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 was educated amidst resentments. Equality was a threat to the more equal and in Ireland, the more equal folk had a code word for denigrating the less equal. The code word was and is ‘begrudgery’. I grew up scared that begrudgery would undo society while the more-equal missed the point entirely.
Begrudgery is all about identifying resentment. It is resentment but it is also a pejorative term for the alleged resentful. And I wonder if begrudgery could itself go pandemic to become the single biggest threat after Covid-19.[Read more…] about Resentments
Saturday was another busy day in our ongoing limited isolation.
Breakfast was depressing. Our granola and coffee were excellent and the eating of them a luxury afforded more by ongoing luck than planning.
It was the continuing bad news of the devastation and the absence of leadership in Beirut that was upsetting. It was like watching a rerun of the clean-up after Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. That was another disaster accompanied by excellent meals for remote observers. Unless I’m wrong to believe that many of us consume our news at meal times.
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.]
Caveat emptor: my musings may not be complete let alone correct.
My first year as a vegetarian year has passed quickly and comfortably. We took How Not To Die very seriously and this excellent cookbook makes regular appearances on the kitchen counter even now.
You probably realise that wine, beer, bread and blue cheese exist because of fungal agency. Having met these big four, you’ll recognise that the benison of yeasts and spores is unobtrusively vital to our everyday lives. You have learned to avoid the yeasts and moulds of decay because the mycotoxins have a well deserved bad reputation. Good fungus, bad fungus. A sad fact you may not know is that fungus kills more humans than malaria (I’ll let you search for fungal diseases alone).[Read more…] about A Vegetarian Year