… so I got my subject for my international politics exam. I have to write 4000 words on it, within a week. 4000 words is really a rather short paper, so the hard part will not be writing the words, but finding the hook and angling the bate.

The question:

  1. What theory(s) can best explain thedisagreements in the Durban II confrence: Huntington’s teory on culture- and civilation clashes or other theories?
  2. What theory(s) can best explain the outcome of the conference?

So how do you angle that? What theories to put in play? How to make this a political scince paper and not an essay? How to chose just a few theories and how to chose the right ones? I got so many ideas for this, non of them concrete enough to really voice. It will properly not suprise you that I got construtivism playing in the background.

The Durban II conference was the conference on racism  this April. And my first thought was: What do the UN think they can do about racism by hosting a conference? Do they really think it will help anything on the ground? It might turn the focus to the issue, but I don’t really see any governments really changing their minds on this. I do perhaps see some getting a push in the right direction. I might be cynical today, but do UN really think that they can change the human fear of those who are different from us? One of the best ways of fighting intolerance is though education so instead of hosting a four day long conference on racism, they should host one on education and poverty. I think that racism is a really bad thing, and I do think that debate is good. I do just not see the Durban confrence helping anything – if anything it drew up the line between the “West” and the no-West even more clearly – making it easier to judge and condem.

As you can see I might have a problem keeping this paper scinetific and non-biased. Keeping it from turning into a essay.

Afraid to be wrong

May 13, 2009

We are so afraid to be wrong that we quote other people’s word, so if we are wrong, at least we let someone else voice our wrongness. We are so afraid that what we think is wrong, that we are afraid to think new thoughts that have not been thought before. If we think thoughts that have been thought before, we say them not in our own voice, but in the voice of others. This kills creative thinking, this slay down new thoughts, before they are even born.

Where our Hephaestus to free our thoughts from our heads? Why have they locked him up, why do they teach us only to think with other people’s thoughts? Were are the tools to think new thoughts? Let Athene out… Let her be born!

Marina details

May 10, 2009

I spend this weekend with my family in the family’s holiday cottage in Virksund, Denmark. We had a wonderful weekend and I got to try out my new digial camera. I took a number of detail pictures in the marina. I wanted to share them with you.

Constructionist at hart

March 12, 2009

As you might have guessed if you have read this blog so fare, I think that our ideas about the world matters immensely. How we view the world as individuals and even more important as groups shape the way the world. If we all agree that something is a problem it becomes a problem. If we see a group of people as a problem, they might start to act as one. I do not say that the material world only exist in our heads… because I do believe that chairs, birds and guns do exist in the world. But how we perceive something do very much shape what we can think of doing with the thing. Again I do not say that humans can’t act outside the social norms because they do all the time – it would be really silly to say that they could not. But in the vast amount of times we do use things according to our collective idea of the object. We sit on the chair, we look at the bird… perhaps we eat it or have it as a pet. We use the gun as a weapon – not as piece of art or as a paper wait – though both can and has been done.

Our brain is hardwired to reduce the number of possible options we think of then we see an object so it don’t overload. Then we see something we put it into neat little boxes because that is how our brain works. It is hard for us to think of new ways to do things… we can do it yes… sometimes people do indeed make art out of guns and sit on birds… but most of the time they don’t. Most of the time our preconceived ideas – prejudgments – even do shape way of thinking. Because that is the case it is fertile to look at how people pensive something then you want to do research on something.

To use a classic example to USA the 5 North Korean atomic bombs are much more frightening then Great Britten’s 500 atomic bombs. If you just look at the numbers of weapons without looking at who has them, then you can’t understand why USA is not more afraid of England then North Korea. You can’t make sense world policy and you can’t understand why people act as they do without looking at their perception of the world. It might be annoying for scientists to have to look at something as fluffy as ideas and sometimes it seem so utterly obviously that it seem stupid to look into – a waist of time. But especially then you try to understand another time or part of the world, then you have to look into how they pensive the world – otherwise you will get your results all messed up. That is why it is fertile to study ideas! Ideas matter!

Most of the time we can not look into the heads of people and see what they think, but it is not as hard as it sound to figure out if a country is hostile to another as it might sound – it do not necessarily takes months of boring discours analysis – that can indeed be both tiering, boring and really fruitless to do. Often a really shallow look can indeed reveal it. If the land’s president talk about the country you are looking at as a part of “the asses of evil”, then they are properly not great pales. But if you do not bring the hostility into your analysis, then you will properly get a result that is way off.

The bright side of this is that, unlike how the skeleton of a bird look, we can shape the ideas – perhaps it is hard to do as an individual but if groups of people starts to work for a new meaning of a concept, then it can indeed be changed. The classic example would woman’s role in the west, but I wanna use one of my friends’ favorite example instead: In the 1980s the American public did not see drunk driving as that bad a thing. It was seen as stupid, but not the worst thing you could do. Today 30 years later it is viewed as a really horrible thing to do. Sadly I do not have the statistics because my argument would be so much better with it… but it is a huge change in the perspiration of a crime.

So how we view things matters! Ideas matter. But ideas can be changed by humans.

