Second wave

I have not been writing much lately and this is just a brief update on my situation. I am well but a bad COVID-19 outbreak has hit the city in which I live. Normally I would write about this but my mother is in a local nursing home which is in lockdown and no visitors … Continue reading Second wave

Literature, cinema and truth

Is there any point in trying to set out one's personal criteria for judging fiction, plays and films? I think there is. For me good writing etc. represents human realities without undue simplification, sentimentality or ideological distortion. Let me explain what led me to address this question in the first place. Prompted by what I … Continue reading Literature, cinema and truth

When is a discipline not a discipline?

Disruptions to business as usual, such as we have been experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, inevitably raise questions regarding which activities and institutions are essential or important for a good or fulfilling life, and which may be happily dispensed with. Answers to such questions are often very personal, of course. My focus … Continue reading When is a discipline not a discipline?

Jules Monnerot and the concept of “secular religion”

Jules Monnerot [1909–1995] was born and spent his early years in Martinique where his father (also Jules) was a lawyer and left-wing activist. Jules Monnerot, fils went from being a Marxist in his youth to being a cold warrior after World War 2, subsequently moving further to the right. Some see him as having been … Continue reading Jules Monnerot and the concept of “secular religion”

A few thoughts on intellectual history, abstraction and values.

Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views of individuals are often … Continue reading A few thoughts on intellectual history, abstraction and values.

Investment decisions; geopolitics

In a letter to a friend I briefly outlined my current investment situation and strategy. It's important, I think, to maintain a steady and realistic perspective on the general situation in financial markets both for practical, investment-related reasons and also for understanding current affairs. Politics, economics and finance are inextricably intertwined. It helps me to … Continue reading Investment decisions; geopolitics