The Ishmael Guestbook Archives: 16 May - 10 June 1997


If you are an activist in Michigan, if you feel the need to awaken the masses, feel free to emayl me...well, you can emayl me anyway, hehe, not that i'm lonely or anything oh yeah, shouldn't there B an Ishmael or Story of B newsgroup? is there?
Drew Roberts <mugget@geocities.com>
owosso, MI USA - Tuesday, June 10, 1997 at 22:19:55 (PDT)
Ishmael is the most brilliant thing I have ever read. Thanks to this book many people could be inspired to save the world. It's absolutely wonderful!
Erica Foss <Swizzlestix@hotmail.com>
Cle Elum, WA USA - Tuesday, June 10, 1997 at 17:24:12 (PDT)
The book is important and I believe links to my anti-nuclear, pro-renewable mobile museum (the Museum to End the Nuclear Age) which I haven't slowed down yet enough to create a web site for though I have several offers of help to do so. The Museum car ries specific literature, photographs, art, several geiger counter types and literature on setting up citizen radiation monitoring systems around nuclear facilities and along nuclear route. We are specifically trying to stop nuclear waste dumps in West T exas (Sierra Blanca, Andrews Country), Nevada (Yucca Mountain on Western Shoshone land) and Ward Valley California. We focus on the health effects of radiation and have individual stories, books, articles, videos, etc. as well as action flyers. We can b e contacted about free museum tours in any area by email or calling (512) 447-6222. We are a project of Genevieve Vaughan, author of For Giving, and president of the FOundation for a Compassionate SOciety, based in Texas.
susan lee solar <nukemuse@igc.org>
Austin, TX USA - Tuesday, June 10, 1997 at 10:17:06 (PDT)
Daniel Quinn has incredible insight. Thank you for a wonderful book!
Matt Schwartz <mschwart@scf.usc.edu>
Bellevue, WA USA - Monday, June 09, 1997 at 17:07:45 (PDT)
Going through many of the comments in the guest book i am realised one thing. Everyone is suggesting that he/she change himself, become a leaver overnight and this way set an example for the others in the taker society. If we act individually, we would simply be ignored by people in the taker society. You might say that this way others would be "inspired" to mend their ways. I tend 2 think differently. I think that the "new leavers" would just be shunned to some reservation, not much different from tho se that house many native Americans(leavers also). What we need to do is to gather on the same platform, unite our voices against "mother culture" and eventually bring about her downfall. We each also need to become a "teacher" spreading the "knowledge" to people we know. I am not suggesting we make a cult or something, all I am saying is that we coordinate our efforts more closely. Salvation cannot be attained without unity and discipline. The book may be wrong in predicting the "end" to be in the near future; It may not be close, but it is there and we are approaching it fast!
Asad Wahid <pak_demon@msn.com>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, June 09, 1997 at 03:35:35 (PDT)
This book ishmael... took some ideas which I had been thinking about for some time and added to them and then unified them! The most important idea (in my opinion) is that you cannot eliminate the old system without having a good alternative for repla cing it. I ask all who read this message to consider what the world could be like if we were to abandon the taker story. How would we, who know only this way of life, begin to enact the leaver story? Think of your daily life... question your needs... i f you change yourself, others around you will see and recognize what you are doing... some of them will try ro follow... oh god, how pretentious I sound! but I mean it... I'm working on this myself and it's not easy... sincerely, Brook Adams badams@orme.k12.az.us
Brook Adams <badams@orme.k12.az.us>
mayer (10 miles away from it actually), az USA - Friday, June 06, 1997 at 12:10:48 (PDT)
On 4/17, I posted the following entry to the guestbook: [Okay, so I'll grant you that this isn't your usual signature to the guestbook, a reaction to Ishmael (though DQ's writings have inspired me to change my life). It's more a call-to-action, but I hope you will indulge me in it. As you already know, if you' ve checked the What's New section recently, a company called Frankie and Zoe's has begun producing items with the I.M.B./R.U.B.? logo on them. I've already placed an order for my shirt (I plan to be wearing it at local Earth D ay celebrations), and I hope you will soon. It seems to me tha t this is a great way to get people started wondering, and hopefully asking, just what the blue blazes this B stuff is all about. It also could be a great way to hook up with others B in your area ("Hey! U.R.B.? I.M.B., 2! Let's talk, and then let's DO SO METHING about it together."). Right now, the shirt is only available on unbleached, natural color cotton, and standard, chemically-bleached cotton, not on organic cotton or any alternative to virgin cotton material (recycled cotton/synthetic, hemp, whatev er). So far, insufficient dem and has been shown for such materials, presumably because of the increased price. When you order, please make clear that you would be willing to pay more for an environentally-preferable material. If we don't create the market, who will? Also, the company has plans to introduce a second shirt which has the koan from Ishmael on it ("With man gone..." on one side,"With gorilla gone..." on the other), and a third shirt with something to the effect of "Another Friend of Ishm ael " on it. You can be sure I'll be ordering them for myself; hope you will, too (no, I don't receive a commission for every sale; DON'T show me the money). BTW, I am very interested in meeting others B in the Kansas City area. If you're out there and re ading this, message me, and soon. The ground is coming up fast, so let's get to work. We must remember the truth we once lived without questioning: We are not above the world, but of the world...] Yesterday, I called Jeanette Quinn (Daniel's daughter) at Frankie and Zoe's to find out if the shirts with the koan, or any other Ish- or B-related items, were ready for purchase yet. The koan shirt isn't quite finished, but it should be soon (check out www.frankieandzoes.com to get an idea of what it will look like). Of more immediate concern to me, though, was something else she told me: so far, they have only sold three of the I.M.B./R.U.B.? shirts, one of which I bought. Which brings me to the reason for this post: What's up with that? I'm really curious as to why there hasn't been more interest in the shirt, and I am sure Jeanette and Daniel are as well. Any comments on this would be most welcome, and I will pass them on. Also, the subject of how many shirts they have sold came up when I asked her about additional ideas for shirt designs. One is the "Another Friend of Ishmael" concept mentioned above (I don't know who came up with that idea), and a second idea I suggested is to do a shirt with some form of the Taker story on one side and the Leaver story on the other. I don't have a finished text for such a shirt, but I'm thinking in terms of "Our culture tells us that the world was made for man, and man was born to conq uer and rule it. Our culture lies (or: This is a myth)/Man was made for the world, to live in the hands of the gods." Would folks out there buy such a shirt? I think it's pretty obvious, though, that production of any other shirts is going to depend on perceived demand. Right now there seems to be very little demand, which is probably part of the reason that the koan shirt has not been finished. If they are not going to sell and be worn, there is no urgency in producing them. Anyway, let me know what you think about all this...
John Leon Fish <jfish@kctera.net>
Kansas City, MO USA - Friday, June 06, 1997 at 08:07:38 (PDT)
Ishmael was a great book for people who dare to think. The Story of B was even more fascinating and I eagerly await new titles by DQ.
Rich Garner <richnryu@msn.com>
Hammond, LA USA - Wednesday, June 04, 1997 at 19:39:50 (PDT)
Hey folks...we need more of you to respond!

