Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hi world

Here I am, entering the blogosphere and fulfilling my cybercivilian duties by contributing to the emerging global e-(d)emocracy. Have to admit, though, that I'm not quite sure how and if this will work out.

Anyhow, this world seems in dire need of some dose of sober thinking and clear arguing. Mendacious and belligerent presidents get re-elected, and in my own country a right wing maverick who was assassinated two years ago has been bestowed with the title of 'Greatest dutch person ever' (sorry Rembrandt, Hugo Grotius, William of Orange, Antony Leeuwenhoeck, Spinoza, Van Gogh, Mondrian, Jan Tinbergen, Sicco Mansholt, and other artists, scientists, philosophers and politicians). Old media like broadcast & push television, desperately trying to keep attracting the waning attention of popular audiences must have a lot to do with this. The blue light of the tv screen has definitely obscured the last shinings of what was left of the Enlightment in the Netherlands, where once Descartes sought refuge from the French catholic king. He would surely be pretty surprised to learn that in the year 2004 ministers and members of parliament know nothing better to do than to discuss a obsolete piece of law which forbids to ridicule God. This two weeks after the brute assassination of an outspoken anti-muslim and xenophobic filmmaker Theo van Gogh (yes, relative of ...) who was killed by a muslim extremist who needed an organic stamp for a letter addressed to member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. We seem to be heading for another period of crusading.

Well, the blogosphere might offer some relieve from all this real world madness, although colleagues of mine have already pointed out that Van Gogh's assassinaton had been amply discussed on extremist websites....