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From the Editor

February 6, 2006

Launching a frail journalistic vessel each week into the ocean of the internet is, obviously, more an act of hope than of reason. How can it expect to get anywhere before it's swamped? And where do we want it to arrive? The answer to the latter is fairly clear. We would like to to sail into as many minds as possible. There was a time when word of mouth had a chance of creating a groundswell. That may not any longer be true. There's something about immensity which intimidates and paralyzes us. What does it matter that we get a thousand -- or five or ten thousand -- to read and write together when there are so many billions? It may be that the time of reaching virtually all the literate world is over and that those of us who like to use words to convey thoughts have to do it within communities we create ourselves. One thing is surely the case: the pleasure of it is immeasurably enhanced by response. So if you want to make people happy, send us a letter.

Please note that you now have the choice of clicking onto a "Mailing List Options" page which will allow you to request the HSC each week by e-mail. All in all, I'd just as soon you get it from the internet. But if there's a reason why e-mail would be more convenient for you, just hit the right button and it will show up in you inbox every week.

I want this week to commend especially to your attention Tom Absher's poem about the ancient standing stones of the British Isles. They have meant a great deal to me and to many of the people I love. And Tom's description of them and their effect is powerfully evocative.



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