About

This is my personal web space. On these pages I will host mainly brief takes on photography, photographs and other bits and pieces of writing. Photography is a large part of my life. I also enjoy film, literature, visual arts in general. Here is a recent piece I wrote about photography.

I have an interest in physics, including astrophysics. Let me be clear, I have no formal training in physics and anything/everything I say on these pages have to be tested against existing knowledge. I will follow the advice of Richard Fyneman to learn about physics in the most irreverent and original manner, and never try to fool myself thinking that I know anything at all. Mainly I listen, and read.

I was trained in (critical) political economy One of my interests is in promoting the idea of the entrepreneurial state, and supporting state investment in STEM education (especially in the developing world!) and in science, in general. I find it curious, and uplifting, that even the most conservative of venture capitalists (such as Peter Thiel, reportedly a supporter of Donald Trump) readily admit that the state has always played an important role in scientific research and development.

Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that government never works. They know the government wasn’t always this broken. The Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo program — whatever you think of these ventures, you cannot doubt the competence of the government that got them done. But we have fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free market ideology serve as an excuse for decline,” Thiel was reported to have said.

So, consider this as my personal scribbling pad. I work on it after hours, and I pay for hosting myself. Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are my own. Please do not use any of them without credit, or linking them back to this website. I try to watermark all pictures to prevent them being used without credit. It’s a tedious process, but there are very many dodgy folk around.

Other Interests

I am a Gooner. A late follower of the Arsenal, and mainly for ‘ethical’ reasons. It’s a long story. Yes, I know that the majority share-holder is a berk. I am also an unconditional supporter of the All Blacks – New Zealand’s rugby team. This is ONE of the reasons why. Below is a picture of my favourite All Blacks player when I was a teenager.

 

This is the stand-out passage a story of how the Afrikaners responded to the great Bryan Williams and Billy Bush.

‘I wasn’t aware at the time that Billy was targeted but generally the decisions went against us because apartheid was at its height back then and the Afrikaaner nation had to be seen to be superior.’ They certainly couldn’t lose to a side that contained Maori. (Source)

Apartheid was a desperately divisive period. It had an impact on people around the country. The Maori were especially disadvantaged, not only because of South Africa’s policies. (See Here) In May 2010, the New Zealand and South African rugby unions released apologies for the way that the Maori were treated by the rugby fraternity.

See, also, this story: Why don’t the All Blacks Play in Cape Town.

NOTE: I don’t watch much sport. There are very many better things to do!

All comments will be moderated. If you want to get my attention, do not be sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, skoorsoekerig or just an all-round twat. Actually, it’s probably a good thing to be a nice person in life – just generally.

My Notes in the Words of Others

There was this thing on Facebook a few years ago, where we had to list 25 points about yourself. Instead of making 25 points about myself, I have listed passages from film, music and quotes by the thinkers and people who have inspired me, and that appropriately capture ‘my 25 Notes’. One or two may be slightly different from the original.

1. Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it.

2. The… the other important joke, for me, is one that’s usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud’s “Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” and it goes like this – I’m paraphrasing – um, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” That’s the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.

3. You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.

4. Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema.”

5. The beautiful is hidden from the eyes of those who are not searching for the truth, for whom it is contra-indicated. But the profound lack of spirituality of those people who see art and condemn it, the fact that they are neither willing or ready to consider the meaning and aim of their existence in any higher sense, is often masked by the vulgarly simplistic cry, ‘I don’t like it!’ ‘It’s boring!’ It is not a point that one can argue; but it is like the utterance of a man born blind who is being told about a rainbow. He simply remains deaf to the pain undergone by the artist in order to share with others the truth he has reached.

6. All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books.

7. I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.

8. You end up taking advantage of yourself. There ain’t no way around that.

9. I ain’t king of anything.

10. Like a solitary fir tree egoistically separate I stand, casting no shadow, with only the wood dove building its nest in my branches (own translation)

11. Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.

12. During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

13. I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.

14. The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.

15. We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.

16. If you are lonely when you are alone, then you are in bad company

17. To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

18. The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.

19. The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.

20. The reign of the super powers must be over
So many armies can’t free the earth
Soon the rock will roll over
Africa is choking on their Coca Cola

21. The standard of justice depends on the power to compel and … in fact, the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept

22. You are very close to producing a very significant piece of work.

23. If only it was as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly as it is to masturbate.

24. The poor are prevented from thinking by the discipline of others, the rich by their own.

25. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy

 

I generally respond to email messages, (ilagardien at yahoo dot com) or comments left on web pages. I moderate the latter because this is my personal website, and I really could not be arsed to get involved in meaningless debates.