Napoleon (2023)

On a brisk December evening in Antwerp, the city was cloaked in a typical winter chill. Streets glistened from a recent drizzle. It was the kind of night that beckoned for the comfortable seats of a warm cinema. This was precisely where we found ourselves, escaping into the world of Ridley Scott’s latest historical epic, Napoleon.

The cinema welcomed us from the cold. Our group, a mix of history buffs and cinema enthusiasts, was eager to see the portrayal of one of history’s most enigmatic figures. In a moment of unfortunate clumsiness, my fellow moviegoer’s popcorn met an untimely end, scattering across the seats – a minor prelude to the drama that was to unfold on screen.

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Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, by Paul Hawken

Contemplating the seemingly insurmountable challenge of climate change, could we harness a wealth of untapped solutions to not just halt, but reverse this global catastrophe? In an age where the brunt of climate change has begun to make its presence unequivocally known, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming proves itself a lighthouse amidst stormy seas. A salient manifesto that integrates science, economics, and human resilience, it offers an in-depth exploration of practical strategies that provide hope for a cooler, sustainable future.

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State Surveillance Capitalism, with Chinese Characteristics

During this digital era, the currencies of power have expanded beyond traditional realms to include data and information. The advent of technology has given rise to new systems of socio-economic operation, one of which is surveillance capitalism. State surveillance capitalism with Chinese characteristics signifies a distinctive fusion of commercial and state surveillance activities, tailored to the political, economic, and societal context of China.

This system revolves around the vast collection, analysis, and utilization of data by both private corporations and the state. In the broadest sense, surveillance capitalism denotes a market-driven process where the commodity for sale is personal data, and the capture and production of this data rely on mass surveillance. The significance of this topic cannot be overstated. As data becomes an increasingly valuable resource, understanding the mechanisms behind its collection, analysis, and utilization becomes paramount.

However, when surveillance capitalism intertwines with state surveillance – the monitoring of individuals or groups by government agencies – we enter a new dimension of this concept. State surveillance, often justified in the name of national security and social order, can coexist and even synergize with surveillance capitalism, creating a formidable alliance of data gathering and processing powers.

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Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, by Tim Harford

Contemplating the sheer complexity of our modern economy, have you ever wondered about the seemingly innocuous inventions that silently sculpted the contours of our daily existence? There are few writers who can skilfully weave historical evidence, economic theory, and engaging storytelling into a coherent narrative as adeptly as Tim Harford. His latest oeuvre, Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, showcases the remarkable ease with which he guides the reader through a fascinating exploration of the transformative inventions that underpin our world.

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Over de particratie in België

Volgens Walter Zinzen, de voormalige journalist bij de openbare omroep VRT, is de particratie in België is inderdaad te ver doorgeschoten. Ik kan niet anders dan het met hem eens zijn. Terwijl hij zich jarenlang een eenzame roepende in de woestijn voelde, ben ik opgelucht te zien dat de discussie nu breder wordt gevoerd.

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Over toxisch leiderschap in de politiek

Het was de beroemde schrijver Lord Acton die zei: “Macht corrumpeert, en absolute macht corrumpeert absoluut.” Deze bewering is, helaas, even actueel als ooit tevoren. Zoals het recente artikel van Joël De Ceulaer onthulde, blijkt er in het Europees Parlement een diepgewortelde cultuur van toxisch leiderschap en machtsmisbruik te bestaan. 1Joël De Ceulaer, ‘Wie macht heeft, zal geen respect hebben voor wie zich zwak opstelt’: over wangedrag in het Europees Parlement, in: De Morgen, 5 juni 2023, p. 4. In dit artikel analyseren we de details en implicaties van deze onthullingen en proberen we enige context en inzicht te bieden in het grotere probleem van toxisch leiderschap in de politiek.

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