Saturday, January 20, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

George W. S. Trow

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...my friend Dr. Arno Gruen, author of The Insanity of Normality, has said an interesting thing. He said that culture, in recent decades, has taken on a life of its own, without reference to the people it is supposed to protect.

 
George W. S. Trow

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But I'm pro-life because I believe life begins at conception, and I believe that we should do everything possible to protect that life because it is the centerpiece of what makes us unique as an American people. We value the life of one as if it's the life of all, and that's why we go out for the 12-year-old Boy Scout in North Carolina when he's lost; that's why we look for the 13 miners in Sago, West Virginia, when the mine explodes; that's why we go looking for the hikers in Mount Hood, because we value life, and it's what separates us from the Islamic jihadists who are out to kill us. They celebrate death. They have a culture of death. Ours is a culture of life.

 
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A culture-bearing book, like a mule, bears the culture on its back. No one should sit down to write one deliberately. Culture-bearing books occur almost accidentally, like a sudden change in the stock market. There are books of high quality that are an part of the culture, but that is not the same. They are a part of it. They aren't carrying it anywhere. They may talk about insanity sympathetically, for example, because that's the standard cultural attitude. But they don't carry any suggestion that insanity might be something other than sickness or degeneracy.

 
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Now the Disney Corporation could do this because that culture lived in a commons, an intellectual commons, a cultural commons, where people could freely take and build. It was a lawyer-free zone.
It was culture, which you didn't need the permission of someone else to take and build upon. That was the character of creativity at the birth of the last century. It was built upon a constitutional requirement that protection be for limited times, and it was originally limited. Fourteen years, if the author lived, then 28, then in 1831 it went to 42, then in 1909 it went to 56, and then magically, starting in 1962, look no hands, the term expands.
Eleven times in the last 40 years it has been extended for existing works not just for new works that are going to be created, but existing works. The most recent is the Sonny Bono copyright term extension act.

 
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That's the thing about your destiny: how are you supposed to know it when it arrives? How are you supposed to recognise it from the random life?

 
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