Saturday, 23 April 2016

"The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap."


Thursday, 14 April 2016

"I listen in envy, F. said. Don't you know you're being loved?"

"Don't you want to hear what happened when I was a telephone?"
"I do, but I don't want want to beg. I have to beg you for every scrap of information about the world."
"But that's the only way you value it. When it falls on you from out of the trees you think its rotten fruit."

"Oh F, do you think I can learn to perceive the diamonds of good amongst all the shit?"
"It is all diamond."

Monday, 11 April 2016

Reassuring thought of the day

"It has been said that it is quicker to list the plants that do not form endomycorrhizae than those that do."

Friday, 1 April 2016

"There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom', the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."
— Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire