Ideas conferences

… such ideas events prosper because they solve a problem faced by the many at the top of their professions. The much-discussed “death of distance” never happened; globalisation and the profusion of technology makes place more important. Similarly, a world of abundant, instantly accessible information seems to make personal connection more vital. This puts a […]

Lent -1

For lent this year, I am stuck. I am considering what to do. But kinda unsure Previous efforts have included Giving up crisps. Reading a book. Giving up all music I had heard before. Eating less. Giving up caffeine. Giving up alcohol. Publishing a record of my spending on the Internet. And this year I […]

Young people, spirituality and the online

It all started with radio4’s programme about yoga. As the guy wittered on about the problem of yoga being both a spiritual discipline and a franchised business. How can you franchise spirituality? Was his question, I thought the church of Scotland (or any denomination) have effectively done it for years so what’s the problem? As […]


I just don’t get this linkage, or this attitude which esteems success as the thing to be copied. Inspired by reading about abraham, jacob, moses, I have been thinking a lot about failure. Recently I was at on a course. The first session leader told us about failure being useful and being key to learning, […]

What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?

great question. The World Questions Centre made this their questions of 2011 James Flynn has defined “shorthand abstractions” (or “SHA’s”) as concepts drawn from science that have become part of the language and make people smarter by providing widely applicable templates (“market”, “placebo”, “random sample,” “naturalistic fallacy,” are a few of his examples). His idea […]

advent 10 – Who is happy and when? – Happiness 2

Thomas Nagel writing in the New York review of Books, writes on happiness, his article reviewing two books on the subject of happiness. Exploring Happiness by Sissela Bok and The Politics of Happiness by Derek Bok. As reviews of the distills the two big books into a very readable essay.  (Ah, yes, on the blog […]

Advent 4 – Happiness, a song

Currently I am thinking about happiness. I think it is a key conceptaround living and how society icurrently organisess itself. (more on that tomorrow!) So are an intro some interesting lyrics about happiness from Ron Sexsmith’s retriever album. “Happiness so hard to come by So good while it lasts Some people say That it ain’t […]

Child like faith

I am considering what this actually means. at the weekend someone decided that childlike faith meant an unquestioning acceptance of whatever. I disagree. I think that child like faith is a questioning faith that allows the freedome to ask the questions that other people don’t want to ask or answer, but normally people would ask […]