On taking the long view

In the long run we are all dead. John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923) How long is the long run? At one extreme, there is a principle attributed (perhaps wrongly) to the Iroquois that decisions should be taken in the light of their possible effect seven generations hence, which is at leastContinue reading “On taking the long view”

On craziness

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Jiddu Krishnamurti Many people would agree that we live in crazy times. But I think there’s some value in trying to distinguish between the various kinds of crazy we are seeing, if only to keep ourselves (comparatively) sane. Some ofContinue reading “On craziness”

On having an opinion

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I have a friend – let’s call him John. John isContinue reading “On having an opinion”

On the perils of accountancy

Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business When I graduated from university, back in the 1980s when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, there used toContinue reading “On the perils of accountancy”

On the failure of imagination

What it will be Questiond When the Sun rises do you not see a round Disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea O no no I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty… William Blake, Vision of the Last Judgment One of the many crisesContinue reading “On the failure of imagination”

On being unreasonable

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman It is not often that you’ll find me in agreement with David Icke, especially when it comes to the role ofContinue reading “On being unreasonable”

On the failure of political leadership

Everyone stay calm! This is not happening! King Arnulf in Erik the Viking by Terry Jones Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to current events in, say, the last couple of years will be aware of at least one crisis besetting the industrial world. We have, of course, had the Covid-19 pandemic, whichContinue reading “On the failure of political leadership”

On tipping-points

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Imagine heating a pan of cold water over a flame. Soon, you will have a pan of warm water; then it becomes hot and begins to smoke. After a while, small bubbles begin to form around the edge. AndContinue reading “On tipping-points”

On crypto-currencies

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. William Gibson, The Economist, 4/12/2003 The crypto-currency thing has been going for a while now, but this post has been precipitated by the recent story that the government of El Salvador has expressed the desire to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Leaving aside theContinue reading “On crypto-currencies”

On people

Some years back, Wendell Berry published an essay collection with the pertinent title: What are people for? (Counterpoint, 2010; ISBN 978-1582434872), and it’s a very good question. What, according to the commonly-accepted values of our civilisation, are people for? Economists will tell you that people are producers and consumers of goods and services. But bothContinue reading “On people”