Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm at a dead end

I just emailed the drummer in my band and told him, barring major changes, i.e., we kick out the other guitar player, I'm breaking up the band.

Robert Putnam and Diversity

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam on the problems and benefitsof diversity:

Ethnic diversity will increase substantially in virtually all modern societies over the next several decades, in part because of immigration. Increased immigration and diversity are not only inevitable, but over the long run they are also desirable. Ethnic diversity is, on balance, an important social asset, as the history of my own country demonstrates.

In the short to medium run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity challenge social solidarity and inhibit social capital. In support of this provocative claim I wish to adduce some new evidence, drawn primarily from the United States. In order to elaborate on the details of this new evidence, this portion of my article is longer and more technical than my discussion of the other two core claims, but all three are equally important.

In the medium to long run, on the other hand, successful immigrant societies create new forms of social solidarity and dampen the negative effects of diversity by constructing new, more encompassing identities. Thus, the central challenge for modern, diversifying societies is to create a new, broader sense of ‘we’.

Putnam, Robert D. (2006) "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century." Scandinavian Political Studies 30, 137-74

Life on the sofa

Since my surgery last friday I've not been moving about much. Most of my time has been spent in bed, actually. Too groggy from the medication to be able to read much, I've been watching television. Lots of television. VH1 Classic's Classic Albums series has been a particular favorite.

Last night I caught the one on U2's The Joshua Tree. Wow, talk about pretentious assholes. They kept going on and on about how "nothing sounded like that in the mid-'80s", and how innovative they all were. I suppose that might all be true if your idea of cutting edge '80s music was Phil Collins.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fan marks 'death of football'

An Italian football fan has started putting up a grave every time his team loses a major match.

Inter Milan fan Massimo Pecorino, 52, has so far erected more than 20 gravestones on a local mountainside.

He says grave mistakes can only be marked by a grave where he buries his hopes and dreams, near his home town of Cortona.

Pecorino said: "Instead of enjoying a celebration I felt like I was at a funeral, so I spent the day carving out my fury on a stone."

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