The Bnetwork Guestbook Archives: 25 December - 30 January 1998


Who wants to start Discussion Groups??

You might find my site of interest, www.neteng.bc.ca/~jforrest/main.htm as I am trying to start up a list of local discussion groups that people can browse through. Im also hoping to offer resources/references of interest to readers of Ishmael/B, at least eventually.

If you already have a discussion group started, email me with the info you want posted and i'll put it up.


Coyote-ka

"Coyote-ka" <jforrest@neteng.bc.ca>
currently Minneapolis, MN USA - Friday, January 30, 1998 at 21:05:10 (PST)
Like Daniel Quinn, I have spent my adult life investigating the arena of human survivability -- seeking to develop alternatives to species suicide and extinction. Unlike Quinn, I write scientific theory (rather than novels). By my analysis, the vision Quinn presents, of the structure of Taker culture and of the possibility of avoiding species suicide and extinction, matches -- meshes with -- my own views, to a remarkable degree.
Starting in 1963, I and my associates have written a comprehensive theory of human behavior, which asks-and-answers the question, "What do we DO that keeps us alive-and-growing from one moment to the next for a whole lifetime?" I axiomatized the theory, so it meets (or exceeds) the standards of adequacy of modern logicians. Eventually, I applied this theory a) to revise the foundations of logic and mathematics; b) to propose revisions to quantum theory and relativity; and c) to elaborate a general theory of biology. (And it started as a revised and revisionist theory of human behaving-and-experiencing -- _behaving_ as viewed from the "outside", _experiencing_ as viewed from the "inside".)
Two insights, which I'll write out to make the rest of what I say credible:
a) This theory takes the observer into account in a new way. The relativists and quantum theorists noticed that when you make a measurement on an experimental system, that alters the system measured. My frame of reference also notices, and takes into account, the fact that when you measure a system, that changes YOU.
b) My insight about how humans keep themselves alive-and-growing in an environment characterized by radical uncertainty amounts to a main survival strategy -- and I can show that every kind of organism, from viruses on up, follows that main survival strategy.
What my associates and I have done clearly does not provide "the whole answer" to the current survival problem posed by Taker culture(s). But perhaps it does provide reliable tools for DISCUSSING our survival problem, and for recognizing viable, sustainable solutions to those problems, if and when we begin to generate such.
Other people may already have come up with other pieces of a solution. We need to generate a PUBLIC CONVERSATION, and bring together, and fit together, these bits and pieces, aiming eventually at general, viable solutions.
If you find yourself ready to put your shoulder to such a wheel, please get in touch with me, at the Email address given.
Andy Hilgartner

Andy Hilgartner <cah5@hilgart.org>
Kirksville, MO USA - Friday, January 30, 1998 at 13:26:01 (PST)
I am proud to be part of what I hope will be an Elightenment period in human history. We have learned so much about our origins in the last 200 years that it is time for us to wake up and learn from the experiences of our DISTANT ancestors. I am in the process of organizing a freethought alliance of students and proffessors that will, I hope, encourage new ideas and philosophies of life to be brought out into the open where they are valuable. Our new philosophies must be understandable to both intellectuals and the working man or woman. Please write me if you are intrested in more information about myself, my ideas, or my future organization. Matthew Meersman

Matthew Meersman <mmeersma@iusb.edu>
South Bend, Indiana USA - Friday, January 30, 1998 at 11:56:09 (PST)
Just finished reading The Story of B, and stopped by to see your cite.
J. Spanier <jspanierxchief@hotmail.com>
CA USA - Friday, January 30, 1998 at 10:18:43 (PST)
Just finished reading The Story of B, and stopped by to see your cite.
J. Spanier <jspanierxchief@hotmail.com>
CA USA - Friday, January 30, 1998 at 10:16:58 (PST)
Glad to see the site!
B...!...a new Dawn perhaps---our choice!

B. Stewart Weston <nimke@hotmail.com>
Cornwall, ON Canada - Thursday, January 29, 1998 at 07:04:16 (PST)
I was here. I'll be back.
Dale Curren <dcurren@ibm.net>
denver, co USA - Tuesday, January 27, 1998 at 19:09:42 (PST)
to michel shamy####
you are GOD, in disguise.
how do you like this world, your creation??

anonymous <none given>
none, op USA - Tuesday, January 27, 1998 at 13:23:15 (PST)
Hi all --

Many of you are expressing the desire to find other Ishmael/Story of B readers and enthusiasts. Please note that we have developed the Ishmael Community specifically to answer to the questions, "How do I find others with this new understanding of the problems, and new perspective on the solutions?"

Point your browser to http://www.datadrive.com/ishmael/network/

Use this area to locate others, to allow others to locate you, and to contribute and share your skills and resources to this developing community. No fees. No gimmicks. If you don't get it, read some of the posts from other people. The people in the Community will have LOTS of suggestions for you! I only ask that you be respectful of others and use this area responsibly.

Also, note that this site will be re-launched in the VERY near future…watch for lots of new stuff! Also watch for the launch of the new foundation recently established by Daniel Quinn…FuturePositive - Foundation for a New Worldview.

The Webmaster <adt@ishmael.org>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, January 26, 1998 at 21:22:00 (PST)
Hi everyone!!
I haven't posted a message in awhile and wasn't planning on it tonight, but was inspired after reading about the many people that wanted to start discussion groups.
I do too. I am in the Boston area...Who else is??? Please please if you are interested please contact me.
Also I would like to share my excitement of getting quite a few people into Daniel Quinn recently. It took a lot of prodding, But I did it!!!!!!
Thank you!!! Mel.

