The Student Union Presidency – A Parable of Wokeness – By Russel Alanbridger – 08/04/2021

Dear reader, welcome. I bring glad tidings. Do you remember that orange man across the sea? Yes, that one. Do you remember how he lost an election and then tried to overturn the result? You do? Oh good. He didn’t manage it in the end. His loss is our gain. Because it turns out thatContinue reading “The Student Union Presidency – A Parable of Wokeness – By Russel Alanbridger – 08/04/2021”

Debra Soh deserves to be heard – 19/02/2021

This afternoon the sexologist, neuroscientist and journalist Dr Debra Soh will speak at the Oxford Union. Her inclusion on this term’s roster of speakers caused quite the furore when the Union’s term card was announced. Soh’s scientific, and now journalistic career has centred on such fraught, controversial topics as gender identity, sexual orientation, gender dysphoria,Continue reading “Debra Soh deserves to be heard – 19/02/2021”

The Medium is the Massage; the effect of technology on communication, forgiveness and politics – 15/12/2020

‘The major advances in civilisation are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur’. A.N. Whitehead, mathematician and philosopher, co-author of the Principia Mathematica (1913). The Medium is the Massage (1967) opens with the above quote. It is no throwaway line. The book’s authors: Marshal McLuhan (words) and Quentin Fiore (graphics) hadContinue reading “The Medium is the Massage; the effect of technology on communication, forgiveness and politics – 15/12/2020”

What does ‘American Psycho’ tell us about Donald Trump? – 17/07/2020

In Brett Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel, his protagonist, the Wall Street lawyer Patrick Bateman, cares about very few people. He certainly does not care about his girlfriend Evelyn, and definitely not his co-workers, one of whom he chops to death with an axe. But there is one person that literature’s nastiest serial killer looks upContinue reading “What does ‘American Psycho’ tell us about Donald Trump? – 17/07/2020”

I hope university teaches me to think, but I’m not so sure it will – 15/07/2020

Oscar Wilde once said that ‘the Oxford manner’, is ‘the ability to play with ideas gracefully’. All being well with my (teacher assessed) A-Levels, I hope to begin my time as a student at Oxford this October. I couldn’t be more excited about this, but recent trends regarding the free exchange of ideas at universitiesContinue reading “I hope university teaches me to think, but I’m not so sure it will – 15/07/2020”

Dispatches by Michael Herr – War as Pure Experience – 10/07/2020

Publisher: Picador Cover design: Illustration by Joanna Thomson, Picador Art Dep ‘Our machine was devastating and versatile, it could do anything but stop.‘ ‘For every prayer there was a counter-prayer – and it was hard to see who had the edge.‘ ‘There were plenty of people who believed that we were nothing more than glorifiedContinue reading “Dispatches by Michael Herr – War as Pure Experience – 10/07/2020”

‘Common Sense’ and the Life of Thomas Paine – The work of the forgotten Founding Father – 08/07/2020

Publisher: Penguin (Great Ideas Series) Cover Artwork: Phil Baines ‘The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind.’ ‘The sun never shone on a cause of greater worth’. ‘We have it in our power to begin the world over again’. “I do not believe in the creed professed by the JewishContinue reading “‘Common Sense’ and the Life of Thomas Paine – The work of the forgotten Founding Father – 08/07/2020”

Discussion of Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ – 06/07/2020

Publisher: Pax Librorum Publishing House Cover design: Sebestyen, employing the image ‘Chinese Dragon’ by Lihui from Dreamstime.com ‘Let your plans be as dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.’ ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt, if you know Heaven andContinue reading “Discussion of Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ – 06/07/2020”

The Forever War (1974) by Joe Haldeman – 06/07/2020

Publisher: Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group Ltd (as part of SF masterworks series) Cover Design: Based on illustration by Chris Moore/Artist Partners ‘”Tonight were going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man“                   The guy who said that was a sergeant who didn’t look five years older than me.Continue reading “The Forever War (1974) by Joe Haldeman – 06/07/2020”