Dichotomy in language: the nought of ‘love’

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Most of the world’s philosophers and religions have spoken in some form or other, about love. But language is characteristically evolving as a process of communication and relativistic as a tool of communication, which leaves it sometimes grossly inadequate in expressing our thoughts and understandings of the workings of the world. How would people for example, describe a state of (perceived) psychosis of one that is not in psychosis but of an alternate reality, inaccessible by others who are themselves limited by their own senses? And to what extent is that alternate reality, alternate? Would it not just – be – in a world of 96% unknown from biology to quantum science [1,2,3,4]?

Some of the most influential and renowned minds have tried to use the inherited apparatus of language, to explain their perspectives, of their understanding of life, of how things are. But due to the nature of language that is sometimes slow to evolve in order to iterate depth of insight, they have had their thoughts literarised because there are few more efficient means to communicate thought than through language. Subsequently words become signifiers for what is, and what is, is also relative to each individual’s expression circumscribed by culture. With time in language, conflation leads to confusion where in the literary canon, ‘love’ has come to accrue other meanings, in connotation with other concepts ranging from ‘god’ to ‘nature’.

‘Love’ percolating through the vocabularies of the world, the word, its concept and meaning, fracture.

Many people would most of all attribute love as something grounded in human emotions, that is most often seen in a dichotomous distinction from ‘hate’.

Polenta banana walnut bread

Culīnaria

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Polenta banana walnut bread.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

My current baking muse project is the banana walnut bread, where I’m trying variations of this recipe:

100g butter
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
450g bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g flour
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150g walnuts (chopped)
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

Food market at Järntorget, Gothenburg

Culīnaria // Italy // SWEDEN

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No overcast sky would discourage the long queue for this warm lunch
served at the most popular stall at this food market.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

I love marketing. And what better way to market than to chance upon these tented food stalls at Järntorget in Gothenburg during lunch hour?

Despite the overcast sky that threatened a tropical rainstorm, it was a decision to head towards Järntorget for lunch that landed this serendipitous find of a food market, courtesy of Tentazioni of London.

Marriage as legal construct and social policies on cohabitation: a Singapore – Sweden perspective

OUTLOOK // Singapore // SWEDEN

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In the highly globalised city of Singapore, strong conservative social traditions continue to prevail when it comes to cohabitation and partnership. Here, as an example of old meets new, East meets West, the ornate roof tops of Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple, the Yueh Hai Ching Temple meet the modern glass walls of skyscrapers in Philip Street in Singapore’s Central Business District.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“Being married is so great, it’s so fantastic, it would be such an achievement to be married.”

That line came from a young woman who sat in a café that served French baguettes and kaffe latte to brunch not just two weeks ago, in Sweden. She grew up in Asia. She was highly qualified in academic credentials and currently has an ascending career in finance. But she’s in her late twenties and it was the general vibe from all back home in Asia, that it was about time she settled down and got married. Her parents were willing to engage a matchmaker to arrange a marriage if that was what it took to get her ‘settled down’ and feeling accomplished as a woman.

Orange almond cake, petite madeleine Escribà Barcelona

Culīnaria // Spain // VIAJES

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Spanish orange almond cake: a variation of the sémola bizcocho de almendras.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

It was the search for that perfect xocolata calenta in Barcelona 2011 on a weekday morning that found me wandering the streets of El Raval in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Vella, also known as Barrio Xinès or Barrio Chino, close to the quarters of Barri Gòtic, that landed me tasting the most wonderful variation of the Eurasian semolina almond cake, infused with orange.

Working on the batter of this cake, I can’t help but return to the words of the protagonist in Proust’s Swann’s Way, the first of seven volumes to À la recherche du temps perdu (published between 1913-1927), on when the petite madeleine, crumb soaked in tea, touched his lips:

Eriksbergshallen in ultramarine

SWEDEN

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Eriksbergshallen, at Quality Hotel 11.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Summer is here and I don’t think any form of soft or coercive persuasion would keep Swedes on office grounds unless absolutely necessary. My years working in executive education also taught me that holding organisational seminars outside of office grounds could prove more productive for project work. The change of environment provides a welcome break in everyday routine that encourages the workings of the creative. It was for this reason that I found myself standing in the lobby of Quality Hotel 11 at Eriksbergshallen this morning, looking to congregate with the rest of my colleagues whose main focus is research in the European context.

