Excuses

So I’m writing reports and have two grumpy slightly sick kids (who keep getting me up around 5am) so I have no time to write things like blog posts.  Nevertheless here is the dumb and cool stuff I have been wandering through at school.

One

Two things:

  1. Physical exercise is clearly cultural and both sets of guys here are looking at each other going WTF?
  2. The West’s idea that they can teach the Afghan’s to be western is clearly ridiculous.  Not because “the Afghan’s are so dumb they can’t even do jumping jacks” (which is what a lot of the comments under the clips say), but because the cultural divide really is too enormous

Two

This whole thing is awesome.  I mean: AMAZING.  Until we get to the sweeping, enthusiastic statements at the end about how everyone is going to be rich and healthy and you think: “Really?”  I sort of felt like there were a few other important things missing like the depletion of the world’s resources, and massive rise in pollution which has potential to lead us to extinction.  Anyway… I also feel like if my History lecturer had shown me this at the start of my 100 Level course I would have learned a lot more about the world in the last 200 years than I did reading a very boring book about the agrarian economy in Western Europe (when I say “reading” I mean looking at the first chapter, and then putting it on my bookshelf for twenty years and then throwing it away.  Almost the same as reading).

Three

There’s a really good, free documentary series that PBS uploaded to youtube about sustainable design which is narrated by Brad Pitt.  Why?  I suppose narrating things for PBS is a bit like doing charity work.  Plus it’s about saving the planet.  Watching these documentaries can cheer you up because it seems possible that we might be able to save ourselves from annihilation, but it’s worth keeping in mind that all of the buildings in these episodes represent interesting one offs, or small scale projects, and that they are NOT widespread.

Four

It’s hard to explain, so just click on this link.  Something about how old photos are cool, and 19th century hotties.  Or this.

That’s all.

Back to reports.

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6 thoughts on “Excuses

  1. Richard (of RBB) is currently having trouble posting on his site, so I’m letting him post on mine. Well, it seemed like the bloody Christian thing to do.

  2. Some really great videos, thanks. I liked the ‘design e2: Green for All’ one although I had a bit of an issue with the section that starts at 18mins about Austin.

    In my short experience of these things I find that there are two kinds of ‘projects’. One where it is largely set up and driven by local communities who take ownership of the project and have agency over it. The other seems to be a ghost of ‘the white man’s burden’ whereby the hopes and dreams the ‘rich’ have for the ‘poor’ are laid upon them- they pick a poor place and go there and ‘do good’ (apologies for the mass of inverted commas). With the alleyway, they seem to have just picked it, decided to clean it up with the assumption that people will use it more, and crime and pollution will drop, and by cleaning it up they hoped to draw out some of the residents to tell them about their project. It just makes me wonder what that alleyway looks like now, over two years on. A cynical view I know.

    By the way, have you seen Adam Curtis’ latest documentary series “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace? – it’s just aired here (a great anecdote if you’re finding life is getting too cheery): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz2j3BhL47c

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