The Doors of Perception.

It is easy to misunderstand poets. It is easy to hang on a few words of a poem and misuse them. Huxley used the phrase “doors of perception” which Jim Morrison shortened further to “the Doors”. In fact the originator of the phrase was William Blake who wrote in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell Continue reading

The Apple and the Tree

The politicians in Britain are making a fuss (they like to make a fuss from time to time) about one of their number, the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband, having a father described by the Daily Mail as a man who hated Britain. Mr Milliband’s father was written about in far from favourable terms. Some extremists have described the criticism of the deceased Milliband senior as antisemitic, others as without justification.  Continue reading

The Complexity of Law

The law has always been a complex area of human activity. It is easy to state principles, such as the Ten Commandments, but the practical application of those principles is complex, because human activity is complex and humans have an ability to do new things or old things in a new way and laws must protect and control society from good and bad developments in human behaviour. Thus there are tens of thousands of words written about the interpretation of the Ten Commandments, and millions of words written in the statute books and in legal judgments that create precedents. Continue reading

The Seeds of Our Own Destruction

Several thousand years ago tribes of people we now call Greeks settled in Attica, which was a rich and fertile plain. People always try to settle in rich and fertile land; sometimes if the land is used by others new comings try to possess it by fair means or foul, but four thousand years ago there were fewer people in the world and more rich and fertile plains than there are now. The ancient Greeks were ignorant of many things. They knew how to grow wheat, olives and grapes and also could husband goats and sheep. What they did not know was how to grow wheat in ways that prevent the soil from washing away. Continue reading

Gordon Brown’s error – being directed by the bankers

It is refreshing and admirable when a politician admits to making a mistake, because politicians spend so much of their time professing their infallibility. Of course, as soon as one admits to a mistake his or her political enemies and commentators circle around like sharks smelling blood.  Gordon Brown has admitted what he regards as a single small error. I get the feeling that he admitted it to demonstrate that he is after all human. Continue reading

The new massive Antarctic iceberg

If you sit at your computer pounding away to write articles or books for mass consumption it is quite easy to believe that your world is the entire world. Just as politicians and political journalists thinks the events of the Westminster Village are the most important, so the writer chained to a machine ends up a bit like those people of whom Plato speculated, sitting cross legged on the floor of the cave watching the shadows of the outside world and imagining those shadows to comprise the extent of all reality. Continue reading