I finished the book and am starting anew!


It's good to know HTML. I can make these messages readable!

What's your views on the followingIdea


Could the takers simply be mesmerized leavers needing to shed their fears? Fears of being left out...fears of being put down....fears of not being loved....fears...fears....fears!
What you say fellow lovers of life? Are you there?


John-Hans Melcher "on the road" headin' east

John-Hans Melcher <johnmelcher@hotmail.com>
Interstate 94 heading east (jamestown ND now), life! USA - Wednesday, June 04, 1997 at 12:42:46 (PDT)
Who does man think he is...saving the world. Ya we're living the myth again...we are so great as to think we must save the world.

We are not that great and "chosen" as to save the world. We should live in it like all the others.

That is what I got so far from the book (on page 146) as I drive I 94 eastward to many points of human contact. Yep I read as I drive. I also sent another message on this page yet there were no nice spaces so I think I am in html and will put in my own.

There...was there a space there? We'll find out!

Here's a thought for my friends out there!

Kill the Killing of Animals for One Species so-called food needs. This thought need clearing up any help?

eating dead flesh that is Butchered and slaughtered at the rate of 30 million (that's cattle only) a year is not what humankind was meant to sustain itself on.

yet big business is big!!!

Ishmael is wonderful...my eyes are open...my heart too...I promise to do my part and get out of the way of the earth.

It does not need me to save it...just live in it.

