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New Server, New Blog — Changing the Pace

<![CDATA[Gad, the last week-and-a-half sucked big-time. I can honestly say that I was probably the victim of solar flare damage. A friend of mine who runs a postal facility near my home said they are running without several systems damaged by a huge pulse of static generated by the flares, and that seems to be what fried my server's power management unit. Seems to me that those flares caused more damage than the Y2K hype led to–watching the Sun for a few days there was like the run-up to Mount St. Helens’ explosive act, full of a kind of “what if it just snuffs us?” quality.
And, since I had to do everything over from email to Web servers, I moved mail and my old ratcliffe.com archives to a hosting provider and started anew with a URL suggested to me by several people who kept asking why, if it is called “RatcliffeBlog,” one couldn’t type that in to a browser and get there. It also lets me run one server, which is still entertaining and productive, since it justifies futzing with tech part of the time.
I have a new blog URL. This is the last change, I promise.
And I’m taking a slightly different take on the blogging idea. I’ve been writing longer pieces about things and that’s generated some interest in my longer writing, as I have several continuing discussions going on about doing that kind of “blogging” work for money. I like getting money for something I love and live to do.
So, I’ve decided to use this primarily as a notebook to let you see behind the curtain, under the rug and in the messier coves of my brain. For decades, I’ve kept big old journals. If we’ve ever had a meeting, you know the ones I’ve carried. But those paper notebooks never let me clip and save stuff as easily as the Web, the abortive attempts at printing and pasting items of interest notwithstanding. It will be a little more raw here. I invite your comments and thoughts. I hope you’ll contribute ideas so we can carry on a dialogue here, which is something no notebook ever let me do.
A few housekeeping notes:
* All of the old static URLs from the blogs hosted at www.ratcliffe.com should be working, though I know a few aren’t.
* I will not be responding to Richard Bennett anymore. No time to waste with such troglodytes.
* The IRC channel is back up, too. Drop by.]]>

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Concentration

<![CDATA[Industrial society was organized along Napoleonic principles to allow one man to concentrate. Any interruption of Napoleon’s concentration was dealt with savagely, but it also yielded a Continental legal framework and, for a short time, an empire. At the same time, many Americans, though far from all, were able to work together, giving most of their attention to the creation of the United States, which continues today.
Because the Napoleonic system depended solely on the concentration of one man, it shared and amplified the flaws of one man.
The American experience is fundamentally different, in that it enshrined plurality as the vital characteristic at every level of government. Instead of amplifying the faults of the many, it minimizes the power of the few, giving the essential good in a people more opportunities to appear at the forefront of the society; we are guided by this goodness, which is hard to see in one person but easily seen in many.]]>