Critical thinking: Who’s up for it?

By Georgette Veerhuis            A month ago on Thursday 21 January 2016 I attended the symposium Diversify Philosophy at the VU. It sounded mysterious. Why does philosophy need to be diversified? It also sounded progressive and modern, and therefore almost incongruent with age-old philosophy. Isn’t philosophy ‘simply’ premised on, and specialised in, critical thinking? Why then should philosophy need to change?

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Glocalising Social Media

By Jordi Bok            As anthropologist Daniel Miller takes place behind the microphone to start his lecture, a whistle blows through the lecture room. It is not a starting signal, but the noise of a WhatsApp-notification. Some people laugh, some look annoyed and others just ignore it. Slightly embarrassed, the girl sitting next to me quickly checks her phone to see who contacted her at this inconvenient moment. This perfectly sets the stage for what prof. Daniel Miller is going to talk about today, 12 February 2016, as part of the Amsterdam Anthropology Lectures at VU University: social media.

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Yemen’s broken youth

By Marina de Regt     “Aunt, if you know any way to migrate to Europe plz just tell me, I wanna run away from this world”. Said, the son of one of my Yemeni friends, sent me this Facebook message some time ago. I was shocked and first did not know what to answer him. While I got used to phonecalls from my friend Noura, who I support financially (see blog), the desperate situation in Yemen had never reached me through chat messages on Facebook.

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Heroism and hope – ‘still breathing’

By Saskia Jenelle Maarsen    The other day I was listening to the song ‘Alive’[1] performed by Sia. Sorrow, resilience and fierceness can be heard when Sia screams that she is still breathing and alive. The story conveyed reminds me of Adi for he ‘was born in a thunder-storm’[2]. My ‘brother’ Adi is one of the undocumented refugees who have become an important part of my life. I vividly remember the day I met him; a beaten up and lonely soul. When I looked into his eyes I felt his worry and anguish and I recall this pressing urgency to connect …

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Structurele nostalgie of gewoon pret? De 78-toeren plaat

Door Freek Colombijn      De Nederlandse muziekindustrie schijnt het goed gedaan te hebben in 2015, maar de trend van fysieke muziekdragers als CDs is een gestaag dalende verkoop. De enige uitzondering hierop is de verkoop van vinyl, ouderwetse grammofoonplaten. De laatste platenspeciaalzaken hebben bakken vol elpees terwijl de CDs het met steeds minder ruimte moeten doen. Kenners zeggen dat het analoge geluid van een elpee mooier is dan het digitale geluid van een CD, maar dan moet je wel een goede installatie en goede oren hebben om het verschil te merken. Wellicht speelt er ook een element van nostalgie mee …

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A refugee camp in the Netherlands as a public sphere

By Nynke van Dijck     Some weeks ago there was a big storm in the Netherlands. ‘Code Orange’ was issued to tell people to be careful while going on the road or making use of public transport. In the south of the Netherlands, in a city called Nijmegen, a new refugee camp was built which was supposed to host around 800 people from countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. When the weather got worse, the tents in the camp were shaking, water was leaking through the roof and a loud alarm was going off the whole night. No one in …

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