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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, November 15, 2004
The Living Web: An Introduction
Those who attempt to predict the future generally fall under one of four categories: Technologists, Spiritualists, Futurists, and Historians. The Technologists are opitimized by people like Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. Technologists are interested in buzzwords, and “killer apps”; they don’t so much predict the future, as much as they attempt to invent it. They enjoy making far reaching claims such as “by 2012, the Home Entertainment Center will be fully controlled by the Personal Computer.” So here at the beginning I tell the reader not to worry: I’m no technologist.
Then there are the Spiritualists. Their predictions are usually based upon an eclectic mixture of metaphysical energies that are focused through crystals, and directed towards the third eye of a psychic. The psychic has a “vision” which provides an astrologer with a “key” to read the stars. The astrologer then reports his findings to a guru who in turn informs the public of “the approaching age of Aquarius”. I never went to wizard school, so I’m not qualified to give such predictions.
The more scientific cousins of the spiritualists are the futurists. When the futurists aren’t attending their weekly Klingon classe, or preparing their Borg costume for the next Star Trek Convention; they will be found creating technologically advanced nowhere lands. However, this group has lost considerable authority since the building of space needles at world fairs went out of style.
I myself fall squarely into the historian camp. In other words, my predictions are made by placing current trends within a frame of historical parallels. So without further delay, here is the summery of this speculative work so far:
1. Blogs wikis and social software are mere prototypes of the mediums which will fuel a rapidly growing “living web”.
2. The long-term consequences of the living web will be comparable to the consequences of the printing press on middle age Europe. We are already seeing the first ripples of the living web’s influence on political campaigns, journalism, and academia.
3. The historical parallels are strong enough to suggest that the consequences of these technologies will be far-reaching, unintended, and above all, unforeseen.
“The living web” is not an abstract concept; yet people fail to make a distinction often enough. The living web is seen on the front pages of blogs, the top of the forums at discussion boards, and the latest revisions of a wiki. The content is created or selected by human beings, and is organized around loose, unorganized communities of similar interests. The content of any given corner of the living web will change on a daily basis. Often these changes are directed by feedback from the audience, breaking news, and the general interests of the folks who typically frequent such a site.
The “dead web” is basically “the world-wide archive”. A blog page becomes part of “the dead web” once it is indexed into monthly archives. Similarly, old wiki-revisions become part of the dead web. However, the plethora of badly coded 1998-era homepages, with big purple and orange letters set against rainbow backgrounds; with a soundblaster-16’s MIDI rendition of “Stars and Stripes forever” as background music; these sites are perhaps the best example of the dead web.
As was stated in the thesis: blogs, wikis, and tools such as drupal are primitive prototypes of the technology which will end up governing “the living web”. The strengths of these tools should be fairly obvious when one considers the success of the dean campaign and wikipedia. What is perhaps less obvious is the actual social function of these tools, and my predictions for the next 5 years are based predominantly on my analysis of these functions.
Anyone who spends more than a month on the web will develop an online persona. I, for example, am currently not “Nick”: the long haired, Rachmaninoff-playing philosophical hippy type known by my friends and family. As far as the Internet is concerned, I’m “Nick Lewis” founder of the progressive blog alliance, and headmaster of the Net Politik Fellowship of Punditry – a prodigal self educated pioneer of the progressive web. Or at least that’s what I’m aiming for.
The point is that the living web is made of people; the quality of the technology that they use to collaborate is the biggest limit upon what the inhabits of the living web can accomplish. What this introduction represents is an attempt to get my own notes in order. About 5 months ago, I lost myself in research; I now find myself in a position that I feel my notes can be brought together. My next post in this series will cover the historical effects of new communication mediums on societies.
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