Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ready to Make Nice?

So I've applied to speak at OSCON again this year, which I last did in '05, but don't yet know if I've made the final cut. I carry a brief for CP4E, a sort of bully pulpit from whence I urge us to "move beyond calculators" in terms of making pre-college mathematics more interesting for students. Python is a big part of those plans.

But have I been nice enough? Secretary Gates warns from experience as a university president that you need high level diplomatic skills to get anywhere with those prima donnas on faculty: "[A]s more than a few university presidents have learned in recent years, when it comes to faculty it is either 'be nice' or 'be gone'." I know I've at least ruffled a few feathers.

I saw a little TV documentary on being nice on Continental Airlines awhile back (Orlando, Houston, Portland), how that's a key to success in the business world as well. Donald Trump was convergent with PVH of Calvin Klein fame during commercial -- can't remember all the details -- and I think "being nice" was a part of his philosophy too, like he was to Miss America after she screwed up that time. He seemed kinda mean to Rosie though.

Anyway, I really do like the defiance of those Dixie Chicks. If they're not ready, they don't need to be, the way I see it. Let others be nice for a change and drop their weapons, and let those chicks at least use their guitars to register disagreement.