Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 89

Here it is, our regular Friday diet of suggested readings for the weekend:

On Tyranny: a test of American traditions.

Understatement of the decade: as a guru, Ayn Rand may have limits.

ABSOLUTE MUST-READ: on the rise and fall of globalization.

Is linguistics a science? Does it matter?

Doctor Who breaks its 👽 glass ceiling, and predictably some people don’t like it.


Please notice that the duration of the comments window is three days (including publication day), and that comments are moderated for relevance (to the post one is allegedly commenting on), redundancy (not good), and tone (constructive is what we aim for). This applies to both the suggested readings and the regular posts. Thanks!

129 thoughts on “Plato’s reading suggestions, episode 89

  1. Robin Herbert

    Hi synred,

    You make protectionism sound good. Moderation in all things.

    The Australian Government cannot, for a number of reasons, put a one thousand percent tariff rate on IT services, so there is no kind of protectionism that will help in this case.

    Nor would I want them to. I know someone who attended an overseas conference and met a lot of developers and IT people from developing countries. He says these people are hungry – and that is not a figure of speech!

    Anyone who thinks that we can just adjust some policy settings and go back to the pre-global times is fooling himself. There is too much at stake for me in this case to fool myself.


  2. Robin Herbert

    Lazenby was my favourite Bond too, and it is is a toss up whether OHMSS or From Russia with Love was my favourite film. OHMSS is also my favourite Bond book.

    Lazenby actually gave the impression that having been under stress for some time, dog tired and facing extreme danger that he was actually at the end of his tether.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin Herbert

    When the Beeb announced, after Tom Baker left, that they were talking to women as well as men for the role of The Doctor I was hoping for it to be a woman. I was disappointed that it was not and doubly disappointed at Tristan Farnon in the role. I never saw any of the remaining episodes as I had left home and didn’t have a TV.

    So I am happy they have finally bit the bullet. That said, she is not really my idea of the Doctor. I kind of imagine Pam Ferris in the role.


  4. synred

    The Australian Government cannot, for a number of reasons, put a one thousand percent tariff rate on IT services, so there is no kind of protectionism that will help in this case

    Indeed. And the days of the web, IT jobs are easier to export than factories. There’s no need to build factories, so the idea that ‘high tech’ jobs would replace industrial ones is not viable, even if retraining 50 year old coal miners to be software engineers was possible.

    And even the Luddites were pushed out of work by software (punch cards)…

    Globalization may be inevitable, that doesn’t mean it a good thing.

    I’d say what’s need is democracy, workers rights (no de-facto slavery), etc. I don’t hold out much hope for that and anyway the ‘bots are coming just has they did for the benighted Luddites.


  5. brodix


    Losing Diana Riggs would do that.

    The Russians don’t need protectionism, when they have US sanctions to do the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bunsen Burner

    I am not particularly invested in Dr Who or many fiction characters to care whether they are recreated as female, black or gay. However, I am surprised no one has mentioned a highly problematical aspect of all this re-imagining. The entertainment industry is basically saying that they are incapable of creating new, substantial roles for women, minorities, gays, and so on, and that they can only raise diversity by having them piggy back off already established characters. Characters that were established as white heterosexual males!

    How is this a good thing? Surely this is the very definition of stagnation. Does anyone actually believe that if you made Superman black and Batman gay, that you have increased diversity in entertainment? Does anyone actually believe that the economic and political concerns of minorities, gays, etc is somehow lessened by putting tits on a male character or black-facing a white character?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Massimo Post author


    I see your point, but don’t buy it. First off, the idea is to show that society features a wider variety of people than just white males. One does not need a specially designed character for that. Second, the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive, and sure enough both movies and television have produced novel female, minority and even transgender characters.

    Liked by 1 person

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