cj#704> about rkm


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997
To: •••@••.•••
From: ~--<snip>--~
Subject: Re: cj#703> Globalism and the U.N.

Dear Richard:

It must be somewhat akin to operating in a sensory-deprivation tank,
running a list without feedback from subscribers.

Let me therefore throw in my 2 cents.  I find cyberjournal to be
refreshing in the extreme, given that the mainstream media conveniently
overlook so much.  This is a truly appropriate use of the Internet, in my
opinion.  And as provided for, I have forwarded quite a few of the
messages to non-subscribers, hoping to stimulate them to subscribe.

The only thing missing perhaps is a little more information on you and
your background, what prompts you to put the time in on this list, what
brings you to Ireland, etc.  Personal information, to be sure, but
interesting context.

Keep up the excellent work!

In response to your message of 12:12 AM 8/14/97 -0700:

>I'd like to hear from some of you lurkers, especially from new


        Capitalism is the astounding belief that
        the most wickedest of men will do
        the most wickedest of things
        for the greatest good of everyone.

                                        John Maynard Keynes


Dear cj,

Well, a fair enough question, it's been a while since any kind of personal
reports.  My background is in the software business, where I basically
surfed the leading edge of the computer-industry waves that came rolling
in: mainframes, minicomputers, timesharing, personal computers, multimedia,
etc.  Had the privilege of working at places like Xerox and Apple when they
were in their hot, innovative phases - when the waves were at their best
and my fellow surfers had a real excitement about what they were doing.

Got a chance to experience first hand the birth, growth, and decline stages
of companies and of whole industries... a chance to understand how new
technologies work their way through the phases of research, development,
deployment, and then on to market-creation, competition, shakeout, and
consolidation.  What I'm commenting on here, by the way, are the abstract
"system behaviors" of enterprises, industries, and technologies .

They say that if you study any one thing deeply enough (even a flower
petal), you will eventually learn all the secrets of the universe.  That
may or may not be, but it is true each of us learns things in our careers
that transend the occupation itself.

One of the things I "took away" from the sofware business was a keen sense
of "systems", both in terms of "analysis" (figuring out how an existing
system works) and "synthesis" (figuring out how pieces can best be
organized into a coherent system).  This was already my natural bent - math
was always my easiest academic subject - and software (via engineering,
research, and business roles) offered ample opportunities to develop that

Meanwhile, in my personal time, I found myself observing news and political
events from a systems perspective.  Having lived through the sixties, not
that far from Berkeley, and in the home-town of the Grateful Dead, I had
been "radicalized" in the sense that I came to have a basically suspicious
attitude toward "the establishment" - it was clear that "they" told lies,
and "they" had their own hidden agendas behind their actions - but I didn't
really learn much in the sixties about who "they" were or how "the system"
actually worked.

But "suspicion", or skepticism if you will, is a healthy attitude to start
with if you do want to figure "the system" out.  It invites you to discount
the public rhetoric and look instead to the facts of the case.  Just like
when you debug a program, you don't trust the programmer's comments - you
look at the code, which doesn't lie.

The "facts" are what governments and institutions actually do; their
rhetoric often reveals much between the lines about their thinking, but is
seldom a reliable indicator of actual intent or belief.  Official
statements are prepared by public-relations people, and the goal is to
mollify (usually mislead or distract) the public - not to provide honest
and complete information, nor even to deal with the most important topics.

So over the years I began to develop my own model of what "the system" was
about - who the players are, what their relative powers and relationships
are, what their goals are, what their modus operandis are, etc.  Not being
in a hurry - this was a hobby - I was able to refine the model over time,
to debug it, if you will, by testing it against years of onging events.

The very potency of the mass media in the US made this detective excercise
easier.  The American propaganda machinery is so effective in controlling
public opinion that "they" are rather careless about how often they change
their story, how often they contradict themselves, etc.  (Example: When
Iraq suddenly became "an enemy", the press completely forgot (1984 style)
that the US had been openly aiding Iraq throughout the decade-long
Iran-Iraq war.  Later "revelations" about "arms to Iraq" were treated more
or less as "conspiracy theories".  The whole propaganda party-line is
pretty much a house of cards, but people seem to eat it up.)


Eventually I got to the point where I felt that what I had figured out was
worth writing about, or somehow communicating to people who I felt could
benefit from it.  At that point I began looking for ways to escape from my
career and circumstances and to pursue "writing", or perhaps "educating" or
"propagandizing" (in the sense of "spreading the word", not "deceptively
manipulating") is more accurate.  Don't feel much like a "writer" when I
read a _real_ writer (Didion, Wilde, Twain, etc. etc.)

I had travelled a lot in Europe when working for Apple, and found I liked
it there much better, so my goal became to move to Europe (including UK &
Ireland) and start doing what I could do, following the muse.  The universe
came to my assistance in the form of a wonderful English woman who I
started living with in San Francisco.  Had a great couple years in The
City, a welcome change after the Silicon Vally suburbs.  Then when she
moved back to England, I went with her and thus managed my escape from the
USA gravity vortex.

Lived in a village (Wendover) in lovely Buckinghamshire for six months, a
very pleasant way to live through all the culture-shock stuff and become
comfortable as an ex-pat.  At the end of six months the relationship had
ended (some things just don't transplant) and my visa ran out.  What to do?

Ireland was the natural choice - being both English speaking and welcoming
to immigrants.  Had no idea what to expect, and knew no one there, so the
move across the channel was a classic "leap into the void", the beginning
of a "spiritual quest", going into the world to "seek my fortune".  Thus I
never felt like a tourist in Ireland (though I looked  and sounded like
one) - I felt like someone who had washed up on the shore of a mythic land
(the local term is "blow in") and needed to start life over.

