Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Masdar -- Dharma

Yesterday's blog included an embedded YouTube video -- first time I ever tried it on Blogger and while it worked online, I wasn't sure what would happen when it went out through the Feedblitz email. Sure enough, the email I got this morning did not include the video because I don't have Active X something or other installed or functioning (and don't want to). If that happened to you and you'd like to see the creepy promo video for "The Masdar Initiative," you'll have to go to the blog itself.

This morning I figured out one of the reasons the name "The Masdar Initiative" and logo are so creepy to me. To any Lost fans out there: Isn't it an awful lot like "The Dharma Initiative?" Just add an s and switch the syllables and you've got "Masdar." (okay and take away the h, but you don't pronounce that) The Masdar logo is even vaguely reminiscent of the Dharma one. Is this a coincidence?

I doubt the Masdar people copied Lost, but maybe the Lost people copied Masdar... nah, probably not. (though I just read of two actual incidents in the non fiction book I'm reading now (The Biotech Century) which Michael Crichton used to model plot elements in his genetics gone awry novel Next after.) Anyway, according to Wikipedia, Dharma means the "underlying order in nature and life (human or other)...which makes the cosmos and the harmonious complexity of the natural world possible."

Spiritually it's said to refer to the 'right way of living', 'proper conduct', 'duty' or 'righteousness'. Which really kind of fits with the whole Masdar thing, especially if you look at it from the "environmentalism as religion standpoint." Living in Masdar will save the world, save mankind, be the pure and pious thing to do. Yuck. Masdar, by the way, is Arabic for "source." That's creepy, too. Especially as it echoes the "order that makes the natural world possible" part of dharma.

And since the source of all things is God, who is the source and orderer who makes the natural world possible... these both seem like words that express kingdom of darkness sorts of concepts.

Enough of the creepiness. I am working on chapter 19 of my newly titled book today (having skipped over chapter 18). Didn't get very far. Lots of sitting and staring and shuffling of notes. Or maybe I did get far, I just can't tell.

Tomorrow: the new title.