Pam-Toons. Fist Pumping. Series 4.4.

I've here in mind the fist-pumping variety of politically vocal people, those certain that one side is leading us to another dark ages and the other to a totalitarian state. It appears that for some "left and right" thinking is characterized by black and white thinking. Nuance is lost. And with this loss, so too…

Just a Thought.22.

"People are saying...." People are saying all kinds of things as this pandemic unfolds. Of course they are, that's what people do. Inspiring things, horrible things, hypocritical things, smart things, stupid things, true things, false things, all kinds of things. Some of us get up in arms about these things and say things ourselves. I'm…

New, old, permanence, and change: Heraclitus (everything is in motion) and Parmenides (nothing is in motion) in tension. A montage.

"Not everything was better in our ancestors' days, either -- our own age, too, has produced many instances of excellence and artistic merit deserving to be imitated by posterity. At all events, let us continue to promote such honourable competitiveness with our ancestors." Tacitus. The Annals: The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero. Oxford World's Classics.…

The Righteous Mind. Series 4.1.

My husband, Paul, and I host a weekly reading group. We read one book in the fall, another in the spring. This past spring we read Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind which, week after week, generated the best discussions we've had to date. (Note that I'm not doing a comprehensive book review here.) Haidt notes that…

Scapegoat.

A SCAPEGOAT is (usually) a person or group of people unjustly blamed for some set of circumstances arising from the actions of others. Scapegoats bear the brunt of crowd hostility and, once identified by an angry mob, find themselves in no-win, dangerous -- even lethal -- situations. Scapegoating is as old as humankind. In The Annals,…

A Community of Sufferers*

I'm having a meal with my husband at a pub in Bristol, delighting in the warm and jovial conversation of the three older men having a pint at the neighbouring table. By their camaraderie, I  assume they've had a long history together, probably meeting at this very pub over many years. As I finish my chicken…