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the alexander library in cyberspace

riding through the vine fields on the way up to kahlenburg today i was just thinking what preposterous prices newspapers like the nytimes charge for archived articles. i mean if you’re preparing a client presentation in an advertising agency sure maybe you’d spend the company money at $3/pop (for a newspaper article?). but nobody is going to spend their own money at those rates. thus an enormous amount of knowledge is effectively lost to humanity. or at least buried. if we are to rebuild the alexander library in cyberspace, it must be possible to access copyright materials for minimal cost….

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sweden leads the way out of the american morass

the americans are in need of democracy aid from the rest of the world, say two young swedes. i’m not certain whether charity towards the americans is in order, but if a little bit of money might bring about regime change in washington… better than bombs.

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soviet history writes itself into the american present

when i was in moscow, i knew many people who had lived through the stalin period. mainly the parents and grandparents of my friends. it was a fearful time and people did what they could not to be fingered. they never knew who might report them, what the consequences might be of a loose word here, an incautious observation there. as one of the writers from the nation boldly notes, this seems to be the direction that the united states is taking now. As a legal concept, can someone explain the difference between George W. Bush’s “enemy combatant” and Josef…

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romans and us | publilius servus

If you refuse where you have always granted you invite to theft. some days you just look up from your book and find that the world is rich in reflection and sense. for me such a day was when i discovered one of the maxims of publilius servus, the first great author of mimes (circa 80 BC). very little of his writing survives apart from his maxims. but they are as applicable today as when he wrote them. the roman world was perhaps the most similar of all the ancient ones to our own. what makes us so similar? good…

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in praise of george bush | canadians are waking up finally…

on my flight back to canada for a family funeral, i have at last come across something to give me a sense of pride in my nation. a happy change from the regular despair at the consumer morass and wretched architecture of modern day north america in its canadian iteration which makes up every trip back across the atlantic. the international herald tribune, as imperialist a rag as pravda, saw fit to take notice of canada in its lead story. canadians had almost become americans before 9/11, they note. but american jingoism, intolerance, christian bigotry and aggressive military action has…

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and they’re trampling the flowers too…

“The Queen has every right to feel insulted at the way she has been treated by Bush. The repairs will cost tens of thousands of pounds but the damage to historic and rare plants will be immense. They are still taking an inventory.” from the sunday mirror.

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truth and fiction | writing for the web

Writing situated within the context of a personal website does not need to be as high in quality as writing that has to stand without this “support.” A piece of fiction is good if these things are irrelevant: (1) when and where it was written; (2) whether ruminations from

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staatsoper | kylian ballet program with anna and astrid

on my second to last night in vienna, i went out to the staatsoper with anna and astrid. i can’t imagine better company for an evening at the ballet in vienna. anna is a former dancer and knows the history of the company and many of the dancers. astrid is terribly up to date on modern language german speaking theatre. my contribution would be a wide knowledge of classical ballet companies.we had some time to wait and sat together in the quite lovely café at ground level. while we were there an older lady came and sat with us. i…