So in the months following September 11, I emailed lots of links to friends. Eventually, I started sending these emails to a bigass cc list, and I called them "The Lu Report". Looking back, this is exactly the sort of thing I would've blogged, had I been blogging, so I thought I'd blog them! It'll be a window into the mind of Kenneth post-September 11.
I'll do this in batches. Of course, it started as just a bunch of links I'd send to friends and such, so in this post, I'll take you up to the first one I called The Lu Report. Apologies in advance for all the expired New York Times links where you'll only be able to see abstracts now. (In fact, I make no guarantees about any of the links still being valid.)
P.S.: The photos I linked to on September 14 (including the one to your right) still give me shivers....
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Jane's analysis Date: September 12, 2001 http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jid/ jid010911_1_n.shtml
From: email@example.com Subject: WTC structural design Date: September 12, 2001 http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: The Story of the Firefighters Date: September 12, 2001 Here's a mirror copy of a New York Times article on the firefighters.. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=21556&threshold=0& commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=2284334 (Please let me know if you can't read the link.) I don't know.. It may sound cheesy, but the story of the HUNDREDS of firefighters who risked and lost their lives going UP the stairwells when most people barely got out... I guess that somehow hits me the most. Maybe it's because of my own fear of death, and how hard it is for me to see myself risking my life for others.. and there's a part of me, whether social or otherwise, that really doesn't like that.. that really feels that I SHOULD be willing to risk my life for others like that without a second thought... Anyway, that article got me all misty-eyed, so I thought I'd share it with you.
From: email@example.com Subject: Passengers may have thwarted flight 93's hijackers Date: September 12, 2001 I haven't seen this elsewhere in the news yet... http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1540000/1540158. stm Scroll down to "Thwarted by Passengers". It seems that, on the flight outside of Pittsburgh, the pilot secretly left on a mic in the cockpit that played in the cabin.. And passengers likely managed to suppress the terrorists and either retake control or struggle for control of the plane, but they couldn't maintain control, causing it to crash, but well outside any populated area.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: a rebuilding suggestion Date: September 12, 2001 someone showed me this suggestion for rebuilding the WTC: http://www.scripting.com/images/flippinTheWtc.jpg
From: email@example.com Subject: Photos from the inside... Date: September 14, 2001 http://www.phatmax.net/wtc/wow.php especially this one: http://www.phatmax.net/wtc/wow.php?s=DSCN3612.jpg man.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Falwell: The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this Date: September 14, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28620-2001Sep14.html[Fixed WaPo link Feb-2008] I don't think I need to make any more comments for this, because it speaks for itself..
From: email@example.com Subject: Pictures some people are going to have a lot of fun with Date: September 14, 2001 Figured y'all would be interested in what will soon be the latest craze:
http://9news.com/newsroom/13294.html[Link is dead, but here are the pictures it showed. Feb-2008] Mmm.. gotta love low-res compression artifacts!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Account from someone inside Date: September 14, 2001 http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1158479 Another WTC story.. this one from someone who was on the 87th floor of WTC 1 and got out 15 minutes before it collapsed. It seems like it would be representative of the stories of many survivors. Reading it just boggles my mind.
A friend of mine sent this to a mailing list I was on:
From: S.C. Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 Subject: Fwd: Reaction in Chile In light of what Kenneth said, here's an email I got from a high school friend who's currently living in Chile. One of the reasons that my experiences abroad are so important to me is that it allows me to witness world news from a different point of view. I remember very clearly hearing the OJ Simpson verdict when I was living in Mexico. I was in a car with my Mexican host mom and a canadian exchange student. The news was as of much interest to them as it was to me... September 11 is a historic and volitile day in Chile. Sept. 11, 1973 the presidential palace was bombed and President Allende was assasinated. That was the beginning of Pinochet's 20 year dictatorship. Every year there are protests and riots in Santiago. We expected the same this year. I went to sleep the night before expecting to see the tear gas and fires on the news in the morning-they are present every Sept 11 in the capital. I did not expect to be awakened by the phone call I got. The phone woke me up at 9:30am-- "They attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon!!" Still half asleep I said "no, that can't be possible, no one can attack the Pentagon" So I went to the TV where everyone was already watching the morning's events unfold. We watched all morning, we saw the towers fall, everyone was glued to the TV. I went to the gym and everyone there was watching too. Everywhere I went all day everyone was watching the news. All national programming was suspended, all channels only had news of the attack all day long. I realized that if everyone here was glued to the screen, most likely everyone in the whole world was watching too. And all day I kept hearing "how could this happen, we thought the US was invincible" And so did I. I have known for a long time that many people think of the US as a big bully-- too powerful. But now the feeling is different-- as much as people here might not usually like it, I think it gives them a sense of security that the US is always in control. The terrorist attacks have made people here feel vulnerable. They are scared. There was an immediate panic about what would happen with the economy. The price of the dollar rose 30 Chilean Pesos in the first couple of hours. The supermarkets were crowded all day. Everyone was stocking up on the essencials-- either because they were afraid of a 3rd World War or because they were afraid that the price of everything imported will skyrocket out of control. It is amazing to me that the people here, who are so far from the US, who live completely different lives from what we live in the US, are so impacted by what happens there.
