Hang in there Bill. Those of us who appreciate your writings will still be here when you decide to put "pen to electron" again.
Bill, it is good to simply see a new post on E3 again. Onnia ad bonam (everything for the good). The wisdom of this aphorism is that even when what we think is failure can actually be the beginning of true success.
I've had you bookmarked since lgf linked to tribes, I can only say that I find it worth the wait.
As Mitch said: "Hang in there!" I don't mind waiting. It's been worth the wait so far.
Do what you have to do. I think that those of us who come to hear what you have to say can glimpse, at least in the same agonized self-questioning sense, the pains you put yourself through to say it. I for one, appreciate more than I can really say.
And I suppose living at ground-zero for irrational, anti-American pablum can't help either.
Now go give 'em h*ll. We'll be around, trying our best to do the same.
Hi Bill --
I completely understand. I'm just happy all is well and you're still around and about.
Welcome back Bill....
Hope the desert has been a revitalizing experience. How about a new essay to give us a tease as to where your mind has been flowing?
I don't think I can accept you apology, as there is nothing for which you need to apologize.
I truly understand your desire for the wilderness. I spent most of my youth in the deep backwoods of the Canadian Arctic (Dawson City, Yukon, and Yellowknife, N.W.T. [and that's not North West TEXAS]}. The noise and crowds of the south I find difficult to manage. Fortunately my job provided brief trips to the bush building and fixing telecommunications systems.
As a species. we were adapted to the wilderness, and not all of us have lost that instinct. Even Jesus needed forty days in the wilderness in a time of stress.
Like a previous commentator, I have followed you since the link from 'lgf' to "Tribes". The wait was long but you were checked every day and we all sigh in relief that you are back.
Thanks so much for the beauty of your prose and the depth of your understanding.
Go. Do. Inspire.
Thank you for everything you've done so far. I look forward to your future writings and other works.
As a funny aside, my name is misspelled in the hardcover 2nd edition! I can't tell you how hard that made us laugh!
My best to you and Dana!
Bill nice to see you back.
Its time to change the framework. All of this GOP Reagan nostalgia isn't getting the job done. (I hold second fiddle to none in my admiration of the old man, but he was who he was because he was a man for his time, no 1980's Reagan Al Haditha is going to help with 2007 problems).
In 1976 the soviet question was "how do we coexist" by 1982 it was "how badly and in what way will you commies lose?" in 1976 the question was "how much money will the government let you keep" in 1982 it was "how much money will you let the government take away"...Bush for all his merits has done little to stem the Clintonian poison of reframing the questions into "who did we oppress " from "how did we help" to "how much do you selfishly want to underfund critical services" from " do I really want the govt to take over and screw up that part of my life?".
The reason politics is so caustic is that the common cultural understanding (of which Hollywood is the most obvious messanger) is shrinking. People hear the same phrases: "constitutional", "dissent", "loyal opposition", "rule of law", "social contract", but they don't mean the same to one group as they do the other.
Get the message out, we aren't even at the point where we can answer anything anymore, but we can ask the questions the way they should be asked, not the way the left wants them asked. Do what you can do, because Lord knows we need it.
Maybe you can't change the "answers", but you might be able to retool the questions....
I get it.
Refer to my 08NOV2007 email, or let me know if that one never got through.
As an aside, I (as happens from time-to-time) disagree with Monopticus - on the Reagan part anyway; His brand of "optimism + long-view + soldier-on-through" is timeless and we need it now more than ever.
Some people think that the resurgence in enthusiasm for 'Reaganism' is empty nostalgia for 'the good old days' - I see it as the spreading realization that 'We have gone astray and we need to return to ourselves'.
He is, of course, absolutely correct about the 'drift' (in what was once bedrock understanding) that has occurred since the Clintons worked so hard to cut out the underpinnings of our own societal grounding.
That said - Do what you have to and remember to ask for help when you need it - We Abide In Readiness.
While whetting your appetite for Our Host's next journey into essaying excellence, I commend to his minions a book about John Boyd: "Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War."
Yah - the 'OODA Loop'guy.
Pretty sure that most of us 'minions' are familiar.
I recently found your essay collection (again, I guess, I had a link in my favorites but hadn't for some months bothered to explore further.) Sanctuary I read again yesterday, perfect thanksgiving reading, and Tribes and the more recent one, You are not Alone have given me words to live by, I think.
Anyway, it is quite nice to read that you are alive and still thinking!
I wish you the best of luck in Hollywood, of course.
About ejectica, I admire your vision in wanting to connect the remnant. But the internet already exists, and contains a great deal of knowledge. What is needed most it seems, is someone to explain civilization to myopic people who have been floating in its benefits but unable to see either how it is sustained or what the alternatives are. This is where you excel.
Thanks for some great work here... and are you still accepting orders of Silent America 2nd ed?
and can keep a dream in your back pocket for a while
Not a problem.
please accept my belated apologies for this delay
Big things take time. No apology needed.
Looking forward to the Col. Boyd essay.
The desert clears the mind like the ocean does, mountains are good too.
The thick of thin things dissipates and we are ourselves again.
Don't apologies This is your place not ours.We are glad when you share.
Wow I havn't checked in for months and a friend asked about a referal to an essay Bill wrote and Bingo, Hit the page on a new posting day.....
Boyd is a personal Saint of mine so write well, write fast, and post soon.
If it brings you inspiration, another person tried the approach of making his own movie to get his message out. Please checkout Border the movie. A single Houston radio station hawked the tickets and sold out every screening, held more screenings and sold them out too. They had to rent the theaters, but they made money.
Sometimes you just have to go someplace where you can hear yourself think. For some it's mountains, for some, deserts or beaches or just a quiet place in the woods.
Thanks for what you've given us so far, and we look forward to more, when you're ready.
You're back! You know you best, and if solitude is what you need, good for you for taking time off. And a Whittle movie? The mind boggles. This year's crop has been sparse.
I'm waiting for your "global Warming" essay
Bill - you, Rachel, Steven and Kim inspired me years ago to look seriously into what I think about all that's going on around us for the first time... and what I can do about it. Blogging turned out to be only a small part of that. IMHO, if you posted nothing but tach time entries from this point forward, you will have done far more than your share.
