Tag Archives: capitalism

Change Everything

12 May

Swindon Festival of Literature director Matt Holland gave a fist pump as last night’s author concluded at Swindon Arts Centre.

A full house, a double event (for the first time), attended by Swindon’s ‘movers and shakers’, cheering. Was this a celebrity? A high-profile fiction writer? Not this time. This was an author talking about the economy.

A festival fan had suggested the event and the festival took a risk that paid off.

The speaker, Christian Felber ‘flown in from Austria by way of Portugal’, is not an economist, he tells us. In fact he’s rather cross with modern economics (as cross as such a kind, smiley man such as Christian could be). Modern economics – and there is no other kind, it’s a very new discipline – is heartless.  He tells a joke – a student worries to a university professor that he cannot decide the course to study. The professor says to follow his heart. The student thinks then says, ‘business ethics’. The lecturer says, ‘then you will have to make a choice’. Economics only cares about itself and how much money is made – ethics is seen to have no relevance to it. It mixes up means and goals and forgets money is a means to an end, not the end. Continue reading

A Little thought-provoking thought – Think Slam! at the Swindon Festival of Literature

19 May

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A little thought provokes and a little thought at the Swindon Festival of Literature provokes an event called ‘The Think Slam’ which is now in its sixth year.

Festival Director Matt Holland has often championed Swindon’s Literature extravaganza as a ‘Festival of Thinking’ so it’s easy to think of the ‘Think Slam’ as the thinking man’s cherry on top of the think cake of the festival of thinking (if you think like that).

Seven contestants thought that their thinking could make the judges think enough of their thoughts to crown them ‘Swindon Festival of Literature Think Slam Champion 2015’.

The event itself is less debating society and more poetry slam without the poetry (a nice niche idea I’d have thought), replacing the babbling bards, are of course, the seven ‘thinkers’ who are judged not only by two thoughtful judges, Radio 4’s Matt Harvey and Tedx talker Suzannah Lipscomb but by the reaction of a deeply thinking, thoughtless or thunk out audience. Continue reading