Depression began to set in when a quick circle of Ireland with my visiting
brother and sister revealed nowhere that felt at all "like home".  Cities
were too big, villages were too remote, and Galway was growing too fast -
too much like California.  Happened onto Wexford simply because we had a
few hours before the ferry, and my brother predicted from the guide book
that I might like it.

I immediately took to the place.  It's a "town" which means it has the
amenities but isn't large - you can walk from one end to the other in ten
minutes.  It's right on the shore, there's a train to Dublin, and it's
close to Rosslare (a ferry port).  Those were the superficial attractions.
The deeper values of the place took longer to discover, and I can only
thank luck and the universe (and brother Dave) for ending up here.

It turns out Wexford has a history (shows up on a Roman map), is
traditonally welcoming to blow-in's, is somewhat of a literary center, and
has a great light opera society, an annual world-class opera festival, an
Arts Center, several theater companies, lots of trad music venues, and
eighty-five pubs.  In short, I had stumbled onto my ideal place in the
universe, shangri-la in humble attire, the Cinderella of destinations.

Contrary to any plans I had for myself, I found myself playing in music
sessions around town, and within six months had appeared on stage (for the
first time) with a real (not just chorus) part in "Brigadoon".  Ironic,
actually, since for me Wexford _is_ Brigadoon, and I had managed to stay on
the misty side of the magic space-time warp.  Since then have been in a
couple plays and have made reasonable progress in trad music.

And have made lots of friends.   Especially Monica - most delightful of
women, my goddess, I kid you not.  She's also been my spiritual teacher,
which would come as a surprise to her, just by her example, by the
challenges she's required me to respond to, and by the fact that if one
hangs around with a really healthy human being, some of it rubs off.  But
she would deserve her whole own story...

Suffice it to say that when she has time in between job and kids, we take
refuge at the Thomas Moore pub for a few pints of ambrosiac Guinness, and
conversation with whoever happens to drop by that night.  And I'll mention
my best-ever holiday when I got her off to Crete for two weeks, by herself,
first time she had been away from the kids for five years.  Mutual bliss.
'nuff said.  Except for one more thing: we've never had an argument.  I
didn't know life could work that way.


About writing.  Cyberjournal is the core.  The name comes from that fact
that it is my journal - when I feel like writing about something, it goes
to you guys, I don't keep a private journal.  I'm one of those types who
can't stand rehearsing alone, there's got to be an audience.  Cj is also
where interesting things from around the Internet get forwarded (by you and
me), and if interesting discussions come up on other lists, I always pass
on the best bits to cj.  And ideas which get stirred up on cj often get
developed into articles.  (Example: if I ever work on an autobiography,
this posting will be the rough-draft outline.)

New Dawn magazine, a fringey Australian "alternative" venue specializing in
conspiracies (but a respectible one), started publishing my articles
(connection made via Internet), and I found out the central value of the
writer-publisher relationship - if you can develop such a relationship you
don't need to "sell" your work, you can just write and publish.  Even
better if I could develop such a relationship with a bigger magazine, and
one which could pay its writers.

They've printed some half-dozen articles, all really saying the same thing
- the "one thing worth saying" according to my political muse (Citizens
awake! Corporate globalist feudalism is nigh!) - but from different
perspectives and with an evolving style.

There've also been three articles about something completely different -
the Enneagram - published in Enneagram Monthly.  The connection with
"systems" is still there however in these articles.  In fact, one might say
the enneagram diagram is to dynamic systems what Newton's laws are to
simple motion.  It has something to say about personality, creative
endeavors, chemical reactions, the solar system, dramatic encounters,
civilization cycles, spiritual evolution - almost anything you want to
apply it to (and anything in which the number nine arises - nine planets,
nine columns in periodic table).  But that's another story.


In terms of my original quest, the one which motivated me to leave my US
life - to be a "writer" - I can humbly say I've "done it", at least in the
terms I originally envisioned it.  I've learned to get ideas down
reasonably quickly and coherently, and the ideas themselves have evolved
considerably from excercise (expression) and from the feedback and ideas of
others, so bountifully provided by Internet.  Observation of "the system",
and debugging of the model, always continues.

But there's no sense of completion - only a sense of beginning.  Revealing
that the quest is really more than "writing" - it's "making a difference".
The broader endeavor may be hopeless, but I can't think of anything else
worth working on.  And in fact the objective conditions are acually ripe
for a popular uprising - globalism screws everyone and rather blatantly -
so I manage a bouyant enthusiasm instead of despair, even if what I write
seems doomsaying.  (You can't fight the enemy until you _honestly_ assess
his strengths and weaknesses.)

How to make a difference?  Current projects - very much in early days still
- include a documentary and a book - both on "Globalization, the Nation
State, and Democracy".  Also giving a talk next month at a conference on
Electronic Democracy, where I will attempt to break the news to the true
believers that Internet is very unlikely to be the model on which
cyberspace is to be constructed.  When the fiber goes in, and
commercialization begins, we'll be quietly asked to hand in our tin cans
and string and prepare to "consume".  These are the glory days of the net,
so please enjoy them.

There is one more project, which I'll mention in the spirit of an advert,
and that is to do "high level consulting" - let's say executive level
problem solving, trouble shooting, decision making.  The idea is to come in
for a day or two and run a "project clinic", applying a systems view with
the help of the enneagram.  This is a way to make money (fee not cheap)
without taking much time, and probably a way to learn things I don't
expect.  Referrals welcome.


That'll teach you to ask for personal info!