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November 18, 1994 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-18

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 18, 1994 - 5

.'Disease of Postmodernism'
to open Bergmann lectures



Daily Staff Reporter
Postmodernism. It is a concept
that has "sent a message of futility
ordering on the sense of the impos-
sible to various fields of study," said
Frithjof Bergmann, a University phi-
losophy professor.
Bergmann is hosting a public lec-
ture and discussion titled "Thinking
Your Way Out of the Disease of
Postmodemism" at 10:30 a.m. tomor-
row in Room 429 in Mason Hall.
The first in a series of seminars on
the topic, the seminars were origi-
ally intended for graduate students.
Bergmann said he originally expected
only between 15 and 20 people to
show up.
"I wanted to talk to the students
going into various fields like literary
theory, art history, architectural
theory, post-modern jurisprudence,
etc. because they feel ineffectual in
their studies regarding these areas,"
*Bergmann said.
The inclusion of the word "dis-
ease" in the event's title upset some
people, Bergmann said. "I think
some of them wanted to pull me
right through the phone. Their re-
sponse was, 'Diseases can be dan-
The essence of postmodernism is
that there may be no such thing as
knowledge; everything is just another
Sarrative story. Bergmann asks the
question, "Can society make sense of

the world or are things as incoherent
as postmodern thought would have
people believe?"
He responded that the possibility
exists for individuals to orient our-
selves. People can take action. The
general idea is to find a pattern, get a
sense of what is really going on; what
people, as a collective force, should
be doing, both
politically and
personally to.
steer themselves.
His ideas are
grounded in the
body of thoughts
and actions he has
developed over
the past 15 years
into a movement Bergmann
called "New
Work" he has helped found and cre-
ate. Bergmann has worked with policy
makers, cities, schools and corpora-
"I wouldn't be (giving the lecture)
if it weren't for the last 15 years of
work. How can one implement the
ideas if one does not have a sense of
how it can be done?" Bergmann asked.
He established the "Center for
New Work" in Flint in 1984 and later
one in Canada. Authorities in Kenya
and Russia have also invited him to
put his ideas to work in their coun-
Bergmann wants people to lose
their sense of paralysis and the feel-

ing that it is useless to act because
their actions will be ineffectual. He
feels he can raise people out of that.
He is offering people the opportunity
to look and see if they want to partici-
The ideas behind "New Work" are
meant to create a culture that can be
more humane, intelligent, cheerful and
sensuous. "New Work" advocates
people to be more flamboyant.
Bergmann said he was impressed
by the silence between the people
who are advocators of postmodernism
and those who feel they are being
paralyzed by it.
"The discussion is being compared
to the 'teach-in' in the '60s,"
Bergmann said.
He originated the all-night teach-
ing session to inform students at the
University about the war in Vietnam.
The atmosphere was often charged
and although it was a large group,
people wanted to learn. People per-
ceived this as the origin of the anti-
war movement, Bergmann said.
But postmodernism is a different
kind of movement. People are afraid,
but they do not know who or what is
the enemy, Bergmann said. For
Bergmann, the enemy is society's
sense that pursuing one's goals is a
futile enterprise.
To win the war, Bergmann ad-
vises, the best defense is intelligence
and desire to meet the goals set to
solve the problems individuals face.

Multiple-sclerosis patient Renee Emry speaks about her experiences trying
to use marijuana for medicinal purposes in Michigan.
Seoers tout healing
powers of marijuana,,*

