About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I joined in 2004 because I was impressed with the people I met at CharityFocus. Now, I cannot imagine a world without ServiceSpace.

A good day to me is when ... I'm fully aware of today

My hero in life is ...Sister Marie Pierre... a nun for all seasons

My favorite book is ...Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

One thing I'm grateful for is ... My wife, our three children, and our grandson.

Upcoming 21-Day Mindful Technology Challenge

Apr 19, 2015, 6 comments, 11 smiles Starting Tuesday, April 21st, more than 3,000 people from 82 countries are coming together for a 21-day "Mindful Technology Challenge".  It's an idea whose time has come. In all the technical documents I have read and written in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley over many decades, I’ve never encountered words like 'kindness,' 'empathy' or 'virtue' anywhere. On one hand, you don’t expect such words in tech docs. On the other hand, why not? What are tools for, if not to promote personal and communal well-being? When ‘high-tech’ meant a computer at work, a television at home, and a radio in the car, it probably didn’t matter much. But now that we are immersed in an all-digital ecosystem, expected to double the pace of life every two years to keep up with our tools, issues of virtue, meaning and values are essential.  It's time to rethink technology -- as if people mattered. But how would we even ... Read Full Story

Technology And Ethics

Oct 28, 2014, 2 smiles Here are a few tech stories that caught my attention this week ... Fascinating article on how close we are coming to The Singularity. Chip maker Intel predicts practical computer-brain interfaces by 2020. Intel scientist Dean Pomerleau said in a recent article, "Eventually people may be willing to be more committed to brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts." Yes indeed, and imagine the Web (and its owners) being able to read, manipulate and possibly control your thoughts and actions. A society with poor education, susceptible to image manipulation, and easy to beguile with a 'coolness' factor, may gladly embrace this. Even The Wall Street Journal is for hiking up minimum wage to combat tech's damaging effect on jobs. Two articles recently appeared offering two very different views of the 'new world order.' This Newsweek story reflects Julian Assange's concern about of the 'global hegemony' now ... Read Full Story

Reclaiming We The People

Sep 05, 2014, 1 comments, 4 smiles Today's NY Times has an interview with Parker Palmer: Reclaiming 'We the People,' One Person at a Time. His thinking is very much parallel with ServiceSpace. When I ask people to talk about politics on the state or national level, they say everything’s going to hell in a handbasket. But when I ask, “What’s going on in the part of the world within your reach?” the response is more promising. The venues in which we live our lives — families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations and voluntary associations — create the vital infrastructure of democracy. In these settings we can develop democratic “habits of the heart” that can help us reclaim our sense of “We the People.”[...] When I emphasize the importance of things like storytelling and being in right relationship, I’m not giving up on sorting out issues of right and wrong, good and bad. But if you’re not humanly connected, you have no chance ... Read Full Story

Tools Of Our Tools

Jun 22, 2014, 1 comments, 3 smiles We’ve become the tools of our tools;  And the fault – and the solution – lies not in our tools, but in ourselves. The digital revolution promised so much at the outset: computers would make air travel safer, health care more affordable, and education more widely available. But for all the evident benefits – and there are many – the tools have taken over the toolmakers.   --Complex algorithms, beyond human understanding, replace even the most high-valued jobs, including the jobs of algorithm writers; --Yet even as jobs and income disappear, mobile devices bombarded with messages urging endless consumption of finite resources. The resulting frustration is leveraged by powerful media to keep the public in a state of fury and frenzy; --What jobs do remain demand that we work at superhuman speed to keep up with superfast silicon systems; --Opaque institutions demand that our lives be absolutely transparent to them, even as hackers can rob us of our ... Read Full Story

Is It Time To Rethink The Digital Revolution?

