Gleanings, 25-31 October 2015.


I read quite a bit day in, day out, and tweet the links a bit, but not everyone shares all of the same social media platforms so I thought I’d offer a few links on the blog, from time to time, that I’ve found to be of value, thereby adding, I hope, to the Interestingness Index of Life!

+ Book Review . . . Routledge Handbook of International Education & Development. I was enticed by the recognition of complexity and the enlarged understanding of what education is & how & where learning happens in this review. One of the editors, Simon McGrath, taught for a quarter century in my home country, Zimbabwe.

Keeping Africa in mind . . .

+ This poignant essay by Mohammed Ademo called “Exiled“, observes that ‘mourning is an exile’s state of being’.

My blessings are many, but this realisation does not take away from my sense of loss and desire to belong, a feeling that the late Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said called ‘the crippling sorrow of estrangement’.

And how. This squeezed me at my core: for myself and all others in this diasporic realm.

Then again, casting strangeness into a more positive (if escapist: why not?) light . . .

+ Book Review . . . The fabulous David Mitchell on Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea (Guardian), mentioning as an aside, along the way, the Seto Inland Sea islands (right off my current shores!). This is a book I discovered as an adult & continue to delight in.

And, remembering life is always larger and stranger than we can imagine, this story emerged from the quantum world (bah dum!):

+ Physicists prove ‘quantum spookiness’ and start chasing Schrödinger’s cat.

 (Watch the videos! ‘True, but not in the way you’re inclined to think . . .’. Very helpful!)

From the quantum to other angles on hidden realities . . . 

+ Book Review . . . at the LARB, of Ryan White’s The Hidden God: Pragmatism and Posthumanism in American Thought. (What on earth is ‘posthuman’? It’s a thing. In the article we’re told that ‘a posthumanist pragmatism would have us remember that language and knowledge, experience and selfhood, are never as transparent nor as complete as we might think or wish them to be.’ I’m down with that. I sense a rabbit hole nearby. Oh, wascally wabbits!)

+ Joe Humphrys is a name with which I’m not familiar — O Serendipity — till now! He writes a column for the Irish Times under the delicious title “Unthinkable” and has a book out which is blurbed as asking ‘fundamental questions about politics, society and ethics, seeking answers from leading thinkers in each field. The answers they give are brought together in one book, offering ideas capable of changing not just your mind but the world for the better.’ In a recent column he engages William Desmond with the question “What makes humans valuable if not God?”

Image: Jacques Adrien Lavieille, ‘Labours of the Field’,  after Jean-Francois Millet. More here. I love the image(s) of the Gleaner(s) and they are, for the time being anyway, season-appropriate and rather fitting for the act of collecting from the vast seas of web info.

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