|Jour de Fête|
Which table do you prefer?
Which books do you prefer?
Hunger for Power|
A Humanitarian View
Opposite of Machiavelli
Computer Privacy Handbook|
(Introduction by Mitch KAPOR)
PLAYBOY Interview with André
Greetings from the Jour de Fête café in spruce-scented Aspen, Colorado and from poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights bookstore in eucalyptus-perfumed San Francisco, California. If you walk into Jour de Fête, I'll slide Michael Gelb's book, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, aside and invite you to share a table. If we meet at City Lights, we can compare notes on which books have changed the course of our lives and human history.
Aspen and San Francisco are ideal for passionate walkers. The former has about 7,000 permanent residents perched at 8,000 feet (2,438 meters); while the latter has roughly 800,000 citizens near sea level. Aspen is often snowy; whereas San Francisco is frequently foggy.
In Aspen we can sit alongside a beaver pond crafted around natural hot springs. Black bears, mountain lions and wily coyotes will be nearby. In San Francisco we can perch on seaside cliffs sculpted by wind and turf. Regal brown pelicans, playful sea lions and great white sharks will be our neighbors. In Aspen we can view superb wilderness photography at Peter LIK's gallery. In San Francisco Rodney LOUGH's gallery is equally awe inspiring.
If you wish, we can mosey around town. Theater is in the air because of Aspen & San Francisco's surreal socio-economic spectrum. Within a thirty minute walk, we can share the sidewalk with the stone-broke homeless, the endangered middle-class and the silk-stocking oligarchs. (In 1970 the United States was the MOST egalitarian industrialized country. Today, Orwellian America is the LEAST egalitarian and getting worse.) We will be surrounded by an equally mind-bending range of artistic, literary, political and scientific appetites.
Both towns share a whimsical side.
12, rue Muir Woods|
12 Miles (19 km) north of
San Francisco, California
Aspen's Three Muses?|
Oh, my goodness!
Paris is another special place for the flâneur, the connoisseur of the street.
In the City of Light, creative persons have inspired visitors for centuries. Museums & statues pay homage to heroes and heroines who rejected the Dead End of Incuriosity. Yes, the person sipping espresso beside you might be this generation's scientist Madame CURIE, surrealist André BRETON, singer Édith PIAF or novelist Émile ZOLA.
When the extraordinary is visualized, the ordinary is energized!
For kaleidoscopic views of (curious tourist) Paris, bookmark Laurie PIKE's TheParisBlog.com. For in depth history, read Andrew HUSSEY's Paris: The Secret History and Gregor DALLAS' Métro Stop Paris. If you enjoy mystery novels, I recommend Cara BLACK's well-researched series featuring Parisian detective Aimée LEDUC.
When you visit Paris, please treat yourself. Jim HAYNES' Sunday dinner parties have inspired guests since circa 1978. Jim has hosted over 100,000 persons from around the globe! Jim's generosity illustrates the spirit of Don GEORGE's book, Kindness of Strangers.
One of my favorite topics is heroism.
Physicist Alfred SCHILD, who helped design the first atomic clocks, was my first mentor. One morning he gifted me practical advice, which changed the course of my life:
Heroes are more valuable than leaders.
Leaders throughout history have tried to destroy us.
Heroes have tried to inspire us.
Côte d'Azur, France
Woody ALLEN echoes this healthy passion in his full-of-wonder film, Midnight in Paris. Oscar WILDE (1854-1900) fans share this gusto. His grave site at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris has fresh flowers. WILDE's tomb is covered with zestful slogans (for example, "Keep Charming!") and lipstick marks. Jean-Paul SARTRE (1905-1980) and Simone DE BEAUVOIR (1908-1986), one of history's remarkable couples, are buried together in Cimetière du Montparnasse. Their Parisian tombstone is covered with thank-you notes in many languages. Yes, immortals and mortals nourish each other. You might enjoy Utne Reader's book, Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life, as well as a few of my Heroes, Muses & Visionaries.
Who are your heroes, muses or visionaries? How have these men & women helped you overcome nay-sayers and fear-mongers? Maybe you hunger to share your experiences, via a Conversational Salon? Perhaps you can benefit from these Affirmist Principles?
Two cyberspace heroes helped me overcome Silicon Valley mythology. Jim WARREN founded the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conferences and won the Hugh HEFNER First Amendment Award. Mitchell KAPOR designed Lotus 1-2-3, the "killer application" which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980's, and co-founded the San Francisco based Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The books Computer Privacy Handbook and Hunger for Power are two of my prior works. These books allowed me to experience what artist Andy WARHOL coined back in 1968 our "15 minutes of fame". One morning Playboy telephoned my home near Muir Woods and asked for an interview about "privacy". "Yes," I said laughing, "I've been waiting for your call since I was a teenager!" You can read PLAYBOY Interview: "The Computers Have Eyes...." here. One radio talk-show interviewer was the eclectic G. Gordon LIDDY. Mr. LIDDY organized the Watergate burglary that forced President Richard NIXON to resign. After leaving prison, LIDDY toured America with the equally famous/infamous LSD advocate Timothy LEARY (whom I encountered on several occasions). Other interviewers included right-wing "Babe in the Bunker" Barbara SIMPSON, technology enthusiasts "America's Digital Goddess" Kim KOMANDO and "The Tech Guy" Léo LAPORTE, mainstream National Public Radio, and left-wing KPFA/Berkeley. My great horned owl neighbors neither booed nor applauded my words of wisdom.
Arthur C. CLARKE, the science fiction author, was the first person to envision satellites as communications hubs. CLARKE wrote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Before closing our brief visit together, I offer you a taste of magic. Our brains and senses have co-evolved far beyond any man-made technology. Here are a few playful challenges for you — in the spirit of Leonardo DA VINCI.
Try to fuse your senses. If you could sculpt your favorite music, would you use wood, metal or marble? If you could bite into this music, would it taste like ginger, vanilla or red pepper? Would it smell like lilac, jasmine or cinnamon? If you could touch your music, would it feel like cashmere, denim or silk? Would your music look like a MIRO, MATISSE or DALI painting?
William SHAKESPEARE challenged us to walk in DA VINCI's footsteps. Nick BOTTOM, a character in A Midsummer Night's Dream, awakens from his affair with the Fairy Queen and asserts:
"The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen,
man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive,
nor his heart to report, what my dream was."
-- Quoted from BACARD's Affirmist Manifesto (Stanford, California; 1982)
Active Supporter of|
Electronic Frontier Foundation
A Premier Defender of Digital Citizens
San Francisco, California