Tom Stewart, author of Intellectual Capital and The Wealth of Knowledge, gave the ending keynote at Online Learning on Wednesday. Read his books; they are simply great. Among the one-liners and anecdotes from the stage:
Fax has only been around as long as today's high-school sophmores. Email came into existence about the same time as today's third graders.
Customer power. Every business is being taken over by its customers. (Buy a car lately?)
As the inventor of bouillabaisse eLearning, I loved Tom's thought that "eLearning is the okra in the gumbo." (Meaning that it's a required item, not necessarily that it's slimey.)
Finally, Tom mentioned this great Spam:
Subject: REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION
I am the widow of the late President George W. Bush of the United States of America. I am writing you this letter in confidence regarding my current circumstances.
I escaped the United States ahead of death squads with my husband and two children Jenna and Frank, moving first to England and then, when my husband's political enemies took power there, to Austria. All of our wealth, obtained legitimately through baseball, oil drilling and insider trading, was seized by the new government of the USA under the despotic regime of (Dr.) Noam Chomsky, except for the contents of a few Swiss bank accounts. These bank accounts, which contain social security lock-box funds and the bulk of the 2001 budget surplus, could not be accessed by me or my children, due to agreements made between the socialist government of the USA and Swiss bank regulators. They seized our ranch in Crawford, Texas and now use it to teach homosexualist propaganda to schoolchildren.
When my husband died during a visit to the Mr. Salty factory here in Vienna, I decided to lay low, changing my identity and communicating only through Mrs. Peggy Noonan. However, now that Chomsky is dead of apoplexy, my advisors suggest that the time is right for me to transfer some of these funds. I will wish to deposit $1,250,000,000 in a bank account for certain purchases, investments and other safe and reliable business opportunities. Please respond to this letter and indicate your interest in receiving the money for us. I will stress again how important confidentiality is; my husband's political enemies would like nothing better than to see me made penniless and our hard-earned retirement funds turned over to Tom Daschle.
Please respond with your contact information, including fax and telephone numbers, to signal interest in this mutually beneficial transaction. I will provide an introduction to my son (Frank), who will work with you in determining the logistics of the transfer and the method and amount of your remuneration. I would contact you via phone directly, but a spot of trouble in my youth has made me doubt myself around heavy machinery.
In sincere anticipation of a productive relationship,
Mrs. George W. Bush
This last piece is in preparation for tomorrow's How Berkeley Can You Be parade. (I am not making this up.) Last year...
091 George W. Bush (R)
098 George HW Bush (R)
105 Ronald Reagan (R)
121 Gerald Ford (R)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
132 Harry Truman (D)
147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
175 James E. Carter (D)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708
1.510.528.3105 (office & cell)
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