On the other thing. Some wise, wise words from Marc Andreessen: http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/11/rebuilding-holl.html
I believe the entertainment industry is in the early stages of being rebuilt in the image of Silicon Valley. - M.A.
Looking forward to the new style (as well as the longer, less frequent posts) . . .
When I showed up at Maxwell AFB for ABC as a brand-new LT, I laughed long and hard as I was driving up and saw a street (A loop, actually) named "OODA Loop". It's funny when you get the inside joke...
And any Marine can tell you all about Col Boyd; he wasn't appreciated in the AF until after his death.
Glad to see you alive and kicking!
No problem Bill. E3 is one of the few sites in my RSS feed, so I'll always seeyou wander back in from the outside.
As for the "few paragraphs" part...a look at The Belmont Club and the writing by Wretchard seem a good model. Medium length, but usually very thought provolking.
Happy Day! You're back!
I have to admit, the Ejecta project bothered me, not because it isn't interesting and worthwhile; it is. But it took you away from us at a time when, more than anything else, we needed your clarity and logic in an increasing strange America. Maybe it's my age, not ancient but no longer young. I know my desires are unreasonable, and it is certainly unreasonable of me to want so much of your limited time but I simply can't help thirsting for the next essay - and a semiregular posting on contemporary events would be a treat of the first order.
The idea of a movie, either television or limited big screen, could force me into a movie theater for the first time in over 15 years.
First: Welcome back, sir!
Second: No need to apologize. We are used to waiting for quality. And it is always worth it. I would rather wait for the gold, than get half-baked glop.
Third: I think The Chase Lounge is still open. Though I lost the keys to the front door. Please mail me a copy.
Last: We are still here. And we will always be here, despite your best efforts to get rid of us.
Chase, good buddy, check yer mail.
Give us an antidote to the endless stream of anti-American movies, please!
What MuscleDaddy said.
Oh, and Chase. I've got a spare. Check in over at the chatty place.
I blame Dougman. And his rump!
"worth waiting for". I look forward to whatever you bring to the screen, large or small.
Glad to see you back! I was very happy when a new post popped up on NewsFox.
Keep up the good fight!
MD and I actually ARE in agreement, but back in Florida where we get three calls a day from both parties asking for donations, the republican canvassing vibe is distinctly "I'm the new Reagan because that was the good old days of low taxes". I guess I figured that recognizing the timeless quality of his "optimism + long-view + soldier-on-through" was pretty obvious to our lot...
But Bill, please just get on the screen somewhere and remind us WHY we were so proud in 1985. And let us know if we can help
Alas, Colonel Boyd isn't appreciated *still* by the Air Force, where he continues to be an Unperson.
Thank Ghu for the Marines. Semper Fi indeed!
"Do you want to *be,* or do you want to "do"?" What an incredible bit of wisdom.
I completely understand your 'break', and yet I do not understand it in myself either. Good to have you back. take care.
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/21/2007 A short recon of whatís out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...
Some things just take a little longer than we might like...
It is GREAT to see you back, Bill, and I agree with most everyone here in assuring you that no apology is called for. After all, this is your place, and we are all just interlopers on your wondrous journeys. I give thanks to you for the opportunity!
I will be off to China this weekend, following Thanksgiving, but I have a great deal for which to be thankful, not the least of which is this site.
And I will be checking in often.
My most sincere wishes, kind Sir, to you, and all of yours, and all here, for a most Happy Thanksgiving.
A great man once said, "It's easy to succeed in a country that lets you fail this often and this easily."
Onward to success! We have no time to dwell on failure, save to determine how it will help us succeed!
It's great to have you back. No apologies required. We don't apologize to you when we don't check E3 on a daily basis. Keep up the good fight, and things will work out. We're here when you need us.
Bill, always great to see E3 pop up on my Bloglines page. Yours was one of the first sites I experienced in the blogosphere, and you consistently make me think with your essays. Keep up the good work in any medium you choose -- eventually they'll all see things our way.
George (wannabe Remnant member ... 8^)
Well, He Lives!!! Great to hear. I was afraid you had run away with Steve Fossett or something. Glad you're back Bill.
There is no deadline for the completion of Ejectia, at least none of which I am aware. To dismiss it as a failure or say it has "come to nothing" is every bit as premature now as it was to declare Iraq lost in 2003.
And I hope it pleases you to hear that three copies of Silent America are making their way around my local college campus even now.
Bill, does the simpsons themed picture allude to the fact that you are turning into the crazy cat-lady on the simpons?
welcome back, brother
Just to renforce everyone else... no apology needed. And nothing is a failure unless you just give up forever. Right now that particular project is on hold, but not dead. No one has left, we are still here. To a certain extent we have kept each other entertained while you were busy. Not the same thing but... we are still here. Thanks for the eplanation, a few lines in your "spare time" will keep us.
Nothing stops us from checking in every few days. Do what you need to do. You are well worth the wait. The rewards for us, the readers, is a gift greatly appreciated.
It's good to see you're OK, Bill. As everybody else has already said, no apology necessary. You don't owe me a thing. And I admit that I've grown so used to your infrequent posts that days and even weeks can go by between my checking in. So many blogs, so little time...
Don't write another line and you still have affected and influenced more people than you will ever know. Thanks for the past and present inspirations and remember that E3 is only the evidence of the existing community that will always remain.
See you soon!
I haven't a clue as to when you may have started this blog, nor do I remember how I found it. Nonetheless, I'm glad I did.
What appears to be your most recent, however infrequent, blog entry (Nov 20, 2007) seems pining for "an earlier time..." Bill, the time is now which is always the earliest we have. As far as reflection in the desert...well, for direction, one might look at the lives of the Saints; the Old/New Testaments; or the Koran for further understanding of what the solitude of vast unbroken slience might do for the inner voice. These deserts wanderings, a "flaw" of character? As an educated man you must certainly know it is not. However, it is around the holidays and, well, for some, it becomes a depressing time of year, that period between the symbolism of Thanksgiving for what we have and a New Year bringing the unknown. I'd really be depressed if I'd heard you had gone into the desert not to reflect but, rather, to join that vast silence. Cheer up. In so doing you'll keep up the good cheer of your brethren - and sisteren(?).
