The Brighton Salon

Reports from the Brighton Salon, which holds monthly talks and discussions on a range of topics in Brighton, England.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Transparency works both ways

How public scrutiny of power is becoming the power to scrutinise the public..

If the public is treated as if mere information is required before the correct view of its significance can be arrived at, then attempts to engage the public with big ideas or really change their attitudes will fail

Thursday 21 January 2010

The myth of motivation

Smile or die: how positive thinking fooled America and the world, by Barbara Ehrenreich

With the inward turn that positive thinking brings comes the problem of procrastination. When teaching tennis players, a common problem is the decision to avoid competition until a particular stroke is working properly. I call this the ‘perfect forehand syndrome’.

Thursday 26 November 2009

The myth of racist kids?

Brighton Salon, Tuesday 17 November 2009

Adrian Hart was prompted to research and write his report after working on a film with an anti-racism awareness drama group at schools in Essex in 2006. He described this as his ‘wake-up moment’ where he realised the pressure on schools to provide reports of racist incidents led to the misinterpretation of ordinary childhood exchanges.

Friday 2 October 2009

The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education

Brighton Salon, Thursday 24 September 2009

Ben, a teacher, was the first to get passionate: ‘I disagreed with everything you said. I can feel myself getting angry!’ he said. ‘I think that what you’re saying shows an absolute lack of compassion.’

Friday 31 July 2009

Mind, brain and self in the age of Facebook

Brighton Salon, Tuesday 21 July 1009

The technology has heightened our perceptions about things that are going on in our culture and highlighted the concerns that we have about it, such as privacy, risk, celebrity and the intergenerational relationships between adults and children. Social networking technology is reflective of these concerns; it doesn’t generate them.

Monday 29 June 2009

Policing the Brighton public

Brighton Salon, Thursday 25 June, and 'protest picnic', Saturday 27 June 2009

After discussing many aspects of the booze ban in Brighton last week, it struck me that many of us were thinking about how this law might be fought in a legal way. I think that bringing it out into the open and forcing the council to defend it, politically, has a much better chance of reversing the DPPO sooner than any challenge in the courts.

Friday 29 May 2009

Free speech and identity politics

Brighton Salon, Thursday 21 June 2009

It was the Rushdie affair that marked the beginning of a new kind of battle between a minority and the state, where instead of taking action against discrimination or poverty, Muslims burned books and attacked publishers on the basis of their hurt feelings. The principle that it is morally unacceptable to offend was established in relations between different people in a way that we still suffer from today.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Energise! Power to the people

Brighton Salon, Tuesday 28 April 2009

’We realised that we had to look much more carefully at energy and its uses and production. The politicisation of climate change is a serious issue because it stands in the way of solving problems and stifles debate,’ said Joe.


The Brighton Salon website

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