Conversation

Book review: Limits to Growth

Who could have predicted the climate crisis?Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, 31.12.2022 This is a review of a deeply unfashionable book. It was published a little over half a century ago, which is certainly inconvenient for those who, like M. Macron, would like to suggest that these issues are a recent development. Its…

On activism

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.John Stuart Mill And yet what, as Lenin asked a very long time ago, is to be done? Lenin has been dead for almost a century, of course, but while I wouldn’t claim to be a disciple…

On knowing your place

Home’s where you go when you run out of homes.John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy In British usage, at least, telling someone they should know their place is (or used to be) a rebuke. It meant knowing their place in the class hierarchy – with the not very subtle subtext that their place was a…

On renewable energy

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress I originally wrote this essay a few weeks ago, but it’s now something of a companion piece to last week’s post on false hope, particularly as that relates to nuclear fusion. Because a lot of the false hope…

On false hope

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.Proverb Well, here we are in 2023, and maybe some of you have been making New Year’s resolutions, and maybe you’re even still sticking to at least some of them. I’ve written before about the dangers of hope, at least when not accompanied by effective action. The most pernicious…

Predictions for 2023

Predictions are a mug’s game.Nigel Farage So another year draws to a close, and as is my custom I’ll be looking back on my predictions for 2022 and having another bash for the year to come. So this what my crystal ball showed last time: (1) Russia to invade or annexe Ukraine but not start…

On death and rebirth

Nothing can dwindle to nothing, as Nature restores one thing from the stuff of another, nor does she allow a birth, without a corresponding death.Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, Book I. Regular readers of this blog will know that I tend to write a post at each of the four quarters of the year…

On the Vast Machine

We are being watched, but who is in charge of the watching? Although some of us freely offer up our private lives to the Vast Machine, we have no knowledge of how the information is being used and who is using it. Criminals can duplicate our identities. Corporations can manipulate our spending behavior [sic]. Governments…

On education

In George Orwell’s prophetic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the various government ministries are named for the opposite of what they actually do: the Ministry of Peace is responsible for the perpetual state of war, the Ministry of Plenty is in charge of rationing, and so on. (I will admit that I was a little worried in…

On free speech

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.Benjamin Franklin, On Freedom of Speech and the Press (1737) Let me begin by stating frankly that I am not, personally, at all bothered…

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: