Viewing entries posted in September 2011
A string of articles that share a startling pair of words
have appeared in the press recently: 'Capitalism' and
'Failed'. Communism, of course, is a word we easily
associate with the word failure. Our gut reaction to the
prospect of communism is similar to...
Happiness is just a neurochemical spurt. Different happy
chemicals produce different ways to experience happiness.
*Endorphin* happiness is triggered by physical pain. The
body's natural morphine masks pain, which allowed our
ancestors to run from predators when injured. Humans
experience endorphin as euphoria, but it...
I sometimes fantasize about a rather square afterlife: a
dataporn epilogue in which we're given a wealth of terminal
data about our lives. It's a kind of existential debriefing.
Sometimes I visualise this afterlife as an austere 1970s
science lab, with ranges of analogue...
'Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded.
And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a
different star than your right hand.
It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You
are all stardust.
The cultural observations in eclectic author Geoff Dyer's
recent freewheeling speech debunking Anglo-American
stereotypes at London's School of Life are captured in these
illustrations by Paris Vs New York's Vahram Muratyan. In a
typically irreverent sermon straddling literature, comedy,
etiquette and language, Dyer combined his...
One thing's for sure, ours wouldn't be like the West London
Free School, the new school run by parents and led by the
author and Telegraph columnist Toby Young.
Of course, you might object to the idea of setting up a free
'It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are.
They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all
the internal materials of the mind and self. They become
part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read
What is love supposed to be like? How will we know when we
meet our 'perfect' partner?
Hollywood, in the form of romcoms, has given us very strange
ideas about what is appropriate when it comes to meeting and
mating with potential partners. The...
In a letter to today's Guardian an impressive list of
philosophers (and, intriguingly, several comedians) endorse
the idea that we need more philosophy in our schools.
Philosophy, they point out, is useful in developing
reasoning and conceptual skills, and has spin-off effects on
I'm a bit of a perfectionist See, for me, it's got to be the
best, or it's nothing at all. Like, if things get a bit
dodgy, I just can't be bothered.
The Journal of Modern Wisdom, a new volume of essays of
I've worked in the field of intimate relationships for
nearly three decades. But it was only in 2006, when I was
asked to rewrite the classic erotic manual The Joy of Sex,
that I fully realised how impossible sex can be.
Because ironically, there...