I don't know whats more important- to learn to have an opinion or to learn to be fluid. Let me explain- I was at an office party [I'm working with this lobbying/PR firm in London- FYI- this isn't the American style of lobbying because then I wouldn't even tell you this out of sheer embrassment].. SO I was at this party and one guy I work with, John, said that he isn't sure if he really has an opinion on anything. He certainly talks about a lot of issues, but feels he doesn't know enough to be SURE. Hello, my life. I'm constantly thinking out loud [or on paper] because I don't have any firm conclusions, and its because of the same reason- I never feel like I have all the facts to have a concrete opinion which I can be sure is right. I think thats a good way to be, I don't presume to have all the answers, although, I do cut people off in conversations when a thought strikes me-but I promise, I try my best not to!
Why did I bring this up? I was reading The Economist, another article about how the Deomcrats can't be sure about beating the Republicans- because they don't have a clear voice eminating out of the party. Now, I'm a little out of the loop but as far as I understand the louder voice that is SURE that the Democrats have nothing to say certainly drown out anything they DO have to say. A few days ago I popped into a book store at lunch and picked up Al Frankens hilarious but smart book- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Before I say anything else, the book is so damn well written that I finished it in two days- that included work and a friday night. So I read it on the tube, walking from the tube to work, walking to the pub, at the bar while I waited for my wine... seriously. I did. And when it was done I wished I hadn't read it so damn fast! But those are my issues.
Ok cut to a few days later. Last week I went to work, picked up three books at lunch, came home after an exhausting day only to have to go to Kings Cross to meet a friend who left his keys with me- and give them back before he headed to Nottingham- two pints, still exhausted, but finally home at half past twelve. SO.. the books- well, Freakonomics and Alice in Wonderland I did want to buy. The one that I started reading was the one I hadn't heard about. Its called 'Confessions of an Economic Hit Man'. Now this is what I mean about thinking you know.
Everyone who knows anything about the IMF [et al] and policies with LDC's knows that these banks loaned money to developing (or underdeveloped) countries with major baggage attached. They all owe debt now, and the gap between the rich and poor remains strong as ever. In the book John Perkins talks of his experience as an economic hit man, and that this was a case of being employed by a large corporation and not the government, but the aim was still of economic imperialism. The fact that he was told that he needed to fix projected figures of growth to entrap these countries is something that we all know about to an extent-- but to have a person talk about it so honestly-- is chilling. I went to amazon to read other reviews and many people think he is crazy or that this is mainly a work of fiction set in real events. Others do believe him.
But it did get me thinking about the 'truth' and opinion and sources of information. I read a survey in the Economist about New Media (mulling over what essay to do for my International Media Management class) and some of the points in the survey appealed to me because what the new media does is open up doors into rooms, albeit in cyberspace, but rooms to conversations and views we may not get so easily and openly. Its a democracy of information--- which we are losing because of media concentration in the traditional forms.
Anyway, this is a haphazard post because I have been trying to add in a few lines when I get the time. But I've really been mad busy.
Oh the books- Freakonomics is interesting. Goes into the economic explantions of everyday issues. Fun read.
I did start Alice in Wonderland. Read the intro.... about Lewis Caroll (not his real name) and how he was probably a pedeophile. Seriously, it was 9am on the tube to work. Euw. Haven't felt like picking it up since.