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Showing posts from October, 2008

Quote of the Day

Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm's 1969 essay "Reflections on Anarchism" (collected in 1973's Revolutionaries , currently in print in a 2001 edition by New Press ) is mostly a by-the-numbers Marxist, largely dismissive take on classical leftist anarchism (and needless to say more than a little befuddled at anarchism's revival at the time); he treats the movement as romantic and quixotic (quite literally , saying it's no coincidence that classical anarchism's last hurrah was in the land of Cervantes), and intellectually lightweight: saying that Kropotkin is the only "anarchist theorist who could be read with real interest by non-anarchists", due to his scientific work, as opposed to mere artists like Pissarro and Signac (and presumably the likes of Herbert Read, Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Wilde), and whose substantial ideas are redundant with those on other strands of the left. But at one point, the essay suddenly goes in an unexpected direction:

AOL Hometown shutting down, and taking a bit of bronze with it

Well, with the announcement that AOL's Hometown service is shutting down by October 31, one of the truly old school web hosting sites from the early days of the Web, up there with GeoCities and Tripod, and all of the websites hosted at URLs "hometown.aol.com", "members.aol.com" and "users.aol.com", will be going the way of Xoom into the land of dead bits. The shutdown is pretty abrupt; the formal announcement was only posted on September 30, and according to it, if webmasters don't back up their website files by the 31st, they'll simply be gone. All Hometown pages have one of two prominently placed banners atop the pages announcing the shutdown, one of which says "AOL Hometown is Closing its Doors. Find out how to BACK UP AND SAVE YOUR FILES before we say goodbye for good." and the other stating that "A Blogger is Always Prepared. DON'T GET LEFT BEHIND. Learn how to BACK UP & SAVE YOUR INFORMATION now." (des

modern school reunion 2008

Today is the 99th anniversary of the death of anarchist, freethinker, and education pioneer Francisco Ferrer y Guardia, which sparked the international movement which was founded to carry on his ideas. Since I covered the basic background in my original Modern School post two years ago, I will link to that rather than repeating myself. Instead, I will concentrate on the 36th annual reunion of the Friends of the Modern School, held on September 20 at its usual location at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. As usual, it functioned as a social reunion for alumni (mostly of the Stelton school and colony which was near New Brunswick), but this time, the proceedings were enlivened by an unusually large group of interested outsiders. Author Perdita Buchan spoke about her book Utopia, New Jersey: Travels in the Nearest Eden (which has appeared previously on this blog ) which allots a chapter to eight utopian colonies in the Garden State, including one for Stelton. The Emma