Monday, February 25, 2008

Has the logjam broken?

So I finally finished "I am a Strange Loop". I'd been working my way through it for a while. Don't get me wrong, it is a very fascinating book, but when you only read at bedtime and you only read three or four pages before you fall asleep, you aren't going to be known as the most prodigious reader.

I've now started in on a couple of new books. Usually when I finish one book, I start reading a few at once. The one that holds my attention the best is the one that I stick with. It would appear that "The End of America: Letter to a Young Patriot" by Naomi Wolf has won the battle this time. While I know that it won't help to dispel my image as a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, this book does have some very interesting points. Wolf makes some parallels between the gradual slide into fascism seen by other countries and recent events in our own.

Yes, I know that nearly any parallel drawn between Nazi Germany in polite discussion is almost guaranteed to trigger people's nut case reflex and is more likely to get your point written off as paranoia than get it listened to. Having said that I find myself drawn to Wolf's points. I think Wolf realized this as well and went out of her way to draw relevant examples from the histories of other repressive regimes. When someone connects the dots like this it starts to get a little scary. The problem is that we all have to decide for ourselves if she is really drawing us an accurate picture or if the dots she connects are no more tangible than the dots that we draw in the nights sky to create the constellations. I'm inclined to believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe closer to Wolf's side of the middle though.

In other news, it would appear that the bureaucratic logjam that has surrounded my main project at work seems to have broken in the last couple of days. This has some good and bad consequences. On the good side we will be able to begin the work of making some much needed improvements to the system. On the bad side, the research work that we'd been working on while nobody was looking will get put on hold. Fortunately we'd gotten far enough in our research to produce results and I think that I will be able to parley those results into continued research in this direction.

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