November 27, 2007



Great piece at DNI - and, boy, does it ever have an impressive catalog of tags!
The Zizek reference reminded me of something I read in a book called 'Afterwords' (I think) put out by Salon. It's a collection of writings, from a very diverse group, regarding 9/11 and the aftermath. One of the articles, called something like 'Kitschification of 9/11', examined the widespread embracing and sharing of cheesy, kitschy grief sentiments and mementoes. Anyway, the point was that such behavior showed an immediate, simple avenue to something important, yet lacking, in our modern world - globalised as it may be: a true sense of community. I think that re-invigorating and advancing this sense is the first step on the path to any future resilience we hope to enjoy and maintain. How many of us really know all of our neighbors, even, not mention the Muslim or Evangelical down the road? Had we ties, human ties, on top of the 'ties of globalised modernity', to and among our communities, it might, then, seem strange to only 'come together' in catastrophe. Nor might tragedy any longer be the chief cause of collective, community feeling and action - and neither the community's greatest threat.



I wholly agree. I remember very clearly how the world rallied around us. There were very many individual touching moments: The French left-wing newspaper that wrote "We are all Americans now" on the front cover, the Iranians that replaced their "Death to America signs" with "Death to Terrorists," the large crowds in every country that held vigils for those lost. The sad thing is that we didn't make use of that sympathy while it lasted.



Excellent piece, with a pragmatic approach to addressing our "self-destructive fascinations". This correlates nicely to your recent posts on "First Responder Capabilities", which I believe are the second tier of a community's resilience. (The first is individual preparedness -- from training in CPR and First Aid to having a family preparedness plan and an awareness of your own locality.)

While alarmism and the politics of fear can amass votes and sell newspapers, true leadership (as you aptly note at the end of your article) instills a pattern of vitality and growth. I hope our civic leaders -- as well as presidential candidates -- are paying attention.



Maybe a future post or essay will cover that kind of leadership.


Great job on the article! I really look forward to more of your thoughts on super-empowerment.

Oh Sailor, Sail

Me and a friend have been arguing about this exact thing for about a year. We've both come to the conclusion that there are already hundreds of people out there planning this, or something very similar, however, we don't think they can do it alone, so the only reason they haven't done it yet is because they haven't acquired a team strong enough; because they can't trust alot of people. We believe that this conundrum is what will keep them at bay for some time.

Fabius Maximus

Great article, clearly on the cutting edge of thinking about this!

A question: I don't understand this "it sets the entry level for a super-empowered individual too high and misses what truly makes them super-empowered" The Beltway Sniper was a media-fest, of a type common to our society. Like that around the Boston Strangler (1960's) or Jack the Ripper (1888). Or Alar (1986).

Unlike Bin Laden's strike -- sparking substantial changes in American life -- these had little objective effect. Perhaps cathartic or other psychological effects, accouting for publicity so disproportionate to their impact.





An interesting theory.


That's because their goal was personal attention, not to cause a system shock. If it had been otherwise, they would have had more of an impact.



Nice new digs! I look forward to exploring the new site.


Missed this, but related.


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