While sifting through an old laptop the other day, I stumbled across a winging soliloquy I wrote a few years back during a particularly dark time in my life. This 6,000 word pile of drivel was titled, How to Waste a Perfectly Good Education, and here’s a sample of some of the joyless self-pitying I wallowed in:
“I have become intellectually moribund. People think that just because I can write well and speak well I therefore must also think. But no. After a lifetime of thinking and intellecting, I have given up. I don’t know when it happened, but I now pursue a life of profound lack of curiosity. In laymen’s terms, I simply don’t give a shit.”
It was extraordinary to read, especially after having spent the past month working on this issue of Citylife which is bursting with thought, brimming with intellect and boiling in ideas — fear not, they are not mine!
Many of us find ourselves at some point in our lives giving up or becoming disillusioned with ourselves or the world we live in. The possibility that we have the ability to change the status quo seems so out of reach that we simply give up because we don’t even know where to start. I sometimes forget that while I personally don’t know nor do I achieve very much, I do have a soapbox on which to stand, from whence I am able to do my best to communicate my own, and definitely more importantly others’ viewpoints, with tens of thousands of people each month. By interviewing fascinating people, visiting inspirational projects, learning about new initiatives, delving into issues and pointing to problems — basically being nosey and asking questions — I am able to put these thoughts, information and ideas into words and perhaps to some extent can motivate, inspire or challenge. The hope is that someone will then take action from the information or opinions I publish. That’s my tuppence.
So this month, in honour of the upcoming TEDxChiangMai, which is all about ‘ideas worth spreading’, we are going to talk ideas. And who better to talk about ideas than philosophers whose lives are dedicated to the dissection and discourse of ideas?
If you are a long term reader you will be reintroduced to Michel Bauwens who I interviewed in 2012 when he warned us of the imminent end to capitalism, promising to work on alternative solutions. He has had a few years to fine tune, and implement, many of his ideas and I think you will find him and his exploration of an alternative future fascinating. His vision for our future is one which promises to be much gentler and kinder than the reality in which we live, and that is surely something to aspire to. I then get the chance to spend some time with British philosopher Nigel Warburton who is known as the populariser of modern philosophy, as we discuss topics ranging from freedom of speech to the impact of digital media. Interestingly enough many of his concerns for our future echoes Bauwen’s, though viewed from very different perspectives.
Talk about cerebral, our writer Tus Werayutwattana looks into the controversy that is ADHD, asking whether this is a new form of mental disorder which is affecting millions, or a greatly misdiagnosed disorder.
Aydan Stuart has had a less taxing month spending a few days taking a gentle meander down the Ping River, exploring the river’s
important role past and present to the people who live off and by it. On top of that he had the ardous task of exploring the beaches of Koh Kood, a destination well worth visiting, if you have yet to go.
It has been incredibly refreshing to have spent time with people who have stimulated my mind, challenged my ideas and ideals as well as tickled my curiosity.
I wish you all a stimulating month and see you in March!