Hunter-Gatherers vs Farmers

In the early 2000s a student of mine alerted me to a book that appeared to eulogise hunter gatherers and demonise farmers. The author, Daniel Quinn, in his 1992 novel Ishmael, characterised the former as Leavers and the latter as Takers. A large proportion of well-educated middle-class Americans, only too happy to have their guilt about prosperity […]

Mad Knowledge

Somewhere in amongst all that growing up a sense of identity has been forged. Events beat the malleable self on the anvil of the genetic and cultural mix. Those events just keep on coming– refining and tempering throughout life. A sense of self is one of those concepts, like mind, that take fright and fly […]

Reflections on Afghanistan

Despite taking the cheaper, more southerly route through the searingly hot desert from Tehran to Mashhad­–­ 800 kilometres in June– I didn’t think to modify my Macrobiotic diet. At an early stage we were held up in a crowded non-air-conditioned bus by a hideous accident, which involved a collision between petrol tanker and cattle in […]