Simon Hamilton

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Comments & conversations

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Simon Hamilton
Posted about 1 year ago
Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road
And the freedom of monastics comes/came from the money of countless people manipulated into paying for their keep. What's good for the goose is not for the gander... Try reading, for one example, the Missionary Position. Also, I think you are misusing the word freedom. Could you explain? Your statement "real freedom comes through choosing to sacrifice, submit and serve" is not very clear.
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Simon Hamilton
Posted about 2 years ago
Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20
No salt. It is *never* too late to start again. It's always "now", and "twentysomethings" is an analogy of *me*, now. I'm 58, spent 30+ years wasting time and today, now, I am making sure that my seventies or nineties are not a continuation but a new, no matter how belated, start.
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Simon Hamilton
Posted over 2 years ago
Allan Savory: How to fight desertification and reverse climate change
A fascinating and challenging talk. Comparing, say, the African savannah, the Russian/Asian steppes, the Australian "desert" and new-world grasslands and pampas suggests that differing plant/animal dynamics were at play in their development, not all requiring massive herds and/or "ferocious pack-hunting predators", but the point is moot. If, as Savory suggests, desertification can be reversed, apparently simply, by organizing land into time-optimized grazing-routes, restoring it to high-productivity, it could well be the way to go. According to Mark Stevenson in his excellent "An Optimist's Tour of The Future", work based (perhaps among others) on Savory's principles seem to be paying off already in Australia. And although I would tentatively concur that his former agreement with the tenets of the past coupled with his present assertion that "There is only one option, I'll repeat to you, only one option" is somewhat spooky, I still find his arguments quite compelling.
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Simon Hamilton
Posted over 2 years ago
He, she or s/he? Should languages be made gender neutral or be left on their own to preserve literary integrity?
Like Theodore A Hoppe, I use odd constructions instead of what I consider the painfully PC/obvious alternation of "he" and "she" when referring to "one" (which I used to use): even barbarisms such as "themself". And why not? Language evolves and many a current word has the opposite meaning to its earliest known form. As to gender French has the male/female problem, and it *is* a problem. For example, "Le président" would be the president of the republic, whereas "La présidente" would not be: she would be the wife of the president of the republic... (And they're desperately trying to avoid confronting the issue too ;o) Likewise, a female chemist would still be a "pharmacien" (male term) because it is the profession not the person, even though a 15th-C writer, Christine de Pisan, described herself as "une écrivaine" (female of écrivain), a term abolished nowadays. On the other hand, male frogs and mice are feminine, as are others I'm sure, without anyone batting an eyelid. So I wonder whether it's the actual word that *causes* any genderizing behavior, or the actual gender itself, the word simply facilitating or highlighting an underlying phenomenon. As to any form of authority making language change, fat chance I'd say! My two cents ;o)
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Simon Hamilton
Posted over 2 years ago
Alex Tabarrok: How ideas trump crises
Growth explains why you can photograph yourself wearing a shirt with buttons, why you're holding a glass containing a complex chemical formulation (aka a drink ;o), why you're able to watch and hear someone speak a thousand miles away... Without growth, we wouldn't even be blue-green algae.