Near Life Experience

Everyone seems to agree that one of the casualties of this crisis is our interpersonal life. The first thing to die of Covid-19 was the handshake, which had long been seen as one of the guarantors of humanity’s ability to close gaps between individuals. The handshake had been in the street long before the hugContinue reading “Near Life Experience”

Getting bored in (not with) the 12th century

There are some truly boring centuries, like the 6th or the 7th. Any honest historian will have to admit that if they had to go into confinement with anything written during those centuries as the only distraction, they’d fall prey to the worst forms of tedium. There are boring centuries, but there are also excitingContinue reading “Getting bored in (not with) the 12th century”

The phobic vindication

Let’s face it, all the social distancing measures, the lockdowns, and the self-isolation have removed most unfamiliar environments from view. The only available spaces for most of us these days are the well-trodden paths from the kitchen to the living room, from the bathroom to the garden or balcony, or from the house door toContinue reading “The phobic vindication”

The exterminating angels of confinement

Now that we’ve had our wings clipped and our bodies chained to the floors of our houses like some books in medieval libraries, we should pray the exterminating angels of confinement. It all becomes clear. Our guardian angels are not there to guard us against evil, but to guard us against breaking our confinement. TheyContinue reading “The exterminating angels of confinement”

The pundits

Suddenly everyone has become an immunologist and a confinement pundit. It is easy to tell the genuine immunologist from the quack, but it’s not so easy to recognise a true confinement pundit. Who are these? Surely it can’t be those who tell us to fight the disruption to our normal routines by engineering new routines.Continue reading “The pundits”

Variations on the same theme

If you’re picking up a new book to read in the hope of learning something new, I have a surprise for you: it’s not there. The beauty and genius of literature is that even though the whole gamut of human experience has been covered in previous works, new books always have something to tell us.Continue reading “Variations on the same theme”

On a Need to Know Basis

An unexamined life is not worth living. An unexamined world is not worth living in. In the age of information, examination is the natural thing to do. We have the material, and we certainly don’t lack the tools. Splashed with torrents of information every day, the only way to stay on top of the waveContinue reading “On a Need to Know Basis”

Fear Of Missing Out On The Free Stuff

We didn’t need the Covid-19 crisis to tell us that the supply of media available out there far outstrips our ability and time to engage with and absorb it. Yet, for some reason, we’ve become acutely aware of this disturbing truth. It might have to do with many media outlets’ recent decision to make theirContinue reading “Fear Of Missing Out On The Free Stuff”