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!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

words are important

Great frustration – my windows system won’t open and I have lost the recent material I hadn’t saved on hard disc. Fortunately I noticed some warning signals and had copied individually most of the hundreds of websites I have. And, equally fortunately, we have a spare notebook.
Interesting discussion triggered off by "transparency" - another bit of technical jargon which serves wider political purposes which the foreward to Tony Judt's Reappraisals touches on namely the amnesia which overwhelms current society.
The Compassionate Mind (which I'm struggling through)suggests that, as individuals at any rate, we don't live enough in the present. But, arguably, as a society we live too much in the present and don't try to lean the lessons of the past. "Transparency" covers the issues once covered by participation (1960s); consultation (1970s) and open government (1990s). Why do we need a new word? Partly to pretend that we've just discovered a new issue; to cover up the fact that previous efforts failed; and to make sure that the new efforts will also run into the sand. Here is an example of collusion between elite interests and those of the academic scribblers and technocrats whose specialisations are a form of product differentiation to secure their incomes.

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