Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A miscellany of links

1. How to have fun. ""Competitiveness is a funny one," said Ben afterwards. "Usually it just makes people angry and kills fun dead." ... After all his studying, Ben concluded that you need other people to have fun. You just can't have fun alone. Even when you think you're having fun by yourself, it's with reference to an absent other. It's doing something you know you've had fun doing with others in the past, or it's I-can't-wait-until-someone-else-hears-about-this." This and more, all worth thinking about.

2. How we spoke 8,000 years ago.

3. More recently - in fact last month - here is singing in Aramaic for the Pope visiting Georgia. Yup, Aramaic. Listen to it and weep not for the Abendlandes.

4. "As Charles Moore explains in his biography of Margaret Thatcher, Mrs T always felt that there was no one to catch her if she fell, because she wasn’t part of that male–dominated Tory club where political bonds are reinforced by old school friendships and family ties. May, who entered the Commons only five years after Thatcher left, is conscious of this too. ... Throughout her time in politics, May has known that if she made a mistake there wouldn’t be anyone to make excuses for her." Is that true of women politicians starting out now? If not, what difference will it make to them?

5. Brexit stuff. William Hague talks sense here, while Daniel Hannan (profiled here as the Man Who Brought You Brexit) writes about post-referendum Britain here. (The Untergang will come to Britain too, fear not, but my hope is that we will be so distracted by debating Brexit - an argument in which both sides are led by people steeped in that liberal democratic tradition that was the future once - that it will take longer to reach here than other parts of the Abendlandes.)

6. Donald Trump. First, why some people vote for him. Second, here, what the Mormons were right about (Trump), what Trump was right about (Iraq, healthcare) and what St. Teresa of Avila was right about (More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones).

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