Monthly Archives: December 2015

Suggestion on Dialogue

Donna and Vice Chancellor Hall:

I’m happy to see I’m able to follow the Pride Center’s Tweets.

A saying came to mind this weekend:

"When someone says you’ve hurt them, you don’t get to tell them you didn’t."

As a scientist, I’m predisposed to skepticism:

It’s possible Duncan is merely "playing to his base," stirring up rancor for the sake of partisanship.

And yet, the fact remains that feelings are subjective;

Is it impossible there’s some truth to his concerns?

Perceptions of reality can sometimes be more important than reality itself.

What I’ve seen so far from the Office of Diversity is a defense, even a "counter offensive," complete with a social media campaign to "rally the troops" with allusions to Nazism vis a vi references to Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller’s "First they came for…" homily.

My suggestion is the correct response to the current controversy is not combativeness:

The correct response is to listen.

To welcome.

To engage.

I’m unsure where the Office of Diversity is located (Power Tower?).

However, I know the UTK Pride Center is located within walking distance of a wonderfully diverse assemblage of communities of faith.

To my recollection, Melrose Avenue / Melrose Place is home to a Catholic Center, Jewish center, Lutheran and Episcopal Campus ministry, Baptist Student Center, and more.

I would like to suggest inviting communities of faith to a community dialogue on how to best foster inclusivity during holiday celebrations.

Common ground for discussion might be found at the Black Cultural Center.

Inviting campus faith leaders to speak would highlight that the University is an institution respectful of a diversity of spiritual and religious traditions.

It also would unequivocally demonstrate that University leadership is willing to listen and engage not just legislators, but directly with the campus community.

Actions taken to date do not seem to achieve this level of dialogue.

Ironically, I benefit from the Office of Diversity’s guidelines on inclusive holiday practices.

I’m grateful for the controversy as it raises awareness of the need for respect of individual spiritual beliefs (or lack of spiritual beliefs).

However, I want to encourage you to capitalize on this opportunity to get the message of holiday season inclusivity right for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.




Notes on Progress Towards Hosting SDMs

Trying to add .ASC files to GeoServer.

They need a spatial reference system before I can consider it.

I think this is telling me that I need to assign the spatial reference system to the new .asc file from an existing raster dataset.

merged.tif produced something I’m not quite sure what it is… I merged all of my hemlock forest community association SDMs?

I think it’s also telling me that I will eventually have to push out a geotiff, rather than a .asc file.

Then the result can be displayed in GeoServer by configuring the image as a GeoTiff (seeAdding a GeoTiff section).

Also, I needed to install numerical to do the above

and cython

GeoServer Layers –

Blocked from Following UTK Pride Center Twitter Feed for Sharing Opposition View


Someone at UTK Pride Center has blocked my ability to view and interact with the UTK Pride Center Twitter presence.

As a 2x alumnus of the University of Tennessee and current UT employee,

It’s sorely disappointing to learn that the "Office of Diversity" apparently shutters out dissenting viewpoints.

My (apparently) offending tweet:

pro tip: hire a "pro" who can communicate diversity & inclusion w/o excluding Christians. "It’s been up" is no excuse.

I’m a professional communicator, trained at the graduate level in UT-Knoxville’s College of Information and Communication.

With that training in hand, I’m dismayed by the flippant, sarcastic and frankly, incendiary tone of the Pride Center’s Tweets, such as, "newsflash" and "pro tip," and "standing up for the majority doesn’t make you brave," that have been Tweeted over the past 24 hours in response to recent allegations of discrimination against Christians.

Chancellor Cheek, Vice Chancellor Hall, and the Pride Center do not seem open to the possibility that the piece of writing in question could benefit from revision to be more sensitive to Christian spiritual and cultural traditions.

Instead, the piece is defended on the basis that UT "respects Christians" or "it’s been there for months" or "everyone else is doing it."

Not one of these conditions make the post’s content and tone inclusionary or respectful.

While I identify as agnostic today, I grew up in a Christian household. I’m certain my time as a Christian, if not my time as a Tennessee Volunteer, introduced me to the virtue of humility.

The UTK Pride Center’s vociferous "boosterism" for higher level management (Vice Chancellor Hall and Vice Chancellor Cheek) lacks humility in that there’s been no pause to reflect on what might have been improved about the "holiday best practices" the Office of Diversity presented to the UT-Knoxville community.

Instead, the piece is simply presented as fundamentally "correct."

Rather than humbly examine how the write-up might have been received as offensive or exclusionary to UT-Knoxville’s Christian students, staff and faculty, the Chancellor’s Office, along with the Pride Center, have seemingly "doubled down" on defending a flawed write-up.

Practicing introspection and reflecting on mistakes are key parts of a university education:

I’m proud to say my undergraduate and graduate education at UT-Knoxville contributes to my tolerance of other communities of faith, other points of view, and above all my tolerance of opposing viewpoints; however,

It is sorely disappointing to find the very campus institution set up to promote diversity and acceptance is apparently intolerant of dissenting viewpoints.

In light of the series of recent controversies, I’m interested to know how many other Twitter users your Twitter account manager has felt the need to block, and what criteria your account manager uses to determine which participants to exclude.

Can you direct me to whom I might speak concerning this?


Tanner Jessel

GeoNode-users geonode Errors were encountered while processing: geoserver-geonode geonode (#2371)

Hi Alessio, thanks.

No, I did not execute dependencies setup steps.

I’m new to ubuntu and really just wanted to follow the "quick" install outlined here:

I don’t really understand what happened, but I did avoid the error I had by doing what you suggested.

(If it’s of interest / useful for documentation I’m sending the new CLI session text output)

Now I have a new question:

I can access geonode at


I can access the geoserver associated with the geonode install online at

But, I can’t access the geonode at

I’m guessing I need to do some more manual configuration?

I’m a bit terrified of messing something up, which is why I was hoping the "quick install" would work.

Can you recommend a particular place in the instructions for a custom install that I should pick up at?

I’m looking at this right now:

Thanks again, and looking forward to additional hints.