October 17, 2006

In the Beginning...

It seems looking into the past can give us some perspective on the future. I guess I might be writing this more for myself than for others. Anyway,  might as well get some of the facts and figures out of the way. Born in London, Ontario, Canada, November 4, 1963 (6 weeks premature) to British parents (dad: English, mom: Welsh). Age: 42 (now, not then). Nearly did not make it, etc.

With parents and younger sister in the Anglican mission field (Father was/is ordained Anglican/Episcopal Priest) in Mexico and Central America until about 4 years old. Came to the US (Los Angeles), moved to Indiana (God only knows why).  Lived in Indiana from about 6 years old to 15 years old. Moved quite a bit until I was in my 20s. Moved to Santa Clara while in high school. I have been in SF Bay Area ever since (Santa Clara, San Jose, and then Napa, CA since 2001).

When we moved to Santa Clara, I ended up going to all boy Bellarmine Prep (High School) in San Jose from 10th to 12th grade (1982). I went to Santa Clara University (where my father taught) -- While I was not very thrilled with Bellarmine, both Bellarmine and SCU were outstanding Jesuit schools. While I started at SCU to get a Computer Science degree, I ended up getting a BA in History degree with a lot of computer science courses (1986). After a few years, I ended up going to San Jose State University (1988) for my MS in Cybernetic Systems (1992) (ironically from the Anthropology and Cybernetic Systems department). About  2 years later, I started a Ph.D. at University of Hull in the UK while living in Napa. In retrospect, maybe not the brightest thing I ever did. I defended in November of 1997, and graduated February of 1998 from the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. Lincoln School of Management for short. My PhD was essentially in Systems Thinking and Human Values.

I got married in September of 1986 (for an update on this, see here). Worked in the tech industry in various roles for a long while (largely until I started on the PhD). Some of the places were: Olivetti ATC, Sun Microsystems, Frame Technology, Verity, Autodesk, IDG (technology writer). I was also starting to do a little OD (organizational development) and that eventually led to me doing the doctorate. My father is an expert in human values, and I worked with him at various times over the years. In 1994, we started Values Technology which has been seriously up and down over the last twelve years (I am not currently working for VT). Since I was technology savvy, and a growing expert in the area of values, I consulted and also steered the technology development. When I was not working on the technology I designed large scale interventions for values-based OD. The last time I left I was considered chief architect (bridging technology and values). I still advise my dad and company. Other than this stuff, I have taught at the post graduate level -- mostly in the area of leadership development.

Systems thinking and values, two areas, that other than history and technology, have fascinated me. I might add document analysis, but that really is an offshoot of the others. Since high school I had been fascinated by the ways in which values and meaning could be pulled from documents. Metaxio is a current attempt to make this more accessible to others.

In 1999 and 2001, my wife and I had a boy and twin girls -- as with most fathers, they are my pride and joy.

Well, that is probably enough for this entry. It sets up the entries to follow ;-). I am hoping there is a point to all of this!

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September 19, 2006

The Bible doesn't say Christian couples can't enjoy sex or sex-tech

I think that the above title pretty much says it all -- But it is not a lurid message in the least. Pastor Joe Beam of Family Dynamics is trying to point out that it is not a sin in a loving Christian marriage to have and enjoy sex. He backs up his message with book, chapter and verse in the bible. Much of his audiences are married conservative Christians. 

There seemed to be a sense that he was giving a sense of relief to those who might already be having sex, and feeling guilty; or permission to those that feel it might be a sin but are interested. He is not giving or suggesting carte blanche, and lays out some rules that basically must be followed -- no one can get hurt, between married couples, no animals, etc. Does not believe that pornography and to a lesser extent masturbation should play any significant role if at all in the sexual relationship even if done together.

Before I read the article I was thinking that it might be someone on the fringe trying to come to get out a sex positive message. This is sex positive but it is also not a fringe perspective. The audience definitely was not.

This obviously deals with adult themes so be warned before looking at the videos of this talks and interview. Article and video on MSNBC. Article and video on Wired.

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September 15, 2006


Today is Wednesday was a little bittersweet. It was my 20th wedding anniversary. My wife and I are headed towards divorce (and have been separated for over 2 years). We have managed to keep things relatively good. And I think that it is a little more than just doing it for the kids. I think there is an underlying compassion that has not been there for a while. Since the relationship is not going back towards marriage it is transforming into something else.

I hope that we will become better friends since that was the way we started. The last year or so, we have managed to keep it positive. And have been communicating quite a bit. Ironically, we have spoken and e-mailed each other quite a bit this week. Ostensibly because of the kids. The kids started school last week. Though I think there has been a little bit of reflection also. It is kind of funny, we have managed for the most part to have a kind of split kind of relationship. We relate reasonably well, and at the same time do not bring up the legal stuff, and try to (within reason) leave it up to the lawyers. I am hopeful for the future as our relationship grows in a different direction. Onward and upward!


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September 7, 2006

'Bones' and Faith

I would say that in many ways that my approach to faith has been a lot like that of Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brenning on the Fox TV Show, Bones. (Bones is a forensic anthropologist on loan to the FBI for certain cases.) If it is not logical or tangible, then it must not be 'real'. She and her brother were orphaned at a young age (or so they thought). But it turns out they were not, and that her mother's remains are found. And it is likely that they (the parents) were on the run in some fashion. So fast forward a few episodes and (unrelated to the story line) she is brought by one of the other characters (Seely Booth) to the grave site. She is awkward and her clinical nature gets in the way. But ultimately she begins to ask some of the questions to which she wanted the answers.

Without going into my fascination into these types of shows (CSI(s), House, Bones, etc.) I think this almost clinical approach to religion has crept up from past. I am a 'PK' (or preacher's/priest's kid) -- there is some similarity between PKs and Army Brats. (My father's an Episcopal/Anglican priest.) As the generalization goes, usually you either end-up cynical, or religious; wild or quiet, etc. I kind of went the cynical and quiet route. I suppose if this type was actually act out too much they would. It does not allow you to get to sprititual or faith bound for a good part of your life. But as soon as add this idea of spritual there seems to let in the idea iof god some other supreme being. The logic side takes a lot of time debunking all the possibilities. It creates conflict. I think that I am going through this conflict at the moment.

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