This newsletter is sent to subscribers of the Polymath Society International mailing list.
We also have a discussion list: http://www.egroups.com/list/polymath/ This is a list where you receive email from other members about a particular topic.
If you would like to join please send me an email and I will tell you how.
We have modernized the format of the web site to make it more useful to members, so that they can find it useful as a home page.
We have added three search engines. GOTO, the yellow box, is a good place to start. There is also Hotbot for searching specific domains on the web page, such as PBS. Finally, there is Dogpile which searches many engines. If you click on the dog picture, a window will pop open allowing multiple searches. You can minimize this window and use it later to search more. This is called a remote. Dogpile can also be used to search for a FTP file. Play with it.
To facilitate your web based email, there is a list of popular email providers under News and Mail. If you use one not listed there and would like to add it, please email me back.
Planetary Motion is nice in that it enables you to send free voice mail to other members of that service. College Town is useful for students in that it allows sending and receiving voice mail via telephone via an 800 number. The Student Center is a nice fast system.
Under Florida HQ, we have included items of local interest to Tamp Bay Area. There is a community calendar for example which allows anyone to post events. If you would like to have such a calendar for your area, you can subscribe to that service and make your own, for your own area or local club.
Check out the News and Politics page. There are many news sources there, from all perspectives. If you have a favorite that you would like to include, email me back.
We also have a "Teen Page" which will include more items of interest to young people. There is a web based talk section called "Anarchist Talk," which I expect could contain all sorts of nonsense. Please note that the messages seem to stay there, moving down the list, new messages on top. Anyone can view this.
If you would like to be listed as a remember of the society, on our Members page, please email me with a suitable web page link.
If you have written an article you would like to have listed under Rings and Essays, please send either the link or the article as an email.
We plan to continue to add useful technology and content to the site, which is to serve as example for what young people can do. Today, children are really into making web pages, using ICQ, AOL chat, sending files to each other and having role playing chat discussions all over cyberspace. Most of them are between the ages of 12 and 15. It is probably a good way to waste time, particularly as it leads naturally into HTML coding and other social and analytic skills.
Of course, there is such a thing as becoming too sophisticated in web page design. I think that many Java only pages are self-limiting. The interface is so complex, the content and or navigation becomes a bit limiting. An HTML based page with a little bit of Java here and there seems to be a good educational level for our page. It is something any young person can start with.
If you have multiple computers and children, you can easily (well maybe not so easily) set up a U-gate internet gateway on a simple peer-to-peer Windows 95 or 98 network. This will allow a single phone line to be used for multiple access to the internet, all at the same time. If there is interest in this, we will provide instructions on how to do it on the technology and economy page. This is good for starting your own internet cafe as part of a community project, for example.
We would encourage all members to provide other kinds of useful technological information that we do not already have so that we can all advance faster. Also, do not forget content. The usefulness of any web project depends upon "content value." Let us always remember to "Put content first." Yeah, "people too." :)
There are many interesting aspects of the page which we will write about later...
Please send feedback. Thank you.
Tom Lacey, Ph.D.
Polymath Society International