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Common Threads – June 2013

  • Tom’s TEDx talk – Tom Crompton. At TEDx. Awesome.
  • Reclaiming public spaces – Interesting article on the lack of public space in the UK, and how increasingly all space is viewed as a market opportunity.
  • Framing poverty – Good blog post discussing the way we talk about poverty, and how our language obscures the real inequalities in society. What do we associate with words like ‘benefit’, ‘wealth’ and ‘welfare state’? And are there alternative ways we can talk about poverty, that highlight systemic disparities of wealth (or, indeed, ‘illth’)? “What thoughtful rich people call the problem of poverty, thoughtful poor people call with equal justice the problem of riches”.
  • Neoliberalism has hijacked our language – this article by Doreen Massey (co-author of The Kilburn Manifesto) discusses how our vocabulary reflects the creeping influence of market values. Words like ‘customer’, ‘growth’ and ‘investment’ are becoming an everyday part of our conversations, and we are changing the way we think about wealth creation and work: “Work is usually – and certainly should be – a central source of meaning and fulfilment in human lives. And it has – or could have – moral and creative (or aesthetic) values at its core. A rethinking of work could lead us to address more creatively both the social relations of work and the division of labour within society (including a better sharing of the tedious work, and of the skills).”
  • Sticks and stones? More on the power of words, courtesy of XKCD.
Richard HawkinsCommon Threads – June 2013