Conversation

On blame

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as oneContinue reading “On blame”

On economic growth

Yes! There will be growth in the spring! Chance, the gardener in the film Being There (1979) It is a truth universally acknowledged that economic growth is a good thing. Well, not quite universally, but it’s the view you’ll find in the mainstream media and on the lips of pretty much every politician and pundit.Continue reading “On economic growth”

On desperation

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Desperation is not, of course, to be confused with despair. Both are marked by the absence of hope, but whereas despair is passive, desperation is active. People sunk into despair tend to do nothing; desperate people will doContinue reading “On desperation”

On resilience

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. Anon. After last week’s discussion of efficiency, it’s time to talk about its complement: resilience, literally the quality of springing back, like a rubber ball. It’s a broader and vaguer concept, with none of the satisfyingly crisp arithmetic we can bring to bear on efficiency, but IContinue reading “On resilience”

On efficiency

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. Peter Drucker Surely if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that efficiency is a good thing. By efficiency I simply mean the ratio between what one puts in and what one gets out. FuelContinue reading “On efficiency”

On discrimination

For nothing is more democratic than logic; it is no respecter of persons and makes no distinction between crooked and straight noses. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science Languages are never static, and words change their meaning; sometimes they come to mean the opposite of what they originally did. People now use literally to mean metaphorically,Continue reading “On discrimination”

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