Category Archives: society

two great stories about messy politics and story telling

Today my digital grazing delivered two great short stories about the mess of politics. The first,  Fanatics, Charlatans, and Economists, a short poignant opinion piece by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at the United Nations, and currently President and CEO of … Continue reading

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delivery beats content

To me it’s a scary thought, but that only shows how caught up I am in head games, how out of touch with sensuous reality. Whatever we are and do is based on the reality – including our sense of self … Continue reading

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eye to eye

Simone van Saarloos writes columns that I always read, not always like, but often do, and off and on she manages a beauty. Her latest is one of those. Won’t reblog it in total this time, just some fragments. The core … Continue reading

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city air

When I look out of my window, this time of year, it’s way too often a grey haze. So Jia Zhangke‘s short video hits home.

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reblogging slomo

Josh Izenberg is a filmmaker based in San Francisco. “Slomo,”  which is his first documentary, has received more than a dozen awards including Best Documentary Short by the International Documentary Association and the jury award for best short documentary at … Continue reading

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an interesting use of heat maps for visualizing

An article on quartz about An Atlas Of The Human Body That Maps Where We Feel Emotions pointed me to this scientific article by Finnish researchers on using heat maps to visualize the experience of emotions.

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Calvin & Hobbes

I somewhat follow a blog by a ranting US statistician with many stereotypical US obsessions (religion being a major one), don’t ask me why, but his quirky taste for visuals does play into it. A recent post on predictions was headed … Continue reading

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stats and knowledge

I’ve ranted several times already about publication and other biases that permeate the social (and some other) sciences without these disciplines taking much serious notice. Like with some of my other fancies, after a couple of such posted outbursts, I keep coming … Continue reading

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the G20 fossil fuel bailout

A new Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Oil Change International (OCI) report discovers that the G20 governments’ exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and … Continue reading

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re-blogging Baghdad car bombs – the power of an image

 

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environments as palimpsests

The title of this post pays homage to the writer and photographer, Teju Cole, whom I just came across in my daily grazing of the digital pastures I use to hook up with the rest of the world (here for another, running-related … Continue reading

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closing the Egypt chapter, reblogging strangers in the crowd

Still following Egypt’s news but it’s time to officially close the chapter of commenting on it. A final reblog, that substantiates my previous pessimistic impressions of the direction the country has taken, as well as proof of the confirmation bias … Continue reading

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speculating on a nightingale’s song

Reading an older book by science pop-star Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow, one of his speculations was something I hadn’t come across before, and it struck me as fascinating. I do not know if it is his or he borrowed it … Continue reading

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mellow Shanghai, so different from Cairo?

My first impressions of Shanghai focused on the build environment. I didn’t mention another distinct impression, equally based on where I come from, but more immediate. Even walking the incredibly busy Pearl Tower area of Lujiazui, and the central shopping … Continue reading

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arriving in Shanghai on the Huangpu

First impressions need to be documented, they’re gone before you’ve noticed. Been in Shanghai now a week and still amazed with every new outing. It’s very familiar in a way, a bit of Singapore, a bit of Hong kong, a … Continue reading

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Egypt, energy, corruption and realpolitik

Today, the Arabist promotes this Al Jazeera documentary as a must watch. I did and I fully agree. Anyone interested in Egypt and the Middle East will find it extremely interesting. I would even argue that it’s importance transcends the … Continue reading

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can I get mad about the ads?

Suddenly my e-mail, youtube, my newspaper, everything I open on the web throws advertisements at me. It bugs me big time. Taking a step back, I know that complaining is both silly and selfish. I am not a paying customer … Continue reading

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Cairo Chairs

Dutch photographer Mark Nozeman recently spent two month in Cairo. I like his Cairo Chairs the best. Enough to reblog them here. I can assure you that Caireen streets are plastered with these chairs: house masters (bawebs), guards, car washers/parking attendants, … Continue reading

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the Lykov family, persistence hunting & religion

My grazing strategy for exploring the literary environment accessible to me, the topic of a future post, brought something to my table that I had read earlier, filed away as interesting, and forgotten again: a piece in the online Smithsonian … Continue reading

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re-blogging Egypt’s next president

My impressions of the short-term future for Egypt are bleak, and they aren’t changing. Not much point in going on about that but when I come across an insightful piece that really adds relevant detail, re-blogging is warranted. As usual, … Continue reading

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the Netherlands in Debt & Doubt

My home country has a great documentaries’ tradition, the non-fiction of the big and small screen. So that a Dutch documentary receives a prize at a film festival (this time at St. Tropez) is not uncommon. Hadn’t seen it, but its … Continue reading

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seekers of fortune

I really enjoy reading the concise, sharp, witty, and often eye-opening columns that my newspaper grazing gives me access to. And several Dutch columnists have mastered the art to levels that engender awe. Not every single piece that they produce, but … Continue reading

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Rothkopf does it again

I try to limit re-blogging to a minimum. But some of those whom I follow are just such able writers of concise perspectives on issues that I really care about that it cannot be avoided. David Rothkopf, whose book length … Continue reading

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how democratic fear can result in autocracy

A concise and accessible explanation of the answer to this question with Egypt as the explanatory example is given by Shadi Hamid in this wrap up commentary on the role of religion in Egyptian politics. He’s the writer of a … Continue reading

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Brotherhood background

I have nothing to add to my recent posts on Egypt, my own, and what I re-blogged, but for those interested in some serious background to one major player in this country’s tragedy, watching Michael Prazan’s documentary on the Brotherhood … Continue reading

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