Native Nations Rise (5 Seconds of Eternity)

She was watching from a window.
I waved.

She waved back, then gave the universal symbol of prayer and respect.

I returned the gesture: “I greet you. I honor you. We are connected.”

She pressed her hand to her heart.

I flashed a thumbs up.… Read more...

talking turkey, making tools

Thanksgiving in Brussels
27 November 2008

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Thanksgiving in the Verenigde Staten is a holiday and a protest. The mood at the dinner hosted by the American Club was celebratory, although rumblings went round during an aggressive invocation I admit I could have done without. I was also a bit disappointed that no mention was made of the terrorist attacks … Read more...

a chance for change

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23:30 pm, November 4: My colleagues (ahem) made up in a single evening, all the time that I’ve been late to events so far this year. It was nice that most of them eventually did arrive! ­čśë Volunteering at the American Club‘s election eve event was the way to go; at least we were guaranteed entrance! … Read more...

expressing the inexpressible

Trevize is grumpy as hell that he’s chosen Gaia – a superorganism – instead of either the technologically-superior First Foundation or the “mentalic” (psychosocial scientifically advanced) Second Foundation as the future of humankind.

The moment of coincidence took my breath away. I opened Isaac Asimov’s fifth book in The Foundation Series, thinking I would start to read it for a … Read more...

“Dare to Know” (Kant)

This post distills a series of thoughts from reading three different texts: The Heroic Model of Science (Chapter 1, Telling the Truth about History by Appleby, Hunt & Jacob, 1991); The Talmud and the Internet by Jonathan Rosen (2000), and an Interview with Ilan Stavans by Richard Birnbaum (@ 2003).
Three threads are primary: language, interaction, and science. “Language” is … Read more...

nationalism in the civilised present

The gathering was splendid.
The U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Brussels is large, impressive, and immaculately tended. We arrived a few minutes early but were immediately ushered in to mingle in the hallways and anterooms, sipping wine, juice or water and munching delicious appetizers from trays replenished regularly by the constantly circulating staff. Conversation with the delightful company was light and … Read more...

“believe the data”

The U.S. Congress is working “to finalize the language of an agreement,” reports the NYTimes this morning, concerning “the bailout” of what has been called “the financial crisis” and/or “the economic crisis” in the United States.
Overthinkingit.com imagines “put[ting] Bruce Wayne in charge of the SEC.” Surrealism of The Dark Knight aside (compliance or complicity?), critique and … Read more...

“the fragile, groping thread of communication”

Foundation and Empire
Isaac Asimov
p. 76, 2004 Bantam Edition
originally published: 1952

Any language used to describe the situation is tricky; ignorance is helpful. (No one expects an American to know anything substantive: “How do you know?!” one man asked, amazed I even had a clue.)
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I first learned about the Belgian language crisis from Jeff. Hints … Read more...

beyond disturbing

There is always so much going on.
Too much?
I’ve been trying to sort out some distinctions between “being spiritual” and “being religious” (after being tag-teamed by an Eastern European cynic and an Undertaker from India for the past six years, it seems I’ve finally cracked). ­čśë I know I become overwhelmed, often, trying to make sense of the whole … Read more...

compliance or complicity?

Heavy talk with friends, lately – about the ethos of the age being caught up in urgency and crisis, possibly such that we fail to recognize the sweep of history and our complicity with trends we would ethically not choose if we were aware of the relation between our immediate, daily lives and how the simple things we do, moment-by-moment, … Read more...