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23 June, 2017
  Jean Monnet (1888-1979) is regarded by many as the chief architect of the European Union. Never elected to public office, he worked behind the scenes - 'less competition', he said:   "There will be no peace in Europe if the States rebuild themselves on the basis of national sovereignty, with its implications of prestige politics and economic protection ........ The countries of Europe are not strong enough individually to be able to guarantee prosperity and social development for their peoples. The States of Europe must therefore form a federation or a European entity that would make them into a common economic unit.......The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present: they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future. And the Community itself is only a stage on the way of the organised world of tomorrow”.     That&r - Read full bulletin

16 June, 2017
  Paul Mason's Guardian piece this week offers an unashamedly left wing (Antonio Gramsci) view of the Corbyn phenomenon.   "Eighty years on, the terms of the battle have changed. Today, you do not need to come up from the mine, take a shower, walk home to a slum and read the Daily Worker before you can start thinking. As I argued in Postcapitalism, the 20th-century working class is being replaced as the main actor – in both the economy and oppositional politics – by the networked individual. People with weak ties to each other, and to institutions, but possessing a strong footprint of individuality and rationalism and capacity to act. What we learned on Friday morning was how easily such networked, educated people can see through bullshit. How easily they organise themselves through tactical voting websites; how quickly they are prepared to unite around a new set of basic values once someone enunciates them with cheerfulness and goodwill, as Corbyn did."   That&r - Read full bulletin

09 June, 2017
  I enjoy studies which affirm the interconnectedness of all of nature; this is extracted from an article by biologist David George Haskell called 'Life is the network, not the self '.   What if the fundamental unit of biology is not the self, but the network? What if plants, and really, all species, are made of interacting relationships and networked connections that are intertwined? A simple garden experiment looking at the biological make-up of a leaf revealed to Professor David Haskell that a maple leaf is not an individual made of plant cells, but "a community of cells from many domains and kingdoms of life" -- fungus, bacteria, protist, alga, nematode, and plant..... All major ecosystems - forests, coral reefs, grassland, ocean plankton etc - are built on conversations between interdependent partners; cut the conversations and the ecosystems fall apart.   That&r - Read full bulletin

02 June, 2017
The idea of an unknowable, designing intelligence behind the universe became a kind of ‘cosmic religion’ for Albert Einstein.   “My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we can comprehend of the knowable world. That deeply emotional conviction of the the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of God and no theology? The most beautiful and deepest experience we can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science.”   That&r - Read full bulletin

26 May, 2017
  George Carlin (1937-2008) is widely regarded as one of the USA’s most influential, countercultural, stand up comedians.   'The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes a lot of your time. And what do we get at the end of it? Death! What’s that...a bonus? I think the life cycle is backwards. You should die first and get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young. You get your first gold watch. You go to work. You work forty years or until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol - you party. You get ready for High School. You go to Grade School. You go back into the womb spend 9 months floating... and finish off as an orgasm!'   That&r - Read full bulletin

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