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The Civilization of Illiteracy Part 61

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Patrick Dillon. Multimedia Technology from A-Z. New York: Oryx Press, 1995.

Politics: There Was Never So Much Beginning

Friedrich Hlderlin (1770-1843). So viel Anfang war noch nie, in Poems. English and German. Selected verses edited, introduced, and translated by Michael Hamburger. London/Dover NH: Anvil Press Poetry, 1986.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963). Brave, New World. New York: Modern Library, 1946, 1956

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). Noted for inventing, among other things, the phonograph and the incandescent bulb.

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). Inventor of the graphophone.

He is credited with inventing the telephone and took out the patent on it.

Otto Nicklaus Otto (1832-1891). Inventor of the four-stroke engine applied in the automotive industry.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). Inventor of the electric alternator.

Lev Nikolaievich Tolstoy (1828-1910). War and Peace. Trans.

Louise and Aylmer Maude. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965. This is a translation of Voina i Mir, published in Moscow at the Tipografia T. Ros, 1868.

The Declaration of Independence was approved by a group delegates from the American colonies in July, 1776, with the expressed aim of declaring the thirteen colonies independent of England.

Signed at the Const.i.tutional Convention in 1787, after much dispute over representation, the Const.i.tution of the United States of America entered into effect once all thirteen states ratified it. Its major significance derives from its ascertainment of an effective alternative to monarchy. The system of checks and balances contained in the Const.i.tution is meant to preserve any one branch of government from a.s.suming absolute authority.

The Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen was approved by the French National a.s.sembly on August 26, 1789 and declares the right of individuals to be represented, equality among citizens, and freedom of religion, speech, and the press. The ideals of the French Revolution inspired many other political movements on the continent.

Written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in a year of many popular uprisings all over Europe against conservative monarchies, the Communist Manifesto of 1848 expresses the political program of a revolutionary movement: workers of the world united, leading the way to a cla.s.sless society. The Romantic impetus of the Manifesto and its new messianic tone was of a different tenor from the attempts to implement the program in Russia and later on Eastern Europe, China, and Korea.

Married...with Children: A situation comedy at the borderline between satire and vulgarity, presenting a couple, Al and Peggy Bundy, and their teenage children, Kelly and Bud, in life-like situations at the fringes of the consumer society.

Born in 1918, Alexander Solzhenitsyn became known as a writer in the context of the post-Stalin era. His books, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch (1962), The Gulag Archipelago (1973-1975), The Oak and the Calf (1980), testify to the many aspects of Stalin's dictatorship. In 1974, after publishing Gulag Archipelago (about life in Soviet prison camps), the writer was exiled from his homeland. He returned to Russia in 1990.

Yevgeni Alexandrovich Yevtushenko: A rhetorical poet in the tradition of Mayakovsky's poetry for the ma.s.ses. During the communist regime, he took it upon himself to celebrate the official party line, as well as to poeticallly unveil less savory events and abusive practices. His poetry is still the best way to know the poet and the pa.s.sionate human being. See also Yevtushenko's Reader. Trans. Robin Milner-Gulland. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1972.

Dimitri Dimitrevich Shostakovich (1906-1975): For a very long time the official composer of the Soviet Union. After his death, it became clear how deeply critical he was of a reality he seemed to endorse. He created his harmonic idiom by modifying the harmonic system of cla.s.sical Russian music. See also Gunter Wolter. Dimitri Shostakovitch: eine sowjetische Tragdie.

Frankfurt/Main, New York: P. Lang, 1991.

There is no good definition of Samizdat, the illegal publishing movement of the former Soviet Block and China. Nevertheless, the power of the printed word-often primitively presented and always in limited, original editions-remains exemplary testimony to the many forces at work in societies where authoritarian rules are applied to the benefit of the political power in place. From a large number of books on various aspects of Samizdat, the following t.i.tles can be referenced:

Samizdat. Register of Doc.u.ments (English edition). Munich: Samizdat Archive a.s.sociation. From 1977.

Ferdinand J. M. Feldbrugge. Samizdat and Political Dissent in the Soviet Union. Leyden: A.W. Sijthoff, 1975.

Claude Widor. The Samizdat Press in China's Provinces, 1979-1981. Stanford CA: Hoover Inst.i.tution, Stanford University, 1987.

Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-1989). His life can be summed up in John Sweeney's statement: "In Ceausescu's Romania, madness was enthroned, sanity a disease" cf. The Life and Evil Times of Nicolae Ceausescu, London: Hutchinson, 1991, p. 105.

Berlin Wall. Erected in August, 1961, the wall divided East and West Berlin. Over the years, it became the symbol of political oppression. Hundreds of people were killed in their attempt to escape to freedom. The political events in East Europe of Fall, 1989 led to destruction of the wall, a symbolic step in the not so easy process of German reunification. See also: J. Ruhle, G.

Holzweissig. 13 August 1961: die Mauer von Berlin (Hrsg von I.

Spittman). Kln: Edition Deutschland Archiv, 1981.

