The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 27 September - 8 October 1997

Mistyped my e-mail address in the last message. Maybe the webmaster can correct it and delete this one.
Tom Carey <>
Norcross, GA USA - Wednesday, October 08, 1997 at 21:21:20 (PDT)
I think most here will find this article worth reading. It deals with interspecies communication. The section called "Field of Dreams" is especially relevant.


Tom Carey <>
Norcross, GA USA - Wednesday, October 08, 1997 at 21:18:24 (PDT)

#4 Made Public!

I have just opened the door to the NEXT excerpt from My Ishmael!

As I have alerted you already...on successive Mondays, the Ishmael/Bnetwork websites will be sharing seven never-before seen writings of Daniel Quinn -- excerpts from the November 11 release date novel by DQ published by Bantam Books called, My Ishmael.

  • The Parable Examined -- MADE PUBLIC! 9pm (CDT) 6 Oct 1997

    As I have said before...there's always something going on here, so keep coming back to the Bnetwork and Ishmael websites!

    Alan Thornhill <>
    Houston, TX USA - Monday, October 06, 1997 at 20:44:04 (PDT)
    A long, long, time ago, the British introduced rabbits to Australia. Finding no predators or diseases, the rabbits rapidly bred by the billions. They sucked up the greenery of Australia like a giant vacuum cleaner. The colonists fought back and caused a major crash in the population of the rabbits -- and it was GOOD -- all species rejoiced (except for the bunnies).

    Today, agricultural humans are causing incredible destruction in every land north of Antarctica -- at an astonishing and unprecedented pace. Our current population is around 5.8 billion. Our normal and healthy population is less than four million. Our culture, with its ever-growing horde of hungry mouths, is a cancer that is threatening the life of our planetary host.

    Meanwhile, our schools, governments, and religious leaders are not screaming at the tops of their lungs to "have just one, or better -- none." They are still screaming the mantra of 8,000 BC -- "grow, grow, grow!!!" Grow like there's no tomorrow. Our culture is intellectually and spiritually diseased and it is racing towards self destruction. We NEED a crash. A crash will be GOOD.

    A long, long time ago, the civilization of Ur destroyed its ecosystem and died. Later, the Babylonians repeated the same mistakes and died. Then the Greeks repeated the same mistakes and died. Then the Romans. None of these folks learned from the mistakes of their predecessors, because the process of ecocide spanned across centuries. The riches to rags story of these civilizations never survived intact, so no one had a big picture perspective on the dance of destruction.

    If everyone on Earth received a million dollar lottery ticket, the world would not be saved. If we discovered an oil field that would last 1,000 years, the world would not be saved. If we genetically engineered a seed that would produce 500 pounds of food, the world would not be saved. Saving the world involves reducing our population to a normal level, exposing the stupidity of the myths of civilization and progress, and remembering our ancestors' wisdom, joy, and reverence for all things living.

    If the crash occurred this year, I'll bet my entire bundle that the survivors would proceed to rebuild some form of agricultural civilization -- because almost all of them are blissfully ignorant of the mistakes of agriculture and civilization.

    In 1864, George Perkins Marsh discovered the mistakes of agricultural civilization, and published his findings in Man and Nature. The full contents of this amazing book can be downloaded via:

    In the last 30 years, a growing number of books have been printed on the subject. And here we are at this website, having a planet-wide discussion on the foolishness of civilization. This is a profound cause for hope! Structural cracks are beginning to appear in civilization's wall of diseased myths.

    There was a time in all of our lives when ALL of us thought that agriculture, civilization, and technology were great and wonderful. We ALL used to think that humans were the best, and that we were living exactly at the zenith of the human experience. This was what we were taught. But now we are at this website, and we are filled to our eyeballs with questions and doubts, visions and revelations, hope and horror.

    How did our perspective shift from the stunning stupidity of the mainstream to a more informed and rational perspective? Someone had a long conversation with us. Someone took us to a lecture. Someone handed us a book. We became informed because someone took the trouble to communicate with us.

