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Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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‘We Need Books That Hit Us Like a Painful Misfortune’

Interesting article on Ceasefire looking at Zizek and de Botton, which includes this great quote from Kafka: “Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? [...]

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Carnivals come cheap: Zizek Visits Occupy Wall Street… And Cannot Speak.

  Interesting video here showing Slavoj Zizek at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York. His speech can be read in full here, but what I love about the video is that, for some technological reason no doubt, he cannot himself speak. The crowd around him who can hear directly have to shout out [...]

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‘I Believe in God, and the Internet is my Religion’ | The Radical Commons | Marx

  Thanks to @designbygecko for putting me on to this extraordinary talk by Jim Gilliam at a web conference recently. Jim was brought up a fervent evanglical – and remains so, except that his faith is now truly in the Internet. He has his reasons for his conversion: he’s suffered multiple cancers and had to [...]

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What Exactly is Community? | Gathering Around an Absent Christ

Whilst doing some sessions at St John’s College in Durham recently, the question of what community is was raised. There’s a whole lot of talk about ‘living in community’ and ‘faith communities’ and going out to plant ‘missional communities’ – but whilst a lot is written about what faith and mission may be, there seems [...]

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‘Dumping the Ghastly Old Baggage of Bishops and Buildings’

Jonny has written again defending the ‘in and out’ stance he wants to take with institutional forms… And though it often seems to be falling on deaf ears, I want to support this view too! Jonny wrote a response to my posts reflecting on whether those who had been involved in the Emerging Church movement [...]

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Hell Is Other People [1]

In ‘No Exit’ – what is considered to be his best play – Sartre wrote the line ‘L’enfer, c’est les autres‘ which is commonly translated as hell is other people. I was reminded of this last night hearing AC Grayling introduce Zizek, who had written in the Guardian that the worst job he had ever [...]

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London Nights | Zizek and Apple

London is continually fascinating. As humans we are always quick to project personalities onto our creations; London the person is complex, darkly funny, steeped in history, welcoming all but criticising many, intelligent, crafty… a heavy drinker who enjoys the night. ‘London Nights‘ looks like a brilliant series of 10 radio programmes, looking at the city [...]

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Election Thoughts [4] | The Problem of Apathy

Election Thoughts [1] | Election Thoughts [2] | Election Thoughts [3] In the previous post I concluded that the terrorising dimension of the pressure to choose is not simply down to our ignorance of what the choices might mean, or even our ignorance of what we actually want, but our fear of not really knowing who [...]

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Election Thoughts [3] | The Terrorising Pressure of Choice | Who Do We Want To Be?

Election Thoughts [1] | Election Thoughts [2] In the previous two posts I’ve tried to set out a critique of the choice agenda that main parties are promoting, and also the ‘rights’ / devolved power agenda that is a central tenet of the Conservative Party manifesto. The key question that was rightly asked yesterday was [...]

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Election Thoughts [2] | The Choice to Control our Own Lives?

In the previous post, I argued that the ‘choice’ agenda that all parties are keen to promote is actually something of a fallacy. Genuine choice of political representation in the kind of democracy we have is pretty much an illusion, and choice in delivery of services like health and education would actually require surplus capacity, [...]

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