Melissa <mcarroll@massart.edu>
Boston, MA USA - Monday, January 26, 1998 at 18:03:00 (PST)
Hello...This is my first visit to this wonderful site! I am looking to find other fans/devotees of Ishmael and The Story Of B that line in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I am interested in forming some sort of discussion group. If you or someone you know are interested, please email me at BarrettRyn@aol.com. Thank you.
Barrett R. Schultz <BarrettRyn@aol.com>
Washington, DC USA - Saturday, January 24, 1998 at 08:50:01 (PST)
We are called the Welcomed Consensus, there are currently 15 of us living together in San Francisco. We have been living this way for 12 years, our reason for living like this is for the pure pleasure of it. At first, most of us had "outside" jobs, gradually, we have turned our avocation into our vocation. We teach other people how they can pleasurably live in a group.
At about the same time they were locking up the food, it seems to us they locked up women's sensual pleasure. We think that one of the fundamental reasons that intentional communities fail is they don't have the sensual part handled, we D.O.
www.welcomed.com/

Robert Testerman <rj@welcomed.com>
San Francisco, CA USA - Friday, January 23, 1998 at 20:33:46 (PST)
I read Ishmeal, and it made me rethink everything I know. But I didn't know what to replace all that with. Then I read B. Problem solved.
I have consequently lost my faith in God (or at least the God of our culture). I am looking for gods in nature, as I always felt I should. My feelings now agree with my logic. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Michel Shamy <tshamy@po-box.mcgill.ca>
Montreal, Canada - Friday, January 23, 1998 at 10:41:20 (PST)
Hello to all of you again. For those of you who are used to reading messages in the guestbook you may be wondering what this long message is all about so here is a breakdown 1-responding to Donald's message
2-an in developement B project
3-a possible meeting for all those in the Salt Lake area.
4-reactions to My Ishmael

I was touched by what you had to say Donald and I think that you can do a great deal. I hope that you will continue to work on things in this area. I am currently working on a few ideas and bringing them out to become a reality. I have come to realize that in my getting sick and moving home, I have come back to a place where I have connections who have connections. As anyone who lives in this world knows, things come about much more quickly and easily if you have the proper connections.

I have not been able to get on the B-network for sometime due to an illness that I have been encountering. I am 19 years old and I have the desire, energy, and capabilities to start a major project. I am looking for people to help me. While everyone CAN AND SHOULD do whatever they can to start the ball rolling, however sometimes larger projects can have a very beneficial affect. For the past year I have been working with people on an individual basis and I have been doing things to help others realize what can be done wtih a little effort.

Now I am reaching out to try and join forces with others, like me who want to make a more substantial difference. I am working with a high school environmental club to try a new wave in educational thinking, trying to "fill the gap" if you will from the "bad kids" and the "good kids". So far we have not done anything concrete but if all goes as planned later this year our project will go into full swing.

Besides this I believe that it is important to try and show people how the different methods of teaching work. DQ gives examples of how the indigenous people taught their children. The Challenger Schools have been managed very differently from most public schools, by letting students work and learn at their own pace. If we can take a least a few students and help them to get involved in "the real world" in the field that they are interested in, we will have made a tremendous step forward. I know that there are many people, teachers, in the Portland area who have been working on similar things, now I think it is time to try it elsewhere. Remembering of course that in order for the students to really LEARN they must be allowed to explore the job, they must be allowed to "get their hands dirty". I know that this can be done with a little cooperation and effort. Alright so I admit it, it will take A LOT OF COOPERATION AND EFFORT, but it is for the future, isn't the future worth it?

Along with this I am working on a meeting between all of those interested in getting involved. It will probably be held at a public library, I am not sure when or the exact location yet, but I am working on it. I invite anyone who can attend to do so. Even if you are reading this saying, "there is nothing that I CAN DO.." I encourage you. I will be asking for people to arrange for students to come into their place of business, and if it isn't for a long period of time at least for one day. I will also be asking for help on the environmental part of the B project. I am still working out the details and will post as soon as I know more. Please get involved. If you are not from the Salt Lake area, contact me anyway maybe we can work on something else together. There are an infinite amount of things that can be done so start DOING!

Ghandi said, "BE the changes you want to see in the world."

I finished reading My Ishmael about two weeks ago. My first reaction to DQ's remarks about cults and gangs was surprise and on the verge of horror. Then I thought about it, I thought about the reasons people join gangs or cults and what the attraction was. It had always been something that I could just not understand before, but now it seems clear. I tutored a boy who had been in a gang and nearly lost his life when a bullet shattered the outer rim of his skull entering his brain. It always astonished me the way Jim would talk about the people from the gangs. He would never stop saying I do not dislike
THEM I DISLIKE WHAT THEY DO. When I would ask him if he had the chance to do things over again if he would still be in the gang and his response would be something like this: Having what I do now, no, but where I was then I probably would still end up like this.
For the first time I understand exactly what he meant when he said that. Now I am wondering just how many of us join "gangs" without even realizing it. We join clubs to belong. We join this group or that one to have a place to go and things to do. We will do just about everything we can to try and establish a community of safety. I had to laugh when I saw a commercial on television for one of the telemarketing companies. It said "do you want to be part of a team? Do you want to achieve? Do you want to learn the skills to gain promotions for yourself?" When I heard that I remembered when I worked as a telemarketer. They always used the word "team". "this is a team effort.." or "this will take all of us working together.." But in a tiny cubicle with walls around you, where you cannot even see the faces of those sitting next to you, this cannot be considered a real TEAM. Yet when I first started to work there it sounded so good, it was so intriguing and exciting to be working as a TEAM. The urge, the drive to be part of that team is still there for all of us.

Another statement that brought about astonishment was "school system is there to keep kids out of the job market". I was surprised then amazed that I had never seen this before. DQ said what I had believed for a long time about schools, they DO NOT prepare students to live successfully--not high school. THey give them the BARE MINIMUM of skills, and given the strict curriculums and "standards" how could it be different? If a teacher wants to change something that is being done, they have to go through some of the toughest beauracracy there is. They have to really want it bad and be willing to challenge everything to do it, to make a real change. Many teachers have lost their jobs due to such changes being made, others are threatened. They are given a specific amount of topics to cover and if they do not cover them then they can lose their job. While I understand that it is important to try and give the students as much of an education as possible this system is OBVIOUSLY NOT WORKING.

So why not try to change it from the outside? It can be done if you are willing to take some time and work with a student or two, or more if you can. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO DO.

Marva Collins, a black teacher on the poor streets of Harlem, said it best when she said, "When education works, everything works." She ran a schoolhouse where the students learned at their own pace, what they wanted to learn and were EXCITED TO GO TO SCHOOL. Her students (elementary age) when tested by high school competency exams scored from 2-4 grade levels higher than their age. This is only one example of a woman who fought the system and won. She won because the children she taught won. These children when enrolled in public school were failing in remedial classes. Anything can happen when you put your heart into your work.

I urge you all to start working on whatever it is that you think needs to be changed the most. Work on it and you can change it.

I would love to hear from any of you, write me and tell me what you have to say. Things can be done, and shared. And if you are interested in getting involved in the B project I am working on PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

Thank you and I hope that you are all doing well.

Your friend,

Theresa

Theresa O'Connor <1oconnth@mystic.slcc.edu>
West Valley City, UT USA - Thursday, January 22, 1998 at 15:36:55 (PST)
I know that I can save the world, I know that I am B. RUB?
Kevin Carey <sniegg@aol.com>
Plattsburgh, NY USA - Thursday, January 22, 1998 at 15:24:20 (PST)
Four years ago, in despair about the overwhelming inertia of our cancerous culture, I fled to the mountains. There, I lived by a stream, in isolation, for 60 days.

But I could not sustainably live (like an equal with the World) as an individual. I needed to be part of a self-reliant community of cooperative people.

This would be the "tribe".

Yet, the "cooperative" living communities I've sampled have been full of competitive, kooky, idealistic malcontents. Somebody won't eat meat. Somebody won't walk on the grass. Somebody want's to invoke some old religious doctrine or some new age whacko-thought. They have all been "old vision, new program" (DQ) communities.

In addition, those communities (unlike churches) have been forced to pay hommage to Mother Culture, and that has required producing some kind of saleable product. This, along with Mother Culture's skewed value system (World-unaware currency and prices), causes attempts at cooperative communities to fail if radical idealism hasn't killed the community first.

So much for a new "tribe" (at this time).

Despite the fact that DQs books say what needs to be said, and shake what needs to be shaken, I don't see how any new Leaver "tribe" can evolve on this planet as long as the cancerous Taker view rules East and West as it does.

So, does anyone have other effective ways to hasten Mother Cutlure's collapse (in addition to DQ's books)? So far, books like DQ's seem to be the most effective. I lend or give them away as much as I can!

Neil Meyer <nrmeyer@flash.net>
AUSTIN, TX USA - Wednesday, January 21, 1998 at 11:54:15 (PST)
Daniel and all potential B's: I too have found DQ's books stimulating and inspiring.
However, I do have some criticisms of some of the basic arguments that DQ makes as the
primary source of our current "problems". In particular his argument in "B" that the
amount of food produced has a direct and singular relationship to the numbers of people.

The current runaway population increase & especially the RATE of increase is equally
related to reduction in death rates, by certain cultural practices and an increase in quality of food for the masses of people. I don't doubt for a minute that our bodies are made from "food". However our longevity, health and ability to reproduce ourselves is also related to cultural practices that interfere with or enhance survival. DQ doesn't want to talk about how the amount of food available has a direct relationship to the numbers of people in some hunter-gatherer societies. Women become infertile when they are starving. And women do control their reproductive rates in good food times, using various means, rather than reproducing willy nilly just because there is enough food at the moment. Hunter gatherers do not always consume all that is available in the environment. Justbecause all animals, including us, are dependent on food is no reason to believe that it is the sole cause of population number.

And none of this would be an issue, excepting that DQ makes the production of food the
bad guy. His insistence on the rat analogy is very weak. And I would also argue that
what the surplus production allowed for was the creation of non-primary producer classes
of people (ie what most of us reading this are). This is what has driven the greater and greater production of food at the expense of the greater ecosytem. The farmers are not the leaders and controllers of the decisions that have been made in the past 5-10 thousand
years.

What all hunter gatherer societies have in common is that almost all members of the society spend some of their time being primary producers of food. All other tasks are part-time (weaving, tool-making etc.). And this is where the delusion of an "easy" life of H-G's compared to our culture has been derived. Because it has been estimated that H-G's spend fewer than 3 hours a day collecting food, it is assumed that is all they "have"to spend their time doing and all the rest is leisure. Maybe the men spend more time in leisure, but a women's work is never done. In both traditional societies and modern societies women do 80% of the work done in the world. Men find this hard to believe, but study after study shows it to be true. The maintenance chores (food preparation, cleaning,childcare)are continuous and time consuming. In most modern societies people only have to
spend an hour or two a day working to buy food. Some a lot less. The main difference
between us and hunter-gatherer societies is that we work to support others by taxation
(government employees, welfare, infrastucture etc), and for consumer goods that we want
or need.

What fundamentally separates traditional societies and us is the the ratio of primary
producers to "hangers-on". We are addicted to having the services of the other
hangers-on or being one ourselves. People don't need to produce food surpluses (other
than emergency rations) when they are producing only for themselves (families).

I don't think that we can get to point B (that's a pun folks) from point A [here and now] without a serious collapse in culture and population numbers. And that sucks. Its a case of not being able to have your cake and eat it too. Daniel is right on when it comes to a new vision being the "carrier" of the change. No piecemeal programs will or can deal with 7-10 billion people.

It isn't enough that a fraction of one-percent of us start living in a sustainable way. Either we will be invisible to the masses (uninfluential) or be considered nut cases, as most back to the landers are now. Unless of course the reason to be self-sustainable is to be functional when the society collapses and you then become the founders of a culture that will be less destructive to the biosphere than our current culture. And how would we avoid the temptation to reconstruct what was destroyed in order to get our "toys" back?

From a evolutionary perspective, the survivors of a population/cultural collapse would need to be willing to live the kind of lifestyle that most people in our culture could not abide. And that lifestyle would have to be fully satisfying to the participants, at least to the extent that it was a self-perpetuating culture and didn't destroy its resource base.

As long as the dominant culture survives intact it will be a threat to those of us who may want to live a more sustainable existence. They can always force us into the marketplace to pay our taxes. And therefore our lifestyle must, by necessity, be more in the way of a transitional culture rather than the form of an evolved sustainable culture.

Issues to think about:

A sustainable culture must maintain its numbers (around the mean that is sustainable for the lifestyle and territory available) in order to maintain the culture itself. Can this be done conciously (birth control measures-cultural expectations/prohibitions, mechanical and chemical, abortion) and are women in absolute control of their reproductivity?

A sustainable culture must not destroy its resource base unless it has room to migrate. Is this allowable as a legitimate method of livelihood? Slash and burn ag in the tropical forests works quite well if the fields are small and left to fallow for a long enough period. The human interference in the jungle then allows for greater bio-diversity by creating more "edge" plant communities than would have occurred otherwise.

Most traditional cultures are very conservative and do not welcome most innovation. How conservative does a sustainable community need to be in order to preserve the activities that sustain them?

What "vision" allows people to organize the life of a culture or community in such a way
to promote your values and still be sustainable?

If we are in some sense still hunter-gatherer people, then meat is a natural [and probably
valuable] part of our diet, for health and well-being. Yet an argument is made that a
primarily vegetarian diet allows for greater numbers of people to live because it is living off the first trophic level of production. How many people should be living at any one time?

The vision for me is that "the universe is all of a piece".







Vicky Komie <gaia2000@earthlink.net>
Santa Fe, NM USA - Tuesday, January 20, 1998 at 18:19:10 (PST)
WOW! The Story of B is phenomenal.
Jean Richardson <luvsbt@btigate.com>
Bismarck, ND USA - Tuesday, January 20, 1998 at 15:01:02 (PST)
If you live in the NY-New England area, please ish-mail me:) It might be nice for us to do a little area net-working.
Trish Davis <pss8@wccmail.co.westchester.ny.us>
Congers, NY USA - Tuesday, January 20, 1998 at 09:27:17 (PST)
First let me say I find this 'work' inspired by Quinn to be profound. Second, though I do not consider myself in any way an expert on cetology (study of whales and dolphins) I would like to offer Mr. Quinn and other readers some comments on Mr. Quinn's answer to the question of tribalism in dolphins. First dolphins form pods not schools which are formed by fish. This is indicates to me a rather profound ignorance on the subject--thus inappropriate for him to pass on such judgement. I would suggest that it could be argued that individual cetacean species are like tribes with common biological traits as cetaceans but distinct cultural 'laws' and stories or legend. I would also suggest that even within the same species of cetacean there may be distinct cultures and individual 'tribalism'. One example is the Orca. I have encountered what biologists call the 'resident pods' in Johnstone Straits of Vancouver. They do not kill or eat whales as do the 'transients' which were just documented on video for the first time killing and eating a Blue whale. The residents eat primarily salmon and fish not other marine mammals. Perhaps, this is a tribal difference. This argument may never be proved out and it may be wrong. But, in my opinion it is premature to pass judgement on this issue until we know and understand what these creatures are doing with brains larger than ours! I welcome hearing from anyone interested in discussing this further.

I also am working closely within the Permaculture movement which originated in Australia with Bill Mollison and has now spread througout the world. I feel it may have some answers to the question of how we return to balance with the Earth--to create sustainable societies. It's based on following natural wisdom and ecological 'law' and is always implemented uniquely depending upon the people and the land. We are developing some economic leverage to further the vision of permaculture by creating a fund called 'Forest Futures' and a 'Bio-arc' trade network which will invest in and help develop what I feel is a very sustainable, appropriate-scale and in some ways tribal approach to living lightly and harmoniously in this earth. Please drop me an email if you'd find this interesting or want to know more. Thanks. Hope to hear from you.

Kyle F. Hence <khence@mail.bbsnet.com>
Newport, RI USA - Monday, January 19, 1998 at 11:11:04 (PST)
Bravo! Gimme a shout if you are near Houston.

Nan Hildreth 713-864-7108

Nan Hildreth <Nan.Hildreth@MciOne.com>
Houston, Tx USA - Sunday, January 18, 1998 at 23:26:21 (PST)
To B sure... folks on this track need to do some linking up in something beyond 'virtual' linking... My hope is to know of persons in the Appalachian Region where my Bhavior has come under the rubric of APPALACHIAN MINISTRIES IN ECONOMIC JUSTICE for the past 22 years...
DON PRANGE <coramej@visuallink.com>
Winchester, Va USA - Saturday, January 17, 1998 at 11:33:54 (PST)
[It appears that once I start posting I just can't stop:)]
I have seen a wide variety of comments and opinions on this bulletin over the last few months. Two things though, keep appearing. One is the frequent questioning by readers of what they are supposed to do now that they have read the books and thought the thoughts.

I understand that questioning. I too came to this page looking, not to share ideas so much, but rather to find answers, guidance. At first I was a bit disappointed by DQs continual reiteration that only we can know what we can do. I thought, he has given my a bright, red, shiny, new toy with the books and the ideas within and now he won't even tell me how to play with it.

DQ though, has shown us the problem. I think it is now up to us as readers and 'B Leavers' to work out the solutions.

The second recurring theme I have found in the bulletin is the idea that the next step with these ideas is naturally to go and live out in the woods like tribesmen/women.

In 'My Ishmael,' DQ stated (in my interpretation) that what is needed is a new way of life, embodied in new societies. SocietieS, not society. Living like the Native Americans of old is a definite solution but it does not have to be the only one. The key is the sustainability of the societies. They must be 'Earth-Friendly' and operate in conjuction with the community of life.

We don't have to give up our TVs, PCs, CDs, or VCRs. We don't have to abandon our level of technology for woooden spears. What we do have to do though, is coordinate our tech with the objective of sustainability.

