Fiction, Non-Fiction and Facts

  BBC Radio Four offers a number of fine programmes about books, writing and reading. I regularly enjoy A Good Read in which the host and two guests each specify a book that all three have to read and then comment on. It is a great antidote to anyone who doubts that literary taste is entirely subjective. […]

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Teaching Dissent

thanks to Jennifer Murawski for the photo When you look at the long history of man, you see that more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have been committed in the name of rebellion. CP Snow For too many teachers in too many schools around the world, the ideal student […]

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Hyperbole and Bad Faith

Each new week brings with it the publication of yet another book telling us how technological developments will damage, or are already damaging, humankind. We are becoming more stupid and less sociable; we are abandoning literature and we are eroding our attention span; we are sabotaging our privacy and we are relinquishing our right to […]

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The Tree of Creativity

The world has already moved beyond the point where we need professional mediation to create, for example, a polished piece of video. Anyone today can choose to express themselves in video without intermediation, from shooting, to editing, to final production. They might express themselves well. They might express themselves badly. But then it has always been […]

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Post Literacy Post-Haste

Anxiety sells! So says The Economist this week in an excellent piece showing just how long we have had to listen to the oft-heard announcements of the terminal decline of written English…..since at least 1387! In that year, Ranulph Higden, a Benedictine monk bemoaned the influx of words from Norman French, Anglo-Saxon and Danish. We know today that it […]

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