Thursday, July 31, 2003

Weapons of Goliath

In 1991, Noam Chomsky spoke of some of the atrocities of the first war in Iraq:

There was an awesome demonstration of this in Iraq./ Military operations were designed so that no battles took place...When U.S. troops entered Kuwait they were led by a battalion of engineers using bulldozers. These were used to bury possibly thousands of Iraqi soldiers alive in their trenches. They simply drove the bulldozers over the trenches and buried the soldiers alive. This is a horrible war crime, but nobody cares. Nonetheless, it does reveal something about U.S. military planning. If you attack someone who can defend themselves, you don't send bulldozers into battle. This makes it clear that the United States had prepared everything in such a way that there was never going to be a war. And effectively, there never was a war, only slaughter and atrocities.
-Noam Chomsky

When I hear about the graves of dead soldiers we now keep "finding"...whom should I assume put them there? Questions, questions...

The Edge

The Edge
Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world.

The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.

Edge: The Third Culture
The third culture consists of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are.

Edge: The Reality Club
From 1981 through 1996, The Reality Club held its meetings in Chinese restuarants, artists lofts, the Board Rooms of Rockefeller University, The New York Academy of Sciences, and investment banking firms, ballrooms, museums, and living rooms, among other venues. In January, 1997, The Reality Club has now migrated to the Internet on Edge. Here you will find a number of today's sharpest minds taking their ideas into the bull ring knowing they will be challenged. The ethic is thinking smart vs. the anesthesiology of wisdom.

Through the years, The Reality Club has had a simple criterion for choosing speakers. We look for people whose creative work has expanded our notion of who and what we are. A few Reality Club speakers and/or Edge presenters are bestselling authors or are famous in the mass culture. Most are not. Rather, we encourage work on the cutting edge of the culture, and the investigation of ideas that have not been generally exposed. We are interested in "thinking smart;" we are not interested in the anesthesiology of "wisdom." The motto of the Club is "to arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves."

Including ideas of Stewart Brand, Brian Eno, Howard Gardner, George Lakoff, Jaron Lanier, Marvin Minsky, Todd Siler and others...

Edge: Digerati
Who are the "digerati" and why are they "the cyber elite"? They are the doers, thinkers, and writers who have tremendous influence on the emerging communication revolution. They are not on the frontier, they are the frontier.

The digerati evangelize, connect people, adapt quickly. They like to talk with their peers because it forces them to go to the top of their form and explain their most interesting new ideas. They give each other permission to be great. That's who they want to talk to about the things they are excited about because they want to see if it plays. They ask each other the questions they are asking themselves, and that's part of what makes this cyber elite work.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Advice for Democratic Candidates

Compromise is not necessarily a good thing.

The way to activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create. When you make a choice, you activate vast human energies and resources, which otherwise go untapped. All too often people fail to focus their choices upon results and therefore their choices are ineffective. If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.

-Robert Fritz

Oh yes...and be like Dean!

>"...all that is left is compromise." Hmm... could he also be referring to the ersatz American Left -- which, in the main, is nothing more than those people who are not also corporations. The disinterested...although not some seem to mistakingly conclude. The unshowered hordes. You and me. (No, Ken Lay is not reading this.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The High-Toned Old Christian Woman
by Wallace Stevens

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,
Proud of such novelties of the sublime,
Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,
May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves
A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince. But fictive things
Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.