Tag Archives: New Year

A time for hypocrisy

I guess it’s the time of the year for hypocrisy. Most of us stick to New Year resolutions, promises to lose weight, etc.  But what about the whopper from the Pope? (see Pope Very Worried About World Income Inequality While Sitting On Golden Throne).

pope-throneIn his New Year speech he urged:

“world leaders, particularly those in Europe, to make long-range plans to encourage economic growth and lessen the gap between the world’s rich and poor. . . During the speech, Benedict said the financial crisis that has rocked the world in recent years came about “because profit was all too often made absolute, to the detriment of labor, and because of unrestrained ventures in the financial areas of the economy, rather than attending to the real economy.

Sound like he ready to join one of those “Occupy” demos. Truth is he prefers to sit in his golden throne while making his appeal.

Oh well, he could always pray for the poor – means he doesn’t have to think about melting down some of those riches for the sake of charity.

Pope Benedict XVI

“Man, if only we had some valuable things we could use to raise money to help the poor! Oh well … “

The Unconsidered Life

A short and to-the-point video. Here the philosopher and author AC Grayling comments thinking critically and being a well-informed citizen of the world.

Something to think about at this time for considering New Year’s resolutions.

YouTube – RDF TV – The Unconsidered Life – A.C. Grayling.

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Holiday reading

Most New Zealanders celebrate Christmas and New Year with family events, holidays, relaxation and fun at the beach. For many of us it is a chance to catch up with our reading – I’m certainly looking forward to getting into a number of books I have recently purchased.

Many magazines publish lists of recommended books at this time of the year. It’s noticeable, however, that these lists usually contain few, or no, science books. The NZ listener was no exception (Best books cds & dvds of 2007) with only one science-based book included. The Publishe& Editor of Edge, John Brockman, comments on this (Third Culture Holiday Reading):

“Given the well-documented challenges and issues we are facing as a nation, as a culture, how can it be that there are no science books (and hardly any books on ideas) on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year list; no science category in the EconomistBooks of the Year 2007; only Oliver Sacks in the New Yorker’s list of Books From Our Pages?”

He laments the way that “official culture” seems to ignore science, despite its critical importance:

“But science today is changing our understanding of our universe and species, and scientific literacy is indispensable to dealing with some of the world’s most pressing issues. Fortunately, we live in a time when third culture intellectuals-scientists, science journalists, and other science-minded writers-are among our best nonfiction writers, and their many engaging books have brought scientific insight to a wide audience.”

The Edge lists a number of science-related books published in 2007. I have read three of them and will be attempting to get a number of others.

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