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!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thanks God it's Friday

I have, for the past month or so, been looking over the year’s posts - with a view to compiling a little E-book which allows both their chronological presentation and some reflections on their significance (if any). I first tried this last year and titled the result In Praise of Doubt – a blogger’s year – although it had a double bonus in starting with some posts from the previous year and finishing with a “sceptic’s glossary” whose provocative definitions deserve a higher profile and are therefore added to the 2016 edition which I hope to publish in a few days – running at the moment with the title The Slaves’ Chorus  …...
This is my 8th year of blogging – at their height, posts averaged one every 2 days….now they average one a week – arguably a more appropriate period for disciplined thinking and writing than the 24 hour frame…..Indeed one of my favourite bloggers - The Archdruid Report - sticks (religiously) to a weekly schedule ….

I try to avoid mainstream media, preferring more marginal writing - so was prepared for the outcomes of the British referendum and the American elections. But the Brexit vote in particular was like a kick in the stomach…. ..my EU citizenship, after all, gives me more significant freedoms (to travel and reside) than does my British citizenship…. Almost a third of the posts dealt with these 2 issues….

As befits a blog whose title refers to two mountain ranges another third of posts deal with my (generally very pleasant) experiences of living in Bulgaria and Romania – particularly experiences relating to art and wine……

The final bunch of posts have more miscellaneous topics, generally occasioned by my reading….. or viewing (documentaries have been an important discovery for me this past year). Indeed I seemed to find books less gripping this past twelve months – only seven made sufficient impact to inspire a post -
How will Capitalism End? - a summary of whose basic thesis can be found in this 2014 New Left Review article

Recommended Blogs
All blogs have a “blogroll” – many of which are outdated. I try to keep mine up to date
A few of the good ones send me automatic updates – generally the collective sites such as Eurozine journal, RSA and the Real World Economist blogs; the great Scottish Review E-journal; and one single blogger How to Save the World. Those which deserve a special mention include –
Poemas del rio Wang - the most amazing site which tends to focus on memories of old central and east European lands; which runs some trips to them; but whose current series is on Iran
That’s How the Light Gets In – the imaginative site of a retired Liverpudlian Polytechnic lecturer with strong cultural tastes
 - Michael Roberts blog - an elegantly written Marxist economist blog
Stumbling and Mumbling - a rather academic blog with, however, good hyperlinks 
Britain is no Country for Older Men – an informative (if rather sexist) blog which celebrates the life achievements of various unsung heroes

The painting is a recent acquisition – one of Plamen Todorov’s dreamlike sequences……

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