The famous science fiction writer, scientist and polymath Isaac Asimov wrote a little book in 1961 called Words from the Myths. When you read it you see how pervasive the influence of classical Greek and Roman literature has been on our culture. Today we think of ourselves as living in a scientific age, but the … More Phrases from stories
Rudyard Kipling has been long a favourite author of mine, though disliked all over the world now, by Indians and English speakers alike, as a racist champion of imperialism (though his character is much more complex than that). And to think that at the turn of the twentieth century Kipling was the most popular author … More The stories of Rudyard Kipling
‘Politically correct’ is one of those phrases used in different ways for different purposes, and so potentially meaningless. I find it sinister. I file it with ‘euphemism’, ‘censorship’ and ‘hypocrisy’ in my lexicon. Ignore its use in school or academic circles, where it has no effect on students but makes teachers feel happy and useful. … More Politically correct?
Have you ever noticed how all religions have a bias towards monarchism (and its excess, despotism)? Democracy is not an option in religion. God is the Lord, the King, and we his subjects, under the rule of his ministers. It’s a system that evolved in Europe under feudalism, and preserves feudal forms. That doesn’t seem … More Inspiration
The recent release of up-to-now-classified-secret files held by the FBI and CIA on the murder of US President John Kennedy 22 November 1963 (or just a few of them as it turned out) has sparked renewed interest in the unsolved crime. What is remarkable is the confusion still typical of that interest. Poor John Fitzgerald … More Confusion over Kennedy
UPDATE 26 OCTOBER: Some documents in the JFK murder case have been kept secret by President Trump at the request of the CIA, on grounds of “national security”, 54 years after the murder. Most of the material is now available for scrutiny, but the documents in question need to be “assessed”. Americans are kept very … More The Kennedy murder again
The much lamented social commentator Christopher Hitchens, in his defence of atheism, was often countered by his interrogators with Pascal’s Wager. Hitchens usually confuted the suggestion in his urbane way. I thought I’d take a closer look at Pascal’s idea, as so many Christians seem to think it such a good one. ØØØ Blaise Pascal … More Paganism