‘Neoliberalism Has Failed Us’

This interview with Cornel West, American philosopher and professor at Harvard and Yale, among other universities, touches on many of the issues and concerns I see in the Philippines, even though West is talking about the situation in the United States. As West sees it, the US has not done enough to tackle the underlying issues of poverty, instead becoming too focused on window dressing solutions like diversity. ‘Black faces in high places’ as he calls it.

There are too many quotable passages so I’ll just leave off with two:

First, on the flag controversy in the US:

For me, every flag is under the cross. So often, the flag becomes an idol to worship or fetishize, to defer before––whereas for a Christian like me, the cross signifies unarmed truth, unconditional love. The flag is always a national symbol, and that national symbol is under unconditional truth, unconditional love––so the cross is always a critique of the flag. I never really thought that the flag required my uncritical allegiance.

Then, on how to face the present tide:

As things become more hopeless, we have to fight more intensely because of issues of integrity, honesty, decency, truth, justice. You have to choose ways of being in the world, even when it looks as if you have very little chance of being victorious at the present moment.

The Science of Traffic

Not surprisingly, slowdowns are the leading cause of traffic.

A car behind the slow vehicle has to brake and slow down, forcing the car behind to brake, and so forth. The slowdown spreads upstream of the slow vehicle in a wave, called a shockwave. Now, the car behind the slow vehicle will try to get around it. In tight traffic, a desperate car trying to pass the slow vehicle will inevitably pass close in front of a car in an adjacent lane. That forces the driver in that lane to brake, propagating a shockwave in that lane as well. These slowdowns will propagate sideways through other lanes as cars try to evade the slowdown and then backwards as new slowdowns are created.

Food for thought for our stop-and-go traffic caused by our public transport as well as the much vaunted 30kph speed limit of Davao City.

Is liberal Islam possible?

Beyond liberal Islam looks at Islam vs the ideals of Western liberalism amidst the liberalism’s own contradictions.

The ‘Christian’ West might have established liberal societies, but it has struggled to produce liberal citizens. The resurgent fascistic movements in Europe and North America today seeking to restrict the freedoms of others are distinctly Christian and Western identity movements.