Every now and then I read something, see something, listen to something that really resonates.   You know the feeling  – you get excited by it – tell a few friends – and then it fades.

Hence my memory becomes like a palimpsest – a parchment where you can see the traces of previous writing or drawing that’s been erased and over-written – as the impressions become faded, and intermixed with later experiences.

So – the plan for this section is to post reviews of things that excite me enough to bother to write them down while they’re fresh.

And what I’d really love is if you, gentle reader,  also wanted to add your own reviews here, by sending me links to things you’ve written – or sending me a document I could put up here for you.    Books, theatre, movies, documentaries, conferences, speeches …. Anything’s good!

To start:

“Payback” by Margaret Atwood.   You may know her as a novelist – but this is something else.  I read it and wrote the attached review in 2010.  Now, as we watch what’s happened with the Occupy Movement, and the breakdowns of civil society in debt-affected European nations, she was truly prophetic!

To come as soon as I’ve finished digesting them:

“The Better Angels of our Nature – the decline of violence in history and its causes” by Steven Pinker.  You think the world is an increasingly violent place?  No way!  Pinker has brought together the evidence on everything from homicide to genocide, from state-sanctioned wars to civil wars, from animal abuse to child abuse and shown ALL are on the decline. And he explains why. (That’s why the book is even longer than the title.)

“Building Local Resilience in an Era of Economic Turmoil & Resource Depletion”  – a talk by Nicole M Foss inWellington in April 2012.     Michelle is something of a one-person multi-disciplinary team: her qualifications include biology (focussing on neuroscience and psychology), air and water pollution control, and international law in development.  Her study into history’s great booms and busts informs her views on why and how the Global, Credit Crisis is going to affect our future. Scary  –  but she also has ideas on how we could find our way out of it (and that won’t have anything to do with what the politicians, financiers and world institutions try to do!).


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