Instinct vs Reason

Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.

 ~ Theodore Dreiser

The Essence of the Hacker Ethic

The technology has to be considered as larger than just the inanimate pieces of hardware.  The technology represents inanimate ways of thinking, objectified ways of thinking.

The myth we see in War Games and things like that is definitely the triumph of the individual over the collective dis-spirit.  The myth is attempting to say that the conventional wisdom and common understandings must always be open to question.  It’s not just an academic point.  It’s the very fundamental point of, you might say, the survival of humanity, in a sense that you can have people merely survive, but humanity is something that’s a little more precious, a little more fragile.  So that to be able to defy a culture which states that “Thou shalt not touch this,” and to defy that with one’s own creative powers is…the essence.

   ~ Hackers, Steven Levy

 

Future of Humanity on this Planet

~ Aldous Huxley

Principle, Pragmatism and Progress

Almost every one of these ideas has been discussed and debated before. But politics has stood in the way of their adoption. Maybe in the past, we could afford the political path. But we have come to the point where we can’t afford it any longer. The cost of putting political choices ahead of practical solutions has become too expensive. It is destroying Chicago’s finances and threatening the city’s future. In all of these reforms, we will be guided by principle, pragmatism and progress — not politics. What we simply cannot do is to temporize any longer. We can’t kick the can down the road because we’ve run out of road.

    ~ NY Times, A Progressive in the Age of Austerity by Thomas Friedman

 

Grand Bargain

Many Americans understand that we are on the wrong track and, I believe, will support a big plan if it: 1) addresses our problem at the scale that is required; 2) shares the burden of cutbacks fairly — takes from defense programs and entitlements and asks the wealthy to pay more but everyone to pay something; 3) has a lofty goal to restore American greatness, not just get us through this crisis; 4) lays out an honest time horizon. This will take time.

    ~ NY Times,  No Christie No Bargain by Thomas Friedman

 

Real Conservatism

They would understand, as President Eisenhower did, that at this crucial hinge in our history we cannot just be about cutting. We also need to be investing in the sources of our greatness: infrastructure, education, immigration and government-funded research. Real conservatives would understand that you cannot just shred the New Deal social safety nets, which are precisely what enable the public to tolerate freewheeling capitalism, with its brutal ups and downs.

    ~ NY Times, Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On? by Thomas Friedman

 

Feeling True

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Managing Our Deficit

You can’t simultaneously fire teachers and tomahawk missiles.