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!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

All in a day's "work"

One of my favourite bloggers - Duncan Green – makes the important point that –  
regular blogging builds up a handy, time-saving archive. I’ve been blogging daily since 2008. OK, that’s a little excessive, but what that means is that essentially I have a download of my brain activity over the last 7 years – almost every book and papers I’ve read, conversations and debates. Whenever anyone wants to consult me, I have a set of links I can send (which saves huge amounts of time). And raw material for the next presentation, paper or book.

Green is spot on about the help a blog like mine offers in finding a reference you know you have but can’t remember…....you just type in the keyword – and, hey presto, the relevant post with its quotes and hyperlinks generally appears immediately – a record of your (and others’) brain activity that particular day. 

I also have a file of more than 100 pages for each year with raw text and  thousands of hyperlinks which didn’t make it to the blog……an amazing archive of months of brain activity which, of course, needs a bit more time to access…… 

As I’m being more parsimonious in my blogging these days, I thought it would be amusing  simply to copy and paste one of these pages.....links which have so far not been incorporated into any post.......
It gives an even better record of my “saves” and brain activity…

Like all blogs, it starts with the most recent……sometimes the subject of the link is clear, sometimes it is a "lucky dip"......


English poets -
Kingsley Amis

Philip Larkin

WH Auden



Helmut Schmidt Obituary 

a couple of years ago  we got a glimpse of Helmut Schmidt’s long love affair with painting - http://www.zeit.de/2013/20/kunstsammler-helmut-schmidt/komplettansicht - not least those of the German Expressionists. 
See also this video
and, for those, not familiar with Germany this little E-book of mine - “German Musings
In autumn 2008, shortly before his 90th birthday, he gave an extraordinary, 70-minute television interview, publicising his new book, Ausser Dienst (Out of Service), a reflection on a long life. The programme revealed as never before a man who not only had no religious convictions but blamed clerics – Catholic, Protestant, Islamic – for the mutual intolerance he identified between Christianity and Islam.
 He admitted that he was not “a seeker after truth” but he took an interest in all manner of philosophies and was a particular admirer of Confucius. He developed a friendship with Hans Küng, the progressive Catholic theologian whose views antagonised the Vatican. In a masterly analysis of the world financial and economic crisis, he regretted that none of those responsible for the credit crunch would be brought to book. As an experienced economist, he dismissed the generality of contemporary politicians, including George W Bush, as economic “dilettantes”.
 He revealed that his political hero was Anwar Sadat, the assassinated Egyptian president, who had been a close colleague and friend.One of his watchwords (and another of his English puns) was: “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” This could have served as Schmidt’s political epitaph when his eight-year chancellorship ran down to its frustrating end.
 He was not a “conviction” politician and his heart never got the better of his head, but a democratic leader needs a party, and in both Hamburg politics and his own family tradition, the SPD was the only place to be. In exchange for a power-base, Schmidt gave the party eight more years of power in Bonn and two federal election victories before the inevitable falling-out between the ideological left and the centrist master of realpolitik. But in the constrained art of government in difficult times, there was never a safer pair of hands.


Heimat



 “There is no question that the prevailing temper of the Democratic party is populist: strongly sceptical of what we like to call capitalism and angry about the perceived power of the monied elite in politics,” said PPI president and founder Will Marshall.“But inequality is not the biggest problem we face: it is symptomatic of the biggest problem we face, which is slow growth.”

tony hancock’s half hour


About God 
another 50 academics speak about god

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