Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Today's Idle And Not-So-Idle Echidne Thoughts

1.  Watch this video about women's fashions in the West changing from 1915 to 2015, because it's both fun and because you can then watch it again while thinking about the economic, technological, political and social influences behind the changes you see.

2.  I was struck by one interaction in this Salman Rushdie interview :

[Q.] Your novel is a homage of sorts to the myth of Scheherazade, who told stories every night to delay her execution, and the title is a riff on “One Thousand and One Nights.” It struck me that you have experienced the inverse of the Scheherazade story, after being a target for execution for your novel “The Satanic Verses.”
A. Yes, the anti-Scheherazade. My life is what it is, and clearly it affects what I think. Scheherazade is one of the great authorless figures. No one has any idea who made her up, so it’s easy to think she made herself up. But there she is, one of the immortal characters of literature, and how can you not fall in love with somebody who civilizes savage people by telling them stories?
I love the idea of stories having such powers!  If only that was the case.

Still,  in some deeper sense it is true that telling stories is an inherent aspect of being human, of trying to understand this bewildering mess that is reality, and, most importantly, of trying to reach others.

3.  This Huffington Post article argues that gender equality is the most critical of global goals. 

Whether it is the most critical depends on how we define such goals (as climate change, for example, might become so drastic as to wipe out the need to talk about a now-extinct species and the forms of inequality it accepted for millennia), but I have come to the conclusion that a shared global goal on gender equality is absolutely necessary. 

It's insufficient to let various countries or cultures pursue those goals for themselves only.  The world no longer consists of many isolated cultures, after all, but of something much more integrated, and what happens inside one culture affects other nearby cultures