The last time I posted to my blog was September 2006.
I've been busy - not unlike yourself. But - unlike yourself - I don't feel the least bit guilty.
As you point out so well, the marginal utilities of different activities lead us first in one direction, and then, sometimes abruptly, in another. No big mystery, and certainly nothing to regret.
As long as we're being introspective here, I'd like to offer a suggestion.
When it's time to resurrect Ejectia!, can we come up with a new name please! :)
Thanks for everything, sir, and happy turkey day,
Bill! If you and IOWAHAWK could team up, i,m sure you two could write a script that could get this country back on course! GMTA!
Cynicism seems to rule the modern world. Don't let it get you down, Bill. :)
First, I'll let you in on how deep I was into the idea of Ejectia. Below is a comment I posted in an empty chat room set up during the fast a furious early days immediately following Building Ejectia. This comment was posted in the days after Bill let us know Ejectia was not going to happen in the near future.
I'm just going to hang a while, toss back a beer and enjoy the view. Ejectia is still there in my imagination exactly as it was constructed by a few new friends out of nothing but dreams, hope and imagination in but a few short weeks almost six months ago. Bill was it's creator but not it's only life force. To me Ejectia is like an action thriller philosophy book where I was so enthralled I became one of the main characters in my mind. A story so powerful it became tough to distinguish from reality. One of those books that you remember, reread and look back and realize you were not the same person afterward. Damn this beer taste good!
I bought in deep. If I share anything with Bill it is the tendency toward grandiose thoughts and unbounded optimism. Guilty as charged. I am not ashamed.
And now, back to the purpose of this comment.
Work with me here for a moment...
I am going to ask that you reconsider you perceptions of the events of the past six months or so - specifically, your perceptions of what should have, could have and has happened on e!3.
I am also going to ask that you accept some generalizations and assignment of community responsibility in my discussion. I know we are all individuals, but collectively we create a perception of our mood as we post our comments. If you go down the I never said that. road, you will miss the point.
Perspective typically involves the point of context, opinion, beliefs and experiences used to consider a subject. Simply put, one's perceptions of a subject vary based on the point of view from which one observes the subject.
What if, as we consider the events on e!3, we consider perception of our subject, e!3, from various points in time rather than just various points of view?
Now, as we look at e!3 over time, I also want you to keep in mind a concept Bill introduced in YANA Part 1 with the Prisoners Dilemma?
But Tit-for-Tat combines generosity and toughness. And look at the terms used to describe the most successful strategic version of Tit-for-Tat: Nice. Retaliating. Forgiving. Non-envious.
Nice: Ok, we all want to be, and are being, nice. Big f-ing deal. Common courtesy is standard practice at e!3. Minimum expectations. I am not saying we should not be nice in this case - just that it does not get us anywhere and we can do way better than getting over the low bar.
Retaliating: And the point would be? Despite many of our references to Aynn Rand - and I want to admit up front, I am as guilty of getting sucked into this one as anyone here - there are way too many post here which imply some obligation, debt or responsibility Bill has incurred to this community based on his past delivery of free essays we found valuable. This one goes a bit further because we, as a community, then established expectations which conflicted with the reality of past events. Sure, one could say Bill failed to manage expectations, but I would counter that we failed to include the reality of what we have observed in the past of Bill's essay posting pattern in our assessment of the probability of those expectations.
Forgiving: We have to be, are, and will continue to be in the future. This must apply to our position relative to all other parties in e!3; including Bill. Everybody and every situation is a package. Try this perspective on for size. The issue at hand is our perception of where Bill is, were he said he was going, where he is going in the future and how fast he is going in any of those directions. Now consider a loose definition of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Don't remember that one? Let me explain... no, let me sum up. Basically, you cannot know at any point in time exactly where Bill is, where Bill is going, and how fast Bill is going wherever his is going. So, when Bill posted YANA Part 1 and YANA Part 2 and Building Ejectia we had a pretty good measure on where Bill was and where he was going. Thus, applying the quantum physics of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, we could not know how fast he was going to get there. - And neither could Bill.
It is simple physics. - To all of you out there who see the many flaws in this argument... please be quiet.
Non-envious: No, chance. We all wish we could write like Bill. Smile Bill, it is a fact.
Ok, everybody with me? Know where I am going? Good luck.
William Whittle, by the powers granted to me by... me, I would like to present you with this special device. This device is awarded only to those who have created a entire world out of thin air; using only there working minds; and convinced a substantial number of individuals - who where not their parents or little sisters - this new world was not only possible, but probable.
- breathe, pause for effect -
Mr. Whittle, if you will step forward. On behalf of all those who would be - or would have been - Ejectian's, I would like to present you with this Do-Over-Point-Of-View device. Reaches into pocket and pulls out a little plastic gun that looks almost but not exactly like cross between a $.10 squirt gun and a slide rule. This one of a kind DO-POV is a combination of - everybody start thinking books and movies - the POV gun from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the memory zapper from Men In Black.
Now, Mr. Whittle, if you will kindly set the top knob for the same wide internet dispersion you use for your essays and adjust the slide for, lets say June 2007, a few weeks after YANA Part 2 - and point it, just point it wherever you want, that part does not matter, and if you will just squeeze the trigger - don't pull it, squeeze it.
Everybody feel it? Wait for it to sink in. Believe it or not, even at the speed of light, it takes a few minuets to take effect. The human brain can be a poor conductor.
It is a few weeks after Bill introduced the concept of Ejectia. Everyone is still enjoying the high of the possibilities. We are all having fun playing with the idea. The community is growing and getting to know each other. Life is great.
Are you there? Remember the euphoria? The optimism? The Possibilities?
And then, at that very moment, Bill makes a big announcement...
The feedback from all of you has really got me inspired! But the economics of spending all this money on a web site just does not add up. So, I am writing a script. I am going to make a MOVIE!
THE CROWD ROARS!!!!
Bill, Go back to that point. Forget the questioning, and the doubt, and the fear of disappointment. Remember the thoughts that brought you to the BIG IDEA. Clear you mind. And enjoy yourself again. Have fun. You Are Not Alone! - Well I guess in the middle of the desert you ARE alone; but that is not the point. ;-)
Just knowing you're back is enough for me.