John-Hans Melcher
john-hans melcher <drumshaman@juno.com>
US roads in my truck "tilly", ? USA - Tuesday, June 03, 1997 at 12:30:40 (PDT)


Hi friends.... I am reading Ishmael as I drive the roads of I 94 going East from Washington to Florida via Minnesota. It really is safe to read and drive if you have the knack and have driven often. anyway...It dawned on me as I finished page 146 and drove on ... When asked the question "Would you like to save the World"? a good answer could be: The world doesn't need YOU to save it. You are simply living the myth: Man is caretaker of the world. Well...we are not! So don't think you are all that important to take care of it. The world can take care of itself without your intervention. Thank you very much! YET... Don't mess with the world bozo! That is what mankind is doing...messin' with the world that needs no help from man to keep it going. Time to read more and get to MN so I can get to FL so I can get to Wash DC so I can get to MN again so I can prepare to perform on cruise ships with my chimes. The Odysseus Man of the 21st Century E Mail: johnmelcher@hotmail.com Web: www.geocities.com/vienna/9595 Ishmael has meant very much to me and put me in my place. I love reading it and thank Renee Poindexter for giving me the book. I will share it with others. signed: a born 'taker' hoping to emulate a 'leaver' John-Hans
john-hans melcher <johnmelcher@hotmail.com>
the roads of USA (in my truck "tilly"), ? USA - Tuesday, June 03, 1997 at 12:18:27 (PDT)
I have become a different person after reading the superb work of Daniel Quinn. Now I look at the world through an eye of difference. Just amazed at what is written and have to thank Mr Qinn a lot for coming up with something like this. The book has ch anged mine and my peers lives forever. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to know what really is going on around the world.
Mohammad Ali Khan <Kaftab@Hotmail.com>
Karachi, Pakistan - Tuesday, June 03, 1997 at 01:33:40 (PDT)
I have gained much valuable insight about cultural history and evolution from both Ishmael and The Story of "B". Quinn is a genius and I love his intimate style. Ishmael's author reminds me of Siddartha. Keep up the good work. Please, is there a newsletter?
Matt O'Neill <mojo@cconnections.net>
camdenton, mo USA - Sunday, June 01, 1997 at 20:34:23 (PDT)
I read your book for school and it gave me alot to think about. Now when I see things I think about Mother Culture and how far we've come with it. But changing the thousands of years of distruction that we have caused seems hopless leading me to thin k that it's mans destiny to destroy the world promting the end. But now what do I do? Go along? It's like knowing what's bound to happen, but not being able to stop it.
Rebecca Austin <Aol>
Hinsdale , il USA - Friday, May 30, 1997 at 10:09:44 (PDT)
We were required to read Ishmael for our junior history class. It turned out to be really cool and made us think about the world and the state it is in.
Gina and Kristin <adg@noble.com>
Berwick, Me USA - Friday, May 30, 1997 at 07:20:07 (PDT)
My husband and I have been asking ourselves what to do now that we have read Ishmael. We have two young children so what we do impacts them. We need to make immediate changes as a species to live in harmony with all that is but I'm overwhelmed as far as what those changes are.
Jackie Scully <scully@execpc.com>
Waukesha, WI USA - Thursday, May 29, 1997 at 17:45:05 (PDT)
Ishmael was a wonderful book, it made me think about my contribution in the destruction of our beautiful Earth. Right now by me using Netscape as a source of communication, I am helping. It would be extremly hard to remodel our society from a Taker Society to a Leaver Society. I believe Leaver Societies have more appreciation for Earth, while we take adventage and believe we are the "ultimate stuff". Yet if we were to give up our society we would be giving up a lot, we would be giving up lives, our homes, our territory, our way of living! May the LORD bless the living Ishmaels who are fighting for the preservation of Earth. Peace, Love, Books, and a lot of Fruit, Pheona
Christie Pheona Johnson
Providence, RI USA - Wednesday, May 28, 1997 at 16:24:52 (PDT)
Recently, we read Ishmael for our Ap European History class. At first, my premonition about a book and a "talking" gorilla did not seem appealing, but was I wrong. After fully reading the book, I discovered that I was wrong and also was enveloped by it s fundamental teachings and "stories" presented by culture. I would like to thank the author for a fine piece of work.
Yash Kasbekar <kasbekar@worldnet.att.net>
Burr Ridge, IL USA - Tuesday, May 27, 1997 at 13:38:44 (PDT)
I have been moved to change the course of events in my life. I feel I must try to change the way people feel about there world. I hope I can reach as many as possible. May we all become LEAVERS again. Thank You Mr. Quinn for changing my life!!!!!!!!!!!
