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Day one with the JELC Advisory Board and "Desert Steve" Ragsdale

Posted by turbogeek on September 12, 2004 at 11:52 PM PDT

Tonight I got to meet with many of the folks on the JELC advisory board. It is amazing what subjects a smart group of folks can come up with.

One subject, brought up by John Gage, was the 10 thousand year clock project being built by the Long Now Foundation . An interesting subject in its self that started a few threads of conversation. We ended up for a moment on the fact that the clock team had purchased a large area of a very geologically stable mountain and land around it to safeguard the clock. The subject was raised that the idea of land ownership might not exist in the future. Well, I have some experience in changes in perception. I have a great grandfather that owned a good portion of the Santa Rosa mountain in southern california. My great grandfather was quite a character. He was also said to be more than a little eccentric. In fact prior to his Death he had donated much of what he owned to the forestry service (thus promoting a call of eccentric from relatives that would have liked that land). So in fact my grandfather had gone from the idea of ownership to public lands in his lifetime.

But this blog is about the Java Education and Learning Community. So what does my great grand dad have to do with education? Well, as I said, he was a character. He founded a small town called Desert Center. He made his millions from having gas, food, water, and ice cream. It is called Desert Center simply because it is in the middle of the desert at about the right location for a car to run low on gas and water crossing the desert (there is still a 40 mile gap of desert wasteland in one direction). Despite years of prospecting and searching for lost gold (he created a monument for that too), he hit the jackpot providing what people needed at the right place. From what I heard, gas food
and water was nothing compared to the draw of ice cream in the middle of the desert(desert dessert).
My great granddad has a choice quote on such common sense:

Even the woodpecker owes its success to the fact that he uses his head.
- "Desert Steve" Ragsdale

A central place sounds like and the JELC. Like my Great Granddad, Sun, O'Reilly, and Collabnet have created a community that we can make our own 'center' to attract all that pass through looking for information. Perhaps they will stay and add to our community or become frequent visitors. I think we have all the attractions. All we need to do is get the web to dispense ice cream :o).

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