Categories for Books, films and TV

The Hidden Connections

Reading a book written by Fritjof Capra, The Hidden Connections. In Dutch the book is titled De eenheid van leven.

Reading this book right now does awaken so many feelings and dreams. Too much to talk about here, right now. It does open a new area of books i want to read. Economics. Ecology. Our current neo-liberalism. The networked society. My head feels rather full right now.

Sorry for you readers who do not read Dutch.

A review from the Guardian: Network Culture (2002).

Capra’s is a cool and rational analysis rather than the work of a firebrand. But for those feeling a bit confused or helpless in the face of an unpredictable future, this is a great introduction both to the nature of the problem and the logic of the response. A book that could make a difference, if anyone is listening.

Published on August 9, 2018 at 6:00 by

Commons

I just read the book The Ecology of Law: Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community written by Fritjof Capra and Ugo Mattei.

Reading this book gave me insights in the development of science, economics and law over the past couple of hundred years. What is called in this book the mechanization of the world view. In other words, the world is something we can extract something of value from. I have never thought about the role law has played in this. But countries have grown in influence. Private ownership and state sovereignty have a much larger part to play in the application of law compared to the fifteenhundreds. The commons role in our society has been severely lessened.

This book has given me plenty of stuff to think about. Highly recommended.

The first book to present jurisprudence — the theory and philosophy of law — as an intellectual discipline with a history and conceptual structure that shows surprising parallels to those of natural science. The authors argue that at the root of the multi-faceted global crisis we face today is a legal system based on an obsolete worldview; and they explain how, by incorporating concepts from modern science, the law can become an integral part of bringing about a better world, rather than facilitating its destruction.

Source: fritjofcapra.net/books

The Ecology of Law is an ambitious, big-picture account of the history of law as an artefact of the scientific, mechanical worldview — a legacy that we must transcend if we are to overcome many contemporary problems, particularly ecological disaster. The book argues that modernity as a template of thought is a serious root problem in today’s world. Among other things, it privileges the individual as supreme agent despite the harm to the collective good and ecological stability. Modernity also sees the world as governed by simplistic, observable cause-and-effect, mechanical relationships, ignoring the more subtle dimensions of life such as subjectivity, caring and meaning.

Source: Highly Recommended: Capra & Mattei’s “The Ecology of Law”

The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit. Characteristically, this involves a variety of informal norms and values (social practice) employed for a governance mechanism.

Source: Wikipedia

Published on May 25, 2018 at 6:00 by

Pythagoras’ Trousers: God, Physics, and the Gender Wars

The past two weeks i have been reading this book by Margaret Wertheim, Pythagoras’ Trousers: God, Physics, and the Gender Wars (1995). I’m not sure how i got this book myself. I must have read about it sometime and bought it. It was good to read it again. Livened up my brains.

This morning i did a search for Wertheim. I came across a TED talk about the Crochet Coral Reef. The books she wrote after Pythagoras’ Trousers.

Pythagoras’ Trousers is about the development of scientific thought from the old Greeks to our modern time. It does show the steadfast links with religion and priesthood clearly. It does show how women are excluded from this history till the present day. Minor advancements excluded.

I will leave you with her TED talk from 2009 about the beautiful math of coral. Enjoy.

Published on April 26, 2018 at 6:00 by

International Film Festival Rotterdam

The past few years i decided not to go to the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Not anymore. It is expensive. I love films, sure. From the late 80s going to the IFFR was a staple in January. For around ten times i volunteered. More times even. I never counted them.

But it has changed. Streamlined. Commercialized. That is not a bad thing. But i do miss the old IFFR. Dancing n the Hilton.

So yeah, time doesn’t stop. Things keep changing.

It has vanished from my awareness.

But today i went with Henja to the IFFR. The Doelen, KINO, Lantaren Venster. Coffee in the Doelen, lunch in Lantaren Venster. Walking through this city with Henja who is still relatively new in Rotterdam. Made me realize how this city is soaked in my memories.

Happy to see small pink flowers in a garden along the way. And snowdrops!

A very enjoyable day.

Salute!

Published on January 30, 2018 at 6:00 by

Simone de Beauvoir

Published on January 11, 2018 at 6:00 by

James Baldwin

James Baldwin – (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)

It has always been much easier (because it has always seemed much safer) to give a name to the evil without than to locate the terror within. And yet, the terror within is far truer and far more powerful than any of our labels: the labels change, the terror is constant. And this terror has something to do with that irreducible gap between the self one invents — the self one takes oneself as being, which is, however, and by definition, a provisional self — and the undiscoverable self which always has the power to blow the provisional self to bits.

Source: The Terror Within and the Evil Without: James Baldwin on Our Capacity for Transformation as Individuals and Nations

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. One hasn’t got to have an enormous military machine in order to be un-free when it’s simpler to be asleep, when it’s simpler to be apathetic, when it’s simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important.

Source: James Baldwin on Freedom and How We Imprison Ourselves

An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. He has to tell, because nobody else in the world can tell, what it is like to be alive. All I’ve ever wanted to do is tell that, I’m not trying to solve anybody’s problems, not even my own. I’m just trying to outline what the problems are.

I want to be stretched, shook up, to overreach myself, and to make you feel that way too.

Source: The Doom and Glory of Knowing Who You Are: James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist

Art has a social purpose [and] art belongs to the people. It’s not something that is hanging out there that has no connection with the needs of man. And art is unashamedly, unembarrassingly, if there is such a word, social. It is political; it is economic. The total life of man is reflected in his art.

Source: James Baldwin and Chinua Achebe’s Forgotten Conversation About Beauty, Morality, and the Political Power of Art

Published on December 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

Stranger things

I still feel ridiculously happy. After a fab weekend with two parties, today was a bit quieter. I watched three episodes of the new season of Stranger things. I watched the first season a year ago. I love the kids playing the lead part. Eleven is wonderful. And of course i know the 80s well, i lived through it.

I’m only halfway the new season episodes, it is hard for me to have a clear perspective on it. I do enjoy it. Thoroughly.

Later in the day, after i updated the operating system from 10.8 to 10.13, i watched an episode of the Filosofisch Kwintet. How do we deal with the current technological giants and their commercial use of our data? Is there a good way to deal with it? On a personal level, a social and a political level.

The episode is in english with dutch subtitles.

I’m gonna watch some more Stranger Things for now.

Enjoy your day!

Published on October 31, 2017 at 6:00 by

Chess in the library

Two weeks ago my internet and television was cut of. I really missed it. I know there is wifi in the library, so i went up there and asked about it. They offered me a trial subscription of three months for free, with which internet access is free.

I took it. Of course. I used to be a member of the library years ago. Ten years ago? Maybe even longer? I started to look for books i would like to read. And ended up in the young adult section, foreign languages. Yay! I read The Hunger Games Catching Fire last week. Yesterday i finished The Maze Runner. I watched the movies after i read the books. Some differences. But still. Today i burrowed two new books. Capital in the Twenty-First Century written by Thomas Piketty, in Dutch. Lets see how i deal with that one. And the Endgame: The Calling written by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton. I did read a bit in both books already. But, judgement is still out.

I also started to watch the chess game played in the big hall of the library. I started to talk a little to the people around the game. And last week, i actually played a game! I lost, of course. Still so used to playing to a computer, still very much better in defensive play than agressive play. I do love to watch it, look at all the moves people make, trying to figure out the thoughts behind it. Hopefully i will get a bit better. And play some more.

Published on August 31, 2017 at 6:00 by