Raphie Frank :: business artivist

Juan Cole: Outstanding U.S. Citizen

Juan Cole

Lest we forget those who DID know better that we might listen to them better next time. From Informed Comment, the blog of Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan…

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

International Law and the Building Iraq Campaign

It is a mistake to believe that multilateralists accept “rhetoric, promises, and declarations (especially with regard to Iran and Iraq).”

I know of few informed persons who would like to see the Saddam Hussein regime continue in power. I am not, however, the international community, and I am not comfortable with allowing Mssrs. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to substitute themselves for it.

The key point is that in the wake of the two World Wars, the first of which cost 8.5 million soldiers’ lives, and the second of which cost 61 million lives altogether, an international community did come into existence. The United Nations Charter, the Security Council, and NATO were all set up as institutions in hopes of introducing some law and order into the jungle of unbridled state sovereignty. The United States is signatory to the UN Charter and to several other instruments of international law.

As a result, the United States may not unilaterally go to war against another state in the absence of a recognized casus belli without betraying the very ideals it championed in 1945…



Related Post (by Raphie Frank)
What Did We Know and When Did We Know It?

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Iraq, Politics | Leave a comment

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Brian Naughton
The Speed of Sound by Brian Naughton

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?


Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Photography, Storytelling | Leave a comment

The Physics of Friendship: by Lisa Zyga

Physics of Friendship
Credit: Marta Gonzalez

Applying a mathematical model to the social dynamics of people presents difficulties not involved with more physical – and perhaps more rational – applications. The many factors that influence an individual’s fate to meet an acquaintance and decide to become a friend are impossible to capture, but physicists have used techniques from physical systems to model social networks with near precision.

By modeling people’s interactions based on how particles bounce off each other in an enclosed area, physicists Marta Gonzalez, Pedro Lind and Hans Herrmann found that the characteristics of social networks emerge “in a very natural way.” In a study recently published in Physical Review Letters, the scientists compared their model to empirical data taken from a survey of more than 90,000 U.S. students regarding friendships, and found similarities indicating that this model may serve as a novel approach for understanding social networks.

“The idea behind our model, though simple, is different from the usual paradigmatic approaches,” Gonzalez told PhysOrg.com. “We consider a system of mobile agents (students), which at the beginning have no acquaintances; by moving in a continuous space they collide with each other, forming their friendships.”

After a collision, a particle moves in a different direction with an updated velocity, just as how an individual’s chance of meeting a new person depends on their most recent acquaintances.

Read Full Article



noah and his mom
photo by tmcdaily

Toward an EXCEPTIONAL Simple Theory Of Everything :: Celestial Chiaroscuro
Introducing Social Cogeneration (& Cognitive Physics)
Letter to a Friend re: Scientific Censorship at the Cornell ArXiv Archives
From Pauli to Einstein to Penrose: A Physorg Letter to RPenner on the “Babelization” of Knowledge
From Darwin to Galileo: Physorg Notes On Observation and the Scientific Method

also see:
Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part III: Selected Papers & Essays)

December 18, 2007 Posted by | 1, Physics, Science | Leave a comment

From Brooklyn to Down Under: The Eyes of an Artist


Untitled by Chrisseserville (New Zealand)

trishlet writes:
Chrisse’s stream has taught me so much about how life and art can be the same thing, how the lens can merge and translate them. I think it is not that her life is more beautiful than ours but that her sensibility is so closely attuned to all those subtle things that matter, all those things on which elegant sensuality depends. Thank you Chrisse for your eye and nudges toward all that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Caribeth Klemundt
Caribeth Klemundt & Alicia Robles by Raphie Frank

Flitter, Glitter, Jiggle & Jag
11 Compositions, Progressions & Impressions in the key of Z
for translation into sound, image, movement & light
choreography by Caribeth Klemundt somewhere in New York, Ohio or Oregon some time in the future…

Portraits of Uganda
Portraits of Uganda by Brian Reisinger (Brooklyn, New York)

The portrait says: Save the Darfur Puppy
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December 17, 2007 Posted by | 1, Photography | Leave a comment

A Couple Christmas Stories: for Marla Ruzicka, Willie Stargell and a Really Great Dad

Sami and Friends by Sean Sheridan

Dear [friend],

In the holiday spirit, I thought to share these with you. Feel free to pass along to anyone you feel might enjoy them.

