RTICLES

Usually related to education, philosophy or society, I write these to give form to some of things I grapple with. If they can spur on debate and reflection so much the better.

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The Human Billboard

As you take your seat on the tube for your morning commute, you find yourself distracted by a flashing light. Glancing up from your paper, you are greeted by a video of Miley Cyrus's latest show at the Grammies and the words "Get 20% off the album now!". The man sitting across you is wearing an iPad on his chest, streaming advert after advert. You look at him and he smiles back, then checks his watch to make sure he isn't late for work. Part time billboard. £20 a day. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Nor is this science fiction. I happened to witness it, yesterday. I had the pleasure to meet Adrian Brown who was wearing this iPad paraphernalia while on Jubilee line, on my way to work. Staring a

On Greatness

What is 'greatness'? A quality, surely. Is it something we are born with or without, something we inherit, is it something that can be learned and taught? The topic comes to mind as I am reading Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Remains of the Day, which broaches the topic in an unexpected way. Ishiguro's protagonist is a English butler managing a grand household in the 1950s. On a road trip to Salisbury, Mr Stevens is graced with stunning views of the English countryside, which, to him, possess a certain 'greatness' unlike any of the beautiful sceneries adorning the pages of National Geographic. It is, he ventures, the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of our land apart

TED's Timidity

A year on, and it’s still as embarrassing as ever. TED sponsored a TEDx talk in Whitechapel, London, in Jan 2013, with the theme “CHALLENGING EXISTING PARADIGMS” to then censor two of the evening’s best talks. Rupert Sheldrake on science’s materialistic paradigm, and Graham Hancock on opening our consciousness to new levels, through the responsible use of Ayahuasca, in a call for a return to spirit. The two hit the nail on the head, but TED’s sponsors, or their ‘Scientific Board’ thought otherwise: TED respects and supports the exploration of unorthodox ideas, but the many misleading statements in both Sheldrake’s and Hancock’s talks, whether made deliberately or in error, had led our scient

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