Hell, I still read the older essays whenever I'm having one of "THOSE" days and they *still* work their magic of common sense on me every time.
After giving us so many gifts like that - I believe you're due a little time to yourself.
Take Care Bill!
Thank God, Bill is back! Just received your book in the mail. Take care and Happy Everything !
I agree with all the kudos extended to Bill here. I know how difficult it can be to look inside yourself and make major direction-changes in areas of your life that are important to you.
Having said that, perhaps Bill's talents and abilities weren't best used in trying to construct the evidently gigantic edifice intended to be Ejectia. Each of us must decide how we can best contribute and further the ideals behind the original concept.
I asked before, but I'll ask again: could someone explain in some detail just what the intended components of Ejectia were to be? I've been on the internet for a very long time (since maybe 1991 or 1992) and I know that there's very likely nothing intended for Ejectia that hasn't been conceived of and tried before. If nothing else, a "literature search" could tell us what worked in the past and what didn't, and why.
If the search goes as I think it will, we'll find that there are pre-existing programs or methods to readily construct portions of Ejectia. Why would Ejectia have to be centralized, and why would it have to spring full-blown onto the internet? If we (meaning various of us who have the skills and desire) can construct portions of the intended components, and connect them as necessary over the net, I think Ejectia as a concept can grow nicely and easily.
Now, I don't know exactly what the components are intended to be. But I'll offer this as an existing website that may fit nicely into an Ejectian world-view: CD3WD. I've used some of the resources here to pass useful information on to some teacher friends in rural Limpopo state in South Africa. I think this compilation of 3rd World Development papers could form a nucleus of an Ejectian HOWTO library, if such is part of the concept.
I really hope my idea will be taken to heart. I'm thinking of this along the lines of an Amish barn-raising (I'm Pennsylvania Dutch; the concept comes automatically), where everyone pitches in to do what they can and the structure is raised in an amazingly short time.
A great treat to find you back while I wait for the pies to bake, etc.! I always check in and am always delighted to find something new--no matter how long it takes. I've had your book since my son gave me one a couple years ago--and, having read it on line and in hand, it's still great to pick up and find something of value when the soul needs it. What you've done so far is greatly appreciated and hope springs eternal.....
So pleased to see your new words on E!3. No need to apologize for the space and time to reflect. As mentioned above, everything you've created is worth the wait.
Keep well! We'll watch for whatever comes next
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Hope all your deep-fried turkeys are as good as mine.
quote: "But what I have been struggling with so painfully is simply this: On a really great day, if all the referrers are in line and the essay is out-of-the-park good, I might see 60,000 hits in a day, and I think the record wave (Deterrence? During the '04 Election Eve?) came to about 120,000 hits over a few days."
Now I'm no Proteus, but everyone likes the hit counter to go up...
Even though my best day was under 500.
And after 2 years, I'm still under 10K total.
A good day for me is 30 that read below the fold.
60K in one day? Rejoice!
I faced it a long time ago, Bill.
You are A LOT better than I and most others.
That is why we read your words.
Heck, I'm not even allowed to write in your shadow!
P.s. Remember the remnant.
I've been reading Doris Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" and thought this appropriate:
"A man watches his pear-tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!"
From the first essay of yours I read, I was certain I was witnessing something profound. You have a gift, and I for one will patiently wait for each new pear.
Patrick J. Morgan
Hoo-Rah! Bill's back!!!
Happy Thanksgiving all!
Dang it. I type too fast. I didn't realize I'd written this much until I was done...
In answer to your question though, Doug ("Doug Loss," November 22nd, 2007, 8:20AM) -- like most "high ambitions," the "Ejectia" concept STARTED simple... and small... and cute. Even its name -- "Ejectia" -- was just a blatantly lazy spin-off of "ejectejecteject" (although I personally liked "Ejectica" -- with 2 Cs -- which also made it a spin-off of "America"). The name was actually specifically intended to not be taken too seriously (like "Valhalla" or "CyberSky City" or anything high-falutin' like that), and could, in fact, be safely punned to death.
The concept first came about from Bill's frustration with the futility of the two sides of the political battlelines endlessly shouting and badgering and digitally battering themselves into a very noisy stalemate, from which no resolutions could ever be drawn. He hated the fact that despite his clearly depicted logic, reasoning, evidence and precedents, the other side just kept hammering away at the same old tired recitations and unfounded emotional arguments. And he realized that it was just as equally frustrating to the other side that the evil "neocons" insisted on being so cold, insensitive, heartless, and Old School in their thinking, that THEY would never change either. It seemed to be a fruitless debate (although it was one that I personally enjoyed anyway), and he was tired of it... at least at that particular time, anyway.
So he thought that the simpler, calmer, more adult solution might be simply to stick with "preaching to the choir," so to speak. Don't bother shouting down the "lunatic left" any more -- they're not listening anyway. Instead, create an island of likeminded souls, build a fictional "civilization" along the lines of the precepts he'd been espousing from the beginning, and open its doors to those who would aspire to being citizens of such a place. One of the things that I liked best about the concept, in our earliest conversations by phone, was the idea that, with the contributions of likeminded others -- namely, Bill's "regulars" -- we could actually set up a "nation state" of our own, write its Constitution, declare our precepts and principles, invite mature debate on every subject from immigration law to abortion rights, capitalist tenets to secular guidance principles, you name it -- find the flaws, work out the kinks, show how it all can WORK, and lay out a "functioning society" to portray that function. Stuff like that... that's what *I* liked, anyway.
But, like all simple things, that quickly evolved -- even before Bill publicly broached the idea. Inspired by Bill's appreciation of the "Remnant" concept, it took on added layers, becoming almost a "bulletin board" of sorts, where people could exchange their knowledge and skills to everyone else's advantage. Now, in addition to the debating fora suggested in the beginning -- for hammering out the political issues of the day -- it took on "libraries" of stored information and experiences, "chat rooms" for more lighthearted banter, "arenas" for open argumentative combat, and grew into a whole new "grand experiment."