SNEE 2014 conference in Mölle, Sweden

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES

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Helsingborg, Sweden
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

The Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE), held its 16th annual conference on European Integration at the Grand Hôtel in Mölle from 20th to 23rd May 2014. The focal point of discussion was the ongoing developments in the area of European integration, specifically issues related to policy influencing economic developments in the region.

Mölle, Sweden

SWEDEN

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Scenic Mölle.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

I pondered the transportation mode from Gothenburg down south to Mölle.

“You could take a train, but it’s a little complicated to get there after you get off the train.” so I was warned.

Forty-five minutes by car backed with an excellent knowledge of the intricate network of roads (GPS will do too) from Helsingborg C train station is what it took to get to the once fishing village of Mölle, that today is nothing short of a Scandinavian riviera resort cum holiday-spa getaway.

The view of the harbour, is breathtaking.

Around since the Stone Age, the first mention of the place came from a Danish handwritten letter in 1491 now archived in Copenhagen, the author writing of a town named Myllæ. Since the 1500s, the town was a fishing village where in 1569, it consisted of just ten ‘fishing houses’. About a century later, the number increased to twenty-two and then in 1800s, there were sixty-six such fishing houses.

Swedish west coast | azure

PHOTO

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Warm azure.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

It’s been clear blue skies and intense sunshine for some days now along the west coast of Sweden.

“Ah no! It’s not supposed to be like this now. It’s too early! You know, it’s like this now, then later in the summer, you know it’s going to be miserable. It should be bad weather all the way to Midsummer, then after that, you have good weather. Now that’s a good summer!” ~ A neighbour.

May 24th, 2014

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc – the balance in a new paradigm of luxe and anime

EVOLVING BUSINESS LANDSCAPES // LOUIS VUITTON // Moda

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc. Datecode: CA1015.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

Of all collaborations Marc Jacobs had done in the past decade till 2013 for Louis Vuitton with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami , Richard Prince and Yayoi Kusama, the Murakami range remains one of my favourites in terms of the execution of precision chaos in art if there ever was such a thing.

Not particularly attracted by poparstic works per se, what draws me to the Murakami Vuitton range is the result of the unusual synergies between traditional handcrafted work grounded in rich European travel history with all its roundness of sensory experience, and the contrasting surreal ‘flatness’ of animations of a completely different era in pop culture, from Japan. If these two worlds can come together in any sense of classical physics and philosophy, then almost anything else can come to be of other areas of unlikely synergies. And the results are a certain finesse of execution in design that is not symbolically regressive Mad Max grunge that comes across in Sprouse-Vuitton collaborations or Gaudí organic progressive reminiscent that comes across in Kusama.

Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM

LOUIS VUITTON // Moda

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Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM (grande model)
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

The first thing you’d notice about this bag is how weighty the canvas and sturdy the construct of the bag is for its satchel size, where even in GM, it was clearly meant as something more fashionable heritage narrative than a luggage carry-on.

The Trianon Sac De Nuit was created and produced in limited edition in conjunction with the celebration of Louis Vuitton’s 150th anniversary, paying tribute to Vuitton’s early days of 1854 – 1892, when Vuitton began selling light weight flat-topped trunks covered with their signature grey Trianon canvas. Prior to Vuitton’s flat-topped trunks, most trunks for travelling had rounded tops so that water would run off, the disadvantage being that they could not be stacked. It was Vuitton’s Trianon canvas, airtight flat trunks that allowed stacking with ease, for voyages.

“Rose Rose I Love You”

Singapore // SWEDEN

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The First of May 2014.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

The symbolic flower for the month of May is the Rosa Chinensis or the China Rose, which shares the same name / title to one of my paternal grandfather’s favourite songs, “Rose Rose I Love You”.

That song was first recorded in 1940 by Yao Lee and then by Frankie Laine in 1951 with the lyrics of the latter unrelated to the original.

What I found interesting in Laine’s version is that the song references a girl, possibly named Rose, as a “flower of Malaya”. This reference brought me back to the origins of Clifford Pier in Singapore, built between 1927 and 1933 and named after Sir Hugh Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements at the time. The pier was one of the busiest embarkation and disembarkation points in Singapore that belonged to the Straits Settlements Crown Colony during the early 1900s, from immigrants to the trading of goods. That Customs House at Collyer Quay stands in close proximity to what was once Clifford Pier today is testament to its history.

Brian Cox: quantum theory and the universe

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Brian Cox. Transcript on supernova explosions in the distant galaxies and the use of analogies to daily activities such as the baking of bread to explain the Hubble Law. How the use of analogies and metaphors in language can help in the structuring and understanding of a concept for those outside of the discipline of quantum physics.

[16:22]

now these are rare / you get one supernova per century per galaxy / so very rare / but there are a lot of galaxies / and this is a beautiful picture / i think again / from the hubble space telescope

Heston | Chocolate

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Culīnaria // Life // Vídeo

“What are you doing?”

“Cooking egg noodles.”

“That’s not the way you should do it. Did you time it? It says three-minutes. I always do it in three-minutes, otherwise, what is the use of instructions? And why cook egg noodles at all? You’ll never get it right!”

“How can you find out exactly how you like your egg noodles if you are to always follow the three-minute cooking rule stated on the package?”

“Yes, but there’s always a best way to do things, in a certain context.”

Heston’s approach to the culinary arts, the interaction of curiosity, experimentation, innovation and note taking that builds a repertoire of exacting knowledge, is a life philosophy.

April 26th, 2014

The End of Space and Time? by Robbert Dijkgraaf

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Robbert Dijkgraaf’s lecture given at Gresham College in 2012 that focuses on string theory, quantum gravity, and the interface between mathematics and particle physics, bridges ideas from the various disciplines of science and arts, could be said to be have played a pivotal role in influencing the manner in which I saw the Individual in relation to space and time. Dijkgraaf takes on an evolutionary perspective to space and time, that are “near to their end”.

From the transcript of the lecture:

“If you go back in more recent history, for instance, Richard Feynman, the famous particle physicist, he has said that if you really do not know mathematics – and do not be worried, there will not be many equations today – but if you do not really know mathematics, you cannot get across the real feeling of the beauty of nature.”

“Not only did we have this unification of space and time but the next ingredient was that space, the stage, so to say, is not rigid, it is flexible, it can curve, it can shape, and it does so under the influence of energy and mass, and that is the phenomena that we call gravitation. So, anything that carries mass or energy will curve the space and time around and thereby space and time became no longer the stage, but an active player in the game. Space and time are something which has physical properties and a future in physical laws, and in fact, it is the influence of this curvature that describes the motion of particles under the influence of gravity.”

“I think the evolving universe, the Big Bang, is part of our culture, and in fact, these images and the discoveries that are made are getting more and more exact and precise. We are living in the age of precision cosmology,…”

Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM

LOUIS VUITTON

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Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2014

I generally dislike totes. Personally, the very purpose of carrying a bag at all is to be able to go hands-free of carrying the goods, either by slinging it over the shoulder or in rucksack fashion, carrying the goods weighted on your back square between the shoulder blades.

But there are always exceptions.

The Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM is one such exception.

The Hadza and the Swedes: leadership, social governance and sustainability; an unlikely comparison

LEADERSHIP // MANAGEMENT Sketch BOOK

Cheryl-Marie-Cordeiro-by-Alen-Cordic-2012-158This article contains reflections at the intersection of several disciplines under Management & Organization that include leadership, organizational evolution, governance systems and sustainability. The background literature broadly follows from studies in the fields of Swedish management / leadership [1, 2], human nature [3, 6] and organizational evolution [4, 5]. An unlikely comparison of societal organizational characteristics is drawn between these two highly different social systems, the Hadza and the Swedes. The ideas are in contemplation towards a search for a congruent management of social structures that bridge the levels of socio-economic and political realities.

Sustainable, a word with many meanings

Globalized Knowledge Economy

Stockholm Strömmen

Stockholm Strömmen.
Stockholm is one of Europe’s five fastest growing cities and is the first European Green Capital 2010.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Many years ago I watched a man restore an antique wooden door. He had first carefully sanded it down to its original paint layer, til it was soft enough to run your hand over it, til you could feel the warmth of the wood at its core. To get the door to match the rest of the interior of the house, he then began by adding a thin layer of linseed oil. Each brush stroke was carefully calculated in pressure, length and weight.

