September 12, 2006 New York Ground Zero Theological Terrorism An old, old story From vol. 7, pg. 112 of Storia D’Italia by Montanelli On the first crusade, year 1099 New York Ground Zero Theological Terrorism An old, old story From vol. 7, pg. 112 of Storia D’Italia by Montanelli On the first crusade, year 1099 There were no more than 12000 crusaders that, in July 1099, after a three-year campaign, got to camp under the walls of Jerusalem. Their emotion in sighting the sacred city changed into surprise when the presiding Muslim garrison declared to be ready for an armistice. That garrison wasn’t Turkish but Arab, because the previous year Jerusalem had been retaken from the Selgiuchi by the Fatimidi, who had never confronted the Franchi. But they didn’t accept the offer, perhaps because they thought a non-violent negotiation would have ruined their triumph. Therefore they demanded unconditional surrender. The defenders, about 1000 men, resisted for 40 days. Then they surrendered. “Then,” a witness present, Raimondo de Agiles, famous for his zeal and his piety said, “one saw marvelous (meravigliose) things. The Muslims were beheaded or killed by harrow or thrown from the towers. Others were tortured for days and days and then torched. The streets were strewn with heads, chopped hands and feet.” Those “marvelous” things lasted until the total consummation of the 70,000 citizens of Jerusalem, including the Jews. They were crowded and burned inside the synagogues. Then the crusaders gathered in the grotto of the Santa Sepolcro that had hosted the remains of Christ, who had come into the world to preach misericordia and there they cried joyfully, finally feeling worthy of him.[Image: Arcosanti Graphics & text: selected by Paolo Soleri] The Secular Cathedral A transnational structure aiming at a (distant) more equitable consumerism. A habitat for remembering, living, working, learning and divertimento. Part of the divertimento is the battery of slides evacuating the cathedral in 20 minutes or so (20,000 people?). The mantle generated by the 40 or so slides defines an umbrella-parasol of about 400 meters diameter covering a multi-story urban life that the citizens of New York would think about and the designer-builder would try to satisfy (the analogy with the Piero della Francesca generous mantle of mother sheltering the flock of her children). The circular pond is the speed breaker for the people evacuating the cathedral from most of its stories. The evacuation is pure gravity effect descent, with no mechanical equipment, no energy use, in fact no need of leg use. It is a very large combination of children’s playground and swimming pool slide, of roller coaster rides and of emergency slides in air passenger planes.[Image: Arcosanti Graphics & text: Paolo Soleri] Time: for instance from floor 30 one can reach a restaurant or a shop on Barclay St., West St., Liberty St., etc. in less than one minute. This is part of the appeal to visitors and employees offered by the multi-level grounds of the cathedral. Magnetic levitation propulsion is suggested for the power driven ascent conveyances. Besides escalators and elevators, gondolas could be propelled on wider slides Functions: the first 4-5 floors are of the “N.Y., N.Y.” format. The typical busybody going about of the Manhattan people. Those floors ring the area and also serve as entrance to the inner-urban celebratory spaces where business, cultural gatherings, concerts, theater let the visitors commingle, enjoy and learn. This is a multi-story inner space under the cover of the slides umbrella-parasol. A simulacra made of some of the structural segments of the towers might be afloat where the two centers of the towers used to be. The remaining floors, 40 to 50, are for the transnational activities in financial, economic, environmental, social equity fields of endeavor.[Image: Arcosanti Graphics & text: Paolo Soleri]
Creating greater scale either through horizontal mergers or by building out networks in greenfield areas remains the number one priority for European cable operators, according to a panel of senior executives at Cable Congress in Dublin.Manuel CuberoThe completion of the integration of Kabel Deutschland into Vodafone had provided huge opportunities for the cable business, enabling it to offer bundled products, said Manuel Cubero, chief commercial officer, Vodafone Germany, participating in the panel.Cubero said that offering a fixed-mobile bundle was key to the company’s growth strategy.“From an industry perspective, [consolidation] makes a lot of sense,” he said, citing the example of the scale of operators in China, where there are fewer players than in some individual European markets.Europe’s other major international cable operators, Liberty Global, is “busy building out” in the CEE region, adding half a million homes across the region last year. “We are not at [sufficient] scale in central and eastern Europe,” according to Robert Redeleanu, CEO of Liberty Global-owned UPC Romania and UPC Hungary, who described the region as “very fragmented”.However, Redeleanu said that an absence of obvious consolidation opportunities meant that building out Liberty Global’s own network was a viable alternative strategy.“While the opportunity of consolidating is still there, it is not so obvious and we are taking things in our own hands,” he said.Building out new areas is a good way to deliver scale, he added.“Scale is critical. With scale we could launch mobile and potentially pay for exclusive content and get the right efficiencies to launch new products,” he said.Redeleanu said that Liberty was also looking to expand its mobile presence and launch mobile services across the region.He said that Liberty had to “look at the payback” for infrastructure investment, but the case for investing in network build-outs was improving. While ARPU levels are lower than in western Europe, they vary across CEE, and ARPU has been growing across the region, he said. Liberty had been able to address premium segments of the market successfully, he said, and ARPU as a proportion of disposable income was high.Consolidating the German market is “potentially an opportunity for us as a company” with strong penetration in housing associations, said Timm Degenhardt, CEO of German operator Tele Columbus, also participating in the panel. He said that Tele Columbus as a relatively smaller player could have opportunities in a consolidating industry.