inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #51 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Thu 24 Jun 99 15:23
    
dude, it's a secret!  I can say that the Masons influenced K.A., and thus
Fitz Hugh.  The influence of Masonry I think dates back to the 17th century
- Frances Yates' The Rosicrucian Enlightenment is a great overview of the
subject.  The Age of Enlightenment was encouraging to men of science who
were restricted (or burned) by religious authorities, and Masonry seems to
have arisen in part from an affiliation of like minded thinkers. At the same
time, it seems to have fostered a sort of spiritual secularism, allowing
freedom of thought but appealing to those who believed in a fundamental
unity of humanity.  So Fitz Hugh does indeed fit the mold of a spiritual
seeker who takes the accumulated understandings of science and incorporates
them in an ultimately religious but not dogmatic world view.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #52 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Thu 24 Jun 99 15:25
    
And I think this belief in unity persists through the centuries, and seems
to recurrently generate optimism that _this time_ we'll get there.  In fact,
my manuscript in progress attempts to place the Internet in precisely this
context.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #53 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Fri 25 Jun 99 05:35
    
Nice seque, Dr. Dulchinos. Would you elucidate furthur? Tell us about
that new work in progress, please.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #54 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Fri 25 Jun 99 05:43
    
Oh, but first, I should point out to those in search of the Secret of
Kappa Alpha, that there are two very different organizations with that
name at the present time and dating back to the Civil War. Here, we are
mentioning the Kappa Alpha Literary Society, of which FHL was a
member. An internet search on key words "Kappa Alpha", will most likely
turn up refs to the Kappa Alpha Order, which split off from the KA of
Ludlow, et al, at the time of what they would term the War of Northern
Aggression.

Now, about that new work?
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #55 of 97: With catlike tread (sumac) Fri 25 Jun 99 09:35
    
Do I even *wish* that the Secret Wisdom of the Ages had been carved on
the Rosetta Stone?
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #56 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Sat 26 Jun 99 15:37
    
ah, sorry for the delay - i've been on child care duty.
the new book is a series of reflections taking Teilhard de Chardin's theory
of the noosphere as a point of departure.  if there is a "thinking layer" or
of the planet, what does it look like? Some of my experiences on the Net,
including here on the Well, make me think  the Internet provides "brain-like
" infrastructure. Looking at the history of theories of wholeness, from
Buddhism to Carl Jung, seems to give some depth to such a notion. My tract
is fairly optimistic in proposing that only can we achieve some degree of
unity, but that is also a good thing.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #57 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Sun 27 Jun 99 08:17
    
What about the have/have-not issues? As affluent folks in the
developed world march on to a bright, wired future, as Jack Emory
Taylor is fond of pointing out, most of the planet's citizens have yet
to make a phone call. How will they get to "think along"?
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #58 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Sun 27 Jun 99 20:45
    
here's a para from the manuscript:

In Teilhard's view, "the entry into the superhuman [is] not thrown open to a
few of the privileged nor to one chosen people...They will open only to an
advance of all together." 244  This may be, but observers have already noted
that the Internet to date is the province of the higher income portions of
the population.  But I believe that just as telephones are nearly ubiquitous
in the United States (and burgeoning in the less developed world) so will
Internet connection become a commodity available to all. (See Chapter 3).
Whether all choose to take advantage of the technology and particpate in
some form of group consciousness remains to be seen.


I think what George Soros called Open Societies is critical for how fast
this technology spreads.  It has seemed pretty clear for at least the last
thirty years that lack of developement is not an issue of lack of resources,
but of closed, restricted political systems that keep wealth from spreading.
I still believe, despite frequent backsliding, that there is inexorable
progress in the right direction.

The second question is more challenging to me - do Islamic fundamentalists
want to share a group mind with a licentious drunk like me - I am trying to
build a case around my belief that they, and I, will not really have a
choice.  At the margins, it's already happening.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #59 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Mon 28 Jun 99 12:01
    
Oh, my... lots of stuff in that post... maybe split the next response
into a few posts when you have the time.

Islamic fundamentalists, of course, are not the whole nor likely the
majority of those of that faith. It is a faith that gave rise to a
civilization that bequethed the West the number Zero, algebra, much of
the scientific method and some great hookha technology, among other
things. Maybe there's a false categorization we fall into when
pidgeon-wholing folks on the basis of their faith. What's the
internet's potential in opening broader x-cultural innovation?

