Thursday, May 03, 2012

Personal indulgences just for regular readers

I am very tired tonight. I was at work a bit after seven. To do this, I left home before six. That makes for a long day even though I came home a little earlier than normal. Including travel time, yesterday was a thirteen hour day. So tonight I am throwing the blog open to my commenters and regular blogging colleagues.

IMG To begin with a personal indulgence.

This is one of the photos from my wedding that I have been loading elsewhere. In the centre, Richard Hield, on the right Sue Rosly. I spoke of both in Musings on photos past.

In a recent comment on Sunday Snippets - Bach, defence policy, happiness & a bit of collateral damage, Sue from Queanbeyan (it is the same Sue) wrote:

I am mightily impressed with Tony Windsor. A man of integrity.

But just today, a friend of mine (who worked for the Dictionary of Australian Biography) said that it doesn't matter what Julia Gillard does she is vilified.

Never mind her achievements.

I'm not saying she hasn't made mistakes, but there is something so nasty in the criticisms of her that I feel sickened.

I feel unutterably sad at the state of political debate at the moment.

I have written on this one a little. I have been very critical of the Gillard Government, but there is something pathological about the reactions to her.

In Should Enlightenment humanism be equated with Western Civilization?, Winton Bates continues the dialogue between us. He also refers to our Indian blogging colleague, Ramana.

I was thinking of Ramana coming in by train today. I have another part written post in my train reading series on Toynbee, and this time my post has Ramana specifically in mind and indeed just the quote that Winton has put in his own post. Maybe tomorrow.

Staying with personal indulgence, this is a photo of me on the verandah at Foreglen, my grandfather's property outside Armidale.

There is such a huge difference between the boy being given his bath in the sun on that verandah and today. It's not just that the world has changed, but the perceptions of that world have also changed. The role of perceptions underlies the the discussion here and elsewhere about civilisation and progress.

This was picked up in discussion on Are Australian banks and supermarkets killing the goose that laid the golden egg?. There the issues were in part linked to the Australian economy. Why do we in Australia think things are so bad when the statistical evidence suggests otherwise?

Here  I have actually run out of time.  I want to be on site as close as I can to 7am tomorrow. That's when the lifts open. So time to go.


In response to Ramana, Winton has written a follow up post: Is a desire for enlightenment (in the Eastern sense) consistent with Enlightenment humanism?.


Rummuser said...

I look forward to your planned post. I may be a bit late in responding as I am preoccupied with my care giving responsibilities, but respond, I shall.

I have now got WB on to my tags and shall respond to his post there. It is interesting and challenging.

Evan said...

Hi Jim and Winton Stephen Gaukroger (from Sydney Uni I think) makes a detailed crisis that the investiture crisis of the papacy lead to the development of the scientific method in The Emergence of a Scientific Culture. It's a long book but only the first bit deals with the investiture crisis.

I think the change in the political culture is due to the importing of the Republican's strategy. Just say "no" - about everything the other party does, even if it was previously your own policy. This makes for attention getting media copy. Abbott is the most visible practitioner, I'm pretty sure Labor would be no different in the same situation. And the media's and opposition party responses to detailed proposals by John Hewson and Barry Jones doesn't leave much hope for intelligent discussion of policy by the media.

Why do we think things are so bad is Oz? Partly because for some people they are - a kind of expanded 'if it bleeds it leads' - the misfortune makes better copy than a headline like "Today most pepole were pretty happy".

People on the dole and to a lesser extent on the pension or a low wage and finding things difficult. This is especially true for those on the dole - and let's not forget that centrelink taxes them at double the company rate used by the ATO. (What does the 'term' poverty trap mean? I think I can see a pragmatic definition.) I do think the 'two economies' analysis has a good deal of validity.

Evan said...

Oops that 'crisis' should have been "case", Evan

Anonymous said...

What a charming picture of yourself when young.

Seems quite another era.


Jim Belshaw said...

Good that you now have WN tagged, Ramana, and that he is responding.

Jim Belshaw said...

And thanks on the foreshadowed response!

Jim Belshaw said...

I hadn't heard of Professor Gaukroger, Evan. I had to google him - He is obviously a specialist in the field, but the idea that the investiture crisis lead to the development of the scientific method makes me cautious. Again, I could not remember the details of the crisis - All very interesting.