Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Saturday, January 25, 2003day link 

 Independence Day Manifesto
picture Greater Democracy quotes an Independence Day Manifesto that Allen Ginsberg wrote in 1959. It begins:
"Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete.

The only immediate historical data that we can know and act on are those fed to our senses through systems of mass communication.

These media are exactly the places where the deepest and most personal sensitivities and confessions of reality are most prohibited, mocked, suppressed.

At the same time there is a crack in the mass consciousness of America -- sudden emergence of insight into a vast national subconscious netherworld filled with nerve gases, universal death bombs, malevolent bureaucracies, secret police systems, drugs that open the door to God, ships leaving Earth, unknown chemical terrors, evil dreams at hand.

Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control. America is having a nervous breakdown... " [more]
And, as David Weinberger poignantly comments:
"Now we have new cracks in the broadcast stranglehold on what we know and what we count as interesting. We have one another, unmediated, through the Internet. The Internet should be America's nervous breakdown. And not a moment too soon."
Yes, indeed. It is too late to put the genie back in the bottle, so it should indeed make somebody very nervous that we actually can sit here and share information at will, largely unrestrained. Some of us might even wake up and start thinking for ourselves.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:01 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Bush family's Nazi connections
picture There is an intriguing and eye opening story to tell about a certain Bush family and how it was intimately involved in the financing of Nazi Germany, and how it made a huge windfall from this involvement. Read about it, for example, in The Dutch Connection.
"For the Bush family, it is a lingering nightmare. For their Nazi clients, the Dutch connection was the mother of all money laundering schemes. From 1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany. Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and talked and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team. For four long years, successive teams of inquisitors tried to break Thyssen's simple claim to possess neither foreign bank accounts nor interests in foreign corporations, no assets that might lead to the missing billions in assets of the Third Reich. The inquisitors failed utterly.

Why? Because what the wily Thyssen deposed was, in a sense, true. What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts--from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen's partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future President of the United States...."
... and his son, who somehow also made it to president, with a little help from the family, and some of that nice money.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:36 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Submarining under the Bay
picture Yesterday there was a demonstration of an innovative personal submarine in the San Francisco Bay. It is meant to move through the water more like a glider or a jet than a traditional submarine. It is a homemade craft built by a local.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:52 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 SkyCar on eBay
picture If you'd rather commute to work through the air in a flying car, then you can bid on a prototype of the Moller SkyCar on eBay. I mentioned the SkyCar last here. It sounds very promising, but they're progressing somewhat cautiously. The model that will be for sale is potentially flyable, but has only been used for tethered test flights. They still hope for production within a few years, and the idea is that it could fit pretty much in a normal parking space, and it can take off vertically and fly at 300MPH, and it would be computer guided and very resilient to failures. They hope it would cost around $50K.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:59 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Windows worm brings the net to its knees
picture A widespread worm infection in Internet-connected Microsoft SQL Server 2000 computers caused a major disruption of Internet connectivity last night. It brought down all the ATMs of my bank, Bank of America. Rather unnerving news that they use Microsoft Windows to manage my money. Luckily I don't have much.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:59 | 6 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Stones Self-Organize into Circles
picture Scientific American reports that scientists feel they've found an explanation to how stones manage to self-organize. In many polar and high alpine areas stones form strange circular patterns. Now they've identified how that might take place quite naturally through repeated freezing and thawing. Well, self organization IS the most natural thing in the world, whatever the medium.
[ | 2003-01-25 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

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