Since reading Orwell’s 1984 I’ve often thought about the climax in Room 101 and the idea of somebody using my worst fear against me. The idea is fascinating, because a fear can manifest itself in so many forms, but can be so particular to the individual. In the novel the malevolently regulated Ministry of Love have stockpiled information on citizens of Orwell’s dystopic world and use this information to discover a person’s deepest fear. They then use that fear against the individual to finally make them submit.
This vision of unleashing a person’s deepest fear to take away their humanity reminds me a lot of hell. The idea of hell has been something of a fascination of mine for some time. It all started when watching Nick Cave live, where I swore that the ground was opening up beneath me (anyone who has seen Nick’s recent tour will probably understand). Hell and fire, eternal torture, and the underworld are all connected. But where did this notion of “underworld” come from, what form does it take, and why does it go down into the earth? Continue reading “To Hell With It – How we imagine the evil afterlife”
“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” – William Blake
Every living person finds something to believe in. The unique, individual way in which we believe is crucial to our individualism, and to our culture in general. Two Catholics may have two very differing opinions on the meaning of a passage from the New Testament. In the same way, two scientists may conceive two completely separate ideas from a single scientific theory.
After watching the Adam Curtis documentary All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace Continue reading “Believing With Blinkers On – How seemingly open minds can be closed”
1640s, “evergreen,” formed in English from L. perennis “lasting through the year (or years),”
lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring
• (of a plant) living for several years
Some things last a long time. Others are over in an instant, as they pass from the near future into the recent past. This piece concerns the former. Some occurrences seem to become mainstays overnight. Although certainly nothing lasts forever, some events can span lifetimes or generations. Continue reading “Blink and You’ll Miss It: Events on the Internet”
We can all define time. We all understand what it is and how it works, right? The challenge: to define time in ten words or less.
The Oxford English Dictionary summarise time pretty well:
Pronunciation: /tʌɪm/ noun 1 [mass noun] the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole
That’s exactly what I would have said.
The concept is straightforward for anyone Continue reading “To define “Time” in ten words or less”