Thursday, December 01, 2016



The wonderfully embellished cars will be parading along the Corniche to celebrate the UAE National Day. It was an exuberant spectacle I enoyed watching in my days in the Sandlands.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Och aye!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016



The holiday this year coincided with Mickey's sixtieth birthday. The milestone moved our daughter to make a surprise visit to Munich at the weekend. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Friday

The news headlines at 8 o'clock on the BBC 4 Today program were dominated by the death of Fidel Castro. But there was also a contribution from their Paris correspondent, reporting the suicide of David Hamilton at his little flat on Boulevard Montparnasse... which was also my office for so long.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

60 as the new 40!

Mickey can now look back on four quindecades and is today doubtless looking back on some highlights of the years that have passed. For me one outstanding shared memory was our trip to America in 1983.

We happily imagined that the 'TT' stood for Thomson Tower back in those innocent days! How things change!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Just more thoughts

Picking up on my previous post titled Just a thought I have further exercised my grey matter in the hope of imagining an antidote to the poison introduced of late by the Brexiteers and Trumpists. Could a kind of networked truth-telling communitarianism be part of the answer?

from Quartz
“Many citizens around the world are turning their sights inward to what they can control: the cooperative economy and becoming more connected with their local communities.”

Two-thirds of America’s hundred largest cities are controlled by Democratic Party mayors, aware of and concerned by the pressures within the communities for which they are responsible. The mayors need to be on the front line in the battle against ‘disinformation’, intentionally false or misleading information spread to deceive target audiences. The English word is a translation of the Russian дезинформация, transliterated as ‘dezinformatsiya’. The strategies of deception from Sun Tsu’s The Art of War had been studied in Moscow and widely used by the KGB: “I will force the enemy to take our strength for weakness, and our weakness for strength, and thus will turn his strength into weakness”. The echo-chamber filter-bubbles propagated by Twitter and Facebook with their clickbait culture rewarding eyeballs at the cost of integrity have added powerful tools of which the Soviet schemers could only dream.

Post-factualist discourse marks a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored. Post-truth differs from traditional contesting and falsifying of truth by rendering it of secondary importance. It became widespread during the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the 2016 referendum on membership in the European Union in the United Kingdom.

Inhibiting the viral spread of fake news will be one of the challenges to be faced as a matter of urgency. Journalism guru Jeff Jarvis has written at length here about how this sanitization might be achieved. Success would mean the unmasking of America’s president-elect as a false prophet whose words on behalf of the ‘ordinary people’ will prove to be nothing but empty rhetoric.

Friday, November 18, 2016