Friday, August 18, 2006

Vote if you want the Twin Towers rebuilt

As far as I know, the project for a new World Trade Center is already approved and doesn't resemble the old one. However, today I saw by chance an online petition by The Twin Towers Alliance to rebuild the towers. If you support the idea, you can express your opinion at
Although nothing can bring back the lost lives, I would feel a bit better if I could see the towers again at their place. I still feel pain in the heart when their image appears in some old movie.


Non-Blogging said...

As somebody who values learning very much, I think another, in my opinion far more important thing to do might be to support rebuilding libraries destroyed by Katrina:

Myself, I owe very much to public libraries which have been very important to me at various stages of my life.

You can now either mock them for brainwashing me into a Euro-softie, or, alternatively praise a good public library system for educating me into what I am now.

Maya M said...

Public libraries have all but lost their importance in Bulgaria. There are two reasons: the minimal funding which doesn't allow bying new books and the uncontrolled wish of libraries' employees to minimize their work by refusing to order new books even when they are offered for free, discarding the available books (e.g. our Medical University library systematically discards pre-1970 scientific journals as "obsolete") and making access to books as difficult as possible.
So, for teaching and science we rely mainly on the Web, borrowing from each other and personal correspondence with authors, and in private life, we again borrow books from each other or buy them. The only valuable books that can now be found in regular public libraries are the old classics, and exactly they can be bought in the street for EUR 1, because poverty forces many old people to sell their books.
In your comment, I see a very old Euro-softie idea (much older than the term): that libraries, education, upbringing can make people good.
All these things are beyond doubt important, but they are powerless against evil. Do you think Mohamed Atta would become a different man if he had been forced as a schoolboy to read Dickens?
Actually, the London bombers and would-be bombers have grown in Britain and most likely HAVE been made familiar with Dickens - to no avail.

Non-Blogging said...

Our public libraries are still good, yet the problem is that per capita their funding has reduced a lot since their heydays which was before the economic recession really hit us at the beginning of the 1990s. But yes, they're still good and growingly popular because they not only stuck classic under a layer of dust.

For science, I guess, our system is also much more web-based as it was when I studied and when the web was such a novelty that it was used mainly for personal correspondence rather than finding reliable scientific sources. The downside of the development in my opinion is that nowadays it's so incredibly easy just to copy and paste any article you find on the Net and publish it in your name. Thus the importance of being critical towards what you're reading is extremely important. How have you seen the changes yourself? Are students today in your opinion enough critical towards what they read or do they want to go where the fence is the lowest (a Finnish saying, I don't know if this exists in English but I guess I understand the meaning)?

The place for the real bad guys - London bombers etc. - of course is not a softie library re-education centre but a jail where they should stay for the rest of their lives.

However, for the rest of us education is important. I'm sure you're aware of these UNDP studies which criticize the level of education in the Arab world and the lack of translations of foreign books for example. If people are reduced to stupid TV programs and an ignorant imam, it's not good for anyone but a breeding ground for extremism, narrow-mindedness and conspiracy theories.

I don't know if you read Roba's blog (one of my favourites). She's from Jordan and seemingly very smart. Some time ago, she had a post on this very subject which I can very much recommend to you:

Maya M said...

I have visited Roba's blog several times. It's interesting and informative. However, I cannot read it regularly because she is so heavily infected (with Palestinianism) that I get nervous.
About modern education and its failures - you remind me a talk I had once with my students. They mocked the quality of education in the USA, then asked me if it was true that Bulgarian education was deteriorating.
I answered, "Many dictatorships have education systems that gives students a solid base of knowledge. This was true for Bulgaria as well. However, this knowledge cannot be used effectively, because "big" science and technology require free thought and free market and so cannot flourish under dictatorship. Moreover, the totalitarian education leaves the students without some very basic mental skills. Therefore, when democracy came to Bulgaria, the first thing people did was to invest their savings in Ponzi schemes.
On the other side, democracy is so anti-authoritarian that people, including young people and children, resist even the degree of compulsion needed to acquire good education. Hence the education failures of the average American you mentioned. But don't laugh at the Americans - we are speeding in the same direction and I think we already are right behind them."
The students were worried by my pessimism and asked, "Then, isn't there any way to save the civilization?"
"I don't know but I keep seeking it," I said.
Indeed, I think civilization has serious "internal" problems right now. It could surely solve them if left alone. But it is being attacked by enemies that it would defeat very easily if it wasn't in a crisis. It's the combination of internal problems and external attacks that, to my opinion, can put an end to the civilization.

programmer craig said...

I think Roba (like the majority of Jordanians) is Palestinian. I recall once she made a post about her Grandfather in Palestine in the pre-Israel days.

She's one of the Jordanian bloggers I like the most (along with Natasha) but I try to stay off Jordanian blogs. The readers/commenters are pretty over-the-top, and without even knowing it. Something is up in Jordan, and there are bad times coming I'm sure. Jordanian public opinion seems to be completely aligned with teh Palestinian cause, to the exclusion of all else.

As for libraries, I love them. Have since I was a kid. Just to hang out, though. I tend not to check out library books, but I love to browse :)

I don't recall libraries getting much use though, when I was a kid, by the regular kids... only the brainier ones. Which I was, believe it or not, even though I was also a jock. I'd guess they are even more dis-used than ever, with the advent of the internet.

About the Twin Towers... I have really mixed feelings. I lived in New Jersey (right across the bay from New York City) when they were being built, and walked past the construction site many times on foot. That's actually what I think of when I think of the world trade center. The contruction site, not the buildings as they were. I guess I'd rather that weren't built again. At least not until the war on terror is over, anyway. Rebuilt twin towers would make a very attractive target.

Kristi :) said...

omIf people really think that building a new freedom tower aka:The Masterpiece, will be showing the terrorists that they have won then people are wrong. If we rebuild them as they were then that mean America is strong, aand can withstand almost anything. Also a proper rememberence site for the older twin towers is better preposed in the freedom towers II. Also many people say that the freedon towers doesnt fit in with new york city.

pedro velasquez said...

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sportsbook is expected to convene Thursday to formally ratify a plan that would allow the developer Larry A. Silverstein to build two office towers at ground zero with up to $1.6 billion in public financing and subsidies, according to Port Authority and real estate executives. Mr. bet nfl Silverstein, who leased the trade center six weeks before it was destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack, has already started construction of one tower on Church Street, at the southeast corner of the 16-acre trade center site. Under the terms of the development plan, the authority would provide about $1 billion in financing for that project.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan will never be as fantastic without the twin towers.It has lost its beautiful skyline and part of its
It has gone from being spectacular to ordinary .Shame on the politicians who don't want the towers rebuilt .
To rebuild would symbolise America getting back on its feet again .