Archive for May 14th, 2006

Internet connectivity via EDGE

I am at the hotel room in Reno right now (with my nose still dripping and my eyes watering) and I am writing this via my Mac using my EDGE quad-band PocketPC phone as a Bluetooth modem. It peaks at around 20 KB/sec which ain’t too bad at all. God, how I love internet connectivity at any place, any time (yup, I am addicted). Can’t wait for a UMTS phone next year… ;)

Regarding Gay History on Textbooks

Personally, I am somewhere in between in this issue. While it does not make sense to sensor information that has direct impact on history regarding the fact that this or the other historic person was gay, I am against mentioning these historic people being gay without a strong historical reason.

For example, this is acceptable in a history textbook: “President Graham Jones was gay and he had a long time relationship with another man. But when this relationship broke apart his partner sold lots of intimate information to the media which an impact in the popularity of the president resulting to Jones losing the election of 2022″.

The following is not acceptable though: “Author Graham Jones was one of the most prolific poets of the 21st Century. He was also gay.”

You see, the first snippet has an impact on history, and so it’s fair to mention it. But the second one, doesn’t. It is not fair for author Graham Jones to put a label on him as being straight or gay. Kids shouldn’t be concerned with his personal life at all. I have personal experience with all this: at school I was told that the Greek poet Kavafis was gay (I was about 12 years old at the time). After 21 years, I remember NONE of his poems, but I do remember my teacher *simply mentioning* (without any bias, she was a Kavafis fan after all) that he was gay and that he had enemies because of that fact. Is this what Kavafis would want to be stamped on and remembered as? I don’t think so. Even if my teacher had the best intentions mentioning Kavafis being gay, that’s the only thing I remember about him (ok, I also remember that he had many enemies in Egypt).

Another example: “Socrates is considered the most important philosopher of the ancient times. Oh, and sometimes, he liked riding teenage boys” (while the statement is true, it’s irrelevant to his works).

Unfortunately, the person who pushes for that bill to go through in California wants mentions of gay people at every chance they get, even if it’s not directly associated with the study itself (from the article: “You could study James Baldwin’s novels and they say James Baldwin was an African-American writer, but they could say he was an African-American gay writer,” Kuehl said.”). And that’s what I am against for. But when it’s really relevant explaining history outcomes I have no problem at all and indeed, children should learn the truth about why some things ended up the way they did.