No post today. I have a “guest” posting over at the IndyCar blog Oilpressure, on the history of auto racing in Iowa. Check it out here…
No post today. I have a “guest” posting over at the IndyCar blog Oilpressure, on the history of auto racing in Iowa. Check it out here…
I am a localist who likes to travel. Which I guess is a contradiction of sorts. But life is full of contradictions, and I don’t recall Jesus ever saying there wouldn’t be paradoxes in life. Quite the opposite in fact.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my early 20′s were spent working in small, out of the way places around this wonderfully vast and diverse place we call America. One of the smaller, and more memorable places that I had the great pleasure to spend an evening was the town of Ingomar, Montana.
It was in the spring of 1993, and I was doing work down in Colstrip at the Montana Power plant. It was my second trip to the area in the span of a year, and this time I happened to be working with one of my older colleagues from Denver, a wonderfully laid back, crazy ex-hippie named Steve S. Steve was spending a month in Colstrip and had made it a point to try to explore as much as possible. One of his trips was down to the Jimtown bar on the edge of the Rez, but I refused to accompany him on such an apparently suicidal mission, so that is a story for another time. The trip to Ingomar was also his idea.
We were staying in Forsyth, the 12 room hotel in Colstrip being full, and had heard from some of the locals that there was a place about an hour up the road that was an authentic ghost town, with only a handful of souls left in it. It was home to a saloon called “Jersey Lill’s” which served steak, and beer, and was known for being a bit of a throwback to an earlier time. One evening after work we piled into his Ford Taurus and made the drive up.
It did not disappoint. The history of the town is explained well in the following sign…
There were a handful of abandoned buildings, as well as a handful of homes & trailers that were still occupied, but most of the grid of streets were empty where the town had stood. Along the main street there were still two open businesses. A small general store, and Jersey Lill’s. Jersey Lill’s was staffed by a sweet older lady who waited tables, and the cook & proprietor, who told us he had served in the Navy long before. He was noteworthy for his ingenious way of keeping his glasses on over his tight fitting white cap while working in the kitchen. He had rigged a piece of string around the back of his head between the earpieces, and a second string over the top of his head between the nose piece, and the string in back.
Now either my memory has failed me, or the name of the place has changed to “The Jersey Lilly”. But it appears to have it’s own website these days. Hard to believe, but nothing much about the internet surprises me anymore.
Anyway, back to The Jersey Lilly. The beer was cold, the steaks were fresh, and the sheepherder hors d’oeuvres (a saltine cracker with a slice of onion, and a piece of cheese if my memory serves me correctly) were oddly satisfying. Anyway, one of the other notable things about the place is that the bathroom is “out back”. Walking around the boardwalk behind the building there are two enclosures of stockade fence. In addition to the outhouse in the “men’s room” their is a urinal consisting of a piece of drain gutter nailed to the fence, slanting down into the hole.
Anyway, it was a memorable evening, as are most evenings that involve medium rare steak, cold beer, and peeing outdoors. I have traveled pretty extensively in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and I think its safe to say that those three things are the universal sign of a good time.
Places like Ingomar are what makes travel rewarding. I am amazed that in this age of globalization people can still make enough of a living in Ingomar to make it their home. As localists who like to travel, (which is as good a definition of an anthropoligist as I have seen) its important to remember when we visit places like Ingomar, that they do not belong to us. They belong to the locals, who are being gracious enough to share them with us. We can enjoy them, and share them, but cannot and should not try to own or consume them. Unfortunately, the west is full of little towns that once belonged to their inhabitants, who shared them with travelers only to be repaid by watching the travelers buy them up, and destroy the sense of place that made them special. This is not a phenomenon confined to the Aspen’s, Tellurides, and Breckenridges of Colorado. The name for it is exploitation, and it happens all over the world. (It happens in Jimtown down by the Northern Cheyenne reservation in a much uglier, and more despicable way.)
If you are ever in Eastern Montana, please stop on by and visit. I am sure they would welcome the visit. Have a steak, have a beer, share a coversation and enjoy the beauty and exhiliration of peeing under the stars. But please leave it as you found it.
