The Two Cultures

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

14 October 2018

“If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of heightened sensibility.”

Haiku by Sir Peter Medawar (1915-1987), English immunologist, who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1960.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Art, Health, Japan, Literature, Netherlands, Science, UK | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Batting for England

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

13 October 2018

WORDS OF WISDEN

“It’s a funny kind of month October. For the really keen cricket fan it’s when you discover that your wife left you in May.” 

Denis Norden (1922-1918), English comedy writer and television presenter 

Antigone1984:

This is English humour at its most arcane. You could not translate it into Chinese – or even hieroglyphic Egyptian, for that matter. It is one of the main arguments in favour of Brexit – the exit of Britain from the homogenising European Union, which is slated to take place on 29 March 2019.  Save the date – and get ready to join in  the universal rejoicing that must surely accompany such an auspicious deliverance.  But foes abound – not least the black-hearted quislings within our own playing fields  –  and fond hopes of repatriating the Ashes of national sovereignty – shamefully ceded, for a mess of potage, to the away-team  from Euroland – may yet turn to ashes. If the whey-faced glumbags of Brussels succeed in thwarting the People’s Vote of 23 June 2016 in favour of winning back our liberty, the unique English sentiments of free spirit, humour and fair play will inevitably be relegated for ever to the realm of oblivion. In fact,  according to the usual unreliable sources at the European Commission,  red tape is already being manufactured across the Channel that will impose a standardised format and procrustean restrictions on gaiety of whatever kind throughout the union’s 28 member states. This is no laughing matter.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Brexit, China, Egypt, Europe, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Life is the breath of a buffalo

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

12 October 2018

“A little while and I will be gone from among you, whither I cannot tell. From nowhere we came, into nowhere we go. What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is a breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is as the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

Comment attributed to Crowfoot (1830-1890), a chief of the Blackfoot Indians based in the US States of Montana and Alberta, in a speech bidding adieu to his people on 25 April 1890.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South of the Border, Down Mexico Way

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

11 October 2018

“Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”

Lament attributed to Porfirio Díaz (1830-1915), who was President of Mexico from 1877 to 1880 and again from 1884 to 1911.

Antigone1984:

Plus ça change…..The man who will take over as  Díaz’s latest successor on 1 December  Andrés Manuel López Obrador – is likely to have similar sentiments. Obrador, popularly known as AMLO from his initials, trounced the political establishment to score a landslide victory with 53% of votes cast in the presidential election on 1 July this year.

Mexico is awash with violence. Over 25,000 people were murdered there in 2017 — the highest annual figure recorded – while an estimated 130 political candidates and other public officials were murdered during the 2018 election campaign alone. The police appear powerless, while the drug cartels are a law unto themselves. And then, as if that were not enough, across the Rio Grand there is Trump and his wall. 

However, that’s where the comparison with Díaz ends. Obrador is a left-leaning populist, who has vowed to root out corruption, whereas Díaz was a dictator who seized land from the peasantry and handed it to the big landowners.

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Mexico, Music, Politics, USA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Doing things by halves

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

10 October 2018

 

“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half.

Emmeline  Pankhurst (1858-1928), English suffragette   

 

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tennessee Waltzer

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

9 October 2018

Hats off to singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, who has outed herself as a Democrat supporter in the upcoming US mid-term elections next month.

 On 6 November she will be voting in Tennessee for Phil Bredesen in the Senate elections and for Jim Cooper in the elections to the House of Representatives.

Here is what Swift posted yesterday on Instagram (as reproduced by BBC News):

I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!”

Antigone1984:

It gives a big boost to the cause of justice when a mega pop-and-country rock idol comes out on our side. Pointy heads sometimes look down on tin pan alley as representing nothing more weighty than glam and razzmatazz. Taylor Swift’s powerful polemic on behalf of the underdog gives the lie to this myth. Right on, gal. By yesterday afternoon her clarion call had attracted around 1.5 million likes. What run-of-the-mill professional politico could boast such influence? All power to her elbow.

Egg-heads whose acquaintance with the lady in question is a little rusty need to get out more. This frail has 112 million followers on Instagram. That is big time! According to Wikipedia, Taylor Swift, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has sold more than 40 million albums and 130 million single downloads. Born in Pennsylvania in 1989, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, at 14 to pursue a career in country music – and has never looked back. 

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Europe, Music, Politics, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An open and closed case

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

8 October 2018

So far as the living are concerned, death is a closed book.  One day, however, it will open.  Unfortunately, that will be the day that we are no longer around to read it. 

Antigone1984

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You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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Posted in Cosmology, Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment