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Stone Age

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 […]

Facing an Inconvenient Truth and Doing something about it

If not since the beginning of time, at least over the past half dozen millennia, older generations concerned about the future wellbeing of their societies have pondered the question (and  the mystery) of how  young people learn. So profound was Confucius’ observation two and a half thousand years ago; “tell me and I forget, show […]

Thesis 92 – Roots of Democracy

Humans thrive amidst webs of social relationships.  Our innate self-centredness is tempered by the social skills learnt within the family; families prosper when they are supported by others within recognisable and lively communities, while dynamic communities are the bedrock on which democracy has to be built.   An over-dose of individuality (important as that is […]

Thesis 82 – Making More Sense

While there has to be an absolute limit to what a person can be taught, and even more to what they can memorise, there is no limit to what a motivated person who knows how to think, and collaborate with others, can learn for themselves.   Curious as it may seem the Department of Education […]

Thesis 23 – Ancient Brits

“Our DNA does not fade like an ancient parchment.  It does not rust in the ground like the sword of a warrior long dead.  It is not eroded by wind or rain, nor reduced to ruin by fire and earthquake.  It is the traveller from an antique land that lives within us all”.1   The […]

Thesis 19 – Remember our Ancestors

“What task could be more agreeable than to tell of the benefits conferred on us by our ancestors, so that you may get to know the achievements of those from whom you have received both the basis of your beliefs, and the inspiration to conduct your life properly?”   It’s all too easy to assume […]

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 […]

Thesis 13 – What is Life?

With the advent of consciousness humans started to ask the apparently unanswerable questions, questions that take us to the supreme heights of human achievement, and into the depths of despair.  Not for us the unreflective life of a dog, or even possibly a chimpanzee; we humans try to solve the riddle of existence by posing […]

Thesis 9 – Big Heads

[Please scroll down to listen to an audio version of this thesis] As our distant ancestors started to make better use of their brains so, over long periods of time, human brains got larger so forcing the skull to get bigger.  So large did the skull become that the birthing process became more difficult and […]

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