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“Out of Place: A Memoir” by Edward Said — Absolutely Fascinating

It is hard now for me to pinpoint the moment when I became aware of the work of Edward Said and when it entered my personal and intellectual radars so to speak. (If interested in other posts on Edward Said, please see the post on On Being an Academic and a Public Intellectual and on [...]

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Trump proved — we live in parallel worlds!

Trump’s presidency proves one point – that social constructivism explains the world much better than realism, positivism or whatever. Propaganda, framing of messages, providing false hopes, marketing messages to a desperate constituency — these all proved to be more important than reasons and facts. With this regard, I want to make 2 smaller points clear, [...]

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On Writing, Honesty and Van Gogh

I have recently received two reviews on my writing pieces, which felt like a great achievement for a number of reasons. Five or six other journals rejected one article before it was actually reviewed. Another, a chapter for a prestigious collection, which I am co-writing with a colleague in Australia, finally got reviews from two [...]

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A “pill” generation

We are looking for quick solutions to our problems, and businesses who see profits in offering this short-term relief, do not wait to make money on us. Feeling sad? Eat the cake! Had a fight with your girl-friend? Get drunk! Feeling depressed? Take anti-depressants! Can’t get an erection? Take a viagra! And now the latest [...]

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“The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb

After 3 years of owning the book, I finally made the effort and read the book from cover to cover. It was hard to start off, but then went in a free-flow. There are many reviews on the Internet, so I won’t go on about the book at length, only mention a few things which [...]

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Edward Said: Last Public Intellectual

Last autumn, I started being interested in Professor Edward Said, who is most known for his 1978 book “The Orientalism”. I won’t write about the book here, a lot has been written about it already. Edward Said, however, is much more than an author. He stands out as perhaps the last public intellectual of our [...]

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WSJ — The Global War on Modernity by Garry Kasparov

While the whole of Azerbaijan, and especially Baku, were mourning the 25th anniversary of the Black January on January 20 this year, Garry Kasparov, my fellow Bakuvian, has published yet another op-ed in Wall Street Journal. However, this op-ed had nothing to do with the events of January 1990. It was about the clash of [...]

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Black January: Tragic Events of 19-20 January in Baku 1990

“Wake up, Farhad”, I bearly open my eyes “Quick, come on”, Reluctantly I wake up and see my mom full of fear and agitation.

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Books that Defined 2014 for Me!!!

This year was not rich with books (and time to spare) apart from those for work. Still, there is a number of books I started and some I finished, which makes me feel proud! Below is the list with some first impressions as I am planning more detailed reviews later on. 1. “The Goldfinch”, by [...]

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Maya Angelou — Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

A great person passed away yesterday, Maya Angelou. To my shame, I did not know about her until her death when my Facebook wall became populated with quotes and tributes to her. Her poems read powerfully, even the ones written for the children. The one below “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is about courage, that was [...]

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Vugar Gashimov: an Obituary

Yesterday I lost a friend. Azerbaijan lost one of its strongest chess grand-masters, the world has lost a talented player who has been gifted and determined enough to get in top 6 players of the world at one point. But above all, we lost a wonderful person who has been very friendly, positive, sincere and [...]

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