The Uncertainty Principle

A Bimonthly Collection of Creations
Presented by The Sophisticates Society

Volume ?: i$$ue One "TBA"

HTML Edition
1 February 2014

Editor's Note

As ever, Petite Soirée № 15, was a delightful affair on January 11th. DJ Hegemony and DJ Blackout danced out the winter cold with their fire beats, while Frank, of Truman & His Trophy and The Mraz Volta, tickled our intellect with his acoustic guitar set. Fresh off a Second City affair in Virginia that same day, Alex Moffat graced us with a performance and I gave a reading of my essay on Mr. Luol Deng, which you can read below in the Basketball section.

The debut China sections kicks off this HTML Ed. of Volume ?: i$$ue One "TBA" with a story from a cosmoplitan Canadian whose taught there for years. Next in the regular Chicago section Marwan Fateen has kindly shared one of his brilliant poems for the second i$$ue in a row. The Open Education section closes it out with an article about getting involved with those of us learning peeragogy.

Peppered throughout are sexy photos of Petite Soirée № 15 taken by Ms. Brittany Doffyn, our fabulous Media Director. Thank you for viewing this page during your limited time on the internet, and please enjoy everything you find herein and stay in touch with us. Join our Facebook Group and subscribe to The Irregular Newsletter of The Uncertainty Principle (tINotUP) by e-mailing me at

Check our website for info about buying the print zine next week or two and stay tuned for details on Petite Soirée № 16 and Volume ?: i$$ue Two coming in March/April.

Charlie Danoff
1 February 2013


Notes from China
Travel writing & Photos by Stephen Chappell

November 12, 2013 marked the 75th anniversary of the death of the famed Canadian surgeon Dr. Norman Bethune (Chinese pinyin Bai Qiuen), who died in 1939 helping the Chinese fight the invading Japanese Army. I have written a previous "Notes from China" about this man and his heroic status in China. Suffice to say that there were several events to mark this auspicious occasion both in Shijiazhuang (where I used to teach and where Bethune is buried) as well as in Gravenhurst, Ontario where Dr. Bethune was born. A Canadian delegation visited Shijiazhuang where there are several schools and hospitals bearing his name, including the Norman Bethune Military Medical College where my dear friend Qi Ming is head of the English Department.

Mr. Qi spent 1 year in Canada working at the Norman Bethune Museum in Gravenhurst and often travels to Canada to take part in events celebrating the life of this great Canadian. He recently traveled to Beijing to be the special representative of Roderick Stewart at the launch of Stewart's new book entitled Phoenix, Life of Norman Bethune. Next year Mr Qi will help coordinate an exhibit called "Trail of Solidarity" to be held in Canada, Spain and China. What many Chinese and Canadians do not know is that Bethune first fought for liberty and freedom in Spain. In 1936 Bethune, along with hundreds of other Canadians, went to Spain to fight against Fascism. This fact has recently been recognized in the form of a very moving monument situated on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada just above Rideau Falls and not far from the Spanish Embassy (sees pics). The names of all 1,534 Canadians, including Bethune's, are inscribed on the monument. Above the names are the following words written by the celebrated Spanish revolutionary Dolores Ibarruri:

"You can go proudly. You are history. You are legend. You are the heroic example of democracy's solidarity and universality. We shall not forget you. And when the olive tree of peace puts forth its leaves again, come back. All of you will find the love and gratitude of the whole Spanish people".

I hope that one day you can have the opportunity to visit this tranquil place, see the monument and enjoy the spectacular view of the falls and the Ottawa River (see pic). It's a great spot to reflect on both the past and the future.

Mr. Chappell is a Canadian teaching English in Anqing, China.
This was adapted from the November 2013 edition of his
regular "Notes from China" e-mail newsletter and blog.
Prose and Images Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Stephen Chappell.
All rights reserved worldwide. Republished with permission of the Author.


