If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

Context is everything. As Maya Jasanoff, the Harvard historian, asks, in lyrical terms: "If a writer harbored bias, shall we never speak his name? Or when he wrote with insight, might we read him all the same?" The questions appear…

A signed statement on the failure of language

I've stayed away from commenting publicly on the new US administration. There's so much fodder, so much grist, that it could easily overwhelm. It does overwhelm. Daily news feeds are prefaced and filled with coverage of Trump, his family, his…

A brief foray into distraction’s history

This looks interesting: A Crisis of Short Attention Spans, 250 Years Ago By Natalie M. Phillips | January 01, 2017 When most people think of distraction, they think of flooded inboxes, cellphone beeps, Twitter feeds. An ever-present and unavoidable consequence…

Maps: Telling a Story of Imagined Omniscience

In lieu of something original from me, I offer you something insightful by someone else - Michael Caines, in the Times Literary Supplement, reviewing a new British Library exhibition entitled Maps and the Twentieth Century: Drawing the line. It tells…

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