Is all reading important?

I love to read. Thanks to my Mother I’ve been around books most of my life. So to this day I love being engrossed in a real paper book or periodical that I can hold in my hands.

Today’s New York Times has a article called Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?. Ironically I found it on my iPhone. There’s a new New York Times iPhone app that helps me browse and discover. So I read the entire article on my iPhone. Something I’m only now getting used too. Further weirdness is that I have a hardbound paper book next to me waiting to be read. I woke up this morning determined to stay away from my laptop for a few hours. But the call to create and share online was stronger. I’ll get to the book I promise.

The short version of my feelings about online reading vs paper reading is this: ITS ALL GOOD. That would be modern parlance for, ‘Both online and traditional reading of books is a good idea’. I grew up with both. I love both. But I’ll admit that its getting harder and harder for me to read some books all the way through. My difficulty in finishing certain reading, online or offline, is determined by writing style. Not the medium with which the knowledge reaches my brain. If the author’s words don’t grab me and force me like an obsession to continue turning pages often times I can’t. This isn’t a hard and fast rule though. I slog thorough all kinds of stuff.

Authors who’s books I wasn’t able to put down: William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, J.K. Rowling, and the graphic novels of Allan Moore. There is a thread there. They’re all fiction writers.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to read biography and non-fiction political books. Philosophy often engages me. Yes I’m a geek and I read computer manuals and how-to books. But less so as time goes on. Much of that info is at my finger tips via web browser. Should I blame the Internet? Sure. But I just don’t find it a bad thing. Its an evolution of our minds.

So excuse me I gota find a book on how to use Quickbooks business software.

Stop NC HB 1587: Prevent Big Telecom from killing Muni WiFi

As I write this NC HB 1587 is before the Utilities Committee for consideration. Big Telecommunications companies want to prevent democratically elected bodies from bringing broadband Internet access to everyone.

Please ask your NC state Rep to vote No or ask their colleague to vote No!

Here is a Microsoft Excel document with a list of the Utilities Committee members. They are from the following counties: Randolph, Rowan, Rockingham, Nash, Hallifax, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Guilford, Iredell, Surrey, Yadkin, Davie, Iredell, Cumberland, New Hanover, and Pender Counties.

Here is what the NC League of Municipalities had to say about this bad bill:

Telecom companies want to restrict local government authority to provide communications services to citizens

Last session, the telecommunications companies pushed for and won statewide franchising of video services, claiming that the local franchising process hampered competition. That state franchising legislation imposed very little regulation and did not require companies to serve an entire community.

Now, the telecom companies are pushing HB 1587 ­ Local Government Fair Competition Act, which would place significant roadblocks and restrictions on any local government that wants to provide communications services ­ including cable, telephone, electronic voice, data, audio or video transmission and Internet access ­ to its citizens.

Access to high-speed broadband service is critical for the future economic development of our state as we attempt to replace our lost textile, tobacco, and furniture jobs. HB 1587 will effectively prevent local governments from bringing high-speed broadband to North Carolina communities, especially to rural and distressed urban areas. Through their opposition to build-out requirements, the industry has made it clear they have no intention of investing in such areas.

Municipalities are already subject to numerous public scrutiny and public accountability requirements for all infrastructure projects. These new Draconian requirements are simply designed to prevent deployment of local broadband networks, whether done alone or even in partnership with the private sector.

The League opposes HB 1587 because it seeks to undermine local authority to undertake enterprise activities ­ authority that has been upheld by the courts.

This bill was scheduled for discussion before the House Public Utilities Committee this week, but was not taken up. Please call your representatives and ask them to oppose this bill.

(cross posted from BlueNC)

Help Teach Someone to Read or get their GED

Might you be interested in helping someone learn how to read? If so please contact Yashna Padamsee at the Durham Literacy Center ASAP. yashna (at) durhamliteracy (dot) org More info bellow.

I worked in AmeriCorp for one year at the Durham Literacy Center. Its a serious organization that’s been working very hard teaching people for over 20 years. Helping someone increase their reading literacy can have a dramatic effect on the quality of their lives. If you want to see the world change for the better this is a great place to start!

Please blog about this if you live in the Triangle Area.
Thank you.

From Yashna:
Do you want to be a tutor with DLC?

Why you would
To make a difference in your community!
Empower an adult through reading, teach an adult English, help a teen get his or her GED.

Here is how!

1. Attend a one hour volunteer orientation

When: 2.26.08 6-7pm OR 2.28.07 6-7pm

Where: Lakewood Baptist Church/ Education Building
2100 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC
Google Map

How: Call or email to sign up OR just show up!

2. Sign up for tutor training (TT) at the orientation
NOTE: *If you missed the orientations please call in you want to register for TT

3. Attend tutor training
(required to attend all three dates)

Monday March 5, 2007 6-9pm

Wednesday March 7, 2007 6-9pm

Saturday March 10, 2007 9am – 3pm

4. Get started with a student.
Work one on one with an adult student twice a week to help improve their reading and writing skills.

Looking forward to working with you!

phone: 919 489 8383 ext 27
fax: 919 489 1456