we've had Professor Roland Martinson from Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota here for a week. Despite the fact that this photo makes him look like a Star Trek octogenarian, Rollie is incredibly fit, lively and wise. We really enjoyed his company, insights and encouragement.
You can read more and get MP3s of his sessions here.
last night i cooked with mexican ancho chillies for the first time in about 3 years. tonight, with most of the family out, I'm pigging on the leftovers. rick bayless (see my cookbook list) says that if he had only one chilli to use, it would be the ancho. how right he is.
I am in chilli heaven - not much heat, just smoky flavour... like red wine and cigars.
the first essential mexican cooking tip is to slice onions thickly, break the garlic head into cloves but don't peel them, and blacken them both over medium-high heat in a cast iron frypan. you can do that with the tomatoes, tomatilloes or red capsicum.
I used 2 dried anchos to keep it mild. mexican cooking tip #2 is to char but not burn the chillies. I cut the anchos in half, then put each half on the hot pan for about 20 secs until it just started to smoke, then the same on the other side. then soak the dried chillies in hot water for 20-30 mins.
the ancho paste is 8 smoked garlic cloves plus 1/4 tsp mexican oregano plus 1/4 tsp cloves plus 1/8 tsp ground cumin plus the anchos plus 2/3 cup chicken stock.... or something like that....
the paste went in with the stir-fried beef strips, charred onion, diced canned tomatoes, fresh coriander, red kidney beans, squirt of lime juice... etc, etc.....
so it was beef enchiladas in (shock horror) shop-bought tortillas.... I know, I know... every time I buy them I think 'never again'. they all taste plastic, and home-made is really so simple and quick.
I can cook like this any day, but those anchos.... whooooo.... not much heat at all, but sooo smoky and nice.
here at last is "virtual community," the second last post in this series, proving that time is irrelevant in the virtual world. (when I've finished I'll edit and make a download doc of all of this). virtual community consists of people who 'connect' primarily in cyberspace.
people clearly the Internet is not generational. however, like television, the
iPod and the telephone, those who have grown up with it take to the
Internet like digital ducks to a cyber sea (I can't believe that I
just wrote that...). so Gen Y and Gen X are very much at home with electronic communication in all of its varied forms. virtual communities are the most fluid, intimate and anonymous of all. you can have an identity just for shopping, or meet, date and marry. virtual community can be intensely tribal, or consist of a discussion forum for that new software that won't bloody work for you.
because the Internet is fundamentally connective, it's a major gift to people is to allow us to connect with whomever and whatever we need or want - family, friends, interest groups, old classmates, our hopes, desires and even regrets. such connections may be long-lasting (keeping in touch with old friends since you've moved interstate) or casual and transient. baby boomers and their churches profoundly underestimate the importance of electronic communication in fostering and sustaining geographically-dispersed relationships (eg. my church only uses electronic communication with young people to promote its events).
place place is often ignored in conversations about the Internet. where are people when they access electronic communication? virtual practices often happen in regular geographic places. email becomes part of the psychological and bodily space of my study, my home. mobile people live in zones and corridors, both indoor and outdoor. electronic communicates fosters community with people often in the places that are most meaningful to them. we all know about the personalisation of technology - my ipod or mobile is a fashion accessory, a part of me - so the 'place' aspect of virtual community includes 'body'. not 'i have a phone' but 'i am my phone'... for this reason alone, electronic communication is intimate, not superficial.
space cyberspace is non-geographic. Local and global are overlaid. Margaret Wertheim suggests that the Internet has allowed us to achieve the historical dream of transcending physical space. virtual communicators often also inhabit tribal communities. they have favourite people and places. the point is that experiences of community and connection are separate from, or rather, float above, physical spaces of community. virtual notions of community must take seriously the fact that cyberspace is multi-dimensional - the screen is not flat, impenetrable - it is a portal to complex, connected, multi-sensory, dynamic worlds, arenas, communities, experiences. cyberspace is interactive and non-linear space. and cyberspaces are inhabited imaginatively. these are profound and largely unexplored questions about how we create, inhabit and sustain virtual communities.
time Internet time is instant time, no time. We have all experienced the moment of wonder when an email sent across the word results in an almost instantaneous reply. electronic communication has some distinct time patterns - some information (such as website data) can be accessed anytime, anywhere, some communication is spontaneous (a phone call, a 'flashmob' gathering), some is prescheduled and 'one-off' (a webcast), some is cumulative (a discussion list), some is 'download now, play later' (a podcast). more so than other forms of community, virtual community is oriented around the shifting timetables of its participants. I connect with others when, where and how I choose. but rather than indicating that virtual connections are occasional and fleeting, their spontaneity may mean that they are intense and frequent.
