Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

Mick Arran

Jeffrey Barbose

Inspector Lohmann

Eric M. Fink

Michael Lane

Rep. Mark B. Cohen

The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

The Sages

  • David Weinberger
  • Jon Lebkowsky
  • Jay Rosen
  • Rebecca MacKinnon
  • Nova Spivack
  • Dan Gillmor
  • Jim Moore
  • Lawerence Lessig
  • Ed Cone
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Joi Ito
  • The Titans

  • Talking Points Memo
  • Oliver Willis
  • Burnt Orange Report
  • Jim Hightower
  • Wonkette
  • Political Animal
  • The-Hamster
  • Matthew Yglesias
  • Pandagon
  • Altercation
  • Informed Comment
  • Donkey Rising
  • The Decembrist
  • Buzz Machine
  • Orcinus
  • Brad Delong
  • Eschaton
  • The Left Coaster
  • Pacific Views

    Distinguished Colleagues

  • Tom Burka
  • The American Street
  • wood s lot
  • Rox Populi
  • Scratchings
  • Blond Sense
  • Cut To The Chase
  • Bad Attitudes
  • Rook's Rant
  • Dohiyi Mir
  • Stout Dem Blog
  • A Violently Executed Blog
  • American Leftist
  • Easy Bake Coven
  • Southerly Buster
  • Abuddhas Memes
  • Post-Atomic
  • Van Ramblings
  • Friends of the Fellowship

  • Texas Native
  • Chuck Currie
  • To The Teeth
  • Radically Inept
  • In Dark Times
  • Serial Blogonomy
  • The Bone
  • Public Domain Progress
  • Alien Intelligencer
  • Research Associates

  • Blogged In the Desert
  • One Fine Jay
  • Jessica's Universe
  • Selective Amnesia
  • In Grown Brain Stem
  • Immolation.org
  • Somewhere over the rainbough
  • Politikult
  • Political Puzzle
  • Dear Free World
  • Twenty Something
  • Thom:WebLog
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • A Skeptical Blog
  • The Common Man
  • Progressive News

  • The American Prospect
  • World Press Review
  • Alternet
  • In These Times
  • Common Dreams
  • Media Channel
  • History News Network
  • Tom Paine
  • Z-Magazine
  • Breaking News

  • Associated Press
  • Reuters
  • BBC Newswire
  • World NEws

  • The Guardian (UK)
  • The Independent (UK)
  • The Financial Times (UK)
  • Pravda (Russia)
  • La Monde Diplomatique (France)
  • Arab News (Saudi Arabia)
  • The Age (Australia)
  • China Daily
  • The People's Daily (China)
  • The Korea Herald
  • Think Tanks

  • CEIP
  • The CATO Institute
  • Center for America Progress
  • Federation of American Scientists
  • Progressive Policy Institute
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • The Brookings Institution
  • The Foreign Policy Association
  • Blogging Resources

  • Principia Cybernetica
  • The Fallacy Files
  • Fact Check
  • 50 Ways To Improve Your Blog
  • Poynter Online's Writers ToolBox
  • News Thinking
  • The Scout Archives
  • WebReference.com
  • Into the Blogosphere
  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    The Emerging World Strategy: Part I

    By Nick

    The Origins of Modern Information Strategy:
    If someone explains the significance of the Internet without using techno-jargon, or buzzwords, they’ll be left with this: The Internet is a communications tool which allows many people to broadcast information to many people. Unlike traditional broadcast and publishing methods, the Internet allows anyone with a computer to send photos, books, videos, and music to anyone in the world without distribution costs or travel time. This many-to-many network of computers defines the information age. As we enter the second decade of the Internet, networks of alternative media and political activists have taken root. Numerous trends, some recent, others as old as agriculture, indicate we are at the beginning of a revolutionary shift. It is my contention that social and political activists are in the best position to gain from this shift. The goal of this research is to provide insight into the nature of this revolution, and to suggest rules of thumb for those who wish to exploit it.

