January 31st, 2005

Future Worth Fighting For3

Another Election Day

I started crying yesterday as I saw the news coming in from Iraq (and scared the heck out of celticdragonfly until I got "Good news" through my choked throat). It's the pictures of the Iraqis who voted that got to me. These people know that Zarqawi proclaimed that anyone participating in the election was an apostate and marked for death. But they're not just voting, they're letting their pictures be taken so the whole world can see they voted, daring the enemy to come get them. I think these people aren't going to be satisfied with just voting once. My optimism about the future of the experiment feels a lot more justified now.

I'm still not as optimistic as Robert Wright's latest piece in the NYT. He's convinced me that the forces of history favor freedom, but it's not going to happen if we sit back and wait for history to bring it to us on a platter. It takes lots of hard work to create freedom, lots more than creating a slight-improved dictatorship. History supports that by giving big rewards to free people. But that doesn't make the first step any easier. It takes hard decisions, hard work, and a willingness to take great risks. As those voters did.
can't take2

Fan Mail

I have a bunch of papers I've written posted on our website but it's always a surprise when I find out someone actually read one. I just got an email from a Norwegian who'd read my paper on the history of the NPOESS program and had some questions about the architecture we'd picked for it. I figured if he was a college student or something like that there wouldn't be any harm, so I googled him to check:

". . . disclosed by Mr Inge Sellevag in the Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende. A series of articles published by Mr Sellevag was the cause of a major scandal in Norway that led to resignation of the Defense minister."

Okay, this guy gets referred to the company PR office. But I'm glad he liked my paper.