Bruce Woody <Bruce1250@aol.com>
Summerville, SC USA - Saturday, May 24, 1997 at 23:12:58 (PDT)
Great novel! I especialy enjoyed your insight on the story of Cain and Able. I would be interested to hear what the theological communitiy thinks about this. For those who have eyes to see, we are all still in the garden. We need not wage war with the creative force of God. As for me, I'm ready to continue my place in the world community. Keep up the good journey!
David W. Oney <water@solve.net.com>
Kansas City, MO USA - Thursday, May 22, 1997 at 20:57:27 (PDT)
Great novel! I especialy enjoyed your insight on the story of Cain and Able. Keep up the good journey!
David W. Oney <water@solve.net>
Kansas City, MO USA - Thursday, May 22, 1997 at 20:36:50 (PDT)
Thank you Daniel Quinn for "Ishmael" and for giving me new insight into the flaws in human thinking. Thank you for giving me new hope for our earth under attack. I have long known that the human species was deeply flawed but it took "Ishmael" to put me on a road toward wisdom. The uninformed, shortsighted, narrow-minded, arrogant and blissfully ignorant will not see the brilliant wisdom of your cautionary tale. Signed, a new student of Ishmael.
John Coover <jcoov@itis.com>
Madison, WI. USA - Thursday, May 22, 1997 at 11:11:05 (PDT)
Dear Mr. Quinn, I read Ishmael over a year ago, so my thoughts on its contents, specifically, are not clear. However, my overall feeling is that it should be required reading in school -- how young should the reader be? Old enough to understand the text. I felt a surg e of hope when I read your words. I have always known that our culture is heading toward doom if we don't change our views and emphasis on materialism, expansion, power. Life can be so simple, but humans have created a virtual web of complexity. We can 't just rip it apart and start over. It's an entirely different mindset. It's going to be a long, arduous process, but it must be done. "Ishmael" was a wonderful book. I'm going to read it again, but first I want to read your new novel "B" Thank you f or writing. Your talent is enormous and I'm so glad I have been able to sample it.
Carol RS Treacy <wctreacy@microweb.com>
Petaluma, CA USA - Tuesday, May 20, 1997 at 09:24:08 (PDT)
I first encountered Ishmael as a teaching assistant at the University of Virginia in 1992. I have used it in my own courses ever since. All but one has been a business ethics course; the one just completed at the University of the Pacific has been So cial Ethics. The unusual thing compared to other postings here is that I have always used Ishamel to end the semester. I use some other "systems thinking" works early in the semester, like Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline, and Garrett Hardin's famous "Tragedy of the Commons," along with the game Fish Banks. Ishmael provides the capstone on the semester.
George Randels <grandels@uop.edu>
Stockton, cCA USA - Monday, May 19, 1997 at 22:43:32 (PDT)
I am carrying the ideas presented in "Ishmael", "B", and "Providence" around in my soul. They are being watered and tended and are growing nicely. I spread the message and recommend the reading to all who I think would hear it. Keep up the good work .
Bradley M. Achorn <nutonline@themall.net>
Ventura, CA USA - Monday, May 19, 1997 at 21:11:21 (PDT)
Ishmael is the most powerful book I have ever read. When I read it a light went off in my head, because finally all of my thoughts were on paper right before my eyes.
Lydia Beals <Starz14@aol.com>
Boulder, CO USA - Monday, May 19, 1997 at 15:05:26 (PDT)
People are treating these books like some sort of religion, people saying how it is their new bible or how Mr. Quinn awoke me from my 'wrong' ways. If you truley believed in what you were doing before, then these books would seem ludicrous to you. It i s you that made you changed, not Daniel Quinn. He has mearly located the itch in which many people were trying to find. Our world will not be saved by new programs, but if treat what Daniel Quinn articulates as a new form of idealism then you are only cre ating a new program. Ideals are what got us into this mess in the first place. We KNEW the 'right' way to live and imposed these ideals upon others with extreme prejudice. A mind change will occur when people stop preaching the right way to live, stop say ing what IS right, and start doing what FEELS right, benevolence doesn't come through reading a guidebook, it comes through acting on exploring youself so you may come up with your own ethical philosophy. Socrates once said (or somthing like it) "There is nothing more scornful than a civilization that scorns knowledge of itself." This means that our civilization has depended on authority figures to 'guide us into the light', we never look to ourselves, but to our god, which is our institution. No idealism will save the planet.
