Jennifer Pike at Mansfield College Library

A couple of hours ago, Jennifer Pike (and the London Mozart Players) had performed Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” inside the Mansfield College library. What’s not to like? I think Vivaldi was probably the best Baroque composer there ever was, and hearing the Four Seasons performed inside the hallowed halls of Mansfield was a real treat. And, […]

Aphorisms

Inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Bed of Procrustes. Only the foolish talk themselves to tatters. The wise knows that the truth needs no explication. Distractions are a form of relaxation of the intellectually unemployed. Being on the receiving end of an iniquity is, at most times, superior to the one on the giving end, […]

Those Who Turn Away

This poem beautifully explains why philosophy matters, and why it’s foolhardy to pursue a narrow, vocational skill with dubious utility. When I first read it in the December 2019 issue of Philosophy Now, it immediately reminded me of a conversation I had more than 20 years ago with Travis LeBlanc – in Oxford, no less […]

The Raven Chronicles

Rebuilding the Electronics of an Epiphone Les Paul Let me introduce you to Raven. Raven’s an Epiphone Les Paul guitar which I had bought from a shop on London’s Denmark Street (“Tin Pan Alley”) in 1999. I had paid a princely sum of £249 , about three weeks’ worth of my student allowance at that […]

Baseline Anxiety

Inspired by a tweet by Zuby. Through evolution, humans are hardwired to deal with physical threats and the scarcity of resources. We are conditioned to respond quickly to external stimuli for self-preservation. When we see danger, we run, or we fight. When we see food, we eat. When we have the opportunity, we mate. (Mating […]