Blog Pile

Name That Culture

In my continued exploration of new technologies, I am looking at a new compact, portable, cheap, information device that may offer a lot of potential for not only education, but society in general. Use of it requires almost no electricity! It offers in depth amounts of information in a refreshingly simple user interface that is easily mastered by learners of all ages.

They call it a “book” 😉

Yeah summer break from (some) technology is just doing some plain old reading. How novel!

So, in the current thing I am reading, this description comes up- does this described a country you know?

The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while its offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to whom its ranks had once been closed; the lip service paid to values long dead; the pretense that we still are what we once were; the increasingly concentrations of the populace into richer and poorer by way of a corrupt tax system, and the desperation that inevitably follows; the aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of the legislature; ineffectual legislation promulgated with great show; the moral vocation of the man at the top to maintain order at all costs, while growing blind to the differences of ordinary life…”

Wow, does that describe America now or what? (my emphasis added)



Off by a few centuries.


This is a description of the fall of the Roman Empire, in the opening chapter of Thomas Chahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization.

I’m not about to steer CogDogBlog away from its duly self imposed charter to play with tech toys and post pictures of silly signs and rants about stupid companies, I am not going all political gaga in some search to do something— actually I am taking this moment to mark the sheer power of words and ideas in their lowest, most accessible form- text.

POT (plain old text).

I love new media, make my life around it, yet among all the neon Vegas glitz of flash-web2.0-user-generated stuff, there is still happily room IMHO for good writing or ideas that make you stop and think.

What can you do with words? It’s not just words, though, its what you can do with whatever medium you have to create ideas and nudge people to think.

Okay, I am losing all direction with this blog post, so am delving into my repertoire to find the closing stanza, ad re-affirm to continue my passion for (most of) the things I am passionate about that are not allowed on some trails:

Geez, More Rules!

If this kind of stuff has value, please support me by tossing a one time PayPal kibble or monthly on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
Profile Picture for cogdog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Cogdog,

    They have books on the internets, I could have sworn I saw one the other day, it looked purty and obsolete like.

    Ok, I love how you quote a beautiful passage that frames some deep issues surrounding borders andnations, the structural problems in terms of economic privilege, class, and deeper issues of social justice that are concomitant with nation formation, while at the same time being sure to say you are not going political gaga. Why not? That is one of the beautiful side effects of reading, try it out, I know you’re good at it, for you doth protest too much. And when your done with this book, which sounds awesome, try this one. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *