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Edinburgh: 7th December; Come along to the Blind Poet pub: ‘Introduction to Jazz 'plus' Live music from Sukh'


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The Study of the History of Languages by Alex Dunedin

Philology is the study of language in written historical sources.  It involves the analysis of literary texts, written records, where they have come from, who wrote them, and what meaning they hold. The philological community has differing beliefs as to many aspects of the history of language, and often these differences have given rise to heated debates.  The history of language can also be viewed as involving a debate about the meaning of things which have been written that have shaped whole cultures and ultimately the way we have come to behave in certain contexts.

For these reasons the history of language can be a tricky area, as some ‘meaning’ can change over time, according to place, and indeed, depending on which viewpoint you take as your beginning.  Against the backdrop of the communities which have invested great amounts of time in this subject, I have chosen to make a basic exploration of some of the beliefs held by some of the people about the origins of written language.  It is not scholarly, as any serious study which leads to statement making should be.  It is a casual jaunt to expand my horizons and to help comprehend that the depths of language are far greater than I could idly take for granted.  Read more

The Corporate Takeover of Education

We are living in an age where increasingly the lifeworld we inherently own and share are becoming colonized with the values of the marketplace.  In short, everything is being bought and sold from under our feet and out of our lives.  This is a distinct and troubling trend where the idea of economic growth is metastasizing into a financialism which consumes everything in its wake.

Charitable activities are now being rebranded and bashed into the molds of ‘social enterprises’, ‘corporate social responsibility’ models, and opportunities for tax breaks.  Church halls, community centres and public spaces are now financialised; so the spaces where we collectively meet and chew the cud are disappearing. Traditional public goods – things which improve and lift the lives of everyone concerned – are being parcelled off and written into the dreaded ‘bottom line’.  Amongst these public goods is education, which I am going to examine here a little more.

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