Byways & Hedges
Poetry by Marwan Fateen

On the byways and hedges
walking on steep ledges
hoping I don't slip and fall
and crawl
through the valley of death
gunshot are taken
dry bones and shaken
earthquakes awaken
Ain't no escaping
dark clouds are forming
ambulance & police sirens
locusts are swarming
out of the bottomless pit
what profit do I gain
to gain the world
when the world is only
a temporary manifestatio

Mr. Fateen, of Ignigma Publishing Co., is a poet raised and working in Chicago.
This poem is taken from his book
Parts of MAN: The Declaration of Truth: poems, songs and lyrics
available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
Poetry & Cover Copyright © 2013, 2014 by by Marwan Fateen.
All rights reserved worldwide. Republished with permission of the Author.


#iWishWeTradedRose: An Ode to #9's Chi' Legacy
Prose by Charlie Danoff, Editor
Photo (of him reading this essay) by Brittany Doffyn, Media Director

This essay was written for a live reading 4 days after the trade.

I should've written this yesterday, or the day before. It's funny how 3 victories, even against bad teams, can mellow out heartbreak. Especially considering the Bulls fan in me will always find a way to love and support the current group of Bulls players and coach, be they: #23, #33 and #91 with Phil; Bryce Drew, Dalibor Bagaric and Khalid El-Amin with Floyd; or Butler, Snell and Noah with the patron saint of basketball defence Tom Thibodeau as our current (and hopefully for a long, long time) coach. Especially considering Thibs is the coach and he won't let the players or fans feel sorry for themselves over injured players or departed teammates. Job is to win games and that's what they'll keep doing.

While I still have some firmness left in me I say, the Bulls should of not traded Mr. Deng. They should've sent out Mr. Rose.

If the "moves made today will put us in a better position to make the entire roster stronger for the future and to compete for a championship" as GM Gar Forman said[1], aka needing to save money in order to spend it later to create a team actually capable of winning a championship. Something the combination of players pre-Tuesday morning, despite my ardent love and hope, has failed to do.

28 other teams failed the past two years. That doesn't mean you sell out the soul of your team. The 4th leading scorer in franchise history[2] behind only minor nanes like Love, Pippen and Jordan (and ahead of Jerry Sloan) coming off 2 straight All Star appearances is not somebody you give up on just to help the theoretical team coming, maybe once Derrick Rose decides his teammates, franchise and city are worth playing for.

The guy who wanted to use the 16 games he played before hurting himself again in the beginning of the 2013-14 regular season, as opposed to the 2013 playoffs when we were up 1-0 on Miami is the one you bail on.

Please understand 2 things: 1 - I am not a Chicagoan, I'm from Winnetka and my lifelong Bulls love started when my Dad made me watch the first 3-oeat as a kindergartener living in Tokyo. I say this to quell any comment from Chicagoans about how we cannot bail on our native son, and I do noy understand because I am, not from Chicago. I hear you. The 2nd thing is that this essay is not meant as an attack on Mr. Rose. It is an op-ed criticizing Bulls management for a stragegically wrong move that will make it harder for us to win Championship #7. This was similar to giving Boozer big money and then being unable to keep the cheaper and better-within-our-scheme big man Omer Asik.

Rose may be a Chicagoan, but Deng is a fucking iconic Chicago Bull. Rose hasn't earned that yet. 289 career games, 6,017 points, 1 MVP trophy, 3 Years With a team capable of winning the eastern conference wasted due to his injuries, 29 measly playoff games and 0 rings do not fucking mean anything for a city and a franchise where the standard is 3-peat championship.

What was that Derrick? Injuries happen? MJ had management doing everyhing they could to hold him off the court[3], while Derrick watched as his teammates lost a winnable playopff series without him even trying. And, the Bulls beat the Heat without Derrick the same number of times as they did with him. Luol Deng needed wrist surgery after the 2012 playoffs, but declined so he could play for his countery in the Olympics[4] and then led the team in minutes, again without having surgery. In the 2013 playoffs, as Rose practiced full speed with teammates, Deng would've come back from that to play if not for a hospital fuck-up and debilitating spinal tap[5]. That is the guy you reward with loyalty, not the one more concedrned with making his next adidas commercial over the summer[6] than helping his teammates beat the Heat.

And what about his Bulls stats? Luol Deng has 10,268 points for the franchise, 48 playoff games and led the NBA in minutes per game as an All Star over the past 2 seasons. He was playing Thibs style basketball before Thibs came to the Bulls.

