George Soros explains the European sovereign debt crisis. Written more than a year ago, but still very relevant. Highly recommended.
Я не к тому, что мы не должны говорить о Холокосте или, упаси Господи, должны о нем забыть. Но позитивную групповую идентичность народа можно строить только на позитивном мессидже. На мессидже о том, что «это народ, у которого убили 6 миллионов человек», нельзя создать позитивную идентичность ни для самого народа, ни для народов, его окружающих. Лучше, например, строить идентификацию народа на создании новой страны и на ее победах в войнах с врагами — как это делали Советский Союз или Израиль. Важен позитивный мессидж.

И фильм «Ликвидация» дает такой мессидж. Он говорит: «Евреи — это такие люди, которые жили в южном городе Одессе, они были смелые и мужественные, они умели дружить, они умели любить, они отличали добро от зла, они защищали свой город». Любой человек, услышав такое, скажет: да, такой народ можно любить, к такому народу хочется принадлежать.

Cute

Jul. 26th, 2011 12:03 am
Look at the image up close, and then from a distance.

You may think of yourself as a bad typist, but in fact may actually be an average or even better than average one.

L'chayim!

Jun. 13th, 2011 09:01 pm
From Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature by William James:

The next step into mystical states carries us into a realm that public opinion and ethical philosophy have long since branded as pathological, though private practice and certain lyric strains of poetry seem still to bear witness to its ideality. I refer to the consciousness produced by intoxicants and anaesthetics, especially by alcohol. The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes. It is in fact the great exciter of the YES function in man. It brings its votary from the chill periphery of things to the radiant core. It makes him for the moment one with truth. Not through mere perversity do men run after it. To the poor and the unlettered it stands in the place of symphony concerts and of literature; and it is part of the deeper mystery and tragedy of life that whiffs and gleams of something that we immediately recognize as excellent should be vouchsafed to so many of us only in the fleeting earlier phases of what in its totality is so degrading a poisoning. The drunken consciousness is one bit of the mystic consciousness, and our total opinion of it must find its place in our opinion of that larger whole.
Read more... )
Ведьма предсказала, что принцесса уколет себе палец веретеном и умрет. Тогда король велел отрезать принцессе все пальцы

Я читал эту сказку миллион раз, но такой абсолютно очевидный подход мне в голову ни разу не пришел!
From William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience.

We would make known in our own persons the usefulness of rule, of discipline, of resignation and renunciation; we would teach the necessary perpetuity of suffering, and explain the creative part which it plays.

We would wage war upon false optimism; on the base hope of happiness coming to us ready made; on the notion of a salvation by knowledge alone, or by material civilization alone, vain symbol as this is of civilization, precarious external arrangement ill-fitted to replace the intimate union and consent of souls.

We would wage war also on bad morals, whether in public or in private life; on luxury, fastidiousness, and over-refinement, on all that tends to increase the painful, immoral, and anti-social multiplications of our wants; on all that excites envy and dislike in the soul of the common people, and confirms the notion that the chief end of life is freedom to enjoy.

We would preach by our example the respect of superiors and equals, the respect of all men; affectionate simplicity in our relations with inferiors and insignificant persons; indulgence where our own claims only are concerned, but firmness in our demands where they relate to duties towards others or towards the public. For the common people are what we help them to become; their vices are our vices, gazed upon, envied, and imitated; and if they come back with all their weight upon us, it is but just.

We forbid ourselves all seeking after popularity, all ambition to appear important. We pledge ourselves to abstain from falsehood, in all its degrees. We promise not to create or encourage illusions as to what is possible, by what we say or write. We promise to one another active sincerity, which strives to see truth clearly, and which never fears to declare what it sees.

We promise deliberate resistance to the tidal waves of fashion, to the 'booms' and panics of the public mind, to all the forms of weakness and of fear.

We forbid ourselves the use of sarcasm. Of serious things we will speak seriously and unsmilingly, without banter and without the appearance of banter;--and even so of all things, for there are serious ways of being light of heart.

We will put ourselves forward always for what we are, simply and without false humility, as well as without pedantry, affectation, or pride.
Один мой знакомый утверждает (или по крайней мере утверждал раньше), что человеку суждено прочитать ту или иную книгу в то или иное время. Если она попадет ему в руки раньше этого времени, то он либо ее бросит, либо совсем не поймет, а то может и что-нибудь совсем непотребное случиться.

Прочитай я Исповедь еще года два-три назад, я почти бы ничего не понял. Скорее всего, мне бы довольно быстро стало скучно и я бы бросил, несмотря на небольшой размер этого эссе. Сейчас я прочитал его запоем... На этом и остановлюсь.
Here's my newly-created professional blog.
Beware. I'm talking from personal experience here :)

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