freedthinking

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The Caterpillar’s Lament

We are on the verge of a renewable energy revolution and its champions will be the 1% we now love to hate – the bankers. Whilst the environmental set has done much of the groundwork, they have also marginalised themselves by marching under a banner called sustainability.

Identifying unsustainability as our present state, the movement fell into the trap of saying the opposite of a bad thing is a good thing. As the opposite of indifference is not difference & the opposite of love is more often fear than hate, so the opposite of unsustainability is not sustainability.

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The Whole World is Horseradish

The winemaker waited until the 12th glass of the blind, vertical tasting before asking me for an opinion. The previous 11 had been dissected in a rich vinous language across two long tables. The winemaker's pied piper following of assistants, interns & tyro connoisseurs, looked on expectantly.

After a modest indulgence it is a challenge to tell humidor notes from pencil shavings - & although the taster's way is to sip & spit, 12 gorgeous Shiraz could not all go down the drain.

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No Sense of Place

As I ascend 15 floors from car-park to plush offices in yet another aluminium box, I think of all the other aluminium boxes we now use for departure and arrivals, from bus terminals to airports.

The functional has triumphed over the aesthetic (although users of Cape Town airport plodding through corridors and caverns lugging luggage may well question what function this serves beyond making airline travel nearly agreeable by comparison); the global bland eliminates our sense of place.

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Building Bridges

If you want to build a bridge, study architecture for five years, find a junior job in a prestigious practice, work your way up & if you are lucky, you may get that assignment one day in your career. Or, at the age of 19, you can go to a distressed area and follow the Nike line – just do it.

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Messages from Planet Earth

Welcome to summit season on Planet Earth. We have just concluded a new round of promises to half the rate of biodiversity loss by 2020, having spectacularly failed to do this, as promised, between 2000 and 2010. Next up is politicians noisily avoiding best science.

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Seduction with Soul

It’s interesting that Shakespeare managed to survive without a dictionary. So did the Greeks and Romans. Now we try to define what is, rather than what the concept is about.

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“If all the seeds that fall were to grow, then no one could follow the path under the trees.” - Akan Proverb