Links 

A lot of links to stuff about books

On writing Proofreading is painful Cracking the Writer’s Block 1: Fear, Success and Life John Grisham’s Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Popular Fiction A manifesto for the simple scribe – my 25 commandments for journalists On reading I have forgotten how to read Can reading make you happier? How to Read More Books Why Reading Books Should be Your Priority, According to Science Reading to children to save ourselves Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks On books One of the World’s Most Irreplaceable Books Was Used as a Cutting…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (20.03.2018)

Romanian court tells man he is not alive Awkward. Reforesting Iceland The country is famous for its barren landscapes. It’s a favourite place to shoot car commercials or even as a stand-in for an alien planet. But the hills aren’t bare because it’s too cold for trees to grow. It’s the result of ancient deforestation…The forests that had once covered 40% of the country dwindled to less than 1%. And then, after a thousand years, Iceland began to put them back again. See also how A Volcano Helped Iceland Convert to…

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Articles 

War is not going anywhere

There is an argument being made, chiefly by people like Steven Pinker, that war is on the decline. Humanity is making progress and in the last 70 years or so the world has become a more peaceful place. I’m not so sure and I’m not alone in thinking that. Michael Mann says, Critiquing Pinker’s statistics on war fatalities, I show that the overall pattern is not a decline in war, but substantial variation between periods and places. War has not declined and current trends are slightly in the opposite direction….Globally…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (19.03.2018)

Is there a biblical defence of free speech? Paul Miller has a crack at making a case. Poland’s Sunday trading ban takes effect This is interesting. I’m generally in favour of people having a break from relentless consumerism. Russia and the Curse of Geography Given the unsurprising re-election of Vladimir Putin, I thought I’d share this article from a couple of years back that explains why Russia is involved in Ukraine & Syria for example. It’s taken from Tim Marshall’s excellent Prisoners of Geography. There’s a Remote Norwegian Town Where…

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Reviews 

Book Review: Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov My rating: 3 of 5 stars Set in a multi-planetary future some 20,000 years the Galactic Empire is in technological decay. Too vast, too unwieldy and racked by power games – innovation has ceased, sciences and skills are being forgotten (like weather forecasting)and populations are shrinking. Into this comes mathematician Hari Seldon with a new proposal, how to quantify and calculate the various probabilities of the future of civilisations. He has only shown that his theory is possible but he has no idea how…

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Articles 

In Peterson we trust?

We are, it seems, still living in the Jordan Peterson moment, as every man and his dog chimes in with reaction, praise or criticism to Peterson, his 12 rules and what it all means. One interesting note is how often people link the word ‘gospel’ with Peterson. On the one hand it’s an easy, lazy headline but it also strikes at the heart of what Peterson is doing. He is a herald, he is proclaiming a message. Everyone seems to be agreed on that; but as is our wont we…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (09.03.2018)

You Don’t Have to Give Your Kid a Phone Someone, somewhere will probably call that parenting choice an infringement of human rights. At the same time adults everywhere are trying to figure out How To Power Down In A Wired World.  God answers prayer for Burundi A really lovely story from one of the poorest nations on earth. In Sweden, Noor went straight to school; in Britain, Ammar waited six months I recently read some prayer requests from 10 different nations in Europe and the majority of them mentioned migration. The Economist…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (08.03.2018)

Normal service hasn’t quite resumed as I battle my inbox and schedule. It’s taken me almost a full week to catch up after a week away. Hmmm. Anyway… A West African Damascus Road This story is absolutely amazing. I believe miracles happen and this one is astonishing. Stephen Hawking Explains What Existed Before The Big Bang Imaginary time with extra dimensions…which is not as easy to get your head around as ‘In the beginning God…’. Hugh Ross responds. The science behind Europe’s Siberian chill As I sit at my desk…

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