Listened Forgetting, not memory, moves us forward from ABC Radio National

Forgetting is the only safe response to the world’s problems, from a geopolitical perspective, according to author and journalist David Rieff. And forgetting is also a good thing in your personal life, say scientists. It moves us forward.

Antony Funnell explores the importance of forgetting when it comes to memory. This includes finding balance between the mechanism of memory with forgetting. For example, PTSD is caused when emotional forgetting does not occur. In such situations, we have too many memories we need to let go of. One of the issues is One of the challenges is that fearful/bad memories are often prioritised. “Whiteness does not show up on the page” With this in mind, Alzheimer’s may actually be a lifestyle disease caused when our life is reduced to a small amount of choices where everything is forgotten. In this situation, rather than remembering things, the answer maybe adding more to life that can be forgotten.

Forgetting is also important on a communal level. Amnesty derives from the word to forget.

Borrowed from Latin amnēstia, borrowed from Greek amnēstía “forgetfulness, oblivion, deliberate overlooking of past offenses”

There are times when we all need to forget, rather than rubbing raw historical wounds. Communal forgetting is public silence on aspects that different people may not agree about. This is something explored by David Rieff.

David Rieff, an independent writer who has reported on bloody conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, and Central Asia, insists that things are not so simple. He poses hard questions about whether remembrance ever truly has, or indeed ever could, “inoculate” the present against repeating the crimes of the past. He argues that rubbing raw historical wounds—whether self-inflicted or imposed by outside forces—neither remedies injustice nor confers reconciliation. If he is right, then historical memory is not a moral imperative but rather a moral option—sometimes called for, sometimes not. Collective remembrance can be toxic. Sometimes, Rieff concludes, it may be more moral to forget.

What was interesting was the discussion of importance of having social links to aid with forgetting when it comes to cases of PTSD. This is one of the issues with COVID and lockdowns.

This discussion also had me thinking about wider discussions associated with memory and remembering. In particular, the place of technology and social media and the right to be forgotten. When it comes to big data, the focus is on remembering everything. What is the place for forgetting in this situation?

Listened Just-In-Time or Just-In-Case economy? from

A little known management theory called Just-In-Time was originally devised to make supply chains in the Japanese car industry more efficient. In the second decade of the 21st century it underpins all economic and organisational activity right across the globe

But a growing number of economists and business management experts believe the Just-In-Time philosophy has reduced the resilience of industry and influenced the casualisation of employment. And in a time of coronavirus, they argue, it now threatens our future economic and social wellbeing.

Antony Funnell leads a conversation into fragility of just-in-time supply chains. This feels like it touches on the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Listened The creeping militarisation of our police from Radio National

Police officers in many  western countries now dress like paramilitaries. Special police units are being trained and organised along military lines and issued with military-grade weapons. Is this creeping “militarisation” justified and what are the future implications for the effectiveness of policing in democratic societies?

Antony Funnell explores the increasing militarisation of police through training and uniform. This was an interesting inadvertent response to the recent raids on ABC journalists.
Bookmarked Counterculture, consumerism and the far right (Radio National)

Countercultural movements, like Occupy Wall Street, are meant to be future-focussed – revolutionary even. So, why do they often fade into commercialism? Are they simply a function of consumer capitalism? If so, what future do they have? And must they always be progressive?

Antony Funnell leads an inquiry into counterculture. Exploring what it might mean today, it’s relationship with capitalism, and whether there can be a counterculture from the right. One of the interesting points was that our response to the big five will be at the heart of the next countercultural response. This had me wondering whether the movements such as the #IndieWeb and Domain of One’s Own are best appreciated as countercultural movements? If so, what implication does this have long term?

Also posted on IndieNews

Listened The elusive edge of Innovation from Radio National

Are entrepreneurs the great innovators we’re told they are? What if the ideal of the lone genius is simply a myth? Innovation is a buzz term that’s become so over-used as to be almost meaningless. It’s time to be more innovative in our understanding of innovation.

Antony Funnell explores the question of innovation. This includes what constitutes innovation, who is actually innovative and why the idea of the great innovator is often a myth. It is interesting to listen to this alongside Rolin Moe’s negative history.