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The Disintegration of Expression

The week when a group of scientists have decided to hold the ‘Doomsday Clock’ at three minutes to midnight (though I cannot help feeling that the notion of a clock that can always be reset undermines the idea of time running out) is an apt one to consider the diagram above, which also deals with time, though the message it has to convey concerns not how little time might be left to us  but rather how much has gone before. 2,135 more words

Language-related

Literally Seismic

Pedantic old gurnard* that I am, I still experience a frisson of annoyance when people (journalists, mostly) say things like ‘the very epicentre of the fighting’ or ‘the… 1,323 more words

Language-related

The Muybridge Moment

The memorable Eadweard Muybridge invented a number of things, including his own name – he was born Edward Muggeridge in London in 1830. He literally got away with murder in 1872 when he travelled some seventy-five miles to shoot dead his wife’s lover (prefacing the act with ‘here’s the answer to the letter you sent my wife’) but was acquitted by the jury (against the judge’s direction) on the grounds of ‘justifiable homicide’. 1,867 more words

Philosophy

The Mechanism of Meaning (it's all in the mind)

Meaning matters. It is bound up with so many things: understanding and misunderstanding, doubt and certainty, to say nothing of philosophy, poetry, music and art; so it is worth considering the mechanism by which it operates. 2,333 more words

Philosophy

No abiding city

Things take odd turns sometimes. After my Byzantine Epiphany I felt sure I was on the track of something, yet it proved elusive: after a lot of writing I felt I was still circling round it, unable to pin it down. 2,591 more words

Philosophy

For us, there is only the trying

One thing that being a writer brings home to you is the tentative nature of all writing: it is always an attempt to say something – one that can be more or less successful – and it is… 2,681 more words

Philosophy

Force of Habit

‘Mind-forged manacles’, as well as being one of Blake’s most resonant phrases, also shows how well (and succinctly) poetry (and art in general) can express a complex idea that it is difficult to express by standard reasoning. 1,011 more words

Philosophy