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, March 31, 2011

making good use of one's time here

I promised on 10 March to draft a short paper which identified the various texts which seem to me relevant to the issue of social change or betterment (covering the micro, meso and macro levels mentioned on the post and to look at the interface between them. A week later I was provoked by another blog to start the process – and the interesting feedback which I got a couple of days ago from one of my readers helped me to find the short paper I had written ten years ago which had tried to explore how one person might make a (greater) difference”; or at least feel that what (s)he is doing is improving the human condition rather than compounding its problems.
Today – apart from some cleaning workaround the house and car – I have been trying to integrate recent writing into the 2001 paper whose focus is I feel the right one. For I am at the enviable point in my life where I don’t need to work full-time and can choose what I do with my time and life (even more than I have generally done). The paper still has the form and content it had when it was originally written (in Tashkent) some 10 years after I had left political life in Scotland and started the nomadic life of a consultant in countries which were assumed to be in some sort of transition from a form of communism to capitalism. Where can my values, energies (and what skills and knowledge I have) be used to best advantage? I wrote my short note around 5 key questions -
• why I was pessimistic about the future and so unhappy with the activities of the programmes and organisations with whom I dealt – and with what the French have called La Pensee Unique, the post 1989 “Washington consensus”
• who were the organisations and people I admired
• what they were achieving - and what not
• how these gaps could be reduced
• how, with my various resources, I could help that process

I hope to put the new draft on the website tomorrow.

Only one painter today – Denjo Chokanov (1901-1982). I’m very fond of him and have a couple of paintings of his – one above. And, in an hour, I’m bidding (from a distance) for another which is priced at 350 euros. I know nothing about him.

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