I'm attacking Derrick also because I'm mad at myself, and that's what I do when I'm mad at myself, leash out and attack people I care about, I'm mad because I didn't fucking appreciate how amazing "Lieutenant Deng"[7] was until he was traded. My basketball IQ wasn't high enough to appreciate all the amazing things he was doing on a second to second basis out there. I'm also mad because I don't have the skills in prose to explicate his amazingness in a way wher you will 100% agee he is one of the special-est humans playing basketball on the planet and a high God within Bulls basketball lore.

The way I like to think of Lu is with a study group analogy. In a group you have some people who do nothing, some people who do a little and take a lt of credit and others who do everything they can and ask for nothing in return. Obvi I see Lu as the best example of the third I have seen play professional sports for a living.

Deng was on the first playoff team after 6 years of missing the playoffs post mj's 6th title, a franchise lost in the desert, Deng came in, parted the Red Sea and led us back to the playoffs Jordan. He's been the one slogging step by slow 2 steps forward, 1 step back progress that's guided the franchise back to league wide respectability and admiration where we belong. And even this year amidst all the speculation, as his contract negotiations were not going well, he took it upon himself to mento 1 of his 2 replacements: Tony Snell, gushing to reporters about one of the rookie's first good games and giving him the ultimate Deng compliment, nicnaming him: "Little Lu"[8].

That class carried on even after his Bulls days were done, as he wrote[7]:

You will hear a lot of can't and a lot of won't, but you give it everything you can because you believe in yourself and your teammates. You push yourself with your heart, mind and soul, and smile every night knowing you put love and passion into it. Thank you, Chicago.

Thank you Sir. Many casual fans have already moved on, but true Bulls fans will never forget what you have done and will cheer you on for ever after.


  1. Quote is from the official article about trade punlished by the Bulls' website.
  2. Bulls' franchise stat leaders from
  3. "Jordan broke his foot in the third game of the season, sat out 64 games, then returned to action following a public squabble with management ... he insisted on playing the final 15 games of the season and his presence was enough to get Chicago into the playoff field." - An article about Jordan's early years on
  4. "adidas Basketball 2013 | "Basketball is Everything" feat. D Rose, Big Sean, 2 Chainz & Common" YouTube Video
  5. "I wouldn't want me to play (in the Olympics) either. Pax is an athlete and, as an athlete who used to play, Pax understands me wanting to play. But as a GM that's his job to try and get the team healthy and get the team ready for next year. I understand both sides to it. But it comes down to an injury that happened at the wrong time. I just try to let people know I'm going to be OK." Deng was quoted in a article from June 2012 about how the defiance might get him traded.
  6. "Luol Deng watched Bulls dramatic win from hospital bed" from NBC
  7. Wikipedia's list of Stacey King's catch-phrases and nicknames used in his world class color commentary of Bulls games.
  8. Article about Tony Snell's mentoring from CSN Keep in mind Lu had to know the better Snell played, the easier it would be for management to justify trading Deng to themselves.
  9. Words posted on Deng's Instagram account


  • Thank you Luol Deng" discussion on the Chicago Bulls Reddit: A Subreddit dedicated to the Chicago Bulls
  • Pete Segall of the Classical gave a ice attempt at explaining Deng's amaze-balls-i-ness via a movie analogy, in his "Why We Watch: Luol Deng, Working Man" article for The Classical.

Charlie founded The Uncertainty Princile in 2009.
Prose Copyright © 2014 by Charlie Danoff.
Rights given a Creative Commons Zero 1.0
Universal Public Domain Dedication

Open Education

How To Get Involved in the Peeragogy Project
Prose by the Editors
Illustrations by Amanda Lyons

This article is for people who want to help develop/improve this handbook. If you want to get involved, write to Howard Rheingold at

The peeragogy project was kicked off around the time of Howard Rheingold’s January 23, 2012 Regents Lecture at UC Berkeley on Social Media and Peer Learning: From Mediated Pedagogy to Peeragogy. We have put together a handbook about peer learning: you're reading it -- maybe on our website, or in your hammock with the beverage of your choice and our print on demand paperback. Or maybe you grabbed our free PDF or some other remixed version in some other format or flavor from some other place (which would be cool!).

