Notebook of Sand

• Recent Publications
• Recent Projects
• Conferences & Speaking
"Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections"
  ACM Hypertext '09
"Archiving and Sharing Your Tinderbox"
  Tinderbox Weekend London '09
"The Electronic Nature of Future Literatures"
  Literary Studies Now, Apr '09
"The World University Project"
  St. John's Col. Cambridge, Feb '09
"Ethical Explanations,"
  The New Knowledge Forge, Jun '08
Lecture, Cambridge University
  Tragedy in E-Lit, Nov '07
Hypertext '07: Tragedy in E-Lit
Host for Tinderbox Cambridge '07
Keynote: Dickinson State Uni Conf
Upper Midwest NCHC'07: Speaker
eNarrative 6: Creative Nonfiction
HT'05: "Philadelphia Fullerine"
  Nelson award winning paper
NCHC '05:
 Nurturing Independent Scholarship
Riddick Practicum:
  Building Meeting Good Will
NCHC '04:
  Philadelphia Fullerine
  Lecture on American Studies
WWW@10: Nonfiction on the Web
NCHC '03: Parliamentary Procedure
ELL '03 -- Gawain Superstar
• (a)Musing (ad)Dictions:

Ideas. Tools. Art. Build --not buy. What works, what doesn't. Enjoy new media and software aesthetics at Tekka.

Theodore Gray (The Magic Black Box)

Faith, Life, Art, Academics. Sermons from my family away from home: Eden Chapel!

My other home: The Cambridge Union Society (in 2007, I designed our [Fresher's Guide])

The Economist daily news analysis

Global Higher Ed blog

• Hypertext/Writing

Writing the Living Web

Chief Scientist of Eastgate Systems, hypertext expert Mark Bernstein. (Electronic) Literature, cooking, art, etc.

Fabulous game reviews at playthisthing.

• Stats

Chapter I: Born. Lived. Died.

There is a Chapter II.

Locale: Lancaster County Pa, USA

Lineage: Guatemala

Religion: My faith is the primary focus of my life, influencing each part of me. I have been forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by Jesus Christ. Without him, I am a very thoughtful, competent idiot. With him, I am all I need to be, all I could ever hope for. I oppose institutional religious stagnation, but getting together with others is a good idea. God is real. Jesus Christ is his Son, and the Bible is true. Faith is not human effort. It's human choice. I try to be the most listening, understanding, and generous person I can.

Interests: Anything I can learn. Training and experience in new media, computer science, anglophone literature, education, parliamentary debate, democratic procedure, sculpture, and trumpet performance. Next: applied & computational linguistics, probably.

Education: Private school K-3. Home educated 4-12. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College in Jan 2006. As the 2006 Davies-Jackson Scholar, I studied English at St. John's College, Cambridge University from 2006 - 2008.

Memberships: Eden Baptist, Cambridge Union Society, ACM, AIP, GPA.

Alum of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program, sponsored by the Hershey Company.

The Dangers of Writing
Friday, 7 Sep 2007 :-:
Resort to sermons, but to prayers most:
Praying's the end of preaching. O be dressed;
Stay not for th' other pin: why thou hast lost
A joy for it worth worlds. Thus hell doth jest
Away thy blessings, and extremely flout thee,
Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about thee.
--"69" from "Perirrhanterium", by George Herbert

Sometimes, when I read the religious writings of a great poet like Herbert, I imagine that he was an amazingly spiritual man, someone to be admired and imitated. This may be the case. But literariness is not next to godliness, and good theology doesn't naturally result in good living.

An example of this can be seen in the wonderful Biblical poem of Isaiah 38, written by Hezekiah, king of Judah, after his miraculous recovery to health. The poem is honest-- more honest about his personal sins than the prayer which led to his recovery--and seems theologically sound. He even creates a clever chain of literary conceits: life as fabric-- plucked away by wind, woven in the loom, rolled up and cut off for storage. Hezekiah's poem is a beautiful expression of contrition and praise. But poems are not people, for poems do not change. While writing, Hezekiah may have been sincere about the miracle of his recovery and the blessing of God's forgiveness. But when emissaries from Babylon come to congratulate him on his recovery, he shows them the family jewels rather than shares his faith in God.

Personal writing sometimes comes from a desire to preserve a lingering moment or emotion. In such cases, this contrast between our malleable life and the indellible pen is what draws us to the written word. Herbert mentions this frustration in the first stanza of The Temper:

How should I praise thee, Lord! how should my rymes
Gladly engrave thy love in steel,
If what my soul doth feel sometimes,
My soul might ever feel!

Somehow, despite the way the variability of life can drive us to write and speak, we can think that a person's writings describe them. It's also possible, like Hezekiah, to think this of ourselves-- to think that writing brings closure, that a poem of thanks is an adequate substitute for thankfulness. Good writing and public speaking are the highest virtues if reputation is the essence of morality, but if human life or divine approval are the measure, our ideas are no more important than our everyday actions.

Thus, writing is dangerous for those who believe themselves too much, who also fail to heed their own advice.