So this is Eliot

Eliot Bitner Dunford was born Monday, 13 October 2008 at 10:01am in Salt Lake City, Utah, weighing 8lbs 11oz and measuring 19in long.

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Although I’ve used this site fairly heavily for behind-the-scenes staging of client work and some non-public endeavors, I’ve never made much a go of updating the blog on a regular basis. The primary reason for this lack of initiative is not really knowing what I want the end result to be, accompanied by a very clear recognition that whatever that is, it won’t be changing anyone’s life anytime soon.

I don’t say that out of self-pity–after all, there’s something not just a little bit egotistical and exhibitionist in broadcasting one’s words to the general public. However, it is precisely in the effort of publishing for the express purpose of being consumed by others that one can get a glimpse into the rationality of my ideas and opinions. Does what I think or feel withstand scrutiny? Or are there aspects and nuances that I am failing to capture?

In fact the rigor required in formally arguing a particular position or articulating a peculiar perspective can serve as a refining process even before feedback, in the same way a teacher may learn more about a subject than those being taught just by engaging in the preparation.

When I first decided to have a site of my own, I chose the name “ideoverse” to convey the concept of a “world of ideas”, a place where thoughts (well, my thoughts) could develop and grow.

With this relaunch of the site, I’d like to make good on that choice.

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passion and dedication = talent and money?

After a mighty fine partnership with Dan Rubin at SuperfluousBanter, Didier Hilhorst has gone off on his own with an even more excellent solo effort: Nundroo.

One of his first entries describes how he is going to be leaving the field of economics and going into interaction design, attending the exclusive Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy.

While such a step seems pretty enormous, he obviously has talent to spare, so more power to him, right? What I find particularly interesting however is the point he makes that:

Follow your passion with dedication and talent and money will follow.

I would agree that for success (in this case, money), you need both dedication and talent. But what if I’m reading this wrong and Didier is trying to make a different point? Could it be said that talent and money follow passion and dedication, that so long as you have a desire, you can gain the talent necessary to be truly remarkable at something?

Take art, for instance. I enjoy drawing and at one time in my life it could have been called my passion, but I soon figured out that I didn’t have the innate talent and skill that others had, so it slowly lost its importance in my life. Did I just give up too early? Did I miss the dedication part and so lost out on a chance to become a “great artist”?

Or, more likely, Didier is saying that success requires both dedication and talent, and I’m just getting worked up over a compound sentence with ambiguous clauses.

No wonder people love Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves, currently number 8 on Amazon’s Bestsellers List.

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My political leanings

In the current political season, I am decidedly undecided.

At first I thought I might not be really undecided, that I might be one of the persuadables, a group that just might be the real NASCAR dads and soccer moms of this election. But then I came upon some pretty thorough online quizzes, with the following results:

At Advocates for Self-Government, I came up as a Centrist, with a Personal Self-Government Score of 50% and an Economic Self-Government Score is 40%.

After a visit to Politopia “The Land of Really Pathetic Avatars” I found myself in the middle of Centerville (i.e. Squaresville).

At Political Compass, I was momentarily startled with the results that on the Economic Left/Right scale, I was a -2.00, putting me in Kucinich, in Gandhi, in Mahler territory—yes, I want to smash the machines of our industrial overlords and join with the proletariat! But then on the Social Libertarian/Authoritarian scale, I came back to the middle with a modest -0.46.

Armed with this knowledge of my centered-ness, I reached the only conclusion possible: I’m politically boring.

Sigh. Maybe if I move to a swing state…

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Maybe I should stop this thing before I start

Excellent point about weblogs, by Paul Ford:

That is what is most painful about a new medium, is how much the work is about the medium itself. Weblogs are a pure example: there is a significant percentage of weblogging that is about weblogging, as people figure out what to do with the new forms, much as when people, faced with a microphone, will say “I am talking into the microphone, hello, on the microphone, me, hey, microphone. Microphone. Hey. Me. I’m here. Talking. Hi there, on the microphone. That’s me, talking. Please check out my blog.”

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