Monthly Archives: March 2016

16. AP8 Questions about Cities

Cities are a com­pli­cat­ed and fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject. They pose end­less ques­tions. For exam­ple, as indi­vid­u­als, are our life oppor­tu­ni­ties more defined by par­tic­u­lar cities than par­tic­u­lar coun­tries? How much loy­al­ty and sweat should we invest in a par­tic­u­lar city? What makes a good city? How impor­tant is it for a city to be well-known, and what can they do about it? The UN lists 4,416 cities in the world with a pop­u­la­tion of over 150,000. The biggest (Tokyo and Jakar­ta) have over 30 mil­lion peo­ple. Cities usu­al­ly want to be “rec­og­nized” to attract some kind of advan­tage, usu­al­ly eco­nom­ic. Is this kind of ‘city exhi­bi­tion­ism’ a waste of time? .. and more ques­tions that you can think of.

15. AP8 Narcissism grew like an invasive plant throughout the 20th Century. Now it is in full bloom

First­ly a lot (not all) of “mod­ern” art and poet­ry and even music stopped say­ing much about the soci­eties which host­ed them and became pure­ly self indul­gent, often pompous­ly “abstract”. This mir­rored a lot (not all) of what was hap­pen­ing in many areas of aca­d­e­mic work, and a lot (not all) of what was hap­pen­ing in so-called high finance. When the dig­i­tal cam­era democ­ra­tized imagery, “self­ies” (or the ulti­mate self-indul­gence, sex­ting) became the dom­i­nant form of pho­tog­ra­phy. Now Don­ald Trump stands on top of the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal muck heap and asks to be anoint­ed as the emper­or of self-love.