"Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas."— Marie Curie
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Currently, in the world of academia or is it literature, a hefty debate involves the "fleshing out" of the often skeletal or even documented but subject to interpretation tales of yore - history. The Economist of June 12, 2021 explains the debate well and covers arguments from "both sides".
Its priceless description of the traditionalists reaction to current trends seen in "reconstruction" is worthy:
Academic historians tend to be sniffy about all this. But though their work may be unsullied by ingratiating ornament, it is also , often, untouched by readers.
This is true, and understandable but, at present in particular, a great pity.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Useful discussion here of changes and maturity in NZ cricket in a very different world from "not so long ago". Eng vs NZ 2021 - New Zealand's wholesale changes show immense strength in depth (espncricinfo.com)
Thursday, May 27, 2021
As part of the 200 year commemoration of Napoleon, President Emmanuel Macron recently addressed an audience of secondary school students amid the architectural grandeur of the Institut de France
He note in particular that we ought not to gloss over the complexities of a historical ﬁgure he described as “both eagle and ogre”. On the contrary, as well as explaining Napoleon’s soaring achievements, the President highlighted the appalling errors the “Little Corporal” had made, and their tragic cost in human life.
This was the object lesson on the importance of truth in history. “You are not responsible for France’s past,” Macron told the students, “nor are you its guardians.”
“It comes to you as an inheritance, without a testament attached,” he went on to say, using a phrase every French student would recognise as a quotation from the poet and resistance hero, Rene Char. “You may choose to love it; and so too you may choose to criticise it.”
“But ﬁrst of all you must learn it”: which means “facing it directly and as a whole”, imbued “with a love of knowledge” and “resisting the temptation to judge yesterday by today”. That is the foremost duty “a free people” owes its ancestors who secured the freedoms it enjoys — but it is also a free people’s greatest privilege, because it is only by “understanding its past” that it can freely “forge its future”.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Tyler Cowen on preparing for the future:
"I think the future belongs to people who are what I call meta-rational. That is, people who realize their own limitations. So not all the skills that you think are so valuable actually will matter in the future. Don’t just feel good about yourself, but think critically, what am I actually good at that will complement emerging sectors and emerging technologies. The world of the future, even the present will be a world of algorithms. ... People who think they can beat the algorithms will make a lot more mistakes. ... So know when you should defer. It’s easier than ever before to get advice from other people, including on podcasts, right? Or, you know, go to Yelp. When can you trust the advice of others? Having good judgment there is becoming more important than just being the smartest person or having the highest IQ."
Wednesday, May 19, 2021