Posts in Thinking

No, I Don’t Have the Bandwidth Right Now

Something is very wrong with the English language. People have started asking me if I have the “bandwidth” to work on new projects. What am I, a modem? This is part of a broader trend of viewing human beings as machines. When we need a break, we go offline. When we achieve something new, we level up. In a corporate… Read More

Life-Threatening Repercussions of the Hostile Environment During Covid-19

This is a guest post by Lynsey Burrows at the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation of immigration lawyers based in the UK & Ireland. I don’t normally publish guest posts here, but this one is important and timely, and I think you’ll enjoy reading it. In 2012, Theresa May’s government created the ‘hostile environment’; a set of immigration policies and… Read More

How Can We Talk About Climate Change? How Can We Not?

Climate change has become such a clear, species-threatening emergency that sometimes it feels strange to talk or write about anything else. Yes, I know, Covid-19. But a pandemic, although immensely destructive, will end eventually. In the longer term, climate change is a much bigger threat to our survival on this planet. Most of the things I spend my day thinking… Read More

Read to Your Children. They’ll Thank You for It

It’s International Literacy Day today, and I’d like to talk about fostering a love of reading. Recent research by Egmont shows that reading for pleasure has huge benefits for children, and the best way to encourage them to do that is for parents to read aloud to their children. (Thanks to The Author magazine for alerting me to the Egmont… Read More

Cultural Time Zones and the Global City

What is a cultural time zone? Think of tennis, says Melissa Tandiwe Myambo in a fascinating essay in New Left Review. On the international tennis circuit, all the courts and facilities must meet certain standards, with only minor local variations. “Thus, the tennis tour allows professional players to circulate globally while remaining inside a specific cultural time zone that is… Read More

Greece as Europe’s Borderland

Greece seems to be synonymous with “crisis” these days. The debt crisis, the migrant crisis, or just the “Greek crisis”, as if the whole country is in a permanent state of crisis. Interestingly, the very word “crisis” is of Greek origin, but krisis means “decision”, and those mostly get made in Brussels or Berlin these days. What I’ve never seen before is… Read More

Representation Matters

Diversity in children’s books is a real problem. Here are a couple of statistics for you, courtesy of The Bookseller: 32.1% of pupils of compulsory school age in England are of minority ethnic origins. Only 4% of all the children’s books published in the UK last year featured a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) character. And then, the other… Read More

Occam’s Razor and the Rise of Populism

Over the past few years, people have been wringing their hands over the rise of populism, whether it’s far-right parties in Europe, Brexiteers in the UK or Trump in the US. Now, academics have found the rise in populism is correlated with a rise in economic insecurity.

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