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Monday, October 15, 2001

Our Opinion


There are few things more daunting than beginnings. The combination of hope, anxiety, arrogance, hesitation, ambition, and self-doubt that inheres in every first step points directly to the difficult and often contradictory nature of human effort. And yet, it is those first steps that invariably lead to – and direct – every human being’s initial decision to engage with the world.

In the event, what matters in the end, in Cavafy’s oft-quoted prescription, is not the destination but the journey. Put another way, it is not the “final word” but the actual conversation – or put yet another way, homo sapiens as homo faber. This site – and the larger venture of which we hope it will end up being only a part – is called precisely for that reason. There are no “end products” here, only a continual production; no summary conclusions, only unceasing discussions, debates, dissents, and perhaps even, occasionally, consensus – which will in any case, we hope, simply provoke new conversations, discussions, debates…. is a private venture, begun by four individuals. We are beholden to no one and nothing other than our own sense of what we need to do. There are no government subsidies, no media conglomerates, no major financial institutions behind us. What you will see here today, and every day afterward, is what you will get: no hidden agendas, no secret sponsors, no powers that be that are powers that need, want, and must have.

Which is why’s success – if it does indeed succeed – will hinge, not so much on the kindness of strangers, as on their understanding of this project, their commitment to become active participants in it, and their agreement that the time has come for the Greek world to shed its parochialism, bigotries, complexes, and – worst of all and progenitor of all other ills – egocentricities. We believe that the Greek world – defined once again in the most Cavafian sense as an enormously capacious, tolerant, and hybrid ikoumeni – is much too big for the smallness of the institutions that regiment or control it (or have historically sought to do so). We also believe that the only thing that counts in this new century is its plenitude: of ideas, of sentiments, of creativities, of all of the men and women who are a part of it.

This is in fact the first year of the first decade of the new century: an auspicious beginning, we hope. What that means in any case is that the extraordinary technological advances of our times can be used to reinforce human communities, not fracture and isolate them. The Internet began as a multivocal promise and ended up as a threat to incorporate even our most private moments into a global web of continuous commercial exploitation. We want to return to the Internet’s original promise: community creation, democratic access, individual resistance. Welcome to

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