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2004 Mar 29

Here are a few impressions from SXSW on blogging, wikis, emergent democracy, and the wireless future: SXSWInteractiveTrip2004.

2004 Mar 15

A few thoughts on SystemicWikiImprovements finally made it online.

2004 Feb 24

Robert F Kennedy writes about The Junk Science of George W. Bush in an articulate but depressing article.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

2004 Jan 27

And now, an "ad" instead of a blog entry:

2003 Dec 09

I'll be part of a panel on Wiki on Sunday, March 14th at SXSW Interactive. If you'll be at SXSW, drop me a line. -- Will

2003 Dec 05

The cold and dark of winter is a good time to start thinking about how you'll spend your summer. One great way would be to attend the Build Here Now natural building and permaculture conference at Lama, a spirtual retreat center in New Mexico where Ram Daas wrote Be Here Now. [ Buy at Amazon or Powells ]

Build Here Now happens every July. I went in 2001 ( see photos ) , and fell in love - with natural building, with the principles of permaculture, and with the high mountains of New Mexico. It is moderately priced (~$500USD), you get amazing food, hands on building activities, morning yoga and meditation. There are usually work-study programs available that waive or decrease the cost.

-- Will Hertling

2003 Nov 24

If you have interest in social networking, visit Joi Ito's Wiki. In particular, the Emergent Democracy Paper will be of interest to readers.

2003 Nov 13

Here is a little something about the very serious dangers of blogging.

2003 Nov 11

It has been so long since I updated my blog, I resorted to finding an old post of mine from another online cafe on the topic of spreading understanding of sustainability (i.e. environmental and social responsibility), and reposting it here as SustainabilityIn47Seconds.

2003 September 24

These days I can't read anything without thinking of Edward Tufte, and his analysis of The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint. You'll never look at slides the same way again. Now in addition to being bored by slides, I'm angry at the author. You may just want to order multiple copies of the Cognitive Style of Powerpoint to give to all your friends and enemies.

While you're waiting for Tufte's books to arrive in the mail, if you are a computer oriented soft of person, you may want to read some essays by Peter Norvig, such as his essay Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years, or his much more esoteric creation of the world's longest palindrome.

2003 September 17

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

2003 September 11

Today I'm rereading Zen and the Art of Making a Living, by Laurene Boldt. [ Buy at Amazon or Powells ]

I think this is a terrific book, and especially well written. In the prologue, Boldt tells the story of the myth of the little king. This myth is written very much in the style of Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. It simultaneously explains what is, at the same time that it exposes the underlying deception. In this case, the myth is that we can all live like little king - secure in our castles, with all the attendant luxuries and life of leisure. But in fact, we do anything but this - instead we toil at jobs we don't like to bring home a paycheck to pursue the things we do like. We've separated living from working.

It is a western explaining of the eastern ideas of right livelihood, written in a very accessible (though lengthy) way. The book is filled with inspiring quotes on right livelihood, and caused me surprise to see just how many people have spoken on this subject.

One quote, from the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, seems particularly appropriate to this two year anniversery of the terrorist attacks:

We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one's own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness. -- The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

2003 September 07

I was off for a few weeks at school again, studying environmental and social responsibility in business, as part of a two year MBA program.

Last night I watched Rabbit Proof Fence [ Buy at Amazon or Powells ] , an true story about an aboriginal Australian woman and her experiences with the Australian government's policy of confiscating aborginal children from their parents and basically holding them as slaves.

Watching that film made me think about the gap between the worldview of most people (including myself), and reality. We simply don't learn about much that has occurred or is going on around us. I've taken slack in the past for not watching news on television or reading the paper, but most of what is really important in the world simply isn't covered there. Since there are great books and movies to expose us to some of this information, here's a page to OpenYourMind.


26 August 2003

A black day...

The Mercury reported that the Blackbird, one of Portlands defining music clubs, is closing at the end of August. The Blackbird filled a valuable role in the Portland music community, and will be much missed.

On the other, there is hope, because the following great events are coming to Portland:

23 August 2003

Visit for information on "Buying Local", a campaign to support local farmers.

09 August 2003

Our country mobilized hundreds of thousands of people and millions (perhaps billions) of dollars in the war of terrorism as a reaction to the deaths at the World Trade Center. But we haven't addresses the 40,000 Americans who die each and every year in an auto accident, and the countless others injured in auto accidents.

So here's a small idea. How about a minimal amount of driver training that goes beyond just the basics of operating and parking a car? My proposal is that getting your drivers license initially requires four weekends (8 days) of driver training in accident avoidance and emergency handling, driving in adverse conditions, manuvering in tight spaces, and limitations of vehicle capabilities. Every four years thereafter, when you renew your drivers license, another weekend of training (2 days) is required.

