Category Society

Μια Προσωρινή Πολιτική Τρικλοποδιά ή Μόνιμη Απαξίωση της Ευρώπης;

Διαβάζω το άρθρο στο BBC για τα παιχνίδια με Προσωρινές Άδειες Παραμονής σε Τυνήσιους μετανάστες στην Ιταλία, το Σένγκεν και τα τρένα. Η γειτονική μας χώρα, χρόνια ‘σκληρή’ απέναντι στους μετανάστες που κατέφθαναν στα λιμάνια της από την Αφρική, αλλά…

Inside Job (2010)

The Inside Job is a documentary like few of its contemporaries: mainstream and accessible enough to win an Academy Award, yet sharp, piercing and well-researched enough to actually convince even the most sceptical among the viewers. This is a film…

Divergent Thinking

With the occasion of the University of Cambridge planning to raise the tuition fees to home/EU students to £9K/year, and the increasingly flawed, purely economics-based view of education, here's another one of the RSAnimate sketches, based on a lecture by (Sir) Ken Robinson.

Why a student should pay a graduate tax on top?

The linked mini-article at 'A Fistful of Euros' goes to show how wrong the British Government got it with regards to the tuition fees at British universities. It's one thing to argue that higher-quality education can only be the product of additional private funding of universities, as opposed to public funding which --- as in many other parts of Europe --- is being reduced, and another to argue that profit should be made out of the loans students take to fund their studies. Both make little sense to me, but the latter makes no sense at all, besides being totally unfair for those borrowing money to study.

Περί Παράνομων Πινακίδων

Εδώ και αρκετούς μήνες έχει ξεκινήσει η προσπάθεια που γίνεται από την κυβέρνηση για την απομάκρυνση των παράνομων υπαίθριων διαφημιστικών πινακίδων. Από τον ιστότοπο του εγχειρήματος διαβάζω για 893 επιβεβαιωμένες καταγγελίες και 175 αποξηλωμένες πινακίδες. Παρατηρώ πως, δυστυχώς, στο blog…

Το θέμα των φαρμακείων.

Τον τελευταίο καιρό συζητείται το ‘άνοιγμα’ των κλειστών επαγγελμάτων. Οι ‘φασαρία’ που έχει προκαλέσει η επαναλαμβανόμενη απεργιακή κινητοποίηση των μεταφορεών, ιδιοκτητών φορτηγών δημοσίας χρήσης και λοιπών επαγγελματιών/επιχειρηματιών του κλάδου μπορεί να έχει, στο μυαλό των περισσοτέρων, ταυτίσει το ‘άνοιγμα’ των…

On Feeds and Fads

In 2004 ‘web feeds’ were becoming extremely popular in the tech community. People were keen to label ‘web pages’ as old, obsolete, clumsy and resource ‘heavy’. It was the time of ‘Web 2.0’, the time when web ‘surfers’ were gradually…

Νοσταλγώντας τα €0.85/λίτρο.

Θυμάμαι σαν εχθές τη στιγμή που κατέφθασα στην Πάτρα, τον Ιούνιο του 2005. Είχα μπροστά μου έναν γεμάτο μήνα: μετά από επτά χρόνια διαμονής στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, έπρεπε να μαζέψω και να αποστείλλω τα πράγματά μου — ένα ολόκληρο σπίτι…

Changing our mode of thinking

Despite appearances, this goes well beyond Marxism vs. Capitalism (thinking in such one-dimensional terms would be degrading to anyone doing so). The issues that have surfaced through the world economic crisis of the late 2000s could not have been part of a 'socioeconomic' theory from the 19th century, the 1930s or the 1950s or even a modern one. The debate should not be about whether Hayek/Friedman were right (they never were), whether Keynes was, or whether Marx's arguments hold any water nowadays (some still do, but a lot of them clearly don't). Economic theories usually seem to fail exactly because they try to explain human activity in simplistic terms while struggling to prove a central thesis. That's not how the world works however. Deregulation has meant that the global finance sector has really gone wild in the past thirty years or so, and --- in the end --- markets and the financial deregulation can and have failed with detrimental results to families, businesses and societies as a whole. We don't need to explain everything or prove a meaningless thesis regarding markets, statism or innovation; we don't need to explain human frailty, culture or institutions. If anything, the central argument here is that a viable capitalism is one that exists under a fair, well-defined set of rules, one that fosters innovation and competition and one that respects the dignity of the vast majority of the population, the environment and those extra-economic aspects of human civilisation, like the arts, philosophy and history. We're nowhere close to having that at the moment. Is it possible? [via talos]

The fad stage [of blogging] is over

That seems to be generally true; while the number of posts has most definitely gone down in most of the blogs I'm following, what remains is a relatively new and open medium that gives a podium to so many capable, willing and knowledgeable people. Not in a 140 character haiku, but in an unrestricted form. At the same time, I'm saddened by how many good, even great, writers have remained silent for so long (or write hundreds of quasi-sensical 'tweets'); while it shouldn't be the case, it turns out that being a fad had its advantages, in that it helped a large number of people discover and participate in it. If anything, I'm hopeful that the adulthood of blogs will increase, even marginally, the signal to noise ratio.