Web links related to the Back of the Book program of January 17, 2005

Okay, it's Sunday night 1/30/2005 21:07:12 and this Web page is finished at last. We got to the below and more on the program and we've included the E-mail we read on the air. Hey, we're pitching on the next program.

The WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) will meet next on Tuesday, January 25th, at 6:30 PM at the Harlem State Office Building, Room 8A, 8th Fl., 163 West 125th St. (corner of 125th St. & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.) Take the A,B,C,D, 2 or 3 Train to 125th St. Please remember to bring photo ID. Location is wheelchair-accessible and there will be public comment.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of almost every WBAI LSB meeting so far? Well, I do.

This last LSB meeting featured the faction not even allowing some LSB members to make amendments to motions. They had the numbers to vote down the amendment, but they had to make sure that the amendments couldn't even be made. They also voted to violate the Pacifica bylaws by not ensuring that Staff elections for a soon to be created General manager Search Sub-committee be by the Single Transferrable Voting method, which the bylaws stipulate.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed. Both were operating at 11:02 PM last night.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.

WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.

The Huygens Probe worked! It landed on the Saturnian moon Titan and took some pictures. We talked about it and things surrounding this amazing phenomenon. It's the first time humans have landed something on a satellite of another planet. And the information gotten from the Huygens Probe will be getting studied for quite a while in an effort to figure out the chemistry of the cloud enshrouded moon Titan.

We read a little piece from the CBC about Bishop Frederick Henry, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Calgary, Canada, saying how against the probable legalization of same gender marriages he is. The Bishop inveighed against homosexuality, prostitution and pornography.

Actually, from a political standpoint, I'm glad that the Bishop of Calgary is linking homosexuality with prostitution and pornography. After all, the people who are dealing with the legislation are politicians and what engages the personal interests of politicians more than prostitution and pornography? So as long as homosexuality is equated with the things that a whole lot of the most powerful politicians treasure we're going to be safe!

We read from an article about how companies are gearing up to metamorphose cell phones into credit cards. This relates to some previous things I've gone on about that relate to a future society that will have each of us tracked, recorded and catalogued for the government and big business.

The phenomenon will start out as something useful, convenient and attractive. And people will actually pay for the implementation. Today we'll have cell phones acting as credit card, and of course there will have to be identity-securing measures with that. Eventually it will end up with each of us implanted with chips that will identify us as we pass scanners or get a hand held scanning wand passed over or near us by a cop or someone with an interest in the details of who we are and what we do. When internal passports finally come to America they will not result in gruff men in uniform demanding to “See your papers,” it will just consist of people walking past a scanning device, which can be unobtrusively placed in a doorway, under a sidewalk or just about anyplace else. It will be easy, convenient and not at all bothersome, until someone decides that you're a problem. And then it will be too late, and too bad for you. George Orwell's novel 1984 was right about a lot of things, but its technological implementation of totalitarianism was laughably primitive. Things will be so much worse.

We got to some of the mail on this program. We read some snail mail and some E-mail; as usual the E-mails we read on the program are presented below.

Subject: Happy Birthday, Sir Isaac!
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 00:07:47 -0500
From: Bill in Manhattan
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul -- You mentioned awhile back the dispute concerning whether the calculus had been discovered first by Newton or Leibniz. Recently I read, from cover to cover, no skipping, the short book “Newton's Gift” by David Berlinski. This author states that “the definition of the derivative was discovered at roughly the same time” by both men, but that the discovery was expressed in quite different ways. Newton's language was by far the more difficult for others to follow -- so it is claimed -- and it was his rival who used symbolism more appropriate and in fact the system of notation which is closer to what mathematicians did in the end prefer to use up to our own time. I suspect that it was fortunate that both men were working at the same time. Since Leibniz was in England in 1675 and given access to Newton's papers in the library of The Royal Society, it seems he was acting openly enough in trying to understand Newton.

I don't know if Berlinski's book is the best short introduction to Newton, but for the most part it does address itself to all aspects of his thinking, only sparing the reader the lengthy considerations of the Old Testament undertaken by our hero ... and truly what a hero of the mind he was. Were he alive today, I should feel very happy to see him in charge of Homeland Security. In his own time, they made him Warden of the Mint and set him to tracking down counterfeiters. One of the bad guys -- William Chaloner -- tried to cover his tracks by suggesting it might be a good idea to look into Newton's own dealings. Guess which of the two end ed up on the gallows.

But as to Newton's birthday, isn't it now in January? No matter, lots of candles in the sky for this fellow.

Best wishes for the New Year to all -- Bill in Manhattan.

Yes, Leibniz's notation was something non-mathematicial-geniuses could grasp more easily than Newton's. It was also faster for everyone. Newton, of course, actually used his invention of the calculus to figure things out about the universe, like the theory of universal gravitation.

Newton himself, however, thought that his delvings into the Bible and alchemy were his big, important work in life. Just shows that we can't necessarily tell what's really important in our lives even if we're geniuses! It should also be noted that there is speculation that Newton went a little wacky for a while from ingestion and inhalation of mercury while he was doing his alchemical experimentations.

Subject: Your radio show on wbai was very interesting
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2005 00:17:05 -0800
From: Yosi
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi Paul and Pickles,

Your radio show on WBAI tonight was very interesting.

Thanks, Yosi

Yosi ....
Santa Cruz, CA
consume air and water

Well, thank you, Yosi. And so we have another person from far beyond the WBAI signal area listening to us prattle on! Yeah, the Internet aspect of broadcasting is interesting.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand.

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2005, R. Paul Martin.