topic: complexity

the experimental past

The study of the history of non-Western societies – especially those that have ‘failed’ – may be one of the most valuable resources that we have to help guide us through the coming ‘time of difficulty’ that we seem to be heading for. Watching a good BBC documentary about Tiwanaku, I was struck by how pertinent to our present climate change woes was the story of these people, not only surviving, but flourishing in an […]

climate flicker

No doubt, wherever you may be, you have been experiencing anomalous weather conditions for several years. We are constantly being told that this winter is the coldest since records began; that this summer the driest, this quarter the wettest, this spring the earliest. Though many of us suspect that this must have something to do with global warming, we are told that there is not enough evidence at present to prove that. As I understand […]


T’ai Chi taught me many things but perhaps nothing quite as useful as the unlearning of the reflex to grasp. This reflex – to grab hold of something, most often with the dominant hand – becomes a liability in any kind of fight. One problem is that it focuses the mind on the grasping hand: thus focused, the mind loses the ability to see ‘the bigger picture’. Another is that an attempt to grab some […]