Sep 24, 2013 It's nearly sixty years since the founding of Shockley Semiconductor in 1956; almost fifty years since Dr. Moore pronounced his law in 1965; and just past forty years since Intel introduced the microprocessor in 1972. So, along with looking back on all that has been accomplished so far, maybe it's also time to stop and reflect where the digital revolution is taking us. From the beginning, the goal of the electronics industry has been progress. But did we ever discuss or agree on what we want to progress towards? Faster, cooler, cheaper, smaller? Okay, but there's a limit to how fast our brains can function every day in an environment where machines operate at gigahertz speed. Moore's Law of accelerating capability doesn't take Murphy's Law into account. The May 2010 "flash crash," and the many, less publicized ones that followed, reveal that as systems complexify beyond our management, they require even more sophisticated ... Read Full Story

Laddership To The Stars...

May 19, 2013, 1 comments, 6 smiles A glass piece I created several years ago, re-discovered while cleaning house recently: "Stairway to the stars. And return." It reminded me of the notion of "laddership". I invite you to visit my GlassRoots Gallery to see other words and images (www.glassrootsgallery.me). Please enjoy!   

Immeasurable Is Real Too?

Apr 22, 2013, 1 comments, 14 smiles In 1997 I spoke at a conference, co-sponsored by the AI Lab at MIT and the Harvard Divinity School, on the subject of science and spirituality.   One of the distinguished scientists who spoke made a compelling case that only that which is measurable is real.  And in case anyone missed the point, he repeated his argument several times.   Having no scientific or theological reputation to protect, I rose to question the esteemed speaker, whose stink-eye alone could scuttle an academic career: Is that a wedding ring you’re wearing, I asked.  “Yes, I’m married.”   Do you have children?  “Yes, we have children.”   Do you love your children?  “Of course, I love my children.  What’s your point?”   Where does that love of your children fit in a universe where only the measurable is real?   “I’ve wondered about that…”   And? “… well, it’s complicated.”   Yes, it is.  

In Defense Of The Students Too-often Written Off

Feb 25, 2012, 1 comments, 2 smiles I was once invited to spend the day at a high school, speaking to all the Sophomore and Junior Religion classes about “science and religion.”   Before the first class, the teacher told me these were the brightest and the best; the high achieving, top-tier, AP students.  As I started my presentation, one of the young men asked me if they were going to be tested on the material I would present.  I chuckled and said, "No, not by me.  This is information for information’s sake, to do with as you see fit.”    As soon as I said that, their eyes glazed over, and they closed their notebooks and placed them under their desks. They knew, even at 16, that if the material isn’t worth being testing on, it’s not worth knowing. So I spoke for 50 minutes to 30 wooden planks.   Later that day, before the last class of the afternoon, the teacher ... Read Full Story

Occupy Technology

Jan 26, 2012, 1 smiles It’s time “we, the people” rethink our tools: how we use them and how they use us.   We have a rich portfolio of technology now at our disposal to fashion a just and civil society. Instead we fritter away so much intellectual, financial and moral capital on trivial “cool stuff,” with its heavy carbon footprint, and “smart weapons” that win neither hearts nor minds.   We have misdirected so much technology to build a society of waste - infinite consumption of finite resources.  And enormous financial interests lobby very hard now to keep this going, in spite of the overwhelming and evident damage to our physical, psychological and spiritual landscape.   Today there are significant movements afoot all over the world by people reminding institutional leaders that those institutions, and the tools they use, are legitimate only to the degree they serve the people they were set up to serve.    To the extent that institutions turn ... Read Full Story

My Summer At Death's Door

Sep 19, 2011, 11 comments Dear Friends, I'm happy to be home after 69 days in John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek.  I went in July 1st for surgery on my cervical spine, but then was hit by a cascade of complications resulting in the failure of my kidneys, liver, pancreas and lungs.     For six weeks I was unconscious, and for nearly four of those weeks was on a machine doing my breathing. I have no memory of any of that (and don't want any).  I did not have any Kubler-Ross vision of a tunnel of light, but I did have a remarkable sensation upon becoming conscious again.  As a person of faith, I thought you might find this of interest.     I awoke in intensive care and found I could not move my limbs, sit up or lift my  head from the pillow. (Six weeks being bedridden makes the whole body atrophy. Fortunately I am regaining ... Read Full Story