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On Stories – Part 2

Last week, I wrote about how stories are essential to what makes us human. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about this and I’ve found myself noticing many examples of stories we tell ourselves, big and small, important and trivial alike. Some of these stories may serve recreational or educational purposes, for instance, folklore tends to fall in this category. However, other stories are more or less essential to the functioning of society. An…

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On Stories

I’m ashamed to say there was a time when I didn’t see the point of reading fiction. Frankly, I thought it was a waste of time. What was there to gain in reading made-up tales and stories, and what did those stories have to teach us about the real world? I rationalised my position by comparing the time spent reading fiction to time spent doing other things I considered more productive. Why waste time reading…

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The Sum of All Moments – Part 2

My wife and I saw The Accountants in the theatre last night. The Accountants is a mixed methods performance theatrical piece, that centres on the experiences of two characters, one of Indian British heritage, and the other of Chinese British heritage. There were a dozen dancers on stage performing highly choreographed movements. Alongside the dancers on the stage, were three screens – one wide screen in the centre, flanked by two giant phone screens.  While…

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The Sum of All Moments

These days it feels like every time I check the news, go on substack, or walk past the front window of a bookstore, there’s a new headline, or article, or bestselling book reminding us of how much more dystopian the world has gotten since I last checked. From the threat of annihilation through nuclear warfare, to the rise of an Artificial Intelligence system that could replace workers, there’s no shortage of headlines, essays and books…

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On Reality

A few weeks ago I came across the checker shadow illusion and it left me feeling unsettled. In case you’ve not seen it before, it’s an optical illusion that features a checkerboard with light and dark squares, two of which are labelled A and B, with a cylindrical object placed near one corner of the board. If you look closely at the squares labelled A and B, they look like they have different colours i.e.…

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Course Correcting

Last week my wife and I went on holiday to Amsterdam to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. On arrival, we planned to take a train from the airport in Schiphol to the central station in Amsterdam, and then walk from the central station to our hotel. The walk would take about 45 minutes according to Google Maps, which is a piece of cake if you’re like me, or a bit of a long walk…

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Navigating The Unknown

A few days ago I read the transcripts of an interview with the renowned author of the Jack Reacher books, Lee Child. When asked about his approach to writing the Reacher books, Child said he doesn’t create a plan before writing. Rather, he creates a scenario and asks: What would Jack Reacher do? And he takes it from there. I found the entire interview interesting, but it was this response that piqued my interest, and…

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To Do or Not To Do?

Let’s assume you’re going on a week-long holiday with your family and on the third day, you’re going on a day trip that’ll take you out of the coastal resort you’re staying in, to the nation’s capital. Your family have worked together to create an itinerary for the day trip, featuring all their interests. It’s a whole day’s worth of activities including museums to visit, historic sights to see, exotic cuisines to sample, malls for…

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On Luck

A few weeks ago, I had a thought while listening to a No Stupid Questions podcast episode. For the uninitiated, No Stupid Questions is a podcast where the hosts – currently Angela Duckworth and Mike Maughn – pick a question (either submitted by a listener or drawn from the hosts’ lives or experiences), and attempt to answer the question by drawing on research findings in conversation. The conversation in question was on the premise of…

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Reflections on a Creative Journey

A few weeks ago, I was invited to play a gig in a bookstore. The setting was intimate, the atmosphere was pregnant with creativity, and the space was lovely as I was surrounded by books and book lovers, writers and avid readers alike. There were a few readings – poetry, spoken word, short stories and novel excerpts – after which I closed the show with a 20-minute set. Overall, it was an evening well spent…

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