George Soros... please, a little info on your take on this self-styled
altruistic capitalist.

Teilhard de Chardin... again, who is this character? What is the
Noosphere, anyhow, and why do we want to go there?

And, for those recently joining in, remind us... what's this got to do
with a largely forgotten 19th Century American writer and thinker ;-)
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #60 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Mon 28 Jun 99 16:47
    
 in a nutshell, and it doesn't really fit in a nutshell , Fitz Hugh Ludlow
is one of a long line of thinkers who perceived the possibility of a "new
age" based on recognition of the fundamental unity of all people.

Teilhard de Chardin is another in the line - a Jesuit paleontologist (!) who
believed the next steop in human evolution was the emergence of a global
mind which he termed the "noosphere".  Instant gratification at
http://www.trip.com.br/teilhard/english.htm
but you should really read The Phenomenon of Man to get the full story.

SOros is a really rich guy who believes the world would be better off if
everyone worked toward "Open Societies" along Western democracy models. He
put a lot of money where hhis mouth is - http://www.soros.org - money he got
exploting the ignorance of some governments of this great principle.

I used Islamic fundamentalist as a comparison to my very divergent views -
can't see why you characterize that as a slam on Islamic peoples everywhere.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #61 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Tue 29 Jun 99 07:33
    
No slam intended or infered. Your random example just provided an
opportunity to mention the contribution of Islamic culture to our own,
particularly in the area of science and math.

The real point I was hoping to get to in that, tho, had to do with the
possibilities and possible pitfalls in x-cultural communication via
internet. On the one hand, some folks decry the Americanization of
world culture via media in general, and the internet. On the other, the
fastest growing language on the 'net is Spanish, followed by Chinese.
In the next year or so, English will no longer be the dominant
language, in terms of number of sites.

Where does the emergent Nooshpere take us, in terms of a World
Culture? Any forecasts in your new project?
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #62 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Wed 30 Jun 99 10:30
    
no forecasts - but the biggest challenge is identifying the emerging
evidence of a noosphere, or even what constitutes "evidence" in such a
context.  your commetns on Americanization beg the question - can you have a
unified consciousness if you don't speak the same language. Phrased from a
different direction, how can you achieve unity while preserving individual
differences.  It used to be we agreed in this country on a civic life that
people could come to with different cultural/ethnic/religious histories, but
arguably that center is being pulled apart as various perceived or real
threats cause people to retreat to their own subcultures and not engage with
others at all.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #63 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Wed 30 Jun 99 19:06
    
A couple of years ago, John Perry Barlow, with customary bombastic
aplomb, proclaimed in a screed protesting America's proposed
Communications Decency Act (CDA), something to the effect that "we
(internet users worldwide?) are leaving, we don't need you (the culture
and politics of place, nation?)."

As folks in Palm Computer-saturated businesses are now taking to
writing upon conference room white boards in the Graffiti short-hand
alphabet, and the bureaucrats in the European Union offices in Brussels
are speaking "Eurish" out of practicality and habit, might some
similar trends emmerge in 'net culture? Are they among the datapoints
you're looking for?

Btw, folks, stop me at anytime that I dissolve utterly into "Geekish".
If you're curious, I'd be happy to explain CDAs, Graffitis, and
"Eurish", in this context. I am sometimes nothing but the End o' the
20th Century Gentleman Philosopher puttering about the mansion,
muttering to myself and anybody else in earshot.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #64 of 97: John Henry, the (steeldrv) Wed 30 Jun 99 21:10
    
I'm not sure we used to agree in this country on a unified culture that
accepted "different" subcultures.  We gave it good mouth, but when push
came to shove, we would vilify the jews and the italians and any other
handy minority, lynch blacks, pass chinese exclusion laws, and
otherwise prove we were _nat_ accepting of differentness. 

