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Thoughts from Stephen Downes

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  • John Hibbs
    GLDers, Webheads and Digital Divide Readers, forgive cross posting - and forgive if you have already received the below from Stephen Downes. I risk
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005
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      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
      < http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi>

      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

      <http://www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html>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.
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