Ben Langhinrichs

January, 2008
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 31 Jan 2008, 09:25 AM
For those who know my daughter through this blog, it is likely apparent that she enjoys and embraces diversity.  Growing up in Shaker Heights, that was fairly acceptable and reasonable, and she went out in the world knowing about racism mostly through anecdote and hearsay.  Even when she was featured prominently in an ABC special on race relations in Shaker Heights, her experience was primarily with what race relations could be rather than what they really are in many other places.  At college, and later in a border studies program on the U.S.-Mexican border, she saw more examples of racism, mostly against Hispanics, but it still seemed relatively systemic rather than personal or overt.

After graduating a semester early, my daughter is working at a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C., and I think she imagined that in a cosmopolitan, sophisticated place such as D.C. with incredible diversity of race, religion and nationality, she was less likely to encounter overt racism than in a border city in Texas.  I can only imagine that in her mind, the candidacy of Barack Obama must indicate a thaw in the racist attitudes of Americans.  Not a complete elimination of such attitudes, but at least a thaw.  So, yesterday, when a group of her fellow think tankers went to a bar after work, and one suggested she invite along anybody she wanted, she invited a fellow "cubicle-mate", who we will call Tyrone, who happens to be black with an accent that some in the office find a bit hard to understand.  (My daughter has grown up with many black friends, and has no trouble with it)

As my daughter describes the scene, it was a swanky bar, and they were all dressed well.  Tyrone, in a conservative suit, was probably the oldest looking of the group, but they are all in their early to mid 20's.  My daughter is 21, and looks young, but she was not carded, nor was anybody else in her group of approximately 15, except Tyrone, the only black person in this particular group.  When the waitress took drink orders, she blatantly ignored Tyrone, and walked off without his order, even after carding him.  After about 20 minutes of trying to get somebody to take his order, Tyrone finally got a waiter to listen, and the waiter demanded proof that Tyrone could pay.  After Tyrone showed him his money, the waiter was still resistant, and Tyrone told him to forget it.  My daughter was upset, but Tyrone didn't want to leave or make a scene, so she ordered a drink for him.  She was served immediately, was not asked for id or proof she could pay.  In deference to Tyrone's wishes, she stayed while he finished his drink and then she left when he did.

Nobody else in the group seemed particularly surprised or upset.  The person who arranged the visit to the bar apologized and said she should have known it might be a problem at a nice bar in the South.  Tyrone thinks my daughter's naïveté is endearing, but appreciates it.  My daughter is appalled and upset, and obviously won't go to that bar again, but doesn't know how to handle the next such invitation when it comes up.  Many of her friends might trigger a similar reaction, but not going out with them seems an even worse reaction.

It is hard to believe that it is 2008 and not 1968, but then I guess I share my daughter's naïveté.  I wish she didn't have to have it challenged so harshly.  Even more, I wish things were different.

Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

Thu 31 Jan 2008, 08:09 AM
I have just uploaded the final version of the Lotusphere Sessions db.  It contains links to updated slides, samples and demos for many BP track sessions (before I was asked to stop adding them), so people who could not replicate due to passthrough server or firewall issues can see them, and it is the latest update with Q&A on various sessions.  Obviously, you can also just replicate this if you like.  Anything new that is added now is likely to be from you with additional comments and questions and answers, but feel free to replicate if you like to make sure.

There were over 6200 downloads, which is quite amazing.  Thanks, everybody, for coming along for the ride.

Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

Wed 30 Jan 2008, 09:57 AM
Well, it was a great Lotusphere, and it seemed that IBM had finally gotten some of the Web 2.0 spirit - openness, collaboration, mashups, enlisting the community rather than going it alone.  But alas, not in all things.  I have been asked to stop sharing with the community the links to speaker's presentations and samples in my Sessions db, because IBM wants to control and limit the distribution of such content.  Despite the irony of IBM's request, and despite the fact that all I do is collect links to already public blogs and websites, and despite the fact that the majority of people who write to thank me went to the conference and just want updates or samples or slides to sessions they could not attend, I am not going to fight this.  I won't remove any links already in the database, and I won't stop speakers who want to post their information as comments in the sessions db, but I won't add anymore myself.  I hope that IBM follows through and posts content to more than just attendees, but otherwise you will have to get links yourself from PlanetLotus.org or Google or any of the other ways to access public information... publicly.

Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

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Mon 28 Jan 2008, 02:57 PM
Andrew Pollack of Northern Collaborative Solutions has written an article about XPages which you shouldn't miss.  IBM didn't really play up the power and importance of these new design elements, for reasons that escape me but probably include power politics from the Websphere Portal team, but these look like a big deal.  Andrew does a good job of explaining why....

Domino Designer's New XPages 

Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

Mon 28 Jan 2008, 02:42 PM
If you have been replicating the Lotusphere Sessions database, don't stop just yet.  On every slide, I have provided links to the Lotusphere On-Line presentations (requires a password), but I am also adding links to all the sessions that get posted by their speakers, which are all up to date, and are definitely free for anybody, as well as sample databases and other incidentals.  I just started today, but already there are quite a links available.  If you didn't make it to Lotusphere, here is a chance to get those slides anyway.

And don't forget to post any questions in the session database as well, as both you and the speakers still have access.

To see which sessions have direct links to slides outside of Lotusphere On-Line, look for the blue arrow in the views.  The sessions with a blue arrow have those additional links when you open up the session.  Keep watching, as I expect to have many more over the next few days.


Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

Fri 25 Jan 2008, 05:38 PM
This is clever.  Obviously, some will disagree with the implicit point, but it is pleasant to hear somebody make the case with a degree of understated humor rather than stridency:


Copyright © 2008 Genii Software Ltd.