I think that is the major obstacle to many readers. They read the books, agree with the ideas, but then cringe at the idea of becoming a hunter and gatherer. I don't think DQ is saying that we have to become hunters and gatherers. He is only pointing out that they knew something that we have forgotten; that we are a part of the community of life as well, and that only extinction awaits if we choose to ignore the community's rules.

If you agree, disagree, or don't care please email at the address below. I am thirsting to communicate with others directly and play with my shiny new toy by attempting to work out some solutions.

Dan Pasch <pasch@usinternet.com>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Thursday, January 15, 1998 at 10:55:12 (PST)
The ideas set forth in Ishmael for the reconstruction of humanity are nothing short of brilliant. The obvious obstacle to enacting any of these reforms is the brutal manner by which humanity would be forced to survive, in the wild. I'm especially fond of Quinn's attack on our system of Justice in My Ishmael. Morality is, indeed, subjective.
dave stevenson <davestevenson@compuserve.com>
lexington, ky USA - Wednesday, January 14, 1998 at 19:15:53 (PST)
There's a long story based on theCeltic story of the bard Oisin HREF=http://www.netmatters.co.uk/users/hbrf/Oisin_Sheathes_His_Sword.html>on this page .

This small excerpt may resonate for some readers here:

"Oisin smiled to his people and said, "It lies, O monk, in that, like us and like the Britons, this noble man's people had been a free people under their own kings and with godly inspired men living among them, celebrating the rituals that please the great God. They lived in harmony with the spirit of things and then, let us say, they began to forget," and he imparted to that seemingly unimportant word "forget" a significance that made it hover around the campfire like a terrible Banshee of doom. For what doom is not concealed in forgetting and what victory not heralded by remembrance?"

And the writer develops this theme at length, in the context of history and the present day.


Tom Carey <tomcarey@mindspring.com>
Norcross, GA USA - Monday, January 12, 1998 at 15:11:37 (PST)
Many people have written to this website over the past 3 months but few have received responses from us. Please be patient with us…your messages HAVE been received! I apologize for the very long delay in responding to you, but we have been hard at work on several new projects, including new books, a new website, and a new organization: FuturePositive: Foundation for a New Worldview. The second half of its name pretty well summarizes its purpose: to promulgate a new world view specifically the worldvie w articulated in the works of Daniel Quinn, of course. Among other things, the foundation, centered in Houston, will sponsor:

· An interactive website providing a forum for discussion, a source of information and learning, and an opportunity for participants to connect with others of like mind.
· An educational center where Daniel intends to make himself available for an hour or two on an almost daily basis to those who want to study with him. The center will offer a reading room where members can use computers, books, videotapes, and audiotapes .
· An international conference planned for the spring of 1999, to provide the basis and originate the network for ongoing regional and local conferences and further national and international conferences.
· Development of products, materials, or other resources that will provide teachers with supplementary curriculum assistance. Production and publication of newsletters, brochures, tapes, books, CD ROMs, teachers' guides, discussion guides, and other mater ials.
· Volunteer projects that will enable members to participate in the foundation's initiatives.

Perhaps, most importantly, FuturePositive will offer something that readers have been asking for from the beginning: the opportunity to participate in furthering the new world vision that attracted them to Daniel's work in the first place.

We'll keep you posted! And keep an eye on the FuturePositive http://www.futurepositive.org/ and Ishmael http://www.ishmael.org/ websites!


Alan Thornhill <webmaster@bnetwork.com>
Houston, TX USA - Sunday, January 11, 1998 at 10:45:03 (PST)
I'm 32 and I've spent my entire adult life feeling that this earth (or at least the people on it) are doomed, but blamed inherently flawed mankind for this tragedy. I also looked to God to step in and save us. Two books in four days and my view on life has completely changed. Why on earth should we be saved? We violated the law and now we get the results. I'm afraid I'm something of a pessimist about the collective vision of our culture changing in anything near enough time, but I'll do my best to spr ead the word.
Anne Ober <obee@pe.net>
Riverside, CA USA - Saturday, January 10, 1998 at 17:49:04 (PST)
I have read all of Mr. Quinn's works from Ishmael to Providence and My Ishmael. I have been watching the B network and people's postings for the last four months but have never posted my own. Silence though, is not what Mr. Quinn's books foster.

When I first read Ishmael I was struck dumb for a few days. I thought I had finally found a book which would really guide me. After a few weeks though, I came down off my high and felt that the book, though full of stunning revelations, was not the guid e I am looking for. 'Something' though, was hidden in that text and so I devoured the Story of B and Providence, each book adding another thought, another piece. This Thanksgiving I spent the day reading My Ishmael. By the end of the day I had finished it and I finally have a small idea of what is to be done.

The chapter which struck me the most was entitled 'A glance into the future.' (Like many readers of Quinn I lent my copy of the book to another person so I can't look up the exact title of the chapter.) It seemed to me to call for not only A new society but SEVERAL new societies. Societies which are sustainable and 'earth-friendly', societies which see humans as part of the community of life not above it or distinct from it.

