Sebastian W. James | Blog Masonry
paged,page-template,page-template-blog-masonry,page-template-blog-masonry-php,page,page-id-18965,page-child,parent-pageid-1815,paged-2,page-paged-2,qode-social-login-1.0,qode-restaurant-1.0,woocommerce-no-js,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-4.2, vertical_menu_transparency vertical_menu_transparency_on,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.4,vc_responsive

Tiger Woods is Back. But is He BACK?


I’m watching the third round of the 2016 Hero World Challenge. Tiger Woods, back from over 425 days off, has risen to 4-under today from a opening round 73 (1 over).  Eldrick is playing his brains out.  He looks relaxed.  His swing is effortless. Everything looks and feels wonderful.

And then the commentators start talking.  To a fair amount of them, this is the “second coming” of the Baby Jeebus of golf.  And it’s boring already.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Tiger Woods.  As a golfer, he has been great to watch. As an African-American golfer, he’s been a source of pride.  I’m glad to see him doing so well.

But I want to see him play more before I say, he’s BACK.  Because there is a difference.

I want to see him play enough tournaments to go through a cycle of playing good, playing like shite, then figuring it out to play well again. Playing through that cycle, to me, is a better path to follow. I think playing enough to beat back one cycle of adversity is a better way to check the 360-degrees of one’s golf game.

Tiger is back. I can’t wait until he’s BACK again.

New BLUE1647 series wants to help local businesses better utilize their data

From Built In, January 29, 2016

What would your neighborhood corner store or dry cleaner look like if it took full advantage of the data available to it?

CivicBLUE 1647, a data education project based out of Pilsen’s BLUE1647 , is now accepting registration for its CivicBLUE Curriculum, a 9-week series of seminars and labs.

The series, which is provided free of charge by the civic-minded technology center and co-working space, teaches local businesspeople and nonprofits practical data skills.

The goal is to help participants make better use of open data sources as well as their own organizations’ data, and show them how to leverage data to grow their businesses and improve delivery of nonprofit services.

“The Curriculum is a fulfillment of one of our goals, which is to start an ongoing conversation between technologists and the community,” said program director Sebastian James in a statement. “There is a lot of knowledge and experience about data and technology that can easily be passed on to business and social entrepreneurs. CivicBLUE wants to use the Curriculum as a conduit for the community to learn and use as a catalyst for innovation.”

Starting with a “Data 101” course on February 11, the course and workshop series will cover a number of topics ranging from using spreadsheets to mining data, using social media, researching public opinion and ensuring data security.

The curriculum was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and Accenture. Courses will take place at BLUE1647’s Blue Island location from 7 to 9 p.m., but will be live streamed to other BLUE 1647 locations.

The Curriculum series is part of a broad portfolio of initiatives by the organization, which strives to foster greater diversity in the tech community. Its 1919: Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship Initiative provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and workshops to its participants completely free of charge. Other offerings include Latina Girls Code, a programming bootcamp for girls ages 7–17, and a Minecraft Coding Camp that teaches Java to children ages 7–12.

Late last year, BLUE1647, which was founded in 2013, launched a new business incubator in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, which is home to 55 local businesses and is providing advanced IT training for youth and adults in partnership with Microsoft and Cisco. It also has a center in Lawndale, as well as two centers in St. Louis.


5 Questions about BallotReady

The founding team of BallotReady

The founding team of BallotReady

On January 16th, I’m partnering with BallotReady, a Chicago election reform startup.  We’re holding a civic hack to help BallotReady with their mission of injecting transparency into the election process.  Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote at the CivicBLUE 1647 website:

We do this by providing 3 services: information on candidates, reminders about the election, and access to the information in the voting booth.  Information on candidates is our primary product.  By gathering simple information about candidates like biographic details and issue stances, we allow people to make an informed choice.  The next hurdle is getting to the poll.  Users can sign-up on our website for email reminders about election day.  We are also working on other “behavioral nudges”, like linking to your online calendar.  Finally, we allow users to save their ballot on our website, so they can pull up our mobile version in the voting booth as remind themselves who they previously selected.

Click here to read more about BallotReady AND to help us hack for election reform.