Wednesday, November 13, 2002

As spiders make webs and beavers build dams, so we tell stories.

People Gerstner on Writing His Book

It is always fun when can-do ceo’s gripe about how hard writing is, so you'll enjoy Lou Gerstner's lament to USA Today that he found it to be an extraordinarily difficult process. With Jack Welch and Al Dunlap in mind, the article says: For CEOs these days, publishing a book seems to be the equivalent of pasting a target on their backs.
· I am not going to write this book! [USA Today]

Kingdom of the wicked

Roger Lewis calls Anthony Burgess, and this is just a sample, impotent, a complete fucking fool, pathetic, a pedophile, and a lazy sod.
· Gozo: idol and idolator [Guardian Island]

The role of principles in politics

Confessions of a Citizen Senator. Orrin Hatch. One of the inevitable things that happens when you hold public office, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch, is that at some point, an old friend will pull you aside in angry bewilderment and demand to know when you lost your principles.
· Square Peg [Basic Books]

Media Hold the Front Page

Behind the headlines, funnies, links to newspapers and story ideas.
· Telling Front Page Stories [Front Page]

Life Stein, Arendt, Kafka

We are huge fans and admirers of Ben Stein for many reasons. The more I learn about him, and the more I read his stuff, the more I like him. I sincerely wish I had been able to avail myself of his current advice regarding how to ruin your life when it could have done me some good. Don't learn any useful skills, Just watch reruns of The Simpsons.

The present is the position in which the individual uses the materials of the past to shape his own future. This is exactly what Arendt means to convey in the Preface to Between Past and Future when she uses the Kafka parable to talk about man as standing in a discontinuity, with an antagonist from behind (the past) pushing him forward and an antagonist in front (the future) blocking his way.
· Future of Our Past [Oxblog]

The Lexus and the Olive Tree

Friedman column today begins:
The transition from autocracy to real democracy in Iran [has] dragged out much longer than in Europe for many reasons, but the most important is because the hard-line mullahs control Iran's oil wealth. What that means is that they have a pool of money that they can use to monopolize all the instruments of coercion — the army, police and intelligence services. And their pool of money is not dependent on their opening Iran's economy or political system or being truly responsive to their people's aspirations.
What does this mean for the United States?

If we really want to hasten the transition from autocracy to something more democratic in places like Iraq or Iran, the most important thing we can do is gradually, but steadily, bring down the price of oil — through conservation and alternative energies...Ousting Saddam is necessary for promoting the spread of democracy in the Middle East, but it won't be sufficient, it won't stick, without the Mideast states kicking their oil dependency and without us kicking ours.

A model column. It begins by reporting little-known facts, proceeds to analysis, and concludes with strong policy recommendations.
· Oil & Olive & 710 [Amazon]

MIXED METAPHOR: Cited in Webster's Dictionary of English Usage 640 (1989):

This field of research is so virginal that no human eye has ever set foot in it.