Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh, what a mess we made

Well, you couldn't call it a slow news month. Amy Winehouse has crashed and burnt. The press is not free. Europe is broken. There's a famine in parts of Somalia, where Islamist extremists are restricting aid agencies' access while people starve. Not all extremists are Islamists, of course, there are white ones too: in America they are about to piss on all the chips in the west, and in Norway they shoot children.

And I've spent some time trying to imagine circumstances under which a hotel maid would actually want to suck a 60 year old Frenchman off and you know what, I can't. I also can't really imagine that a 60 year old Frenchman could, but you know what they say about power and corruption.

I am friends with Professor Edith Hall, one of the cleverest people around and currently campaigning against the closure of the Department of Classics and Philosophy at Royal Holloway. A post in the campaign's Facebook group (here, if you want to join) highlights a talk she is giving today in Cambridge about the six basic 'rules' of competent decision-making in ancient Greece: deliberate slowly, take into account all historical precedents, don’t intimidate your interlocutors, listen to all viewpoints, verify all information, and think through all consequences.

We ignore these things at our peril, and we should know that by now.

Oh, and no one's bought our house yet.




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