what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

the itinerants


A second post today - freezing fog (and light snow) has reduced visibility to 20 metres - and supplied the atmosphere to do a ot of reading, most of which I;ll summarise tomorrow.
One of the daily delights is selecting a picture to go with the blog – but it has an element of what the Germans call “Die Qual der Wahl” – the torture of choice! I am building up a stock of pictures I can draw on – and found that the Uzbek photo perfectly fitted the notion of philosophical discussions which comes later in today's earlier blog. But the first part of the blog is actually about a poem called Smuggler – so I surfed to find such a picture and was reminded of the great Russian school of painters who went by the name The Itinerants. I've supplied a link to the list on the right of the site.
I had to practice my first censorship just now - on an engraving by Albrecht Duerer no less! I wanted it to be the pic for today - but when I uploaded it and saw it, I knew that it just too risque! Instead, I've selected one of the Itinerants - Bogdanov-Belskiy - and his
Mental Arithmetic In the Public School of Rachinskiy
Quite superb! It's a much more powerful painting than the one I had to use in my recent posting of the report on the English primary school system.

I've uploaded two new papers to my website. One fits uneasily with all the jargon of the professional paper - it's 40 Tips for 2010 but fits nicely with the tenor of some of the recent postings. It's paper 9 and is more a New Year thing. But I thought of it since I determined yesterday to (a) read each day at least 2 of the hundreds of professional papers which I;ve downloaded but lie unread in folders and (b) skim at least one of the googlebooks which have been equally downloadedwith enthusiasm but then languished. There is no beating the sensuality of a book between your hands!
I also came across a little pamphlet I produced for a Conference the European Delegation in Kyrgyzstan asked me to attend in late 2006. I've included it because it's an example of the sort of policy analysis I like to write - which tries to find a pragmatic approach to issues in the local context. It was called Building LG in a hostile climate – it's paper 7

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