cj950707> Your Moderator Returns


Richard Moore

Greeting CyberJournal Friends,

I notice that the number of subscribers has increased by 10 while I've been
on vacation, with almost no postings.  What does this mean?  That _no_ news
is most appreciated??  Not surprising, given the dismal content of most
news these days.

As usual, the economics of Internet is backwards from the rest of the
world.  If you subscribed to a magazine, and didn't get any issues, you'd
unsubscribe!  But on the net, too much traffic is usually what chases
people away.

Prior to vacation, most of my net time was taken up moderating
cyber-rights, and cyberjournal was a bit neglected.  Andy Oram took up
moderating cyber-rights while I was on holiday, and did such an effective
job, that I've asked him to continue to do it indefinitely, and he's
agreed.  What I'd like to do with the time gained is spend more time
putting thought and effort into writing, and stimulating dialog, on various

I see cyberjournal as being my "home list" -- the place where nothing is
off topic unless it's boring, in which case I can trust you to let me know.
With the extra available time, and the holiday respite, I _hope_ to be
able to offer some fresh energy to the list, although please be patient
with the time it takes to get back up to speed, and juices flowing.

On returning to Wexford, which feels even more like home after visiting my
former haunts (California and Hawaii), one of my first visits was to the
Arts Center, where they have a weekly "sharing night", where people read
poems, sing songs, play classical guitar, and generally share whatever
their creative endeavors have to offer.  An elderly couple (residents of NY
State, living for a time in Ireland) asked me what I was doing in Wexford,
and somewhat hesitantly, I said "writing", although net activity doesn't
fit most people's picture of "writing", which usually involves a more
internal, isolated process resulting in stories, books, articles, etc.
When they asked what I was writing about, I could only answer in terms of
where I'm coming from -- what's the perspective prompting me to want to
communicate.  Here's what I said:

        The way I see it, we're in an emergency situation, just as if we
were living in Germany in the 30's.  The social and political systems which
have evolved over the past century or two are being dissolved, and
radically different ones are being put in place, with as little fanfare,
and as much subterfuge, as possible.  The new systems are totally lacking
in the mechanisms of democracy, or civil liberties, or human rights.  The
magnitude of the changes is not at all apparent on the surface, but the
structural depth of the changes, and the intentions of those
people/institutions driving them, are visible to whoever is open to the
clues.  The emergency is so imminent, that the normal means of dealing with
them simply will not do.  Something more dynamic, and more global, is
required.  The difference between now and the 30's is that there's nowhere
to run to.

I expected some manner of bemused response, but they immediately said I was
totally correct and they were surprised how few people realized it.  They
talked about how they had been active in the Rosenberg spy trial, and were
seeking ways to be effective in the current situation. It seems there's an
opportunity for face-to-face political discussions (beyond the scope of
local concerns) even here.

This has been a bit rambling, but I hope it sparks some discussion,
argument, flames, ideas, or whatever.

Bye for now,