Free Socrates Cafe Online, Tue, Fri, Sat, 1st. Sun, 6:30 pm Denver MDT Correct Meeting ID and password posted below at 6 pm.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Want to start a Wiki?

I just requested a wiki called When & Where Wiki. Goal: a world-wide calendar of local events, educational, cultural, entertainment, and political. Right now there is no such thing, even at the local level here in Denver. Seems to me this is an application of peer production that makes a lot on sense.

Mission: Help people anywhere in the world answer the question "what are we going to do tonight".

I would have loved for this to exist when I was doing the marketing for the Denver Symphony, I'd love it now for the groups I facilitate here in Denver, New Denver Republican Meetup, IDEA Cafe, and Socrates Cafe.

Here's my plan. I'm going to develop the Denver When & Where email I've been sending out once in a while, and develop a network of people in other cities who are doing the same thing.

Want to stake a claim for a link to your city? Email me at I'm immediately open to people who will research and post events for: Aspen, Vail, Dillon, Grand Junction, Durango, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Ft. Collins, and Greely in Colorado; Anchorage, Honolulu, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Philladelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the US; and Mexico City, London, Paris, Toronto, Montreal, Rome, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Bangkok, New Delhi, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Athens, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and world-wide.

Postings will be English only for now, just list English speaking events to keep it simple as we start. Preference will be given to people who live in the community and to people who already publish a calendar of events in their city. After you send me your indication of interest, I'll send you a startup kit and the address for the new When & Where Wiki so you can link to it and start posting in your community and getting others who live there to help you.

Interested? Questions? Email me at I'd hate to see us miss this chance to work together.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

When Ignatius Loyola was recovering after breaking his leg in battle, he used to enjoy the romances they gave him to read; but he found that their after-taste was empty and unsatisfying. When he read the Gospels, the after-taste was of solid food, something he could live on. He learned to discern the after-taste of experiences. That is the way the Holy Spirit can shape our lives. It means listening to our hearts to discover the path of God and of the Holy Spirit through us, and to recognise what blocks we place, consciously or unconsciously, to God's work in us. From Sacred Space—The Daily Reading Published by the Irish Jesuits.

I saw my brother Randy this afternoon at the University of Denver Voices of Experience lecture.

Steffie Allen spoke about the changes facing corporate leaders as they adjust to changes in the workforces that they lead. She challenged leadership that still believes they can lead in ways that worked in the past and are not prepared for the “new crew.” Steffie presented a thought provoking model of leadership, a framework for leading ethically and authentically, creating real relationships and community and serving as public stewards.

"There is no model for leadership, only principles," she said. "#1 Build and sustain community; #2 Unite people to take action towards a clear and inspiring vision; #3 Demonstrate and inspire citizenship and stewardship; #4 Lead with wisdom from head, heart and gut; and #5 Demand alignment of busines goals and practices with ethics and values." She said these principles were designed to overcome selfishness.

I asked her what she thought of Adam Smith's concept that our free market economy allowed us each to be of service through our self interest. "I have no problem with our free market economy, but it is not enough. We each need a moral system and that's what these principles address." Here's what The Clarion, the DU Student newspaper, had to say about the talk.

Chairman of Woman's Vision discusses leadership traits - News

Eric Hoffer has told us that when we stop believing in God, we'll replace that belief with some form of fanaticism. Where is God in her leadership principles?
"Yes each person needs a personal set of values. The organization needs to recognize that all spiritual paths have value, the test is are they making you a better person? God belongs, however you envision her." (laughter)

Allen formed The AthenA Group in 1989. Athena provides leadership development for corporations locally—and globally. In 1997, she launched Women’s Vision Foundation (50lC3), the only organization in Colorado dedicated exclusively to leadership development for advancing women in corporations. She won the 1988 Dan Ritchie Colorado Ethics in Business award from the University of Denver, served for 20 years on the board of directors of HealthONE, and established and chaired its Ethics and Human Values Committee. Ms. Allen is a 2006 inductee into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

In the evening I reconnected with my old friend Karl Rove, who spoke at the State GOP dinner at the Marriott South. I was State Chair of College Republicans in 1974-5 when Karl was National Chair, he and I did seminars around the country to help new College Republican clubs get started, and we had the National CR Convetion in Denver that Spring.

