Humans are obsessed with simplicity. You see it in the straightness that shapes our roads, country borders and thought. Simplicity serves a purpose in some human creations, providing a functionality which is often necessary. However, human creatures and nature are complex and imposing simplicity on such complexity rarely fits well. Continue reading The Hidden Cost of Simplicity
Chaining myself to reality
A year ago I decided on a new rule: no more Television, Netflix or Film and limited news. I have (imperfectly) applied it since and been delighted with the result but why? It has taken me a year to work to find it: Entertainment was my form of escapism from the real world. I mis-used some technology as an escape from my surroundings and a distraction from thinking, accepting and challenging who I was.Continue reading Chaining myself to reality
Chivalry isn’t dead but it should be
Many lament the loss of Chivalry in our society. They decry that knights of our realm have lost interest in honourable deeds for women: things like holding a door, carrying a suitcase and pulling a chair out for a woman (although not like I did when I was a child, pulling it far out enough that my mother fell…..sorry again Mama!). The amazing writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who wrote Americanah, just challenged chivalry and to my surprise it received a huge backlash. It is clear, chivalry is not dead.
In this post I argue that we should let chivalry die and instead resurrect common courtesy: a sign of more, not less, respect for women. However, this may also come at a cost…Continue reading Chivalry isn’t dead but it should be
Identity Politics as a force for good, not evil
The world of polemics has been set ablaze by the rise of Identity Politics from the ‘Radical Left’. Prominent academic voices, like Jordan Peterson or Sam Harris, argue that Identity Politics is a force for evil; a movement of ‘social justice warriors’ who have created unnecessary divisions and, through political correctness, impinged upon the sanctity of free speech. They point to the de-platforming and rejection of speakers from liberal colleges in the US with aggressive incidents like at Middlebury College with Charles Murray (more here). These academics have now gained a cult-following from the ‘alt-right’ and ironically from those who not too long ago had ‘had enough of experts’.
I contend that whilst it can be detrimental, the Identity Politics of today is a facet of natural human tribalism, has always existed, is a sign of progress and can be a force for good. Continue reading Identity Politics as a force for good, not evil
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Searching for real unknowns
For the last two months, I have been living in a holding-pattern in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as I await my Kenyan Work visa. (For actual flights in a holding pattern above you, go here!). Thanks to a Kenyan immigration process so forward-thinking that it jumped to online-only applications before a functioning online system, this is set to last another two months.
During these months, I have had the pleasure of working at my company’s HQ and grown accustomed to a Dutch lifestyle, with the clear expectation this was a temporary stop-over. This was until last week when an opportunity arose at work to stay in the Amsterdam HQ indefinitely. Which got me thinking, in the eternal words of the Clash, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’
Continue reading Should I Stay or Should I Go? Searching for real unknowns
The recent revelations of Facebook’s data breach have shed light on quite how much personal information Facebook has collected and the means to which it is put to use. In response, a global ‘shock and awe’ has led to Mark Zuckerberg questioned by the US Senate, the ‘DeleteFacebook’ movement and a consensus that Facebook has committed a great wrong.
In this blog post, I argue that we should share in this blame, we built a society which champions profit over purpose, where privacy is worth less than pennies and Facebook is entrusted (without reason) to act like a Government. However, within this capitalist society, we also have the tools to make the change we desire and this loss of privacy can bring about a greater good. Continue reading The Two-Faced-Book
‘I Found Myself Travelling’
We all know of someone who has declared ‘I found myself travelling’. Not only are they trotting out a cliché but they also seem deluded that one needs to spend thousands of pounds to fly to another country, introduce yourself hundreds of times and buy a ‘local beer-shirt’ before you can confirm your location. We often see these platitudes as bullshit; this is parodied in this ‘Gap Yah’ clip.
But, are they? Bullshit, I mean…? Some are but I argue there is a form of travel which brings one into the unknown and from that, one can indeed ‘find [a bit more of] yourself’. I substantiate how and why. Continue reading ‘I Found Myself Travelling’
Thou shalt not take Atheism’s name in vain
Did you know Buddhists can be Atheists? In fact, an Atheist can even be religious, support religion and be Agnostic!
The term Atheist has lost its true meaning, has become synonymous with an aggressive anti-religious stance, and is now considered an irrationally strong conviction. I wish to reclaim it. Worry not – this is not a post advocating for atheism! Continue reading Thou shalt not take Atheism’s name in vain
What we can learn from Lincoln’s Leadership
Yes, this is another post on Lincoln, following What the Left can Learn from Lincoln, but as someone who led a government to win the US Civil War, implement the first US income tax, became the first Republican President and abolished slavery, he knew a thing or two about leading old white men – an essential skill in Western politics.
In this post, I delve into two unique features of his leadership: 1) a desire for a legacy, rather than fame or fortune and 2) an ambition with magnanimity, rather than ego. Continue reading What we can learn from Lincoln’s Leadership
What the Left can Learn from Lincoln
Who was Lincoln?
Abraham Lincoln is a household name, and much like most household names, people are content with the name to be the extent of their knowledge. Continue reading What the Left can Learn from Lincoln
My Birthday Wish
I have never understood birthday celebrations. What are you really celebrating?
Trying to Define Happiness
This post builds on my recent blog, Confessions of an Addict, which discusses our societal addiction to happiness, how it is misguided and has consequences for all. In that post, as a friend highlighted, I failed to define happiness. Here, I attempt to address that oversight by considering two conceptions of happiness, discussing their implications and how society’s actions show that ‘Happiness = Pleasure’ dominates. Continue reading Trying to Define Happiness
Confessions of an Addict
The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem; I have a problem. A problem that is endemic in our society. So much so that you may be inclined to dismiss my addiction and even encourage it. I want to first and foremost convince you (and myself) that this is a problem; a problem worth fixing, and to do so, I need your help. Continue reading Confessions of an Addict
How I have survived as a vegan…and you can too!
In this post, I cover my trials and tribulations in a vegan lifestyle, the common misconceptions about it and, how someone (maybe even you!) can approach it. My hope is not to evangelise but for convincing, go here, watch this humorous vegan dystopia BBC piece called Carnage or read my rationale. Continue reading How I have survived as a vegan…and you can too!
How I accidentally became Vegan
When I moved out to Kenya in September 2017, I had been ‘vege-quarian’ (pescatarian) for about two years with no intention of changing. However, this quickly changed. My local supermarket, or more appropriately termed ‘hectic corner shop’, did not sell fish or cheese and coupled with my aversion to frequent shopping and milk’s short lifespan, I found my diary & meat intake curtailed. To my surprise, I had slipped into being vegan. (Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products – meat, fish, eggs, dairy).
On arriving in the UK I found that, despite what the French think, the huge variety of cheese was grating on me. I had to re-evaluate my decision and develop a stronger rationale. This is my current rationale, which is always susceptible to change, and my response to the best arguments I have heard against it. In this blog, I delve into how I imperfectly implement this veganism as an eternal hypocrite.