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Daily Archives: June 8, 2008

Always remember your readers are human, so are other bloggers, and so are you…

I thought of that when I was experiencing the mixed pleasures of a long comment thread yesterday, and thought of it again as I read a reflective piece by Bruce: Tone. I haven’t mastered it yet.

My tone with other people that is. I keep coming off as offensive when I have no such intent.

Apparently when I’m mulling something over, I make this face that scares the crap out of some people.

“Oh no, I’ve done something wrong!”, I’ve had nervously said to me , to which I’ve responded “um, no?”, before having to assure them I’m not angry with them I’m just thinking about something they’ve said. This went on repeatedly with a lady for whom I only have respect and not a hint of disapproval.

People who have seen me actually angry still think that I’m angry when I’m just being critical…

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Interesting on India, and on left politics generally

I am no expert on her work, in fact I am expert on very little really, but whenever I read something by Martha Nussbaum I am usually impressed.

Martha Nussbaum was born in New York in 1947. Her father was a lawyer, her mother an interior designer. Nussbaum gained a BA from NYU and an MA and PhD from Harvard. Currently professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, she is considered one of the world’s foremost philosophers. She is an award-winning author whose many books include The Fragility Of Goodness, Sex And Social Justice and Hiding From Humanity. Earlier this year she published The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence and India’s Future.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Reading mysteries when I am supposed to be reading student papers. And answering this questionnaire when I am supposed to be writing letters of recommendation.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

My teacher and friend, Bernard Williams, for depreciating some of his more anti-Enlightenment writings. Not that I’ve changed my view, but I am sad we were less close in the later years of his life…

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

I don’t waste time despising people. Anger is much more constructive than contempt.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

‘Deep’, ‘fascinating’.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

Acting in a theatre company whose director was having a mental crack-up and kept changing everyone’s parts.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I’d like to be a student in Rabindranath Tagore’s school in Santiniketan in around 1915, dancing in the dance-dramas he wrote…

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