Well whad’ya know?
It’s been an interesting day today, because my faith in humanity has both been partially restored and diminished – thanks to the talks I went to today.
The first one was with a former South African Politician turned political writer, Andrew Feinstein: He has made it his personal mission to expose corruption within governments worldwide, and he has partially done so in his book ‘ The Shadow World’. It is always shocking to hear the statistics and stories of someone who has actively been digging up the dirt on big companies and governments alike, even if you are already aware of their twisted ways. But one thing I didn’t know in particular was how a very successful arms dealer (Joe Der Hovsepian), who has a non-existent paper trail has a Facebook profile, and a ‘LinkedIn’ account, despite his otherwise secret life!
Secondly came another talk from the Cambridge University speakers, only this time (much to my surprise) there was no pretentious snobbery, nor any assertions of superiority. On the contrary, Stefan Collini argued that universities should provide a practical, character building experience for those with the aptitude and the drive. He also argued that money should not be part of the application criteria, as the fresh waves of undergraduates could very well prove to be an investment into the economic stability of the country (and therefore should not be cut short). There was emphasis on the relative importance of all subjects, and that one particular school should not take precedence over another. In all it was a promising (and bright) ideal that was shining through Collini’s talk, I just hope there are more senior academics that share his view on the status quo of our universities.
Here’s the ‘daily Hay’ video, technically it is a day late because it is now the 8th of June, well I blame the internet connection for that one. Hay may be an annual hub of literary/cultural intelligence , but the web connectivity is shambolic three hundred and sixty-five days a year.