Then he "went public." He called on people to introduce themselves, share their skills, define their contributions. He formed a "Core" group from the more passionate and vociferous of his contributors, and he started the wheels turning on all the details of what, how, where, and by whom. And while all that was evolving, so too was the landscape in Bill's mind as well.
It became a much more visual experience, a perceptible cityscape with stylish architecture, lofty statuary and towering monuments. Mountain-and-lake scenery became the backdrop for the "city" -- something starkly "Alpine," at first. Days and nights would pass overhead, seasons would change, years would unfurl. The galaxy would be visible overhead, fountains would arc, streams would babble. Then the "citizens" would have actual "residences" -- with addresses! People were asked what and where their idyllic places to "live" would look and be like, from which he got everything from medieval villages to island tiki huts. This, in turn, led to the concept of Ejectia instead becoming an "island nation," large enough to contain all those different environments for people to "live" in, as they so chose. Maybe then, "Ejectia" would just be the capitol city of a larger "nation state," which would now need a name of its own. The original "Greek" architectural theme evolved into something more gossamer and futuristic. Logos, and emblems, flags, and even "national anthems" were submitted. All cool, all fun, and all piling up. And throughout it all, the poor designer teams tried to keep up with the changes and the ever-expanding vision.
And pretty soon it was a leviathan. A grand behemoth, to be sure -- noble of intent, and thrilling to watch grow -- but rapidly exceeding the capacities and the capabilities of the all-volunteer work force. It was going to be glorious, but now the professionals would need to be called in for something this huge and complex. And that meant money... and time...
And then a LOT of time.
And now here we are.
At least that's how *I* saw it happening.
So... you asked, "Why would Ejectia have to be centralized, and why would it have to spring full-blown onto the internet?"
Well, because it needed to be a single destination for a multitude of different contributions -- "lawmaking," issue debating, policy suggesting, experience sharing, all that good stuff -- and it needed to be a place that people would want to go to over other places, with its own special appeal (and a VISUAL appeal proved to be the most popular idea), and its own unique allure (a feeling of "coming home," perhaps... like a tidied-up "Second Life" kinda' deal). And that really didn't lend itself well to a "scattered sites" layout -- it really needed to be one place. And in order to draw and KEEP the interest of its first potential "citizens," it needed to provide that "appeal" and that "allure" right from the proverbial get-go. And that "get-go" had seemed so easy and close on the horizon, in the beginning.
I don't know. It still appeals to me on so many levels. But I'm such a computer-nimrod myself -- such a cyberphobe and an internet orphan -- that I never had a clue how vast the work, the schematics, and the logistics would be to construct such a web-paradise.
So, personally, I'm looking forward to this site's return to simple "catalyst essays" and vigorous commentary again. It's more my level of comprehension.
But I sure liked the lofty vision we all got to share there for a while. That was fun.
Excellent summation, GHS.
I too am looking forward to some more spirited commentary. Now if you could just work on that Websense thaing...
Happy Thanksgiving, all.
The Cowboys have won and all is right with world.
Lofty statuary? I hope your not refering to Dougman's butt.;)
Bill? Bill! You're alive! And here I'd thought "they" had carried you off to their great pinko stronghold of San Fran. I had a mental image of you hanging upside down in AT&T park (Giants Stadium) with a rainbow painted on your chest, being beaten with foam padded wiffleball bats. (Non-lethal redundancy intended, after all, it would be "uncivilized" for them to actually cause someone harm. Personally, I aim for center mass.). I was working on mounting a rescue opperation, really, I was! The Marines wanted to come, but they were, uh, busy. Same with the Army. I had, however, managed to round up several hundred Cub Scouts. But, unfortunately, they outsmarted me, it seems they've been listening to too much (c)rap music. The little pricks stole all my weapons and explosives and headed for the bank.
"No officer, I've never had explosives in my posession. I don't know where they got it, not from me. Besides, even if, by some freak chance, I actually had some C4 I'd never let kids get ahold of it." :(
(That's me above, properly chagrined.)
We were going to infiltrate through Oakland. No one would notice a few extra gun-toting adolescents in that city. But, as I mentioned, Cali' culture got to them first. It was a heroic effort on my part though, if I do say so myself (and I do).
Anyway, nice to see you survived the beating without laughing yourself to death. I managed to keep the Eagle Scouts in check (cattle prods can work wonders) so if you ever need rescued again feel free to call. :)
Hhhmmm. I feel better now. Anyone else have one of those "warm and fuzzy" feelings?
Bill, even if you never write another blessed word in your life, you'll have gifted this world some of the most clearly articulated precious gems of thought about important ideas that I've had the good fortune of enjoying. I think the movie project's an excellent and very timely idea, and look forward to feeling like I want to give Hollywood my money for a change. (Your comment about pessimism and snark resonates deeply with me.) Wish you all the best, and thanks for the update. It's always good to hear from you.
Doug Loss, thank you for posting the link in your comment. There's a lot of good information parked over there. It goes to show that what has happened here was not merely an echo chamber for clones, but rather a resonance of widely disparate individuals with Bill as a catalyst. I would probably not have found the site without your mentioning it at the continuous party in Bill's living room. That may help to further the explanation already offered by GHS as to why one gate or one portal.
GHS, it sounds like Ejectia succumbed to a well-known problem in project management, variously known as "mission creep," "Gee, wouldn't it be great...," or "the best is enemy to the good." Specifically, a simple, accomplishable project being embelished by more and more good ideas until it's completely unmanageable and impoosible to implement.
You need to determine what the base requirements for the project are; the must haves. The nice to haves can wait till the must haves are in place.
I think you underestimate the potential "citizens" if you think they'd require all the eye-candy to be interested in participating. Nice to have, not must have.
Having said that, what you were trying to construct is generally known as a 3D virtual environment. The best known of these that are commercially successful are World of Warcraft and Second Life. You don't have to reinvent this stuff, the software for it is available. Take a look at ,A href="http://www.opencroquet.org/index.php/Main_Page">The Croquet Consortium. From their "About" page: "Croquet is a powerful new open source software development environment for creating and deploying deeply collaborative multi-user online applications on multiple operating systems and devices." This is the framework software for creating just the sort of virtual environment Ejectia is intended to be, I think. Just don't add any more "gee, wouldn't it be nice"s! :)
Can someone please explain or point me to a place that will explain what hurdles are in the way of putting Ejectia up? I've been very busy at work for most of the year and have not kept up with current events.
