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This post is not about WoW.

Posted by Cob on June 6, 2005, 11:45 PM
I just got back from my final session with my Senior Capstone class at Portland State University here in Portland Oregon.

It's basically a community service project that my university requires for graduation. We were doing a multi-media production to teach people about poverty here in Washington County.

One of the guys on the technical team with me, Chris Jantzen hadn't been coming to class for two weeks, and he wasn't returning our phone calls. The instructor had campus security stop by his doorm because he had the class firewire drive, with all the video footage from the couple interviews we had conducted. They found him dead. Chris apparently died in his dorm from an epilepsy
attack.

I didn't know him all that well, but he reminded me a lot of one of my roommates and a friend from highschool. He was big linux fan and had penguins in his room. He was a gamer like the rest of us. He had even once been laid off for Tribes websites at the office, soething we've all been guilty of in one shape or another.

We picked up the pieces and carried on, which is about the only thing you can do when confronted by death. We just finished showing our video about poverty to Community Action, which is the nonprofit organization we made the DVD for. They seemed to be really pleased with it.

Washington County, has the highest per-capita income in Oregon. It's home to big companies like Intel and Nike and big names like Linus Torvald. Unfortunately, it also has huge poverty population that is all but invisible. 70% of the poor are employed.. they are working, but minimum wage jobs no longer cover rent and food and everything that people need to get by.

The world is a very ugly place today, but we are all part of a global community today more than ever. We will work through our problems and end our injustices. Maybe not tommorrow, but within our lifetime the world will look a lot better. A lot can happen in fourty years.
It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of things, but if you look ahead we will see a cross-pollination of cultures as globalization no longer means 'americanization'. National boundries will begin to wear down as social networks become more important. Cultural groups and religions will still flourish. Some people fear that we will cause us to loose our cultural identities and fear that technology and a global world will dehumanize us. I think that collaboration will make us stronger than ever. Ever since I dialed into my first BBS, I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of.

The important part to all of this is that we are together in this world. You may think that you are cut off and isolated, and helpless to change anything, but the truth is that we will get there by working with each other. Find a cause that interests you and go to town. Talk about it to people, post about it, put your skills to work in some way. It adds up and change happens.
The civil rights movement didn't happen because of one man, it happened because of many men and women worked hard to change something.

There is a reason why altruism exists today, it feels really really good. =D


Some final plugs from my class...

Community Action helps families in Washington County get back on their feet. They talk to people about the realities of poverty, provide emergency shelter, help people find child care, run after school programs and all sorts of heroic works.

Ai Graphics is a creative design firm here in Portland, Oregon. It is the business of one of my classmates, Joel, who went out of his way to help in the production of the DVD we made. Joel's a sharp man with a macintosh, he handled the case and label design, physical production as well as putting together some great animations in shockwave for use in the final video.

Intuit is a CD of chello music by Skip vonKuske, who graciously provided us with permission to use his music in our DVD. It's not just good, it's great music with a lot of layers and experimentation. Very moody and mysterious chill-out music. You can check out sizeable samples of all the tracks on the cdbaby website. We used Intuit and Inception in our video, but they're all great. =)
Check it out and send it on to your friends. =D Can't wait for my copy to arrive! 8-)

G'night WoWers, sorry for the long read -- see you tommorrow morning with a post of your latest uploads! =)

-Cob