On a less serious note, last night I saw The Gossip again, this time at Nocturnal. The Gossip were excellent and the crowd lively. But the star of the night was Nocturnal itself, which I had not been to before. An excellent space with no-smoking, all ages main floor, and a smoking, 21+ bar down below. The bar has an assorted of games, including a large Lego collection. (I built an articulated trapeze train that drew an audience.) From their web site: nocturnal is a brand new, bright blue performace space on East Burnside street in Portland, Oregon. We have a new dance floor upstairs, and a 21+ restaurant, beer & wine bar downstairs. Our goal at nocturnal is to provide a comfortable atmosphere for art and people, as well as to give local talent a venue to present their work. nocturnal has monthly visual art shows, and hosts exciting weekly events including Sunday evening swing, tango and salsa lessons/dances, independent film and video screenings, craft night, dj's, bands, and more.

04 August 2003

I'm rather fond of Oliver, in part because Oliver is the only person I know who can routinely quote Marx and actually understands economic systems other than capitalism. Also, he is a rather good writer, you will probably enjoy Oliver's Blog.

Also, you may want to check out BootstrappingTheBlogoSphere by Laura Tripp.

From laurazWiki I also found reference to Digital Genres: "The DGI is a loosely organized network of fellow-thinking intellectuals, academics, and computer geeks. The goal of the Digital Genre Initiative (DGI) is to spur debate and thinking about the way that digital technology allows us to think and communicate with one another. The DGI is dedicated to the idea that some of the best thinking about new digital technologies comes from the people who make and use them even as academics and intellectuals provide a unique and valuable perspective. The DGI is committed to creating a space where the academy and the internet can cross-polinate." The abstract of articles is as eclectic as I could imagine for one conference.

03 August 2003

I keep a pile of Ritter Sport candy bars on my counter. Each one has a unique date on it, one per week. Today I opened up the 4th to last candy bar, indicating that I have just four weeks to go until school starts and I find myself on Cortes Island again.

29 July 2003

I've had a long term interest in small cars, and the Tango is one of the new kids on the block. The story about its design is quite interesting, especially the background of the designer, Rick Woodbury. No word on availability, so if you are in a rush, check out the Sparrow, which is currently shipping.

After reading about choosing eggs on Rebecca's Pocket, it made be grateful that we get our eggs farm fresh, free range, and organic via our CSA, Sauvie Island Organics, which has multiple drop off points in the Portland, Oregon area. The CSA directory will help you find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) near you.

Today I started listing PortlandOrganicRestaurants for anyone who prefers to eat organic. Feel free to start your own area list of organic restaurants on this Wiki if you wish.

You can get natural and sustainable building supplies at Environmental Building Supply in Portland, Oregon. I recently bought certified sustainably harvested 2x6 lumber. The price was only slightly higher than home depot, and unexpectedly, the quality of lumber was much better (very straight boards, no twisting or curving). In Seattle, Washington you can visit Environmental Home Center, which is very similiar.

23 July 2003

"I keep seeing this very bright satellite crossing slowly over the early evening sky for about the last month. I finally got online and looked it up and found this NASA space station site that confirms that I was seeing the space station ~ and ~ will see it again. Yeeaa! THis site is great! (if you like this stuff, check out J-pass and J-Pass E-Mail." -and keep watching the stars. -bob" thanks to Bob McDonald

20 July 2003

My dad took these impressive HawkPhotos from his balcony in NJ. Can anyone identify the type of hawk?

15 July 2003

I bought three salvage doors at the Rebuilding Center in Portland, Oregon. If you are considering any kind of home improvement project, consider a place like the Rebuilding Center that offers inexpensive prices on doors, windows, cabinets, lumber and more from building deconstruction (a.k.a. gentle demolition). We got three solid wood doors from a school with tremendous characters, and of a quality that would be impossible to find new. And they were a heck of a lot cheaper than even the cheapest steel doors at Home Depot.

Also, I was passed this clever easter egg today: (Thanks to Jose Martinez)

12 July 2003

I spent yesterday at the Oregon Country Fair, and got to meet Eric Grisen of Home Power Magazine, as well as enjoy the usual fair treats of good food, good music, and good company.

Today I was passed information for evolve, a global community center for conscious evolution, and for Gateway to Conscious Evolution. The latter is notable for such luminaries as Ken Wilber, Paul Ray (of Culteral Creatives fame), Deepak Choopra, Elisabet Sahtouris (faculty at BGI, Buckminster Fuller, and many more. I don't know the relationship of the two sites, but the information seems to indicate a significant emphasis on collaboration and community. (Thanks to Ron Mink)

09 July 2003

Have a practical idea for using technology to solve a problem in the developing world? Want a sponsored fellowship to implement your idea? Consider applying for the Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellowship. (From Rebecca's Pocket)

Peter Thoeny, author of TWiki, the software this Wiki is running on, created a nice presentation overview of TWiki, use models, issues, and so forth. Read Peter's 20May2003 TWiki Presentation, and be sure to use the "Start Presentation" link. (Cool plugin!)

