Category Archives: Society

City Living

(Extended essay alert) I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t looking for it. But a couple of weeks ago I walked into the National Portrait Gallery on a whim, and came face-to-face with Grayson Perry. Here, laid out for my inspection … Continue reading

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A voice that needs to be heard

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain My rating: 5 of 5 stars This may be one of the most important books of the last one hundred years. It is certain to … Continue reading

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Taking responsibility for our words

Someone in the NHS ought to be feeling very embarrassed this week. As The Independent reported on Thursday, there has been a major public outcry over this poster, which dates from 2005-07 but has recently been seen on NHS premises … Continue reading

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A larger identity

Every now and then my inbox feeds me something unexpected that changes the way I see things. This week it was Matthew Taylor’s RSA Chief Executive’s lecture, The Power to Create: It came at the right time. Having been made … Continue reading

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The next ten words

Some time ago I posted an article called Precision Tools. It covered quite a complex sequence of ideas that had been taking shape in my thought for a few months. And yes, it’s longer than the average blog post, at … Continue reading

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Clean forgotten

One of the many good memories I will carry with me into 2013 was hearing the author Salley Vickers speak in Winchester last November. Her debut novel, Miss Garnet’s Angel–which I talked about in my last post–remains a close and … Continue reading

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Of service and sacrifice

So another Remembrance Day has faded from its annual blaze of red amid November’s greys. And this year, as so often before, I am left pondering the words of St. John (15:13): “Greater love hath no man than this, that … Continue reading

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Nurturing the polymaths…

My Power of Language post last week, Precision Tools, referred to the recent James MacTaggart Lecture given in Edinburgh by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google. The lecture is, I understand, a keynote of the television industry’s year and Schmidt … Continue reading

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Fiction improves our social understanding

Last Thursday morning, Radio 4’s Today programme hosted an interview with Professor Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist and author of the book Such Stuff as Dreams. His thesis is that reading fiction is good for you. Well, I, inveterate bookworm … Continue reading

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Bringing words to life – a call for ideas

I’ve become a big fan of RSA Animate – a series of 10-minute videos combining hand-drawn animation, written words and a narrative voiceover.  It is a novel and engaging way of conveying a message – often a complex one – … Continue reading

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