online: 25 march 2004

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25 march 2004 news of the world

10:48 Morning sunlight, indoors, peace and quiet and warmth, a thousand books, well-chosen, the mind of the world in frozen letters, the price of everything, good health returns after minor illness, I'm writing this while still in bed...

Today as every day the news is bad. We are politically sick, all 6.4 billion of us*, in that we do not believe that good news can prevail, that we can prevail, against our public selves, our institutions, roles, and inequalities..,

I am writing this against such pessimisms, within the limitations of a single person but in a public place, waiting for others to do the same, to address and to act for all people and other creatures, things of all kinds, natural or artificial, beyond the limits of the jobs, the organisations, the laws, the rules, trusting our weaknesses and strengths, refusing to exclude our better selves and not condemning each other for the failure so far to use our expanding powers and media with true self-love and mercy or any sense of economic justice (more words to that effect)...

This morning, this morning, the sun is now behind cloud, the gas heater and the refrigerator arrest the natural processes of cooling and decay, but at a cost, the hands of clock and watch move every second in unnatural synchrony while our body rhythms shift and flow and interact unseen, unfelt, as we breathe and live as marvels beneath consciousness and beyond it.

The supernatural it.

But what to do now, that is the question, how to act in the light of all this and how not to give in to economic custom and compromise and inadequate thoughts. The selfish bottom line.

I do not have an answer yet, for today, except to have written this and to recall some words written about and by Buckminster Fuller in the year of my birth:

In 1927, at the age of 32, Buckminster Fuller stood on the shores of Lake Michigan, prepared to throw himself into the freezing waters. His first child had died. He was bankrupt, discredited and jobless, and he had a wife and new-born daughter. On the verge of suicide, it suddenly struck him that his life belonged, not to himself, but to the universe. He chose at that moment to embark on what he called 'an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity.' Over the next fifty-four years, he proved, time and again, that his most controversial ideas were practical and workable...
...As early as 1959, Newsweek reported that Fuller predicted the conquest of poverty by the year 2000. In 1977, almost twenty years later, the National Academy of Sciences confirmed Fuller's prediction. Their World Food and Nutrition Study, prepared by 1,500 scientists, concluded, 'If there is the political will in this country and abroad . . . it should be possible to overcome the worst aspects of widespread hunger and malnutrition within one generation.' Even with tragedies like Ethiopia and Somalia, it is becoming clear that, as Fuller predicted, we have arrived at the possibility of eliminating hunger and poverty in all the world within our lifetime...
In 1980 he wrote: ...'For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. Only ten years ago the 'more with less' technology reached the point where this could be done. All humanity now has the option to become enduringly successful'...

excerpts from the website of the Buckminster Fuller Institute re-arranged in date order.

*As I look up the current world population I learn that the rate of increase has begun to lessen:

The world is beginning to see the end of rapid population growth, according to a United Nations report to be submitted next week to the Commission on Population and Development. In 1994, world fertility was 3 children per woman, and today it has dropped to 2.7; nearly all countries have experienced some reduction of fertility; men and women are closer to achieving their desired family size and spacing of children; mortality is declining in most countries; and life expectancy has been increasing -- it is approximately 66 years today, while it was 64 years in 1994.
The report, to be discussed at the 37th session of the Commission on Population and Development meeting at UN Headquarters from 22 to 26 March, notes that although population growth has decreased in the last decade, progress is being affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and conflict. In the 53 countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is estimated that HIV has been the cause of nearly 20 million excess deaths.
from a United Nations press release March 22 2004

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