07 July 2003

I saw Kaito, Irving and Koufax at the Blackbird. All three were very enjoyable bands. Irving gets my "See Again" rating while Kaito gets "Must See Again". The Mercury says of Kaito: "A couple of dudes and a couple of chicks make blissful, frenetic noisy pop: this is the premise of the ever-so-British Kaito. They're not singable, but only screamable, and yet beneath the screaming is a core of dance magic. How this unique combination is achieved must be seen to be understood. JWS"

30 June 2003

This comprehensive Wiki background article entitled Quickiwiki, Swiki, Twiki, Zwiki and the Plone Wars: Wiki as a PIM and Collaborative Content Tool article came my way today thanks to Mark Dovi. I would highly recommend if you are new to Wiki and/or just want some insight into the background and future of Wiki.

Some activity over the weekend on the PhotoPlugin project. PhotoWeb may yet live!

School (June 12-24)

I'm at school...

11 Jun 2003

This morning I was emailed this reference (thanks Michele) to Bill Moyer's speach on "the progressive story of America." Although lengthy, it is worth the read. Even if you don't make it through the entire speech, at least read the last ten paragraphs.

This is Your Story - The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On.

09 Jun 2003

It's been over a month, so I can update. I went to the Planetwork conference this past weekend. Awesome. Check out the conference wiki. In particular, you probably want to read the Augmented Social Networks Whitepaper.

While there, I met Michael Linton and John Linton of LETS fame. LETS Home / Community Currency / Wildfire I had a lengthy discussion with John about the trials and tribulations of setting up community currency. I have a long term goal of setting one up in Portland, possibly as a project for BGI. John Linton also lives not far from Cortez Island, and I know several people on Cortez interested in a community currency there.

I signed up for LinkedIn, another hot topic at the conference. LinkedIn?, like Friendly Favors is a social networking site, that allows us to utilize the relationships we already have. For example, let's say that you know I know Peter Theony, author of TWiki. And you would like to make a proposal to Peter, but you also want to make sure he'll give it due consideration. So you ask me to give you an introduction to Peter, or to forward your proposal to him, and putting in a good word for you. Well, this is exactly what LinkedIn? does, except that it does it automatically, and allows us to utilize relationships that you don't know about (like my unusual connection to Weekly World News). Conference reports suggest they are about four weeks into a viral explosion.

I met Rebecca Blood, author of The Weblog Handbook. We had an interesting conversation on the social effects of macroeconomics (amazing what you can talk about as an MBA student). We also talked about my WikiAdoption? experiences at HP.

Here's the full PlanetWorkConferenceReport.

29 Apr 2003

I went sailing last Saturday evening. That totally made up for a grueling week in Minneapolis. I just had to get that down: "I went sailing." Ahhhh.... Now back to schoolwork!

13 Apr 2003

I think I forgot I had a blog. Finally started my school work for the current semester today. I read all required readings for Operations Management and Industrial Ecology. I grew frustrated at the phrase "sustainable growth" yet again. That which grows is ultimately not sustainable. Said another way, infinite growth of anything is not possible. On the other hand, I found the first chapter of our operations management text to be quite fascinating. It energized me to bring some organization to my new job.

Side note on last entry... I eventually returned my Archos mp3 recorder because I was never able to get satisfactory results. I think I will hold out for a solid state mp3 recorder, rather than a hard drive based model (lighter, more durable, less batteries, smaller). And eventually I'll have to puzzle out the correct microphone technology for recording concerts.

18 Jan 2003

Saw King Cobra, The Gossip, and Young People at the Blackbird. Recorded the Gossip. King Cobra rocked, but audio problems prohibited recording them.

12 Jan 2003

The Earthcharter document:

11 Jan 2003

A cool site is It contains a real life city simulator called QUEST, where user tweak dozens of variables (such as land use zoning, taxes, water quality) to create their ideal city. Results are fed back into the local government. The simulator itself is poorly done, but the concept is great. Now if we could just get the SimCity folks to work on it, everyone would want to play.

Does anyone not read Utne? Every month of Utne brings new amazing articles, collected from the best of all that is out there. While I am normally amazed by the full length articles, this month there seemed to be a wealth of short articles on a thousand different things of interest. Find out more at

Today I came across Home Power issue #90 (August/September 2002), which contains a comparison of 13 wind generators (or wind gennies), which I promised to forward to Gif and Jason.

Attachment: sort Action: Size: Date: Who: Comment:
TheGossip-LiveatTheBlackbirdPortlandOR01-18-2003.mp3 action 39391701 22 Jan 2003 - 05:10 WilliamHertling The Gossip Live at The Blackbird 01-15-2003

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