by Harry Heidelberg
Harry's's archive is here
We've arrived in Futureworld now. In this new world, the people will be empowered by technology to redress the power balance. For a long time, the powerful have been concentrating control. Media in Australia is less diverse, less independent, and less interesting than ever. Politics seems more cynical than ever and business seems more ruthless than ever. Media, politics and business work in ways that only a short time ago were considered unthinkable.
Here in Futureworld we fight back. We fight back in unconventional ways. Convention is a guide for us on how not to do things. Money becomes a means, not an end. Ethics, loyalty, trust and transparency remain core. They should be a commodity but they are not. Commodities that are scarce become valuable. We will now only trade in the priceless commodities. Quite simply, we are priceless and what we believe in is priceless.
Five years ago, Webdiary was the innovator. There were few examples like it globally and none locally. The spirit of innovation continues with Margo Kingston's Webdiary pushing new boundaries in independent media. Click on the thumbnail to check out how Webdiary looked back in 2000!
Our dream has always been of a lively and independent space where Australians from all walks of life and of varying political persuasions will gather. The community we (and by "we" I mean everyone) have created is unique. People talk about virtual communities. Aspects of the technology make our Webdiary Community virtual but the technology is only a means, not an end. In every sense, our Webdiary Community is very real.
To the many who have indicated their willingness to help in establishing the new platform you are showing your confidence and faith in the idea of the Webdiary Community. You are showing that you believe independent media can be created and can reach a wide audience. You are showing that you believe that independent voices not only empower the individual but also empower Australian democracy.
Many of us have political differences but the values we share are enduring. The shared values are at the core of this project. I like to think of it as a project because to me it always seems to be a work in progress.
That doesn't mean we don't have milestones though. Last month we celebrated our 5th Anniversary, and this month, the most signficant milestone in our history, the move to Futureworld. Futurewold is just a generic term I use for the move to independence.
Our beginning is now. The past five years has been a prelude.
Following are some quotes from Goethe to remember as we step confidently into Futureworld:
Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
A leaf that is destined to grow large is full of grooves and wrinkles at the start. Now if one has no patience and wants it smooth offhand like a willow leaf, there is trouble ahead.
Austere perseverance, hash and continuous... rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistible greater with time.
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
Deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public.
Each indecision brings its own delays and days are lost lamenting over lost days... What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power, and genius in it.
Freedom consists not in refusing to recognise anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us; for by respecting it, we raise ourselves to it, and, by our very acknowledgement, prove that we bear within ourselves what is higher, and are worthy to be on a level with it.
How can we know ourselves? Never by reflection, but only through action. Begin at once to do your duty and immediately you will know what is inside you.
Look closely at those who patronise you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.
There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. There is only an eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the Best as the past withdraws.