On trust

Love all, trust a few, / Do wrong to none. William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well, I.1 Among the many crises that beset the modern world is a crisis of trust, or so we are told. People are losing their trust in the institutions of government, in corporations, even in the pronouncements of scientists.Continue reading “On trust”

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 beginnings

VLADIMIR: It’s the start that’s difficult. ESTRAGON: You can start from anything. VLADIMIR: Yes, but you have to decide. ESTRAGON: True. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot So here we are in 2022, and – if you’re anything like me – looking forward to it with some apprehension. But there’s no denying that a new yearContinue reading “On beginnings”

On endings

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away. Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man In the northern hemisphere, where I happen to live, today is the shortest day of the year: midwinter, a time of customary celebration – Christian or otherwise – when people gather together around a fire, feastContinue reading “On endings”

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 protest

Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence. Wendell Berry,. What Are People For? As I write this, the present government of the United Kingdom is preparingContinue reading “On protest”

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”