Archive for June, 2008

When Communities Fail

Its maybe a little unfortunate that I should be writing this right now, at such a young age. Its come through reflection on some real-world situations I’ve faced, some discussions I’ve had, stuff I’ve read, in fact, from pretty nearly every single angle one might acquire the data with which to build up any kind of analytical picture. Its a tough area to go to, though, because I guess the blame for a community failing lies with all its members; even if its unevenly spread, no one is completely blameless. So here’s my own personal reflections…

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Monday, 30th June 2008 at 7:21 UTC 1 comment

Your cash crops or your kids!

There’s something quite disturbing about this story I read a while back: a man who has been told by the American’s that the crop he grows on what little land he has is now illegal, being forced to sell his 6 year old daughter into a future-marriage; the off-loading of a largely Western problem onto the poorest and least able to cope, moreover the almost deliberate targeting of the poorest and not the incredibly rich middle-men.

Its a trade that always confounds my sense of values, between freedom to choose (what we consume) and freedom from oppression in the West (for Heroin dealers are oppressive) and freedom for oppression by the West (specifically, its policies that condemn others to poverty). While there doesn’t seem a simple answer, and I certainly recognise that Heroin is a massively dangerous drug, I can’t help but feel that somehow, given the impossibility of growing anything else in Afghanistan, that such policies are completely stupid.

Friday, 27th June 2008 at 13:30 UTC Leave a comment

Hurray for Cycle City York

After a decade of underinvestment in which York has sunk in cycling league tables, with investment per capita below London, and cycling uptake only moving at a snail’s pace, we’re finally getting an injection of cash to get us pedaling again. So to celebrate, I took a ride through the center of town at about midday on Sunday. Erm, yeah, don’t think we’re meant to do that…

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Thursday, 26th June 2008 at 8:02 UTC 3 comments

Finding a work ethic that works

This article first began to form in my mind when I was reading a collection of 50 most-hated office-speak phrases, and found myself bewildered by how picky people were being. The flames were fanned somewhat as I sat reading an article on the French Economic Minister’s search for a new work ethic. The problem with writing this post, however, is that its not really a fire of passionate annoyance, or passionate approval, more a fire of confusion. (more…)

Wednesday, 25th June 2008 at 8:30 UTC Leave a comment

I get by with a little help…

I posted the following status update to facebook: “is a bit worried. Apparently a colleague might have been in work with Glandular.” It was a sudden-horror response to someone’s comment in the office about a colleague who’s phoned in sick, who had apparently been working despite a doctor telling them to do otherwise. And then I just got on with the day, just not feeling quite so confident as before. (more…)

Tuesday, 24th June 2008 at 10:25 UTC 6 comments

I wish I could boycott China

Well, there’s been allegations that 1000 people are still missing after the Tibetan uprising earlier this year, but thats not why I’ve written the above title, even if such a response seems quite reasonable for a country with so much contempt to indigenous culture. I’m also aware that with so much of our ‘stuff’ coming from China, it would be almost impossible to boycott the country (just checked computer keybord, oh dear!). No, the reason I want to boycott china is actually quite bizarre as boycotts go: not because they’ve done something, but because I have done something. (more…)

Friday, 20th June 2008 at 12:19 UTC 1 comment

Looking Deeper

Apologies for another rant about Christians, and most specifically those in Britain (who are a pretty mixed bunch just by themselves). Think this might not be the last one this week. I’m just annoyed by the recurring theme I keep finding: non-Christians (perhaps more specifically atheists, who have no meta-narrative to work from) who seem to be examining the world way beneath the surface, and yet so many Christians, people who should be thinking in terms of an underlying narative, taking such surface-level approaches to political issues. (more…)

Wednesday, 18th June 2008 at 10:58 UTC 5 comments

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