Is life just virtual reality?

I recently graced my Twitter followers with a link to this Guardian article by Yuval Noah Harari: this article is wrong about everything but too few characters to explain y #VR #futureofwork #Robots https://t.co/DzOlVEAC5n — 🌷MaddieLBM🌷 (@MaddieLBM) 8 mai 2017 WordPress grants me a few more characters, so here is my analysis. The article Here is my summary, but don’t take my word for it; … Continue reading Is life just virtual reality?

Metaphor as manipulation

Biological warfare is a term more commonly associated with terrifying sci-fi scenarios than with gestating children. Yet if you believe this article from Aeon.co, pregnancy is pretty much Womb War III: Pregnancy is a lot more like war than we might care to admit […] The mammal mother works hard to stop her children from taking more than she is willing to give. The children … Continue reading Metaphor as manipulation

Objectifying your dreams

A few months ago I oh-so-dramatically announced my temporary retirement from the corporate world in favour of a masters in philosophy. I was aware of the strong millennial trends to #quityourjob, #dowhatyoulove and #pursueyourdream, but I’d like to think I wasn’t influenced by them too strongly. To briefly and blandly describe the reasons for this life decision, (1) I wanted some formal education in the … Continue reading Objectifying your dreams

Wtf is the ‘meaning of life’?!

Those of us lucky enough, over the festive period, to be able to sink into the loving embrace of the sofa beside an open fire, glass of port in hand, belly full of turkey and Thornton’s, and surrounded by loving relatives, might be tempted to proclaim that ‘this is what it’s all about’. The meaningful life consists in the cosiness of affection, security and slight … Continue reading Wtf is the ‘meaning of life’?!

carpe dem diems: seize your leisure

(It works slightly better in an American accent.) The other day my Medium ‘Daily Digest’ delivered me a post about leisure, featuring this quote from monk David Steindl-Rast: Leisure is the virtue of those who give time to whatever it is that takes time  I’ve talked before (here and here) about leisure time making up a precious tiny proportion of most people’s lives; employers buy the use … Continue reading carpe dem diems: seize your leisure

Aristotle & The Princess Diaries

Mia Thermopolis (or, to cite her full name, Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo) is the reluctant princess and narrator of The Princess Diaries (all 11 of them), the first few of which I read as a teenager. Like any teenager, Mia had many ambitions and hopes for the future. A frequent feature on her to-do lists was the phrase ‘Achieve self-actualization’ – along with things like ‘Go … Continue reading Aristotle & The Princess Diaries

Sport & moral life

A horse has won a horse race. — Boring Tweeter (@b0ringtweets) 9 avril 2016 This is how I read most sports news: as a set of non-events that hardly merit a daily supplement in the papers. I’ll make allowances, however, for things like the #Rio2016 Olympics; this kind of event feels like an exception, perhaps because we love a multi-billion-pound TV spectacle, or because it’s … Continue reading Sport & moral life

Politics of oppression

If you’ve ever been told that you’ve internalised the patriarchy, that your feminism isn’t up to the mark because you don’t take specific account of ethnic minority women, that you can’t talk about abortion because you’re a man, that you should probably not even talk in a public place because as a cis white straight man your very words, dripping with the lard of privilege, … Continue reading Politics of oppression

Eyeing me, eyeing you

Riddle this: What’s super awkward if it happens on a tube, exciting if it’s with a hot guy in a bar, a necessary prerequisite to ordering food in a restaurant? The dreaded eye contact! Eye contact is undoubtedly very powerful – and not just if you’re Sauron. It can be delightful if shared with a loved one, cementing intimacy and provoking sympathy. In Arthur Aron’s … Continue reading Eyeing me, eyeing you