Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Occupy this space

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The protesters in Central London are causing some interesting ripples in our community, and providing some uncomfortable questions to be asked. What’s partly interesting is that the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSE) group are not the ones asking these questions. [Read more...]

Why cycling through gangs of teenagers is bad for your (mental) health

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Here’s a good example of anti-social behaviour: my own.

Some time ago I was cycling along one of my regular routes near my home in North London. This route takes me through a great park, with football pitches, children’s playground, water play area, and outdoor gym. The park also includes a dedicated (and demarcated) cycle path as a main thoroughfare for cyclists heading to and from the north of the capital. As I was cycling along I saw ahead a gang of about 6 or 8 teenage boys standing around on the cycle path. They weren’t doing much, just standing there, chatting to each other. Right, I thought to myself, I’m not going to be forced off-course by these lot, and I hunkered down and swiftly shot through the middle of the group, in what was barely sufficient space and causing at least two of them to exclaim at my unexpected presence. A victory, I decided, even as I stopped at the traffic lights a mere 10 metres on, heart pounding, determined not to look over my shoulder, I had struck some sort of vague and poorly defined victory for common folk. But fear and/or aggression makes us do stupid things. [Read more...]

Silly beggers

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A [guy/gal (delete as appropriate)] is interviewed on the radio about [politics/current affairs/history/sex/science/money/their mother]. They (shocker) try to avoid answering a direct question be relating it to some other matter. A completely fictional example:

Interviewer: Prime Minister, did you take us into an illegal war, which had no international legitimacy?
PM: Well, what’s important to remember here is that international legitimacy is not the only mandate for going to war (there’s other stuff like oil too, he coughs).
Interviewer: But then surely that begs the question regarding why we have international bodies like the UN who can legitimise wars in the first place, doesn’t it? [Read more...]

Financial drain

Friday, July 13th, 2007

When was the last time you switched on the radio to hear reported a bishop claiming that recent natural catastrophes were God’s revenge on us all? It had me listening. It goes without saying that the floods in the UK have caused devastation to thousands of people and should not be considered anything less than a national emergency. I don’t want to even begin to imagine the distress of families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the water. But I do want to take a moment to reflect on how this natural disaster has been interpreted by those of us fortunate enough to remain dry. [Read more...]

Altruism is dead

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Yes OK, the title is a little dramatic. Altruism isn’t really dead. But that’s only because, like the ether, it’s a myth that never existed to begin with. Now before you start accusing me of cynicism, nihilism, or any other ‘ism’, let me explain these opening remarks. [Read more...]