I soon realized that he carried with him a tacit knowledge that not many others had. But more than tacit knowledge was also a genuine interest in what he was doing. He breathed life back into an antique door that most others would have thrown away and replaced with a brand new one from Bauhaus. He worked with undivided attention and as I watched, I pondered who else would ever come to appreciate the efforts? What came through clearly was that the care he put into that antique door was also a personality trait that you could see run through almost all other things he did.

I realized that this door might well outlive us both, at the cost of some linseed oil.

On a tangent note to the evidence of cosmic inflation: Transcending the Cartesian mind body divide

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives

History of the Universe

New evidence “brings ‘Theory of Everything’ a bit closer to reality” (Wall 2014)
The bottom part of this illustration shows the scale of the universe versus time. Specific events are shown such as the formation of neutral Hydrogen at 380 000 years after the big bang. Prior to this time, the constant interaction between matter (electrons) and light (photons) made the universe opaque. After this time, the photons we now call the CMB started streaming freely.

Credit: BICEP2 Collaboration.

Helena Granström makes some interesting observations about what science, even the social sciences, have given us over these centuries – a conviction of the functionality of how things are (everything by science can / must be physically empirically quantifiable) but a loss of a true understanding of the intrinsicality of the being of things (here lies the realm of the less than 4% knowledge of the quantum world that even as I write this, a few weeks ago, sat a very bright PhD student in the room and asked, “Is quantum physics really a field of study? Who does quantum physics? What good does it have for us?” To which I was at a complete loss of words, except to reply, “Yes, it’s a real field of study. I think the CERN might be very upset to hear what you just said.”)

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet, framboise

LOUIS VUITTON // Moda

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet in framboise 01.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Koala wallet in framboise.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2014

The Framboise colour, a rich and beautiful shade of deep Raspberry, was launched in the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis line in 2006. The Koala wallet with its signature S-lock was one if not the most functional and stylish wallets of the Vernis line and definitely one of my favourite items in the Vernis line.

As with Vuitton craftsmanship, a detail about this wallet that I find absolutely charming is how the leather has been neatly pleated at each corner on the inner facing flaps of the billfold compartments.

Free trade and making friends
Xwine.se at Passion för Mat 2014

Culīnaria

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Daniel Eliasson, xwine, Passion för Mat 2014

Daniel Eliasson, xwine.se, with Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, at Passion för Mat 2014.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

In 2007 the rules of the game were changed when it came to importing and selling wine in Sweden. That year EU ruled in favour of the individual’s right to trade freely between Member States [1], and suddenly anyone could import their own wine without the Swedish governmental monopoly ‘Systembolaget’ having any say in what or from whom.

The Xwine company was founded almost immediately upon that. The idea is a simple one. Find unique vineyards in Italy and France, and offer their wines to friends and customers in Sweden.

Organic livestock systems based on animal welfare. H. Karlsson Charkuterier, Härryda. Passion för Mat 2014.

Culīnaria // Globalized Knowledge Economy

Richard Rudolph (right), H. Karlssons Charkuterier

Richard Rudolph (right), H. Karlssons Charkuterier, Härryda at Passion för Mat 2014.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Rediscovering the obvious
A few years ago we were traveling in rural China well outside of the tourist trails. Here we were invited for lunch with some locals. The omelette served was so rich and tasteful it stunned me, I had never had such a good omelette at any more urban hotel or restaurant. I realized I just needed to know the secret and asked our host, thinking there must be a secret ingredient, how this fantastic omelette had been prepared. As a reply, I got back, a blank stare. – You do like this, she said. You take two eggs and your chopsticks, and then you stir, like this … (whip, whip, whip … )

It was not before we came back out on the land outside the house that I noticed a whole bunch of free roaming hens, picking and eating whatever they found on the ground and doing what hens do. I realized that was the entire secret, happy hens, left alone living together with humans, not as an industrial production unit.

