The Center for Peripheral Studies

Mission Statement

Exasperated by the pollsters and self-anointed prophets who profess to speak for us, and frankly envious of the awe with which their fatuous pronouncements are greeted in the mainstream media, we resolve to be a policy institute for the rest of us.

Our motto: Thinking is too important to be left to professionals.

We hold that more often than not the truth is to be found not at the center of things, but out at the edges, where the centrifugal force of our spinning existence has flung the denser particles of meaning, and where they can be easily collected and examined at leisure.

The Periphery, therefore, is our bailiwick, our mise en scene, the very heart of our endeavor.

In part we are proposing to be a virtual Chautaqua, "an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer" (-- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), but with two important modifications:

    1. our "chaw & talk" will not be bound by time, distance, or seating capacity; and
    2. we have a house band.

In another part, the CfPS will be a resource for inquiry and discussion of all those other ideas that nag and harry us in our quotidian existence, the petty anxieties and tiny triumphs that frame the lives we actually live, as opposed to all the mediated phantasmagoria that piles up around us wherever we go, or even stay.

Therefore, to all these ends:

Our model will be -- can you stand it? -- a democracy, which means, after all, "Power to the People!"

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Last updated: 7/16/2001