I want to be considered a rationalist but I find it very hard to defeat the hormones that often provoke me to irrational responses. I don’t want to be accused of being an alarmist but there really are some cataclysmic things we should worry about.[Read more…] about Rational Cooperation
I remember a schoolbook from when I was eight and nine. Reading To Some Purpose, always abbreviated by our teachers to RTSP. I understood that RTSP was easier to say but if you were reading to some purpose why would you abbreviate it? And why only RTSP? Why wasn’t there a WTSP? Weren’t we also being taught to write to some purpose such as expressing ourselves?
Which reminds me of catechism. The teaching style of the era involved learning by rote and one of the things to be learned was catechism. We had to learn the rules of being catholic from a green book of rules.
Today, August 10th was supposed to be the day we walked into Rome. Two of us, hopefully still friends after a very long talk. 2700 km of talk.
The pre-pandemic plan was to walk from Manchester to Rome. Our departure date was going to be April Fools Day. The idea was to walk an average of 25 km, six days per week. We’d have made 114 hikes over 131 days. We still don’t know where we’d have washed, slept or eaten but we’re pretty sure we would have done quite a lot of each.
‘Life tripped me up’ is a line from a poem dictated in Turkish over a phone line from a prison, a series of which have held the poet since he was 21.
Participation in a protest over the government’s treatment of Kurds sent him into a cell as a young man. He confessed to crimes he had denied before torture that has left him scarred for life.
His pre-trial detention lasted for twenty-two years before his sentence to life imprisonment was confirmed. He wrote recently that he ‘can’t touch or communicate with other people or animals’.
There was a time when those travelling to Dublin or Belfast were treated equally badly in Heathrow or in any British ‘mainland’ departure point. All travellers were downgraded to being a threat. Everyone going to the island was treated with equal suspicion. Much the same happened in the US after 9/11. The terrorists know that the threat of terror always costs society more than the terror itself. Threat is the real terror. Threat leverages a cognitive bias. Humans are very poorly equipped to deal with perceived fears.[Read more…] about Time Changes
‘I keep getting asked for a list of the next four black swans’ Nicolas Taleb said recently. Taleb wrote The Black Swan in 2007 and the people who ask this question are showing that they don’t understand his observations. The book wasn’t always easy but it was compelling. [Cliff’s Notes might help if you’re short of time.]