Thanks for that thoughtful essay.  And I like the slogan!

I was remembering the Union Square, Somerville location followed by the 
Central Square, Cambridge location for the SftP office after the initial 
move from Walden St.  Was the first move to a Cambridge address also?  We 
used to do typesetting in the later '70s in Mission Hill back in the ghetto, 
not far from where I work now, and not that far from the original Walden St. 
house.  It was in a dilapidated building, partly burned out, where Ray 
Valdez worked.  He did most of the typesetting; several of us chipped in, 
but were much slower and made a lot more mistakes.

----Original Message Follows----
From: herb fox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List              
<[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Len Radinsky (1937-1985) & nostalgia
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 19:19:37 -0400

Thanks Eric for the obituary.  Len Radinsky was a wondeful person.  He and 
Bill Zimmerman (where is he now?) were quite a pair sharing a contagious 
sense of humor.  Britta and i remember doubled up in laughter with them in 
the kitchen of the 3-story building owned by the Helen Keller Collective 
that housed Science for the People on the 1st floor. Yes, Science for the 
People was not just an organization dedicated to science for the people; it 
was, at least in Boston, a great bunch of people from all walks of life who 
had a lot of fun together, especially in concocting actions for meetings of 
the AAAS.  The children in the neighborhood (the office was in the Ghetto 
next to the Bromley-Heath housing project) would come by and ask me to do 
science with them, which of course i did. They called me Sci (pronounced 
Ok, i'm being a little nostalgic; but there is a message.  Lighten up!  Have 
fun!  At core a movement has to be a bunch of persons who really enjoy what 
they are doing as serious as it may be, and enjoy one another.  Some of our 
most effective actions and leaflets came out of all-night meetings among a 
bunch of overtired wacked out people.  When i'd read over a leaflet or a 
statement a few days later i was amazed at how coherent and focussed it was.

When the Cantibridgian's moved operations out of the Helen Keller Collective 
to Cambridge and George Saltzman purchased and maintained the typesetting 
machine in his basement in Brookline, we tended to interpret the moves as 
class acts.  True or not, Science for the People's connection to the ghetto 
was severed.  So there is another message, an organization with the slogan 
Science for the People needs to have sufficiently intimate contacts with the 
People to insure that what the people need is learned from the people and 
not just from the imagination and judgement of scientists.

Many times we have been accused of being neo-Luddites.  It is important that 
an organization with the slogan Science for the People have a sensible 
balance between its criticism of the wrong turns and misuse of science and a 
program for the socially constructive and progressive use of science.  I 
would guess that almost all of us went into science in order to "do good" in 
the world.  Sciencedoes have a tremendous potential for moving our species 
from "the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom."  It would serve us 
well on this list serve to put as much effort into determining how and under 
what conditions the discoveries and inventions of modern science can 
emancipate our species from want, joblessness, hunger, poor health, etc as 
it does in criticizing the misuse of science.

This last brings me to specific questions.  Humans have been manipulating 
nature since the beginning of their eveolution, damming rivers, burning 
forests, reshaping rocks into tools, influencing evolution by selelectively 
growing from food crops choosing animals from herds etc.  Not all of these 
are necessarily long-term beneficial, neither are they all bad.  Am i to 
understand from what i read on this list serve that nothing good can come 
from GM?  Isn't it rather the misuse of the capability for GM that is the 
problem?  Isn't it rather that the motivation is profit rather than to 
enhance the survivaility of our species on this planet and the ecosphere in 
which we live?  There is a phenomenon called romantic reaction, wherein 
rather than working at determining the road forward from the morass of 
capitalist relations, one offers the past as the solution.  The past is not 
the solution for the present.  The way forward out of the corrupt distortion 
of the nature of humans by the capitalist relations of production is just 
that--the way forward.  Science for the People, as a slogan, as a memory and 
hopefully, some day soon, as a new orgaization must make clear that science 
can serve the people and in determining how it does that help in the long 
process of envisioning a post-capitalistic cooperative society of free 
individuals--free from want, from unecessary sickness, from domination and 
free to be creative.  From each an equal share of the shit work, to each an 
equal opportunity for gratifying work  might be an appropriate intermediate 

So there

Eric Entemann wrote:


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