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, August 31, 2017

"Common Endeavour"

Up at 1,350 metres, the season’s changes are quite noticeable. August 15th is known as St Mary’s day in this part of the world and as the sign generally for a faint new chill to the morning air - after the heat which has driven people up from the plain for the previous month or so….
Autumn is coming – and I have decided to make available, in book form, the 60 posts which have featured in the blog so far this year and which bears the title - Common Endeavour – the 2017 posts so far  

It’s a bit cheeky, I grant you, to offer a 2017 annual just over half way through the year! The one frustrating thing, however, about a blog is that it gives a reverse image of reality – with the most recent post coming first and the reader then required to scroll down for the earlier contributions……Noone these days has the patience to search for the first posts and scroll UP…..whereas a book format allows you to begin at…….…the beginning.

And regular readers will know that a new Feature was quietly introduced in recent months – a “Further Reading Resource”. With two thirds of my readers not having English as their first language, I have perhaps become more conscious of the need for an inviting start to these posts which also tries to “position” the subject in the wider commentary……Hence the appearance of the “Further Reading” list with which book notes in particular now end… 

Early posts couldn’’t help touching on the first shocking weeks of bully boy Trump’s occupation of the White House but, thereafter, ignored the idiot – a tactic I’m surprised more have not suggested as an appropriate weapon to use against such a narcissist. Political misbehaviour in Romania caused more of a public backlash here and was duly the subject of some initial posts - which were followed in the summer by some musings about the failure of most post-communist societies to take seriously the task of building institutional capacity.........

For several weeks from mid-March, I ran a series of posts which started with an observation about   how badly served we are by the hundreds of economics books which jostle for our attention. The opening post suggested some tests we might apply to screen books out – with the drawback that we actually need the book in our hands in order to make the call!
Follow-up posts used some diagrams……which also help guide the reader through the maze of books……More than 100 key books were identified, briefly explained - and hyperlinked. And will all be useful in the task which lies ahead – of severe editing of the present draft of Dispatches to the post-capitalist generation

As a bonus I’ve added, as an Annex, my Sceptic’s Glossary – being my definition of some 100 plus terms used in the questionable discourse of our elites. I’ve set this in the context of texts (and images) which I’ve found useful during my life in the puncturing of their pretensions….. 

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