Category Archives: History

Liberty next to…

Liberty next to religion has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime.

Lord Acton
The History of Freedom (1877)

 

This is one of the truest facts of life that I have come across. There are so many examples of this: in the Russian Civil War, after the November “Revolution” (more like coup d’etat), both the White Army (more right wing members- though there were some left wing members opposed to Bolshevism) and the Red Army (mainly Bolsehviks- the “defenders” of the revolution) were fighting in the name of liberating the people from the oppressive, despotic Bolshevik or Tsarist regime respectively. And in the name of liberty the crimes committed were atrocious, and it is for fear of disgusting myself that I do not delve further. Is it not ironic how both regimes were so similar? Yet they saw themselves as enemies- this unfortunately is often the case with politics. Party interests before the nation’s. Even today crimes are being committed in the face of liberty- Russia has annexed Crimea because it is “what the people wanted”. It is just sad that people exploit this promise of liberty for their own self interest- in the case of both Hitler and the Bolsheviks who exploited a social crisis with the Great Depression of 1929 and a number of social problems exacerbated by war in Russia.

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Words of the Week (well last week)

bifurcate

Pretty neat way of saying to divide in to (two) parts.

It is used in a variety of disciplines:

In Law- To bifurcate is the decision to spilt one case in to two separate trials so that one part can be finalised before moving on to the next part of the case. So if we think about a situation at a school: a child has accused their classmate of pouring some lemonade on them. Without bifurcation- both the accused and the prosecutor will be brought before a teacher and discuss what happened, (why) and what to do next. This could lead to a lot of arguing between the two children, where one may say that the prosecutor is lying or that it was an accident. Thus to then sort out some sort of compensation or punishment could be complicated. The defendant may say that they doesn’t deserve a punishment as they didn’t do it or say there is no evidence to back up the prosecutors argument. With bifurcation- the teacher would have two separate meetings, where they discussed what happened and then to sort out compensation and punishment. This means that what happened would be finalised so less negotiation would take place when sorting out the outcome.

In maths- it’s complicated and I don’t particularly understand much of it. If you don’t understand something, NEVER EXPLAIN IT! That is against the human code, and probably the bro code.

Rivers and Lakes- when a river splits in to two. These are normally temporary as the water in the separate channels will erode through the material that separates them eventually. Bifurcation lakes are lakes which have outflows in to two drainage basins.

Derivation:

From Medieval Latin, “bifurcatus” (having been divided). This is the perfect passive participle (yeah, Latin is useful sometimes) of the verb “bifurcare” (to divide), which is from the adjective “bifurcus” (two-pronged) from the prefix “bi-” (two) and “furca” (fork).

Asimbonanga

We have not seen him.

We have not seen Mandela,

In the place where he is,

In the place where he is kept.

I am not a colour, nor shall I ever be.

For I am a blank page;

Though every second I colour myself in,

With the paintbrush and pallet of life.

No one can hold my paintbrush,

No one can seize my pallet,

But I see their pages and I understand.

I understand why they want to take my freedom,

For they have taken their own.

But I must forgive them.

Otherwise my canvas will start to shriek like theirs

And my page will no longer be a myriad of colours,

But it will twist up and die.

 

I am defiant.

I will always have my paintbrush and pallet.

“The world coul…

“The world could get along very well without literature; it could along even better without man”

Jean Paul Sartre– the famed French philosopher (especially in existentialism)

“Qu’est-ce que la littérature?”

Situations- 1947-49