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Month: April 2018

A Logic Puzzle

A Logic Puzzle

Most readers are probably familiar with the old chestnut of two doors and two guards, one of which always tells the truth and one of which always lies. But what about if we have three guards? This is a twist on the classic puzzle that I found pleasantly appealing. Without further ado: A prisoner is given a choice between two doors; one of which leads to freedom and the other of which leads to certain death. In front of the…

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Driving Music

Driving Music

A driving playlist I created a few weeks ago. I was doing a lot of motorway driving at the time, so this primarily consists of upbeat, energetic tracks; the sort of music you want blasting out loudly as you roar along at 70mph. 1. Freedom (Michael W Smith). An instrumental piece that deserves to be the sound-track of an epic film, this sets the tone for the playlist from its opening drumbeats to its final crescendoing theme. 2. Baba Yetu…

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In Defence of First Past the Post

In Defence of First Past the Post

Despite the British people opting in favour of first-past-the-post (FPTP) by a decisive 68:32 margin, in many of the circles I move support for other voting systems, in particular proportional representation (PR) is so de rigeur that FPTP’s merits are seldom even considered. Despite this, I continue to believe that FPTP remains¬† the best and most appropriate voting mechanism for political elections, and in particular significantly better than PR(1).   What do the systems involve? As a very brief summary:…

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Twitter follow button added

Twitter follow button added

I am now on Twitter. I admit to not being a huge fan of Twitter – short form entries are not my favoured means of communication and I’m dubious about whether it does more social good than harm. However, it appears to all but essential as part of communicating effectively in the modern age. If you are also on Twitter, you can follow me using the link to the right.

Quarterly Book Round-up – April 2018

Quarterly Book Round-up – April 2018

Reviving a series from the former incarnation of this blog, the quarterly book review provides a non-exhaustive list of some of the books I read and enjoyed in the previous quarter. This particular edition covers the period January – March, published late because I only began blogging on 16 April. Sidney Grice/March Middleton series (first four) (M. R. C. Kasasian): An enjoyable detective series explicitly in the Sherlock Holmes style, set in late Victorian London. Grice and Middleton are both…

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Four political tribes

Four political tribes

A lot of commenters have observed, particularly post-Brexit, that the old divide between left and right seems to be breaking down. At the last election, age and level of education were better predictors of how someone voted than income or what one might traditionally think of as class. In truth, the new voting patterns are simply revealing differences that have been growing for many years, with or without Brexit: similar – if differently presenting – changes can be seen in…

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A Jewel Within Clay: The Tolkien Edit

A Jewel Within Clay: The Tolkien Edit

I’m a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. Despite a couple of flaws – in particular, repeated defamation of secondary characters in The Two Towers – overall they did a brilliant job of conveying the plot, feeling, setting and tone of the book, aided by brilliant cinematography, scenery and music. The Fellowship of the Ring absolutely wowed me when it came out and the trilogy remains some of my all time favourite films….

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First Wonkhe contribution

First Wonkhe contribution

My first article as a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe has been published: ‘In defence of archaic governance structures’. In it, I make the case for the restoration of academic self-governance as part of the solution to the ongoing crises in higher education, including the recent pensions dispute and high levels of executive pay. You can read the full article here: In defence of archaic governance structures