Author Archives: incomingpast

Calais and Constancy

  The Calais crisis, the tail end of a migration of people displaced by war and other geographic misfortune, is not a crisis of demography whatsoever; it is a crisis of Britain’s rectitude. It is a crisis that asks us … Continue reading

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Dear Eileen, on British politics, history, nationalism, &c.

Dear Eileen, First of all thank you for your question about Corbyn, it prompted a lot of thoughts on a wider range of subjects. I apologise for the length of my ranting response and hope it contains enough insights to … Continue reading

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The Spectacle of Lord Freud

Sophists do not win by persuading you to accept their specific arguments; they win by persuading you to accept their general methodology. They win by transforming every newsreader into a self-professed pundit. This is the minor misfortune of the blogosphere, … Continue reading

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David Mitchell’s ‘The Right Sort’, a review

David Mitchell is no newcomer to experimental prose forms. Number9dream uses omission to leave a disturbing lacuna; the multigenred Cloud Atlas has a chiastic structure and The Right Sort, his newest foray, is a short story delivered in a string … Continue reading

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Utopias, Anti-Utopias, Dystopias and Cockaygne

There is one tradition in which my reading is obsessive, otherwise I am perhaps too eclectic. And it is also one in which the nuances are frustratingly and commonly missed or forgotten, but nonetheless fascinating. To start with the subtlest, … Continue reading

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Listening on Assisted Dying

Like many atheists my stance on assisted dying has been favourable. I also advocated philosophies that defended suicide as a sometimes noble and dignified choice. However, at some point I considered counterpoints. My opinions were evolving before I read Jennifer … Continue reading

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A Critical reading of ‘Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It’

The whole of humanity suffers when someone opts out. p.4 Ideas can take lives and other ideas can save lives. p.6 The kernel of Jennifer Michael Hecht’s thesis is an injunction arrived at after the suicides of close friends, ‘One … Continue reading

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