>Isolation and efficiency and how they have come around to bite us in the backside…

>This has been a day of being pulled in many directions. After a series of cold, dull, grey, wet, typical January days, today the sun is shining brightly. Although the cold is even more bitter, it is a day with possibilities – getting washing dry, early Spring gardening, walking in the country lanes, or even the (previously waterlogged) footpaths. Spring cleaning…

Suddenly full of energy and enthusiasm (a slight exaggeration this), everything suddenly seems interesting and exciting and I want to pursue every little detail. The current rash of Darwin articles, tv and radio programmes has made me keen to know more, to read “The Origin of Species” and to explore the ideas and the conflict with creationism.

The Origin of Species, of course, ought to wait till I’ve finished “The Adventure of English” (Melvyn Bragg) which has been on my bookshelf unread for several years. And “Stephen Fry in America” which was a Christmas present. And “Bad Science” (Ben Goldacre), a gift for my birthday. And all the time I’m seeing, hearing and reading new stuff that I barely have time to take in.

My Resurgence magazine arrived a few weeks ago, and I opened it for the first time today. Only to find that “Slow Sunday” was on January 25th, and I’ve missed it! Is that ironic, or what? Over lunch, I flicked rapidly through the articles, wanting to read them all but knowing that there wasn’t time. One was a transcript of a Commencement address (not really sure what that is exactly) by Barbara Kingsolver at Duke University, North Carolina: a speech which illicited several “that’s what I’ve been saying for years…” moments (there’s a word for that, but I can’t find it just now). The most vivid of these is the idea of the “age of isolation and efficiency and how they have come around to bite us in the backside”…

I found the speech on YouTube, HERE… and I’ll be sending a link to 3kool, who finished university last year, as it seems to be of some relevance.

Meanwhile, I must go and make a list of things I want to read, and things I want to think and write about. Oh yes, and get on with that Spring cleaning…

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