How about doing something outdoors and on weekends

chris

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I'm not sure that you can judge the quality of intellectual life by the people who attend English language talk groups in BA. There are intellectuals here though many do not speak English and thus you were less likely to come in contact with them. In Latin American terms BA has quite a vibrant cultural life, though there is admittedly less stimulation here than in New York, some of the East Coast US cities or important European capitals. When it comes to national politics Portenos are generally very well informed - I believe far more so than most Americans are informed about their own domestic politics. The reason is probably that people here have to know what is going on as the country is unstable whereas life goes on with few crises in the US allowing Americans to live their lives without worrying about devaluations, frozen bank accounts, repeated changes of government, lack of judicial security etc. Some of the dullness that Mr Wolf suggests seems to stem from a degree of conformity that permeates Argentine society. It's apparent in the conventional tastes in art and music or the tendency to dress alike. Does anyone out there have any light to shed on this observation?
 

Bairesgirl

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"bigbadwolf" said:
QUOTE BIGBADWOLF"" Generally speaking, I've seen that backward countries are not just backward in economic development and social equity but also backward in terms of cultural vitality, in the production, exchange, and consumption of books and ideas. I'm not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg. Perhaps a country needs a vibrant and dynamic marketplace of ideas in order to be economically and socially advanced.
Well, Mr Wof being a native-born of Pakistan, am sure he would be an expert in backward countries, and lack of tolerance for the exchange of ideas, ....??? Why not go there for stimulating conversation??
Or to the UN in New York for worldy conversation of what you want to talk about when you want it? There is lots of discussion of world affairs in places such as CARI www.cari1.org.ar and more, but then it´s in spanish----

 

bigbadwolf

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"chris" said:
I'm not sure that you can judge the quality of intellectual life by the people who attend English language talk groups in BA. There are intellectuals here though many do not speak English and thus you were less likely to come in contact with them.
Very true. There is a multitude of bookshops in the capital and most have some serious tomes on their shelves. So someone must be buying, reading, and presumably discussing them.
In Latin American terms BA has quite a vibrant cultural life, though there is admittedly less stimulation here than in New York, some of the East Coast US cities or important European capitals.
Again not in dispute. Of course it stands out in comparison to La Paz, Lima, and Asuncion. But these are hardly yardsticks.
Some of the dullness that Mr Wolf suggests seems to stem from a degree of conformity that permeates Argentine society. It's apparent in the conventional tastes in art and music or the tendency to dress alike. Does anyone out there have any light to shed on this observation?
This is getting to the nub of the matter: Buenos Aires is not [i/]avante-guard[/i] in anything. This is because it's not a site of cultural and intellectual production. This is because of a relative lack of cultural and intellectual life. Even the books I've mentioned above are mostly translations of American or European books, and are often published in Spain. They are consumed in Argentina, but generally not produced in Argentina. Argentina is on nthe periphery not only economically but also culturally, and my contention is they're linked.
I'd like to discuss this further but the dreary prospect of ad hominem attacks by yahoos and Boeotians holds me back.
 

lady_in_red

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"bigbadwolf" said:
I'm not sure that you can judge the quality of intellectual life by the people who attend English language talk groups in BA. There are intellectuals here though many do not speak English and thus you were less likely to come in contact with them.
[/quote]
Very true. There is a multitude of bookshops in the capital and most have some serious tomes on their shelves. So someone must be buying, reading, and presumably discussing them.
In Latin American terms BA has quite a vibrant cultural life, though there is admittedly less stimulation here than in New York, some of the East Coast US cities or important European capitals.
Again not in dispute. Of course it stands out in comparison to La Paz, Lima, and Asuncion. But these are hardly yardsticks.
Some of the dullness that Mr Wolf suggests seems to stem from a degree of conformity that permeates Argentine society. It's apparent in the conventional tastes in art and music or the tendency to dress alike. Does anyone out there have any light to shed on this observation?
This is getting to the nub of the matter: Buenos Aires is not avante-guard in anything. This is because it's not a site of cultural and intellectual production. This is because of a relative lack of cultural and intellectual life. Even the books I've mentioned above are mostly translations of American or European books, and are often published in Spain. They are consumed in Argentina, but generally not produced in Argentina. Argentina is on nthe periphery not only economically but also culturally, and my contention is they're linked.
I'd like to discuss this further but the dreary prospect of ad hominem attacks by yahoos and Boeotians holds me back.

What are you doing in buenos Aires Mr Wolf ? IMO you should go back to your country if you don't feel comfortable or you think that argentina is not as your country is.
 

bigbadwolf

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Can't one discuss a place without getting deluged by utterly asinine personal posts telling one to go back to wherever one came from? What the hell business is it of yours to give me an unsolicited opinion? Shove it up your backside. Cheers. What are you doing in buenos Aires Mr Wolf ? IMO you should go back to your country if you don't feel comfortable or you think that argentina is not as your country is.
 

JG

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Wow, this thread really went on a tangent didnt it? So folks, how about doing something outside like going to the costanera together one day? As i posted, ill go down this sat. (sept. 30) if anyone wants to join me.
But to comment on something mentioned, about expats not being stimulated etc, ive belonged to the Lincoln Library at the ICANA language school for 4 years (http://www.icana.org.ar/). i pay a yearly membership (just went up to 80 pesos and can bring home 4 books or videos at one time). Ive read lots ot stuff on the usa, novels, even a 2 volume bio of Aaron Burr of all things. They have daily print copies of the ny times and sunday miami herald.
The library is open to the public, you do not need to attend the school or be a paying member.
You can also join the British library, which has a nice collection but the condition of the books tend to be older. I also read lots online (New Yorker mag. is all online, i read nytimes, bbcnews.com, and see several tv stations from back home (www.nbc4.com and www.wjz.com, both have free video of the days news. also www.cbsnews.com).
so between the library and online reading, im fairly stimulated. I also read the local news in spanish, but not every day.
Argentina, in general, doesnt have impressive libraries like back home. Even an expensive private university like UCA has an unimpressive library. I went in and looked around and they had old, falling apart books which even a local community college back home would put to shame.
 

chris

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Where is the British library?
JG, I think that Mr Wolf is aware of all the resources offered by internet. His complaint seems to be that he has not found enough opportunity to SHARE intellectual ideas. Part of the problem is probably language however there is some truth that there are fewer outlets than in New York, other East Coast cities, etc. As for lending libraries, keep in mind that the culture here will simply not support such a system. Books would seldom be returned, causing the whole system to fall apart. Only a rareified library like the Lincoln Library (books in English) could work. I really don´t know how universities here managed before the internet age. Obtaining scholarly sources must have been hell.
 

chris

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As this discussioin has strayed considerably from its original topic, I have opened a new thread...See "How culture has influenced political and business outcomes in Argentina". This would be a more suitable place to discuss ideas related to economics, politics, history etc .
 

BAJoe

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So how about last Sunday for a summer-like Spring day, huh? I couldn´t make it to the river but did anybody here take advantage of that great day to walk and take in the views? Well... there´s always next Sunday.
 
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