Seymour Papert recuperating at home

February 2, 2007

MIT’s Media Lab last updated Seymour Papert’s condition on January 10 — it said he’d been moved to a rehabilitation facility closer to his home, in Bangor, Maine. Vietnamese publications, including VietnamNet Bridge, report he’s home now (Vietnam was where he was struck by a motorbike in early December).

Prof Papert’s family said that he had been discharged from the hospital in Boston in the U.S. He is now still undergoing treatment at home. Luckily enough, he will not have any after-effects after the head trauma and now he can speak.

The $100 laptop idea, the XO Computer, steams on.

Eleanor McGovern

February 2, 2007

The past few weeks have been studded with the deaths of people important to my life, or important in history. The string is a long, unnecessary reminder that there are a lot of people holding history in their memories whom more historians need to get out and interview, even (and perhaps especially) high school-age historians.

Eleanor and George McGovern

Eleanor McGovern died in Mitchell, South Dakota, last week. I wonder how many of the town’s high school history teachers ever thought to invite the woman to speak?

McGovern was the probably the first spouse of a presidential candidate to campaign alone, without the candidate along. The respectful, rather long obituary in the Los Angeles Times made that a focus point of its tribute (free subscription will eventually be required). That was the place I first got the news of her death, while I participated in a Liberty Fund seminar in Pasadena, California, last week.

I was recruited to politics by a McGovernite in early 1972, in Utah. Over the next few months we saw Eleanor McGovern look cool, calm, intelligent and charming in her husband’s losing campaign. She may not always have been so cool as we saw — the Times piece mentions she was nearly ill before the first-ever Sunday interview program solo appearance by a candidate’s wife.

That she was both pretty and smart probably scared the opposition more than anything she ever said. Read the rest of this entry »

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