So when it comes to food production and consumption, something that fundamentally affects our lives and eco-systems, while it seems that some parts of the world have seen its third global shift, there remains a constant struggle today, to reconcile the different perspectives of how humans should and can manage their environment in an integrated, ecological manner that puts them not at the top of the food chain because that perspective is myopic and eventually self-destructive, but alongside in collaboration with all other food chains and eco-systems [1].

Reblochon – fromage de dévotion! France Fromage, Passion för Mat 2014

Culīnaria

Maria Six, France Fromage

Maria Six, France Fromage, Passion för Mat 2014
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Some things in life, are unexplainably uncanny. Like my first time landing at the airport in Shanghai. As I stepped into the arrival hall, I saw two formally dressed individuals, one of whom held a name card that read, “Cheryl CAMPBELL”. Without pause, I found myself walking right up to them:

“Are you looking for me?” I asked curiously, careful not to mention my last name.

“You from Gothenburg?”

“Yes, from Gothenburg.”

“You, Cheryl Campbell?”

I hesitated a heartbeat, then answered, “Yes, that’s me, Cheryl, from Gothenburg.”

“Ah! Cheryl CAMPBELL! It’s a pleasure meeting you!”

I smiled, returned the warm greeting and said very little thereafter.

Then there were my days in Barcelona in 2011, where depending on which route I took to the IESE Business School, I would find myself every morning, walking past two different monasteries, one was a Carmelite Order, an order devoted to silence, contemplation and reflection, and the other with a heritage in the Order of Saint Clare / the Second Order of St. Francis of Assisi.

At the most superficial of coincidences of my days in Barcelona, my parents had wanted me to become a nun of the Carmelite Order. I also grew up in a convent founded by a Minim Friar, St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507), named in honour after St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).

During these days, was that visit to Santa Maria de Montserrat, a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, about forty-eight kilometres from Barcelona, where I found the most delightful of cheeses crafted by the monks themselves.

So I couldn’t help but muse when for several years in a row at Passion för Mat, whenever I meet with Jacques and Maria Six of France Fromage who specialise in fine cheeses, they seem to place in front of me, specific types of cheeses related to my life’s travels somehow. This year, when Jacques pulled us aside to relate the story of Reblochon, fromage de dévotion, I almost stared at him in disbelief.

Towards agglomerating tacit knowledge and regional expertise: Ted Österlin, Noble House Sushi, Passion för Mat 2014

Culīnaria // Globalized Knowledge Economy // INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES

Ted Joakim Österlin, Noble House, Gothenburg

Ted Österlin, CEO / Owner of Noble House AB.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Introduction: knowledge intensive economies
Whilst manufacturing production in many OECD countries has declined in recent decades, services however, are on the rise. On average services now account for about 70 percent of OECD GDP. The culinary and gastronomy industry lies within the grey area in the definition of OECD-WTO Trade in Value Added (TiVA) derived from services embodied in the exports of manufactured goods. In the case of Sweden, the country’s services sector has continued to grow from the early 2000s, when its share of the workforce employed within services increased from 67 to 75.2 percent just between the years of 1989 and 2003. Today, Sweden has about 42 percent of its workforce in services-related occupations in manufacturing [1].

In the past decade, the debate on creativity as a driving force for regional economic development in the context of the third wave of globalisation within the academic realm of international business studies has been increasing [2,3,4,5].

Empirical findings seem to point towards that knowledge and service oriented economies have three characteristics in common that encourage innovation:

  • First, is the need for firms over time, to reduce technical and economic uncertainty.
  • Second, interactions with outside parties are necessary.
  • Finally, immediate presence and face-to-face contact remains important because of trust building and tacit knowledge transfer [6].

These three points converge in constellations of individuals who share similar values and world views, firms in industrial clusters or other agglomerations of various kinds. The continuous interlocution between people, place and firm, is what drives a region and gives it its brand. In the past few years, the city of Gothenburg has focused its efforts on being the centre of gastronomic activities. It is currently recognised as Sweden’s Culinary Capital, and September 21-24 will see the city host the World Food Travel Summit with the theme, New Wave in Food Tourism.

It is in this context of Sweden’s growing services industry, and the exchange of knowledge between Sweden and Asia / South-east Asia, that I met with CEO and Owner of Noble House AB, Ted Österlin, at this year’s Passion för Mat.

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