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Posts under ‘Mind & body’

I am interested the idea and practice of spirituality: but it may all be nonsense, and I may be venially corporeal. This category is a bit of a catch-all for posts on subjects ranging from the intellectual (I should be so lucky), to the spiritual (likewise) via the psychological and the creative.

The Classics and modernity (#1)

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 26 April 2016. No comments.

This is a pair of essays on the theme of the Classics and their continuing influence. It’s in two parts: #1 The Classics and Us (the reverberations of the Classical world on our civilisation) and #2 The Classics and Me (the reverberations of the Classical world on me much more personally). So this is #1… More »

The Classics and modernity (#2)

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 26 April 2016. One comment.

This is a pair of essays on the theme of the Classics and their continuing influence. It’s in two parts: #1 The Classics and Us (the reverberations of the Classical world on our civilisation) and #2 The Classics and Me (the reverberations of the Classical world on me much more personally). So this is #2… More »

Research, referencing, style guides, and howlers: quick guide

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 21 April 2016. No comments.

This is a note which I hope is useful for anyone preparing to write essays at 6th form or university, and above, and for presentations of any sort. More »

The UK economy and the welfare state

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / RDN's media outings on 2 April 2016. No comments.

For an outing on the BBC 1 Big Questions ethics show, I pulled together some research on whether Britain was a fair society. My general view is that one should worry about the poor, on the assumption that they are unhappy because of poverty and need help. It is not a dead cert that people in need of help can be given it, of course. Moreover, it may well not matter whether (or even how much) a country is unequal. Nor is the amount of welfare spending by any means a perfect indicator of whether a country is a good place for either rich or poor to live. Other posts have discussed those themes. (Try an in-site search for “inequality”.)  This one is intended to capture a picture of where the UK is compared with its neighbours, and – even more important – with other broadly comparable countries, in matters of wealth, welfare spending and educational outcomes. More »

RDN on BBC shows: Syrian refugees

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 26 February 2016. No comments.

I was asked onto BBC1’s The Big Questions (7 February 2016, Episode 5, Series 9); on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in (25 February 2016); and BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland (27 February 2016) to discuss whether Britain’s stance on Syrian refugees was morally acceptable (TBQ) and whether one had a moral responsibility toward helping them (Call Kaye) or both (Good Morning Scotland). More »

EU obligations to Med-migrants

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 14 May 2015. No comments.

I have had a couple of recent outings on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in show, on the UK’s obligations – and Scotland’s in particular – toward the “Med-migrants”. My line, I am almost sorry to say, was that we will probably need to be cruel to be kind…. More »

Vera Bax poems for “The Fallen”, her WW2 sons

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / RDN's poems on 11 May 2015. No comments.

Vera Bax, poet and painter, lost two sons in WW2. Both were RAF pilots. She wrote a sequence of four poems on losing them. Some of the poems have been in various anthologies ever since. More »

Christians can vote for the right

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 23 February 2015. No comments.

I have only read part of the Bishops’ letter to their parishioners and what follows is not a critique of the document. Rather, I simply want to show how the right-wing might be loving, compassionate and Christian as it argues (and votes) against state provision of welfare. More »

Following Sachs’ advice to let go a bit

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 20 February 2015. No comments.

Oliver Sachs writes beautifully about growing old and, in particular, about his imminent death. The essence of his message in the New York Times is that he remains interested in life and quite cheerful about it, but…. More »

Prof Cox, fusion and the wonder of risk

Posted by RDN under Climate change / Mind & body / On TV & Radio on 20 February 2015. 2 comments.

Brian Cox has already suggested that mankind is alone, and should celebrate the wonder of it.  But, as he is foremost in reminding us, we are also the shards of star-dust that have become conscious and clever. Indeed, in creating industrial scale fusion reactors, if we ever do, we will have succeeded in not merely imitating our sun, but have found how to deploy its forces. More »

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