All photos copyright © MontanaPictures.Net All rights reserved. Used with permission. Be sure to visit their website and checkout the stunning photography. They are gracious Montanan’s and willing to share.
It’s going to be a busy week of meetings this week, as I try to keep the dark corporate overlords pacified. But before I go feeling sorry for myself I thought I would share one of my favorite poems from Philip Levine, to remind me how good I have it.
What Work Is
We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is–if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.
Being a tag along, 7 years behind my siblings, I got carted a lot of places. Drum corps practices, parades, basketball practices, girl scout meetings. Whenever these events brought us to St. Joe’s, Sister Mary was there to play with me. She didn’t talk down to me, but spoke to me at my level and treated me like someone who was old enough to matter. Some of my first memories are of her playing basketball with me in the cafeteria, which doubled as the gym at the time. Man, I loved her so much.
Mom and Dad were pretty involved at the school, and had befriended Sister Mary. She was younger than the other nuns, I’m guessing somewhere in her mid twenties. In the early 70′s it was already becoming rare to see nuns under 40.
I remember her coming to dinner one evening in the spring, when I was 4. I was in preschool at the time and looking forward to being a big kid who could go to St. Joe’s in the fall. She dropped the bombshell on us that she would be leaving Batavia, and going to teach in Olean at the end of the school year. She had brought me a present, I’m guessing because it was my birthday. A small plastic music box, that played Edelweis when you pulled the string. On it was a picture of a hummel figurine. A little boy sitting in a field of flowers.
Before she left she asked if she could have one of the pictures that I had drawn which were taped along the walls of the kitchen. She choose my favorite. A red apple, with arms and legs. I cried my eyes out when she was gone. It may sound trite, but I learned that day that sometimes love can hurt too.
We visited her once in the fall after she had moved to Olean. I don’t remember much of it, other than seeing her new school and feeling that things were just wrong. Why did she have to leave? When would she come back to St. Joe’s?
Growing up that music box was a constant presence on the bookshelf at the head of my bed, tucked between the Dr. Suess books, and my stuffed animals. Each night after Mom tucked me in, and closed the door until it was open just a tiny bit to let the bathroom light shine into the room, I would pull the string and listen to Edelweis. As the string inched up toward the box, and the music slowed I would think of her and wonder where she was.
Mom said she ended up leaving the order, and marrying. She would be in her 60′s by now. I don’t even know what her name is. But it doesn’t matter. To me she will always be my first love, Sister Mary. And her music box is still tucked into my dresser among my few, most prized possessions.
Using my mad skillz at internet research the other night I stumbled across a reference to a piece of Minneapolis history that I was not familiar with. Having lived here now for 16 years, and taken an interest in learning the history of the Twin Cities I thought I knew just about all there was to know about the 20th century here in Minnesota. The Twin Cities Trolley Cars, the locations of the defunct baseball parks for the Millers and Saints, the tunnels under St. Paul, the cave of Pig’s Eye Parrant, and the lore of Minneapolis & St. Paul’s gangster years. So when I saw a reference to a 2 mile automobile race taking place on a concrete speedway in Minneapolis in the record books of Championship Car racing I assumed that the author had made a typo. I knew that the early 20th century racing in the Twin Cities took place at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, on the 1 mile dirt track, and that the author must have gotten his facts wrong. But on the odd chance he hadn’t I thought I’d do some googling. Low and behold, I give you the Twin City Motor Speedway…
Built in 1915, at the cost of $750,000 it was a 2-mile long monster of a concrete oval. It took 76,000 square yards of concrete to construct the track, and 3.5 Million board feet of lumber was used to build covered grandstands and bleacher seating for anticipated crowds of 100,000 people. This was no small country fair dirt oval. It was 2 miles in circumference, with 20 degree banking in the turns, and 60 foot wide straight-aways to handle large racing fields like the ones at Indianapolis. In fact, it was built to rival the recently opened Indianapolis Motor Speedway and serve as a bookend to the racing season. A 500 mile race was scheduled for Labor Day with A.A.A. sanctioning, and a $20,000 top prize in the hopes of drawing the top racers of the day.
