29 years ago today, somewhere between 200,000 and half-a-million people came together for the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Every year after that, October 11th has been internationally recognized as International Coming Out Day. On this day, to both remember the ongoing fight for recognition, visibility, representation, equality, and justice and to continue to make the world a safe place for everyone to be themself, we celebrate what it means to be out.
I’m out, and proud. And today, I want to reflect on what it means to be out. Continue reading
I read Michael Goodwin’s article “Why it’s time for a Trump Revolution”, was dismayed and disappointed, and then tried to move on. It stuck with me, though. There are so many half-baked justifications for supporting Trump, and this article captures a few of them. The problem with these justifications is a lot of the logic doesn’t actually follow through. Continue reading
I posted my review and reaction to The Force Awakens as a vlog. I wanted to talk, rather than write, about it.
Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? What did you think? Let me know :)
It’s now less than two weeks until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I am at maximum excitement. I was pleasantly surprised that I could still get this excited about Star Wars. My anticipation for the new movie has also fostered a renewed appreciation for the Star Wars Saga as a whole. Continue reading
A few weeks back I came across Parable of the Polygons, a “playable post” from Vi Hart and Nicky Case. I’ve been pretty entranced by it since. This post uses simple, interactive cellular automata to demonstrate how preferences in each individual can affect the entire system. This is a metaphor, and a model, for how even slight individual biases can lead to segregation at the societal level.
The beauty of Hart and Case’s work is in it’s simplicity. Continue reading
Today I watched Engadget’s mini-documentary Citizen Mars, which provides a glimpse into the character of five different Mars One candidates who have made it to the Final 100. Since I’ve finished it, I’ve been thinking about my priorities, my ambitions, and my goals. I’ve been focused on graduate school and my goal of becoming a math and physics teacher for the last few months. My attention has been on the day-to-day because I’ve had so many short-term commitments. I haven’t really thought about the overall direction of my life for a while.
When Mars One first put out the call for candidates to go on a one-way trip to Mars, I applied. Getting to Mars was my ultimate goal. It still is. As I watched the Citizen Mars videos, I realized that I feel just as passionately as those candidates.
Can teaching get me to Mars? Maybe. A true colony will eventually have children, and children need to be educated. What will education look like within a Martian colony?
I still have Ph.D. ambitions. I need to find a critical need of a colony mission and pursue solutions to that need as my graduate work. I need to make myself an obvious and necessary addition to such a mission.
In pursuing teaching now and Mars overall, I’ve chosen to leave behind other ambitions. Robotics and artificial intelligence are now merely hobby interests. My interest in user experience remains that. Even my further study of physics or mathematics has been halted. Yet, I cannot give up my drive towards Mars. I am not yet ready to cede this ambition to something more realistic or pragmatic.
[This is a response to the open letter I wrote]
Thank you for writing. I both appreciate and think I understand your perspective. Ryan, I’m not where all your open letter may be published, but consider posting my response as well.
First, I’d like to ask that you consider some of the limits of a news article and know that I would be happy to meet discuss this matter with you in detail. As to the limits of a news article…most articles tend to look at incidents in isolation, they do not always consider what has happened in the past and what continues to happen in the coming days and weeks. This is the case with the Register Guard article you referenced. And, while much information may be shared with a reporter, it is ultimately up to the reporter, editors, and publishers to determine what information they will include and what angle they will present. We, ultimately, have little control over the level of detail offered to the reader.
I am very proud of the work we have done in Bethel School District to welcome and respect each student, family member, and staff member. That statement of pride also reflects my bias. Regardless, my heart has been in this work for many years and I’d like to share just a few snippets of our leadership in the area of equity and inclusion: Continue reading