EDITORnThomas FlemingnMANAGING EDITORnKatherine DaltonnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSnChilton Williamson, Jr.nASSISTANT EDITORnTheodore PappasnART DIRECTORnAnna Mycek-WodeckinCONTRIBUTING EDITORSn}ohn W. Aldridge, Harold O.J.nBrown, Samuel Francis, GeorgenGarrett, Russell Kirk, E. ChristiannKopff, Clyde WilsonnCORRESPONDING EDITORSnJanet Scott Barlow, Odie Faulk,nJane Greer, John Shelton Reed,nGary VasilashnEDITORIAL SECRETARYnLeann DobbsnPUBLISHERnAllan C. CarlsonnASSOCIATE PUBLISHERnMichael WardernPUBLICATION DIRECTORnGuy C. ReffettnCOMPOSITION MANAGERnAnita FedoranCIRCULATION MANAGERnRochelle FranknA Publication ofnThe Rockford InstitutenEditorial and Advertising Offices: 934 NorthnMain Street, Rockford, IL 61103.nEditorial Phone: (815) 964-5054.nAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.nSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800, MountnMorris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-435-0715, innIllinois 1-800-892-0753.nFor information on advertising in Chronicles,nPlease call Cathy Corson at (815) 964-5811.n. U.S.A. Newsstand Distribution by. EasternnNews Distributors, Inc., 1130 Cleveland Road,nSandusky, OH 44870.nCopyright © 1990 by The Rockford Institute.nAll rights reserved.nCHRONICLES (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishednmonthly for $21 per year by The RockfordnInstitute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, ILn61103-7061.nSecond-class postage paid at Rockford, IL andnadditional mailing offices.nPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tonCHRONICLES, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,nIL 61054.nThe views expressed in Chronicles are thenauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect thenviews of The Rockford Institute or of itsndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot benreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressednstamped envelope.nChroniclesnM 11 G A Z I N E I M E M C A N ( U l I U R En4/CHRONICLESnVol. 14, No. 5 May 1990nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnCharlotte Low AllennReplies:nInstead of refuting me, Mr. Casselln(Polemics & Exchanges, April 1990)nhas merely offered a loving paraphrasenof George Gilder’s book, with wholenphrases lifted straight out of Gilder’snexuberantly zany prose. Or rather, henhas offered a paraphrase of the first andnlast chapters of Microcosm, for fewnreaders have actually managed to “tunnel”ntheir way quantum-style throughnall the techie-talk of the book’s impenetrablenand distinctly non-user-friendlynmiddle. I did, and believe me, it wasnmurder.nMost of Gilder’s mind-over-matternobservations in Microcosm are scarcelynoriginal. It seems pretty obvious thatnmost of the value of human inventions,nfrom paleolithic flint arrowheads toncellular telephones, has always lain notnin their raw materials, but in the humannvision and ingenuity that has goneninto fashioning them. That is why vannGogh’s Irises is worth 53 million timesnthe cost of its oil paint and canvas. Thennotion that what we used to think of asnsolid matter is actually empty spacenand flying subatomic particles is somethingnI learned in my high-schoolnchemistry class. I learned about quantumnmechanics and the Heisenbergnuncertainty principle in my freshmannWestern Giv class at Stanford (that wasnback before Western culture had tongo). What’s new about Gilder, I guess,nis that he believes subatomic particlesnare actually eentsy-teentsy ideas, “anform of thought,” as Mr. Gassell putsnit.nFrankly, I have yet to see much ofnthe “creativity” that the microprocessornrevolution is supposed to haven”unleashed.” True, we have somenwonderful new machines, but aroundnthem, our culture seems to be disintegratingninto ignorance and anomienrather than crescendoing to that happynfuture Gilder foresees. I just can’tnequate Nintendo with Ghaucer’s CanterburynTales. Part of the reason for thenbland, crude, glutted quality of contemporarynlife seems to be a contemptnfor the past that is the cornerstone of allnnnmodernist theorizing, including Gilder’s,nfrom the Enlightenment to thisnday. And, if “the law of the microcosmndemands that we eschew all formsnof materialism,” as Mr. Gassell says,nhow come Silicon Valley mogulsnrush out to acquire fancy houses innLos Altos, concubines, and powerfulncars?nDon’t get me wrong — I appreciatencomputers. I am writing this reply onnone (I scarcely know how to use antypewriter anymore), and when I amnfinished, I intend to fax it to Chronicles.nBut I refuse to believe that I am innthe grip of “a powerful law of naturennow at work in our world, one that hasnalready changed us in ways we do notnfully comprehend.” I prefer to thinknthat I have free will. I don’t understandnthe current fascination with “powerful”nand “remorseless” Hegel-stylengrand historical forces that are supposednto be running our lives. Inthought that kind of determinism wentnout with Marx, but it now seems to benback in style with the end-of-historyncrowd. That is why, if I am supposed tonbe part of the “revolt against the microcosm,”ncount me in.nOn ‘The Agonynof Gorbachev’nMay I subjoin to Mr. Ragsdale’s admirablenlexicographic efforts (Februaryn1990) one further example? It is notnmine: I take it from the advertising fornNina’s Journey: A Memoir of Stalin’snRussia and the Second World War bynNina Markovna.n”To a Russian, glasnost does notnmean ‘openness,’ for which there is anspecific word, otkritost. Rather, itnmeans ‘voice-giving.’ In the past, whennmost people could not read, a mannwould walk from house to house, fromnstreet to street, shouting into a longnhorn, and in this way would ‘glasit’ thencurrent news and information to thenpopulace, hence the word glasnost.”nSo, glasnost is whatever comes outnof the loudspeaker!n— R.W. OdlinnSedro-Woolley, WAn