Duck! and Gather

Archive for October 2005

A little digression into the silly world of sports. The Chicago White Sox baseball team won the 2005 World Series tonight. Jermaine Dye was named MVP of the series. What a random choice. There was no single MVP of the Chicago team. I counted more than five players who could equally have been chosen as MVP. In other words, there was no “most valuable player” on this team. Value was spread among this team according the most even distribution in recent memory. Put simply, a true “team” won a major championship — yet again. I podcasted about this dynamic earlier in the Spring when the North Carolina basketball team won the Men’s NCAA championship. The basic theory is that, in the last few years, the teams that win the major sports championships in America are true teams, with no individual stars who clearly outshine their teammates. I even believe that the referees and umpires are unconsciously favoring these “team” teams over the individualist teams. I further believe that this recent dynamic in sports is a mirror of changes that are presently happening (albeit sub rosa) in society more generally. We People have had our fill of kings and queens. We’re now hungry for us People. All of us.

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I was checking the logs of my site and noticed I was getting visitors from a link on a posting in myspace.com. (Note: Corrrection on my guess that Andy his commenters are “Millenials”. Turns out they’re X-ers just like me.) Checking out that link leads you to a new group on myspace called The Anti-Corporate Ideas General Discussion Group. That group links to a newsletter called Anti-Corporate Ideas. Both sites look quite interesting to me. Still, I’d like to call out one small point of emphasis concerning “people vs. corporations”. With that phrase, one can focus on the “vs. corporations” part. Alternatively (or consistently), one can focus on the “people” part. I’m currently more interested in the latter part. I mean, I’ve written, predicted, and podcasted about the former. But that was just housekeeping. It’s not like there is actually any “there” there. A Corporation is simply a legal fiction that exists only to the extent our collective imagination permits its existence. So rather than dwelling on imaginary notions, I’m more interested in focusing on real People, and how we People might learn to adopt self-reliance practices. Now of course, if we People became truly self-reliant, we would be starving the Corporations of the money they need to survive. So, in that way, you could say this effort would be “Anti-Corporate”. But the subtle distinction I’m drawing here concerns the motivation for becoming self-reliant. My main interest in that is not about “bringing down the Corporations” (although that might be kind of nice). Rather, my main interest in self-reliance is about improving the health of us People, and raising our collective ability to love and to learn. In other words, I believe that flourishing health, love, and wisdom are symbiotic with self-reliance. And health, love, wisdom, and self-reliance are things that only we People people can taste (those imaginary Corporate people can’t even begin to imagine such things).

In the comments to my “Duck! and Gather” post, commentator Michelle wrote: “I can’t understand why so few of my friends and colleagues care to brainstorm with me!” Hey, me too. That is, the whole reason I started this blog was that my own various friends, for one reason or another, simply weren’t interested in these subjects. So if they didn’t want to hear it, I figured I’d throw it out there on the web. And then I find that the second commenter on the site has had a similar experience. So that got me thinking about friendship. Friendship seems to me to be a relationship between people who share a common interest. That my current friends are not interested in this blog doesn’t mean they’re not my friends anymore. It just means I don’t bring up this stuff when I’m hanging with them. Instead, I post my thoughts on the web. But then realizing that others are having similar experiences suggests to me that maybe we need an open “meeting place” where any of us can share his or her thoughts. But maybe something more than that. Something more constructive. Like a shared place where we collectively build something. But build what? How about building a self-reliant life — one that seeks independence from Corporations (including Government). It will be a life that asks: How can I do that solely by myself? Or, at least, with only the help of my friends? Such a site might be called a “PeoplesWiki”. When I get the chance, I’ll try posting something along those lines. Your thoughts?

This blog is now attracting comments. Check out the comments to the previous posting. Not your run-of-the-mill commentary, eh? Andy and Michelle, my first two commentators, are obviously observant, clear thinking, well written sorts. Now I’m not saying this just because they find agreement with some of my positions. Hey, we can all disagree. Hell, I disagree with myself often enough. No. What I’m talking about here is stating your positions lucidly, and with emotional balance. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t post the sort of infantile crap that fills the web. That’s the beauty of the web. It’s just a reflection of us. That is, the web is a mirror. So given that, throw in a comment! No need to login or anything.

Lately, I realized that this blog is shrouded in a bit of doom and gloom. And certainly, I do see some doom and gloom in our immediate future. Heck, that’s why I named this blog “Duck!”. But lately I realized that Duck! is only half the issue. The other half asks: What comes after Ducking? My answer is: We Gather. We pull together. We help each other out. Now I had ben planning to put some of these “Gather” ideas in a different part of my site. For example, I have some incipient thoughts about setting up a “PeoplesWiki”. The idea of that Wiki would be that maybe we could collectively work on redefining life in America in a self reliant way. In other words, this Wiki would ask: What can I do, by myself and with my community, to live in a self reliant way, independent of Government and Corporations? Now, of course, such ideas don’t seem to fit in a dark and danky “Duck!” blog. Yet I’m too lazy to start a whole second blog. (Sheesh, I’m too lazy for just this one.) What to do, what to do, … . And then it hit me! Simply rename “Duck!” as “Duck! and Gather”, and presto, we’re there.

  • In: pandemic
  • Comments Off on Pandemania

Looks like the topic of avian flu pandemic has burst to the top of public consciousness. Major media outlets over the past weekend have devoted top space and time to the subject. In my pandemic prediction which I posted last year, I said that a pandemic seemed likely because America was asleep to that prospect. But now that America is wide awake, does that reduce the risk? My first answer is: I sure hope so! My second answer is: Um, I don’t think so. In fact, we may now be in “double or nothing” territory. In other words, perhaps the pandemic will not hurt America much because we’re now thinking about it, and presumably preparing for it. On the other hand, some scientists are saying what I’ve been saying, namely: “If the H5N1 avian flu begins to easily infect humans, it will move too quickly for drugs and vaccines to be of much use“. Since drugs and vaccine are the only arrows in the conventional American medical quiver, what will happen if those arrows miss their mark? In that unfortunate event, I suspect that all hell will break loose in this country. We will experience a fully anticipated pandemic racing through the streets, with the authorities exposed as impotent to stop it. In fact, I’ve written about that possibility.

I’m in the process of migrating the Duck! blog to WordPress. I wanted to drag this blog into the 21st century (ie. enabling commenting by you folks, adding RSS, auto-pinging Technorati, etc.) After looking into to coding these features myself, I quickly gave up and decided to use the WordPress package. Seems quite powerful so far. Please bear with me while I figure out how to merge these new blog postings with my existing Duck! content.


for the money has gone too far

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