My response to that:
From: email@example.com Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 Subject: Re: Peace I actually find this whole discussion very fascinating.. I was thinking about how much we care about this bombing, and we should, but I was also thinking about how we care so little about the incredible suffering going on in many countries in the world, most ironically in Afghanistan. I mean, even as we talk about retaliation, there's still very little talk about the horrible conditions there. When the Taliban started destorying historical treasures a few months back, people made a big cry about it, ignoring all the incredibly oppressive activities of the Taliban that affect the people in that country today.. And I don't mean to insult anyone.. I mean, I certainly admit to caring more about the WTC bombings myself, as well. I figured that it's probably because we relate more to those who died at the WTC.. Even if there wasn't anyone we knew personally, they seem like the kind of people we know.. they seem like US. I think that's why we feel more for them. Of course, fear plays a large factor in it as well. (The "that could have been me" factor.) So then we get to the world reaction.. Politically, it's seems to me that most countries want to be on good terms with the US because of our clout, and thus officially express condolences while they don't bother when something bad happens in some politically weaker country. But as for the citizens of those countries.. I dunno.. I think perhaps it's more complicated.. In Western countries, the relating factor certainly applies. But would there be as large a world reaction of a large terrorist attack like this happened in, say, England, France, or Germany, even? I feel that part of the world community's reaction comes from a deep fear that, if this can happen to the most powerful country in the world.. what's next? I dunno.. those are my thoroughly uninformed thoughts. What do others think?
(Remember all that goodwill we had after September 11? Remember? No? Me neither....)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: thrusting therapy on trauma may backfire Date: September 15, 2001 Here's an article I found interesting.. It basically says that some psychologists think trying to give psychological aid to trauma patients too early may deprive them of a normal grieving period and thus be counterproductive. http://nytimes.com/2001/09/16/health/psychology/16MENT.html
Subject: Motives and OUR propaganda Date: September 16, 2001 Here's an article mentioning bin Laden's motives and condemning our lack of coverage of those motives. http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/9/14/01234/2598 A quote: The first time I asked someone why they thought these people did this, the paraphrased response was "because they're crazy fundamentalist terrorists who hate America because they've been fed propaganda by their government". Hopefully the irony isn't lost; out of 48 hours of media attention, perhaps five minutes has been spent on understanding the motives of the other side. In the eyes of America, the "other side" is not even human. They're not people avenging the deaths of their children or the loss of their property--they're just a bunch of crazy terrorists who need to be exterminated. I have to totally agree.. I'm absolutely amazed and disgusted at the lack of coverage of his motives and the simultaneous flood of "quoting" people saying things like, "This is motivated by pure hate, and we must eradicate it." Who are the ones propagating pure hate here?! Then again, perhaps we should not blame the media.. perhaps it's only giving us what we want. I mean, I know _I_ don't do all I can to keep abreast of international politics. I didn't know what bin Laden's grudge against us is, nor did I know much about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. So perhaps it's our own fault for not caring more, but our news sources certainly aren't helping. And also, here's an excellent article, written by someone who's had to endure IRA violence: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/9/16/24557/3260
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, what you've been waiting for: the very first official Lu Report!
From: email@example.com Subject: Techie and gov't solns Date: September 17, 2001 The techie solution: Make fuels safer so planes don't blow up when they crash. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/18/science/18BOMB.html And here's a nice article on the various military and other options the gov't is considering: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/17/international/17ASSE.html I was just discussing with Paul yesterday that the toughest part of this is how hard it is to find terrorists, making the task of "destorying the terrorist networks" really difficult. That is why, it seems, the gov't is going after the easier goal of going after "gov'ts that harbor or aid terrorists", but the problem with that is.. Is that really a reasonable thing to do? Questions questions questions. This has been a part of the Lu Report news service. This is not spam. You are subscribed to this service because you at some point in your life befriended one Kenneth Lu. If at any time you would like to opt out of receiving any future mailings, please simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe" in the message body. Don't worry. He'll still be your friend.
More to come!