Construction began in July of 1915, at a site near Ft. Snelling Military reservation, in what is now the suburb of Richfield. The first race was scheduled for Labor Day which left only 2 months to complete the speedway. 1,500 men worked two shifts to get the track completed in time. Concrete roads were still new technology at the time, and the only other concrete speedway in operation was the famous Brooklands track in England. Either due to a lack of expertise in the new construction methods, or the compressed construction schedule, the resulting track did not meet expectations.
The race drew some of the biggest names in Auto racing at the time. Barney Oldfield, Ralph De Palma, Eddie Rickenbacker, Bob Burman and Dario Resta were part of the field. But the turnout was disappointingly small. Only 14 cars took the start. The track surface was rough, and the machines took a beating, which resulted in several of the favorites dropping out early. The 500 mile distance made it a race of attrition, and the interest of the spectators lagged as the race stretched out over 6 hours. In the end Earl Cooper beat his Stutz teammate Gil Anderson to the line by only 30 feet, but the 3rd place Duesenberg of Eddie O’Donnell trailed in 30 minutes behind.
By 1920, the land had been resold, and had become the property of Snelling Field Inc. The land was leased to the Twin City Aero Corporation, and became home to a local airfield. Hangers were built on the concrete straighways, but the track remained, and served as a wonderful visual for pilots orienting themselves to takeoff and land. Airmail service began in 1920, and in 1921 the state funded construction of three hangars for the newly chartered 109th Observation Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Guard. Development continued as Speedway Field became the defacto home of aviation in Minnesota. In 1923, the field was re-dedicated as Wold-Chamberlain field in honor of two Minnesota pilots who died in combat during WWI. Over the years the concrete track was dismantled as the airfield itself was re-paved and became the home of Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport.
The Minneapolis 500 by Noel Allard at MN Dirt Track Racing
There is a transcript of a wonderful speech; by Ronald F. Maxwell, (h/t Bill Kaufmann at FPR); on Sunday, June 7, 2009, at the annual commemoration of the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery. It is a response to the letter signed by 48 “academics” calling on President Obama to refrain from the tradition of placing a wreath on the monument to the Confederate war dead in Arlington National Cemetery.
Obama, to his great credit, choose to ignore their bleating, and place the wreath.
Much has been said in the mainstream media about the situation, but nothing has been said as eloquently as Maxwell. It is a long read, but one well worth the time. It is shameful to see academics, who supposedly cherish “learning”, to reduce themselves to thought police in the tradition of the greatest totalitarian societies of our time. What have we become as a nation if we cannot examine our past in open and honest light, accepting our faults and celebrating our triumphs? The role of academia is not to revise history according to some “utopian” vision, but to examine it for what it was in all its imperfection, and humanity.
In the words of Maxwell.
“Unless we’re prepared to tear down every statue and monument in America we must instead take stock. What are these statues? Who cared so much to place them in the village green, the town square or the local cemetery? Instead of behaving like censorious cultural commissars or inquisitorial accusers, can we not instead meditate on their meaning for our country and in our own lives? Can they not be seen as invitations of rediscovery, of sacred places set aside in the quiet corners of our lives, for communion with our ancestors – for a portal to understanding who they were and who we are?”
Bill Ayers’ and totalitarian thought police would prefer we stop thinking, and questioning, and just accept the propaganda they are pushing as truth. Disgusting. That is not what this country was founded upon. No wonder they would like us to stop remembering our past.
20 Prospect has not always been the ancestral home for the clan. As I mentioned in a previous post, I come from a long line of immigrant gypsies that have drifted the U.S. on economic tides. Mom & Dad only moved us here in the early 60′s in search of a place “to raise a family”. They were lucky, Dad’s union job with the Power Company allowed him to post out to our small Upstate town, and with the money they had been saving they were able to buy a small house on Vine, before later moving into our palacial 20P.
So despite my grounding in this place, it was not the place that formed my parents. Their formation took place on the Northside of Buffalo in the 30′s and 40′s. In Riverside & Black Rock.
