MONTHLY BLOG 158, AFTER THE MIDWINTER JOLLITY, THE NEVER-ENDING DRY COUGH…

What comes after the Midwinter jollity and Ho-ho-ho!? (And this year it was all very jolly indeed). Alas, however, the answer in mid-January was a never-ending dry cough: hack, hack, hack! If other people’s illnesses can be boring, then usually one can muster up some interest in one’s own. But not a dry cough. It is very boring indeed….

MONTHLY BLOG 157, HOW THE GEORGIANS CELEBRATED MIDWINTER (*)

Variety was the spice of Midwinter festivities under the Georgians. There was no cultural pressure to conform to one standard format. Instead, people responded to diverse regional, religious and family traditions. And they added their own preferences too. Festivities thus ranged from drunken revelries to sober Puritan spiritual meditation, with all options in between…

MONTHLY BLOG 156, Tracking Social Media: It’s High Time for Effective Regulation

Yes, there are a range of good reasons for authorial anonymity. Yet … humans are tricky creatures. That trickiness, of course, helps to explain why authors so often seek anonymity in the first place. They may need to be protected in order to speak out against ruthless or corrupt employers. Nonetheless, humans can also use secrecy, not just to protect themselves from harm, but also to harm others….

MONTHLY BLOG 155, The anonymous author, seeking justified privacy or avoiding responsible transparency?

Last month I meditated on the need for fair and intelligent framework regulation for all manner of human activities. We are an ingenious but tricky species. Our best qualities and finest inventions can be used for dire purposes; or can generate malign results in the long run, even if no-one has actually willed such an outcome. Hence the need for clear and intelligent regulation…

MONTHLY BLOG 154, IN PRAISE OF (JUDICIOUS) REGULATION

Humans are wondrously inventive. It’s the cultural trademark of the species. Simultaneously, however, humans are also reflective creatures. They eventually realise – with greater or less reluctance – that their inventions and innovations need good framework regulations to operate successfully. Unless the impact of significant change remains fully monitored, there is always a risk that creative inventions may help in one direction but may simultaneously cause unintended collateral damage in another…

MONTHLY BLOG 153, ACKNOWLEDGING THE PASSING OF TIME

This personal BLOG is very short but very determined. It expresses my commitment to expand my daily exercise routine. Currently, I walk at least a mile and swim for half an hour daily, pushing myself to exercise all limbs with all-out effort. It’s very enjoyable. On the way to the pool, I sometimes yawn and am often bleary-eyed. On the way back, however, I sing cheerfully, feeling at one with the world…

MONTHLY BLOG 152, SHORT AND CHEERFUL MEDITATIONS UPON RETURNING TO LIVE IN A (currently) TEMPERATE CLIMATE

Returning from great heat of Rome to live in a temperate climate has made me appreciate the great merits of fresh cool air, breezes, rain, and clouds, as never before.

First of all: fresh cool air. Breathe deeply. Wonderful. As a Danish proverb observes: ‘Fresh air impoverishes the doctor’. Then breezes and wind: anything from the lightest zephyr to tempestuous gales…

MONTHLY BLOG 151, Reflections upon Roaming in Rome, after a Return Visit to The City

Rome is a matchless city for reflective walkers. Ok – best to choose a time of year when the heat is not too intense. And essential not to be in a hurry. But for those who like to stroll, to take in the views, and to reflect upon the workings of time, Rome is matchless…

MONTHLY BLOG 150, Tribute to the Gracious International City of Geneva – Historic Home of Three Hegemonc Radical Thinkers – and, Additionally, Thronged with Sparrows

Reflections upon Geneva, prompted by a recent visit (late May 2023): Geneva is a gracious city, situated at the point where the River Rhône rushes headlong out of Lake Geneva en route for its journey to the Mediterranean. The city is full of trees, and the trees are full of sparrows….

MONTHLY BLOG 149, Tracking Down The Fugitive History of the Body Louse

Eighteenth-century Britons knew all about body lice. But – the subject was rarely mentioned. It was not just polite company that avoided any reference; but people in the wider society too. Body lice – those tiny human parasites – were well known as itchy, infernal nuisances…