    The unborn generation of 2100 is screaming at us to cut our population, cease the combustion of fossil fuels, cease the extermination of the oceanic fisheries, cease the obliteration of forests and jungles, cease the pollution, cease the incredible waste of precious soil, and remember the profound reverence our ancestors had for the Earth and its family of living things.

    Each of us has an important, meaningful, and rewarding full-time job to do. This job involves living less stupidly with each passing year, spending more time in direct communication with nature, and sharing what we know about the perfection of creation and the mistakes of civilization. We need to gather all the courage we possess, stand up, and make a joyful noise, a healing noise, a rational noise.

    We stand today in a wonderful position. There are maybe a million people on Earth who now possess a fairly sharp picture of the total stupidity of the myths of civilization and progress. The crash, which is likely 1 to 30 years away, may delete billions of people -- eliminating the excuse that "we can't go back." The crash will also provide one of the most stunning lessons in human history on the stupidity of civilization.

    The health and well-being of the unborn generation of 2100 depends upon what you and I do today. We can go with the flow, keep our mouths shut, and ensure that the majority of post-crash survivors will be carriers of the fatal myths. Or we can talk, talk, talk, we can learn, we can simplify, we can set a good example -- we can actively participate in the healing process. We have a choice. I plan to vote with my life for hope, healing, and transformation.

    Richard Reese <>
    Hancock, MI USA - Monday, October 06, 1997 at 10:29:32 (PDT)
    very interesting reading and ideas...want to know more....
    willis,b <>
    poteau, ok USA - Sunday, October 05, 1997 at 18:42:41 (PDT)
    Just finished Ishmael, B and Providence. As a member of a recently disenfranchised Maori tribal society, struggling to retain our tribal identities in the face of the power culture, I was truly uplifted to read this message of hope.
    Ross Himona <>
    Wellington, WN New Zealand - Saturday, October 04, 1997 at 23:38:25 (PDT)

    I have just one comment to make on your last entry.

    I have been living and speaking my ideals for some time, and your right, people do think I'm crazy. But I am running for city council anyway. What better platform to share our ideas. And who knows, maybe if people begin to see that I'm not so crazy after all, they might listen to my ideas. I don't think that democracy and leadership are inconsistant with a new leaver subculture. Not everything in taker culture is all bad, just most of it. Imagine, "Bs" in government !

    Jim Demko <>
    Petersburg, AK USA - Friday, October 03, 1997 at 16:43:11 (PDT)
    Jim Demko <>
    Petersburg, AK USA - Friday, October 03, 1997 at 07:44:30 (PDT)
    Lou... That was one heck of a post..
    I am not going to add to it or respond to it.. I am going to really consider it.. I am usually full of words(we'll see:-) but all I can say now is that what you said made so much sense to me, and like you said, It isn't all.. If our minds are changed, then those who follow will also have changed minds...Very nice.. I have nothing to add right now..

    I have changed my mind..
    I just have to actually let that manifest in my life..
    People already think I am a bit strange..(and eccentric) They think that this B stuff is very strange, and when I went to a B meeting, they(friends) joked that the password to get in was "B"...Some have read B, others refuse to, but don't give a reason..I ain't gonna force it.)
    (Yeah, I succeeded in not writing a whole frickin essay!!)
    Take Care and Keep up the posts!! Its is so Nice to see them flowing again...

    Kurt Finguerra <>
    Bend, OR USA - Friday, October 03, 1997 at 02:47:25 (PDT)
    Recently Richard Reese used the analogy of one of our more oft mentioned modern nightmares:

    'Yell "FIRE!!" in a crowded theater -- because the crowded theater really IS on fire -- the audience really IS in mortal and immanent danger! If they don't get off of their asses, they're soon going to be toast!'

    The metaphor is apt if you add the fact that the doors are all locked and there's only one old broken down fire extinguisher. When the fire is still small, the gradually increasing smell of smoke won't be noticed by any except
    those who are attuned to it. Eventually, as the fire starts licking at the stage curtains, even those who would like to ignore it because the show is so interesting will be forced to move. The search for a way out or a bucket of water will become more and more desparate. Those few who survive will be chosen by random chance.

