Category Archives: notes

The Flophouse on the Bow’ry

By NYTimes reporter Dan Barry:
On the Bow’ry, The Long Story of the Building at 104-106 Bowery. (
About New York; Last in Flophouse, Alone With Bowery Ghosts. (

I remember walking by the Stevenson hotel. Bowery is still a street with two homeless shelters where the homeless sit in front of the entrance on the sidewalk, sipping from plastic cups of warm coffee, after they are probably required to leave the shelter in the early morning. In the winter morning they would huddle together as New York’s poor masses like puppies in a nest.

The Icarians

Only a free individual can live in the unbound state of community where property is not the defining factor in social relations. But how often can one see youthful aspirations and ideals be transformed to a pity state of mind in which the private sphere defines the limits of one’s tolerance and of one’s social place. Proudhon stated that property is theft, and the bourgeois ownership and family are the greatest thieves of hearts.

The Icarians

Comparative Democracy

Originally, I was playing with the idea that representatives should have to pass an exam to become eligable to run for political office. While listening to C-SPAN broadcasts of Congress committees, or members of Congress giving interviews to NPR, where on some shows they are allowed more speaking time than the 20 or 30 seconds, I am too often shocked by the lack of depth and the absence of fact in their statements. Continue reading

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists from around the world. The project provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.

Another project that visualizes the phylogeny of life for the plants phylum is Deep Green by the Green Plant Phylogeny Research Coordination Group of Berkeley University.

The Pico Project

The Pico Project makes accessible a complete resource for the reading and interpretation of the Discourse.

“The Discourse on the Dignity of Man (1486) by Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) is considered the “Manifesto of the Renaissance.” Indeed, it exalts the human creature for his/her freedom and capacity to know and to dominate reality as a whole. Far from being simply that, however, the Discourse deals with the vocation of the human creature who, possessing no determinate image, is urged to pursue its own perfection. Such a pursuit begins with moral self-discipline, passes through the familiar, multifarious world of images and fields of knowledge, and strives toward that most lofty goal which defies representation. Pico believes that this paradigm, by virtue of the fact that it is to be found in every tradition, is universal.”

The Genographic Project

The Genographic Project is a cooperation between IBM, the National Geographic Society, Spencer Wells, and the Waitt Family Foundation. Its aim is to collect genetic information of populations, isolated indiginous peoples and modern peoples, and to offer consumers the opportunity to trace back their genetic journey over time and geographies. The genetic markers, the Y-chromosome for men and the maternal metochondriae for women, allow to directly trace back descendencies, and by mapping DNA geneticists are able to calculate common ancestors between people. Richard Dawkins describes this process in an easy to understand fashion in his bestselling book The Ancestor’s Tale.