Daily Paradox

New but not Clear

If there is one word in the universal language of today that runs the gamut of human feelings it is ‘nuclear’. From shivering fear of catastrophic destruction via medical hope of major cures to the warmth of reliable, secure, affordable energy, nuclear has threats and promises no other human invention has ever offered. First used…
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Across theperilous silos

The process of growing up involves, sometimes unavoidably, learning to put things into boxes. The things may be physical, for example, toys, or intellectual – such as relationships between the big powers. Hence the jargon expression ‘out of the box’ when we have to think creatively. Silos are boxes – the slightly grander word presumably…
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Learning to learn

Whatever else in the world is in recession, education is advancing. With the reviews of all education levels between ‘Primary to Masters’ and ‘Life-long-learning’, humans are asking why their world is so distorted and what they can do to better equip future generations. Learning comes more easily to some than to others but even the…
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A Universal Blessing

Globalisation is steaming ahead like the fastest Cunard liner winning the Blue Riband on the Atlantic. Trade globalisation appears to have receded because of the spat between East and West. In practice, the need to globalise – everything including trade – is as great as ever, and as for travel, for education, for technology transfer, no anti-globalisation is going to stop them. Maybe we are approaching…
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Automated Service

A well-known national business in the telecoms industry in Singapore recently answered an emergency call for help over a down telephone line with the words “This is an Automated Service”. A clash of the meanings of adjacent words like these is known as a ‘bronchobabble’. There are few bronchobabbles as mind-boggling as ‘Automated Service’. Service…
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Call the meeting NOW OUR PRESIDENTs

“You have not had an accident, Sir, you have had a car crash”. Thus spoke the policeman that attended the only car mishap I was ever involved in. He was quite right. Before the investigation into what happened, ahead of insurance claims and possible court cases, the officer had said quite simply “…you have had…
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Means & Ends

We often ask “Where and How?” – not, perhaps, as bluntly as that, but the essence of what we want to know is ‘Where are we going and How are we going to get there?’ Of course, there are many occasions, like planning a holiday, when the journey is part of the occasion and you…
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‘All alone’

A 1920s song by Irving Berlin sent a message that resonates deeply with many people today. From those whose spouse or close friend has died to the old and ill, from the child whose parents cannot look after it properly, from the mentally isolated to the terminally sad, loneliness is an infliction of real hardship…
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The Revolving Mirror

You know about The Revolving Door. It’s where people come out as fast as they go in. As a child you might have been caught in one. As a politician in a democracy today you can be trapped in a really fast spinner. Some people think the British have one at the Prime Minister’s home…
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China’s agenda

It really doesn’t matter whether China’s now declared agenda is the aspiration of one man or the collective aim of an ideology. For sure, it will be a bit of both. The theory of democracy is that too much autocracy is self-destructive because enough of the people won’t stand for it to make it eventually…
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