Massively fascinating: a 1934 interview between H. G. Wells and Josef Stalin. You can see there were some heady debates about deep-seated philosophical issues and attitudes to society going on at the time:
Stalin: Yes, you are right when you say that the old social system is breaking down; but it is not breaking down of its own accord. Take Fascism for example. Fascism is a reactionary force which is trying to preserve the old system by means of violence. What will you do with the Fascists? Argue with them? Try to convince them? But this will have no effect upon them at all. Communists do not in the least idealise methods of violence. But they, the Communists, do not want to be taken by surprise; they cannot count on the old world voluntarily departing from the stage;
Stalin was a very cohesive thinker from the looks of things, able to lay out an argument in terms that would be convincing, and has an ability to keep the message focused until a greater level of detail is required. Would be interesting to read any other interviews with him.
History diversion: Today I learned… the “Founding Fathers” of America might not have been so pure in their motives after all:
As Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, a new and frustrating biography by Willard Sterne Randall, shows, Allen is hard to write about. He poses a challenge not so much because he is different from more famous Founders like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin but because he resembles them perhaps a bit too much—in ways most Americans prefer not to think about.
Indeed, who wasn’t a land speculator in this freewheeling age? George Washington, a former surveyor, had amassed thousands of acres in the Ohio valley and spent 10 years lobbying the governor of Virginia to legalize his titles. Gen. Thomas Gage, who would lead British forces against Washington, held 18,000 acres, and had married into one of the greatest landowning families on the continent. When fighting broke out in 1775, these contested speculations loomed in the background.
If Allen had one thing in greater quantities than courage and verve, it was good timing. In the spring of 1775, just as officials were planning to arrest Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, a far greater insurrection broke out in Boston. Had the imperial crisis not come to a head just then, Allen would surely have been captured and executed.
and, alluding to the religious context of the time, the article makes mention of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, a text by one of the Founding Fathers that explicitly attacks Christianity in its then-modern form, along with straight-out calling the Bible just another book. Imagine someone on the level of the US President saying that these days – it’d cause apoplexies across the US and be liable to see him impeached before the week was through!
Fascinating that the US has warped into the strange country with conflicting drives that exists today.
Who’s your first crush? (via)
I told Kirsty I’d tell these stories one day, so here they are.
My first – proper – crush was ‘A’, and she didn’t look at me at all; I adored her for all the wrong, infantile reasons. We would have conversations which I would take away, manipulate and make myself feel good about things, and pretend like there was something reciprocal there.
Hah, what a lie. She crushed any such ideas swiftly, and I haven’t spoken to her in years. I got over it quick. Looking back now, it’s very much a “what were you thinking?” feeling.
She taught me to recognise shallowness, and that I should avoid it like the plague.
My second crush was also an ‘A’ (but a different ‘A’). She was as cute as a button, and I assumed that her ever-smiling face was her, and that it was all very chill. It was a time at which I could devote my time to obsessing over these things, and so I did.
Continue reading Crush
Going on the point I made just before, I went back and looked at what I had written oh so long ago, back when this used to be the dke project, all the way back on friendlygrocer :)
The first thing I picked up on was that my designs overall have probably been slipping :) Back then, each page, each post was carefully crafted by hand, for without script-enabled hosting, what other method is there? And the other thing was that it wasn’t just a blog, it was a whole personal site, and that’s something that going down the blogging platform path takes away from you, I think. It does make a lot of other things a helluva lot easier (no need to FTP in every update, for one).
Continue reading retrospective
A timeline of the Middle East over 5000 years: How much fuss over what is basically the edge of a desert? (via)
Honesty exists in the moment. Afterwards, whoever writes the most convincing story determines ‘history’. The word even has ‘story’ in it.
Friday will mark 3 months of me being a working man, and today marks 3 months having moved out of home. Not sure how I feel about these things, but – wait for it – I’m gonna let you know. (gee, did you see that coming? not me, coz, totally…)
*ahem* Let’s structure this. And let you in on what I’m doing – no deletes in this post, just restatements. You get to see my thought process. Which obviously isn’t as structured as this, because I added this after writing some lines below. That are after the cut.
Continue reading Three Months a Workin’
61 months is how long it’s been since I moved down from Sydney, and now I’m moving back up. It’s been a long and interesting 5 years, and I’m going to do a quick summary here. Mainly because I can.
Continue reading 61 Months