3 Quarks Daily on Langston Hughes

Top To Bottom - Kevin Kelly

The Bottom is Not Enough

I wrote a book, Out of Control, heralding the immense power of bottom up systems. You know: smart mobs, hive mind, web power, amateur hour, decentralized webs, network effects, and collaborative work. Twenty years ago Out of Control made a wide-ranging and exhaustive case for the remarkable things which decentralized, out-of-control systems can accomplish in biology, technology, and cultural realms. Two decades later I'm still keen on the untapped potential of emergent bottom-up systems.

But throughout my boosterism I have tried to temper my celebration of the bottom with my belief that the bottom is not enough for what we really want. To get to the best we need some top down intelligence, too. I have always claimed that nuanced view. And now that crowd-sourcing and social webs are all the rage, it's worth repeating: the bottom is not enough. You need a bit of top-down as well.

The reason every bottom-up crowd-source hive-mind needs some top-down control is because of time. The bottom runs on a different time scale than our instant culture.


Father Des

The Rev. Des Crotty, local Irish priest

Saturday, February 09, 2008
By Bruce Nolan
Staff writer

The Rev. Des Crotty, a Catholic priest who led a revival of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, died Thursday night at Ochsner Medical Center, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said. He was 61.

Father Crotty collapsed on the altar during noon Mass at his church on Ash Wednesday. Doctors later determined that he suffered a rupture of an artery involved in the surgical repair of his heart some years ago, the archdiocese said.

In 36 years as a priest Crotty, a native of Ireland, served parishes in Jefferson, Kenner, Norco, the east bank of New Orleans and Algiers. He was also the chaplain at Dominican High School and was an Air Force chaplain.

For the past 12 years he served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, a relatively small parish in Uptown New Orleans.

When he arrived in 1996 the parish was in decline, its population aging. Friends said Father Crotty embarked on a revitalization plan to make the parish more hospitable and family-friendly. As young families arrived, he launched a children's Mass in which dozens of children sat close to the foot of the altar. In recent years the parish sponsored a huge annual Easter egg hunt on church grounds that grew to involve thousands of hidden eggs.

Later, Father Crotty oversaw a $1.4 million renovation of the 87-year-old church.

Friends said that Father Crotty, while gregarious and approachable, had a strong personality that attracted some, and not others. Friends in the Ancient Order of Hibernians made him the Irish Man of the Year in 2004.

In a 2004 interview, Father Crotty told columnist Angus Lind he used to lurk in the back of church as a boy, just to say he had been to church. As a prank, he once listed all his friends on a church questionnaire asking for names of potential vocations -- and left off his.

He said his decision to try the seminary floored his parents.

"He did have an independent streak," said Bishop Roger Morin. "If you disagreed with something after he'd made up his mind, it would take a lot of negotiating to turn him around. But he was certainly devoted to St. Francis."

An old friend, the Rev. John Tomasovich, said while Father Crotty had diversions away from work, he seemed to enjoy parish life the most.

Father Crotty's approach to golf was typical, Tomasovich said.

He played occasionally, "but it seemed to frustrate him that he couldn't master the game in three hours."

A native of Glasthule, Ireland, Father Crotty began seminary studies in nearby Carlow, but was recruited for service in New Orleans by then-Archbishop Philip Hannan.

He finished seminary studies in New Orleans at Notre Dame Seminary; he and Hannan returned to Ireland for his ordination in 1972.

Father Crotty is survived by a brother, Marty, and sisters Mary Sherwin and Eithne Deasy.

Visitation will be Monday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at his church, 631 State St., followed by a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Alfred Hughes. Interment will follow in the tomb for priests of the archdiocese in St. Louis No. 3 Cemetery.

. . . . . . .

Bruce Nolan can be reached at bnolan@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3344.

The Rev. Des Crotty



OAR - Crazy Game of Poker

My twenty thrown down in my fist of rage
And the man to my left just folded down
Johnny doubled up with a Royal Flush
I had three jacks and a pair of nines
My mind is turning just two shots more
There's not much left to play
Then dude walks in Black hat on top, what a mop
I'm lucky it wasn't a county cop, cause I'm just running out of time

Who's up for game two, what to do?
My wallets getting thin and I just lost my watch last night
I got a problem, just one answer got to throw it all down
And kiss it goodbye

That was a crazy game of poker
I lost it all
But someday I'll be back again
And I'm never to fall
Never to fall

Who's up for game three?
I can barely see the bourbon drowning next to me
And I just lost it all
Well there's a man sitting next to me
Red with smiling eyes
It's funny I don't have no money tonight.

That was a crazy game of poker
I lost it all
But someday I'll be back again
And I'm never to fall
Never to fall

Bada biba... ... ...
I say now skitili dat dat dat well how bout that
I'm coming out the front never coming out the back
I walked into the bar yesterday
Cause I had something to do, something to say
And Johnny walked in right behind me and
I didn't turn around
Until I hear the sound of his feet falling
On the ground, looked over my shoulder
And I saw a clown
And I said what are you doing in the bar tonight?
And I said Johnny whatcha doing tonight?
He looked at me with a face full of fright
And I said how about a revolution?
And he said , right.

I say of, you say a, I say revolution, and you say Jah 2x

And I said what are you looking at?
He hit me across the face with a bat.
I grabbed my .45 and I said let's get out and go
Well so he opened the door, and said "now, whatcha here for?"
I said I'm wanderin' down the road 44
And I said I've been walking for about a thousand years
And my feet are growing tired
My eyes a little wired
Don't know what to do unless I retire
And he just said let's play some crazy poker
And I said Johnny whatcha doing tonight?
He looked at me with a face full of fright
And I said how about a revolution?
And he said right.

I said that was the craziest game of poker that I ever saw
I said that was the craziest game of poker that I ever saw
But Im not gonna quit and I'm not gonna stop
I don't give a shit cause I got the drop
Johnny just got two eyes just like mine
And I'm feeling kind of funky, kinda fine
Cause I drank a bottle of whiskey before I came
Came to the bar to see what's the same
I saw my man named Johnny sitting across the table from
And to my left was a man he had no gin
He didn't even think about starting to sin
The man to my right, wasn't feeling very nice
He looked kinda mad and I felt bad
Because I took his money last night
Now I'm just struggling
I need a honey bunny
I don't know what to say anymore
So Im just going to go out the front door.


Books in 2008

In the Blink of an Eye
In Harm's Way

I keep spending too much time reading parts of books. Got only knows how many I have part way read.