"Top Ten (Alternative) Valentine?s Songs

Metal Hammer editors provide you top 10 song lists on Valentines Day…….


India?s Shri Ram Sene, a right-wing Hindu group, is responsible for violent attacks on women who wear attire that they claim ?violates Indian norms.? To counter the thuggery, Bangalore-based Alternative Law Forum (ALF) has launched a satirical campaign seen above, titled ?A Consortium of Pubgoing Loose and Forward Women?. Found in Pink Panties to Counter Violence Against Women

A roundup- food for thought:

Brits: rally to save your right to photograph the police, Feb 16 at Scotland Yard

Britons are planning on rallying at Scotland Yard on Feb 16 to protest the new law that lets the cops throw you in jail for ten years for photographing them in action, if your photo is “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”

The liberty of the networked (part 1), Tony Curzon Price

By Tony Curzon Price on Tony Curzon Price

Does technology liberate or enslave? When Prometheus first started the industrial revolution, Zeus thought he had liberated humanity and should be punished for it. The tension between technology as empowering versus technology as sinister control continues. The web versus the database, liberation or tool of tyranny? The Convention on Modern Liberty of which openDemocracy is a sponsor, asks us to make the question of technology’s social role central to our political thought and activity. The Convention is right that we must not patiently allow a new technological order to deeply rebalance tyranny and liberty.

The liberty of the networked (pt 2), Tony Curzon Price

By Tony Curzon Price on Tony Curzon Price


In part 1 of this essay I used Benjamin Constant’s characterisation of the modern, individualised liberties as being dependent on the republican liberty of collective self-determination to characterise the ways in which technology can be seen to be simultaneously freedom enhancing while also dauntingly threatening. The progressive tech-topians, recognisable today as they were at the start of the industrial revolution, do not see either how hyper-individualism might lead to an atomised, dominated subjection or how the new facility for community-making might generate the tyrannies of society from which modernity promised to liberate us. This second part of the essay elaborates on these dangers. A final third part will emphasise the inescapably political and collective task of preserving liberty.

Iran’s revolution: beyond enigma , Homa Katouzian

By david hayes on democracy & iran

The revolution of February 1979 in Iran was a revolt of the society against the state. In some of its basic characteristics, the revolution did not conform to the usual norms of western revolutions, because the state did not represent just an ordinary dictatorship but an absolute and arbitrary system that lacked political legitimacy and a social base virtually across the whole of the society.

Hybrid consciousness or purified religion

By Richard Madsen on A Secular Age

Charles Taylor’s framework for understanding the advent of a “secular age” in the North Atlantic world offers a useful first draft for understanding the place of religion in Asian modernity.  As I have shown in my previous two posts, modern Asian countries have secular states, but, despite efforts of some states to destroy all religion, they still have religious societies. In this post, I will discuss how new cultural conditions of belief give religion a different valence than it had in pre-modern times. Taylor’s framework, however, is only a first draft. […]

Uses of genocide: Kenya, Georgia, Israel, Sri Lanka

The concept of genocide has become a weapon of political polemic. But the violence inflicted on civilians in four conflicts shows how it is also rooted in the logic of modern wars, says Martin Shaw.

Why do ?Leftist? Professors Predominate in Academia?

By Maximilian Forte on York University

The first questions ought to be what one means by ?leftist,? and how one goes about ascertaining the number of such ?leftists? in academia. Dr. Christine Overall, a Professor in Philosophy at Queen?s University in Kingston, Ontario, believes that a number of studies have shown that leftists predominate in universities in both Canada and the United States. As someone who did his Bachelor?s degree at York University in Toronto, I recalled having only one Canadian professor out of 20 for the courses I took, and that the majority were Americans who came to Canada during the Vietnam War, and the majority of those overtly used Marxist theory as an analytical tool in their courses (I am still not convinced that Marxism was much more than a research instrument in many of those cases).

Davos club rules

Who’s in, who’s out and who only came out at night

Davos finds no answers to crisis

In Davos 2009

The World Economic Forum of business and political leaders has ended with a call to rebuild the global economic system.

MAIN FOCUS: The post-crisis world? | 02/02/2009


The 39th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum ended in Davos on Sunday, profoundly marked by the global financial crisis. Although the motto was “Shaping the Post-Crisis World”, concrete solutions failed to emerge from the meeting in Switzerland. The European press takes stock.

Thoughts on Imagined Communities on Inauguration day

One of my classes (re)read Benedict Anderson?s Imagined Communities today. Several of the students (none of whom can be quite old enough to have voted against Bush once, and certainly not twice) sagely recalled the last time
they had read it, as if we lived in a different world. Maybe we do, I thought, and I felt like doing the same, since it seems an appropriate book to have read on this day of all. Ergo?………..

Too much attention paid to imagined communities

By John Postill on public anthropology

Christopher Kelty from the collective anthropological blog Savage Minds has posted some interesting ?Thoughts on Imagined Communities on Inauguration Day?. My own take on this discussion (the following is an expanded version of my comments posted last night) is that nationalist ideals, policies and practices are still very much a reality all over the place. A few recent examples:

How Forwarded Email Jokes, Hoaxes Evolved with Social Media

In urban legends

When I first ventured online in the late ’90s, my in-box was constantly flooded with email forwards. Friends and co-workers alike tossed around lists of jokes, hoaxes and cautionary urban legends, pleas about a dying child in Idaho that needed your prayers or horror stories about human fingers discovered in fast food hamburgers. Today it seems that there are fewer circulating. But while many people have stopped forwarding emails because of complaints from recipients, it seems they’re not so much dwindling as changing with the times.

Nanotechnology: The Social and Ethical Issues

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