[FoRK] My visit to Ground Zero (and other musings)

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Nov 2 07:27:47 PST 2004


So I'm in Manhattan for a conference on quantitative methods in finance 
at the moment and I'm staying at the Marriot Financial Center, about a 
block from Ground Zero.  I had been to NYC once or twice since 9/11 but 
had never made it down to the financial district to see G0;  got in on 
an early flight Sunday, had some time to kill, wandered over...  and am 
somewhat surprised by my own emotional reaction to the site.

It was profoundly affecting, but not in the way I expected.  I actually 
found it *uplifting* despite the tragedy it represents.  Construction 
is proceeding apace and there's a since of order taking shape on a 
scale that in some sense defies human comprehension.  It's a project 
that's bigger than any single human, any single human group;  it 
transcends individuals, individual philosophies, and individual lives.  
It's bigger than the people that are working on it.  In some sense it's 
a testament to American - and human - fortitude, a statement to the 
effect of "life goes on."  They can knock us down but they can't keep 
us down.  Civilization triumphs over barbarism;  the human spirit 
trumps tragedy;  and the perpetual game of increasing self-organization 
of human technology and society moves ever forward.

I left the site feeling profoundly optimistic about basically 
everything!

If you haven't seen the site and you happen to visit NYC, wander over 
and check it out.  I'm sure my reaction to it is idiosyncratic but 
regardless - it's worth the effort.

$0.02,

jb

PS - mandatory Election Day musing:  I still believe that the hype and 
the polls are overstating the closeness of the race and that Kerry's 
going to walk away with this one, but...  even if that's not the case 
I'm at peace with the outcome.  I've done my part and placed my bets.  
If America is stupid enough to re-elect Bush, then we deserve the 
leadership we get.  In the unfortunate event that this happens, I think 
this country - and the world - is resilient enough to make it another 
four years.  Hopefully, the recent worldwide regression to the 
(irrational, societal) mean is merely a transient correction of the 
situation in the 90s, and the overall trend of forward progress marches 
on regardless.



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