Pamela's blog

Zipping the bags

Pamela McLean and David Pinto: An Exploration of the future through a mixture of fact and fiction.

Hi David,

I can understand your impatience to be started on our journey. I'm bad at packing. I spread out everything that I might need, and struggle to decide what to leave behind. I've seen advice that you should pack half of the stuff you think you'll need and take double the money. I'm sure it's good advice - assuming you can afford to double the money, and that there will be shops…

I'm never really ready to travel. It just becomes nearly time to go - I have to zip up my bags, check that I have the essential paperwork, and hope I've got it more or less right.

Maybe we should have fixed a time to leave. Maybe you won't wait much longer, so maybe I'd better just zip up my bags and trust I've got what I really need. After all, this is a trip into the future. We aren't going to be there alone. Other people will be there too. Maybe they'll help me to get hold of anything I forgot to bring.

In the future maybe some of the constraints we face now won't be constraints any more. Already we see things that seemed fixed tumbling around us. Much that our parents and grandparents accepted and took as unchangeable is long gone.

Many of our tumbling constraints relate to the death of distance, and time-shifting, and what I think of as “fluid walls”. I mean events where “being there” merges with “being involved at a distance” or through something recorded previously - events that are streamed and recorded, where some people contribute via Skype or other video links, where "being there" can sometimes feel like being a studio audience.

University-level learning and knowledge-sharing

This post is prompted by The University Project and an invitation to share personal experiences

Let's make room for sharing our own experiences of university - as students, academics, parents, people who never went to university - and of the other places in which we've found a home for our curiosity and company in our learning.

It prompted me to think about my own experiences:

ICT4D - a different kind of application

When i saw a request for information on the ICT4D Facebook group, I wanted to point to Dadamac and Fantsuam Foundation (FF) - but simply pointing isn't really enough - an explanation is needed.

The request was from Jam Gonzaga - It said "does any of you has a link about how ICT4D is applied in the various sectors associated with development undertakings." 

Humpty Dumpty, words, gestures, and me.

Pamela McLean and David Pinto: An Exploration of the future through a mixture of fact and fiction.

in "Alice in Wonderland" -  or maybe "Through the Looking Glass" -  Alice is exasperated by Humpty Dumpty. It's all about the way he's using language. Humpty insists on using words  to mean what he chooses them to mean - never mind what they mean to other people.

I'm with Humpty Dumpty on that.

I can see his point.

It's hard enough to find words to capture enough meaning to explain things to myself. Maybe I should stop worrying if the words mean something different to other people. People have different cultural reference points. Words are rooted in individual experiences. We construct our own meaning as we live our lives  - even the simple words "parent", "school", "breakfast"  - are deeply rooted in our personal lives and times and cultures. As for using words to share ideas ...  maybe we are even crazy to try.

We don't think in words do we? We think in thoughts. And those thoughts don't come in straight lines – they come through connections. That's why it's such a struggle to express thoughts in a linear way, when inside you they are all churning and bubbling, connecting and exploding, combining, reforming, doing whatever it is that thoughts do when you're thinking them (or maybe, in fact, the thoughts are simply using order to get themselves thought) anyhow they just do whatever it is that thoughts and ideas do when they are happening.

It's hard putting things into words.

I can drive people crazy when I talk.

I keep failing to provide a linear narrative. i start sentences and don't end them. I interrupt myself. I seem incapable of choosing between what people must know, what they should know, and what they could know.  I wave my  arms around. (I wave them around when I'm on the phone as well. I can't think out loud without using my hands.)

Dadamac meetups and collaboration communities

Dadamac is breaking out from its viirtual home in the cloud and setting up some face-to face meetings in London.

Dadamac face-to-face

We have set up a Dadamac meetup group. This means we'll be able to explore some of our ideas and concerns face to face with people - and perhaps find people who want to take practical actions with us as well.

Preparing for the journey

Hi David

I love your idea of a journey - and I confess to a twinge of envy that you seem to have already "found your voice" to start the exploration.

I hesitate to begin - and yet I long to - so with no clear voice I will quickly start to collect up what I already have relevant to this journey. I'll scatter it around us and see what might be useful to bring along.

Regarding maps and journeys

Starting our David (Pinto) - Pamela open letters

Pamela McLean and David Pinto: An Exploration of the future through a mixture of fact and fiction.

Hi David.

It was lovely to talk with you this evening. Do let's try open letters to each other for a while. How about doing it for three months? Frequency not predefined, just as often as we have something to share with each other. Hmm...  that takes up to the New Year, a perfect time to review things and decide what to do next.

You'll need to sign in at and then I can give you permission to write an "open letter" blog here.  It's a bit more hassle than simply e-mailing to Posterous, but Andy has set up various neat features that Nikki uses when she blogs here, and as we get familiar with them I think we'll be glad we chose this space.

just thinking what else I've been doing that I didn't mention to you -  but not sure where to start.  No matter. If we do the open letters then anything of importance will probably turn up again  while we're doing them.

 if you're around on Thursday you might like to check out First Thursday October 6th 2011  I've appreciated meeting the people you know, and you might enjoy meeting some of the people I know too –   and if it happens that there's only you and me there, well, we can chat in public, in real time, and maybe fast-forward  some of our ideas.

Thanks for encouraging me to get this started. Let's see what emerges.



Ramadhan (Tanzania) on Poverty and Population Increasing

Message to Pamela and Dadamac community

Thank you for your  patrotism to invite us again  

 to the meeting place for Dadamac's "First Thusday" meeting


Dear members as we are keeping on moving in  

threshold of the 21st Century , a  Century  that is  characterizing  by  competition. It is clear, therefore, that  this Century be a Century dominated by those with advanced technological capacity, high productivity, modern and efficient transport and communication infrastructure and, above all highly skilled manpower imbued with initiative. If we are to be active participants in global developments of the twenty –first we must, as a Individual, find the ways of improving and strethening ourselves in these areas"Povert and Population increasing"

Today's generation of young people is the largest in history. Over 3 billion people - nearly half of the world's population - are under the age of 25.  It is crucial that we engage the young decision makers of tomorrow in the development decisions of today.  I hope that,  the Teacher talking  Program in Kenya will keep on rolling so that to imancipate young generation from mental slavish awareness and creativity.

925 million people do not have enough to eat - more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union; 

(Source: FAO news release,  

Releated Project: 

Workshops for people who are facing redundancy

I'm planning to run some workshops for people who are facing redundancy. The content is based on relevant knowledge I have gained over the past ten years in theory and in practice through my online work. It is also firmly based on my own richly chequered personal history in the world of work - and my experience as a qualified teacher and as a trainer.


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