Black Rock, was part of the Industrial north side of Buffalo, and home to Poles, Germans, and other Eastern European immigrants. The development of Riverside began in 1890, it was less industrial than Black Rock, and being located along the Niagara River offered a taste of suburbia while still being just a trolley ride from town. Our families relocated to the area from Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, during the Depression in search of work.
Mom grew up in her Grandmothers house, on Tonawanda Street. It was a rental that at various times was home to several of Mom’s aunts and uncles. Mom had 12 aunts and uncles, and countless cousins, and despite only having one sibling, she grew up in a family so large I have never quite been able to keep the relations straight in my head. (Note to self, get Sis to write it down someday). The home was on the corner of Roswell, where the parking lot for the Serb Hall now stands.
Growing up she went to school around the corner at Warren G. Harding Elementary School on Riverdale. (Yes, just like Ralphie in A Christmas Story). The school is closed now, but the building still stands, and is home to the Town Boys & Girls Club,. Dad was 7 years older than Mom, and was a kid when his family moved to Black Rock. They seemed to bounce around a lot before he dropped out of High School and joined the Air Force in the early 50′s.
They met when Mom was 19. Dad was back from the service, and living with his parents around the corner on Edgar street. Mom was living with her mother & little brother in an apartment on Tonadwanda at the time. She used to see him walking thorugh the neighborhood, and thought he was handsome and asked her Mother who he was. Now Granny was working as a barmaid at Dick’s Bar, and knew just about everyone in the neighborhood. She introduced them one evening, and the courtship began. They were married within the year, and moved into the apartment above Dad’s parents on Edgar Street. (Edgar Street is technically in Tonawanda, just a few blocks over the border from Buffalo.)
Three kids quickly followed, and by 1963 they began to look to leave Riverside. Dad was working days for the at the Huntley Power Plant, and tending bar at night to bring in extra cash. The house on Edgar street backed up to the Chevy Engine plant. Chevy was expanding their parking lot, and buying up the houses on the North Side of Edgar, which became the push they needed to leave for Batavia. Riverside had been on the downturn since the early 50′s, when the construction of the Niagara section of the NY thruway cut the neighborhood off from the river.
My first memories of Riverside are from the early 70′s. Granny was living in an apartment above Dick’s Bar, and we would go visit. I remember sitting at the bar, eating pretzels, and going for a walk in the buggy down to Riverside Park to see a parade, and ride the rides at a carnival there. Riverside was a little ragged around the edges, but had escaped the steep decline of places like the East Side. It still maintained a business district at Vulcan and Tonawanda, and despite the influx of new ethnic groups, the old Eastern European roots held on.
After Granny got cancer, and had to move in with us our trips to Riverside were reduced to the occasional weddings, funerals, and anniversary parties at the Serb Hall. My Dad’s folks (Ma & Pa) had moved out to the suburbs of Tonawanda in the early 60′s, and there was little reason to go into the city. I remember once Dad took me for a drive down to the old neighborhood, and we stopped in to the Dalamatia Hotel for a visit. I felt like a grown up sitting at the bar with my 7-up, and the locals made a fuss about me. God bless it, but it still stands there today.I give you the Dalmatia Hotel.
From the looks of it though, Dick’s is now a Duplex. Oh well. I guess they couldn’t rely on the lunch time crowd from the Chevy plant pouring in to get a quick buzz on anymore.
Next time I am back in B-town, I just might have to bore my kids by driving them up to the “old neighborhood” and give them a glimpse back into our family’s past. I’m not sure Mrs. 20 Prospect would approve of a visit to the Dalmatia Hotel though…
For a much more elegiac remembrance of the way things used to be in Buffalo, before the depression of the 70′s from which it still is struggling to recover, check out Verlyn Klinkeborg’s novel, “The Last Fine Time”. It does a better job explaining the sense of place (Buffalo’s East Side) than I could ever do.
I don’t like people.
No really. I am ashamed to admit it, but sitting in church yesterday, looking around at all the people that I have seen, and come to know in the 15 years we have been at the parish, I could come to no other conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate people. It’s just that I am not particularly fond of them.
