Friday, January 06, 2012

Threads - Armidale Express, language, marginal economics & a damaged hand

Just some threads today.

I see that my Armidale Express column has been given the honour of a front page teaser for two weeks in a row. Here is the first front page.


And here is the second. The tennis story is mine.


I know that it's a bit egotistical of me to like all this, but just at present I need some boosts. 

Turning to other things, I am not a linguist. Indeed, the complexities of that discipline and the languages it studies are quite beyond me. I mention this because a post on GeoCurrents, Speculative fiction and language, looks at Star Treks' Klingon and the relationship between that and human languages. In so doing, it provides taste of linguists and human language variety. It's an interesting piece.

From time to time, I write about economic developments and the changing nature of economics as a discipline. Here a short links piece in The Interpreter led me to this article in The Economist, Heterodox economics - Marginal revolutionaries. Part of its theme is summarised in the sub-title, "The crisis and the blogosphere have opened mainstream economics up to new attack." I found that interesting, but was more interested in the discussion of the different schools of thought.

It's time I updated my higher education page again. Today's Sydney Morning Herald carries an article by Jen Rosenberg, Uni caught out trying to poach students using private database.

I am not in a position to comment on the accuracy of the story, nor on the issues involved in the apparent use of confidential data by Sydney University to try to attract students. However, the story is indicative if the tensions and conflicts that can and indeed have arisen many times already as universities attempt to behave like market based corporations.

Following a discussion thread that began here with The best of Neil Whitfield's least read posts, Neil has posted So wise, so true. Have a look at the Jewish teacher's story in the middle of the post. I found this just so sad. Obviously I don't know all the facts, but it was depressing.

At a personal level, I struggle to handle the way that social and official sanctions combine with prejudice to enforce certain types of behaviour. See what you think.

I began this post a bit before 8am. Then my brother-in-law and his son came across to help me fix up the garden here. I was very grateful. We will all be moving from this house some time in the next few months, and there is a lot to be done to make the moves possible.

I worked out that the next place will be the sixth place that I have lived in in a bit over six years. These constant moves really suck. It's not just the disruption, but also the costs of moving that have to be added to already very high Sydney rents.    

To add to the pervading sense of gloom, a week back I managed to apply a cleaver my fingers instead of the target chook. It hurt like blazes and blood spurted everywhere. Still, I was very luck that I neither broke bones nor lost fingers. Even so, I haven't been able to swim or do certain things.

Enough complaining.I need to do some work.        


Anonymous said...

Jim I deliberately waited until this post was off the top of the page to ask about your apparent non-home-ownership position. Was this something which just happened, or was it a conscious decision made along the line?

It is interesting to me, because I have only ever rented as a 3-6 month stopgap between purchases since the age of 21.

Feel free to ignore if the question irritates; that is not my motive.

ps you are absolutely correct to be chuffed about the front paging of your articles. Congratulations.

Jim Belshaw said...

It was something that just happened.

I bought my first house in, I think, 1976. By 1986 I owned three houses, had a half share in another. I lost a fair bit of money when the company went down, but beyond that it was life style choices - the move to Sydney, where we chose to live, the decision to send the children to private schools, what we did including overseas travel. We just didn't accumulate the cash required to buy in a very expensive Sydney marketplace, and wouldn't buy in the places in Sydney that we might have been able to afford.

In the words of the movie title, it's complicated!

Rummuser said...

If what I write will feature front page lead ins, I would crow too. WELL DONE! Hip hip hooray and all that.

Jim Belshaw said...

My thanks and apologies, Ramana, for responding sooner. I missed this comment!