Art and difficulty

A recent piece in the Guardian newspaper asked whether smartphones were killing the art of photography. Central to its argument (for and against) was the idea that smartphones represent a “democratisation” of the art form. This argument has been made in other areas, most obviously in relation to music, where it’s been claimed that software... Continue Reading →

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Death and politics

I heard today that an old friend had suddenly dropped dead, alone in her flat where she was discovered by the police a day or so later. She was a very smart, warm and gifted woman, in her mid 50s. I've been told it was probably a heart attack. She wasn't overweight, didn't smoke, or... Continue Reading →

Unacknowledged legislators

Shelley once wrote that poets were the “unacknowledged legislators of mankind”. Well, he was young, but in the mood of the times he could probably be forgiven for thinking the liberal imagination was rising to a new pre-eminence. Where “society” once indicated a tiny elite it was beginning to embrace whole nations. Literacy was spreading... Continue Reading →

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