I have now finished my bachelor project and gotten my grade for it – which was a major dredging to me – I have gotten the second highest grade possible (10) for it, much more then I had suspected. I have posted the the english summery of the paper below. If you can read danish and wanna read the rest of the paper it is available here

Read the rest of this entry »

Looking out the window

January 20, 2009

Right now I am trying to put my analysis of Socialist People’s Party’s behaviour around the Maastricht-treaty and the Edinburgh agreement referendums. The question is whether or not their policy changed from one referendum to the other referendum… pretty interesting actuarially. Well we are trying to see if Kaare Strom’s theory about political party behaviour fits the case. What I have found or perhaps rediscovered is the therapeutic influence of looking out the window – how words come much easier then you look away from the screen and out on the world. Isn’t that an interesting fact that it is easier to word something then you look at something that has nothing to do with what I am writing about?

I have turned in the other paper I was working on – I seriously hope that it is good enough but I am not sure – I am not sure the finds were interesting enough. I had the felling that it ended up being rather thin. Well I will know in a month’s time. Until then I can’t do anything but to focus on what I am doing and try to stop worrying about it

I am reading more newspapers for my BA-project – I don’t seem to be able to get though my sources for this project, but well at least I seem to get a lot wise on the subject. A few things stroke me as interesting while I was reading…

First of all how overwhelmingly important it was to everyone in Europa that Germany did take up it’s seat. That is not really something that is self-evident then you read history books about the era – you normally get the impression that the league wasn’t really important even at the time. It is my impression that people of the time felt quite the opposite about it. Germany’s admission was a world shadowing event. It toke up all space on the front page on every Danish newspaper in 10 days – and I am pretty sure it wasn’t just the Danish newspapers that gave everything else less priority in that period. That Germany got admitted was important enough to get all kinds of drama going in Genèva and to make all kinds of countries try to claim a seat in the consul as well.

The other thing that stroke me as interesting while I was reading was; that part of the reason the league never worked as well as people wanted it to, was that it was really a European party. A party to witch someone had invited the rest of the world and had given them veto-rights. At least the European countries clearly sew the league as a European league – somewhere to ensure peace in Europa – not somewhere to settle all of the World’s problems. People has talked a lot about why the league didn’t for-fill it’s purpose and preserved the peace (in Europe), and they often talk about this or that the law of the league. I think the real crucial problem was that the European stats sew the league as their club, but at the same time they had invited the rest of the world inside as equal members. But they didn’t treat the rest of the world as equal members! Europa was in shock then Brazil (the biggest country in South America) “dares” to try to claim a seat in the counsul along with the other Great powers… They where astonished by it to tell the truth – the Danish newspapers where chocked – even offended by it. “How dare Brazil intervene in European affairs?!”

Ok now I can think again without this trying to get out of my head – I better get back to my newspapers and my paper.


January 2, 2009

… that actureally sounds really interesting.” That was the comment I got from someone at a family party I was attenting a few days ago, then we were talking about my BA project. I think it is a bit funny comments because the woman I was talking to realisted while she was talking that my subject actureally did sound pretty interesting, so she didn’t have to pretent to be interested. To me that tells me that it isn’t a too stupid subject I picked.

Monday thoughts

December 15, 2008

I finally was able to sit down and write some of the introduction to my BA project. I always have a hard time with beginnings, so it is a relief to get started. I was studying for my exam on Thursday – reading a chapter on force and power. It was about discourse analysis and it made me think about my project and why it is relevant to look at how we viewed Germany. I have had a sub consciousness understanding of it all along, but I was now finally able to make the understanding conscious and put it into words. To me that is what good theory should be able to do – help you express the understandings you have as well as challenge and push them. I do not really believe in putting things into boxes for the sake of putting them into boxes. If you fell the need to categorize something it has to be because you want to use that category to something – otherwise it is just utterly pointless.

Rizt or was it Rich’s…

It seem that the extreme bombardment of Rich’s advertisements in the newspapers I looked at last week didn’t even managed to brand their name into me properly. The product was called Rich’s not Rizt as my mom told me this weekend.

Ritz coffee substitution

December 9, 2008

In the research for my BA project I have been looking at a lot of micro-films (totally James Bond – though not as sexy) of old Danish newspapers from 1926. With my background in the graphic business I couldn’t help goggling the ads while I was looking for the articles I needed for the paper. One thing that hit me, other then the amount of fun ads, was how extreamly many ads there was fro Ritz – witch was a Coffee substitution and supplementation back in the days. I mean Coca Cola has nothing on them today. There as a huge advertisements for Ritz in every single newspaper I looked at. So fare I have looked at 4 different newspapers for a period of around twenty days – and in every single one of them there as at least ¼ page ad for the product – more often the ads were a lot bigger. There you can talk about serious marketing and branding!

Another interesting thing I came across then I looked for a picture for this post was that I couldn’t find a picture of even the logo of Ritz – the only thing that shows up is the hotel. Isn’t that interesting that, something that holds about the same place in the minds of our grand parents as Coca Cola does for us today has totally drifted out of our common consciousness? I can’t even find a picture! I mean I can find pictures of people’s grandparents then they were 2 from 1933 – no problem but a picture of a huge brand that has gone out of production is – perhaps not impossible, but very hard to find. I will hunt down one of the funny ads for you – it must be possible to find a scanner so I can scan one of the old funny ads for you.