Scarcity and abundance

abundanceWe are moving from a world in which resources are scarce towards a world of abundance. Many things that were once scarce are already abundant in developed countries and will soon be abundant everywhere, if trends continue.

There’s a strong counter-narrative telling us the opposite – that the world’s resources are almost used up, that population levels are unsustainable and that we must cut back now or face disaster. But Malthus said the same two hundred years ago, and so have countless others. Each has been proved wrong. Continue reading

The first and last rose

In these dark days of November, when the nights are long, and the days devoid of sunshine, there are still small miracles to be found in the garden. This morning I took a photo of the very last rose of the season.



And here, peeping from between the fallen leaves and decaying vegetation of the autumn, is the primrose, the prima rosa, or first rose of the new year.



Welcome to Britain

refugeeswelcomeThe weather in Glasgow in November may be terrible, but the plane-load of Syrian refugees arriving there this afternoon probably weren’t too dismayed. Continue reading

Sorry, the name’s not Bond

danielcraigbondOnce upon a time, many years ago, I worked for a company that did business with South Korea. In my job, I spent a lot of time on the phone to the Korean office in Seoul. I spoke daily to the office manager and his two secretaries and got to know them quite well. Then one day I got the chance to fly out to Seoul for two weeks on a sales visit. I was very excited, and it seemed that I wasn’t the only one. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin: friend or foe?

vputinThere are lots of reasons to distrust and dislike Vladimir Putin. I won’t bother to list them all here. But I have a grudging respect for him. Putin gets things done. Not necessarily the right things, but not necessarily the wrong things either. Continue reading

Watching paint dry

paintinsThis is something we all do. Me especially. I’m a paint-watcher by nature. Not literally. I have never seen anyone literally watching paint dry. But metaphorically, we do it all the time. Continue reading

Choose joy

joyI’ve been feeling a little down recently, for various reasons. This is what Buddhists call suffering, and they say it is caused by desire, or passion. Desire is what binds us to this life, they say, and is the cause of our suffering. Christians have a similar world view. They say that sin is the root cause of our suffering, and that our redemption is through Jesus Christ.

While there are many differences between Christians (who believe in an eternal soul), and Buddhists (who supposedly do not – although people like the Dalai Lama certainly seem to), religions generally regard the physical world as a place where humans are trapped. It’s easy then to imagine that we were born to suffer. Continue reading