purpose as noted above, virtual connections can have many purposes. when does connection become community? when communication becomes group communication and is sustained and developed over time. electronic promotion (advertising) is not virtual community. Web 2.0 recognises not only interactivity, but shared purpose, authoring and authority as essential to ongoing community. in many ways, virtual community is tribal because the ubiquitous nature of the WWW requires clustering in order to make sense of anything.
leadership so virtual community is networked, nodal community, not only connected but interconnected, multi-way - not a level playing field, but ever changing nodes of influence and connection. in this environment, leaders may be hosts, networkers or nodes themselves. in other words, they may lead by simply enabling the connective infrastructure, they may actively connect, refer, forward/copy and pass on viral information. they may be a a node around whom others gather, becoming not so much a celebrity as a clearinghouse for ideas, opinions, information, resources. such authority is not simply or necessarily utilitarian, in fact, given the voluntary nature of online communities, nodal leadership may be a sign of strongly shared values, great respect and deep interpersonal connection and friendship. authenticity may be as vital ib the virtual arena as in other forms of community.
so that at last is part 4. once again it is a kind of caricature. the main point of all this comes in the next post where I compare these 4 kinds of communities, highlight some differences, and ask whether and how we are engaged in fostering them.
so pleased my first assignment in "issues in publishing and technology" was "eloquent", "lucid" and "astute" and got me 14/15. it's hard to brag to your fellow cyber-students so I thought I'd do it here. a pity its only worth 15%! and the first part of the other subject (a double-subject) is 2 weeks overdue. crap. I have to make up a web project client analysis of a childrens' book author's publishing plans. Project management is like a trip to the dentist for me, so like last semester it's going to be SAW III (not that I've seen the movie).
off to carve the duck, pour the orange sauce and get out the sauted witlof, baked spuds and celeriac....
i got the new 15" macbook pro today. one of the new faster ones with iLife '08. i didn't get the glossy screen as I don't want someone messing with what my graphics look like - but I'd have to say that the glossy screens do look great for watching movies.
also saw the new iMac in the shop. how cool is that?
now the laborious task of setting up the new computer.
step 1 - do a clean system install so I can avoid installing all those foreign languages and printer drivers and software trials that I'll never want.....
step 2 - partition hard drive - yes, I still like to do this....
in the meantime, off to the aldgate pub for dinner to celebrate mnaddy's birthday!
life gets in the way of blogging, doesn't it? lots of bloggable life moments... but sleep and sleeping people call... someone will write a book called "a blogging life" (they already have)... someone will do a study about what worthwhile things people were doing when they could have been blogging. like sleeping. or sleeping with people who are already asleep. or a book about the stupidity of blogging when its bloody freezing and the bed would be much warmer..
today I contemplated a month where I would answer emails with hand-written letters. the kind that you send to people who don't have email. no explanation, just a note by snail mail. that would be a fun research project.
since I am a notoriously bad letter-writer (no reader of this blog has ever had a hand-written letter from me, and my family almost as rarely), you would undoubtedly feel special to receive such a tome.
I've just spent an inordinately long amount of time on a 1500 word essay comparing the introduction of print to the introduction of the internet, so I'm mentally besotted with hand script vs. type vs. electro-text, and I'm thinking about a whole range of things apart from the obvious essay connections - communities that practiced textual study, spirituality as part of the craft of 'embodying' texts, the hermeneutics of community life, and other stuff. too many things. walter ong would be proud. just have to see if my lecturer is...
actually, I've been reading this stuff for years, and started this topic twice before but had to defer for work and family reasons.
today I was supposed to write an essay comparing the introduction of the internet to the introduction of print in terms of authoring and publishing. instead I cooked....
...made a bacon, pea and black bean soup with veg - carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme, mustard powder, sweated garlic, etc.
the rest of the time I made pizza toppings for tonight's dinner...
... baked shallots (the bulbs not spring onions) in olive oil and thyme, then sliced them and caramelised in balsamic vinegar and vino cotto ... marinated chopped chicken in a morrocan spice mix (yes, a purchased one.. shock, horror), then cooked it with lemon and lime juice and fresh coriander.. ... grilled a red capsicum, then sweated and peeled and chopped it, as you do.. ... fried thin slices of sweet potato in olive oil ... sliced and fried fresh asparagus ... long cooked some onion and garlic cloves, chopped the cloves, added diced tomato, fresh basil, paprika, pepper to make a pizza base. cooked it for a loooong time.
about to put it all together. we'll probably do 2 x 1/2 recipes on each pizza as there are a few combinations here - did I mention the smoked salmon and bacon...
off to cook, eat and watch Dr. Who...
btw yvonne and ellen found a new chilli shop on the parade at norwood today. it's called "chile mojo". they phoned me to ask what to buy, and came home with ... wait for it... ancho and mulato and chipotle chillies that I have not bought for about 3 years...