I have friends, and I have family, both of whom I love dearly. But for the most part, I could do without the great general public. I used to think it was because I was shy. Now I am beginning to think that it is some inherent anti-social tendency. From a philosophical perspective, there is a difference between person, and people. People is an indiscriminate mass. A person is an individual. So I think what I am trying to confess is that I don’t like the social process of interacting with a group of people, in the effort to discern the persons that are within it. The sad fact is I am not much good at it. That is why I have a small group of close friends, and not a large circle of acquaintances.
I have always been envious of the extrovert that can meet people and make friends easily. It’s just not in my nature though. And so at 41 years of age I must confess, I don’t like people.
Sorry for the cynicism, and the whiny postings this week. The Black Dog has been lurking around 20 Prospect. Not sure why. Any week that begins and ends with biking to work can’t be all bad. Sometimes I need a reminder of that. It doesn’t hurt when Mrs. 20 Prospect leaves a note on the kitchen counter telling me she loves me, either.
But it’s Friday now, and I have a date with Mrs. 20P tonight, so things are looking up. Shoo you black dog!
It is an absolutely glorious morning here on the front porch. 60 degrees, cerulean blue sky, just a hint of a breeze. The perfect morning to ride a bike to work. My ride is about 25 miles long, right through the heart of Minneapolis and out the other side. I start in the Northern suburbs, just over the Interstate highway that circles the waist of the Twin Cities like a belt. And like a middle age man, the city has bulged over the highway. It can’t be comfortable. At some point I’m sure they will get over the denial, and buy a bigger size.
Riding through the city like I do, is like taking a core sample from a tree. You can count the rings and analyze the history of its growth. By biking it you come to experience it in a way that you just can’t from inside of a car. Some of it is the speed. But mostly I think it’s the vulnerability of it. On a bike there is nothing to separate you from your surroundings besides some stinky lycra.
The neighborhood I live in was built in the late 50’s and early 60’s. It’s a old suburb that is in the process of turning over, as most of the original home owners have raised their kids, retired, and either died or moved away. Most of the houses are Ramblers, or Split Levels. As I head south I pass through older post war burbs of little 1½ story homes, and into NorthEast Minneapolis. It’s hard to tell where the suburbs end and the city begins at first. The clue is that once you hit the city limits the driveways disappear, and the garages retreat to the alley behind the house. The outer reaches of NorthEast Minneapolis were built just after the war, and as I head down Johnson Street the housing stock changes from 1 ½ stories, to pre-war bungalows & 2 stories. NorthEast was traditionally the home of German-Polish-Ukrainian-refuse of the Austro-Hungarian empire. So it holds a special place in my heart, as well as an abundance of corner bars and cheap eats, and reminds me of the Riverside & Black Rock neighborhoods of Buffalo where my parents grew up. (More on that place in a future post)
The early 20th century homes eventually give way to the industrial / warehouse belt, that was once the outer limits of the city. Crossing Broadway, I enter into the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, which is a 50/50 split between lovely 19th century Queen Anne, Four Square, and Georgian Revival homes, and firetrap off campus college apartments for Students from the U. Marcy-Holmes has seen a resurgence in the last 15 years, as the empty industrial space first gave rise to cheap artist space for the bomhemians displaced by the gentrification of the warehouse district. Said boho’s are now being displaced by condo developments, and loft apartments as Minneapolis tries to remake itself into the Luxury City.
This is the birthplace of Minneapolis. St. Anthony Falls and this is the view that greets me as I pedal out over the Mississippi on James J. Hill’s Stone Arch Bridge.
I think this is the place where I fell in love with the Twin Cities. I was in town for a weekend, visiting Mrs. 20 Prospect, back when she was just Miss Wisconsin, and brought along my MTB. She was working a shift at the hospital during the day, so I spent some time exploring on my bike. It was different back then. The mill ruins on the Minneapolis side of the river were still the home to vagrants, and homeless men, who had tunneled back into the basements of the abandoned Flour Mills.
