Saturday, 31 July 2010
Kristin Thompson, author of "Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique," a book I can't believe I haven't read and have therefore just ordered, explores her observations and theory of story structure in a blog entry called "Times go by turns," which gets to the heart of how movie storytelling works by showing how familiar structures involve the use of more than the "three acts" we're accustomed to thinking about. She was inspired by the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image conference in June at the University of Wisconsin in Madison -- and, boy, does that ever sound like something that would be up my street. (Also: See my post "Tell me a story... or don't.")
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
25 STRATFORD GROVE is a large terrace house with a garden in Heaton, Newcastle where artists can make work, think about work, reflect on work and show their work. 25SG is an ‘incubator’ space for developing new ideas and thinking about fresh ways of creating. This is a supportive environment where artists are encouraged to try, take risks and exchange ideas.
Artist Carole Luby lives in the house and has developed the concept organically over several years. In 2007 and 2008 Carole experimented with the house as a meeting place for artists, a performance space and as a temporary residency centre. Since Spring 2009 the activity has increased dramatically with a number of artists being invited to work in residence and the additional development of critique group meetings.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
There is a widely told story that speaks to the value of compassion. It seems that a woman who lived a Tao-centered life came upon a precious stone while sitting by the banks of a running stream in the mountains, and she placed this highly valued item in her bag.
The next day, a hungry traveler approached the woman and asked for something to eat. As she reached into her bag for a crust of bread, the traveler saw the precious stone and imagined how it would provide him with financial security for the remainder of his life. He asked the woman to give the treasure to him, and she did, along with some food. He left, ecstatic over his good fortune and the knowledge that he was now secure.
A few days later the traveler returned and handed back the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he told her. "Although I know how valuable this is, I'm returning it to you in the hopes that you could give me something even more precious."
What might that more precious thing be?
Want to know how the story ends?
Click on his site - http://www.kenlauher.com/daily-wisdom/bid/34582/Living-Life-From-A-Sacred-Pla...[Living+Life+From+A+S]
Saturday, 17 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
What's wrong with the TaxPayers' Alliance?
The TaxPayers' Alliance is a tremendously successful campaign group. Barely a day goes by without Chief Executive Matthew Elliott appearing in the media, representing the views of "ordinary taxpayers". In fact never a day goes by: the Alliance boasts an average hit rate of 13 media appearances a day and puts the links on its website to prove it.
The problem is that it isn't an alliance of ordinary taxpayers at all. It is an alliance of right-wing ideologues. Its academic advisory council is a who's who of the proponents of discredited Thatcherite policies, including Eamonn Butler and Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute, academics Patrick Minford and Kenneth Minogue, and former Institute of Directors policy head Ruth Lea.
Not everything the TPA says is wrong. Who could disagree with its commitment to "criticise all examples of wasteful and unnecessary spending", or to putting 2012 London Olympic spending under scrutiny? But the Alliance's concern for better public spending is a stepping stone to its desire for less public spending. And far from being a voice for "ordinary" taxpayers, its policies – opposing all tax rises (what, for everyone, in any circumstance?) and backing a flat rather than progressive tax – will increase inequality and shift wealth from poor to rich.
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Stephen Palmquist teaches at Hong Kong Baptist University. His course is both published as a book and is also available as an on-line document The blurb for Dr Palmquist's book The Tree of Philosophy: A course of introductory lectures forbeginning students of philosophy. (Third edition) reads thus; *Insight*. What is it? Where does it come from? Is it possible to *do* anything to increase our capacity for insight? In the course of introducing a wide range of philosophical issues, this book focuses special attention on examining how insight functions. Learning how to understand and assess insights, Palmquist claims, is the single most important reason to study philosophy. Four provocative "Questions For Further Thought" at the close of each chapter encourage readers to go beyond the letter of the text in search of their own philosophical insights. Distinguishing insights from our ordinary ("analytic") way of thinking leads Palmquist to coin the term "synthetic logic". Whereas analytic logic enables us to construct accurate theories about the world of *sight*, "synthetic logic ... fires our imagination with *insight*" (p.81). Because philosophical insights are often expressed in abstract terms that impede beginners from recognizing their significance, Palmquist employs diagrams as "maps", guiding the reader to a more concrete grasp of such ideas. The title sets the analogy that governs the organization of the entire book: 28 chapters are divided into four parts, examining the roots (metaphysics), trunk (logic), branches (science), and leaves (ontology) of the philosophical tree. Palmquist also applies organic metaphors to specific philosophical issues. For example, in emphasizing the need to balance insight with critical thinking, he says (p.111): "An insight must be planted, watered, and nurtured by our constant attention if it is to grow into an idea worth considering by other people, not just held by ourselves as a personal opinion." Most of the major western philosophers from the pre-Socratics to Wittgenstein are given a hearing, as are several ancient Chinese philosophers. The ideas of Aristotle and Kant are treated most fully. Each chapter concludes with a list of "Recommended Readings", many taken from the classical texts discussed in the chapter itself. Based on the lecture notes for the Introduction to Philosophy classes Palmquist teaches to university students in Hong Kong, *The Tree of Philosophy* is written in a conversational style, without footnotes. Although it is certainly not a traditional introductory textbook, it makes good reading for anyone interested in a balanced and spirited account of the nature of philosophy. In an introductory course, especially for non-majors, it could serve as a challenging and thought-provoking supplementary text. The Tree of Philosophy: A course of introductory lectures forbeginning students of philosophy. Third edition. By Stephen Palmquist, D.Phil. (Oxon). Philopsychy Press (P.O. Box 1224, Shatin, Hong Kong), 1995. 210 pages. 76 diagrams. Index of Names. Softcover. US$12 (air) or $8 (sea).