I would like to hear directly from others who have read any of Mr. Quinns books about their thoughts and reactions to the books and what they envision a new and sustainable society would entail. PLEASE EMAIL ME AT: pasch@usinternet.com


Dan Pasch <pasch@usinternet.com>
Minneapolis , MN USA - Wednesday, January 07, 1998 at 17:21:14 (PST)
Another wonderful piece of literature by Daniel Quinn. B and Ishmael have changed my life and my views upon the culture I live (West) and the culture of my ancestors (East). Not only are the Taker and Leaver philosophies so well explained -- but my v iews on religion have been greatly altered. Thank you.
Yash Kasbekar <Kasbekar@worldnet.att.net>
Burr Ridge, IL USA - Wednesday, January 07, 1998 at 11:59:53 (PST)
I don't agree that we need more information about the past. If one is either open to or knows that we have all been on this planet numerous times then we all carry memories of a different story. Is that not what has been, in varying degrees, awakened by the books that we've been reading. If that is the case I believe it is now most important to talk to each other. The layers of our teachings in this lifetime will slowly be removed to expose the memories of the past. We already know somewhere within what our answers are either individually or collectively. My impression of Daniels numerous comments and stories (Uru for example) is he is suggesting this very thing. If the answers are within where did they come from? We aren't looking for something ne w but are trying to uncover something old. If each of us commits to the journey to find that truth and help each other with it, we will have something to teach our children and a foundation for a next silent revolution.
Ken Atwood <imasiasl@aol.com>
USA - Tuesday, January 06, 1998 at 06:42:54 (PST)
I agree, Professor McKernan, we need more information. But the research is being performed and much written documentation about pre-ag cultures has been published. Of course Leaver lifestyle is only one facet of Quinn's dialectic

No basic precept of Quinn's is entirely new. What is original is his presentation, his STORIES.

As many of us have done, you need to do your homework. You might start by reviewing some books and sites recommended on this website.

Hallyx <Hallyx@aol.com>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, January 06, 1998 at 02:09:05 (PST)
THANKS FOR YOUR COURAGE AND LIGHT IN THE VOID CLARITY.WELL DONE.
Charles Button <cbutton@frazmtn.com>
Frazier Park, Ca. USA - Sunday, January 04, 1998 at 22:15:26 (PST)
I, too, find my life changed by Daniel's work. As to "What to do, what to do..."I'm doing whatever I can... I'm an author. While on national book tours, I tell my audiences to by my book when they get around to it, but to buy ISHMAEL and B immediately! Furthermore, any guest at my house is handed a copy of one of Daniel's books, and anyone I sit next to on any kind of public transit has to hear me pontificate about Daniel's work.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to locate and participate in workshops that help participants to achieve a new perspective about their place on earth. When I find good ones, I study to become a facilitator, so I can offer these "events" in my own community. One of the best workshops I've attended is John Seed's Council of All Beings. Highly recommended.

Susan McElroy <brightstar@sisna.com>
Jackson, Wy USA - Sunday, January 04, 1998 at 18:40:17 (PST)
I believe the thesis but we all require much more knowledge regarding human life before totalitarian agriculture and written documentation. We are being asked to endorse a theory of humanity with rather scant information.
prof. j.a. mckernan <jimmckernan@sprintmail.com>
washington, nc USA - Sunday, January 04, 1998 at 17:55:52 (PST)
Thank you Mr. Quinn for awakening my eyes, ears and mind.
Susan May <realigner@aol.com>
Bothell, WA USA - Sunday, January 04, 1998 at 14:37:49 (PST)
I'm so thankful for the day when, browsing through the bookstore, Ishmael jumped into my hands. (I will never know what made me pick up this book) My life is forever changed. After reading Ishmael, I read Chalice and the Blade, mentioned in Ishmael. Hungry for more, I just read both Story of B and My Ishmael. Each one wiping away more of the dust and smog that cloud my vision of how to B.

With each day that passes, I find more and more people (even ones I would never have imagined) interested in reading Ishmael. Before yesterday I was the only person I knew who has read DQ. But know I've found this site and am excited to see that there are teachers who use these books in their classrooms.

I feel now is the time when people, little by little, will become more accepting of the ideas proposed by Ishmael and B. More and more people around us are looking for a different way of life -- Not working 16 hour days so they can have many material it ems, but no life. Now I hear people saying things like "I want to take this job that is only 50% or 60% of my usual income, but that is going to allow me ... more free time for my family, for my interests, or lets me see the world." It seems to me peopl e are opening up to the idea of sacrificing some of the material things we've all been told are so important in order to live in a cleaner, and happier world. I'm not trying to be overly optimistic, I just see this as the crack in the elevator door that, if you slip your hand through, the door will open and you can get in.

Looking forward to stopping by here often.

Susan Holmes <Sunsethlms@aol.com>
Las Vegas, NV USA - Saturday, January 03, 1998 at 17:00:33 (PST)
Starting my journey
Jim Marks <james.marks@mci2000.com>
chatham, ny USA - Friday, January 02, 1998 at 20:43:27 (PST)
The title on this web page asks a question. Well I've always been B. It's not always been fun. I'm amazed at the response to these books of D Quinn's.
The crux of the awareness is (of course) 'what can be done?'
Well..... it's simple to say. "We need to wage peace on the natural planet earth, our creator and that which sustains us." This is (by definition) not a humanitarian view.
It's like, pro-human OR pro-life.(planetarily speaking)
Thanks for the space. B

b anastasio <brayn1227@aol.com>
Colbert , WA USA - Friday, January 02, 1998 at 18:01:58 (PST)
Dear Friends,

As I have been reading the latest postings on the network I repetedly hear the same questions and the same answers. Others have also noticed this and mentioned it.
This is not my first nor will it be my last visit to the network, and over three months ago messages were left from people who wanted to know "What do I do?" Quinn has said that there are numerous, in fact an infinite amount of things that can be done-n eed to be done. Why then are there still the same questions, same answers and no repies of what specifically has been done. I urge you, if you have been doing something share it with us, tell us, inspire us! Or if you haven't been doing anything START NOW!! There is a song that says "love is not something you run into it's something you do.." B-ing is not something you run into it is something that you are. I found one young man's responses very useful, when he said that people should just B because then the rest would fall into place. Ask yourself two questions:
1. Is the world as I wish-know it CAN be?
2. Is there anything I CAN DO to change that?
If you answer no to the second question then you are merely fooling yourself. I know of people who are doing great things right now. Some are working on projects in the schools, or helping to make more people aware, others like myself are working in the ir community by example of what they do. People will watch you and out of curiousity they will ask questions. Answer them freely, explain to people or if this is not your "thing" then try just handing them the book. Granted not everyone will read "Ishm ael" when it is first presented to them, and many people are very biased when it comes to these things, however you can never know the impact that book may have on that person. Furthermore you cannot know the impact that that person has the ability to m ake. By not doing anything you are in silence agreeing with what is going on. Now for those of you reading this who get the impression that I am a radical, let me put your mind at ease, I am no radical. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a radical for not ridi ng the bus in protest of African-American treatment? If Martin Luther King, Jr. was a radical, I say that radicals are what is needed more of in our society. Remember when you are sitting at your home wondering what this all means to you, what you can do. Remeber that it is not easy for anyone, and some of the greatest people who ever lived and accomplished anything that we look back on with pride and reflection--were often given strange looks. They were often told "it is impossible". They were tol d that their "ideas" were strange and no one would ever go for it. Now I ask you will you "Go For It"? The Marines of the United States have a saying (I'm sure you have ALL heard it at least twenty times), BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE! I would like to change this just a bit to

B ALL THAT YOU CAN B!!!!!

