Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

A few more post-inaugural thoughts…

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1.  James Fallows notes that the People’s Daily in China has published a complete translation of President Obama’s inaugural address, including references to both communism and dissent. He makes several great points, chief among them the role of uncertainty in what’s allowed and what’s forbidden.

2. From a 1970 interview with Hannah Arendt on the then-youth movement:  “…if I consider what (apart from goals, opinions, doctrines) really distinguishes this generation in all countries from earlier generations, then the first thing that strikes me is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one’s own efforts. … How long the so-called “positive” factors will hold good, whether or not they are already in the process of being dissolved, eaten away by fanaticism, ideologies, and a destructiveness that often borders on the criminal, on one side, by boredom, on the other, no one knows. The good things in history are usually of very short duration, but afterward have a decisive influence on what happens over long periods of time.” [source:  “Thoughts on Politics and Revolution”]

3.  Three days after having stood out on the Mall, I can’t remember a single sentence from the Inaugural Address. No “ask not…”, no “the only thing we have to fear…” What I do remember are keywords and keyphrases:  “dust ourselves off,” “science,” “bitter swill of civil war,” “childish things,” “greed,” “clenched fist.” I wonder whether this is due to subtle, technology-influenced changes in (a) how we write, (b) how we listen, or (c) the perishability of content in a content-saturated world.

Written by Mark

January 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Posted in Random

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