What the reaction to Notre Dame does and does not say

by Rashmee

Posted on April 21, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Arabs may have lost much of their faith in the value of their heritage after they lost adequate appreciation of the value of lives in their midst. Some have taken the massive fire that destroyed the roof and spire of the 856-year-old Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris as a sign; others as a warning. … Continue reading “What the reaction to Notre Dame does and does not say”

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If we can’t unite around a ‘global history’, what hope for coalescing around culture?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 6, 2017


Reading Princeton professor Jeremy Adelman’s thoughtful, thought-provoking piece on global history in Aeon magazine, I was reminded of French philosopher Regis Debray’s fulminations on the dialogues between cultures. That was round about the point when Professor Adelman talked of global history as a narrative “fit for the now-defunct Clinton Global Initiative”. It was meant to … Continue reading “If we can’t unite around a ‘global history’, what hope for coalescing around culture?”

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Food porn or that teasing, tastebud-tingling path to presumed delicious

by Rashmee

Posted on March 30, 2015


The path to delicious can leave a bad taste – or suggest that something will taste bad. Sam Sifton, food editor of The New York Times, has written a beautifully illustrated (naturally) piece explaining the “Secrets of Food Porn Photos”. That’s what it is headlined, but it doesn’t tell us much that we don’t already … Continue reading “Food porn or that teasing, tastebud-tingling path to presumed delicious”

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Our notes to tomorrow’s world: the 10,000-year clock & Rosetta Disk

by Rashmee

Posted on January 26, 2015


It should be reassuring that there are a lot of very clever people considering a surefire way to communicate with future residents of this planet. In a piece for Aeon, Grayson Clary describes the endeavours of the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco. Apparently, it was set up 18 years ago to build a culture … Continue reading “Our notes to tomorrow’s world: the 10,000-year clock & Rosetta Disk”

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We need our own Rosetta Stone to transmit our civilization to the future

by Rashmee

Posted on January 25, 2015


We need our own Rosetta Stone to transmit our civilization to those who come after us, as Grayson Clary discusses in his thought-provoking Aeon piece. This is not about physical challenges. It’s easier to create exceptionally durable records than one might imagine. Mr Clary relays suggestions from Anders Sandberg, a research fellow at the Future of … Continue reading “We need our own Rosetta Stone to transmit our civilization to the future”

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The Rosetta Stone was the time machine by which ancient Egypt reached us

by Rashmee

Posted on January 24, 2015


Walk like an Egyptian, just don’t do what they did about cultural preservation. Or what they didn’t do. They didn’t do much to transmit their civilization through the ages, as Grayson Clary points out in his fascinating Aeon piece. Some of Egypt’s civilisation has been recovered, but some was lost irretrievably, he writes. “For all … Continue reading “The Rosetta Stone was the time machine by which ancient Egypt reached us”

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Humankind must prepare for a possible cultural apocalypse. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on January 23, 2015


How do you create a library labeled, ‘in case of apocalypse, read me’? It’s a fascinating question and Grayson Clary devotes this fascinating Aeon piece to addressing it. Mr Clary starts by considering the enormous reach of Egypt’s empire, say, during the reign of Ramses II. A citizen could “be forgiven for thinking his state sits … Continue reading “Humankind must prepare for a possible cultural apocalypse. Here’s why”

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Rembrandt’s Night Watch was like 1642 version of Facebook tagging

by Rashmee

Posted on December 9, 2013


It was back in April that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam celebrated the return of Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ with a remarkable recreation of the painting in a shopping mall in the southern Dutch city of Breda. (Watch it here.) I remember reading about it at the time but just recently stumbled across the video again. … Continue reading “Rembrandt’s Night Watch was like 1642 version of Facebook tagging”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK