George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

August 2014

Time to rethink the book ban

A Cypriot was stopped at Stansted Airport because he was carrying emergency flares with him. The person that will likely carry mini-explosives to the airport is either a potential terrorist or “stupid and naive”, and it makes sense for the authorities to assume that he is the former. As it turned out, the defendant was not a terrorist. If this was a story about a 22 year-old with a box of distress signal mini-flares in his luggage, then there would be nothing controversial about it, besides perhaps the fact that the police actually returned the flares to him once they charged him. As it turns out, the problem were not the flares, but rather a book he was reading, called the Anarchist Cookbook, which was published in 1971. Five months before his airport arrest, Andreas...

Σάστισμα μπροστά στις σφαγές στο Ιράκ και την έλλειψη επιλογών της δύσης

Παρακολουθώ σαστισμένος τις θρησκευτικά υποκινούμενες δολοφονίες ολόκληρων χωριών αμάχων στο Ιράκ και την επικράτηση των φανατικών του Ισλαμικού Κράτους, και διερωτώμαι τί επιλογές και ευθύνες έχει η δύση, και ειδικά οι ΗΠΑ και το Η.Β., οι οποίοι μαζί εισέβαλαν στο Ιράκ με πρόφαση τα όπλα μαζικής καταστροφής που υποτίθεται κατείχε ο δικτάτορας Σαντάμ Χουσεΐν. Στη Βρετανία είναι πλέον κοινότυπη η διαπίστωση ότι η επικράτηση του Ισλαμικού Κράτους οφείλεται, εν πολλοίς, στη λανθασμένη απόφαση των ιδίων να στηρίξουν τους Αμερικανούς κατά την εισβολή τους στο Ιράκ. Ο πρωθυπουργός της χώρας εξηγώντας της προθέσεις της κυβέρνησης του ισχυρίστηκε ότι το Η.Β θα προβεί μόνο σε ανθρωπιστικές ενέργειες, δηλαδή με βομβαρδισμούς συγκεκριμένων περιοχών για απελευθέρωση αμάχων και με την παροχή...

Brief review of Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

I have read Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and I am afraid to say, I didn’t like it as much as his other books. Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki is a young man, part of a group of five friends in high school, who suddenly finds himself excommunicated from the group. Sixteen years later, Tsukuru visits his three remaining ex-friends, to find out why they had stopped talking to him back then. The book is mostly a narrative of Tsukuru’s visits to his three friends. On the back of it, a love-story is unfolding between Tsukuru and Sara, a young friend of his who is encouraging Tsukuru to find out more about his excommunication. The book has all the traits that distinguish Murakami’s writing style: the metaphors, the existential crises, the...

Against the protection of primary residences, in favour of general welfare

Published in the Cyprus-Mail on August 17, 2014, under the title “When should the state help?“  I don’t think it’s the government’s job to protect primary residences. Here, I said it. Considerations of general welfare take precedence over protecting people from the bad choices that they have made, even if those choices generate unfortunate circumstances due to no fault of those that made them. Let me explain. Private individuals made private contracts with private organisations (banks) regulated by the state (Central Bank of Cyprus) to get mortgages to build houses. In some cases these loans were sensible, in others they weren’t. Some of the non-performing loans (NPLs) are a product of error (POE) — the banks and their debtors during the initial loan agreements have miscalculated the...

George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

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