Calvin Demmon tells all

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Monday, August 25, 2003
The devil in Mattel

"Mindless acceptance of tools and toys that tune our lives and sensibilities more and more acutely to the needs of machinery is dangerous. But extracting the humane powers from the diabolical forces enabled by technology is not a simple task." -- Howard Rheingold in "Virtual Communities" (2nd ed., 1999), quoted in Dark Fiber, Geert Lovink, MIT Press, 2002

Friday, August 15, 2003
A nation on the verge

"We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. . . . Corruption dominates the ballot box, the [state] legislatures and the Congress and touches even the bench. . . . The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced. . . . The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up collosal fortunes for a few." -- Founding convention of the Populists, July 4, 1892 (quoted in The Guild Reporter, July 11, 2003)

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
An omnivorous editor

"An omnivore, yet selective, a sort of filter-feeder, I will extract intellectual nutrients from the articles as I extract nutrients from my dinner. Every so often, however, I am arrested by an article because it contains not just new information but a highly individual point of view, a personal perspective, a voice that compels my interest, raising what would otherwise be a report or a review to the level of an essay marked by clarity, individuality, and beauty of writing." -- Oliver Sacks, neurologist, in his introduction to Best American Science Writing, 2003, which he edited. (Among other startling and wonderful books, Sacks wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.)

Friday, August 01, 2003
Economics 101

"I found an old account ledger that showed how the Duke spent his money. It was a far better clue to what he thought was really important than the reading of his letters or speeches." -- Godfrey Davis in his biography of the Duke of Wellington (quoted in the Anglican Digest).


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