I have a deeply suspicious nature when anyone talks about how things
were so much better in the past. It just wasn't so.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #65 of 97: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 1 Jul 99 07:33
    
Eurish, yes, please explain.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #66 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Thu 1 Jul 99 08:18
    
my nostalgia goes back to the early 1960's, when my Greek American parents
best friends were Polish American, French Canadian-American, Irish American
and Italian American.  True, No Negroes, but as integration began, it seemed
no African Americans were interested in moving to our dying industrial town,
and I don't blame them.  On Sunday, we would go to our Greek church, and not
hear a word of English for a few hours, but the common civic culture was
what was conveyed to me as the most important part of our lives.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #67 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Thu 1 Jul 99 08:18
    
I'd also like to hear about Eurish.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #68 of 97: poorly-contained perioxide accident waiting to happen (castle) Thu 1 Jul 99 13:37
    

And I want to hear about Graffiti
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #69 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Thu 1 Jul 99 16:45
    
<Eurish, yes, please explain.>

At the Brussels offices of the European Community, there are five or
six most common native languages/dialects. I believe they all fall into
the Germanic or Latin groups. Most of the folks that work there are
fluent in at least two of them, and many passable at almost any in
either group. From what I've read, it seems that an everyday common
language spoken in the hallways of these offices is a Yiddish-style
mishmash that can be understood by anybody with sufficient education
and Pan-European cultural background.

In the recent past, we would have called such a tongue "pidgin" or
Creole, but those terms would only be applied to uneducated and
oppressed classes... certainly not Armani-clad beaurocrats in the halls
of power.

Language happens. We want to be understood.

<Graffiti>

A simplified, some would say improved, Roman set of alphabet
characters designed for reliable handwriting recognition by Palm
Computers. As a lefty who often doodled ideas for an alphabet that had
both more and simpler characters (such as ones for <th> or <ch>),
requiring fewer inky strokes that got left on the side of my hand and
smeared across the page, it seems like an idea long in coming. In the
Silicon Valley area, with the preponderance of Palm Computers,
Graffiti's alphabet is popping up in place of our conventional one on
conference room whiteboards.

Don, to <steeldrv>'s comment... do you believe that the vector of
human social evolution, or at least our society's, is moving forward?
Back? Back and forth... cha-cha-cha?

How might the evolution of the Noosphere figure in to any tendencies,
positive or negative?
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #70 of 97: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 1 Jul 99 16:58
    
Hmm.  I was in one of those Eurish conversations once, maybe, when I was in
Iceland with another American, a couple of Italians, a couple of French
people....the Americans knew English, I knew a little French, the Italians
knew a little English and a little French, the French knew a little
English...we ended up having a multilingual conversation where *anyone* who
knew the right word could throw it in, even if they didn't nominally speak
that language.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #71 of 97: poorly-contained perioxide accident waiting to happen (castle) Thu 1 Jul 99 21:54
    

I will have to keep my eyes open for Graffiti on our company's conference
room white boards.  We have lots of Palm pilots there.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #72 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Fri 2 Jul 99 21:34
    
I think the evolution is forward, overall, but it is indeed a two steps
forward one step back cha-cha.  In my view, unity breeds unity. This will be
familiar to Whole Earth refugees who may still be among us - co-evolution
positing that Darwin doesn't just mean survival of the fittest, but also
survival of those who cooperate.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #73 of 97: (pholk) Sat 3 Jul 99 07:50
    
But doesn't that just beg the question about *who* is cooperating with
*whom* -- which need not have much to do with universal unity at all. The
survivors can congratulate each other on their evolutionary progress and
proclaim that in the long run all will benefit. I'm not sure that progress
is best measured from the view from the top.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #74 of 97: Don Dulchinos (dpd) Mon 5 Jul 99 10:25
    
well, who said those who choose to cooperate have to be at the "top",
whatever you mean by that.  I certainly do make the value judgement that
cooperation is better than not cooperating.  Assuming consenting adults on
both sides.
  
inkwell.vue.40 : Don Dulchinos and The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow
permalink #75 of 97: Steven Solomon (ssol) Mon 5 Jul 99 10:56
    
When the story is finally told, it may be that the cooperative ethic
of distinctly "not on top" hackers creating Linux and other open
systems, may prove the winner in the evolution of system and software
development. They don't have to destroy Microsoft or Apple or IBM to
"win", either. They might just provide an unavoidable need for those
organizations to open their own systems, satisfying their own ethical
and philosphical imperatives. Cooperation can sometime compell
cooperation among the uncooperative, perhaps?
  

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