As I write, I’m listening to Garrison Keillor and a delightful rendition of “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” It reminds me of a dear friend, Ruth Myers, who used to speak of “perceptive paranoia” as the sine qua non of a good education.
Inspiration enough for me to remind you, dear surfer, to be sure you’re signed up for the March 1 “Afloat in the wireless pond” conference. This ambiguous title reflects not just society’s present state of being but conference planners’ invocation of the thought-provoking “Thoreau in Minnesota” conference organized by Dale Schwie. The Waldenesque image inspired the planning process.
Title notwithstanding, March 1 promises to be an “out of the box” day with a roster of speakers that includes a journalist, an historian, a city planner, a philosopher, a geographer, a poet, high school participants in History Day research, and David Wiggins, who defies categorization. Each speaker has a perspective on living in digital days informed by experience and by time devoted to thinking about life afloat on the wireless pond.
There will be time to connect with other “floaters” and to consider the oft-cited pernicious characteristics of technology. Above all, participants will explore the many ways in which people and organizations of good are capitalizing on the potential of information age tools to enhance access to information and thus expand the circle of informed participation.
By Mary Treacy