Daily News Editor
Helen Zia was the daughter of
traditional Chinese parents whil ,
growing up. She never disagreed with t
Yet as she became more aware of
the world around her, the Asian-
American feminist and lesbian activt
ist began to challenge the opinions
and beliefs of others.
Zia, the former executive edito
and now a contributing editor of Ms.
magazine, will speak in the Michiga -
Union's Kuenzel Room tomorrow a
4:30 p.m.
In an interview with The Michi-
gan Daily, Zia recalled the first disk
pute she had with her family.
I never disagreed with my father
until I went to college,' she said. Zia
was offered a scholarship to Princeton
University, but her father did not deem
it appropriate for a woman of Chinese
descent to pursue a higher education.
Zia attended the New Jersey school
nonetheless, considering education
key to her future.
She graduated with honors in the
school's first co-educational class.
But her interest in activism came
while in high school.
It was the 1960s, the Vietnam War
was in full swing, and images of battle
provoked both national pride and dis-
gust. For Zia, the poster on her wall of.
a Vietnamese woman fighting for her
country symbolized power and brav-
ery, a role model.
"I did have other role models," Zia
said. She noted civil rights leaders
such as Rosa Parks, who received
national attention in 1955 when she
refused to sit in the back of a segre1
gated bus because she was Black.
However, Zia had few Asian
American role models in the civil
rights movement. "I didn't know of'
many Asian Americans out there
men or women - who got much .
In fact, "There weren't really
women at all," she said. "Gloria
Steinem wasn't even a household
name. There was no Gloria Steinem."
While at Princeton, Zia began A
series of seminars on' feminism and
Asian American women. "That was a
threat to some of the Asian American
guys," she said.
However, she made note of the
caution people exhibit when they use
the word "feminism." She said wome
and men around the world fight for the
cause, although they may not call them-
selves feminists. "To me, anyone that
fights on behalf of women's rights ani:-
equality is a feminist," she said.
Zia emerged as a vocal Asian
American leader during the Vincent
Chin beating case, which took place
in Detroit during the early 1980s at
the beginning of the anti-Japanesem
See ZIA, Page 7

Princeton achieves new world
record in nuclear fusion test

Daily Staff Reporter
An inexpensive, virtually pollu-
tion-free energy source came one step
closer to reality this week, with a
breakthrough in fusion generated
power at Princeton University. Re-

were able to
produce 10.7
*nillion watts
ofpower with
a brief fusion
which sur-
passed the
world record

p S
* Princeton *

around the world. Fusion is envisioned
as a virtually unlimited source of en-
vironmentally safe energy. Unlike
current nuclear fission reactors, which
require nuclear fuel and produce haz-
ardous waste, fusion is produced by
water and creates tiny amounts of
Now that the Princeton lab has
produced large amounts of energy,
researchers must learn how to better
control a reaction, as the next step in
the research is a sustained reaction. A
multi-national effort is underway to
build a lab to house the project. The
United States, Russia, Japan and the
European Union countries have
a teamed up to build the $10 billion-
International Thermonuclear Experi-
mental Reactor, with a completion
date of 2006. The location has not
been chosen yet.
"It's tough to decide on a sight.
Everyone wants it," DeMeo said.
The target date for a sustained
reaction is still 20 years away. "It's

not likely ignition will be reached
before then," DeMeo said.
Ronald C. Davidson, director of
the Princeton lab, said, "We could
move to a practical power station
faster, but we work on a budget-driven
Federally funded fusion-energy
projects have caught the eye of bud-
get-conscious politicians in recent
years, as criticism rises about decades
of unrealized promises of fusion's
potential. In 1958, when work on con-
trolled fusion was declassified, some
physicists predicted power plants
would be possible in 25 years. Fund-
ing decreased, however, and techni-
cal setbacks occurred.a
Today, with an adequate energy
supply, fusion research does not seem
important to many. However, some
scientists predict the world will suffer
an energy deficit of extraordinary pro-
portions by the mid-21st century.

Daily Staff Reporters
Advocates of the legalization of
marijuana spoke out at the Michigan
Union yesterday on "Marijuana as the
Renee Emry, a 15-year multiple
sclerosis patient and marijuana user,
said marijuana is an effective treat-
ment for numerous ailments includ-
ing cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and mul-
tiple sclerosis.
However, the U.S. government has
taken a different stance. On July 29,
1994, five months after police raided
her home and found that Emry was
growing her own marijuana, she was
arrested and charged with misde-
meanor possession of marijuana.
The National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
maintains that marijuana should be
legalized for the medical benefits it
offers to sufferers of painful diseases.
For example, NORML members as-
sert that marijuana alleviates the nau-
sea, vomiting and loss of appetite
caused by chemotherapy for cancer
Bruce Cain from New Age Patriot
magazine joined Emery and spoke in
favor of legalization. "What we grow
in our backyards, what we grow in our
basements," isn't something the gov-
ernment should control, he said. He
added that Americans need to get
away from a "paternalistic" govern-;

Cain said people should "call for
an immediate end to marijuana prohi-
bition. ... We're going to have to
make a decision between what's writ-
ten law and what's right."
Some patients are given marinol, a
synthetic form of THC (the major
ingredient in marijuana), as a substi-
tute for marijuana in its natural form.
But patients claim that marinol isn't
as effective and that they are unable to
control the dosage, Cain said.
He claimed that the government
does not want to end the drug war.
"Big money is invested in prisons and
they're going to find ways to get people
there," said Cain. The goal of the
prohibition, he asserted, "is to control
the underclass and reap profits for
powerful people."
Cain asserted that 95 percent of all
violence is not related to people who
are under the influence of drugs, it is
related to people making a profit from
drug sales.
The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
first prohibited marijuana in the United
States, intended to prevent its com-
mercial, industrial and recreational
use. Michigan Senate Bill 234, ap-
proved by current Gov. John Engler,
increased the penalties for possession
and growing marijuana.
. Cain said, "If they find 60,000
(marijuana) plants (growing on your
property), you can get executed now
in this country." The maximum pen-
alty for drug possession in Michigan
is jail time. Capital punishment is

they set earlier this year. Ten million,
watts is enough to power 3,000 U.S.
"The reactor has met its goal,"
'aid Tony DeMeo, the head of public
relations for the Princeton Plasma
Physics Laboratory.
A controlled fusion reaction has
long been a pipe dream of researchers

Neenan urges student regent plan

Daily Staff Reporter
During the public comments por-
tion of yesterday's Board of Regents
meeting, Michigan Student Assem-
bly President Julie Neenan pressed
for student representation on the board.
The MSA proposal calls for allow-
ing the assembly to prepare monthly
reports as part of the regents' agenda,
.similar to those of the University's
*4xecutive officers. Following these
reports, MSA would like to answer
questions and provide clarification to
the regents during the meeting.
The proposal also asks for the addi-
tion of a place designated at the regents'
table for a student representative.

"I think in the past years, students on
this campus have realized the benefits of
working with the regents," Neenan said.
Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle
Creek) said she thinks it would help to
develop better communication.
Students supported having a student
serve on the board in at least a non-voting
capacity in a referendum last winter.
Regent Laurence Deitch (D-
Bloomfield Hills) said he has not formed
a final judgement on the MSA plan.
"When I listened to Julie, I said
'Why not a faculty representative, why
not a staff representative?"'Deitch said.
But, Deitch had some concerns. "I
think when you give someone a seat
in an official way, you change the

dynamics of the body. I ask myself: Is
that what the framers of the (state)
constitution intended?" he said.
Vice President for University Re-
lations Walter Harrison said he fa-
vors permitting MSA to give reports
to the regents. "I have reservations
about whether there ought to be a
student regent," he said. "Our other
constituencies don't have regents."
Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Ar-
bor) asked, "Does MSA truly speak
for all students?
"The objective of the outcome is
how can various components of the
University feel more included? The
particular device deserves a fair
amount of thought," he said.

uI .: _ .-






Duke basketball player Erik Meek will be redshirted for the 1994-95 season. This was incorrectly reported in
,yesterday's Daily.

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" Practical Training for Inter-

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Hall, Room 3207, 12-2 p.m., 763-

Meeting, Michigan Union,
Kuenzel Room, 6 p.m., 663-
1 Pancake Breakfast
Fundraiser, 1550 Washtenaw,
11 a.m.-1 p.m., 995-3874
Q "The End of the Israeli/Arab
Conflict," Hillel, 7:30 p.m.
Student Services
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