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What’s a Serious Academic Doing Meddling with Animated Documentary Graphics?

It had been a good three-day conference for the three hundred and twenty or so students at Atlantic College in South Wales. Billed as giving both the introductory talk, and the concluding lecture, I was to be the outside parts of an obviously rich and varied sandwich. But so stimulating had that conference been that […]

The Born to Learn Animations

Profound truths are often so unsettling that people lose themselves in lengthy explanations that ultimately confuse, rather than clarify.   This is a very human trait which starts as the youngest children begin to form straightforward explanations as to how they see ideas fitting together. But unless they replace such earlier ‘naive’ explanations as they […]

Thesis 99 – The Story Now to be Told

“We have not inherited this world from our parents, we have been loaned it by our children”1. Recognising that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves is both a humbling and an empowering thought.  Like the Saxon nobleman observing the sparrow (Th. 23), we know that we only appreciate a small fraction of […]

Thesis 94 – Precious and Extraordinarily Fragile

If civilisation is to survive, we have to live on the interest, not the capital, of nature.  Ecological markers suggest that in the early 1960s, humans were using about 70% of nature’s yearly output; by the end of the 1980s had reached 100%; and in 1999 we were at 125%.  We are raiding ‘the larder’, […]

Thesis 56 – Triumph of the Conventional

In a country lacking any sense of internal social cohesion, the introduction of new national education policies, designed to promote efficiency and to settle many old scores, may well create as many new problems for future generations as the old problems it sought to legislate out of existence.   As Queen Victoria lay dying it […]

Thesis 51 – The Sky is the Limit

Necessity may well be the mother of invention but, in dynamic and expanding economies, no sooner are people’s immediate needs satisfied than they want still more.  It appears that the wider the differential between the rich and the poor, the greater is the incentive both for the poor to work ever harder to emulate those […]

Thesis 35 – Shaping the Nation’s Conscience

  “What is life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?”1  What do we mean, and what did previous generations mean, when we speak of seeking a work/life balance?  Do we see ourselves as Pilgrims or Customers?   In the years leading up to the eighteenth century, Englishmen indulged themselves […]

Thesis 26 – Reformation

At rare and unpredictable moments a revolutionary concept fundamentally changes the underlying assumptions that had previously held an assortment of beliefs together.  This is known as a Paradigm Shift1, a totally new mindset that reshapes relationships so that nothing can ever be seen in the same way again.   Travellers in England early in the […]

Thesis 21 – Roman Law and Order

The Romans were to the Greeks what today’s young venture capitalists are to middle-aged professors of moral philosophy.  They just didn’t think in the same way, or hold similar values.  While the Greeks were exhausting themselves in costly wars the determined, no-nonsense farmers of Latinium progressively transformed themselves into merchants, and then into soldiers so […]

Thesis 14 – Significance of Narrative

Humans are a story-telling species.  Faced with a multiplicity of facts and ideas which we may only imperfectly understand, we use stories to create frameworks that help us to transmit the sense of what we understand to other people.  Our culture is contained within the stories we tell.  The thing which humans need more than […]

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