The really big problem with attempting to convey a really big idea is the necessity to form a really meaningless sound bite or, in this increasingly digital age, a stupid hash tag. The reduction of collective human intelligence to a bullet point is, however, nothing new. Some might point to Plato with his syllogistic “all men are mortal” meme or to Rene Descartes who proclaimed “cogito ergo sum”. It is worth pointing out at this point that Plato and Descartes are long dead and so are probably indifferent to “likes” or “RTs” on social media. My advice is to find out about stuff before you endorse things that might or might not be true. (more…)
March 2, 2015
February 13, 2015
There are elements of Europe`s small but supremely powerful ruling elite that are of the opinion that by electing Syriza, the people of Greece have gone stark, raving bonkers. Universally described as “far-left” or “radical far-left”, the leader of Syriza has been given a new first name by almost all European media. Prior to being elected Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras was known as “Alexis Tsipras” but now in the spotlight of media ubiquity he is known by his new, full name; “Ex-Communist Alexis Tsipras”.
The Greeks are obviously flirting with this crazy fad called Democracy that is certain to result in tears before bedtime. After all, it was the Greeks who cooked up all this nonsense about representing the will of the citizenry and the preposterous notion that the populous should have a say in how a nation is run. (more…)
February 8, 2015
Globalization, for all its efficacious benefits, has resulted in some odd consequences. Once we realise that a reduction in the milk chocolate content in a Cadbury Cream Egg is nothing more than a marketing ploy to flog Easter confections in January, we can understand that global economics is not a plot but is merely market driven.
Consider the latest marketing ploy regarding Newcastle Brown Ale. The pride of the Tyne and Student Union favourite; this fine ale once slaked the thirsts of coal miners, shipwrights and engineers. Sadly, ships are now built in Taiwan and coal is carried to Newcastle all the way from China. However, unlike the Silk Road or the Slave Trade, it`s not all one way traffic. (more…)
January 26, 2015
”The grave`s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”
Andrew Marvell – To His Coy Mistress
So, farewell then Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Time`s winged chariot has crossed the deserts of vast eternity and finally arrived in Riyadh. The touching tributes and moving obituaries delivered by state media described him as a moderniser, a reformer, a moderate, a humanitarian and a champion of women`s rights. The state media in this case was the BBC and the Union Flag flew at half mast over the Palace of Westminster as a mark of respect to honour the life and cheque book of this great man. (more…)
January 18, 2015
Even with imaginations the size of a galaxies, H G Wells, Isaac Asimov or Arthur C Clarke could never have concocted a scenario in which the planet Mars is conquered by a bloke called Colin from Bristol.
When, on Christmas Day 2003, contact with the Beagle 2 Martian Lander was lost, a whole load of ridicule was heaped upon the failed project. With the crystal clear clarity that only hindsight can offer, bar room astrophysicists knew all along that the British would fail to guide a space craft to the red planet. Even if it cost a fraction of similar attempts at planetary exploration, 50 million quid was a complete waste of money and some wiseacres blissfully unaware of Darwin`s Theory of Evolution highlighted the stupidity of naming the mission after a breed of dog. Most derisory laughter was, however, directed at the mission director and the commission inquiry into the failure blamed his management of the project as a contributory factor in the loss of the spacecraft. (more…)