Tag: civilisation

It has slowly and insidiously come to my attention, over the last two years of ‘pro’ writing, that most bloggers seriously struggle to compose cogent sentences that other humans can comprehend. Apparently it’s actually hard to put words together in a way that conveys your thoughts. I don’t want to point any fingers — that would be rude — but it’s safe to say that the problem is endemic to blogging, and almost every site has at least one writer…

I’ve been watching Boston Legal recently. In it there’s a character called Alan Shore who uses his passionate,¬†mellifluous voice to devastating effect in courtroom closing arguments. In an episode I just watched he argues that the U.S. government should ‘hire the geniuses’, rather than public sector contractor cronies. It’s not actually his best closing (his ‘Free Religion’ one is amazing), but later, talking to his buddy Denny Crane, he says it a lot more succinctly: Hire the geniuses, not the…

via youtube.com I don’t think people appreciate the power of nuclear weapons. ‘Hiroshima!’ people cry. Sometimes people even remember the other one: ‘Nagasaaaaaaaaakkeeeee!’ Yes, atomic weapons have only ever been used twice. Little Boy and Fat Man were incredibly primitive devices — really, Little Boy hadn’t even been tested before they dropped it. Fat Man had been tested just once. They were dropped, about 150,000 people died, and that was that. No more atomic weapons — just research… lots and…

… I might even be a celibate gay like him too at this rate. (Though, with one of my cousins now successfully married off, there is slightly less pressure on me to, er, perform… in the Jewish sense…) Anyway, the genius, polymath, inimitable and generally-awesome Stephen Fry twittered a link to a 30-minute video interview. Ostensibly, from the title, it’s some kind of retrospective… but it really isn’t. Stephen spends half an hour giving us a succinct and hyperacute overview…

I had this crazy idea just before I fell asleep a few days ago. What if… what if consumable art and media was proportionally priced? What if music CDs had a sliding scale of cost, from $5 through to $20, depending on your current net disposable income? What if a student could buy a video game for $10, while an affluent worker must pay $50 for the same product? I’ll just get this out of the way at the start:…

Education used to be such a simple term. In fact, it used to be a concept rather than a thing. 100 years ago parents wouldn’t say to their children ‘you ought to get an education!’ — rather, you were considered educated, or not. Education was something that just happened, by living, by interacting, by experiencing; education happened everywhere. Today that couldn’t be further from the truth. Education is formalised, measured, assessed. Somehow, from this pinnacle of civilization that we pride…