    Many of you realize now, or will soon, that there is no escape. The human race has already passed the threshold at which it could have turned back from the coming collision with biological constraints. The distance between us and the cliff we are careening towards is smaller than the distance it would take to stop if we stood on the brakes, and we're nowhere close to agreeing that the cliff is there. The fall is inevitable, and here is what is going to happen: we are all going to die.

    Of course, we're all going to die anyway. That's life. Don't get worked up about it. Besides, far from bad news, it's the beginning of the solution to the problem.

    There seems to be an idea that we should DO SOMETHING. Forget DO, start with BE (no pun intended). Changed minds, not programs are going to make a difference. Have you changed your mind? Does it make a difference in your life? What difference does it make? If you've started recycling toilet paper tubes and mayonaisse jars, forget it. You're still trying to fix civilization. All the recycling you do, even all the recycling that you and ten thousand, ten million like you do isn't going to make very much difference two hundred years from now. If you could cut the sizes of all the landfills in your state in half, it would make only a small difference to your descendents, if you have any.

    The best thing that you can do for your descendents is to change their minds, and the only way you can do that is to change your mind. Your descendents will inherit their minds from you, they will be you, unless and until they change their own minds. But most people can't or won't change their minds, so you can't leave the changing of their minds up to your descendents. You must change the mind they will inherit from you, which is your own. You must change it in ways that you don't know about now but will one day see as obvious, and in others ways that you will probably never become aware of. The change has to permeate the way you eat and sleep, the way you live and breathe, the way you see the whole world.

    This isn't magical, nor is it rare. Growing up is exactly this sort of change. The way you ate, slept, lived, breathed, and saw the world when you were seven was different from the way you do all of those things now. If you have children, the way you do everything that you do and the way you feel about it is different from what it was before you became a parent. The change didn't happen because you decided to change your mind. It happened because you found yourself in a new place.

    The way to change your mind in a way that will make a difference two hundred years from now is to put yourself in a new place, live a new life. You must turn yourself away from what civilization calls "normal". You must be odd, eccentric, troublesome. You must give up being "successful", or even acceptable. You can't be a pillar of the community if you reject the rules by which the community is organized. You must become an outsider.

    This is not to say that you must become a pariah, an outlaw. But if you live in a different vision, conventional people won't understand you. If you are friendly, they will be friendly back to you, mostly, but they won't want you to marry their sons and daughters, and they won't elect you to the town council. But so what? If you truly have a changed mind, you won't want to be on the town council, and the sons and daughters of conforming parents have minds of their own.

    So go and make a new life, be a new person. Don't wait for the end of the world to save you from civilization. Live now the way you think a human being ought to live. Do it now.

    Lou Conover <>
    Amherst, MA USA - Thursday, October 02, 1997 at 17:39:30 (PDT)
    Dear Dave,

    It sounds to me like you are in the bargaining stage of the taker grief process, hopefuly moving on to acceptance soon.

    As a mechanic, I know entropy from decades of hands on experience, but physics also teaches, as you said, that the universe in not just a collection of objects, this unfinished universe is a collection of events, it is process with tendancy toward complexity.

    Let me share this little parable by Richard Bach.

    ³ Once there lived a village of creatures on the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.²
    ³But one creature said at last, Œ I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.¹
    ³The other creatures laughed and said, ŒFool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!¹
    ³Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ŒSee a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!¹
    ³And the one carried in the current said, ŒI am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.¹
    ³But they cried the more, ŒSavior!¹ all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.²

    So what's my point? Why struggle with ends and means? In a universe which is only process, there are no ends, only means. "Our true work is this voyage." Changing minds is the process, beyond that there are no ends to be desparately seeking. The technology you cling to does not sustain life, it separates us from life. Let go!

    Jim Demko <>
    Petersburg, AK USA - Thursday, October 02, 1997 at 08:47:39 (PDT)
    >>all things are interconnected aspects of one whole.<<
    That's it, Richard, in about as few words as can express it. And I'd wager that most everyone visiting this forum has a pretty good understanding of what you mean. But the choir here are not the ones that need to understand this. Unfortunately, our establishment institutions--religious, scholastic, media, corporate, legislative--have a major investment (in all meanings of that word) in the way things are.

