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Category Archives: philosophy

Summer Postcards

Here are some reflections I wrote last summer on time, change and hope.

summer_postcards2

Click here to read this collection in Wattpad.

 

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The Place of Love

img_16021_356x197_1 A long time ago I heard a comment that froze me to the marrow. It came from a neighbour after the deaths of family members in a car accident. She said – we have had so many good times together that now we must pay for them. The implication was that there was some celestial bank book of happiness and misery. Have too much of one and you were bound to have a dollop of the other in some mystical accounts balancing act.

Well, whether you think that way is up to you. However, there may be a grain of truth in this pessimism. And it is this. If life is to enjoyable and fun and fulfilling then we need to love someone. When the time of parting comes – a fact made inevitable by our biology – then the result is loss and bereavement. From that stark viewpoint there is an natural reckoning. Yet, surely, there must be more? For if we are more than molecules and human life more than a pre-programmed struggle to survive then there is a higher plane; a place where personality and creativity and love have a very real existence, a place where these humanities lie beyond the mortality of the material world and a place we might call by a very ancient name – Heaven.

 

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Soaring Ideas Sell!

T21Having a look at my Flickr photo sharing statistics recently had a few surprises for me. Because the pictures that have a great audience early on often fade into obscurity. Instead, its the slow seller with a few looks a week that seems to build and build into an evergreen product. And when you analyse their appeal, usually the are an ordinary photo of an object that interests people or that they have a reason for looking at; an old glider (sailplane to our American cousins), a quiet village street or even a vintage cider farm’s cart for example. In the end, they all sell!

This is also true of ideas – religious ones as well as secular thoughts. If an idea has appeal and is needed by someone to get through a problem then they will be used. Maybe not by many but they will sell in the end.

Now there is a thought for those who say thinking is dead. After all, in this age of austerity why not treat yourself today to a new idea. Actually they don’t sell well because they are free!

 

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An education you can’t refuse

The problem with education these days is that it costs so much. Or so I thought until a few days ago. It was then I came across a free online resource from the Open University.  Now, since its foundation in the 60’s, the OU has been one of the jewels in the British higher education. Because, established as it was to serve the era of  ‘the white heat of technology’, its real success was in  attracting mature students when to be an undergraduate over age 30 was definitely – as they say in current parlance – not cool.

But the OU did more than recreating ‘maturies’ as students.  For it took the rather seedy world of distance learning, then given the unattractive heading of correspondence courses, and shook it to its foundations. For, arguably, it blazed the trail for the modern multimedia education and online training we can all benefit from today. After all, if you wanted people to enjoy learning after a hard days work, you had to grab their attention with materials that were worth opening up.

However, as I said earlier ‘all singing – all dancing’ courses are expensive.  That’s why the OU is offering such an irresistable bargain.  Because  it makes available online a whole raft of their courses ranging from basic studies skill through to complex computer networking taking in the humanities and the law on the way. There are even student forums and a video conference facility thrown in for good measure.

So if you have fancied dipping your toes into latin, wondered about human consciousness or felt that the Enlightenment is your forte, then put ‘open learning’ into your search engine and enjoy opening your mind to the light of knowledge. What is more, it won’t cost you a bean!

 

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Breathtaking Coincidence or…

Victor Meldrew’s catchphrase came straight through my lips. I don’t believe it! For I had just received a huge shock when I was  looking at the templates that came with my new website authoring software. because when I just happened to click on a ‘Contact us’ page at random, there was my cousin’s company’s details. Surely not – he lives hundreds of miles away and we have no business ties. I tried another template – same result.

I phoned him with this remarkable coincidence and indignant at the nerve of the software company to use his details without asking. He was nonplussed – I was nonplussed.

Was the world so preplanned that it could stage this  billion to one chance?  After all, what were the odds that I would buy a package that had used details of someone who I not just know but  was related to?

The penny dropped around midnight!

At Christmas my cousin had visited and done some publicity work online for his firm. Somehow, my newly installed software must have found a ‘contact’ file and thought itself being helpful when it loaded it up and showed it in its templates.

Clever certainly but sadly it demolished a proof  of life as a predestined film running before our eyes.  A movie which manufacturers breathtaking coincidences for reasons best known to itself. Instead,we must look for the divine guiding hand elsewhere and surely in the less trivial.

 

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Blog on learning to blog!

Reading Todd Stauffer’s book ‘Web 2.0 Blog’ – now I know what I have been doing wrong! However blogging about blogging seems dangerously recursive; a bit lining two mirrors up and hoping not fall into the space they create. I shall therefore risk it no mor…….


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