Eventually, we’ll get back to a serialized tome on Modernism. But first…
1. Some of you have gone ahead and visited Amazon.com/shorts. Great! I now have two essays posted with a third soon. "Beleaguered Professionals vs Disempowered Citizens" is about a looming 21st Century power struggle between average people and the sincere, skilled professionals who are paid to protect us.
"The Power of Proxy Activism" - is about the best way for busy people, who are distracted by jobs and daily life, to help make a better world. (I'm donating my proceeds to worthy causes.)
Soon to follow - in the "Science" category - will be one about how the Mississippi River may someday win its struggle to escape human control. Plus, possibly, a serialized novel!
(Yes, you bloggers have seen much of this stuff and helped refine it. So spread to word! Give them a ratings boost. ;-)
2. An interesting rant on Intelligent Design (ID). Unfortunately (or not) it is so good that the fellow needs to choose whether to rant or write a scholarly tome. Both are enjoyable, but they get incompatible at longer lengths. In this case, the author needs to eschew the use of "IDiot" and other rant-y disparagements.
Far more useful would be to take the ID people as they see themselves... using their own nomenclature ... and showing where they fit in the grand human tradition of conservative-nostalgic-romantic mold that ran every other culture in history. Every urban culture other than those based on the enlightenment featured the same collusion of clergy and aristocracy vs any possible source of uncertainty, social mobility and change. The so called "culture war" is thus not so much about left vs. right as it is between the Enlightenment and a vastly more traditional way of viewing the world.
(My own riff on this is at: The Real Culture War: Defining the Background)
What is fascinating about ID is the way the ID-nostalgists have been forced to adopt the memes of the enlightenment in order to push their case. They strive relentlessly to portray THEIR position as the openminded and fair one, while stodgy-elitist scientists are suppressing competition and fair debate.
By trying to give themselves a patina as "science" and calling evolution "another religion" they aim to portray ID as a bold underdog. When, of course, science is still the rebel world view, even after 200 years.
(See my article about Other Theories of Intelligent Design in a coming issue of SKEPTIC Magazine )
3. Oh, to see the newfangled attitude of fear translated into both art and practical solutions (and some impractical) see the "Safe" gadgets exhibition at MOMA the Museum of Modern Art at http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2005/safe/
4. This from Saturday Night Live:
"If convicted Libby could face the following penalties: Obstruction of justice: 10 years in prison. Making false statements: 5 years. Perjury: 4 years. Going to jail with the name Scooter: Priceless."
5. Some folks in Australia and Asia have trouble directly accessing davidbrin.com. Try instead typing http://www.davidbrin.NET for a selection of alternate access options. (Gary and Rob were both helpful setting up this alternative methodology.) Any of you can help by visiting davidbrin.NET at least once or twice!
6. We’re on our way to see King Tut’s exhibit in LA. But I can’t get Steve Martin’s song about Tut out of my head.
"…born in Arizonia, moved to Babylonia, (got a Condo made-a stone-a)…"