    If the issue of saving the world were as clearcut and simple as that of the Viet Nam War, we could organize and mobilize and get things done. But to proselytize and demonstrate against "attitudes"? Not so simple is it?

    If John Gever (Beyond Oil) and other industry analysts are even close to being right, we won't have the time even for effective education (seen any of that lately?) before the Taker Thunderbolt destroys a significant percentage of humanity and our innocent biota brothers, as well. Refer back to Lou Conover's recent posts for a more lucid presentation of this case.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that the best we can hope for is to mitigate the pain and suffering of those individuals--human and otherwise--most directly affected by the crash; and to allow it to do it's worst with the least loss of dignity and environmental integrity. And then to make damn sure that the lesson doesn't go unlearned.

    Robert Dery <>
    San Diego, CA USA - Thursday, October 02, 1997 at 03:40:30 (PDT)
    I'm prompted to offer a viewpoint at this time in response to Dave Spaar's long presentation of 9/30/97 in this guestbook. I've just spent two or so hours catching up on the latest in this website, especially DQ's What To Do section, which has numerous parts, all long. For those who respond to this guestbook in the firstplace, I offer this: We are inspired by Quinn's creative presentation of his viewpoint in his books and find ourselves extremely motivated to want to DO something -- yet most of us have a very hard time coming up with something satisfactory. Quinn addresses this most frequent question/frustration especially in the What To Do section, to which I refer you all. I think there is great inspiration toward practical understanding and action in this particular section.

    (Clearly, I am not asking anyone to blindly follow this man -- disciple-wise. Rather, I am encouraging readers to obtain refreshing additional thinking from the clear stream of vision which Quinn has managed to achieve -- and which has brought about so much inspiration in us to this point). Let's go to the next step!

    I suggest that Dave Spaar's comments, frustrations, and hopes are indicative of what many of us readers of Ishmael and The Story of B share in one way or another -- and that there's an answer available if we look again at the next to the last paragraph of his essay (in which he suggests Quantum physics - related stuff doesn't really provide a solid advance in viewpoint). I suggest that there is more clarity in what he is referring to than he has gleaned and expressed. (He was writing at about 2 a.m., I think, at that time).

    I think quantum mechanics or physics and general relativity IS a departure from the normal view (which is "treat the universe as a collection of objects set within a space"). I think Dave's next words in that paragraph "hit the nail on the head" as far as introducing a key that can dissipate our confusion as to how to proceed with our "B inspiration" -- by "treating the whole as a single unit of varying forms...which would open doors to greater human consciousness as well".

    Consider those words -- and relate it to Daniel Quinn's whole perspective in the What To Do section previously mentioned in this webpage. (Read it, I am suggesting, to get the fullest import of my words here).

    Trying to summarize: all things are interconnected aspects of one whole. When we live in cooperation with all others, giving and receiving as needed (as in the Leaver model of society), our life is full and so is everyone else's -- and we are not dependent on buying and selling "products". Starting with this notion, look at Quinn's "B Attitudes" in the What to Do Section", and realize how specific, practical and effective is what's been said. We have our guidelines! Every individual, in every moment, in freedom, responds to what is needed. Everyone gets what they need.

    I hope my words contribute clarity to those who read them. Some may get it right away, others may need to think on it or come back to it, and some may misunderstand and even disagree. Nevertheless, the contribution is there. May your vision (of what to do, how to B) become more clear!

    I'd love feedback on these comments. Thank you.


    Richard Freeman <>
    Santa Fe, NM USA - Thursday, October 02, 1997 at 01:37:45 (PDT)
    I didn't find that URL either. But a little rooting around with Excite turned up this one, which seems to be the one mentioned:

    Unfortunately this page provides no links to other pages.

    A review of Hardin's essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons," is here: Review and I found this URL for the essay itself: Essay

    Considering this problem more generally, it appears that for communal enterprise to succeed, each member of the community must place the community's survival above his own interests. If any member does not, a problem arises. Community action may turn to sanctions against the dissidents. Extend this situation, by analogy, to larger and larger communities, eventually reaching all of humanity. Still, each member of that community must place humanity's survival above his own interest. Perhaps this is why any substantive effort to change the human community as we know it in the direction of its own survival must remain covert to have any chance of success. Otherwise parochial community interests could well treat any such effort as a dangerous dissidence.

