Guiding Questions

How can I bring silence and stillness into my hectic life as a law student? What drives me to seek this silence? How do I stay faithful to a contemplative practice when my daily life activities and obligations seem so all-consuming? What do I see in the Church? In God? Why go to Mass? These questions will change with time, as my journey progresses. This blog documents my struggle with practicing what I preach, so to speak -- my struggle to keep God in the center of my life. At times, I may fail; indeed, I often will. My hope is that both my successes and failures will lead me toward greater authenticity, understanding, and love.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


From my experience, I think the nationwide decline in the number of U.S. students going into IT and computer fields is partly because of the wide variety of other career paths that are available. The author of the Computerworld article mentioned that many people who would have otherwise been interested in the computer field have gone into biology as a major; especially in the Bay Area, with its many prominent biotech firms, for people who are interested in technology, that can be a very attractive career path. It also seems to have more of a human element than working with computers all day.

I am planning on a career in either politics or law, so I don't worry that my job could be vulnerable to outsourcing -- it is not possible for someone in India (or any other country, or state for that matter) to practice law, or run for office, in California! As in any career, I can protect my niche by constantly learning and making sure I am up-to-date on developments in my field.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Electronic waste is extremely difficult to regulate in part because there are so many links in the supply chain. It doesn't seem that there are many companies that deal with e-waste from beginning to end; the buck keeps getting passed from company to company and country to country. The sheer volume of e-waste is mind-boggling; with so much waste to keep track of, it is no wonder that much of it is slipping through the cracks. Most people want to believe in the integrity of those they deal with; therefore, when I research e-waste disposal firms on-line and find one that looks like it does the job well, I don't generally feel a need to dig deeper; I believe the company practices truth in advertising. Most Americans (as well as citizens of other countries) want to do the right thing and dispose of/recycle their used electronics in a way that is least harmful to the environment, but when there is a series of brokers (as described in the article) it becomes prohibitively time-consuming and difficult to ascertain where all that material really goes.

So far, I have never gotten rid of any electronic equipment; I am aware that e-waste recyclers exist, and think it would be a good idea to deal with it in that way, but for now all my old electronics are collecting dust in various closets around my house. I considered donating an old cellphone to an organization that would convert it into a 911 emergency-use cellphone, but have not yet done so because I wasn't entirely sure where to go or what to it has so far been easier to just do nothing, knowing that it is reasonably safe sitting in my hall closet! Especially after reading the article, it just seems like such an enormously complicated task to be sufficiently conscientious about where my e-waste will end up; how can I ever truly trust that an old computer will be properly dismantled and discarded of, rather than simply left to leach chemicals into the soil in Nigeria? I don't believe I can...therefore, my electronics will probably continue to collect dust in my home, hopefully without leaching chemicals into my carpets.

In the future, when I find it necessary to discard old electronic devices, I can reference the links and organizations we learned about in class, such as and, and use the information they provide to help me make an informed decision about what to do with my old electronic devices.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Internet Archive

The creators of the Internet Archive ( created it to preserve the history of digital culture and of the internet. They are working to staunch the flow of lost information, such as the record of rapidly-changing news coverage (what happens to the information on CNN's main page when it ceases to be relevant/breaking news?).

In addition to the Wayback Machine, the Archive captures myriad types of information, grouped in four main categories: "Moving Images," "Live Music Archive," "Audio," and "Texts." "Moving Images" encompasses everything from user-generated videos to classic films and news broadcasts; in the "Audio" section can be found MP3s, poetry readings, and news programming, to name a few -- most of which are free to download; the "Live Music Archive" is, as the name implies, an archive of live music; "Texts" include every imaginable types of texts.

As described on the "About Us" page of the website, there are multiple potential uses of the Internet Archive. The following are three examples of such possible uses: we can trace the way our language changes by enabling linguists to automatically search for the first occurrences of words and the subsequent migration of their meanings; we can establish internet centers internationally, to preserve the aspects of a country's heritage that exist on the Internet; we can track the Web's evoloution by researching when different ethnic groups or certain businesses first gained a presence on the Internet.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Internet technology, for better or for worse?

When I was in high school, I mainly used the Internet for email and Instant Messenger. I occasionally went into chat rooms, but didn't ever really get into using the Internet as a social networking tool. I chatted and emailed with people I saw at school, but mainly viewed the Internet as tool with which I could do research and find information I needed for school projects and assignments.

When I went to Pearson College, an international school on Vancouver Island, I met people from all around the world. After graduation, it was hard to keep track of people and stay in touch until I started using Facebook. Once I got an account and found a huge majority of my former classmates using the same site, it was like a whole new world opened up to me! In that instance, internet technology definitely changed my life for the better, as it has enabled me to stay in contact with friends who are scattered around the globe.

I cannot think of any ways in which Internet technology has changed my life for the worse. I don't always enjoy its ubiquity and sometimes long for the days of snail mail, but in every instance I believe the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh its disadvantages. The only negative thing I can think to say about the Internet is that it enables socially undesirable activities and images such as child pornography to reach a wider audience. However, just because the medium (Internet) is being used for an undesirable end does not mean that the medium itself is at fault. The aspect of the Internet that makes it possible to distribute child pornography is the same aspect that makes it possible to distribute my favorite oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie to all my friends. I think the Internet is a neutral technology, and each person has the power to choose whether it will make her life worse or better.