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Which Three Books?
I recently rewatched George Pal’s stunning film adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel, “The Time Machine,” and, as always, I laughed, I cried, I wondered how the Eloi had such fabulous hair in those primitive conditions.
For those maybe two people who’ve never seen the film, the hero, “H. George Wells,” pilots his home made fourth-dimension-crossing device to the year 802,701, where he finds humanity has split into two species, the peaceful, somewhat clueless Eloi and the aggressive, techno-savvy and really hungry Morlocks, whose motto is, we learn, “Eloi. It’s what’s for dinner.”
George battles the Morlocks, rescues the Eloi and returns in time to enjoy a New Year’s toast with his pals in Victorian England, whence he departs again, leaving three holes in his bookshelf. His friend Filby, seeing the holes, ponders what three books one would bring along to build a new human civilization.
He asks George’s housekeeper (and, by extension, the audience), “Which three books would you take?”
Every time I watch the movie, I ponder again that last question. I messaged my brother and he shot back, “Phantom Tollbooth, Infinite Jest, Cryptonomicon,” a great trio for keeping oneself amused through the ages to come, but maybe not the best resources for, you know, building Rome in however many days.
After a lot of thought, here are my contenders:
The Way Things Work by David Macaulay. From screws and inclined planes to internal combustion engines and Internets, a volume of simple, illustrated explanations of, well, the way things work. If you wanted to jumpstart technological civilization and wanted the perfect cheat sheet, this would be it.
For billions of the world’s citizens, The Bible would be their first choice. It’s got it all, history, action, adventure, smiting and lots of useful and contradictory moral lessons. For me, though, I think a better “How To” for building a moral civilization is Autobiography: Or the Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K Gandhi. While specific in many ways to his life and times, the book so perfectly defines the imperatives of social justice and peaceful revolution and posits the principle that the truth is the ultimate weapon, as it cannot be defended against.
But what about that third book? We’ve got the how and even the why of civilization covered with Macaulay and Gandhi, but where’s the fun stuff, the adventure, the promise and the peril?
After some thought, I decided the best third volume would have to be The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. With lessons on politics, economics, sex, swordplay, spirituality and a generous dose of the dangers of hubris, Shakespeare gave humanity a fine mirror, and would be a valuable tool for rebuilding the miracle that is the English language. After all, it’s where we got a lot of it in the first place.
So there are my choices for a three-volume “Care and Feeding of a Culture with Half a Chance of Enduring.” I wonder what the good people of this community might stuff in their bookbags, and why.
Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud
Let's build communities!
Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.• Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney
• Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol
• Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS
• Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem
• Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo
• Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid
• West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo Bubba
• Vermont Kossacks: Kosmail 4FreedomNote to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
NEW GROUPS LIST:
• Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: [Founder stepped down]
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)
I'm so impressed with the Seattle Kossacks, right now. EagleOfFreedom offered to take up the reins of collecting local Kossacks for camaraderie and action. In a very short time he started the group, communicated with me, set the event and got almost a dozen folks to join the ranks in person. Kudos!
So, you Seattle Kossacks, you've got a group now and John Crapper has offered to be an admin of the group. How swell is that?
SEATTLE KOSSACKS! Look for each other in the comments and gather together, invite one another and let's see more folk show up at the next event. AND the next action event.
Once again Kossacks prove they are for real.
L-R: N in Seattle, Regina in a Sears Kit House, bleeding blue, doingbusinessas
L-R: ?, John Crapper, EagleOfFreedom, mlharges
All photos courtesy of mlharges
SFKossacks Welcome Matching Mole and bwren
with a Birding Event Plus Dinner
Last Sunday, matching mole, who flew in from the East Coast, and bwren, who flew in from Seattle, were picked up and chaffeured by the founder of Dawn Chorus, lineatus. She drove them to meet with other SFKossacks and Central Valley Kossacks to do some bird watching in the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area on San Francisco Bay. I'll leave the telling of that story up to lineatus in her Sunday morning series.
I'll be covering the dinner we had that evening to welcome our out-of-towners.
Wow, the standard setters for Daily Kos group organizing just one-upped the bar again! Not only do they meet for socializing, they get themselves on radio shows to advertise the event, they invite local candidates and progressive causes to speak to our Kossacks and then fully cater an event to reward all attendees. Wow. Just wow.
More than 30 Kossacks got together amping up and organizing the Asheville atmosphere for getting out the vote. Here's one photo:
L-R: DKos Asheville Kossacks
LAKossacks at it again, please see diary for food pr0n details.
Wow. Boom! ericlewis0 blew us all away on Sunday. He provided a LIVE BLOG of the NYC event complete with photos and bonafide commentary from the attendees. Amazing!
Photo 1 L-R: In the orange, thankgodforairamerica, ghchaucer2, sidnora, joanbrooker, dave g & kathny Photo 2 L-R: Plf515, Laura Clawson, mets102, son of broccoli, Communitygis, no exit, designthefuture & mattc129
sidnora promises her faithful follow-up diary and she could likely have food pr0n. I hope so. I live for explicit photos of the fries at Spitzer's Corner.
Saturday, February 8th
Baja Arizona Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant
198 W. Cushing Street • Tucson, Barrio Historico
ORGANIZER: Send Azazello a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: BAK Open Thread: Barrio Historico
Saturday, February 15th
Boston Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: Midday, TBD
LOCATION: The Barking Crab at Fort Point Landing
88 Sleeper Street • Boston
ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.
Afterward, a walking trip to the Design Museum Boston to see the free exhibit Green Patriot Posters.
Mexican Kossacks & Democrats Abroad Annual Meeting in Puerto Vallarta
Saturday, Feb. 15, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM: Welcome Reception with Tom Hayden at private home.
Sunday, Feb. 16, 1:00 PM-4:30 PM: Annual Meeting at International Friendship Club - (to include business meeting, address by Tom Hayden, and presentations on Fundraising, Web-Ex training (replaces Calliflower), Get Out the Vote (GOTV), and Communications including Social Media
Monday, Feb. 17, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM: Presentation by Tom Hayden supporting the importance of voting in the 2014 election. Hosted at chapel across from Hacienda San Angel.
Advanced Full Registration: $35 USD (450 pesos) Includes all events if you register before Feb 1st.
Tom Hayden Presentation (Monday only): $12 USD (150 pesos)
To Buy: Email GOTVfromAbroad AT yahoo DOT com with the quantity of tickets needed for either “Full Registration” or “Tom Hayden (Monday only)”. You will receive a PayPal bill and a written notification once your payment has been processed.
ORGANIZER: Send roberb7 kosmail to connect at the event.
Saturday, April 5th
Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: Noon - 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant
1201 First Avenue South • Seattle
ORGANIZER: Send EagleOfFreedom a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks Arrive
Saturday, May 3rd
DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up
[Address] • [City]
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?