This is the highlight of the bike ride. Soon followed by the lowlight, as I pick up the Hiawatha bike trail, and pass Riverside Plaza, a place we used to affectionately call the Ghetto’s in the Sky.
As bad as it is, we are lucky that the Rapson did not accomplish the fulfillment of his vision. There were nine more towers planned before someone had the good sense to create the 1970’s economic recession that put an end to atrocities like this. And to think Bill Kaufmann complains about the Genesee Country Mall. I can tell him after seeing this, I long for the quaintness and small town community of this.
Thankfully, not all MN public works are as hideous as this. At the other end of the spectrum is the next highlight on my ride. The $5 Million Martin Olav Sabo bridge. I am not sure if the bridge is named after Rep. Sabo because of his love of biking, or because of his skills at appropriating government largesse. Perhaps both.
Nice bridge. But kind pricy for a pedestrian / bike bridge. I’d have done the job for half that.
My path parallels the Hiawatha light rail line for the next 5 miles, and avoids the worst parts of crime ridden South Minneapolis. The Light Rail line is a fancy way of saying Streetcar, and is also one of those oxymoronic contemporary terms that we love to give things, like Soft Rock. I much prefer “Diet Train” to Light Rail, but that’s just me. The reason I think we don’t call it a streetcar in the Twin Cities, is that we were once home to one of the most extensive networks of streetcars in the country. The Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company. Warning: Reading the history of the TCRTC is enough to make a grown man weep. If we called the Light Rail trains “streetcars” it would remind us too much of the conspiracy greed stupidity best of intentions that went in to ripping them out and replacing them with buses, and the pain would be unbearable.
But the next phase of the ride does much to sooth the painful memories of government & human ineptitude. Reaching Minnehaha Falls Park, I turn onto the Grand Rounds Parkway system, and follow idyllic Minnehaha creek, down to Lake Nokomis. To quote the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway website.
Nearly 120 years have passed, yet Horace W. S. Cleveland’s perspective of the challenges our society now faces in conserving its natural and cultural heritage could not have been more in focus.
Led by Cleveland’s vision and that of many others who followed, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s early ‘down payment’ to protect many of the intrinsic resources of Minneapolis by creating The Grand Rounds has returned immeasurable benefits to generations of city residents and millions of city visitors.
I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. No market principle led to the creation of this masterpiece. Just good foresighted, local government leadership. Sure could use some more of that these days.
Beyond Nokomis is a non-descript, dicey, 5 mile ride through a collection of side streets in Richfield and Bloomington, as I try to avoid the traffic, and feeder roads to the freeways before arriving at my destination. Our World Headquarters, built in 1962 on the wide expanse of Bloomington Prairie, but now nestled in a 1960’s East Bloomington neighborhood of ramblers and split levels little different from the one I left at the start of my ride. So why not just move closer to work?
What, and give up a ride like this?
Wonderful post by Mark Shea over at Catholic Exchange on the Dictatorship of Relativism.
This quote jumps out: “Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR, and Mao’s China were none of them Stone Age societies just past the level of bear skins and cave paintings. They were all highly sophisticated, technologically accomplished, scientific civilizations with a developed literature, a huge legacy in the arts, law, philosophy and architecture, and an extremely complex and well-functioning governmental structure that enabled them to, among other things, handle the complex and difficult task of putting to death millions and millions of innocent people.”
What all three totalitarian societies had in common was a worldview based upon materialism. By reducing man to a material being, and refuting his intrinsic worth as a being created in the image and likeness of God, these atrocities became possible. It is good to remember the sophistication of these societies, as Shea points out. They were not stone age peoples, but highly civilized people who placed great faith in science. What made them barbarians was the denial of the divine.
As corporations continue to focus on scientific management principles to increase productivity, by implementing six sigma quality management programs, and other statistical analyses to define the worth of every action according to a “metric”, we need to be vigilant that we do not make the same mistake. Reducing the worth of human beings to a metric is to dehumanize them, and deny their intrinsic worth. The sophisitcation of our measurements is not an inherent justification for our actions. Technocracy does not lead us to utopia, but to the holocaust.