Viewing entries posted in August 2010
Last Thursday was the 100th anniversary of the death of the
American philosopher, William James. William was born in New
York in 1842. In 1843 he was joined by a brother, Henry, now
remembered as one of America's finest novelists. Henry
James' reputation may...
387148921_eecf49b05a_m You are what you remember. It's hard
to imagine being you, being anybody, without some access to
your remembered life story. But the new science of memory
tells us that remembering is just that: a story. Memories
are not stashed away, fully...
Cancelled 7 I know people who spend fifty weeks of the year
thinking about their holidays, and two weeks on them. Surely
they'd be better off making their daily life more tolerable,
so there's less pressure on that precious fortnight. What if
Off Limits Our culture likes to invites us to dream about
our unbounded potential. We might do better to
periodically consider our limits. Not because life is not
also about dreaming our rough imaginings but because our
limits can yield us equally fruitful...
Talent Show We live in an age obsessed with talent. Every
aspect of life has been turned into a talent contest.
Musicians and dancers have been joined by executives
sparring for the boardroom, chefs dicing and splicing for
success and entrepreneurs looking for...
Kindness Does modern society suffer from a deficit of
kindness? In a recent book on the subject, Adam Phillips and
Barbara Taylor argue that kindness is an unfashionable,
endangered virtue. They attribute this to the ascendancy of
free market individualism and the lack...
Row As summer sinks into silly season, I miss the World
Cup. So the soccer stank. There were still delicious
spectacles. Yes, Ronaldo's torso. Better yet was watching
spoilt youths rage at referees (presumably 'No' is rarely
heard if you're on 100,000 a...
Record Regret is a short, evocative and achingly beautiful
word; an elegy to lost possibilities even in its brief
annunciation. It is also a rarity and almost never heard
except where the speaker insists that they have none, that
they are brave and...
Apple-globe Have you ever thought about food? Not in terms
of what to eat for breakfast, but about what food really
means? Ours is the first society in history to take food for
granted: to treat it as something to be made...