Ejectia will come when it's time. Essays will come in their time, as well. I've had my own real-life issues getting in the way of my own little blog, so I understand completely.
The stuff you write is gold, big guy. It takes time to mine and refine. We'll wait.
Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor will be Ejectia. We must remember that even Babylon was built on a wide spot in the Euphrates where a bunch of people found themselves hanging out together.
I'd love to just find a campfire at which to hang out with the Esteemed Assembly. We can build the City later.
I should read Boyd - and I'm sure the AF will make me soon enough. But lately I'm reading the Army Manual on Counterinsurgency. Fascinating. Figured out that Al Qaeda is basically a complex Global Insurgency. The Manual works from the lowest levels of tactics to the highest levels of strategy - that General Petraeus is a crazy-smart guy.
You know what we need? Certified Hero Movies from Hollywood. Lord knows we have heroes coming out of our ears these days. Their stories need told. And I don't mean self-conflicted, hero-victims. I mean men of iron and piss and vinegar, coming back out of the sunset to save the day again, because Saving the Day is just what they do.
I mean, I'd watch it.
And I totally understand about needing to wander in the desert. There are just too many distractions - good and bad - that cloud up the water. When you're on to something BIG, you need to track the one silver thread as far as it goes, and distill the idea to its most pure. Distractions just confuse the issue with other BIG ideas and far too many small ones.
No Worries, though - good Scotch takes years to distill. Best wishes.
I didn't get hooked on your website until a site I read linked to "Seeing the Unseen". Since that time I've been pulling for you, and still am, to get Ejectia running as well as reading you older writings in an attempt to 'catch up.' So, I've had plenty to do while waiting for Ejectia. Course, in my selfishness, now that you're back to considering essays, I look forward to part 3 of Seeing the Unseen. You're a hell-of-a writer, I can't wait to see what kind of screen play you can put out.
For Bill and all those with the vision and conviction to work so hard on Ejectia:
"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -- Teddy Roosevelt
I agree so much with your decision to write a screenplay, Bill. We are starving for an uplifting, pro-America movie - and I believe it will be a soaring success. You are daring greatly, my friend, and the time is now.
THE WIND RUSHED PAST
AS I O'ER THE CREST WENT SHEARING
THE STONES BELOW RISING FAST
BUT INSTEAD OF FEARING
STRANGELY SOMETHING SCREAMED TO ME
A DECLARING GAVELÔŅĹS SHOT
I SLAMMED MY HANDS DOWN HARD
AND A NEW ME WAS BEGOT
FROM INSIDE ME SHOCK WAVES SPREAD
AMAZED I WAS AND ENERGIZED
CRUSHING THE STONE INSTEAD
Hi Bill et. al.
Welcome Back from your hiatus; whenever you take up the pen and whatever you wish to write about we will all be blessed.
Have not seen "Lions for Lambs"; I just assumed it was more of the same Hollywood junk. Ross Douthat @ National
Review called it "hilariously awful" John Podhoretz at The Weekly Standard had similar feelings.
A few years back I almost married a woman who's mom and dad were German nationals transplanted to the US in the late 1940's. Herr Weber served the Luftwaffe at age fourteen as a loader of anti-aircraft guns on German trains. After the war he learned to fly gliders from Hans Rudel's wingman. As an historian I am much pleased to stand a mere two steps removed from Rudel. Herr Weber said something once that really struck home: "Those stupid bastards, always try to fly higher and faster until they die." The comment might have wiffed my consciousness except for the professor who bombed me in Engineering 101 circa 1979: "Higher and faster, higher and faster, that is our creed." Aye. So it is. I don't fly except in the comfort of an airbus with a full bar. Bill Whittle, just do it. Fly or make a film. Just do it. Maybe you'll see success, or maybe you'll crash and burn. Do it! You get one chance at Olympus. Do it!
Just thought I'd drop in to a friendly conservative place for a few minutes to lick my wounds. We've just had our conservative government crushed by the Labor party.
Interesting times ahead.
Aussiebob - I can understand how you feel. After reading some of the quotes from your new PM, I am inclined to shudder with trepidation. There is some commiseration going on over at The Rott", if you want to head over there to see what people have said.
Well lookie here!
It's the Whittler! Good to hear from you again!
Sure, I'd LOVE for you to post several times a day but, on the other hand, with the quality writings that YOU produce, I don't mind how long it takes. I'll be here when they're posted no matter what.
Bill, I think you're wrong.
You've gotten 60,000 viewings in a day.
Valley of Elah didn't get that many viewings in a day. Redacted won't. Vally of Elah made about $6 million domestic. That's 600,000 people. You've certainly reached that many.
Cumulatively, you've gotten millions of viewings. More than Lions for Lambs will get.
Your book has made more profit than Lions, Redacted, Elah, Grace is Gone and The Kingdom
We certainly need movies with strong heroes. And I would love to see movies about real science and space.
The most successful documentary of all time is not Fahrenheit 911 - it's the Imax "To Fly."
But you reach more people here than 99.9% of all the movie scripts ever written. More than 90% of the movies ever made.
First, let me just say thank you. You have provided me with inspiration and insight the likes of which are rarely seen and for that I will be forever grateful.
Second, you owe nobody nothin'. I appreciate every effort you have made in your essays and in developing Ejectia!, but please don't feel guilty for 'slacking off'. Every essay is a gift that none of us has any right to demand.
Finally, best of luck with the screenplay. When it comes out I'll be there in (the surely-long) line with every friend I can muster!
Glad to see you back, Bill. I'm familiar with the concept that you can rush neither creativity nor genius.
When it comes, I'm sure you'll let us know.
Glad to know you're doing okay, Bill. I can't WAIT for whatever you are writing (screenplay, book, essay, whatever). Thanks for giving us clarity in this crazy, mixed-up world.
Welcome back. After having read your previous entries, I too locked you into my reservoir of references. I'd say whatever it takes to keep your edge is well worth the suffering. I check quite frequently to see if you've written anew, and am well pleased when you have!