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
My answer to you… is that, yes, Virginia, Santa still exists… And how do I know that? I know it always by the childlike faith we cling to that yet makes “tolerable this existence,” and by the intensity of the disappointment we still feel when that faith is injured. For me, at least, Santa Claus exists not just “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” but perhaps even more so. In fact, it may just be that Santa and the childlike faith he gives us are exactly what make love, generosity and devotion possible in the first place…

A Christmas Story for Marla Ruzicka
There was once a war and many people died. There was also much collateral damage. The people were the collateral. And everyone saw who bothered to look, but pretended they didn’t. But there was one girl, a shining, sprite pixie of a blond with an amber smile who DID notice….

Kindest Regards,

Visit seansheridan photography

December 17, 2007 Posted by | Storytelling | | 2 Comments

The Mind of an Artist: Egg

photo by egg

Egg writes…
reality is always bending itself for us. sometimes it bends itself to amuse us, sometimes to teach us, sometimes to confuse us. It bends itself overtly and covertly. the bending takes many different forms — sometimes visual, sometimes spiritual, sometimes we feel vertigo that has nothing to do with any physical circumstances, even though we always try to link it to physical things.

this is a picture i took while I was driving. there was water being blown across my window as I drove, and I pointed my camera at that water. I’m fairly certain that in doing so i captured an analogy for the way reality bends thus, and perhaps the act itself. But one thing I’m sure of: one-ness.

December 16, 2007 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Universal Time and the Internet

Giamapalo Macorig
A Quiet Place in My Dreams, by Giampaolo Macorig (Italy)

The original posting to this “link” has been backdated to October 22, 2007, a bit like time travel of perception. See: Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part IV: Conceptual Influences)

A couple points…

What jazz was to music, what digital technology was to still and moving images and sound, the blogosphere is to the human voice

The medium and message are now truly becoming one, meaning method and substance will become indistinguishable. The egg can come both before and after the chicken and the chicken can become a Javascripted rooster in the blink of an eye.

For inclusion in:
Life at the Speed of Phi: Falling into Sky
Aphorisms for the Information Age

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Physics, Science | Leave a comment

Tomorrow’s Melody: A Letter (not) Lost in Translation to Brian Naughton

Christine Lebrasseur
photo by Christine LeBrasseur (France)

Hello Brian,

Indeed, as you say, “the spaces between things are important i feel! the spaces between each musical note.” Think about it. What’s the present if not tommorow’s melody in the making? And what are all our yesterdays but a series of notes that guide us towards tomorrow’s composition? In other words, the space between the musical notes is right here and now, the choices you and I and everyone make at each and every moment are as infinite in their possibility as the universe.

Speaking only for myself, I’ve no desire to live life in a minor key. Do you?



Bonjour Brian,

En effet, comme vous le dites, “les espaces entre les choses sont importants je le sens ! Les espaces entre chaque note de musique.” Pensez cela. A quoi sert le prsent s’il n’est pas de mlodie des lendemains ? Et qu’est ce qu’hier sinon des sries de notes qui nous guident vers la composition de demain ? En d’autres termes, l’espace entre les notes musicales est juste ici et maintenant, les choix que nous faisons vous et moi chaque instant sont aussi infini dans leur possibilit que l’univers.

Je parle seulement pour moi, je n’ai aucun dsir de vivre la vie dans sur une note mineure. Qu’en est il de vous ?



Translation by PhotoPoetiste Christine Lebrasseur. Christine on Flickr.

Visit Picture Post: to observe the talented Editorial Eye of London Photographer, Musician & Humanitarian, Brian Naughton. Brian on Flickr

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Art, Photography | Leave a comment

The Uniquety of Trust :: Ryan Curry

Bonassi Interactive Studio (c)
“Blue Moon” by Orbits of Bonassi Interactive Studio (Sao Paolo, Brazil)

originally posted Saturday, June 17, 2006 on Snipes, Logomancy & So So Psychosis

The context? A male model in Europe. Career newly revitalized, but then the lure of the party, the frantic awakening the next afternoon a couple countries away from the runway. The absurdity? I’ve his diary in front of me with carte blanche to post here whatever I want.

