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Gathered here are thoughts on literature, technology, education, religion, culture and anything else that interests me. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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Snow and Strangers and TAZ [2]

As the snow continues to fall, a continuation of the extract from ‘Other‘: Christmas had long passed when the snow fell, but those few February days were picture-postcard scenes of winter and as we trudged through snowy woods near the house I was reminded of the carol: Good King Wenceslas looked out On the feast [...]

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Snow and Strangers – TAZ excerpt from Other

With the current snowy and icy conditions in the UK I thought I’d post an extract from ‘Other’ which links the huge snowfalls we’ve had in the past couple of winters to the idea of TAZ which is one of the central themes of ‘Other‘ – a welcome addition to anyone’s Christmas present pile, heartily [...]

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Keep Warm in the Big Chill… Without Turning Up Your Heating.

As the cold snap grips, I thought a little starter course in thermodynamics might come in helpful First up: resist turning up the thermostat. Please. For the sake of everyone, now and in the future, we can’t afford to heat the huge air volumes in our houses by burning fuel. It’s highly inefficient. I was [...]

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Why I’m Not a Republican. Or a Monarchist. And Why Pete Broadbent should Resign

Showing a remarkable lack of judgement, or knowledge of the scorpion that is Facebook, Bishop Pete Broadbent had a pop at Prince William and Kate Middleton, and inviting all good republicans to a party in Calais while the royal wedding went ahead. Lots of people have come out in support of him, which I hope [...]

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Apple 9 this Weds | The Price We Pay for Technology is Alienation

Apple – the series of talks trying to think more deeply about technology – is back this Weds with the 9th event (7:30pm, The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road). The title is ‘Digital Obesity’ and will be a panel discussion with Simon Jenkins of ShipOfFools, Gavin O’Carrol from the Digital Health Service and Vaux’s own [...]

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It’s Becoming Easy to Forget Them…

An interesting aside on Radio 4 this morning: the social etiquette of maintaining a minute’s silence in the workplace today suggests that most people consider it frowned upon to talk during it, but many still send emails and check social networks. We are becoming less attentive. We’re finding it easy to forget. The web distracts [...]

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Why Are Governments Chasing Benefit Cheats, but not Tax-Evaders?

A brilliant ad in The Times today, which comically captures the absurd tragedy of the government’s new idea to tackle the lazy, work-shy unemployed: make them do voluntary work. Which will benefit the councils having to put thousands out of work because of spending cuts. Discussing this today with a colleague he mentioned the disparity [...]

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Going Up in Smoke | Guy Fawkes and the Protest Against Power-Abuse

This time last year I asked what might be a suitable guiding thought as we headed for bonfires and fireworks in this peculiarly English celebration on 5th November. A year ago it was a time for lamenting the parlous state of our democracy: Nick Griffin’s BNP sweetening the fascist message again, government advisors being sacked [...]

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Dear America, What the HELL?…

Have to say, I’m totally bemused by American politics. A banking crisis caused by a too-lightly regulated financial system totally screws the economy under a dumb Republican administration… and then the Democratic one subsequently voted in is punished for not fixing it quickly enough, battered by a movement who want… much lighter central control. Give [...]

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What Exactly is Community? | Gathering Around an Absent Christ [2]

In the previous post I looked at the apparent need for a community to gather around a common purpose, and how the beauty of Christian community is that it paradoxically gathers round an absence – thus both preventing those in the community from having a purely inward focus, and driving them to encounter and engage [...]

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