Always check in here from time to time. And yes, would rather you produce when you are ready or have pearls to cast before us swine (*grin*), then just to see more entries on the site.
You are still in our thoughts and E3 is still on my list of "blogs to check", which I do on a regular basis. Like Schroedinger's cat, we know you are in the box and yet not there .
Your essays have always been worth waiting for, lose not hope for we your readers also seek ways to change the direction of this nation, one willing soul at a time if need be.
Nice to see you back, Bill. I always enjoy your works of wisdom.
We all have feet of clay. It's hard to get used to, and sometimes we forget. It's best not to beat ourselves up about it because that in turn negatively impacts the good that we do.
Bill, you're a smart guy. Keep thinking, and keep on writing. Your thoughts motivate people.
You mention that character flaw where you wander away at the most inopportune times, often for far too long; suffice it to say, I thought i was the only one. Know that you are not alone. I'll keep checking in periodically, looking forward to anything new you might post, and occasionally re-reading the old. Good luck with the fight in Hollywood, Da.
Pat Buchannon's new book seems to be a grocery list of why we need a place like Ejectia.
Granted, I don't subscribe to some of his accusations, but the near-total lack of hope for the future in America now is in-of-itself depressing.
Whoops. Butchered his name: Patrick Buchanan.
For Tim Kyger-- no idea if you'll still be checking this 5 days later, but... did you ever work for Sen. Rorabacher's office in DC? If so, thanks again for all the help on the Save the Delta Clipper project back in Nov. '93. :) If you remember that, please e-mail me back on Yahoo. Address is exactly what you think it is.
Oh, and a hale and hearty welcome back to Bill Whittle! A happy Thanksgiving indeed. Stay safe on your walkabouts and keep us posted as you reach the outposts.
Don't ever apologize for what you need to do. Even if you never write another post, please keep the ones you have writtee available. I linked to 'Tribes' again today; it is timeless and essential to explain fundamental differences in the 'culture war' (In some ways, I almost wish it was a real war; our side has all the guns :))
Welcome back Bill, glad you are OK and functioning. Hey, brains need time away to regroup/reboot/blow out cobwebs and realign the Heisenberg Compensators. Whatever you need to do is fine with us. Looking anxiously forward to what may come forth from your well-pounded keyboard, to more of your unique "succinctity" at which you are so adept. Soldier onward, just keep your tricorder handy and your phaser on "stun"...
I love your writing, and check in irregularly because (it has seemed, and you've acknowledged) the posts are a bit slow to update. It's never stopped me from checking though..
So keep at it in whatever form you think will make the most impact. You've a fine mind and a great passion for this. Thanks for sharing both.
John Boyd! The man who invented the OODA loop! I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say about him.
One of my secret pleasures from my last assignment was driving along Boyd Blvd, the main drag on Wiesbaden Army Airfield, and knowing I was probably the only guy who even knew the irony of the situation--the main street on an Army base was named after a fighter pilot!
I posted my support of Ejectia back when you announced it, made a further remark or two, then didn't pop up again for a while as my attention was elsewhere. But I looked back here every few weeks, hoping to see some news or an essay or something.
I'm sorry that Ejectia hasn't worked out quite as you expected; I had looked forward to participating. And I share your frustration - I'd like to say rage, but I think we'll leave that particular emotion to our friends on the Left - with the liberal bent of movies and media.
What we need are more conservatives to not just agonize over the actions of the Left, to report it and say "This is bad," but to start offering reasonable alternatives. I myself hope to contribute by writing fiction which espouses the values we hold dear.
You're a good man, Mr. Whittle - please keep up your amazing work.
Am I surprised by the change in events? No, given previous experience.
Am I hoping to see more regular posts? Yes.
Apologies and good intentions are nice, but follow-through and results are even better.
At the end of the day, we simply bit off more than we could chew in the time allotted.
Which is not the same as saying "It's over".
Also, while you're not likely to run across someone bigger on 'follow-through and results' than me - even I can accept the lack of results, when the follow-through plainly takes the form of "the persons in question pushing until they fall down - facing in the direction of the desired results".
Failure comes eventually to us all, as each prior success makes us reach further than before, and sometimes all you have to console yourself is the next success and the knowledge that, out of countless other people, you can at least count yourselves among the ones who tried.
I am consoled.
...and I eagerly await your attempt.
I participated in one of Bill's projects, the first edition of "Silent America." In fact, he credited me with being an irritating catalyst for the book's eventual publication. My attempt worked, and I hope that yours does, too. Cheers!
Yay, Bill! So glad to see you're back. While I too thought the Ejectia project interesting - I understand completely your need to disappear for months at a time - I tend to do the same. I think that it happens frequently to those of us who are very analytical and introspective - we need real time to accomplish the minutae of the day to day while our brains are working full-bore on the problems of the world!
Please jump on the movie train, though - you're absolutely right, you could reach so many more - and I can't think of anyone whose thoughts I'd more like to view on film!
Here is your horoscope
for Tuesday, November 27:"
OK, you were here yesterday. I was asleep.
Usually, you can adapt to
circumstances on the fly and
glide through life without
too much trouble. Today,
though, it feels harder to
change course, so try to
just chill and let the world
do what it wants."
Chill'n is easy when you are in your Birthday Suit and it's only something like 20 F'in degrees outside.
That's why I drink alcohol...it has that anti-freeze F`ech't.
"...let the world do what it wants."
When has it not done what it wants? i.e.Kick My Ass!
It's no wonder we don't see I to Eye! You're pretty clueless.
Oh, lookie there!
Bill's flight path is holding to it's way points
and on schedule.
"...and if you honestly can understand the disappearance, the absence and the wait,.."
There will be no Wine before it's time ;~}
Welcome back! No need to apologise.
I posted my support of Ejectia back when you announced it, made a further remark or two, then didn't pop up again for a while as my attention was elsewhere. But I looked back here every few weeks, hoping to see some news or an essay or something.
I'm sorry that Ejectia hasn't worked out quite as you expected; I had looked forward to participating.
Is there anyway that a reduced Ejectia could be implemented? It seems like there is quite a talent pool that reads this site and they could be the ones to raise the Ejectia site just like as another writer said "like an Amish barn raising."
