Net News

Mad reCapped

Dekspace -

TB popped into the new Madcap warehouse off Norman Road in Greenwich to have a poke about and size up the work needed to prepare the place for use.  There is more than enough space to hold anything Rankine can … Continue reading →

Think Outside the Boss

Public Seminar -

Digital labor touches all of us, whether you are browsing Tinder profiles in your spare time, searching for “Jersey Shore” on Google, or ordering an Uber taxi.

In this afternoon’s talk, I will highlight what is and what could be successful about 21st century work and what are some tendencies that are worrisome. Once we gain an understanding of that, we can examine how to work around the concerning dispositions and promote positive trends. In the first five minutes, I will walk you through a few cases that I find troublesome. ...

Iran, Fear and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Public Seminar -

My partner and I saw Iran from our own eyes last May 2014. The plane was going up and down, as I never experienced before. The pilot seemed to struggle to land in what appeared to be a sand storm over Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran. This difficult landing injected adrenaline in my blood. It did not need this adrenaline. My blood was already racing in a close-circuit it knew too well. The literature I read on Iran, be it critical, balanced or favorable to the regime, did not help. I was anxious to cross the Iranian border as no other border before. Images of interrogation, imprisonment, and torture could not escape from my mind. It was too late to turn back. I took my courage in both hands and we joined the queue. After half an hour waiting, a customs officer scanned our passport and visa. ...

Vilnius and Warsaw: Our Common Cause

Public Seminar -

Mrs. President, Mrs. Chair of the Parliament, Mr. Prime Minister,

I am moved and embarrassed by this honor bestowed by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on a Pole -- a Polish journalist and editor of Gazeta Wyborcza. I treat it as a sign of recognition for my friends and colleagues who supported Lithuanian strivings for independence and democracy from the very beginning -- and this includes people from the era of democratic opposition and those who later came together around “Gazeta.” The Polish democratic opposition always wanted a sovereign and democratic Lithuania to be a friendly neighbor of a sovereign and democratic Poland. ...

Against Pessimism: Reflections on the Prospects of the Israeli Left

Public Seminar -

For me March 17th was a day of joy. At least so it began. Election days in Israel are fully paid holidays, and this year the elections coincided with the dancing display of the male Houbara Bustard. The display is true nature marvel which I have never seen before. I woke up at 4:00am and with a fellow birder drove south for nearly two hours all the way to the border with Egypt. There, we watched a lone specimen of the endangered species, which faces environmental threats, much like the Israeli left. ...

The Arabs Are Coming!

Public Seminar -

Imagine that on a United States election day the candidate for the presidency urges the white citizens of the country to get out and vote so as to outnumber the African American voters who are flocking to the polling station. It is almost a certainty that such a statement would result in the downfall of this candidate and the disgrace of his or her party.

In Israel on the other hand, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was campaigning for the Prime Minister position for the fourth time, decided that the best tool to urge the majority of the citizens of Israel to vote is by threatening them with the influx of the “Arab” voters. ...

Four Ways African Universities Should Support Democracy

Public Seminar -

African universities need to redefine themselves and with greater urgency pursue a more vigorous democratization mission of their societies, given the spectacular failure of political leadership in the region to build quality democracies.

The challenge for African countries is how to mold democratically based models of citizenships in countries and regions where the political cultures are markedly undemocratic, even if governing parties, leaders and individual citizens may often profess embracing democracy. ...

The Cultural Basis of the Netanyahu Victory

Public Seminar -

I received this note the day after the recent elections in Israel. -J.G.

Dear Jeff,

As you know, I am frequently blamed for being "pessimistic." Indeed I am. I am on record stating that Bibi would win three days before the election. Nevertheless, even I did not expect this MAJOR victory. It is “our” liberal biased view that blinds us from looking coldly at how Israeli culture is moving away from our cherished liberal democratic values. In some respects, and given what is going on in the Middle East, this development is quite congruent with the neighborhood we are in. ...

The German Geist Dwells Nowhere

Public Seminar -

The turmoil surrounding Heidegger’s Black Notebooks achieved new heights recently, with Freiburg University’s announcement that its legendary Heidegger Lehrstuhl would be abolished and converted to a junior professorship in logic (!) and analytic philosophy, as if to deliberately obliterate Heidegger’s legacy. Apparently, the Lehrstuhl has become too controversial. This decision may well be scandalous, as Markus Gabriel argued on March 3rd in Süddeutsche Zeitung, but the reasons he marshals in defense of a Heidegger Lehrstuhl in his essay -- “Where Does German Spirit Dwell?” -- seem to us to create needless confusion. A collegial response is in order. ...

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