    Tom Carey <>
    Norcross, GA USA - Wednesday, October 01, 1997 at 21:48:35 (PDT)
    Robert, I've tried a few times to get to the site you mentioned, as well as to, but I'm afraid that I can't seem to reach it, I keep getting an error of the type, "The site couldn't be located," or something similar. Is there an alternative I could try? Thanks in advance for the help!!
    Dave Spaar <>
    Oakton, VA USA - Wednesday, October 01, 1997 at 09:35:48 (PDT)
    Well, Dave, there's nothing particularly wrong with solar-energy other than the energy requirements of manufacturing and maintaining the physical plant, and the innordinate amount of room required. Here's a brief essay on alternate fuels (including solar)from Jay Hanson's "dieoff" site:

    Of course, ecologists are primarilly into programs; not much on fundamentally changing attitudes. Besides Daniel Quinn, Paul Harrison and Garrett Hardin, are there other eco-philosophers out there that we should be studying by way of achieving a new world-view?

    I've been thinking more about the dieoff as a way of mitigating the overpopulation problem. We might address a view that "getting out of the way" is a noble, charitable act to be praised and encouraged. We might then agree on a methodology which would achieve this in a painless, dignified manner. Would their biomass then be available as a protien source directly or, indirectly through fertilizer?

    Of course that's easy for a white, middle-class American to espouse, especially when the majority of the population making this contribution to the ecosystem will be people of other races in other countries: Africa, India, China among others. Do I hear any volunteers out there?

    Robert Dery <>
    San Diego, CA USA - Wednesday, October 01, 1997 at 06:00:46 (PDT)
    Private message:

    Dan, what a great website! Geoff was right, it's a model (and I finally got my modem back working again.)

    Still think about our weekend, and continue to enjoy PROVIDENCE. Again, thank you for it.

    Hope you are all well.


    Frank Basler <>
    Westport, CT USA - Tuesday, September 30, 1997 at 19:23:36 (PDT)
    I haven't posted here in a while. I get that way sometimes, you know, full up on the whole issue of the Taker Thunderbolt and the "doom" of the species. It gets me down, feeling as though there is nothing I can do to make things better.

    What I've come to realize recently is that this is probably the exact case I'm dealing with. I can't make things better, because they have come too far along the path to be changed. Yes, changed minds will make for a better tomorrow, but to reach that tomorrow we have to get through the rest of today. And it's a long night ahead of us.

    I've managed to read some of the essays Richard Reese wrote, and I was especially interested in his work entitled, "Oil and the Future." The basic message I took away from it is that the effects of a declining availability in oil are going to be felt not in 50 years or 40 years, but in the next ten to twenty years. Even as I sit here writing this, more and more countries are gearing up for greater industrialization, pursuing the capitalistic dream so "successful" here in the United States. Too bad they don't have the full story.

    I was born and raised in the States, and although I was confused at a very young age by the apparent societal division between "man" and "nature," I took at face value the tenets of the American Dream: that, through dint of hard work and persistence, anyone could have all they desire. Or make that EVERYONE could have all they desire. I never really questioned this throughout my years of high school and college, I was too steeped in the ideology of Taker culture. Although, in retrospect, it should have occurred to me long ago. I took enough engineering classes to have become conversant with the law of conservation of energy, and the second law of thermodynamics. Conservation of energy states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy (disorder) in a system always tends to increase. Basically, what this means in practical terms is that not only can you NOT win, you can't even break even; eventually you're going to run out of resources...

    We've developed and used a lot of technology to "improve" our lot in life, increasing food production, hastening the gathering of wealth, and applying the means to the more burdensome tasks which face us. We change energy from form to form. What we fail to do is to address the increase in entropy which goes along with this. While we may make a hundred thousand microchips in a day, how much associated waste goes with this? We use large machinery to harvest crops, but how much pollution accrues with the effort? The time we "save," it seems, is taken off the far end of our and our children's and our grandchildren's lives...