Do you accept the challenge? Will you be strong, show what you know, prove that things do not have to stay this way? Will you try with all your might to make our culture a sustainable culture? Will you at LEAST change some of your OWN habits? This ar e simple things it does not take an entire castle to have the sandstone for change.. Be an example, show the world, show the people of our culture what CAN happen!
When we think of challenges we often think of James Bond and impossible sky dives, or of magical genies that can suddenly "make everything alright". The real heros of life are those that do ordinary things, and accomplish EXTRAORDINARY THINGS! Currently I am sitting in a newspaper office, learning about how a newspaper is run and some of the tricks they use to make the paper look JUST right! One of the editors was working on a page and trying to fix the columns, she had tried and tried all the gadgets she could come up with to fit the column in properly on the page. Finally out of frustration she called another editor over to the desk where she was working. The other editor quickly sat down and in less than two minutes had the entire page fitted and ready to print. When asked "How did you do that?" The second editor softly whispered.."I just zoomed in reeeaally close!" After trying all the programs to get the columns to work, all the technical gadgets.. in the end it was merely pulling the picture in closer that did the trick.
Simple things are what make big things big and great things GREAT! B simple. Just B.

Theresa O'Connor <toconnor@uofport.edu>
Port/SLC, Or/Ut USA - Friday, January 02, 1998 at 17:08:03 (PST)
We certainly live in a diverse world and this is an interesting site... The Lizard Way is to respect others and still have fun in the process... It's a joy of life thing.

If your path of involvement includes the outdoors, family, and good friends... come hike with us. We would enjoy the company.

Live long and love life...

Head Lizard <HeadLizard@TheLizards.com>
San Diego, CA USA - Friday, January 02, 1998 at 16:40:12 (PST)
I have just finished reading Ishmael and The Story of B. Ishmael was recommended to me about a year ago by a friend but it was not available in the library here. Just this past week I found both books in paperback at a local bookstore. Now I can shar e B with the friend who recommended Ishmael. I am 55 years old. I grew up and still presently live in the overall "fundamentalist" South. My personal "spiritual path" has been a long one and it still evolving. Although "religions" are brought into The St ory of B as somewhat of a "heavy" in the part it played in our current culture, I feel that even if one believes that "the world was made for man" the KEY word is CHOICE -- and the problem is the same TOO MANY PEOPLE -- and the reason is the same -- we ha ve as a culture always seen ourselves as outside or above nature, and its laws i.e., nature/humanity, rather than as an integral part of the whole. I am in TOTAL AND COMPLETE AGREEMENT that producing more food to feed more people only exponentially incre ases the "problem" (and suffering) at shorter and shorter periods down the road. Only the blind, deaf, and dumb could possibly now not understand that the earth is finite and can feasibly only support a given number. My favorite way of expressing our cur rent condition is " we are the only species I know of that poops in its own nest". Question is how do you propose to slow down and stop the over prodution of food?? I don't think re-tribalizing is the answer although that may be the result of catastrophi c circumstances. From another angle one might see racial discordance as an attempt to re-tribalize -- for all the wrong reasons of course --- but still a thought.

Linda W. Garnett <chzland@ebicom.net>
Starkville, MS USA - Friday, January 02, 1998 at 07:51:00 (PST)
A recurring question I have heard (and I have asked myself) is: what can I do? I think this is putting the cart before the horse. Once the question is turned around, it becomes clear and manageable. Turn the question around to what should I be? Onc e you turn the question around from HAVE --> DO --> BE to BE --> DO --> HAVE it falls into place.

First BE what you want to become. Then DO whatever it is you need to DO. Then you will HAVE what it is you are seeking. First, B.

Ted Markow <tmarkow@agate.net>
Brunswick, ME USA - Thursday, January 01, 1998 at 15:15:03 (PST)
I have been an organisation development consultant for a decade. During the last year I've been feeling the need to reassess what I'm really doing and why. A friend and colleague with whom I'm beginning to do some systems thinking work gave me Ishmae l. It has, as with others, helped me to begin the process of deciding what contribution I wish to make over the next 20 years. I am faced with the knowledge that the good work that I do simply props up an unworkable system. The film Mindwalk has furthe r pushed my thinkinb, and I recommend it to others. John Ralston Saul is also undercutting the foundations of my place in the world. I have no answers yet, except that 1998 will be a very different year. I've just made contact with this site, and will b e here again often. Thanks. Miles Shepheard.
Miles Shepheard <miless@shepheard.co.nz>
Auckland, New Zealand - Wednesday, December 31, 1997 at 16:42:05 (PST)
Ishmael and B have changed my life. I have
found so much truth and reason within these
volumes. They should be required reading for
anyone who has ever wished for global change.
Thank you!

Carol Fairbank <cfairbank@hotmail.com>
Salem, MA USA - Wednesday, December 31, 1997 at 09:05:22 (PST)
For those on AOL, we're going to try a chat on the ideas in Ishmael and B. Go to Private Room "Ishmael" -- obviously, anytime, but I
will be there Wed. 9 pm EST, Thursday 9 pm EST and Sunday 8 pm EST.