Red. B. Beier, U. Heckel, G. Richter.9 November 1989: der Tag der Deutschen. Hamburg: Carlsen, 1989.

John Borneman. After the Wall: East Meets West in the New Berlin.

New York: Basic Books, 1991.

Political unrest, due to intense resentment of the Soviet occupation, and economic hardship led to the creation of an independent labor union, the Solidarnosc (Solidarity) in 1980. In 1981, nationwide strikes brought Poland to a standstill. Martial law was imposed and Solidarity was banned in 1982 after dramatic confrontations at the Gdansk shipyards. Reinstated in 1989, Solidarity became a major political factor in the formation of the new, non-communist government.

Ma.s.simo d'Azeglio (1798-1866): I miei ricordi. A cura di Alberto M. Ghisalberti. Torino: Einaudi, 1971.

Germany has a rather tortuous history behind its unification.

After the peace of Westphalia (1648) ending the Thirty Years'

War, a sharp division between Catholic and Protestant states arose. After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo (1815), the German Confederation (led by Austria) prepared the path towards future unification. In 1850, the attempt to form a central government was blocked, to be resuscitated after the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). On his defeat of Ludwig II of Bavaria, the Prussian Wilhelm I became the first emperor of a unified Germany in 1871, and Bismarck his first chancellor.

Prepared by Garibaldi's conquest of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1860), the creation of the Kingdom of Italy by Victor Emmanuelle (1861) ended with the seizure of Rome (1870) from the control of the Vatican. Italy became a republic in 1946.

The establishments of various Arab states is a testimony to the many forces at work in the Arab world. The victory of the Allies in World War 1 brought about the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Modern Turkey was established in 1920, ruled initially by a Sultan, becoming a republic in 1923 under the presidency of Kamal Atatrk. At around the same time, Syria (including Lebanon) fell under the mandate of the French League of Nations. Lebanon became a separate state in 1926. Iraq was established as a kingdom in 1921, falling under the same status as Syria within the British League of Nations. Saudi Arabia was created in 1932, and Jordan became an independent kingdom in 1946. The history of national definition and sovereignty in the Middle East is far from being closed.

For information on the Ustasha organization in Croatia, see Cubric Milan's book Ustasa hrvatska revolucionarna organizacija, Beograd: Idavacka Kuca Kujizevne Novine, 1990.

Chetniks (in Serbia), see A Dictionary of Yugoslav Political and Economic Terminology (cf. Andrlic Vlasta, Rjecnik terminologije jugoslavenskog politicko-ekonomskog sistema, published in 1985, Zagreb: Informator). The reality of the breakdown of the country that used to be Yugoslavia is but one of the testimonies of change that renders words and the literate use of language meaningless.

Omae Kenichi. The Borderless World. Power and Strategy in the Interlinked World Economy. New York: Harper Business, 1990.

Isaiah Berlin. The Crooked Timber of Humanity. Chapters in the History of Ideas. London: John Murray, 1990.

Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881). Author of Crime and Punishment (Prestuplenie i nakazanie), Trans. David McDuff, Harmondsworth: Viking, 1991.

Toqueville noticed that "...scarcely any question arises in the United States which does not become, sooner or later, a subject of judicial debate.... As most public men are, or have been, legal pract.i.tioners, they introduce the customs and the technicalities of their profession into the affairs of the country.... The language of the law becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue" cf. Alexis de Toqueville, Democracy in America.

Gary Chapman. Time to Cast Aside Political Apathy in Favor of Creating a New Vision for America, in Los Angeles Times, Aug.

19, 1996, p. D3.

Edward Brent (writing as Earl Babble). Electronic Communication and Sociology: Looking Backward, Thinking Ahead, in American Sociologist, 27, Apr. 1, 1996, pp. 4-24.

"Theirs not to reason why"

A professional description of the initial strike in the Gulf War gives the following account: "In the blitz that launched Desert Storm, Apache and special forces helicopters first took out two early warning radar stations. This opened a corridor for 22 F-15E aircraft following in single file to hit Scud sites in western Iraq. Also, 12 stealth F-117A fighters, benefiting from Compa.s.s Call and EF-111 long-distance jamming, hit targets in Baghdad, including a phone exchange and a center controlling air defenses. Other such underground centers were hit in the south.

Tomahawk missiles took out power plants. All this occurred within 20 minutes.

"About 40 minutes into the a.s.sault, a second wave of strike 'packages' of other aircraft, including 20 F-117As, attacked.

They were guided by AWACs (airborne warning and control systems) crafts, which had been orbiting within a range of Iraqi radar for months. Coalition forces flew 2399 sorties the first day, losing only three planes." cf. John A. Adam, Warfare in the information age, in IEEE Spectrum, September, 1991, p. 27.

One more detail: "The architects of the huge raid are the Central Commander, Lieutenant General Charles A. Horner, and Brigadier General C. Glosson, an electrical engineer by training. For months they have overseen complete war games and rehea.r.s.ed precision bombing in the Arabian expanse," p. 26.

Sun Tzu. The Art of War. Trans. Thomas Cleary. Boston & London: Shambala Dragon Editions,1988.

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