    I don't really have a point to any of this, I just felt like rambling because this has all been building up inside for a few weeks, and I know that the good people who read this page can relate and empathize. I feel frustrated, useless, and guilty, and although I wish for a different world, I have to be honest with myself and face the fact that the likelihood is that there IS no way out of the Crash. We have too many people all "programmed" to pursue too much "stuff" as the reason for their existence, and it cannot possibly be changed significantly in a short period of time. Everyone is looking to get a huge slice of the pie, blithely ignoring the fact that there's only ONE pie, and it's limited in size...

    So I'm at a sort of a crossroads here, and the dilemma I'm faced with is this: what do I do? I can personally make my life simpler, live on less, work less, economize and recycle and buy earth friendly. But that has little effect on the overall decline. So I wonder: why bother? I can hear Bob Weir's voice echoing in my head, "I may be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoying the ride..."

    So I try to put my finger on THE point of contention which, if you'll all allow me to engage your suspension of disbelief for a few moments, would seem to be the production of energy. With enough energy we COULD all have everything, and this is the limitation we face now, that there ISN'T unlimited energy, and that the energy we can produce comes with a polluting cost, as well as a limitation on abundance.

    Continuing with the disbelief suspension, I wonder if you could imagine what it would be like if there were a source of energy which was clean, easy to produce, and practically inexhaustible. This was the promise of fusion, until it was demonstrated that the method can't seem to be run without an associated cost in radioactive residue. We already have traditional nuclear (fission) power plants for that! What about solar? I'm not up on the latest developments, but the reading I've done in the past lead me to believe that the pollution which would accrue with the development of a system capable of displacing coal and oil power production would supercede those fossil systems. (If someone could verify this for me, I'd really appreciate it!!).

    I have a lot more in my head on this stuff, most of it about as jumbled and rambling as the mess above! :) I have a suspicion that there is, in fact, a way to produce energy to meet our needs and turn from the brink, but I sure don't know what it is...probably some method utilizing the principles of chaotic dynamics, coupled with a new theory of physics (which, to my mind, is about due; although they're great, quantum mechanics and general relativity still seem to treat the universe as a collection of objects set within a space, rather than treating the whole as a single unit of varying forms...), which would open doors to greater human consciousness as well...

    Well, I DID ask you to suspend your disbelief! :)

    Dave Spaar <>
    Oakton, VA USA - Tuesday, September 30, 1997 at 11:23:27 (PDT)
    Having just read the latest excerpt from "My Ishmael," I was reminded of this quote frequently seen in some ecology sites. "And we alone shall feed them...." the Inquisitor continues, "Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without us! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, ‘Make us your slaves, but feed us.'" (Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor)

    Speaking of ecology websites, I would like to second Richard Reese's recommendation of Jay Hanson's site:, with it's really keen End-of-the-World graph and link to "The Tragedy of the Commons," the seminal ecological essay by respected senior ecologist Garrett Hardin . This has to be considered must reading for any concerned earthling. By the way, the index page is at:

    It features weeks of interesting, educational reading.

    I truly understand Daniel Quinn's concept of changing minds rather than promulgating programs. In this light, and in further violation of my longstanding personal courtesy of not recommending websites on other peoples' pages (and so with the inferred permission of Dr. Thornhill), I would like to suggest that folks who enjoy the philosophical aspects of Ishmael/B might also get that warm feeling of primal recognition from Paul Harrison's website dedicated to Pantheism.

    A lovely site with beautiful pictures of star clusters and novae from the Hubble Space telescope and much more, it offers a non-allegorical, well-written presentation of the philosophy that Mr. Quinn characterizes as "animism." I've gotten lost in here for hours. I hope you enjoy it as well.

    Kudos to Lou Conover for his thought-provoking, well-researched, elegantly written, thoroughly frightening contributions to this forum; also to John Stonecypher and Richard Reese for recommendations that have enhanced my visionquest. Thanks for helping to change my mind. I hope I can do the same for others.

