As some of you know, I like to learn new things. For example, I’m trying to re-learn some of the statistical knowledge I’ve forgotten over the years, and as a side project to that I’m learning the computer programming language Python (partly because it’s used by many folks who do scientific programming, and partly because it’s useful for other reasons). I’m also learning some about mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) as a follow-on to my research on Howard County Council redistricting.
One of the great things about today’s Internet is that there are lots of free resources for learning most anything on your own. For example, I’m learning Python from the free online textbook Think Python, and plan to use its companion text Think Stats to help re-learn probability and statistics. However the downside of the Internet is that it’s rather lonely to see at home trying to learn something by yourself.
As it happens my former employer, the Mozilla Foundation, is promoting the idea of learning in informal groups and settings, particularly having people learn about web technologies. One of the ideas they’re looking at is providing resources for people to hold their own “kitchen table” sessions—essentially small informal meetups where people can help their friends or family learn about the web and how to make things on it.
And that in turn made me think: Is there any one out there among my readers who might be interested in learning any of the same things I’m currently learning (or already know how to do)? I’m looking for an opportunity to get out of the house from time to time, and I’d be glad to meet informally to pass on whatever knowledge I can, whether it’s how to create ebooks, how to code programs or web pages (a hot topic now for many people), how to install and run GIS software on your PC, or even how to do your math homework. I’m particularly interested in talking with fellow bloggers, journalists, and others interested in researching local topics of interest using the Howard County datasets that the county government is increasingly making available.
Does any of this catch your fancy? If so, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me at the April 11 Hocoblogs party at the Second Chance Saloon. See you there!