Monday, June 30, 2008

Paris is 3,000 years older than first thought

"You could say that we've come full circle," said Bénédicte Souffi, one of the two archaeologists in charge of the site. "Our ancestors were sorting rubbish from usable objects here in 7600BC. We are going to be doing much the same thing on a more elaborate scale. Maybe, there is a lesson there.

The oldest previous human settlement discovered within the Paris city boundaries dates back to about 4500BC – a fishing and hunting village beside the Seine at Bercy near the Gare de Lyon railway station. The new exploration – by Inrap, the French government agency for "preventive" archaeology on sites where new building is imminent – pushes back the history of the city to the mysterious period between the Old and New stone ages."


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lords of Capital Versus The Planet

"The corporate mega-criminals are all pleading not guilty to speculating the price of oil into the stratosphere, while their servants in the Bush administration rush to appear as character witnesses for the perpetrators. Oil prices have multiplied seven-fold in the last seven years of Bush-Cheney rule - a time of unceasing American wars and threats of war in oil producing regions. That alone should have pushed oil prices far beyond peacetime levels - and it has. The U.S. Congress pretends it's trying to find out what's behind the ever-escalating price of crude oil and gasoline at the pump, even mustering up the courage to make threatening noises at Wall Street's Lords of Capital. But it's all a front to appease desperate and angry consumers, who are urged by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to put the blame on the uppity and unworthy Chinese and Indians, who insist on trying to catch up economically with the Americans and Europeans after suffering so many centuries of white Western colonial and imperial rule.

But even such political insanities cannot begin to account for the price madness of recent years. Only concentrated, organized capital, relentlessly distorting economic realities as it moves through international markets - much as gravity bends space and time - can wreak the havoc we have witnessed in oil trading. The tracks of the criminals are clearly seen, leading straight back to Wall Street.

However, the current oil price crisis should be viewed as an episode in a much larger saga. Over a generation ago, finance capital, which produces nothing, won its long struggle against productive, industrial capital. The Lords of Finance rule. They make money through manipulation of markets, or even by compelling the governments they control - like the U.S. government - to print money for them. They scheme and conspire to create artificial wealth - and in the process hem in and hold back the world's productive capacity. A group of European luminaries including former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt issued a warning against what they called "fictitious capital... that does very little to improve the human condition...." Actually, it's worse than that. The Lords of Capital and their accomplices have drowned the world in non-productive, "fictitious" money that is constantly bet on one non-productive proposition or another - including betting that something horrible will occur very soon to halt the flow of oil."


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogging as a community building strategy

"I've been thinking (and talking) about community a lot recently, and it was while speaking to about 50 people at a seminar held by Sift last Friday that I had an epiphany: most media people don't realise that blogging is a community strategy."


Monday, June 23, 2008

the unfortunates

“…You’d be reading a physically different book as you technically read the same one, just as the narrator reflects that, “everything we know about someone is perhaps not the same, even radically different from what others, another, may seem or understand about them, him.””