Tearing down Chesterton’s fence

Chesterton’s fence is frequently cited – and not just by conservatives – because it has a simplicity that is difficult to disagree with. It’s an excellent description of one of the basic tenets of conservatism, which I used to find a compelling argument for taking…

A map of "Territories inhabited by Servians", aka The Davidovic Map (1846)

First, they came for the Torlakians

Why on earth should we save languages? They’re terrible things, spiteful things, always pouring out of our mouths and into the world, where they cause nothing but pain and suffering. How much time do we waste teaching our children to speak, when we could be…

Building a Path to UBI for Serbia

Two years ago, I finished a project working with UNDP Serbia to develop a Basic Income experiment. As far as I know UNDP did not pursue the project beyond the design phase. I gave a few talks on UBI in Serbia, but I did not…

Little Women and Big Men

A hundred years separates the writers Louisa May Alcott and Quentin Tarantino, a hundred years of ground lost and gained; but only twenty years separates Quentin Tarantino and Greta Gerwig, the directors. Yet the gap seems much larger than that; even set in the nineteenth…

The Red King Sleeping by Sir John Tenniel.

The Red King’s Race

Through the Looking Glass, it takes all the running you can do, to stay in the same place. At the far end of the board the Red King sleeps. How do we know the Red King sleeps? The noise he makes when he snores is…

The real Dionysius the Areopagite, from the Menologion of Basil II

Or Hurtful Desire

The Cloud of Unknowing: a classic of Christian mysticism which of course I had no idea existed until I stumbled over it in Foyles. The Shambhala Pocket Library translation by Carmen Acevedo Butcher was well-recommended, and I was startled at hearing the unmistakable resonance of…

Labour and Landscape

Male Performance in Beast (2017) and Gutland (2017). Both men feel like outsiders in this tight-knit community. Don’t you? One man walks out of a field. He is carrying a gun. One man stumbles into a field. He is not carrying a gun. In the…

One Earth, Two Miracles

Cross-posted on Medium. To the extent that it’s possible to have a favourite economist, Branko Milanovic is one of my favourite economists. Poverty and inequality are two of my three hot button economic issues, and here his analysis is excellent. My third hot button economic…

What we talk about when we talk about Volunteering

Cross-posted at https://medium.com/@paulcurrion/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-volunteering-fad393fa6ec0. Last November I was asked to speak at the Statutory Meetings of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Antalya. As well as being part of two workshop panels – on innovative finance, and technological change –…