tony kronman former dean of yale law school and author. yale is The Law school in the world. very philosophical in nature

‘a personal and delicious book’ re amin maalouf’s book

what is our identity? a single affiliation? maalouf claims it is a mosaic of identities vs one with a privileged single one  (arab, christian, lebanese) that comes out under pressure, and others choose more than we do ourselves

at the end, the one identity we choose is the least satisfying. when tribal, it is definite and satisfying a sense of belonging

james on dali lama, humans are not special, at all, but think they are, and so have a priviliged place and justify bad behavior

idion- alone – idiot

how does the age of greater interaction influence identity?

“human” as Least Common Denominator. Least?

  • ‘human’ too empty, abstract?
  • an empty vessel? why not fill it with values?

we take it for granted that we are human

human life as a basic value?
value of human life ongulates with affinity (temporal/spatial bias) or closeness.
value of identity changes and depends on conflict. e.g under survival
under ideal conditions will the value of identity decrease (like a shadow) or only then will it be real?
am i defined by my relationships?

triumph of mediocracy. is identity subject to that? nitche. ‘ours is the last age of the human hops and blinks like a beetle’

language is a powerful passport. a very meaningful one. you can not have your own language. you think in a language. what about mathematics? music?

need for special? special and superior?

is there a greater common, ‘humanity’?, shining through all things special (which are usually local and authentic. e.g. poetry).

discussing the self is purpuse-less. lets discuss selfless

  • the title of the book is violence and the need to belong. why not the pursuit of hapiness 
  • giving up identity can be a vehicle to success
what do you give your children
  • an identity? a set of values?
  • sandra’s child asked her ‘mom, do we know god?

‘the west’

  • is the west a christian artifact?
  • secularization of the west – a result of christianity?  dissolving itself?  protestantism and science?

europe is at the point of abolishing itself, and it may happen quickly

Rawls ‘ a theory of justice’ and how american is ‘a new beginning’ that is ‘just’. originator of ‘the original position’ and the ‘veil of ignorance’ versus ‘full awareness and full empathy’. a way to lead american audience to a japanese conclusion.

there is such a window during re-conciliation after a great violent breakdown. 

that is why it is difficult to talk about europe without talking about ‘The War’

religion and poverty

there must be a permenant role for religion. ‘the why question’.  a spiritual need

in the UK churches are turned into pubs. ‘pubs are churches’ says nicola

i say, sports is the new religion


‘benefits of intimacy come with exclusivity.’ do they?

‘you are backing off from saying something very strong’

love is a vast investment

brand vs values (company vs individual)

difficult to tell a direction during volatitlity

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