The Causes of War in Popular (Intellectual) Imagination. (Blainey, 1973)

Blainey in his book The Causes of War (1973) lists a number of causes of war in popular imagination.
  1. “In the eighteenth century, many philosophers thought that the ambitions of absolute monarchs were the main cause of war; pull down the mighty, and wars would become rare.

  2. Another theory contended that many wars came from the Anglo-French rivalry for colonies and commerce: restrain that quest, and peace would be more easily preserved.

  3. The wars following the French Revolution fostered an idea that popular revolutions were becoming the main cause of international war.

  4. In the nineteenth century, monarchs who sought to unite their troubled country by a glorious foreign war were widely seen as culprits.

  5. At the end of that century the capitalists‘ chase for markets or investment outlets became a popular villain.

  6. The First World War convinced many writers that armaments races and arms salesmen had become the villains, and both world wars fostered the idea that militarist regimes were the main disturbers of the peace.”
Source: Blainey, G. (1973). The Causes of War. Free  Press. NY.

The Blind Men and the Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe



John Godfrey Saxe (1872)



IT was six men of Indostan

To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

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The Postmodern Condition by Jean-François Lyotard

“The object of this study is the condition of knowledge in the most highly developed societies.I have decided to use the word postmodernto describe that condition. The word is in current use on the American continent among sociologists and critics; it designates the state of our culture following the transformations which, since the end of the nineteenth century, have altered the game rules for science,literature and the arts. The present study will place these transformations in the context of the crisis of narratives.

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Slipping with Freud: Parapraxis

In psychoanalysis, parapraxis – other called a Freudian slip in quotidian lingo – is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that occurs due to the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought.

In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life Freud suggest parapraxis is, “the phenomena can be traced back to incompletely suppressed psychical material, which, although pushed away by consciousness has nevertheless not been robbed of all capacity for expressing itself” (Freud [1901] 1989, p. 344).

In contrast to the widely popular ‘slip of tongue’, Freud described five different forms of parapraxes or slips in his Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.

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What are the “World Cities”?

This is a summary of and commentary on the prologue titled “The Metropolitan Explosion” of Peter Hall’s (1966), “The World Cities”.

Although the defining elements of his “World City” remain unchanged, a major shift has been in manufacturing (element # 4b) in urban suburbs. The World Cities are gradually leaving behind the role of being hub for the dissemination of (imported and exported) goods, and specializing in technological, financial, and human “resource management”. That is not to suggest that World Cities are no longer ports (element # 2) (e.g. Istanbul, Shanghai, etc.), but  being a port city is no longer a necessary condition for being a World City. Neither is being “center of political power” (element # 1) (e.g. New York, San Fransisco, etc.). However, the most fundamental defining element of being a “World City” is being a mecca for “riches” (element # 4) and “talent” (element # 3). Hence, a “World City” is a increasingly defined in terms of the concentration of “financial and human capital” instead of “manufacturing and political capital”.

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The Stranger and The Estranged

In this post, I posit the concept – the Estranged – as a dialectical opposite to Simmel’s concept of the Stranger. If the stranger is remembered for his ‘distance’ from the (host) group, the estranged is remembered for his ‘departure’ from the (reference) group.

Simmel defined the Stranger as an “organic member of the group” (p. 149), who “comes today and stays tomorrow”[1] (p. 143), who is defined by his “nearness” over “remoteness” to the group (p. 143), who brings “qualities into it (the group) that are not, and cannot be, indigenous to it” (p. 143), which make him “attractive and meaningful” (p.145), whose “objectivity” that is by no means “detachment and non-participation” (p. 145) lend as “specific form” to his interaction with the group (p. 143) by “both being outside it and confronting it” (p. 146). A stranger is “freer practically and theoretically; he surveys conditions with less prejudice; his criteria for them are more general and more objective ideals; he is not tied down in his action by habit, piety, and precedent” (p. 146). 

[1] as opposed to a wanderer “who comes today and leaves tomorrow” (p. 143) Continue reading The Stranger and The Estranged