The downside of dyslexia,
of course, is the annoying difficulty in learning to read, and the occasional
confusion, even after all these years, as
to which handle is the hot water, and which the cold. But there is an
upside – the dyslexic notices all sorts of symmetries and reverse relationships
most people overlook.
The Dowbrigade is among the approximately 8% of males who exhibit
some degree of dyslexia. Interestingly, less than 1% of females
do so, one of the first-hand factors which puts us in the camp of those
who see significant differences, in function if not in form (although
the jury is still out on that one), between the brains of men and
Dyslexia usually causes confusion in left-right orientation. In the
Dowbrigade, in addition to the aforementioned faucet foibles, it was
chiefly manifest in interchangeable "b" and "d", which afflicted our
writing until the 6th or 7th grade, and may have an eerie echo in the Dowbrigade logo.
Even today, we sometimes get confused by similar names. Leonard Elmore
and Elmore Leonard, Little Richard and Richard Little, George Michael
and Michael George, Georgie Girl and Boy George.
Lately, we have been spending a lot of time at two sites with similar
sounding names. Partly to keep them clear in our own confused mind, let
us delineate the differences between BLOG BRIDGE and BRIDGE BLOGS.
Blog Bridge is the amazing
new RSS reader and aggregator from Pito
Salas. Sure, it makes it easy
to subscribe, arrange, view and blog from anything with an RSS feed. But
what really sets it apart is that it is written completely in Java,
which means that it is platform-independent, works on any computer connected
to the interenet, and it remembers not only what you are subscribed to,
but which articles you
or saved, or filed to read later. From anywhere, on any machine.
Being used to the much simpler aggregator built into Manila, it took
us a while to discover the utility of moving feeds into channels and
groups, but now it seems second nature. There are suggested sample
groupings to get beginners started, pre-packaged packets of feeds, which
you can easily modify by adding and dropping feeds.
Blogs, on the other hand, are another matter altogether. One
of the most exciting initiatives at the Berkman Center, this Wiki-based
project aims to use blogs as literal and virtual bridges between cultures,
between nations, and between people. There are many possible ways to
do this, and the organizers are hoping that users will come up with many
more. Ideas include blogs written for readers in other locations, blogs
that engender discussions between participants in different cultures,
bloggers partnering up and translating and reposting each other’s stories,
and blogs facilitating international projects.
This is a goal we fervently believe in and want very much to contribute
to. We have been "nominated" and have accepted the responsibility for
Wiki within the Bridge
Blog project. Any readers with ideas
or resources related to Ecuadorian blogging can send me info there or
Actually, the Dowbrigade has been working on Bridge
Blogging since before
the invention of the World Wide Web. Back in the day when the internet
consisted pretty much of email and Gopher, we organized an email based
Import-Export Simulation Project between a groups of students at Harvard,
Boston University and the University in Nablus, the West Bank as it
was known then or Palestine as it will soon be known again.
Teams were formed between American and Palestinian college students,
who investigated goods produced in their local areas as possible objects
of exportation to the other market. Together they had to choose one product
to move in each direction, and research packing, shipping and customs
charges. It worked surprisingly well, and the students were really into
We were actually in contact with some NGOs trying to piece together
a viable economy for a future Palestinian state, reviewing some of the
student team plans for possible real world funding. We had visions of solving the stalemate in the Middle East, and getting rich at the same time. Unfortunately,
at this point the first Intafada got
worse, and the Israeli authorities closed down the university. By 1991,
the project was dead.
It was written up, however, as "Import-Export E-mail Business Simulation";
a chapter in Virtual Connections, edited by Mark Warschauer, University
of Hawaii Press, 1995. Ever since, we have been fanatical about using
the internet to bridge the physical and cultural distances between people.
Bridge Blogging will fit right
in to our worldview.
Now, if only we can figure out a way to make some money off if it. After all, Blog is Gold, backwards.
Global Voices Online
Bridge Blogs Ecuador Wiki