Sunday, November 09, 2014

Interstellar - Main Theme



Parts of the piano/organ reminded me of Philip Glass's "Koyaanisqatsi".

Tinkerbell

"Fact is, when I see the eagerness of Western supporters to celebrate the Hong Kong democracy movement, I reminded I’m still waiting for the Asian Edward Said to write about the West’s need to frame, appropriate, and validate its 21st-century concept of the “Orient”—and self-validate its own values, attitudes, and increasingly embattled sense of superiority—by defining, parsing, and condemning the mainland Chinese Other it chooses to observe across the Pacific."
Clap Harder or the Hong Kong Tinkerbell Gets It!

Monday, November 03, 2014

The singular accomplishment that is Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

When I think of the watersheds of thought, SMAC stands out as something that enabled intense engagements with ideas.

Its value as a cultural artifact should be judged by its ability to successfully go beyond entertainment and wish fulfillment. And in so succeeding, SMAC changed the outlooks and expectations of a whole generation.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To defend inequality, and make acceptable the status quo

"... this is an establishment that has had experience of not being the establishment, although it has always drawn most (though, crucially, not all) of its membership from the ruling class. It ‘is made up – as it has always been – of powerful groups that need to protect their position in a democracy in which almost the entire adult population has the right to vote’. These groups are ‘amassing wealth and aggressively annexing power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. After all, there is nothing to stop it.’"

"Most startling to our descendants will be that ‘this was passed off as normal, as entirely rational and defensible,’ and that ‘institutions run by the elite’ had ‘considerable success’ in redirecting ‘people’s anger to those at the very bottom of society’."


Who will stop them?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Longevity

"... when pundits discuss the future, the excitement around driverless cars and nanotechnology gives way to long faces when the topic moves to human longevity. It may be nice to live longer, but what about the effect on the economy? The question is absurd. Economic growth is about giving people more choices, and no choice is more earnestly sought than the chance of a longer life"

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Cultural Identity

"... does not think that cultural identity is therefore intrinsically valuable. On the contrary, he regards it as potentially harmful. In ‘A Dissent on Cultural Identity’, he sets out his position with brutal candour: ‘That cultural identity is “a permanent feature of human life” is trivially true. We all come from somewhere … But why must each of us be more than matter-of-fact in committing our lives to our history, our culture, our identity? They – culture, history, identity – have done many things for us and many things to us. What makes us affect gratitude instead of anger in return?’"

The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke from the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence; Moral Imagination: Essays

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The politics of resentment and complaint

A strong central government is needed for politics to function and for the state to survive the empowerment of the people.

The curse of all stable societies is capture by elites.


Francis Fukuyama’s ‘Political Order and Political Decay’

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Drive by decision making

People often want to know enough to make decisions, but not enough to make good ones.