“Hello! Idiot?” I want to say. “Didn’t you just tell me about that friend who screwed you over and made you feel like an idiot for believing in him!?! Don’t you know better than that?!”

The sheer stupidity and, I might add, concomitant beauty of his trust astounds me. Why do I have his diary in front of me, you might ask? Simple as this. He ripped himself a new a$$hole by way of challenging himself to be better and wasn’t afraid to admit it to himself or to me. I told him I thought people might like to hear about that, might even be inspired by it, especially if put in a proper context.

Context? Okay. Shoot.

The context is that this person is one of the most hopeful, optimistic people I’ve ever come across. Really. But you’d never know it to read this…

Today is the day your paper walls came crashing in. Now and for the rest of your life. You’re not going to get those handout that you’re so fu*kin’ used to… Are you sick yet? Sick and tired of your bul$hit? So so many people believed in you this time! I’m not even going to ask why these things seem to happen to you so frequently. Your party habits fu*k with your head. They ruin relationships with great friends and completely stand in your way professionally. I feel… a guilt like no other guilt that I have ever felt is going to be bestowed… a pawn? a pun?… upon me. The odds are more against me than those poor lovelies way back when at the Alamo.

Those are the words of someone who knows he hasn’t got it all figured out, who is trying to be better, and who strongly suspects he is fighting a losing battle against himself. That internal doubt , that lack of fear to confront it… it’s his leg up on the average Joe. He’s in his own face throwing down a memo to self: “DON’T BE AN IDIOT!”
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December 14, 2007 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

All Alone is All We Will One Day Once Have Been: A Generation X Response to Thomas Friedman’s “Generation Q”

Jace Cavacini
The Lonely Puppet by Jace Cavacini (Highly Functioning Autistic: Asperger’s Syndrome)

At least one of the anthems of my generation is “All Apologies” by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame. The refrain which repeats over and over again in the collective mind of our generation is “All alone is all we are. All alone is all we are…”

My dream is that in the not so distant future, we will be able to update that riff by giving it a happier, more hopeful ending. To do that, however, is going to take a little work, and a little working together in a process I call “social cogeneration,” because only by working together will we be able to stand together and tell the world:

No, Kurt got it wrong. All alone is all we will one day once have been.

All Alone is All We Will One Day Once Have Been
A Generation X Response to Thomas Friedman’s “Generation Q”

As a leading edge member of Generation X, a generation I affectionately refer to as the generation trapped between idealism and despair, told by our parents we could do anything we dreamed of doing, then told “no” every time we tried, I feel uniquely qualified to comment on Thomas Friedman’s October 10, 2007 column, Generation Q, in which he termed the current crop of college students the “Quiet Generation.”

It’s not so much that Mr. Friedman got it “wrong,” but that he could have gotten it more right. The younger generation — also known to marketers and within popular culture as “Generation Y,” denoting those born between 1981 and 1995 — is indeed quiet now, but this does not mean they will be quiet later because they are also very much the “Quick” Generation, brought up in the age of Information Explosion, Internet learning by association and Social Software.

Fractal, “object oriented,” relational thinkers in the mold of noted technologist Ray Kurzweil, a self-described “patternist,” they “get” things, intuitively, in a Malcolm Gladwell “Blink” of an eye, even before they have language by which to frame those thoughts and, sadly, one of the lessons they have learned, perhaps a bit too fast, is that nobody is listening.

In my view, many members of Generation Q are not so much “quiet” as frustrated and, possibly, even a bit depressed.

I don’t know this in theory, but in practice, in anecdotal, but all too tangible, form, because for the better part of the past three years I have spent thousands of hours interviewing and talking to and corresponding with, not just members of Gen Q, but with people of all ages, across all economic and geographical and race divides.

I communicate with these people here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and on the streets of Manhattan, and on social software sites such as Flickr and Friendster, real life “participatory action research” by an aspiring professional human being who has made more than his fair share of mistakes. I tell these people stories — mostly in private, but also sometimes in public — stories about being a bit too “different,” about being a right-handed, right-brained thinker trying to follow a path with heart in a left brained world and not wanting anyone to know because I know what happens to those who dare to dream with the heart of a ten year old child…

They get trampled.
Continue reading

December 12, 2007 Posted by | Art, Non-Partisan Activism, Philosophy, Sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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