link to those at this time.

There are a couple areas of progress.

I started studying Spanish again (last time was in the 9th grade) earlier this year and have been keeping at it much more steadily than any of my other educational projects. I look forward to reading, understanding and comprehending, inter alios,  Borges and Marquez in Spanish.

Soon I will put up a Spanish page and perhaps start documenting the work I am doing and the resources that I am using.

I have taken a couple online courses dealing with the basics of Complexity from the Santa Fe Institute.  Good stuff and an area that we all need to understand!

One area I might incorporate into this site is stuff related to urban development.  This can bleed over into politics and philosophy but there is much that ties to complexity as well as the way we live in this world. This will be the hook and will likely lead to some more politically oriented stuff finding its way onto this site.

‘Nuff said for now.

Why I Am Here?

Hello!  Welcome to Resilience.

This will be my home for documenting an exciting journey.  A journey that is both an experiment, albeit with a subject count of 1, and a challenge.

My goal: to acquire an experts level of knowledge in some fields that I find fascinating: Biology, more specifically for right now: ecology……; Economics; and a couple of games: Mancala and Go.  Mancala and Go will probably be documented on another site but I will make this decision a little later.

Quite an armful, right.  Will, let’s make it even more interesting.

For my purposes expertise will be defined as public recognition that I am an expert in these fields.  It will not be based on getting PHDs from the legacy education system.  I am not looking for the institutional certifications that traditionally lead to teaching or research positions in government or academia.

While I do not plan to take related classes from brick and mortar or online ‘for profits’ I will make use of resources that may be available such as MIT’s Open Courseware, iTunes University, textbooks, and so forth.

I do look forward to exploring, participating in, and encouraging learning environments outside of our legacy education systems.

I do want to demonstrate that it is possible to become an expert in more than one field in a lifetime, even in the 21st century.  I contend that if we are not actively maintaining our current expertises and also seeking expertise in new areas we are wasting a fundamental capability of our humanity.

All of this will be a challenge.  I have never been truly an expert in anything.

I’d like to achieve this before my time is up and in doing so set an example for others.  Time will tell how this goes.  I’m already running far afield from basics on a daily basis.  Eating up time that should be more focused.

Oh yea, there will not be much political stuff here.

Under Construction

This site is under construction…likely will stay that way until it dies…:)

I’ll put something up soon about what my focus will be on this site.  Meanwhile take the current title as a partial hint.

There will be quite a bit of updating over the next few weeks.  What you see today should be a bit different tomorrow.

I’ll be using the WordPress default template for a while and may experiment with a few others until I get some time to build a permanent template using Themeframe. Sure, I could knock out something different quickly but I’m still ruminating over what I want the site to look like.

Expect some experimentation with the sidebars, pages, blog rolls, etc.