Graeme Crockart <Bobo2@total.net>
hudson, Que Canada - Friday, May 16, 1997 at 22:01:34 (PDT)
I first read Ishamael two years ago. Since then I've read it about 6 or 7 times (after 5 things get kind of blurry). I've read the guest book and found that my favortie entries went something like this "IT WAS A VERY GOOD BOOK." Does that mean I'll do the same? No, I don't really think so. I'd first like to say that I just got online and one of the reasons I got online is because I wanted to get hoked up with this discussion list. Ishmael has totally changed my life. It's as simple as that. Ishmael has totally and completely changed m y life. Before I read Ishmael I thought that technology would solve all our problems. I thought that all we had to do was keep going on the same path and pretty soon everything would work it self out! My thoughts on Ishmael: This book has the potential to change the world. I truly believe that. Not by itself though. It takes people. After reading Ishmael for the first time I thought "WOW! But what the heck am I supposed to do now?" (I'm sure I'm not alone in this reponse.) I remember then looking in Ishmael and finding the place where Mr. Quinn says "Teach 100 and inspire them to teach 100," or something to that effect. Changing the world is not about money and politics and 'programs' (Mr. Quinn goes into some of this in B, although you probaly already know that). Changing the world is about people and ideas. It's about changing minds. People criticize me for my idealism but I think that this world needs more idealitic people. Ishmael is about believing that there is something that we can do about the world, and that in itself takes idealism. So...I guess that's all for now. I promise I'll be back often now that I'm online.
Christina Aktipis <Ishmail me@aol.com>
OakBook, IL USA - Friday, May 16, 1997 at 20:40:37 (PDT)
Hi.My name is Nicole.I am a ninth grade student in high school and I have just finished reading the book Ishmael.This book has let my mind expand and take in all the information and think about it in a different perspective.This book was very good and I would recomend it to anybody.It has a lot of great morals and lessens in it.When I read the book, I let my mind do the work and think about things in ways I have never thought of before.You have to accet things for the way it is.Ishmael is a great ficti onal book for people interested especially in agriculture.You could really learn a lot of vocabulary as well as expand your knowledge.Ishmael led me to think of evolution in a different way.I have learned a lot about other religions and cultures.I'm very glad my teacher, Miss Arnold had introduced this book to us so we could learn more about the creation of our universe.I never really thought about how animals think and what comes into their minds.I still think God created the world no matter what anybody says, but I learned a lot about how we are killing ourselves and for some unknown reason we reason to believe that the Earth was put here only for us.By reading this book, I got a lot more out of the chapter of Genesis and learned to accept things said i n this book.It is just about impossible to think we were so special that we were the only ones chosen to live on this earth.Ishmael states 2 different kinds of living.There are the leavers and the takers.There is a beginning, middle, and the end of the st ory.Well, I don't want to tell you too much of the story.I'm just going to say it's one of the best books I have ever read in my life that had good meaning.So go out and read the book.I'm sure you'll enjoy it!!!
Nicole Sheetz <nickelodian@hotmail.com>
Herhsey, PA USA - Friday, May 16, 1997 at 15:23:01 (PDT)
I read both "Ishmael" and "B" in a couple of days last month, and found the whole experience to be somewhat of an epiphany. My wife and both my teenage daughters have also read the books, with similar reactions. The message that there is hope, that with a little consciousness raising (a 70s term if there ever was one) we can begin to undo our collective folly of arrogance, gives me more courage to try to fight the good fight. I'm gently pushing these books on anyone who'll read them, since they tell the story way better than I can. In fact, I need to reread them myself. The over-culture is so strong, I find it hard to hold onto the message without the occasional "booster." I'm glad this site is here.
Paul Bankston <paulb@mscs.mu.edu>
Milwaukee, WI USA - Friday, May 16, 1997 at 14:41:01 (PDT)
I've been reading and re-reading Ishmael since it came ou in 1992 and never seem to exhaust the ideas found therein. Thank you, Mr. Quinn, for providing some hope to what often appears a hopeless situation for the human species!
G. Sherman H. Morrison <chrysalis@monad.net>
Keene, NH USA - Friday, May 16, 1997 at 05:36:18 (PDT)