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…

An area, call it what you will, of safety

Colleagues at Arab Digest have just published an interesting commentary on "Boundaries in the Arab world and their remarkable durability." It's not publicly available, but I do hope they'll release it as a sample for general readers. The piece, authored…

Left in folders next to the trivial and the mundane

Trawl industry news or employment classifieds (pick your preferred sector) using keywords like "research" and "information", and you might find yourself thinking that the sum total of reality is digital, too big for mere human minds to process, and that…

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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