The news that Amazon, the largest Internet retailer, and the U.S. post office are collaborating to make Sunday delivery of packages a reality in an attempt to forever paint every Friday black (order on Friday, deliver on Sunday) might in itself seem trivial. Just another spoke in the wheel to make it possible to always shop, always consume, always be inundated with marketing plots, in a never-ending quest to squeeze out the last ounce of profit and the titanic fight for market share taking shamelessly advantage of our conveniencedriven habits.
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Last Call from Marc
We asked somebody much more qualified than myself that very question. Edward Jay Epstein is an investigative journalist and former political science professor at Harvard. He wrote 15 fascinating books starting with “Inquest. The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth” in 1966 all the way to his latest work, “The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search for Answers to the Mystery of the Century” (2013).
Here is his answer:
Here is my view on the surveillance state.
A few month back I wrote that we need BIG thinking and bold decision-making in order to strengthen our community and our brand.
T his month I want to call attention to three events that serve as prime examples of this kind of thinking, the kind that can propel a community such as ours from an ordinary seaside resort to a world-class community.
The three events are the Public Outdoor Art Exhibition at Honey Horn Plantation, Imagination 2013 at the same venue and the Concours d’Elegance, which this year is around the clubhouse at Port Royal Golf Club.
Three things: The envisioned outcome, a plan and the xwillingness to execute it over a long period of time.
Three years ago such a general road map was delivered to the town council and the public titled the “Mayor’s Vision Task Force Vision 2025.” A progress report contributed by Lisa Allen can be read on page 76 of this issue. If you are interested in reading the original document, go to www.hiltonheadmonthly.com/taskforce.
It would be easy to allow oneself to become depressed, realizing that there are so many things that could use fixing in this world, complain about injustice or one’s own misfortune. Instead I remember a proverb one of my mentors taught me growing up. “It is better to light a fire than complain about the darkness”.
Focusing on the negative is not going to make anything better, but in order to find the daily strength to look at the bright side of life and do our part to turn things positive, we need a source of inner power and positive energy.
Imagine standing on a plantation full of oak and pine trees, dotted with swamps, about 60 years ago — when our island was served by a drawbridge and a two-way road connector to Interstate 95 — and having the guts to imagine a planned community complete with roadways, bike paths, golf courses, tennis centers, marinas, playgrounds, shopping areas and a multitude of villas and homes.
It took BIG thinking to accomplish what we take for granted today.
NO. It hits you right in the face! Every time I go to the beach, I’m greeted by a town ordinance sign that starts with a BIG red NO.
For once I resort to numbers instead of words to tell a story. Each of these numbers stands symbolically for something much larger and hopefully gets you to think about what it means or could mean. Send me your favorite number by e-mailing me and I will make sure it gets posted.
I vividly remember a time when you needed a specialized little laptop computer, that could only display five text lines at one time and needed to be hooked up to a physical telephone, to transfer a text message via the Internet to another registered user. All domain names and e-mail addresses could have been published into one very, very small phone book. This was 30 years ago, when Internet users were considered an insider society, one built on an unwritten ethic: Trust.
Thirty years later the Internet has permeated all facets of our lives. The Internet is literally everywhere we go, on the phone, at work, at home, in the car. Billions of people transfer trillions of packets of data on a daily basis to the point that a new addiction has been created: The addiction to constant connection to everything, at all times, at all costs.
In the 350 years of recorded history on our island, life on Hilton Head has taken on many forms. But through centuries of change, one constant thread has been the island’s ability to reinvent itself.