SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter

I was well past 50 before the SmartPhone arrived. I had lived most of my life without one. I shouldn’t be missing mine so much. I had coped before. Why is coping now so difficult?

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510750075_eeee488cd6_zI thought I could easily survive without it.  I was wrong.  I could survive, but it wasn’t easy.  In fact, I was surprised about how hard I found it.  It should have been a doddle.  It is not as if an iPhone has been part of my life for most of it.

I could be described as being in young old-age.  I can remember when we didn’t have a television, and how when we got one, our neighbours came round on a Saturday evening to watch the small, black and white screen.  I can remember the envy when some relatives got their first colour TV set.  I can remember my girl-friend at university spending hours using a calculator the size of a small house in order to process by hand the statistics needed for her research.

I can remember too the joy of the first personal computers – the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum (“What on earth do you want one of those for?  What good will it do?”) – and learning to use code to make machines do relatively useless things.  And then the big breakthrough, the Amstrad PCW – technology that actually did things that made life much easier for someone who regularly typed thousands of words. Continue reading “SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter”

On Tyranny

Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

33917107Although a short book, this is a very important read.  Timothy Snyder is an American historian who is able to pull together lessons from history on how to recognise and resist dictatorships and facism.  Some reviewers feel that it is essential reading for all Americans.  I disagree.  I think it would be good if people of all nations could read it and learn from it.

Because it is a short book I don’t want to rob the author of his thunder by outlining all the content.  However, just to give you a flavour of what it contains, I will summarise the chapter that had most resonance for me – Chapter 10 Believe in Truth.

Synder states that submission to tyranny happens when you renounce the difference between what you hear and see and what is actually the case.  He then goes on to outline four ways in which truth has died in various societies, and how it is dying in America as you read this.

Continue reading “On Tyranny”

Elephants in the Therapeutic Community

Sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients.

38830The therapeutic community is trying hard to ignore two elephants sitting in its midst.  Their presence is discomforting.  In more considered moments we know they are there, but, broadly speaking, many of us hope they will go away.

The first elephant can best be described as ‘the glut’.  It used to be claimed that there were more therapists in the UK than members of the armed forces.  Whether it was ever true historically, it is almost certainly true now.  But sometimes, for the private practitioner, it can feel like there are more local therapists than clients. Continue reading “Elephants in the Therapeutic Community”