    John A. Deway of the RAND corporation was the first to explore the possible historical significance of the Internet as many-to-many medium. Deway asserted that the only comparble advance in communications was the printing press; the first true one-to-many medium. Radio, television, and film were merely advances in one-to-many communications. Dewey observed that the printing press’s improvement of information dissimination and distrubution allowed the reformation, and the enlightenment. Dewey asserts that the Internet will cause changes of comparable significance in our society (4). However, Deway’s prophecy does not attempt to predict the nature of these changes beyond their likelyhood of being “unintended and unforseen.” Dewey even concludes, “…these changes could take decades to see clearly” (28).

    Like John A. Deway, David Ronfeldt, the senior social scientists at RAND concluded nothing less than society was on the verge of complete reorganization. In 1996, he observed a migration of power and influence from traditional institutions to individuals with skills at developing multi-organizational networks. These individuals tended to be environmental or social activists who communicated over the Internet. He predicted that these actors would eventually make life rather difficult for traditional hierarchical organizations like the governments, and corporations (6).

    Ronfeldt asserted that the network was a new layer of social organization; it would form on top of America’s current tribal, institutional, and market layers. From this observation, he proposed his “TIMN framework” (Tribal, Institutional, Market, Network), as model for societal evolution. Even today, the TIMN framework provides releveant and logical insight into the Internet’s possible futures. Indeed, Ronfeldt argues that these four forms-“and evidently only these”- describe the organizational forms of all societies; the ability of society to evolve and survive is a function of its willingness and ability to utilize and combine these four forms (7).

    The most primitive and universal form is the tribal form. The members of these “T” Societies are bound by kinship and common survival. They tend to be egalitarian: with neither a strong central chief, nor significant specialization of duties amongst its members. In modern times, “T” societies only exist amongst ethnic or religious nationalists, streetgangs, or extended families(10). However, ever since the agricultural revolution, “T” societies have been dominated by “T-I” (tribal-institutional).

    Unlike tribes, institutions could create chains of authority and obedience. Institutions have hierchies and customs which reinforce their authority (11). From the “T-I” form emerged beurocrats, churches, armies, and finally culminated in modern nation-states. Ronfeldt maintains that without Institutions, societies are unable to organize themselves beyond the standards of prehistoric society. However, hierarchial structures can niether effectively process large amounts information, nor guide the complexities of modern economies (12).

    The free-market was the next form to emerege. Since Adam Smith’s published his Wealth of Nations in 18th century, power has steadily migrated from state officials, to wealthy capitalists. These capitalist by no means control governance, but rather the flow of capital, and trade (13). The first full on “T-I-M” socities were 19th century Great Britian and the United States. In fact, much of the advantages which the US and Great Britian possess can be attributed to their early embrace of free-markets. Both countires allowed unprecedented latitude for individuals to pursue their own self interst; this motivation accelerated their rate of technological advance. As a result, they both led the industrial revolution.

    Before discussion the network form, it is necessary to reiterate this historic trend: The agricultural revolution directly corrosponded with the emergence of the hierarchical-institutions. Subsequently, the Industrial revolution directly corrosponded with the emergence of the free-market. Now in the midst of the information revolution, the network appears to be the corrosponding advance in social organization. Ronfeldt contends that societies which fail to embrace this new level of social organization will risk decay and total collapse. Communism failed because it refused to embrace markets, just as the Greek democracy failed because of it’s ineffective hierarchy. Similarly, we are seeing the same trends regarding network: Iran, China, and other nations who's survival is dependent on the control of information are beginning to teater (15).

    As we enter this “age of the network” it is important to note that while the role of the nation-state will change, it will by no means disappear. To put it another way, if the United States was a human body, our tribal nationalism would provide a protective skin, our hierchial instutions would provide a supporting skeleton, and free-markets would provide a circulatory system. The network appears to be filling the role of a sensory/central nervous system (Ronfeldt 22).

    posted by Nick at 6/06/2004 09:43:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

    About US

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    "Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik

    PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.

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