A few reflections on what "To do."

1. Maybe the insistence on what "to do" might itself reflect our long, incessant, and largely unconscious training in the Taker culture.
An alternative might be to focus on what "To be."

2. I recall an incredible demonstration from Freshman chemistry class. There was a large bowl full of liquid...a supersaturated solution. The tiniest crystal of solid substance was placed on the surface of that liquid....like magic, the entire bowl of l iquid turned solid.

3. What can one person do? What can one person be? A true story --

I love to go the Ben and Jerry's Folk Festival in Newport and DANCE to the music...well, actually, let the music dance me. Generally, we have had good weather. But one summer, it rained -- and rained -- and rained. So I sat, along with thousands of oth ers, huddled under umbrellas, with my raincoat bundled around me. Finally, I thought, "Well, I came here to dance -- to heck with this." So, I got up from under my umbrella, took off all my clothes except for my bathing suit and began to dance in the co ld rain.

I let the music dance me. At first, people laughed and stared. After awhile, a few other people decided to dance. After a few more hours, more people were dancing.

By late afternoon, the whole crowd was dancing, enjoying themselves, getting into it.

It was one of the best concerts ever! The rain itself had become, not an enemy to be conquered, but just another element of the dance.

I was not trying to "do" anything. Certainly, it wasn't my intent to get the whole crowd to dance. If I had thought about it, I would have known that that would be impossible. I was just being, as fully as possible, myself.


John Thomas <truthtable@aol.com>
Yorktown, NY USA - Wednesday, December 31, 1997 at 07:53:29 (PST)
Read "Ishmael", "The Story of B", and am
currently into "My Ishmael". I've always
considered myself a thinker and have been
influenced a great deal by Emerson and
Thoreau. Daniel Quinn has guided me to the
next level of higher thinking. I am spreading the word and look forward to opening the eyes of the sleeping masses of
"Mother Culture".

Joe Anderson <joe.anderson@attws.com>
Framingham, MA USA - Wednesday, December 31, 1997 at 06:20:34 (PST)
We already knew,but thanks for the wake up call.Integrated morals in our everyday actions can/will make a difference.Tell it, Brother.
charles button <cbutton@frazmtn.com>
frazier park , ca USA - Tuesday, December 30, 1997 at 21:34:19 (PST)
Thank you Daniel Quinn . The message of B is vital to survival. You have helped me change my world view to one of positive expectation that the streams will become the river of thechange that must occur. Thanks also for the web site connecting our st reams.
graeme elliott <g-elliott@citynet.net>
hinton, wv USA - Monday, December 29, 1997 at 05:51:26 (PST)
Watching A&E's program last night on Tibet reminded me of DQ's message that what is not wanted is destroyed. That the predominant culture will self destruct sometime in the future is a mighty big chicken bone on which to choke, yet if it destroys the hand that feeds it (our planet's ability to sustain human life) then yes, the culture will become as the dinosaurs. Will the "Leavers" make it through this period of self-destruction? Quite possibly.
Steve McWhorter <gmc504@aol.com>
Albany, GA USA - Saturday, December 27, 1997 at 08:29:35 (PST)
The Story of B answered so many questions for me. Little bits and pieces of historical, ecological, and cultural trivia suddenly fell into place in wonderful alternative to the predominant cultural vision. But now what? Falling back into hunter/gath erer tribes doesn't seem an attractive enough alternative to win many converts. It seems like it will have to be thrust upon us by events...by the total breakdown of economic, cutltural, and religious systems. Would like to find others seeking to join h ands in finding positive solutions.
Richard Secrist <RSecr50070@aol.com>
Provo, UT USA - Friday, December 26, 1997 at 22:36:10 (PST)
I found the ideas of DQ very intriguing. I have often looked for an explanation to humanities problems, because it doesn't make sense to me from a evolutionary perspective for this to have happened.

I found the ideas, that Genesis and the change in the Mesopotamian valley are the causes of humanities problems, to be very powerful and quite valid. Further thoughts are that this might have been the first time that a male dominated viewpoint of righteo us religions has taken hold. From a yin/yang perspective, this change in the feminine/masculine balance would clearly cause problems.

Perhaps the answer is to establish a feminine dynamic viewpoint of interconnectedness to counteract the linear masculine viewpoint of righteous religions and bring everything back into balance.... The movie MindWalk and some great friends helped me to de velop this thought. The movie was thought provoking, similar to Ishmael, and is highly recommended.

Scott Kruis <skruis@ch2m.com>
Corvallis, OR USA - Friday, December 26, 1997 at 12:44:33 (PST)
I found the ideas of DQ very intriguing. I have often looked for an explanation to humanities problems, because it doesn't make sense to me from a evolutionary perspective for this to have happened.

I found the ideas, that Genesis and the change in the Mesopotamian valley are the causes of humanities problems, to be very powerful and quite valid. Further thoughts are that this might have been the first time that a male dominated viewpoint of righteo us religions has taken hold. From a yin/yang perspective, this change in the feminine/masculine balance would clearly cause problems.

Perhaps the answer is to establish a feminine dynamic viewpoint of interconnectedness to counteract the linear masculine viewpoint of righteous religions and bring everything back into balance.... The movie MindWalk and some great friends helped me to de velop this thought. The movie was thought provoking, similar to Ishmael, and is highly recommended.

Scott Kruis <skruis@ch2m.com>
Corvallis, OR USA - Friday, December 26, 1997 at 12:44:33 (PST)
I enjoyed and feel a great kinship with B's ideas. I am B, also. I have studied religions at the U. of California at Santa Barbara for 12 years, as a volunteer. I served as an infantryman in Vietnam, 1968-'69, where I experianced the sacredness of a ll things, first hand. I have been waiting for this knowledge and conformation of my personal beliefs. Plese continue the most important work of our time!
Daniel Seidenberg <dseid@west.net>
Santa Barbara, Ca USA - Thursday, December 25, 1997 at 07:08:54 (PST)