Now Karl is the Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush, and he gave a very rousing speech about what the President is doing to try to continue the economic recovery in face of the opposition from the new Democrat majority, and what needs to be done to win in Iraq.

Friday, March 02, 2007

On this date in 1904 Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote and illustrated the popular 'Dr. Seuss' children's books, was born.

In 1927, Mr. Geisel married Helen Marion Palmer of Orange, N.J., a teacher he had met when they were studying at Oxford. It was she who persuaded him to give up thoughts of teaching and make drawing a career.

"Ted's notebooks were always filled with these fabulous animals," she later recalled. "So I set to work diverting him; here was a man who could draw such pictures; he should be earning a living doing that."

In addition to serving as her husband's business manager and helping edit his books, she wrote children's books under her maiden name.

From New York Times Obituary, Sept. 24, 1991.

John Wren’s Comment: How often does the right choice of a companion contribute to the success of a person? I just read Team of Rivals about Lincoln, he was much more successful because of his marriage to Mary Todd. My dad was much more successful because of my mother and the influence of her family on him. One of my most vivid memories of the IDEA Café over the last decade is a woman who quit her job as a High School teacher to market her struggling artist husband’s artwork. It worked.


I love the Internet, it is a marvel… It provides a voice to the formerly voiceless… Anyone can publish their thoughts instantaneously and they are available forever… Reporters now live in fear, a healthy development. Ned Desmond, president of Time Inc. Interactive, in his talk last night about the impact of evolving media technologies on the Catholic believer, part of the Denver Archdiocese Lecture Series.

John Wren’s Comment: I asked Desmond how the Internet had change reporting. He said reporters are now instructed to post information right away, to not wait for final preparation of the article at deadline. Internet news readers demand instant information in small bites. Desmond discounted Wikipendia, “I never cite it,” but I think that would be said by most people who’s paycheck ultimately depends on large printing presses. The big downside of the Internet, in his opinion, is the sharp decline in time for quite reflection for most people, “there is just too much competition from the urgent and the entertaining.” Desmond estimates he sends about 100 emails a day and reads 200+, and that this is typical for the people he knows. To stay abreast of breaking news he reads Netvibes.

Communications technology makes new forms of church organization possible, and geographically distant congregations can easily join together. Rather than voting with your feet, you may now vote with your mouse, perhaps the most amicable form of religious divorce. Jack Miles, a senior fellow for religious affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy and a scholar in residence with the Getty Research Institute in his New York Times, A Divorce the Church Should Smile Upon.

Google has been frustrated in its efforts to reach comprehensive deals with major studios and networks to put their video on YouTube. Meanwhile, it is forming partnerships with hundreds of smaller media companies that see value — or at least a valuable experiment — in contributing to the site. New York Times, Google Courts Small YouTube Deals

History is the best antidote to delusions of omnipotence and omniscience, forcing us to a recognition of the fact, so often and so sadly displayed, that the future outwits all our certitudes. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who died Wednesday, quoted in the New York Times.

Words kill… Grow up… Live out your God-created identity.
Mt 5: 20-48

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I just sent this letter to Denver newspapers:

March 7th the ballot will be set for the May Denver elections. It appears there is a connspiracy of the incumbents and the media to keep this important fact secret.

Where are the articles now about who has filed to run, and deadlines for others who might be interested? Why haven't the newspapers reported the poor job being done by the Denver Election Commissions posting this information on their website?

Our Optimist Club invited a City Council Person speak yesterday who is running for reelection. Not one word was said in the 1/2 hour talk about the election and her position on issues. "We get along with the Mayor, and that's the way people like it," she said as she put on her coat to leave immediately after her talk.

Most people I talk with are unhappy with the Mayor and the City Council for their performance with snow removal, the lack of progress with the new Justice Center, the mishandling of the homeless and immigration problems in Denver, etc. There will be great interest in the May elections, I'm sure.

If we end up with a ballot in May with few good choices, the primary blame will be with the poor job that's been done by Denver newspapers.

John Wren, President
Denver South Optimists Club
960 Grant Street #727
Denver, CO 80203