But: there's still more work to be done. We created this page because you might be interested in getting involved in improving the book or furthering the project in other ways. If so, we're happy to have you aboard!

What you do here is largely up to you. Asking questions is actually extremely helpful: there's almost always someone in our Google+ community who would be happy to try to answer them, or refer you to someone else who can. Or just poke around the public pages on and leave a comment or two. Better still, find an area where you feel knowledgeable -- or are willing to learn -- and start writing (or filming, dancing, drawing, building, etc.).

The goal we have in mind for our book is for it be a useful guide to peer learning! To achieve that goal we have in mind multiple opportunities for peers to contribute. Here's our current "Top Ten" list:

  1. Site:
    • What happens: Maintain the "master" copy of the peeragogy handbook, public new about the project
    • Who's in charge: Peeragogy Editorial Board, Stephanie Schipper, Howard Rheingold
    • URL:
    • Status: Active
  2. Site: Google Docs
    • What happens: Hive editing, working drafts to be delivered elsewhere when they are finished or for final polishing
    • Who's in charge: Everyone
    • URL:
    • Status: Active
  3. Site: Peeragogy in Action (PiA) Google+ Community
    • What happens: Random posts related to Peeragogy, quick communications between members, news about events, hangouts, etc
    • Who's in charge: Everyone
    • URL:
    • Status: Active
  4. Site: +Peeragogy Handbook Google+ Page
  5. Site: Peeragogy YouTube Channel
  6. Site: Commons Abundance Network
  7. Site: Peeragogy Project Teams Google+
    • What happens: Meta-level coordination for the project
    • Who's in charge: Peeragogy Editorial Board
    • URL:
    • Status: Active
  8. Site:
    • What happens: versioned storage of the LaTeX sources for the print version of the handbook and other derived formats and scripts
    • Who's in charge: Joe Corneli
    • URL:
    • Status: Low traffic
  9. Site: Peeragogy mailing list
  10. Site:
    • What happens: Wiki editing if and when that makes sense, e.g. for translations or large multi-part documents
    • Who's in charge: Joe Corneli, Charlie Danoff, Fabrizio Terzi
    • URL:
    • Status: Low traffic

It's up to you. Instead of worrying too much about the rules, or trying to master all of the tools we use at all once, you can just jump in by joining our conversations, and take advantage of the digital memory of the forum to rewind the conversation all the way to the beginning (if you want to go that far), listen in for a little bit if you want to, and jump in whenever you're ready. There are always lots of things to do (including many that no one here has thought of yet). We won't know what you're up to until you speak up. You can have a look at the outstanding tasks and teams that are listed on this Google Doc: our roadmap is a useful shared resource too. You can add to these at any time.

We regularly use Google+, Google Hangouts, forums, and email to communicate asynchronously and pretty much continuously. We also meet irregularly as a group for synchronous audio-video sessions. Further details about all these methods of communication can be found below.

In short, here's how it works:



If you have questions, that's good! Use Google+ or post a comment on, email the team energy center if you know who that is, or email

This article was taken from the Peeragogy Handbook and is the 29 January 2014 version.
Prose & Illustrations Copyright © 2012, 2013, 2014 by the Editors.
Rights given a Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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Thank you!

Embedded content and external links are Copyright by the rights holder(s), all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
The image of the painting "The Blue Coat School" is via Wikimedia Commons. It is in the Public Domain.
Party photos are Copyright © 2014 by Brittany Doffyn. All rights reserved worldwide. You can see the entire set from Petite Soirée № 15 on The UP's Facebook group.
All contributions Copyright the rights holder(s) as noted.
Everything else Copyright © 2014 the Uncertainty Principle. All rights reserved worldwide. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

This HTML edition of Volume ?: i$$ue One "TBA" was published by #daLab Press, an imprint of Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory.

2 Feb 2014Born
3 FebAdded missing Facebook group link in Ed.'s not and improved the Deng and Peeragogy articles.