    Robert Dery <>
    San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, September 30, 1997 at 04:31:57 (PDT)
    I loved all the books, but would hope to see some "scholarly" analysis. Have just read a book called "small is beautiful" by E.F Schumacher. It was written in 1974 but seems just as relevant to the bigger picture. Here are some quotes;
    "Modern man does not experience himself as a part of nature but as an outside source destined to dominate and conquer it."
    "A businessman would not consider a firm to have solved its problems of production...if he saw that it was rapidly consuming its capital. How, then, could we overlook this vital fact when it comes to...the economy of spaceship earth."
    "If we squander our fossil fuels, we threaten civilization; but if we squander the capital represented by living nature around us, we threaten life itself."
    "The modern industrial system...consumes the very basis on which it has been erected."
    "In agriculture,,,we can interest ourselves in the perfection of production methods which are biologically sound...and produce health, beauty and permanence."
    "An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single minded pursuit of wealth...does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited."

    There are a lot of pearls in this book, especially in the area of what to do.These quotes came from the 1st 13 pages. good luck out there.

    hamish clark <>
    toronto, canada - Monday, September 29, 1997 at 18:29:52 (PDT)
    I was recently shown that Edward Abbey also made the connection between the Fall and our agricultural movement. In The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) - Chapter 28 (Into the Heat: The Chase Continues) Abbey says,

    "Never did have much use for farmers...and that includes melon growers. Before farming was invented we was all hunters or stockmen. We lived in the open, and every man had at least ten square miles all his own. Then they went and invented agriculture and the human race took a big step backwards. From hunters and ranchers down to farmers, that was one hell of a Fall. And even worse to come. No wonder Cain murdered that tomato picker Abel. That sonofabitch had it coming for what he done."

    Kris Macoskey <>
    Pittsburgh, PA USA - Monday, September 29, 1997 at 18:01:02 (PDT)


    I have just opened the door to the NEXT excerpt from My Ishmael!

    As I have alerted you already...on successive Mondays, the Ishmael/Bnetwork websites will be sharing seven never-before seen writings of Daniel Quinn -- excerpts from the November 11 release date novel by DQ published by Bantam Books called, My Ishmael.

  • "Tunes & Dancers" -- MADE PUBLIC! 4pm (CDT) 29 September 1997

    There's always something going on here, so keep coming back to the Bnetwork and Ishmael websites!

    Alan (the Webmaster) <>
    Houston, TX USA - Monday, September 29, 1997 at 14:40:28 (PDT)
    Fascinating, intriguing, and disturbing. Am still attempting to reshape my religious beliefs around this new perspective.
    Phyllis B Allison <>
    Reading, Pa USA - Sunday, September 28, 1997 at 13:41:53 (PDT)

    Daimler Benz is actually working on hydrogen-powered vehicles. In 1996, they said that the technology was still 14 years away from being practical. See:

    Unfortunately, it takes more energy to create hydrogen than is contained in the finished end product.

    Take care, Rick

    Richard Reese <>
    Hancock, MI USA - Saturday, September 27, 1997 at 07:18:29 (PDT)
    Donny Epstein recommended the books, and I've read them with my partner. After our thorough discussions, we conclude that Quinn, as B or as a student of B, has offered an unprecedented synthesis of the anthropological literature--one that most anthropologists would not accept. Our discipline questions the reign of modern agricultural regimes, but has no notion of 10,000 years of totalitarian rule. The link between this cultural practice and the naturalization of suffering as an innate human condition leads the anthropologist across subdisciplines--out of agricultural or ecological studies and into the area of religion or ideology. Most of us have no idea of how related the two are; we generally have no idea that the quest for salvation characteristic of the world religions is constructed historically as each individual's expected escape from noticing their own part in legitimating totalitarian agriculture. Each individual is prompted and promised the right to seek salvation as a distraction from away from the more pressing question of who gets to deny others food so that some can produce more than the world really needs. In other words, Quinn's work provides a general field theory which anthropology once sought and finally abandoned it search for. I am thinking of adopting the book as a text in my graduate course on American Popular Culture. Anyone who has ideas about how to us the books in anthropology courses, please advise.
    Dr. Helan E. Page <>
    Davis, CADonny USA - Saturday, September 27, 1997 at 00:21:46 (PDT)