Category Archives: Places

Don’t be shy, Nigel

It’s a strange thing.

He’s finally achieved his triumph. After all this time!

I expected to see Nigel Farage jumping about all over the place pointing out to us all the benefits we are now enjoying in the sunny uplands of Brexitland.

And making sure we’re in no doubt that it is he, Nigel Farage, whom we must thank for our immense good fortune.

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage in 2017 [Photo: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, USA]

So where are you, Nigel?

© Chris Lawrence 2021

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

We finished last time with the opening paragraph of William Clifford’s The Ethics of Belief.1

This tells his keynote story of the passenger ship owner who manages to overcome his doubts as to whether his ship is actually seaworthy. He does this not by having her overhauled and refitted but by trusting in Providence.

The ship sails and then sinks in mid-ocean.

Is the ship owner guilty of the death of passengers and crew? Undoubtedly.

JMW Turner The Shipwreck
J M W Turner: The Shipwreck
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The wreck of the Psyche

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

On 22 December 1870 there was a total solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, wholly or partially blocking out the sun as viewed from earth.

A total solar eclipse is a rare event, and even then its totality is only visible across a narrow band on the earth’s surface.

On 22 December 1870 the narrow band included parts of Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Sicily, Greece, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The British Royal Astronomical Society organised an expedition to observe and record the eclipse.

solar eclipse 22 December 1870
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April 1 is coming early

This is from the Daily Telegraph website 14 January 2021, by someone called Jonathan Saxty:

We Brexiteers are being blamed for the problems we warned about

In reality, fault lies squarely with the Government and poor planning

As problems mount for UK businesses, both in dealing with mainland Europe and regarding Northern Ireland, don’t be surprised if Brexit and Brexiteers get the blame for what is a failure of Government, as the possibility of reintegration via the backdoor looms. Many businesses are reporting difficulties adapting to the post- Brexit trading landscape, with the Federation of Small Businesses claiming many small firms have not had the time, money or clarity to prepare. German logistics group DB Schenker became the latest parcels operator to suspend cross-border delivery, following a similar move by DPD. How did the Government not anticipate…

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Banging on

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

Last time I explained why I think it’s so important to have a workable principle of good and safe believing.

In short, it’s because we need an antidote for the kind of fake news which led to the storming of the Capitol building, and for the kind of unjustified religious belief which led to 9/11 and the Spanish Inquisition.

Trump supporters storm Capitol building, Washington DC
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Taken for a mug

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

The last few articles (from Fake news and the ethics of belief to If only) have been getting increasingly technical.

It would be unfortunate if this meant losing sight of why I think this stuff about belief and evidence matters.

I am therefore going to backtrack a bit and, at risk of repetition, spell out what for me is the point of all this.

Thank God for President Trump
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What is and what ought to be

Part of a series which began with Fake news and the ethics of belief.

I was talking last time about 9/11, religious belief and fake news in relation to William Clifford’s 1877 evidence principle:

…it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

Clifford’s principle has come in for a lot of stick over the years from those who saw it as too ‘scientistic’ – ie coming from ‘an exaggerated belief in the principles and methods of science’.

11 September 2001 attacks on New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty
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Vuvuzela for the NHS

It’s 8pm Thursday. Time to clap for the NHS. Thing is ours is a street of terraced houses on one side facing a primary school on the other, not tower blocks with packed balconies. So clapping doesn’t quite do it on its own.

Saucepan lids help of course. But this Thursday I remembered one of our souvenirs from 20 years in Cape Town: the vuvuzela:

vuvuzela
Vuvuzela
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