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1  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Romanticism on: February 21, 2014, 06:07:47 pm
Surely the term is a bit vague and unwieldy for the purposes of this sort of thread? Do you mean Wordsworth and Shelley or Fichte and Hegel or Hugo and Chateaubriand?
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Urban Maps on: February 20, 2014, 10:50:45 am
Though it would be interesting to have the suburbs (which are actually in conurbation with Brussels) included here as well. When I think of my family there (Vilvoorde / Zaventem/ Sterrebeek area), may aunt's household was obviously bi-lingual (Flemish-German). Two of my cousins married francophone partners, two other Flemish-speakers, but all the marriages ultimately broke up, and my cousins tend to speak Flemish with their children (but also German, when we visit them - they all used to work for longer periods with German companies - so I think that still qualifies as multi-lingual households). I think I have a few years ago seen a map on how Flemish is entering Brussels from the East, would be interesting if that trend goes on.

Btw, just in case you wonder what is driving my interest - my oldest cousin's first marriage broke up because he couldn't stand his father-in-law's Flemish nationalism (with Gross-German undertones) anymore, and what he shared on that with me was quite irritating.

Getting reliable figures for the 'Vlaamse Rand' is the big problem there. The best indicator there are probably municipal election results (since these tend to play out along linguistic lines). But even that still leaves one with a lot of 'noise' (EU-related expats form a non-negligible part of the population of some of these municipalities and in principle are allowed the vote).

For example, based on the 2012 election results,  it's safe to say that Linkebeek is about 80% francophone, but just how accurate that 'about' is, is near impossible to say.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Urban Maps on: February 20, 2014, 07:42:23 am
Broadly speaking, yes.

The amount of people with 'Only Dutch' as language spoken at home has about halved in the last 60 years or so (from 9,4% to 5.2%) and these people will still be mostly located in the communes they were located in in 1947 (at the date of the last linguistic census). The demographical composition of the group will have changed somewhat, I suppose, with an increasingly small number of native, neerlandophone Bruxellois being supplemented with an influx of Flemish 'immigrants' in, for example, Brussels proper. 

The largest group in terms of home language in 1947 was 'French and Dutch'; today (in the sample-based BRIO-Taalbarometer) would be 'French and other language'. Obviously that evolution has also wreaked havoc with the etno-linguistic balance of the city. Anderlecht and Molenbeek (two of the darker communes to the West of the city-centre) today are usually thought of as Maghrabi in atmosphere, not Flemish.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Urban Maps on: February 19, 2014, 05:15:25 pm
A lot of boredom, a not very steady hand and sheer unwillingness to do anything productive with my time produced the following:

(Brussels, obviously)
5  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: Lusotropicalism on: January 26, 2014, 03:36:16 pm
Excellent post Storebought. Good to see you back.

[1] The Dutch created a large and, until 1948, relatively prestigious, mestizo class in Cape Colony, and were terrific racists.

Still are.

Also quite a significant population of 'Eurasians' and 'Indos' in Indonesia.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 - Official Discussion Thread on: June 25, 2013, 03:34:24 pm
I think you will find Germany is to be booted out in the round of 16 by Belgium.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Update for Everybody Else on: June 25, 2013, 03:21:05 pm
I'm in a major with an 80% attrition rate

What on earth kind of major is that?

Japanese. The program at my university has a reputation among both other departments at the university and the analogous departments in other universities in the region for being intensive, but part of the attrition rate does admittedly derive from the fact that some people who declare the major as freshmen have expectations that would be unrealistic for any serious study of a foreign language.

What's the attrition rate in an American University undergraduate program typically like?
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: June 25, 2013, 02:44:39 pm
Labour have selected one Oliver Coppard as their PPC for Sheffield Hallam, and thus as the most likely recipient of my vote.  A pity about Arsenal.

I envy you the chance to vote for him. (or well, against his opponent)
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Where's the metaphysics? on: June 25, 2013, 02:22:30 pm
Was Malaparte interested in regional cultures and dialects and skeptical of globalism in the same way?

There is quite a bit on the underclasses of Naples in The Skin. But his great quality is a combination of the mundane and the grotesque that's also present in some of Passolini's work.
10  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Where's the metaphysics? on: June 25, 2013, 12:19:04 pm
The types of thought that there needs to be more discussion of are those of people like Rossetti (Christina), Pascoli, Miyazawa, Kaneko, Weil, Ellul, Girard, and Stringfellow.

Along vaguely similar lines, can anybody recommend writers who are thematically similar to Pier Paolo Pasolini but less, uh...not quite as much so?

11  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Where's the metaphysics? on: June 23, 2013, 05:38:15 pm
It's worth pointing out that the last 40 years or so (since the publication of Naming and Necessity) have seen quite the revival in interest in metaphysical questions in analytical philosophy. Even a revival of essentialism, actually.

Metaphysics of course requires a somewhat higher level of sofistication than the average 'Faith' vs. 'Science' debate
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: June 23, 2013, 10:11:56 am
I seem to recall people being very enthusiastic about Brown's Citizens UK speech (?) a couple of day before the 2010 election.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: June 2013 Federal Election - President, VP and Regional Senators on: June 22, 2013, 01:27:59 pm



14  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: USSR Joins Axis Powers on: June 22, 2013, 01:23:49 pm
Stalin was taken completely by surprise by Hitler's attack. The Russians definitely hadn't been preparing for an inevitable war with Germany. (Though you may argue that they should have known such a war was coming their way.) Nor were they very keen on it, as the German war machine had just the previous year basically conquered all of Western Europe and Scandinavia without meeting anything ressembling competent opposition.

There is actually quite a bit of controversy about Stalin's intentions (certainly in the long run) but the above is, I believe, more or less generally accepted in the West today.

15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do you think EU citizens who have their main residence in another EU country ... on: June 22, 2013, 09:39:25 am
Yes, they should.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Bush family descended from a "notorious slave trader" on: June 21, 2013, 10:50:15 am
I'm pretty than everybody can find some awful criminal in their family.

I wonder. I have some 10,000 years of land-less farmers, miners and manual workers before me. One wonders what capacity for immorality those lives ultimately held. Maybe a little bawdy drunkenness, some petty adultery, but I can't really imagine anything that I should be horrified to find out.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australia - 14 September 2013 on: June 20, 2013, 01:57:28 pm
"There are four or five people who need to make a decision about whether they want the Labor Party to be bombed back into the Stone Age - and live in caves, like the Taliban, eating rats - or be a functional organisation," one key Rudd backer told AAP.

People talk like that?
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Civil War in Syria on: June 20, 2013, 11:36:28 am
Trying to portray the people who started this in a sympathetic manner is pretty vile. The article says "The price of loyalty"...yeah loyalty to a murderous brutal dictator.

If I was an Alawite in Syria, I'd just convert out of it. No way I want to be on the side of a brutal murderer like Assad.

Alawite is de facto an ethnic identity more than a religious one per se, you cant just convert out of it. Its like the old Ulster joke, "Are you a Catholic or a Protestant?". "I am an atheist". "Yes, but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?". Only even more true in Syria.

You might be well-advised to not try and explain this to BRTD.
19  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: June 20, 2013, 11:33:43 am
Gide's Les Faux-Monnayeurs. I'm very taken by it. I will try to obtain a copy of Les Caves du Vatican, which I'm told is quite delightfully grotesque, next.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christopher Hitchens on Monotheism on: June 19, 2013, 02:17:56 pm
Speaking of monotheism, I remember my 7th grade Social Studies teacher saying that the great contribution of Judaism to this planet was monotheism. Putting aside the accuracy of that, I inquired as to just why the belief in one God was superior to the belief in many Gods. She just restated her opinion. I told her that I thanked her for her opinion, but that she failed to answer my question. I told her that I did not find her opinion to be intuitively obviously true at all.

I wonder if a case can be made that the rise of monotheism also gave rise to more religious intolerance. I mean, if there is but one God, and you know who it is, and the other guy's God is an impostor, and heretical, there doesn't seem much room for compromise, and live and let live, now does there?  It seemed that the only way out of the box was the rise of secularism (at least then you killed for non-religious reasons). But I did not say that to the 7th grade teacher alas. I only thought of that this minute in fact. Smiley

I believe the common analysis of early judaism these days is that it propagated the exclusive worship of one God, but that it was still pretty far from being what we would call 'monotheistic'. Just have a look at the etymology of the very name 'Israel'.

But then the thing about early judaism seems to be that we know so very, very little about it.
21  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What Politician/Thinker from the "Other Side" Can "Your Side" Learn Most From? on: June 19, 2013, 12:57:37 pm
Personally, I think social conservatives have much to learn from Antonio Gramsci. His work on cultural hegemony provides a road map to reverse the slide into social liberalism. Gramsci believed that Marxists must work to seize control of cultural institutions in order for Marxism to succeed. The same goes for social conservatives.

Well, that's a rather crude picture of Gramsci.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do the people that accused me of being a sock account owe me a slight apology? on: June 19, 2013, 11:19:26 am
These accusations were inane

Learn how to spell, Mr. English Is My First Language.

Say about him what you want, but it would appear that at the very least he's learned to spell.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How do Republicans compete with media bias on: June 18, 2013, 01:49:20 pm
Aren't Republicans the ones who created the mythical "liberal media" as a foil several decades ago? And didn't it work for them in the past? If the media is in fact much more hostile to Republicans, which I'm not sure it is, then it's the Republicans who created the monster than turned on them.
It's a code word for Jewish people.

This. People forget where and how these myths began. The idea that there is this "Vast Conspiracy" to Destroy Christendom And Undermine The Nation.

Examples include the "liberal media" and Climate Change denialism.

It's just how some people react to the world changing around them. These are just the same conspiracies like the "Judo-Bolshevik" Conspiracy just rehashed for modern times. They all have the same themes and the same victim mentality behind them.

Except every so often, we're right

24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: "Suicide Chic" (poss NSFW) on: June 18, 2013, 11:45:45 am
Somehow it is difficult to imagine them doing the same for male writers...

Sadly, by the time they kill themselves most male writers are old and fat. The good people at VICE are more than grateful to the likes of Plath and Woolf for doing the decent thing and going while still young.

(Well, Virginia was in her fifties, but then nobody knows any pictures of her other than that one from when she was in her twenties, so I guess that makes it allright.)
25  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? on: June 18, 2013, 11:23:16 am

Followed up with To Kill A Mockingbird. I sense that one ought to disapprove of it but I'm a sappy romantic so I just loved it.

Would you be surprised if I told you that I don't like To Kill A Mockingbird?

It's a very long time now since I read fiction.

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