GLDers, Webheads and Digital Divide Readers, forgive cross posting -
and forgive if you have already received the below from Stephen
Downes. I risk duplications because Stephen's daily commentaries are
so rich, so unusual and come from a person that is - really and
truly! - gifted.
You can subscribe to Stephen's OLDaily here
Below is what Stephen had to say in today's newsletter. - a rare bit
of polemic from a guy committed to valuable newsletters that inform
and enlighten. He doesn't chest pound; but if anyone on the planet
has a right to do just that it is Stephen Downes, who hangs out in
lovely New Brunswick.
By Stephen Downes
December 31, 2004
>A Smaller World
With the dawn of 2005 I begin my tenth year publishing Stephen's Web
and the fifth year I have been mailing copies of OLDaily to the
world. In that time I've lived in three cities and travelled across
Canada and around the world. It has been, for me, a decade of
tremendous growth, and for all of us, I think, a decade in which the
world grew smaller, more interconnected, more cohesive.
The events of this past year and especially of this past week have
shown us not only how fragile is our existence on this planet, but
also how great is the power of our coming together. The nations
impacted by the Tsunami are all part of what was once called the
third world - but in my lifetime I have seen tremendous development
in these regions, and I count among my readers people from every one
of the impacted countries.
I know it is trite to say this, but I think of all of you not only as
readers but as friends and partners in the long march toward a better
world. If you have been reading these pages for any length of time,
you will know that this is the one, only and ultimate purpose of
OLDaily and of my work in general. Education for all, and through
education, a path toward each of us achieving all that we hope, all
that we dream.
I sometimes lose sight of this objective, even though it is on my
front page for all to see. I sometimes worry more about hit counts
and contests, credit and criticism. About myself and my place in the
world, rather than what ought to be done, what is right, and good.
Life is too short, too fragile and too precious for this. There is so
much promise in the air, and yet so many of us fall to war and
famine, natural disaster and disease. Those few people who have had
the good fortune to be in a position to make things better have an
obligation, a duty, to extend as much of themselves as they can to do
so. The future of our civilization depends not on how high the
greatest of us soar but on how far the weakest of us fall. We are
together, all of us, one, or not at all.
To all my friends around the world: Peace, and long life.