Archive for November, 2011

Why is America’s political system so dysfunctional? (2)

November 20th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Just over a week ago, I did a posting about why I thought the United States political system was broken. I invited comments, expected some, and received none. Well, in the past week, the US Congress took a decision that highlighted the absurdity and sadness of the present political impasse. It decided that the tomato […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (7)

Are we winning the global war on drugs?

November 19th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

Well, what do you think? And, while you’re considering the question, bear in mind the following figures: There are now around 250 million drug users worldwide. The illicit drugs industry is now worth an estimated $450 billion a year. An estimated 10 million people are in prison worldwide for drug-related offences. Clearly the current approach […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (1)

Word of the day: contestation

November 18th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I’ve spent the day at the University of Leicester attending a seminar on digital literacy where I made a short presentation on the regulation of content with the convergence of broadcasting and the Internet [see the text on which I based my remarks here]. Now most of the participants in the seminar were academics and […]

Posted in Cultural issues, Internet, My life & thoughts | Comments (0)

The Chinese are here again (2)

November 17th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

As I explained in an earlier posting, this week I was in Oxford to lecture to a group of 18 officials from the Chinese municipality of Tianjin. I wanted to stimulate them to ask questions rather than simply listen to a prepared text and they were certainly willing to engage with me. It is always […]

Posted in My life & thoughts, World current affairs | Comments (0)

That’s one small crawl for Catrin …

November 16th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

… one giant delight for Roger. This week, my beautiful granddaughter Catrin – now ten months old – started crawling. I collected her from her nursery this afternoon and they told me that she’s been crawling all day. I took her back to her parents’ flat and she was crawling all over the place. It’s […]

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The Chinese are here again (1)

November 14th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

A year ago, I lectured to a group of 24 Chinese officials from the huge city of Tianjin which is administered by the central government. The title of the lecture was “Government Communications In The UK”.  I spoke in the morning and my son Richard addressed them in the afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised at […]

Posted in My life & thoughts, World current affairs | Comments (1)

Two reviews of “The Road”

November 13th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

A couple of years ago, I read Cormac McCarthy’s impressive, if bleak, novel “The Road” about a father’s struggle to protect his son in a post-apocalytic land [my review here] and this weekend I caught the faithful film adaptation [my review here].

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)

Do we really live in such a violent age?

November 12th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

This week, I had lunch with a longstanding friend and we found ourselves debating whether we were living in the worst of times (impending collapse of capitalism) or the best of times (record levels of longevity). I mentioned the new work by Steven Pinker called “The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence […]

Posted in History, World current affairs | Comments (6)

Can you remember three things?

November 11th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

If so, you could be a United States presidential candidate. You couldn’t be worse than this one:

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

Why is America’s political system so dysfunctional? (1)

November 9th, 2011 by Roger Darlington

I was recently discussing with an American friend some of the problems with the American political system and I advanced an argument that i should like to share with you and test on you. The fundamental components of my argument are as follows: The American political system is seriously dysfunctional This is not the fault […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (1)