Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Monday Meanderings

with 2 comments

I’m in the middle of some re-organization on Doug’s Darkworld, so I thought I’d let people know what is going on and solicit input. And as always, there’s items in the news I want to expound upon when I’m not ranting and rending my garments. My vacation in llama land went nicely too I might add. A sweet little ranch kitty brought me something dead on a regular basis, tell me again why we let these little killers live with us?

Anyhow, reorganization. I got rid of all the stuff in the right column, leaving only the search feature and the category cloud. The “Recent favourite posts” left because it was skewed by a small number of posts that get enormous traffic because they have been linked in Wikipedia or some such. I changed the categories into the category cloud because I think that is a wonderful way to display information. I might even blog on it someday, before computers it was impossible to display information like this. And how we display information has to effect how we think about stuff. I ditched the blogroll. This is not a commentary on the blogs in question, I just decided it was too confusing. If anyone who was formerly on the blogroll wants to be reinstated, let me know and your blog will go in the links page. Some of them will likely go there when I get around to that stage of the reorganization. At some point the other pages as well will get updated. And someday there will be more quizzes, as yet no one has offered to sponsor Doug’s Darkworld (hint, hint) so I’m still spending my days pounding nails to put cat food on the floor.

Lastly, there will be a new feature on Doug’s Darkworld starting soon. Once a week there will be a post about some war in history. Suggestions welcome. I’ll probably start with the War of Jenkin’s Ear, how can one resist writing about a war that was launched when a sea captain waved his detached ear around in Parliament? How come nothing like that ever happens in Congress? That would certainly liven up the mood. On the other hand I suppose we’re not far from Bush waving Saddam’s severed head around. Or maybe McCain can take things to that level, it’s more his style.

In world news I wanted to say more about the recent rescue mission of hostages in Columbia. I felt I might have come across as indifferent or callous, and I don’t want to give any people reason to find fault with me on that front. Granted some people will find fault with the mere concept of a liberal ex-Marine, but few of them will be reading Doug’s Darkworld. So yes, this rescue is nothing but good news for the hostages and their families, and kudos to the folks that pulled off this brilliant rescue. Yadda yadda yadda.

A rescue which is front page news over much if not all of the mainstream media, which leads to my second point. Why is this case such a sensation? There’s tens of thousands of political prisoners and hostages around the world, not to mention millions of slaves. Very very few of them have even the slimmest hope of rescue, and the few that are rescued rarely make the headlines. I would submit that it is basically because four of the hostages rescued were western/white: three Americans and a French Woman. And that on some very fundamental archetypal way, this event symbolizes the rescue of “civilized people” from “barbarians.” Just a few centuries ago with a cross in one hand and a gun in the other, Europeans conquered the world. Of course they called it colonization and exploration, and eventually the colonies got “independence.” The underlaying mind-set remains though, why else would European armies be engaged in nation-building (the new word for colonization) in Afghanistan? Why else would the rescue of four people be front page news the world over?

In any event, welcome to the somewhat new, partially reorganized Doug’s Darkworld. As always questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome.

(The above image of the Balkans through time is being used in accordance with the conditions specified by the copyright holder. Credit and Copyright: ©2008 UNEP/GRID-Arendal. I chose it because of my fascination with maps and history, even Europe has changed greatly the past century. And of course to illustrate reorganization, the theme of this post. I once knew a fellow who was born in Austria, became an Italian, then a Yugoslavian. All without leaving his home, as the maps above show.)

Written by unitedcats

July 7, 2008 at 7:43 am

Posted in Berkeley, History, World

2 Responses

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  1. I love the war history post idea once a week. In September I will present this once a week to my history class. Some quizzes and map history would also be fun. Many of my students have very little understanding of how borders have been reshaped throughout history. I think by generalizing what to write about a few times a week will help with bloggers block also.

    Tim D

    July 8, 2008 at 5:47 am

  2. I really like the “blogroll” feature. It leads people to other blogs that they might like.

    Perhaps a weekly post on the paranormal & the unexplained would also be good.

    Priya Raju

    July 9, 2008 at 2:07 am


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