Together we are much more than we are separately.
In a way, it could be for some a way in which they are able to become more than themselves, to become a part of the Remnant.
The first thing they teach you in lifesaving is to save yourself first in order to even stand a chance of helping anyone else. I well understand, since I too have that personality trait where I must cloister myself from time to time in order to regain my strength and focus. I love my wife, my kids, my friends and family... BUT - this is simply what I have to do in order to be an effective leader and serve the needs of my own household and beyond.
If it's any encouragement, I can also attest this is one father who REFUSES to spend his hard-earned money taking his family to see any of the crap coming out of Hollywood of late. My wife has been spending increasing amounts of time and effort trying to find lesser-known or independent film makers so we can purchase DVDs of their films to watch as a family.
I can assure you I know numerous families just like mine that would LOVE to spend their entertainment dollars in a manner that matches our values. If you release films of the same caliber as your essays, there's no question that you will be shaping the fabric of our society for the better; and the icing on the cake will be the day that you realize your prudence about your current financial situation is no longer of any concern. Just look at all the folks making a mint selling Michael Moore dartboards and doggie chew toys... I think it's safe to say you have an audience willing to compensate you for your ideas, creativity, and vision.
Keep up the good fight, Bill. With persistence comes the victory.
Bill, Throughout our lives we have been taught about the virtue of original thought and writing, and ensuring proper cites were given to those whom we quote.
I have just received an e-mail from an Army friend entitled: "Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs", purporting to be a letter, written by Charles Grennel and his comrades (Iraqi War Veterans) in response to Jill Edwards, a student at the University of Washington, who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg "Pappy" Boyington.
In the letter, Mr Grennel writes the following: "...There's no dishonor in being a sheep, as long as you know and accept what you are. William J. Bennett, in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 said "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident..." It goes on to great length commenting on the relationship between sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.
I believe this is a plagiarized quotation from "TRIBES", and unfortunately, no reference to you or your original work is cited.
At the bottom of the message, the following name/address is posted:
John & Sandy Stait
3520 King Arthur Road
Annandale, VA 22003
I have no idea who any of these people are, but wanted to make you aware of it.
I will let my correspondents know of your website and specifically the TRIBES page for their review.
I hope this is all on the level, but wanted to at least let you know about the message.
Regards, and best wishes.
On November 21, 2007 6:52 AM Tim Kyger said:
ÔĀģ "Do you want to *be,* or do you want to "do"?" What an incredible bit of wisdom.
. . . but check this out:
‚ÄúTo BE is TO DO‚ÄĚ - Socrates,
‚ÄúTo DO is TO BE‚ÄĚ - Aristotle, however
‚ÄúDO BE, DO BE, DO‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Sinatra, now that‚Äôs wisdom . . .
I wrote once when you were planning this project. I worked in games development for 7 years. I could see that it was too heavy on the graphics side. You can still do this project with a less ambitious scope with the graphics. There is still a way when you return to it. If it was my site, I would create more with text and only use graphics where it could help move it along, not just there as "eye candy". My 2 cents. Best of luck with the bastards in Hollyweird. I think of "we were soldier's once". Somehow he got it done with integrity. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
A fellow by the name of "Woody" told me about you and this very special web site of yours. He said I should really check it out. Gee, I wonder why?
Ah HA, now I know why. You actually have a functional brain. How on earth did that happen?
Well, however it happened, it seems to have done so, and that's got to be a good thing.
I also realize that my 40+ page national web site, http://www.GettingAmericaBack.org is a place that you will really want to visit. I mean, knowing now what seems to really matter for you, it's a place you will want to see at your earliest convenience. Really.
I look forward to hearing from you about it and from anyone else who happens to be watching these blogs and want to get quite a surprise.
Just make sure you've got your seat belt fastened.
I'm not so sure John Boyd and "adaptability" go hand in hand. His argument is more on energy (not necessarily just the kind you can measure in a dogfight but also the potential energy of concepts/policies/procedure/tactics).
A quote attributed to Robert Heinlein: "If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait."
No apologies needed for following advice from him.
Sometimes you just have to reboot, cycle the circuits and dump the bad data. Otherwise, the noise simply overwhelms the signal. We gain more from you via occasional airstrikes than daily GIGO.
There are still some freedoms that are personal and precious. The freedom of flight. Being above the crap on the ground. Being at one with machine, the sky and yourself.
A walk-about in the desert after a rain, when all the flowers are in bloom and the air is filled with a clean fragrance that can't be put in a bottle.
There is no justice, revenge is an emotion. There is only punishment. (a quote from a Marvel comic book.)
Hang in there Bill, and remember to keep it out of the trees.
If you write a script for a movie, I will be there on opening day, (with my daughters and friends). I'll buy the DVD. Heck, I'll even build a little 'Bill Whittle' shrine in the basement.
Thanks, Bill. Delightful blog site! Fly right ;-)
You should read the book "Who is looking out for you". by Bill Oreilly. He is way ahead of you on freedom & justice. He hit it right on the head.
Good luck. We want you writing blog posts, but we NEED you writing whatever will do the most good.
Have you given any thougth to what happens in the Middle East when a. the oil runs out or b. the need for oil has been replace by other energy sources?
What depth of desperation will these countries sink to when their economic base crumbles?
Bill- you are always worth the wait. You blew me out of the saddle, as always. You, Sir, are destined for greatness. Please, do not hesitate, do not faulter. You will not fail. I can't wait for your movie. Advance tickets, on sale, now?
Mr. Whittle- you have work to do, enough self-pity, Sir
I've oftened dreamed about owning my own production company. Something that really plumbed the depths of conservative thought and the boundaries of music. I will pray for your Ejectia project. But this
To those small-minded, small-hearted people who can never see beyond failure and who derive nourishment from pessimism and setback, I would simply say that this is not the place for you. Not this country, and certainly not this blog.
There are endless small holes where cynicism and untrammeled pessimism are the coin of the realm, where mastery of snark and bile are held in high esteem. Go find one of those places.
really spoke to me. I needed to read that, and see what was happening to my life and who I was surrounding myself with. Keep it up Bill. Aim High.
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