London Riots August 2011

This has been a grim week for anyone connected with England – riots on streets bringing back memories of the 1980s (which to me felt very different though maybe it is me who has changed). I am no great political commentator, clearly a lot of the trouble was opportunist copy cat stuff and clearly a lot of the initial participants are from a deeply un-connected part of society at large, if indeed they are in society at all.

This all against (or triggered by) a deeper economic malaise pervading capitalism that now is taking on the aspects of a generational problem.

Sat in Ireland most of the time I felt slightly removed from it all and also a fraud tweeting and blogging about the usual mix of topics when the real world was suffering.

I thought I would note (in summary) two letters in the Thursday 11th edition of the Irish Times to show the contrast reactions…

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Psycho History Killer

Snappy title but…

As anyone who wanders around this tiny corner of cyberspace (remember when it was called that!) knows I worry about things like time travel and thermodynamics.  This all means that whilst I enjoy my sci-fi, I have to suspend a lot of belief to do so. One case that brings this together well is the brilliant (yet badly flawed) Foundation Series by the equally brilliant (and probably not at all flawed) Isaac Asimov. Yes we are back in old school classic twentieth century science fiction territory. The same flaw also exists in the great yet trashy Lensmen series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith. There’s a name I haven’t conjured with for years! I even touch on another doctor at the end!

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What are Words Worth?

The Strength and Weakness of the English Language

Why Write this?

Recently a friend of mine tweeted despairingly on the subject of language abuse, in this particular case the ‘nouning’ of invite (nouning being an example of verbing;-). I initially pointed out that growing old inevitably leads one to bemoaning abuse of language by the younger generation (yeah like whatever). Beyond that though I thought I would write a quick blog entry to give me sense of things, and also to give me a chance for a good rant!

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Work – what is it good for?

Is the five day week a good idea?


Now I realise that the five day week is somewhat notional, and many people work shifts, part time, weekends and so forth, but in the round a lot of us spend a lot of time working when we could be doing something else. Not all of us love our jobs (and congratulations to those for whom work is a vocation) and it being Friday I thought I would have a quick rant…

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