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On Mon, Apr 08, 2002 at 09:23:59PM +0100, Martin Coxall said:
> Actually, BEMLI is the one place where this sort of thing never happens.
> That's because we all know that we haven't actually got anything better
> to do, and are merely deluding ourselves. And "On Topic" is for girls.
And inadvertently you've fallen into my trap. Muhahahah.
To quote http://thegestalt.org/scr/
"The list *is* the experiment which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and
also means that I had a dream once when I saw everyone on the list as
lab rats. True story."
As previously discussed on another mailing list with you Martin, we
disagree on whether it's possible to have an On Topic mailing list (for
various values of topic, but hey ho).
In essence, what we're doing is talking about communities and politics.
But in microcosm and with less nuclear weapons.
Recently I've been reading around this place ...
Celebration, USA : Living in Disney's Brave New Town
Celebration is town in Florida created by Disney. When you move there
you sign an agreement saying that you'll adhere to the $large rule book.
In return for this you get an immaculate yet pretty town with all the
amenities and facilities you could hope for, great public
transportation, little crime and a real sense of community (apparently).
Now as some of the reviews note, the book is about unconvering dirt
about the town but as another one says "Unlike some of the earlier
reviewers, I didn't think this was anti-Disney or anti-Celebration.
After reading it, I almost wanted to move to Celebration myself!"
Without having actually read the book (I've been reading various other
articles on it after a documentary with Ian Hislop sparked my interest)
or having actually been there it's difficult to comment on how
successful it's been.
However the idea is seductive - by forfeiting certain freedoms you gain
a lot. In fact, this the very essence of capitalism - you exchange one
thing for another but you are free to choose what you give up in
exchange for what services.
And this is why I think Celebration has more of a chance of surviving
than a commune (although certain Kibbutzs have been going for decades
now, IIRC). People willingly give up these freedoms and, in return,
Disney, a corporation, provides a service. And it's in Disney's
interests to provide the best service possible because they are selling
By doing this they side step the major problems inherent in Plato's
Republic and some of the problems with socialism (advanced warning, I've
never studied Political Science so I may very well be speaking out of my
arse) because the ruler (in this case, Disney) has no interest in
becoming a fascist dictator because that will damage the brand and drop
revenues. Similarly any one of the Celebrationites can become part of
the ruling council merely by joining Disney and rising up the ziggurat.
I did wonder, when starting ::scr about whether I could get away with
attempting to implement Plato's ideas from Republic (despite the fact
that I disagree with many of his ideas and think that his logic,
especially in the first few chapters is deeply flawed) or possibly along
the ideas of Huxley or Moore.
But I didn't, at least not intentionally, and I think (hope) that it can
more accurately be described as Benovelent Dictatorship [tm] (although
it was recently referred to as "ego stroking" :)
Anyway, this email's gone on far too long so I'll shut up and hope that
this promotes a discussion instead of another round of 3 line quips,
comebacks and sniping.
: square failure, cubic wildcard