Victor Hugo: two faces of political violence

They wanted an end to oppression, an end to tyranny, an end to strife, work for men, education for children, social goodwill towards women, liberty, equality, fraternity, bread for all, an idea for all, a paradise made of this world, progress. And that good, sweet blessed thing, progress, they demanded fearsomely, driven to extremity, to utter distraction, half-naked, with bludgeon…

“What can I do?”

… is the question you’ve been waiting to be asked, and it deserves your full attention. Who’s asking? What are they doing now? What can they do? What could they do? (Should you tell them? Should you ask them to tell you?) What else will it take from you to make it happen? Un-busy yourself, spend some time thinking about…

Five in a row from Seth Godin

Attitudes are skills “No one ever bought anything on an elevator. The elevator pitch isn’t about selling your idea, because a metaphorical elevator is a lousy place to make a pitch. When you feel like you’re being judged and only have a minute to make a first impression, it’s tempting to try to explain the truth and nuance of who…

The next (small) step

In the face of too much to do (which there always will be), too little time (there is never enough), lack of clear information about the present (let alone the future), and uncertainty about what’s going to work (probably the bit that makes your work interesting and important) and how best to do it, what should you do? One answer…

Kevin Kelly on the future of progress and prosperity

Here’s a dose of optimism from KK – part of his excellent series of videos on The Future of X. It’s well worth checking out. I believe there are going to be another two decades of increased productivity, increased prosperity, around the world on average. That doesn’t mean everywhere, it doesn’t mean every person, but taken as a whole, the…

Privilege(s)

Youth Age and experience Health Strength Energy Being loved Wit Family Beauty Opportunity Education Being born a socially advantaged gender Being born to socially advantaged ethnic group Being born to the ‘right’ parents within your group Not somehow ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time Friendship An enthusiastic disposition To have struggled and overcome The right chance…

Producer (1): Let’s go to the movies

Q: How do movies get made? (This isn’t a joke but feel free to suggest one!)A: They are produced. A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script; coordinating writing, directing, and editing; and arranging financing.…

Victor Hugo on right, reality and the morality of the past

The July Revolution is the triumph of right in the overthrow of reality. A splendid thing. Right overthrowing reality. Hence the magnitude of the 1830 Revolution, hence also its mildness. Right that triumphs has no need to be violent. Right is that which is just and true. Characteristic of what is right is to remain eternally beautiful and pure. Reality,…

What’s reading worth? OECD data on the economic returns to literacy

This OECD data records an average 7.5% increase in a person’s wages (8.8% for non-native speakers) for every one standard deviation increase in literacy proficiency, averaged across 24 OECD countries. That’s equivalent to slightly more than two-and-a-half years’ additional salary over a 35 year working life.* According to this data the UK’s return to a one standard deviation in literacy…