EMU’s Professors for a Democratic Union is a grass roots group of faculty at EMU that came about after the group of us resigned from our chapter’s union’s executive committee. I wrote about this a bit in my “old” official blog, but in the nutshell, I was elected as a member-at-large as part of a “slate” of candidates to change the way the union is run. We couldn’t do it and we were in danger of being taken down with the irresponsible folks running things, so we decided we’d better get out while we could.
Ultimately, the result was this group, which now has a web site at http://www.emu-pdu.org. We’re organizing with a policy platform, we’re putting forward a new slate of candidates (and this time, we’re going to run enough candidates to make sure we win this thing), and we’re pursing legal action as necessary. Perhaps it’s no wonder that the EMU faculty union web site isn’t working right now and hasn’t been for a couple of days.
I posted a message about what the blackout of 2003 meant to me on my unofficial blog space, in case someone who comes across this space is actually interested. Interestingly, my office server, krause.emich.edu, only went down while the power was out. On the other hand, the university supported servers, including the one that host this site, were down until about 36 hours after the power came back on in Ypsilanti. Hmmm…
I just learned from the techrhet mailing list that Father Walter J. Ong died yesterday at the age of 90. Here is a link to the obituary/press release released by the school where Ong worked, St. Louis’ Washington University. Ong’s Orality and Literacy was pretty important to me as a grad student, as it was for just about everyone else I know in the computers and writing community, and his writing still confuses, enlightens, and enrages students of mine every semester. Rest in peace.
Or dawning or whatever. I’m in the process of switching my official blog space to a site supported with blogger. I had a heck of a time getting the archive function to work because of a series of things I wasn’t doing correctly, and I still need to add some more links and iron some other things out. But I think this is going to work.
Why blogger? Why not keep using what I was using which was supported by a product called flipsource? Well, while it did work for me reasonably well, it seemed a bit buggy and limiting to me. And when I ran into problems with it, my very limited knowledge of any sort of “real” computer language became crippling. I had some good stuff on that old blog, so I intend to maintain a link to it, like this one right here.
Why not try something more fancy, like moveable type? See above– while I know it isn’t rocket science, but I don’t have time right now to figure out how to moveable type works. The other reason is server space issues. The server I’m using for this blog (and the one I intend to slowly but surly move most of my web work to), http://people.emich.edu, doesn’t allow users like me to do cgi scripts and other fancy stuff for security and support reasons, or so I am told.
And once blogger started supporting sftp (also something that people.emich.edu requires), I figured it was time to make the switch. Blogger is powerful enough software for my moderately low-tech needs, and it is the software I have been using with my students. Hey, blogger is as common as Starbucks or McDonalds, but I like how their software works, especially after they updated it recently. And I like Starbucks coffee and McDonalds cheeseburgers too, especially if there is no good local alternative.