How we reduce our lives to symbols and narratives

A picture is about what is included in it. There is an argument to be made that the meaning of a picture is also to be found in what is omitted from the frame, but what is included needs to be seen first in order to establish what is missing. In this way, the totality…… Continue reading How we reduce our lives to symbols and narratives

Why literature is our most important cultural tool

Literature is a tool which shapes culture, and then edifies it. It creates vicarious experiences within the reader, therefore allowing us to live the lives of others. In this way, it is also a tool which crafts us into the individuals we become. Its twofold purpose of crafting culture and individuals is a contiguous, symbiotic…… Continue reading Why literature is our most important cultural tool

The marvel of human intelligence and the creation of culture

“We are all children of Africa. As members of the hominin species Homo Sapiens, you and I are the product of millions of years of shared evolutionary history of life on earth”. So begins an article by Patrick Randolph-Quinney in the I paper (UK 8/2/18). Although there has always been an interest in Anthropology, in…… Continue reading The marvel of human intelligence and the creation of culture

Understanding identity in terms of markets

How we define ourselves is a complicated question. We seem to know exactly who we are, but when we try to define who we are, it becomes increasingly difficult. Popularly, the issue which expresses its self is that of language. I can say that my name is Lawrence, but what makes me different from other…… Continue reading Understanding identity in terms of markets

Are films being killed off by unoriginal storytelling?

In the weekend issue of the I newspaper (20-21/1/18, UK), David Baddiel wrote a guest column in which he states “make it new, or else storytelling will die”. In the column he makes the claim that Hollywood executives are ‘frightened of fiction’. He states that Hollywood is far too centred on what is known as…… Continue reading Are films being killed off by unoriginal storytelling?

What wine tasting teaches us about memory and identity

There is a lot to be understood about the nature of identity when we talk about activities which involve refined discernment. This can be wine, cheese, or whiskey tasting, listening to music critically, reviewing or analysing art, or cooking for enjoyment for example. When we perceive the values of an object, we must, to a…… Continue reading What wine tasting teaches us about memory and identity

Lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

The advantages we have early in life can have a shockingly profound effect on our future developments, but these advantages aren’t always obvious. One great advantage of this is the education of students in schools. If we look at children who are ahead of their year at school, we are inclined to see these children…… Continue reading Lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

How language changes our thoughts, and how to use this to our advantage

Scanning the newspapers or watching the news on television, we see snapshots of lives which are unfamiliar to most of us. They are inordinately wealthy, living profligate lives, surrounded by people whose achievements we feel far exceed our own. But what exactly is it which divides us and them? Selective perspective. In these figures, we…… Continue reading How language changes our thoughts, and how to use this to our advantage

Humanity- out of place in the modern world?

One thing I believe to be fundamental about human life is that it is out of sync, both on an individual scale, as well as on a larger scale, with its environment. The environments in question can be social, biological, or natural (as in our environmental surroundings such as the natural world or the house…… Continue reading Humanity- out of place in the modern world?

Mythologies- Barthes on… Steak and Chips

Steak has a profoundly powerful meaning behind it. Cutting into a perfect medium-rare steak, the sensational flow of juices, the rich smell, that wonderful charred outside and sanguine redness within, the anticipation of that first umami-rich bite, then the feeling of pure bliss as you bite into it. Steak has a flavour and taste like…… Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… Steak and Chips