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  • By: Willem Cornax
  • Fake news remains hot. Recent cases in the UK show old media creating fake news as well, seemingly based on the political outlook of their targets. If these cases are not treated in the same manner by social media platforms, they show the fight against fake news to be political in nature. What to do?
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • English newspaper The Daily Telegraph published an article on 15 April in which Lucy Noble, artistic director of the Royal Albert Hall, blamed the dominance of ‘white male titans’ for the lack of interest in classical music among young people. Although her plea for attention for music by women and minorities is valid, she throws out the baby with the bathwater by making artistic values subservient to political considerations. Widening the canon isn’t enough, the canon itself has to go.
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  • By: Willem Cornax
  • Prime Minister Edouard Philippe vowed to “to give Notre-Dame a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”. In order to achieve this feat and look good for the 2024 Summer Olympics Philippe has invited “architects from around the world to submit designs for rebuilding the spire of Notre-Dame cathedral.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The Notre Dame is the crowning achievement of this first phase of European development. It is a great symbol of what Clark calls “the Great Thaw”. It is built, literally and figuratively, on top of the victory over what Clark calls ‘forces of barbarism’.
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  • By: Geerten Waling
  • How did it come to be that we live in a democratic rule of law – and the majority of the world population doesn’t? How did this happen? What does that say about our culture? And can we perhaps derive what a culture needs for democracy? What are the cultural conditions for a democracy to come into being and to function?
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  • By: Timon Dias
  • The implicit theme throughout Gladiator: No matter how powerful, the pain of a man whose soul has been irreversibly corrupted, far exceeds the pain of a righteous man whose wife and son have been murdered and has been reduced to abject slavery.
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  • By: Willem Jan Hilderink
  • There are some characteristics that most if not all forms of identity politics share. These are 1) a peculiar relationship between the self and the collective, 2) a tendency to measure marginalisation, 3) a strong focus on the concept of power and 4) the lack of some utopian vision. Let’s go through these characteristics one by one.
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Added to this is the couple making music in the left, which also suggests (sexual) impropriety. Music evokes lovemaking, with the phrase “‘to strum the lute’ being (…) an innuendo for sexual intercourse.” A watch, just above where the hands of the couple touch – the place the composition draws the eye to – is said to be reminiscent of the vanity of earthly desires.
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  • By: Lars Benthin
  • “The truth is that the masses grew out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness of the individual had been held in check only through membership in a class. The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships.”
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  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “You might say it was a case of divide and rule – except that, paradoxically, it was by being divided themselves that Europeans were able to rule the world. In Europe small was beautiful because it meant competition – and competition not just between states, but also within states.”
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  • By: Willem Jan Hilderink
  • Most people think of the late Stephen Hawking as the ultimate scientist. However great Hawking was, he too had a mentor: Roger Penrose (b. 1931). Penrose is not as widely known as his fellow scientist, but he is one of the towering figures of twentieth-century mathematics, physics and cosmology.
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