Violence and cranial feminisation

A slightly unusual title for a blog you might think.  I went last night to the Royal Institution to listen to Richard Wrangham talking about his new book The Goodness Paradox.  I won't even try to summarise the very rich lecture, which covered swathes of evolutionary thinking as well as graphic detail on the brutality of chimps. Richard draws a basic distinction between two types of violence:  proactive (premeditated, calculated) and reactive (spontaneous, sudden).  His basic thesis is that as humans we differ from other animals in being much less inclined to exhibit the latter.  Apparently we do only a thousandth of the 'scuffling' that chimps and even the more peaceful…
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A Reskilling Revolution

We're at that point - it swings around about once a decade - when lifelong learning becomes something people seem to want to talk about as if it mattered.  One prompt for this in the UK is the centenary of the 1919 Report on Adult Education, on which Paul Stanistreet has written so powerfully.  A Commission chaired by Dame Helen Gosh (Master of Balliol College Oxford, whose predecessor in that role chaired the original) is looking at how we might use the date to generate some fresh impetus and thinking. Both of which, plus huge amounts of political effort, are needed if we are to turn around this country's extraordinary…
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Violence and cranial feminisation

A slightly unusual title for a blog you might think.  I went last night to the Royal Institution to listen to Richard Wrangham talking about his new book The Goodness Paradox.  I won't even try to summarise the very rich lecture, which covered swathes of evolutionary thinking as well as graphic detail on the brutality of chimps. Richard draws a basic distinction between two types of violence:  proactive (premeditated, calculated) and reactive (spontaneous, sudden).  His basic thesis is that as humans we differ from other animals in being much less inclined to exhibit the latter.  Apparently we do only a thousandth of the 'scuffling' that chimps and even the more peaceful…
Read More

A Reskilling Revolution

We're at that point - it swings around about once a decade - when lifelong learning becomes something people seem to want to talk about as if it mattered.  One prompt for this in the UK is the centenary of the 1919 Report on Adult Education, on which Paul Stanistreet has written so powerfully.  A Commission chaired by Dame Helen Gosh (Master of Balliol College Oxford, whose predecessor in that role chaired the original) is looking at how we might use the date to generate some fresh impetus and thinking. Both of which, plus huge amounts of political effort, are needed if we are to turn around this country's extraordinary…
Read More