Benjamin Franklin 300

Benjamin Franklin
I almost missed the chance to wish Benjamin Franklin happy birthday. 300 years young.
I had no idea how important the guy was, or how influential and famous he was in his own day, until I recently read several books about the revolutionary generation (Founding Brothers, etc.). Or, I should say, I knew he was very important, of course — but he turned out to be a much bigger deal than I realized. He was one of the most famous men in Europe in his time, and was almost solely responsible for lending intellectual and cultural credibility to the new US.
When I pass his grave in Philadelphia, I always smile. There he is, the great man, lying right there. What’s cool is that people toss pennies onto his grave (homage to “a penny saved is a penny earned”) and it’s right across the road from the US Mint, where they make pennies.
Ben… I would tell you to rest well. But we need your ghost kicking some people in the pants right now. So get to it.

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  • http://tutormentor.blogspot.com Dan Bassill

    I agree with you that Ben was great. Another hero is Thomas Edison.

    I found your web site from the list of authors at Boxes and Arrows. The reason I was there, and the reason I am in awe of Edison, is that after his struggle to invent the light bulb, he then had to invent an industry to distribute the light bulb.

    I cannot fathom all the details he had to think about to do this, but I imagine that people with IA experience could, and they could put this process on the Internet so others could learn from it.

    I lead a non profit in Chicago that is trying to build an even more complex industry, one that would connect kids born in poverty with adults who stay involved long enough to be helping those kids to careers 25 year later.

    I’m trying to find volunteers in the IA community who would help me put this concept on the Internet and turn it into a blueprint that millions might follow. The links at my blog page http://tutormentor.blogspot.com show how far I’ve come on this goal so far.

    I hope that by introducing myself, some of your readers or friends, might help. Maybe 200 years from now people will pass by our graves and give us some of the same respect as we give Franklin and Edison.